List Film

Reviews & features

Foxcatcher

20 Oct 20144 stars

London Film Festival: Channing Tatum and Steve Carell excel in a psychological thriller

Not everyone will know the true story on which Foxcatcher is based, although you may quickly guess the direction in which the film is heading. Bennett Miller's third narrative feature – after Capote and Moneyball – is a finely crafted subversion of the…

A Little Chaos

20 Oct 20144 stars

London Film Festival: Alan Rickman directs and stars in an entertaining costume drama

Alan Rickman's second film as director, following 1997's The Winter Guest, is an unashamedly crowd-pleasing period drama with a terrific central performance from his Sense and Sensibility co-star Kate Winslet. Winslet plays Sabine De Barra, a widowed…

The Knife That Killed Me

20 Oct 20143 stars

Ambitious but flawed teen drama from Kit Monkman and Marcus Romer boasting a bold visual style

Given the title, it's no spoiler to say The Knife That Killed Me opens with a lethal stabbing. Paul Varderman (Jack McMullen) then narrates his way through the events that led to this fateful encounter with the blade: moving to Leeds after his mum dies…

Mommy

20 Oct 20145 stars

London Film Festival: Xavier Dolan's fifth film is a domestic drama that's raw and hilarious

Mommy deals with the complex issues of mental illness and domestic difficulties in a way that John Cassavetes would admire: by celebrating difference and not shrinking back or judging when things get ugly. After his taut thriller Tom at the Farm…

Jimi: All Is By My Side

20 Oct 20142 stars

Misjudged biopic of Jimi Hendrix is heavy on the soap opera, light on the tunes

People have been trying but failing to make movies about guitar god Jimi Hendrix for decades, almost since Jimi died, at 27, in 1970. Screenwriter John Ridley, Oscared for 12 Years a Slave, finally pulls one off. Sadly, the result will not satisfy…

Whiplash

20 Oct 20145 stars

London Film Festival: Damien Chazelle's second film plays like a high octane thriller

Captured with a riveting and rhythmic intensity which mirrors its protagonist's ferocious focus and surging drive, Whiplash is an audaciously edited, voraciously performed story of blood, sweat and beats which makes you feel every pummel and thrash.

Serena

20 Oct 20142 stars

Depression-era melodrama from Susanne Bier featuring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper

Serena Pemberton (Jennifer Lawrence) is a strong, independent woman. We know this not just because of her actions – moving to the wilds of Depression-era America with new husband George (Bradley Cooper) to become an equal partner in his logging company…

Love, Rosie

20 Oct 20142 stars

Manic, barrel-scraping rom-com from Christian Ditter starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin

Based on the novel Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern, Love, Rosie pitches, nay flings itself at the less discerning end of the romantic comedy crowd. German director Christian Ditter (French for Beginners) proves an unsteady hand at the helm of a…

The Way He Looks

20 Oct 20143 stars

Charming Brazilian coming-of-age drama from director Daniel Ribeiro

The familiar growing pains of adolescence are captured from a fresh perspective in The Way He Looks, an unassuming but sweetly engaging coming-of-age drama that serves as Brazil's contender for the forthcoming Best Foreign Language Film Oscar tussle.

This Is Where I Leave You

20 Oct 20142 stars

A star cast, including Jason Bateman and Tina Fey, fails to lift this dispiriting dramedy

Jane Fonda is the oversharing matriarch of a grieving family forced to sit Shiva after their father passes away in this disappointing dramedy from Shawn Levy, with a screenplay from Jonathan Tropper, adapting his own novel. A starry ensemble cast…

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

17 Oct 20144 stars

London Film Festival: Ana Lily Amirpour's film is beautifully crafted 'Iranian vampire western'

Etched in kohl and doused in dark humour, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is the bewitching first feature from writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour. She's a Los Angeles-based, English-born filmmaker of Iranian descent whose debut also resists easy…

It Follows

16 Oct 20145 stars

London Film Festival: David Robert Mitchell offers his twist on the slasher film and it's a ripper

David Robert Mitchell continues his visually arresting exploration of teen life with a horror film that recalls John Carpenter’s Halloween but puts its own unique spin on the slasher film. The same leafy streets of suburban Michigan in which Mitchell…

Black Butler

16 Oct 20143 stars

Martial arts mayhem from Kentarô Ohtani and Kei’ichi Sato as the manga springs to life

Two directors, Kentarô Ohtani and Kei’ichi Sato, take on the task of bringing Yana Toboso's massively successful manga Kuroshitsuji to the big screen, a comic which has already inspired an anime TV series, a musical and a video game. Tsutomu Kuroiwa…

The Salvation

16 Oct 20144 stars

London Film Festival: Edgy, entertaining western from Kristian Levring, starring Mads Mikkelsen

The Good, the Bad and... the Danish? Dogme signatory Kristian Levring has crafted a gripping and stylish revenge western with a decidedly dark bent, taking standard genre staples and imbuing them with a suitably Scandinavian sensibility to enormously…

Testament of Youth

16 Oct 20143 stars

London Film Festival: Respectful adaptation of Vera Brittain's memoir starring Alicia Vikander

The gut-wrenchingly poignant WWI memoir Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain was a bestseller in 1933, although by then young men knew war wasn’t a school trip with guns. The basis for a 1979 TV series, it remains a moving tribute to the innocence of the…

The Best of Me

16 Oct 20142 stars

Insipid romantic drama that wastes the talent of James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan

The ninth adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel is as soft focus and simple minded as its predecessors but with a whiff of fatigue which suggests even the filmmakers involved have grown weary of identikit romantic tragedies. Michael Hoffman steers a far…

Citizenfour

16 Oct 20143 stars

Laura Poitras' documentary on Edward Snowden captures history in the making

Citizenfour is a documentary that makes a loyalty card seem completely ironic. Thanks to people like whistleblower Edward Snowden, news headlines have been rife with the stories about big government tracking us. In this real life political thriller…

Fury

15 Oct 20144 stars

London Film Festival: Brad Pitt impresses in David Ayer's appropriately brutal take on World War II

David Ayer’s second film this year, following Sabotage, takes all of the contemporary grit that he shovelled into his earlier work – like 2012's End of Watch – and puts it in a period context. Set in April 1945, as the Allies make their final push to…

Scotland's annual film festival Africa in Motion celebrates 20 years of freedom in South Africa

15 Oct 2014

Events include dozens of film screenings, plus talks by directors Eric Kabera and Ian Gabriel

‘I’d like audiences to come away from the festival inspired by the beauty, spirit and innovation of the continent,’ says Natalia Palombo, one of the managers of Scotland’s Africa in Motion film festival, now in its ninth year. Started in 2006 by Dr…

White Bird in a Blizzard

14 Oct 20143 stars

London Film Festival: Gregg Araki's latest is a melancholy mystery starring Shailene Woodley

Shailene Woodley stars as Kat Connor, a teenager coming to terms with her mother’s disappearance in Gregg Araki’s 80s-set drama, adapted from Laura Kasischke’s novel. Eva Green has been perfecting embittered rage for a few years now and slips neatly…

The Falling

14 Oct 20144 stars

London Film Festival: Maisie Williams shines in this eerie drama from British director Carol Morley

Carol Morley is best known for her documentaries Dreams of a Life and The Alcohol Years; her second narrative feature (after Edge) is a dark, twisted and thoughtful coming-of-ager set at a British girls' school in the late 60s. It's partly inspired by a…

Wild

14 Oct 20144 stars

London Film Festival: Reese Witherspoon returns to form in adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's memoir

Having steered both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto to Oscar glory with Dallas Buyers Club, director Jean-Marc Vallée could well be on course to repeat the trick for producer-star Reese Witherspoon with his new film Wild, adapted from the…

Interview: Biophilia filmmakers Peter Strickland and Nick Fenton

13 Oct 2014

The men responsible for filming Bjork's final concert talk about working with the superstar

In 2008, Björk embarked upon her eighth album, Biophilia, which turned into a massive multi-disciplinary multimedia project including an otherworldly live show. The final concert of her 70-date world tour took place at Alexandra Palace on 7 September…

Northern Soul

13 Oct 20143 stars

Elaine Constantine's directorial debut takes a look at the titular youth scene

For the uninitiated, northern soul was a youth movement that gripped the North of England during the 60s and 70s, fuelled by high octane funk and soul records from the States. DJs were on a permanent quest for ever more elusive tracks, unearthing gems…

Björk: Biophilia Live

13 Oct 20144 stars

A beautiful presentation of Björk's strange, beguiling vision from cinematographer Brett Turnbull

In 2008 Björk embarked upon her eighth album, Biophilia, which over the course of a few years turned into a massively ambitious multimedia project, including an otherworldly live show. The final concert took place in September 2013 after a 70-date world…