RETROSPECTIVE: The Battle of Algiers, or The Revolution Will Not Be Simplified (Christopher Nolan Presents @ BFI)

The Battle of Algiers is perhaps the timeliest film about terrorism ever produced – from half a century ago.

When it was first released back in 1966, Gillo Pontecorvo’s depiction of the eponymous conflict was both praised and condemned for its scrupulously balanced presentation of terrorist and government atrocities during the French occupation of Algiers.…

American Sniper has great performances but lacks vision

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

For an Academy Award Best Picture nominee, American Sniper is not without its problems.

Its 84-year-old director Clint Eastwood is known for being a slightly hawkish libertarian with a penchant for shouting at empty chairs (“penchant” might be overstating, but, as they say, “You f**k one sheep…”).…

Unbroken is too polished for its own good

 

 

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

War stories tend to have two major themes: man’s inhumanity to man and/or the triumph of the human spirit.

While plenty of films in recent years have focused on the later, most recently Fury, it’s been a while since we’ve had an account of unvarnished heroism.…

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.…

European wartime romp The Monuments Men is nothing to write home about

2 Stars (2 / 5)

 

On the face of it, The Monuments Men should make for a great piece of cinema.

A classic “men on a mission” movie set in the dying days of the Second World War, directed by the talented and starring the never-less-than-charming George Clooney, backed by a whole roster of recognizable actors?…