Month: December 2014

Kristen Stewart and Julianne Moore in Still Alice

Still Alice

    A super confident woman, top of her game, a linguistics professor, one day discovers herself grasping for a word while she’s giving a lecture. This being the movies, where a cough in one scene leads to coughing up blood in the next, we automatically suspect she’s got Alzheimer’s.

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Quvenzhané Wallis and a cute dog

Annie

    Annie is the “turn that frown upside down” musical seemingly custom-built for stagestruck kids. But in writer/director/songsmith Will Gluck’s updating, it breaks out of the greasepaint shuffle-step limbo it’s been consigned to and makes a bold dash for the spotlight. Gluck opens with a swerve, showing us a precocious

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James Franco and Seth Rogen in The Interview

The Interview

    Like an Inspector Clouseau party that’s forgotten to invite Peter Sellers, The Interview has a gigantic gaping hole where the comedy should be. Unsure if it’s a satire on modern entertainment or a Get Smart-style caper comedy set in the People’s Republic of North Korea, it squats uneasily between

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Ava Gardner and Burt Lancaster in The Killers

22 December 2014-12-22

    Out in the UK This Week     Are You Here (Lionsgate, cert 15) Here’s a strange formless bromance from Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, a midlife crisis dressed up as a movie and sold winningly by its two stars – Owen Wilson giving off gigawatts of charm

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Scarlett Johansson has her Matrix Moment in Lucy

15 December 2014-12-15

    Out in the UK This Week     Lucy (Universal, cert 15) Young innocent Lucy gains access to the full potential of her human brain in one of Luc Besson’s now infrequent bouts of directing. A kissing cousin of 1997’s The Fifth Element, it’s a fun and funky

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Dominic Cooper (centre) in The History Boys

The History Boys

    Mr Chips meets Dead Poets Society in Nicholas Hytner’s adaptation of Alan Bennett’s play, and depending on how you approach it, it’s either a fairly satisfying or a slightly disappointing event. Personally, I was disappointed, but then maybe I’d expected more from a film which as a play

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Charles Berling as film director Georges Figon in I Saw Ben Barka Get Killed

I Saw Ben Barka Get Killed

    Ben Barka was a prominent revolutionary activist from Morocco who was “disappeared” by the French authorities in 1965. Co-writers/directors Serge Le Péron and Saïd Smihi tell his story as a dramatic reconstruction of what probably happened and cast the suave Charles Berling as the crooked film producer who

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The cartoonised Robin Wright in Ari Folman's The Congress

8 December 2014-12-08

  Out in the UK This Week     The Congress (StudioCanal, cert 15) With Waltz with Bashir, director Ari Folman used Tintin-esque animation as the visual clothing to a set of sober taped interviews between himself and the buddies he’d served with in Israel’s war against Lebanon. The Congress

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Brenton Thwaites in The Signal

The Signal

  Well, I loved this. A confident exercise in genre and genre misdirection that has the balls to invoke The Matrix, Close Encounters, and Vincenzo Natali’s Cube. So, yes, it’s about aliens and a gigantic conspiracy and there’s a lot of white light bathing its clinical setups, and it cost not

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