List Film

Reviews & features: Drama

Difret

2 Mar 20153 stars

Moving Ethiopian drama focusing on the fight for a young girl's freedom

There are a lot of good films being made in Africa and we rarely get to see any of them outside of festivals, so Ethiopian filmmaker Zeresenay Mehari’s eye-opening social justice drama, based on a groundbreaking true story, deserves an…

Kill the Messenger

2 Mar 20153 stars

Jeremy Renner heads up Michael Cuesta's informative take on a true story

'Some stories are just too true to tell,' warns federal prosecutor Fred Weil (Michael Sheen) in director Michael Cuesta's crime drama, which recounts the real-life experiences of reporter Gary Webb. Played with considerable spark by Jeremy Renner, we…

GFF interview: Richard Johnson, Radiator

26 Feb 2015

Screen and stage legend Richard Johnson discusses his new film, Radiator, directed by Tom Browne

Acting since he was 16-years old and having enjoyed a storied career interrupted just once by wartime national service, Richard Johnson has seen it all and then some. A founding member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Johnson's movie credits included…

Eden

26 Feb 20154 stars

Glasgow Film Festival: Mia Hansen-Løve's heady take on the French house scene

Mia Hansen-Løve has created an insightful and involving cinematic experience with her fourth feature, which centres on the rise and fall of a French house DJ from the 1990s to the 2000s. It’s a heady trip into the electronic dance music scene that…

Force Majeure

26 Feb 20155 stars

Glasgow Film Festival: Ruben Östlund's masterful dramedy foregrounds weakness

A family skiing holiday turns rivetingly sour in Swedish writer-director Ruben Östlund's impeccably executed, discomforting dramedy, which holds humanity under an unflattering, unflinching microscope. It benefits from a simple but terrifically fruitful…

Boychoir

25 Feb 20153 stars

Glasgow Film Festival: Likeable music school drama featuring Dustin Hoffman

Boychoir, from French-Canadian director François Girard, is a charming, thoughtful music school drama that dials down the expected sentimentality and plays like a PG version of Whiplash. Newcomer Garrett Wareing plays Stet, a rebellious 11-year-old…

Focus

25 Feb 20152 stars

Vacuous, less-than-thrilling con artist flick starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie

It's been 22 years since Will Smith starred in Six Degrees of Separation, a wonderfully subtle adaptation of John Guare's play about a young con artist who takes in a well-to-do Manhattan couple. Watching Smith's new film Focus, his first lead since the…

Jauja

24 Feb 20154 stars

Glasgow Film Festival: Lisandro Alonso's singular western stars Viggo Mortensen

Argentinean director Lisandro Alonso fuses Scandinavian and South American sensibilities in a spectacularly shot existential western which evokes both Ingmar Bergman and Alejandro Jodorowsky. The craggily handsome Viggo Mortensen makes for a compelling…

X+Y

24 Feb 20154 stars

Glasgow Film Festival: Moving drama with Asa Butterfield and Rafe Spall

The story of a young maths prodigy with autism, Morgan Matthews’ film could be viewed as a juvenile Rain Man. At least that would be the case if a Hollywood studio had made it. But actually, this British tale of the difficulties of adolescence and…

Live blog: the 87th Academy Awards as they happened

23 Feb 2015

We stayed up late to deliver a serving of snark from the Oscar 2015 ceremony, so you didn’t have to

We've finally come to the climax of awards season with the biggest night of all. Snacks, coffee, patience and sense of humour at the ready, The List's Scott Henderson is braced for Oscar 2015 liftoff

Full list of Oscar 2015 winners

23 Feb 2015

The 87th Academy Awards took place in Hollywood last night – here's the full list of who won what

After weeks and months of hype, the Oscars have all been handed out, the speeche made and the GIFs generated. Some of >our predictions were locks, others were busts. With nine nominations each, Birdman and Boyhood were the front runners, Birdman came…

Hinterland

23 Feb 20153 stars

Childhood friends are reunited in this sincere but uneventful debut

This British two-hander is prettily shot, credibly performed and sure of what it wants to achieve – though its particular aspirations won’t do much for viewers who prefer films in which stuff happens, or who have an aversion to post-adolescent…

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

23 Feb 20153 stars

Spry sequel to the cross-cultural smash featuring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel's happy resolution didn't leave much room for a sequel; the film's extraordinary commercial success, however, made this an inevitability. Although the motivations behind its existence are certainly cynical, The Second Best…

White God

23 Feb 20154 stars

Gripping canine drama from Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó

Kornél Mundruczó’s arresting, prize-winning drama imagines a revolutionary movement of cruelly abused dogs rebelling against their oppressors, and forcefully makes the point that the people running things are not as superior as they think. This…

The New Girlfriend

20 Feb 20152 stars

Glasgow Film Festival: Jumbled, Ruth Rendell-inspired drama from François Ozon

François Ozon’s latest feature takes Ruth Rendell’s short story, 'The New Girlfriend', as its jumping-off point. But fans of Rendell’s gripping thrillers won’t find much stylistic likeness in this plodding drama, which is buoyed by its…

Rosewater

20 Feb 20154 stars

Glasgow Film Festival: Gael García Bernal heads up Jon Stewart's directorial debut

Whatever satirist Jon Stewart decides to do after ending his stint as host of The Daily Show, he’s got a promising sideline as a writer-director to fall back on. His debut film Rosewater is a small-scale but heartfelt drama that delivers a simple and…

A Second Chance

20 Feb 20154 stars

Glasgow Film Festival: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau impresses in this potent drama

Danish policeman Andreas (Game of Thrones' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is adjusting to life as a new parent with wife Anna (Maria Bonnevie) when he visits the home of drug addicts Tristan (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) and girlfriend Sanne (May Andersen) to discover…

Clouds of Sils Maria

20 Feb 20154 stars

Glasgow Film Festival: Juliette Binoche shines as an insecure actress

The inquisitive and enchanting Clouds of Sils Maria came about when Juliette Binoche challenged her Summer Hours director Olivier Assayas to deliver a daring examination of the feminine, based on her original idea. The result is a story which revolves…

Still Alice

20 Feb 20154 stars

Glasgow Film Festival: Julianne Moore excels as an Alzheimer's sufferer

'I wish I had cancer,' rages Alice (Julianne Moore). The focus may be soft, the music melancholy but, make no mistake, Still Alice is furious. This film from directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland sees a celebrated intellectual ravaged by…

Ewan McGregor to make directorial debut on American Pastoral

19 Feb 2015

Actor takes over from Phillip Noyce, will adapt Philip Roth’s Pulitzer-winning Vietnam-era drama

Ewan McGregor is stepping behind the camera to direct his first feature, an adaptation of Philip Roth’s 1998, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, American Pastoral. McGregor will also star in the film as Levov along with Dakota Fanning and Jennifer…

Blind

19 Feb 20154 stars

Glasgow Film Festival: Eskil Vogt's impressive debut explores the titular condition

Norwegian writer-director Eskil Vogt's intriguing directorial debut skilfully investigates the experience of blindness and of social alienation more generally, probing the anxieties of a woman suffering from sight-loss who's become physically and…

While We're Young

19 Feb 20154 stars

Glasgow Film Festival: Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts star in Noah Baumbach's latest

The threat of the young is at the centre of writer-director Noah Baumbach's perceptive, funny and cringingly honest eighth film, whose satirical swipe reaches across the age spectrum. It follows a cross-generational friendship which inspires adulation…

Jamie Dornan to star in Netflix movie about UN peacekeepers

16 Feb 2015

Jadotville commemorates a heroic stand by Irish UN soldiers during the 1960s Katangese War

Given that the quivering juggernaut that is Fifty Shades of Grey stormed the box office on its opening weekend, nobody should be surprised at the timing of Netflix's announcement that it's signed Fifty Shades star Jamie Dornan as the lead in Jadotville…

Predestination

16 Feb 20153 stars

Confident, puzzling sci-fi from the Spierig Brothers, starring Ethan Hawke

Strangely alluring and memorably absurd, Predestination – written and directed by the German-born, Australia-raised identical twins Peter and Michael Spierig – is a guilty pleasure sci-fi that’ll almost have you leaving the cinema believing you’ve just…

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

16 Feb 20154 stars

David Zellner's heartbreaking and humorous film focusses on an unusual quest

Fuzzy images from an over-watched VHS tape open David Zellner’s fifth feature, which he co-wrote with his brother Nathan. The movie that our protagonist Kumiko is watching, and currently fixated on, is the Coen brothers' Fargo. The focus on that film's…