Mr Turner

Timothy Spall, Dorothy Atkinson, Paul Jesson, Marion Bailey Dir. Mike Leigh If you’re going to make a film about the life of JMW Turner you’re under pressure to get the cinematography right. (How else will you do justice to the art of the subject.) In this respect Ken Loach’s Mr Turner delivers. And it’s not … More Mr Turner

Troll Hunter (2010)

Otto Jespersen, Hans Morten Hansen, Johanna Morck, Tomas Alf Larsen Dir. Andre Ovredal Are you one of those people who finds it hard to believe in the weirder things in life? Things such as werewolves, vampires, ghouls . . . trolls? If the film Troll Hunter doesn’t convince you once and for all that such … More Troll Hunter (2010)

Partners In Crime

Andre Dussollier, Catherine Frot Dir. Pascal Thomas Dussollier is a rare kind of actor; one comfortable and effective in both serious and comedy roles. Daniel Auteuil and Fabrice Luchini are two who come instantly to mind, but there are others. I first came across the mad side of Dussollier in the film Tanguy, where in … More Partners In Crime

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

Jennifer Lawrence, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Josh Hutcherson Dir. Francis Lawrence When I heard the news that the second novel in the Hunger Games series was being filmed I groaned inwardly. Don’t get me wrong, the first film was good, surprisingly good, but the idea that you could take Jennifer Lawrence and associated … More The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

The Fast Lady (1963)

Stanley Baxter, Leslie Phillips, James Robertson Justice, Julie Christie Dir. Ken Annakin There is the outside chance that someone north of the border (Scotland, not Canada) might read the Kenneth Williams review and say what about Stanley Baxter? Well, what about him? I can’t say I was a fan of his until I saw him … More The Fast Lady (1963)

Now You See Me (2013)

Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Melanie Laurent, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman Dir. Louis Leterrier Within minutes of the start of Now You See Me you wonder if someone has been watching the BBC series Hustle. The similarities are all there: the individual scamsters plying their trades, trumpet heavy music swinging … More Now You See Me (2013)

World War Z

Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz Dir. Marc Forster The thing about zombies is there’s just no reasoning with them. You can’t take them to one side and say we feel your pain, give us time and we can work this out. In World War Z the zombies are no different, still unreasonable, no talking … More World War Z

Red 2 (2013)

Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mary-Louise Paarker, Anthony Hopkins, Brian Cox, Lee Byung-hun Dir. Dean Parisot There are men sitting in darkened rooms in Hollywood who would tell us that we don’t want to see big budget action thrillers starring old people. So how come Red was good enough to merit a … More Red 2 (2013)

Shall We Kiss (2007)

Virginie Ledoyen, Emmanuel Mouret, Julie Guyet, Michael Cohen, Stefano Accorsi Dir. Emmanuel Mouret I have a confession to make. I will watch anything that features Virginie Ledoyen. I’d even watch a television advert if she was in it. French cinema has a long history of famous actresses, Brigitte Bardot, Fanny Ardant, Audrey Tautou, Isabelle Huppert, … More Shall We Kiss (2007)

Priceless (2006)

Audrey Tautou, Gad Elmaleh Dir. Pierre Salvadori Tautou is a gold digger on the French Riviera, Elmaleh a waiter in a top class hotel. A deserted bar and an abandoned tie leads to confusion and Tautou thinks she’s found her next sugar daddy. Except Elmaleh is no sugar daddy. Priceless is an exercise in opportunism … More Priceless (2006)

Jack Reacher (2013)

Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, Werner Herzog Dir. Christopher McQuarrie Let’s ignore the fact that Tom Cruise is about four foot shorter than the fictitious Jack Reacher of the novels. Everyone (including me, notice) has pointed this out, but if it’s all right by Lee Child, the author of the Jack Reacher novels, then … More Jack Reacher (2013)

Pacific Rim (2013)

Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Ron Pearlman Dir. Guillermo del Toro Given the choice between a horrible death at the flippers of the Kaiju monsters and listening for more than a minute of Charlie Day’s vocal delivery, I’d choose death by Kaiju anytime. The world’s shortage of helium is caused right there, inside that … More Pacific Rim (2013)

Heist (2001)

Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito, Rebecca Pidgeon, Delroy Lindo, Ricky Jay, Sam Rockwell Dir. David Mamet I couldn’t remember why Heist was on my Lovefilm list. I like a good heist drama, from the days of Flash Harry and Arthur Daley to Micky Brix in BBC1’s Hustle, wideboys and girls with their complex scams and dodgy … More Heist (2001)

Rush (2013)

Daniel Bruhl, Chris Hemsworth, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara Dir. Ron Howard Live fast and die young might have been one of James Hunt’s mantras, but one wonders if he lay on his deathbed in 1993 wishing he could have a few more dacades. That’s the thing about people who live fast and die young: … More Rush (2013)

11.6 (2013)

Francoise Cluzet, Corinne Masiero, Bouli Lanners, Dir. Phillipe Godeau In 2009 Toni Musulin stole 11.6 million euros from the security van he was driving. The money belonged to the Banque de France. Now most people might see this as a cut and dried case of theft. Musulin even handed himself in. But a few facts … More 11.6 (2013)

Pandorum (2009)

Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster, Antje Traue, Cung Le Dir. Christian Alvart Something is wrong with a spaceship, the lights won’t work, the place is built out of metal so you can hear footsteps a quarter of a mile away. Communications are down, the crew don’t know where they are, what they’re doing or how to … More Pandorum (2009)

Kick Ass 2 (2013)

Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jim Carrey Dir. Jeff Wadlow Unlike Man of Steel, the bad guy in Kick Ass 2 has uncompromisingly bad traits. When the suggestion is made to him to kill Jim Carrey’s dog he responds by saying “I’m not that evil,” but really he is. With a name like … More Kick Ass 2 (2013)

Man of Steel (2013)

Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russel Crowe, Antje Traue Dir. Zack Snyder The title is wrong! With everything that happens to Superman in this film, if he was made out of steel he wouldn’t last five minutes. But let’s not be churlish. Let’s forget everything that has gone before: the pantomime villains, the specs, … More Man of Steel (2013)

Shutter Island

Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo, Max von Sydow Dir. Martin Scorsese I have to confess, I just don’t like Leonardo DiCaprio. He’s one of those actors who never puts his acting mask on straight and you can still see him underneath the character he’s playing. He’s at it again in Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island … More Shutter Island