Category: Drama

Doug Jones as the pale man in Pan's Labyrinth

Pan’s Labyrinth

It’s not every fantasy film that comes complete with a scene of a brutal fascist captain sewing his own face up, but that’s what you get in Guillermo Del Toro’s best film since The Devil’s Backbone (better, certainly, than Blade II and Hellboy). It’s a dark fantasy reminding us that

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Ben Affleck and Diane Lane in Hollywoodland

Hollywoodland

    Looking on paper like something better than it actually turns out, Hollywoodland is one of those films purporting to lift the lid on Hollywood, LA Confidential style. It tells the lightly fictionalised story of George Reeves (Ben Affleck) the man who played Superman on 1950s US TV, and

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Sandra Hüller as Michaela in Requiem

Requiem

    Since Run Lola Run, the Germans have kept up a respectable hitrate when it comes to films that use elements of the thriller to deliver drive – Head-On, The Edukators, Downfall, Sophie Scholl, The Lives of Others. Requiem continues the trend, the thriller element in this case being

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Kashmira Shah and Jason Lewis in My Bollywood Bride

My Bollywood Bride

    Rom-coms are all about the journey and not the destination, so they say. If that’s true, then mark My Bollywood Bride down as a trip in an overheated vehicle, with terrible scenery outside and fellow passengers you’d kill yourself to be away from. The boy-meets-girl plot sees Sex

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Jamie Sives and Julie Gayet in A Woman in Winter

A Woman in Winter

    For a film-maker, Richard Jobson has an odd CV – a member of the new wave band The Skids (hit single: Into the Valley), a model, performance poet, actor, TV and radio presenter, Jobson arrived as a director with his partly autobiographical debut, 2003’s 16 Years of Alcohol, about growing

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Ai Qin Lin in Ghosts

Ghosts

    The British film-maker Nick Broomfield is well known for his documentaries made in the teeth of adversity, his working practice often being to get into someone’s face and then stay there while they duck and dive (see The Leader, His Driver and the Driver’s Wife, the 1991 doc on

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Abbie Cornish and Heath Ledger in Candy

Candy

    Though there’s plenty of people who take drugs for entirely recreational purposes and never go to hell in any sort of handcart, there’s not much drama to be had from making movies about them. So instead drugs movies tend to be about people hitting the buffers. Candy does

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Zhang Ziyi and brothel women in The Grandmaster

The Grandmaster

  There are misgivings even during the opening scene of this decade-straddling epic about Ip Man, generally described as “the man who trained Bruce Lee”. There’s legendary martial artist Ip Man (the impassive Tony Leung) in a stylish straw hat taking on a phalanx of uglies in a torrential nighttime

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Catherine Frot and Déborah François in The Page Turner

The Page Turner

    It’s often forgotten how much genre output the French make, and how well they do it. This icy thriller in a Chabrolesque mould has two brilliant performances at its centre. On the one side we have Déborah François as Mélanie, a young girl from a poor family whose

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Alice Eve, James McAvoy and Rebecca Hall in Starter for 10

Starter for 10

    Write what you know, they say, and David Nicholls certainly does that here. An adaptation of his 2003 best-seller about a 1980s working class kid going to university, written by a 1980s working class kid who went to university, this comedy is full of period flavour and has

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