Reviews & features

Instant Family

11 Feb 20193 stars

Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne are front and centre of a likeable fostering-themed dramedy

Mark Wahlberg's most significant cultural impact in 2018 came via the publication of his daily schedule, with its emphasis on gruelling workouts it was roundly mocked for a 2:30am wake-up time amongst other bizarre features. As a well-timed riposte…

Jellyfish

11 Feb 20193 stars

James Gardner's hard-going yet impressive debut has a standout turn from Liv Hill at the fore

Glum yet impressive, Jellyfish is worth watching for the raw and remarkable work of rising star Liv Hill (The Little Stranger, TV's Three Girls). She plays protagonist Sarah Taylor, a curdled and canny 15-year-old. It's a role with range: Sarah's sour…

The Kid Who Would Be King

11 Feb 20193 stars

Joe Cornish takes the helm of a flawed but enjoyable Arthurian kids' adventure

The legend of King Arthur and his sword Excalibur is given a 21st century reboot in this kids' adventure that marks writer-director Joe Cornish's follow-up to 2011's critically praised but financial less successful Attack the Block. It's heavily…

Mektoub, My Love

11 Feb 20193 stars

Abdellatif Kechiche channels Éric Rohmer in this sun-kissed stream-of-consciousness drama

Blue Is the Warmest Colour director Abdellatif Kechiche appears to have strayed into Éric Rohmer territory with Mektoub, My Love. Sun-dappled Mediterranean beaches, holiday romances, hedonism, unexpressed longings and broken hearts are very much the…

Piercing

11 Feb 20193 stars

Stylish, superbly performed horror comedy from Nicolas Pesce

A literal lady killer is the focus of this obscenely stylish horror comedy based on the novel by Ryû Murakami that sets out to shock before doing away with the standard women-as-victims narrative. It's the sophomore feature of writer-director Nicolas…

The World of Hans Zimmer gets second London show, here's how to get tickets

11 Feb 2019

Experience scores from The Dark Knight, Inception and more on the biggest scale imaginable

The latest touring show from Hans Zimmer, The World of Hans Zimmer – A Symphonic Celebration, is set for the UK this spring. Due to popular demand a second London date has been added and the touring orchestra will return to the capital on Tue 26 Nov for…

Lance Bangs on famed Daydream Nation shows: 'Over the course of their life, Sonic Youth were not a very nostalgic band'

7 Feb 2019

Director discusses capturing Sonic Youth's extraordinary 2007 Glasgow show and why it's taken so long to come to light

Within the space of a week in August 2007, Glasgow audiences were treated to three extraordinary shows of classic American independent rock, as Louisville, Kentucky's Slint and New York City's Sonic Youth both appeared on the stage of the sadly departed…

Local Heroes: six homegrown films to see at Glasgow Film Festival

6 Feb 2019

Including Only You, Of Fish and Foe and Dirty God

Every year the Glasgow Film Festival brings the best of cinema from all around the world to the Dear Green Place, but, crucially, it never forgets where its 'fae'. The festival makes a point of showcasing homegrown talent and being a platform that…

Alison Strauss on HippFest 2019: 'Our programming is democratic, it's all about the enjoyment of cinema'

6 Feb 2019

Hippodrome Silent Film Festival director discusses the ninth edition of the popular event

'Just generally in life, knowing where you come from helps you understand where you are now,' says Alison Strauss, director of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival in Bo'ness, which this year celebrates its ninth outing; she's discussing her love for…

Barry Jenkins on If Beale Street Could Talk: 'It's like I had a contract with myself. This was the best thing to do'

5 Feb 2019

Oscar-winning director discusses his critically acclaimed adaptation of James Baldwin's novel

'It still surprises me that we've ended up at this place,' remarks Barry Jenkins. The Oscar-winning director of Moonlight is back with his new film, a perfectly-judged adaptation of James Baldwin's If Beale Street Could Talk. But when he first sat down…

10 events exploring bond between music and film at Glasgow Film Festival

5 Feb 2019

Including a screening of Lance Bangs' live concert film Daydream Nation and Lost Map's evening inspired by their VISITΔTIONS project

2019 marks the 15th year of the Glasgow Film Festival, with screenings happening daily from Wed 20 Feb to Sun 3 Mar. This year's edition provides 16 strands of film ranging from cult classics to Belgian cinema, to horror-fantasy and everything in…

Alita: Battle Angel

4 Feb 20193 stars

Rosa Salazar impresses in Robert Rodriguez's big budget manga adaptation

Like the cyborg at its centre, Alita: Battle Angel is the fusion of several notable parts: the manga by Yukito Kishiro; a script co-written by Avatar's James Cameron; and direction by Robert Rodriguez, the Sin City and Spy Kids filmmaker who gets to…

All Is True

4 Feb 20192 stars

Kenneth Branagh directs and stars in a turgid take on Shakespeare's final years

The enduring paradox of William Shakespeare is that a man who wrote so much about the human condition remains an almost complete mystery himself, which is why Kenneth Branagh's imagining of Shakespeare's last years is, on paper, so inviting. It's…

Boy Erased

4 Feb 20193 stars

Gay conversion therapy is the disturbing focus of a restrained drama from Joel Edgerton

Films often come in pairs and so it is with Boy Erased, which offers its own angry-yet-measured take on gay conversion therapy soon after the similarly themed and pitched The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Actor Joel Edgerton follows his genre-bending…

JD Twitch on forming anti-fascism label: 'I wasn't prepared to bury my head in the sand'

4 Feb 2019

Glasgow club legend Keith McIvor talks about supervising the music for Beats and why he's taking a stand against the far right with his new recording venture

'I do believe music can change things, or at the very least inspire,' says Keith McIvor, aka JD Twitch, of Glasgow's defining club night, DJ duo, alternative electronic label and underground way of life of the last 20 years, Optimo. 'Music is a powerful…

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

4 Feb 20193 stars

There's plenty of fun to be had in this otherwise samey animated sequel

The follow-up to 2014's The Lego Movie is upon us. That means more bricks, more building, more songs, more glitter and more celebrity cameos. And, if you were being cynical, more of the same. Picking up from the meta finale of the original, when…

Kevin Smith brings Hollywood Babble-on live show to the UK, here's how to get tickets

4 Feb 2019

Filmmaker brings special podcast show to Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and London

Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman will bring their Hollywood Babble-on live show to the UK for four dates this May. Tickets for the shows are available from 10am on Thu 7 Feb. Hollywood Babble-On is a weekly podcast featuring filmmaker Kevin Smith and…

Northern Ballet: Three Little Pigs, Elves & the Shoemaker, Tortoise & the Hare

1 Feb 20194 stars

Ballet company hits the big screen with three gorgeous films for little ones

Proving that body language communicates just as much, if not more, than words, these three short films from Northern Ballet convey everything that needs to be said – without a hint of confusion. It's not unheard of for adults to lose hold of a…

Velvet Buzzsaw

1 Feb 20193 stars

Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo reunite with Nightcrawler director Dan Gilroy for a send-up of the art scene

The spirit of the Dr Phibes films is alive and thriving in the latest from Nightcrawler helmer Dan Gilroy. Featuring an A-list cast playing competing cretins, Velvet Buzzsaw is a bloody takedown of the LA art scene, complete with set-piece…

Burning

28 Jan 20195 stars

Masterful mystery drama from South Korea's Chang-dong Lee

Lyrical, languid and utterly beguiling, Chang-dong Lee's Burning demands that the viewer not only succumb to its wilful opacity, but revel in it. And that proves an easy task, given the exquisite filmmaking craft which ensures this slippery narrative…

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

28 Jan 20195 stars

Melissa McCarthy excels in a moving and darkly humorous biopic about unrepentant literary forger Lee Israel

There's nothing less appealing than an Oscar bait biopic that sticks to the standard formula. Thankfully, those behind this film about author and literary forger Lee Israel are aware of that, fashioning her story into a queer buddy comedy about…

Escape Room

28 Jan 20193 stars

Deadly puzzles are the focus of this unashamedly derivative but entertainingly tense horror

The mythologies of modern horror classics such as Saw, The Cabin in the Woods and Final Destination are merged to create an entertainingly tense experience where six strangers make their way through a maze of deadly puzzles. Escape Room feeds not only…

Green Book

28 Jan 20193 stars

Superb performances power a well-intentioned race relations drama that suffers from a problematic perspective

Based on the real-life friendship between African-American virtuoso pianist Don Shirley and his homespun Italian-American driver Tony 'Lip', Green Book features two outstanding, Oscar-nominated performances from Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen as the…

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

28 Jan 20193 stars

Third instalment of the popular animation franchise that ultimately satisfies but doesn't always soar

Hollywood has a tendency to run a good idea into the ground, especially when it comes to animation. Five Ice Age films succeeded in transforming the endearing into the irksome. It seems a wise move to end the How to Train Your Dragon series at a point…

Jeff Bridges teases return of The Dude

24 Jan 2019

A Big Lebowski sequel to be announced? The Dude teases announcement on Twitter

It's been a couple of years since we last heard rumour of a sequel to The Big Lebowski and Jeff Bridges himself has said there'll never be a follow up. But the star just dropped a huge hint on Twitter that that might not be the case. In the Tweet…