List Film

Reviews & features

Joe

18 Jun 20144 stars

Nicolas Cage excels in powerful, grimy drama that elevates ordinary story to near-operatic heights

David Gordon Green's biggest hit, urban-stoner comedy Pineapple Express, is very much untypical of the moody, backwater dramas he directs on an annual basis, from George Washington to Prince Avalanche. Joe is another entry in his canon of accomplished…

Hyena

18 Jun 20143 stars

Gerard Johnson's grisly thriller is a strong enough film, but an odd choice for EIFF opening night

EIFF opens this year with a grisly standoff between ultra-violent Albanian gangsters and racist, homophobic, bribe-taking, coke-hoovering London cops, among whom only Michael Logan (Peter Ferdinando) retains a guttering wisp of moral awareness. The…

Palo Alto

18 Jun 20142 stars

Gia Coppola's James Franco adap offers simplistic take on teenage life, despite fine performances

This drifting tale of drifting middle class teens is the filmmaking debut of Gia Coppola, granddaughter of Francis. Adapted from a short story collection by James Franco – who makes an appearance as a sleazy girls’ football coach – it follows…

A Dangerous Game

18 Jun 20143 stars

You've Been Trumped follow-up explores global perspective on corporate aggression, but pulls punches

Film-maker Anthony Baxter struck a chord worldwide with his documentary You've Been Trumped!, in which he documented the bully-boy methods used by millionaire Donald Trump to stop Baxter from investigating his proposed plans for Scottish golf-courses.

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: The top 5 horror movies

17 Jun 2014

Featuring Honeymoon, Let Us Prey, Fish and Cat and Eli Roth's The Green Inferno

Fish and Cat (Mahi va Gorbeh) Inspired by rumours of a restaurant which served human flesh to its customers, this Iranian film uses a kite-flying competition to make urban visitors come into contact with creepy locals, testing slasher conventions to…

Camille Claudel 1915

17 Jun 20143 stars

Bruno Dumont's historical biopic is a quiet heartbreaker starring a luminous Juliette Binoche

Camille Claudel spent the last 30 years of her life confined to an asylum near Avignon. Using her medical records and correspondence, Bruno Dumont's sparse drama focuses on a brief period early in her incarceration. It effectively conveys the decades of…

Jersey Boys

17 Jun 20143 stars

Clint Eastwood delivers a disappointingly workmanlike account of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

In his directing career, Clint Eastwood has tackled both biopics (J Edgar) and films about iconic musicians (Bird), but he still seems like an odd choice to direct the big screen adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical: one can only assume he was a…

The Fault in Our Stars

17 Jun 20143 stars

Watching the film adaptation of John Green's terminal love story will require tissues, or a bucket

A story about first love in the face of certain death, The Fault in Our Stars is based on the novel by John Green. At the centre is a hugely affecting performance from Shailene Woodley – who is shaping up to be something of a star herself. Josh Boone's…

3 Days To Kill

17 Jun 20142 stars

Kevin Costner headlines a preposterous actioner that fails to clone Liam Neeson's Taken

Directed by McG, 3 Days to Kill stars Kevin Costner as hotshot CIA operative Ethan Renner, who's diagnosed with terminal lung cancer (signified by a Cough of Death) after collapsing on his latest mission. Determined to spend his remaining days…

Of Horses and Men

17 Jun 20143 stars

A series of Icelandic vignettes successfully portraying the interweaving lives of horses and humans

In a succession of vignettes, this Icelandic feature depicts various interactions between horses and humans that highlight both the symbiosis and the separation between human and animal lives. The Icelandic title translates literally as ‘The Horse in…

Adam Buxton brings Bug to Glasgow and Manchester

17 Jun 2014

Five facts ahead of pop culture commentator's music video ‘analysis’ nights

1: Some people will always see Adam Buxton as one half of the archetypal studenty double act, Adam & Joe. And that’s fine, because they were totally brilliant. 2:But Buxton has had some success all on his lonesome including one series of Channel 4’s The…

Island of Lemurs: Madagascar

16 Jun 20143 stars

A beautiful but over-simplified family-friendly nature doc narrated by Morgan Freeman

At 40 minutes, David Douglas’ slender, family-friendly IMAX lemur doc is a hark back to the format’s days as a short-form edutainment outlet. Friendly, photogentic primates leap across the massive screen while Morgan Freeman’s subterranean tones…

The Raindance Festival on tour showcases truly independent cinema across the UK

11 Jun 2014

The Raindance Film Festival – a London-based film fest that aims to promote the best in independent (and often low-budget) cinema – is going out on tour this month, bringing a selection films that showcase their tastes to cities around the UK. Each of…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: Don Johnson set for visit with Cold in July

10 Jun 2014

Stakeland and We Are What We Are director Jim Mickle directs the 80s-set thriller screening at EIFF

Moments before I’m set to meet Don Johnson, a colleague asks: ‘Do you think he’ll be wearing socks?’ Even 25 years after Miami Vice ended its five-season run, the fashions that Johnson’s cop character Sonny Crockett ushered in still loom large in the…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: Mark Cousins and Mania Akbari's Life May Be takes inspiration from 19th Century letter novels

10 Jun 2014

EIFF 2014 features two strands dedicated to Iranian cinema

How would you describe Life May Be? Mark: The film is an old-fashioned letter piece – like Les Liaisons Dangereuses or Pamela by Samuel Richardson, radically updated to the digital age and with modern themes – Iran, exiles, nudity, etc. Mania: It’s a…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: A Dangerous Game continues story started in You’ve Been Trumped

10 Jun 2014

Director Anthony Baxter's Donald Trump golf documentary highlights corporate aggression worldwide

George Orwell said ‘journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed – everything else is public relations’. The prominence of Anthony Baxter’s 2011 documentary You’ve Been Trumped was largely due to saying something that billionaire…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: The best sci-fi films

10 Jun 2014

Featuring Coherence, Snowpiercer, The Anomaly, Koo! Kin-dza-dza and The Empire Strikes Back

The Empire Strikes Back Officially, this screening is called ‘EIFF & Empire present the Greatest Movie of All Time’ – a not in any way grandiose title. Episode V of George Lucas’ series has earned this honour after coming top of the poll of Empire’s…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: Five of the best thrillers

10 Jun 2014

Intruders, The Cat, Billion Dollar Brain, A Most Wanted Man and The Fat and the Angry among pics

The Fat and the Angry (Ettor och Nollor) By now we are all aware that if a series is described as ‘Scandinavian crime’, it will inevitably be accompanied by the word ‘gritty’. This is no Midsomer Murders. After a horrible explosion in an industrial…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: The best family films

10 Jun 2014

Featuring The House of Magic, Island of Lemurs: Madagascar and Wolfy, the Incredible Secret

The House of Magic. Despite all that Pixar has done for children’s films, it can be nice to see something outside the big studios. Step forward The House of Magic, a film from Belgium about a cute cat who is abandoned but taken in by a magician with an…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: A guide to the work of John McGrath

10 Jun 2014

The timely, Independence-themed work of the political playwright is given a festival retrospective

John McGrath was one of Britain’s most prolific writers, directors and producers. Born in 1935, he was a passionate socialist theatremaker. He’s particularly noted for setting up theatre company 7:84 in 1971, which became known around Scotland and…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: Is it time for Nicolas Cage's resurgence?

10 Jun 2014

The mercurial actor stars in David Gordon Green's Joe alongside Tye Sheridan

Matthew McConaughey, eh? Who saw that coming? One minute, he’s headlining forgettable romcom dross like Failure to Launch and Fool’s Gold; the next, he’s stealing scenes in intriguing indie projects. A look at his resumé shows a clear line in the sand…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: When Michel Gondry met Noam Chomsky

10 Jun 2014

The distinctive filmmaker's latest project is an animated conversation with the political theorist

Arguably the best thing to have come from Versailles since the peace treaty, writer and director Michel Gondry returns to the fray with two new feature films. The idiosyncratic auteur behind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind let his own high…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: Eli Roth on his Amazon-shot cannibal horror The Green Inferno

10 Jun 2014

Director's affectionate tribute to the Italian cannibal movies of the 80s screens at EIFF 2014

Eli Roth revels in his reputation as the bad boy of horror cinema. He shocked movie fans with the flesh eating virus of Cabin Fever and for many epitomised the gory excesses of the mid-00s with the ultra-violent Hostel. ‘As a kid I loved sitting round…

Film in the City brings the Edinburgh International Film Festival outdoors

10 Jun 2014

The run-up to EIFF 2014 features filmmaking workshops and open air screenings

June is now firmly established as Film Festival month in Edinburgh and this year, more than ever before, the films and filmmakers are coming out of the cinemas and into the open air. Nicely timed to counter-programme the World Cup kick-off, the…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: Take a trip to the Island of Lemurs

10 Jun 2014

Writer-producer Drew Fellman discusses the IMAX doc, which is narrated by Morgan Freeman

It’s a cute, furry, animals-acting-like-humans narrative that could have been lifted straight from a Disney storyboard: a group of primates, fearing extinction on the mainland, board a naturally made raft and set sail for distant shores. ‘It’s the sort…