Reviews & features

Benjamin

11 Mar 20194 stars

Colin Morgan impresses in this semi-autobiographical feature from Simon Amstell

Filmmaking is therapy for the neurotic Benjamin (Colin Morgan) in this semi-autobiographical story from writer-director Simon Amstell – his first cinematic feature, following 2017 iPlayer mockumentary Carnage. Every insecure moment, awkward encounter…

The Fight

11 Mar 20194 stars

Jessica Hynes' directorial debut is a female-fronted domestic drama that pulls no punches

Jessica Hynes is best known for her comedy, having co-written and starred in seminal sitcom Spaced and been a staple of shows like The Royle Family and W1A – all of which find humour in the everyday. With her directorial debut The Fight, she proves…

Harvie and the Magic Museum

11 Mar 20193 stars

Annoying protagonist aside, this charming Czech animation should entertain the kids

A Czech computer-animated adventure that broke box office records in its native country, Harvie and the Magic Museum is a charming tale, despite featuring one of the most annoying protagonists you're ever likely to come across in a film for…

Triple Frontier

11 Mar 20192 stars

Ben Affleck and Oscar Isaac head up a macho morality tale centring on an audacious heist

Contrary to what the generically macho title suggests, Triple Frontier is something of an oddity. JC Chandor follows A Most Violent Year by joining forces with Zero Dark Thirty screenwriter Mark Boal for a heist-flick-cum-wilderness-adventure with…

What Men Want

11 Mar 20192 stars

Empire's Taraji P Henson shows off her superb slapstick skills in this loose and somewhat predictable remake

Nearly twenty years ago, Mel Gibson starred in What Women Want, a Nancy Meyers comedy about a male chauvinist pig who is magically able to hear women's thoughts. Now, the tables are turned as Adam Shankman (Rock of Ages) takes the helm of a loose remake…

Winners announced for the 2019 Into Film Awards

5 Mar 2019

Young filmmakers recognised for their creativity in star-studded event hosted by Into Film and supported by the BFI

Film education charity Into Film have revealed the winners of their fifth annual Into Film Awards, which aim to recognise the skills of young filmmakers from across the UK. Hundreds of young people from the ages of 9 to 19 were encouraged to submit…

Captain Marvel

5 Mar 20194 stars

Brie Larson is a cool customer in the first female-led feature from the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Scourge of intergalactic ne'er-do-wells and, now, a certain breed of fanboy, the Carol Danvers incarnation of Captain Marvel blazes onto the screen in all her womanly glory. 21 instalments in, we finally get our first female-led MCU entry, while it's…

Maggie Gyllenhaal on The Kindergarten Teacher: 'There was space on the set to explore something unusual'

5 Mar 2019

Actress and writer-director Sara Colangelo discuss the disturbing and intriguing drama

American remakes of overseas films are too often guilty of being crass or reductive. Sara Colangelo's The Kindergarten Teacher, though, might be the exception. Based on Israeli director Nadiv Lapid's acclaimed 2014 film Haganenet, it stars Maggie…

Maiden

4 Mar 20194 stars

A trailblazing female yachting crew are the focus of Alex Holmes's powerful documentary

Yachting journalist Bob Fisher famously referred to the first all-female crew who entered the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989 as 'a tin full of tarts,' such was the media condescension and sexism towards these brave women. Fisher is interviewed…

Rosie

4 Mar 20193 stars

Modest but heartbreaking social realist drama from Irish director Paddy Breathnach

More than half a century after the groundbreaking Cathy Come Home, Rosie offers a sombre reminder of just how little has changed. This modest social realist drama builds into a cry from the heart about the nightmare of homelessness. Director Paddy…

The World Is Yours

4 Mar 20194 stars

GFF 2019: Isabelle Adjani and Vincent Cassel excel in this flamboyant European crime caper from Romain Gavras

If you've seen any heist movie, you'll know the score: a crook opts for one final job that'll be his ticket out of the criminal world, and things don't quite go to plan. However, with a wink to the audience, The World Is Yours is more Ocean's Eleven…

Border

4 Mar 20193 stars

The writer of Let the Right One In is the source of a strange Scandinavian fantasy from director Ali Abbasi

Blending Nordic Noir with a magical realist fable, Border is a very strange film. Based on a tale by John Ajvide Lindqvist, who wrote teenage vampire classic Let the Right One In, it marks the second feature by Iranian-born, Scandinavia-based…

The Kindergarten Teacher

4 Mar 20193 stars

Maggie Gyllenhaal is superb in this intriguing drama from Sara Colangelo

Writer-director Sara Colangelo (Little Accidents) elicits a disturbing performance from Maggie Gyllenhaal in this New York-set remake of the 2014 Israeli film by Nadav Lapid. While not widely seen, Lapid's film had a penetrating conceit: at what point…

Ray & Liz

4 Mar 20195 stars

Painstakingly personal kitchen sink drama from photographer Richard Billingham

Nominated for Outstanding British Debut at this year's BAFTAs, this kitchen sink memoir is the cinematic calling card of Turner Prize-shortlisted snapper Richard Billingham. It expands on and breathes life back into the autobiographical subject matter…

Beats

3 Mar 20194 stars

GFF 2019: A mid-90s rave is brought ecstatically to the screen in this adaptation of Kieran Hurley's play

It's a virtual truism that both nightclubs and raves look terrible on film. That notion ends with Beats, which features a mid-90s rave so ecstatically evoked that it seems to blow a hole in the screen. Adapted by Kieran Hurley from his own play…

Soda_Jerk: 'It's hard not to feel overwhelmed by the apocalyptic conservatism and bigotry that's fuelling politics'

28 Feb 2019

Siblings Dominique and Dan Angeloro discuss bringing their controversial political revenge fable, TERROR NULLIUS, to the Glasgow Short Film Festival

Since 2002, Australian art collective Soda_Jerk have been sampling, splicing and remixing existing films, with the intention of creating something wholly unique in the process. From well-known scenes to decades-old characters, siblings Dominique and Dan…

Eighth Grade

28 Feb 20195 stars

GFF 2019: Elsie Fisher sparkles in Bo Burnham's striking, empathetic coming-of-ager

The highs and lows of an introverted middle schooler are captured with vivacity and sensitivity by filmmaker Bo Burnham in his humane, sometimes hilarious debut. Along with actress Elsie Fisher, he's created a truly unforgettable protagonist in Kayla…

The Aftermath

27 Feb 20192 stars

GFF 2019: Old-fashioned and clumsy post-war drama featuring Keira Knightley and Alexander Skarsgård

Whatever else Brexit might inspire, it'll be a relief when the endless barrage of high-minded movies reminding us of WWII ends. From Dunkirk to The Darkest Hour, via Their Finest and Allied, stiff upper lips haven't trembled so regularly since the…

Serenity

27 Feb 20192 stars

Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway join forces for a sweaty, misfiring thriller with a twist

'You fish for one tuna, man. And that's a tuna that's only in your head,' a bartender tells Baker Dill (Matthew McConaughey) in this unconventional offering from Peaky Blinders' Steven Knight. Shot in Mauritius and sold as a cross between Body Heat and…

Luz

27 Feb 20193 stars

GFF 2019: Tilman Singer's cinematic calling card is both bewildering and hypnotic

Shot on grainy 16mm and accompanied by a throbbing synth score, the first feature from German writer-director Tilman Singer opens with a long shot: a disorientated young woman in a backwards baseball cap – the titular taxi driver Luz (Luana Velis)…

Out of Blue

27 Feb 20192 stars

GFF 2019: Atmospheric but inconsistent neo-noir from Britain's Carol Morley

Writer-director Carol Morley (The Falling) adapts Martin Amis's novel Night Train, turning it into an atmospheric, dreamlike neo-noir. The characters are almost swallowed up by the woozy New Orleans backdrop, as they try to make sense of the death of…

Picture perfect: best small film festivals around Scotland in 2019

26 Feb 2019

Scotland's film festival circuit is as diverse as it is fascinating. Featuring documentaries with a conscience to classics of European cinema

Screen Scotland's Film Festivals Fund is a new initiative helping a number of screen events throughout the year to grow and diversify. Several film festivals across Scotland already benefit from the fund's assistance, and here's a taster of what they've…

What They Had

25 Feb 20194 stars

Hilary Swank and Michael Shannon head up an expertly observed family drama

Actress Elizabeth Chomko (TV's Common Law) makes her assured directorial debut with this expertly observed family drama which makes the most of its incredible cast. Hilary Swank and Michael Shannon take centre stage as the adult siblings coming to blows…

Sauvage

25 Feb 20194 stars

Félix Maritaud is astonishing in this unsentimental and authentic portrait of a sex worker

It is not uncommon for actors to be lauded for the sacrifices they make in the name of art. The extremes of weight gain and loss, the risking of life and limb to achieve that perfect shot in a blockbuster action movie. It has rarely seemed more valid…

Hannah

25 Feb 20193 stars

Andrea Pallaoro's enigmatic second feature acts as a magnetic showcase for the great Charlotte Rampling

From Assassin's Creed to Red Sparrow, Charlotte Rampling has appeared in some ill-fitting mainstream misfires in recent years. Although it has its flaws, this second feature from Italian writer-director Andrea Pallaoro (Medeas) is most definitely not…