Reviews & features

Ash Is Purest White

22 Apr 20194 stars

Jia Zhangke's poignant crime drama features an impressive performance from his wife Zhao Tao

Chinese director Jia Zhangke (A Touch of Sin) returns to the crime genre for Ash Is Purest White, his latest exploration of contemporary China. His focus is the jianghu. Originally used in wuxia literature to denote a way of life associated with martial…

Romain Gavras on The World Is Yours: 'It's pretty different to what we usually do in France'

19 Apr 2019

French-Greek director discusses his flamboyant pop-gangster comedy

When Romain Gavras' The World Is Yours played in Cannes last year, the French crowds went wild. 'It was such a pleasure to have such a responsive audience,' reflects Gavras, when we meet in Paris at promo event UniFrance. 'A pop-gangster comedy', as…

Explore Edinburgh's six most iconic locations in film

17 Apr 2019

From the Trainspotting gang's old stomping grounds to romantic moments on Arthur's Seat, discover Edinburgh through a new lens this spring

Whether it's the winding lanes and closes of medieval Old Town, or the wide stately boulevards of the city's northern neighbourhoods, beautiful Edinburgh has played a starring role in many films over the years. So why not transport yourself onto the…

E.T. in Concert: 'There's something about seeing the musicians playing on stage that gives an emotional weight'

16 Apr 2019

Spielberg's big-screen classic accompanied by a live orchestra

When ET opened in 1982, cinemas were awash with tears. And, through the years, Steven Spielberg's adventure film about a young boy's friendship with a lost alien, has seen plenty of tissues used up in living rooms. A big part of why ET's longevity is…

Dead by Dawn is back at Edinburgh's Filmhouse this April

16 Apr 2019

UK's longest-running horror fest returns with premieres, classics, shorts and guests

Lurching back to life in Edinburgh's Filmhouse, Dead by Dawn is the UK's longest-running horror film festival. It launched in 1993 and regularly attracts the work of brand new directors who will go onto greater things, as well as highly revered veterans…

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich

15 Apr 20193 stars

Entertaining reboot of the long-running horror franchise, with a screenplay from S Craig Zahler

A reboot of the long-running franchise (11 sequels and counting), this riotously bad taste comedy horror delivers about as much gory fun as you could hope for from a film about Nazi puppets on a murder spree. Scripted by acclaimed genre filmmaker S…

Greta

15 Apr 20193 stars

Fun but narratively shaky thriller which sees the great Isabelle Huppert terrorise Chloë Grace Moretz

Marking his first feature since 2012 vampire fantasy Byzantium, Irish director Neil Jordan returns with Greta. A New York-set potboiler, it's a B-movie with an A-list cast, in the shape of French star Isabelle Huppert (in a rare English-speaking role…

Loro

15 Apr 20193 stars

Silvio Berlusconi is the subject of Paolo Sorrentino's sharply entertaining but somewhat superficial latest

Paolo Sorrentino's gaudy Silvio Berlusconi saga is exuberantly pitched between grand opera and Shakespearean tragedy. Loro (Them) is a typical Sorrentino production: a flashy, baroque, wallow in the sleaze and corruption that once swirled around Mr…

Red Joan

15 Apr 20192 stars

Judi Dench stars in an underwhelming espionage drama inspired by the true-life story of a Soviet spy

Red Joan has the genteel feel of an old-fashioned Sunday night television drama. It is perfectly respectable but the focus is soft, the peril is mild and the pulse is rarely raised. Director Trevor Nunn's first cinema feature in over 20 years takes its…

Andrew Scott: 'I think vulnerability is a great strength, it's how we connect with people'

12 Apr 2019

With Steel Country about to hit cinemas, Scott tells us about his role in the Americana thriller as well as playing Fleabag's priest

As I enter The Mayfair hotel suite where the sunshine is piercing through the windows, Andrew Scott is on his feet, dressed all in black, looking ready to dance the cha-cha-cha. It's a delightful welcome and his energy is infectious as he talks me…

Morven Masterton on Doc'n Roll: 'We don't discriminate, our festival line-ups always feature something for everyone'

12 Apr 2019

Doc'n Roll Scotland director tells us more about this year's programme of music films

Describing itself as 'the film festival for music lovers', Doc'n Roll began five years ago in East London, in response to the founders identifying a lack of outlets for documentary films being made about music and musicians, with very few of them…

S. Craig Zahler on Dragged Across Concrete: 'I'm not making this movie to make a political point'

12 Apr 2019

American director discusses his contentious cop drama, starring Vince Vaughn and Mel Gibson

Back in the 1970s, films like Dirty Harry and The French Connection celebrated rogue cops. But with real-life police brutality so prevalent, it's different now. Which is probably why S. Craig Zahler's Dragged Across Concrete has left some critics up in…

Hellboy

11 Apr 20192 stars

David Harbour and director Neil Marshall give us their take on the comic book antihero

'Out there, there's a 5th century sorceress and a pig monster who want to bring the curtain down on London,' grumbles Ian McShane, who really has seen it all. This brash and, in its very existence, befuddling reboot returns Mike Mignola's Big Red One to…

Little

10 Apr 20193 stars

Regina Hall and Marsai Martin star in a fun body swap comedy from Tina Gordon

According to producer Kenya Barris, Black-ish star Marsai Martin pitched the idea for this comedy aged ten, after watching Big. It sees the body swap formula tweaked, with Martin starring as the teenage version of a 38-year-old black tech empress, who…

Bo Burnham: 'I'd love to get back to live performing, but I'd have to figure out what I'd say next'

10 Apr 2019

Acclaimed US stand-up tells us why the world of film is a better fit for his current ideas

It can be a lonely experience being up on a stage by yourself, even if adulation is coming at you in waves from audiences, night after night. Massachusetts-born comic Bo Burnham gained that love from both the public and critics with boldly experimental…

Wild Rose

8 Apr 20193 stars

Jessie Buckley is electric in this tale of a Scottish country singer striving to make it to Nashville

Beast's Jessie Buckley is the heart of this pleasing musical drama about a Glaswegian woman who won't let go of her dream. Reuniting with War & Peace director Tom Harper, Buckley plays Rose-Lynn Harlan, who skips out of prison, pulls cowboy boots over…

Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival 2019: a celebration of connectivity and community

4 Apr 2019

SMHAF unveils diverse roster of events, featuring appearances by Ian Rankin and Emma Pollock, as well as the latest documentary from Orlando von Einsiedel

The Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival has announced their complete programme for 2019, which will see creative works about mental health showcased across the nation from 3–26 May. This year's theme, 'Connected', ties together the key messages of this…

Missing Link

3 Apr 20194 stars

Hugh Jackman and Zach Galifianakis provide the voices in Laika's latest animated adventure

Laika, the stop-motion animation studio behind Kubo and the Two Strings, Coraline and ParaNorman, returns with another visually stunning movie from ParaNorman's Chris Butler that is also a rather lovely family adventure. Globetrotter Sir Lionel Frost…

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Live to tour this autumn, get presale tickets

1 Apr 2019

Oscar-winning composer John Williams musical score to be performed with the film

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Live is set to tour live in concert in 2019. Tickets for all da tes are available from 10am on Fri 5 Ap

Pet Sematary

1 Apr 20194 stars

Second screen outing for the Stephen King story that's an effective and old-fashioned chiller

Thirty years on from its first cinematic incarnation, Stephen King's 1983 novel Pet Sematary is brought to the screen for a second time. First Man's Jason Clarke plays Dr Louis Creed, who uproots his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and two children from…

Shazam!

1 Apr 20194 stars

Joyful, Christmas-set superhero movie that brings a blast of fun to the DC Extended Universe

The DC Extended Universe reaches merry heights with a superhero movie fit-to-burst with humour and heart. After the success of James Wan's Aquaman, David F Sandberg, another director who made his name in horror (with Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation)…

Wonder Park

1 Apr 20193 stars

Jennifer Garner lends her voice to this animated adventure about a troubled young girl

Wonder Park is a computer-animated adventure with big ideas. It sees June, a young girl with an ailing mother, destroy the miniature theme park they've meticulously built together, only to find herself living inside it. The latest from Paramount…

Happy as Lazzaro

1 Apr 20194 stars

Gorgeous Italian fable from Alice Rohrwacher that blends reality and fantasy

The protagonist of Alice Rohrwacher's gorgeous Italian fable is too good for this world, so good, in fact, that he simply disappears at one point. The other characters whisper his name like he is some sort of mystical being and Adriano Tardiolo evokes…

The Keeper

1 Apr 20192 stars

David Kross stars in this fanciful biopic of Manchester City legend Bert Trautmann

Historically, footie flicks do not usually fare well, presumably because enthusiasts of the beautiful game prefer watching football to watching actors maintaining a less-than-convincing pretence. So, writer-director Marcus H Rosenmüller has thrown…

Dumbo

26 Mar 20193 stars

Beautiful and ingenious but overcomplicated live action reimagining of the 1941 animated classic

Disney's determined renovation of everything in their vault of classics continues apace with the live action re-do of one of their most charming films. The sweet, abundantly tearful fable of a tiny elephant with gigantic ears in its original 1941…