List Film

Reviews & features

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

9 Apr 20144 stars

Marc Webb's superhero sequel delivers a sparky blend of thrills, laughs and heartfelt emotion

Marc Webb's sequel to 2012's franchise reboot finds Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) juggling his daily superhero duties as costumed crime fighter Spider-Man while agonising over whether or not he should honour the promise he made to girlfriend Gwen…

Half of a Yellow Sun

9 Apr 20142 stars

The adaptation Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel is beautiful and well-acted but lacks depth

This adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s prize-winning novel comes unstuck in the same way as many literary adaptations before it, feeling too often like a story that is just skimming the surfaces of its characters and plot-lines, never digging…

The Goonies: who would be available for a sequel?

7 Apr 2014

Director Richard Donner says he wants the original cast back for a remake - but are they available?

Director Richard Donner surprised a showbiz photographer recently when he casually mentioned he's working on a sequel to 1980s family adventure The Goonies – and that he hopes the original cast will be back on board. The seminal 1985 kids' film starred…

A Story of Children and Film

4 Apr 20143 stars

Mark Cousins’ film essay/poem is an impassioned look at childhood in cinema

A fervent supporter of world cinema, Mark Cousins’ new documentary provides some examples of the way childhood has been captured by filmmakers around the globe in the hundred years since cinema’s birth. Focusing on filmmakers from Francois Truffaut to…

Peter Sellers, Monty Python and John Otway among programme highlights of Southend Film Festival 2014

3 Apr 2014

A collection of rare Peter Sellers films is among the highlights at this year's Southend Film Festival, which takes place over the first spring Bank Holiday from Fri 2–Mon 5 May. Before going on to play classic roles like Dr Strangelove and…

WATCH: The hilarious teaser trailer for Aardman's Shaun the Sheep movie

3 Apr 2014

The scene-stealing sheep from Wallace and Gromit is set for his own big-screen adventure

A teaser trailer for Aardman Animation's Shaun the Sheep movie has landed, and it's reassuringly hilarious. While the new footage doesn't offer any plot details – the movie itself won't be released until 2015 – Aardman's signature talent for humanising…

WATCH: The new trailer for Sex Tape is raunchy, funny... and great product placement

1 Apr 2014

The film follows a couple - Cameron Diaz & Jason Segel - whose sex tape turns up on gift iPads

The trailer for Sex Tape, a new comedy starring Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz, has landed, providing an idea of the plot and sense of humour involved – as well as a healthy dose of product placement for Apple. Segel and Diaz play Jay and Annie, a…

Top 5 movies featuring product placement gone wrong

1 Apr 2014

Featuring Torque, Mac and Me, Evolution, You've Got Mail and I, Robot

Torque In the 2004 film about undercover motorcycle gangs, there’s a scene where two female riders are preparing to go at it on their bikes. But wait, is it girl vs girl? Or Pepsi vs Mountain Dew? Answer: neither. It's just abysmal. I, Robot Will…

Rio 2

1 Apr 20143 stars

The sequel to 2010's animated parrot adventure is amiable but forgettable family entertainment

The brief appearance of the acorn-loving Scrat character over the Blue Sky logo at the start of Rio 2 is a reminder that this animation studio has now authored four films in the Ice Age franchise to date. These films had a strong, evolving plotline, but…

Noah

1 Apr 20143 stars

Darren Aronofsky's blockbuster bible-story is compellingly weird & occasionally wonderful to behold

2014 box-office hit Son of God was a straight-faced version of the Jesus story that Christian audiences lapped up, but letting a maverick like Darren Aronofsky loose on the story of Noah was always likely to create a controversy of biblical proportions.

Karen Gillan, Vincent Price and William Castle feature in Dead By Dawn 2014

31 Mar 2014

The horror festival will screen a mixture of new releases, short films and established classics

If you’re a fan of horror and all things dark, you’re probably pretty bummed around this time of the year, as April is not an especially spooky month: the clocks have gone forward, giving us sunlight until 8pm or so (at least in theory), and spring has…

Russell Crowe: the Noah story 'predates religion... it's more of a shared human experience'

31 Mar 2014

The A-list actor shares his opinion on the historical accuracy of Darren Aronofsky's biblical epic

Biblical blockbuster Noah made its UK debut at a handful of ‘fan screenings’ on Saturday, with star Russell Crowe making a personal appearance. The film, directed by Black Swan helmer Darren Aronofsky, is an adaptation of the story of the great flood…

Divergent

31 Mar 20142 stars

Shailene Woodley and Kate Winslet star in this derivative adaptation of Veronica Roth’s YA series

It’s always disappointing when a film that places so much emphasis on the need to be free-thinking and different from the masses conforms so rigidly to other movies. Yet Divergent, the latest adaptation of a young adult book series hoping to become the…

McLaren 2014 festival shines a light on underappreciated experimental filmmaker Norman McLaren

27 Mar 2014

Filmmaker Iain Gardner: 'Were he still alive today he’d be at the forefront of digital technology'

When it comes to Scottish icons, we hear a lot about bards and Bonds, hip musicians and blockbusting painters – but some trailblazers still slip under the radar, even when their work has transformed an industry or an art form. The Stirling-born…

Mark Cousins curates season of rare childhood films, the Cinema of Childhood

27 Mar 2014

The selection is inspired by Cousins' own doc/film essay, A Story of Children and Film

In Mark Cousins’ documentary, A Story of Children and Film, the critic and filmmaker trawls through the canons of film history and pulls out the most memorable, revealing and poignant portrayals of childhood. Steven Spielberg’s ET receives a mention, as…

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

24 Mar 20144 stars

The Cap's latest adventure cleverly taps into topical fears surrounding the activities of the NSA

The second Captain America movie is a terrific, stand-alone thriller that delivers exciting action sequences and engaging characters wrapped up in a satisfying and cleverly resonant plot. Co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo (best known for TV's…

Interview: Ted Kotcheff, director of uncompromising Aussie drama Wake in Fright

21 Mar 2014

The claustrophobic drama is experiencing a resurgence after almost 40 years in obscurity

Wake in Fright is a powerful film. Gary Bond plays John Grant, a teacher who gets trapped in 'The Yabba', a rough mining town in the middle of the Australian outback, where he gets dragged into a world of drinking, gambling and violence. 'It's an…

Interview: director Kieran Parker on Nazi zombie horror Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz

21 Mar 2014

'What we liked about it was that it's obviously tongue in cheek with a little sprinkling of reality'

'It's not like we invented Nazi zombies but we were the first of the new batch,' explains Kieran Parker, director of Outpost III, with pride. 'It came from mixing things like Alien with Where Eagles Dare. What we liked about it was that it's obviously…

Interview: Jack Thorne, BAFTA-winning writer of A Long Way Down

19 Mar 2014

The screen writer talks Travolta, taps and extra-terrestrials

First record you ever bought Jive Bunny’s ‘Swing the Mood’. Yes, I know. Last extravagant purchase you made I just bought a house with my wife Rach and we’re currently doing it up. And it turns out taps are really expensive. So, taps. First…

Martin Scorsese, Jarvis Cocker, Julien Temple and Jeremy Deller among highlights of inaugural Art Screen doc fest

19 Mar 2014

The new film festival will take place in Glasgow in April 2014

Jarvis Cocker, Julien Temple and Jeremy Deller will be among the live guests at Art Screen, a new Glasgow-based documentary film festival set to take place in April 2014. Martin Scorsese's name is also being hailed as a highlight of the programme…

The Punk Singer

19 Mar 20144 stars

Inspiring look at the Bikini Kill riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna

Whatever happened to Kathleen Hanna? That's the basic thrust of Sini Anderson's accomplished debut feature-length documentary chronicling the life of the explosively inspiring former singer with punk rock bands Bikini Kill and Le Tigre and leader of the…

Cinefiles: All you need to know about … Darren Aronofsky

18 Mar 2014

Some key facts about the director of Noah, Pi, Black Swan and The Wrestler

Aronofsky studied at Harvard and the American Film Institute. He was inspired to make low-budget films by Spike Lee’s debut She’s Gotta Have It, and Lee’s description of his own work as ‘guerrilla filmmaking’. His first short, Protozoa, was made in…

The Robber

18 Mar 20144 stars

Benjamin Heisenberg's minimalist crime thriller is a thought-provoking piece of work

Filmhouse’s distribution arm continues to snap up what the UK’s mainstream film companies have left on the shelf, with a long overdue release for this Austrian thriller. Is thriller the right word? Certainly the material – based on a true story, via a…

About Last Night

18 Mar 20142 stars

Remake of the 80s comedy lacks emotional impact

If Edward Zwick's original About Last Night was notable for offering a provocative look at sexual politics that only just made it past the censors, Steve Pink's remake is nothing more than a tedious attempt to update it for a new generation. Both films…

Yves Saint Laurent

13 Mar 20144 stars

The ‘official’ biopic of the couturier takes a glossy look at his fascinating, but tragic life

The impeccably styled but tragic life of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent always had ‘screen adaptation’ written all over it. On the surface, there are his glamorous, emancipating designs; the satiny, mannish tailoring and supple styles which helped…