Collateral Beauty gets it as right as it can in service of a bad idea

2 Stars (2 / 5)
Collateral Beauty is a awards-baiting drama about three big-city advertising execs who come together to gas-light their grieving friend for the sake of a big payday.

Okay, so it’s not quite as a simple as that, morality-wise; a fact that the film is desperate to impress upon us.…

Empire Live 2016: a rundown of the weekend

In light of proximity to both Raindance and the LFF, late September (23rd-25th to be precise) seems like a weird time to hold a new London-based film event.

That being said, when the event in question is run by Empire Magazine, one of the last bastions of mainstream film journalism in print and an institution in its own right you’ve got to sit up and take notice – even if they did give inexplicably award Suicide Squad four stars.…

The Martian: by far the best film to maroon Matt Damon in space

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

Are the 2010s the decade that made space travel cool again?

Gravity swept the Academy Awards back in 2013, Interstellar reminded us of the potential wonders of the universe in a way that no one had arguably done since Kubrick – Marvel even got in on the action with Guardians of the Galaxy.…

Ant-Man is disposable, throwaway fun, but it might make you think twice next time you step on a bug

3 Stars (3 / 5)

 

Marketed as this year’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man isn’t as quirky or out-there as its intergalactic predecessor — no Blue Swede on the soundtrack here.

In the unlikely hero department we have Paul Rudd, unsurprisingly immensely likeable as Scott Lang, a scrappy ex con who favors a wry smile over wisecracking and is trying to get his life back on track.…

Fury is a war film full of sound and signifying a lot

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

Is there anything quite so cinematic as war? The mud, the blood, the bullets, the explosions; the scale, the intimacy; the stakes, both large and small.

An elegantly uniformed rider on a pale horse makes his way through a graveyard of shattered military hardware.…

Gangster Squad assembles all the old cliches to little effect

2 Stars (2 / 5)

 

Post-war L.A. The glitzy and glamorous City of Angels is under the thrall of brutal mob boss Mickey Cohen, with mob slayings on every corner and half the police force on the make.

Or so Gangster Squad, the third feature of director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, 30 Minutes or Less), would have us believe.…

End of Watch is a classic of solidity

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

End of Watch is a found-footage style cop drama, directed and written by the writer of Training Day and Street Kings. It’s also markedly better than that sounds.

David Ayers, who also wrote the script for The Fast and the Furious, shoots the majority of the film from the perspective of Officer Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal), who drives a patrol car in South Central LA with his partner Mike Zavala (Michael Peña).…