Scene from Murnau's Faust

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Jill Wagner in Splinter

30 March 2009-03-30

Ratings on the UK system – U=universal, PG=parental guidance, 12, 15 and 18 are self-explanatory, E=Excempt Celia (Second Run, cert 15) Oz director Ann Turner’s classic 1989 rites-of-passage debut, about one girl’s amply furnished fantasy childhood. It’s the story of a child, from a child’s point of view, rather than adult looking back, and set … Read more

Sandra Bullock in Gravity

3 March 2014-03-02

Out in the UK This Week     Gravity (Warner, cert 12, Blu-ray/DVD/Download) By now you will already know whether the Oscar-winning Gravity is the sort of film you want to watch, or watch again. It’s had so much publicity and so many reviews that there’s no point adding anything. So I’ll just tell you … Read more

Elijah Wood in Maniac

1 July 2013-07-01

Out in the UK This Week       Maniac (Metrodome, cert 18, Blu-ray/DVD) Alexandre Aja and Grégory Levasseur, the writers of Switchblade Romance, one of the most heart-pounding horror films of recent years, swing bloodily back to form with a remake of a 1980 slasher which takes lovely gentle Frodo (Elijah Wood), casts him … Read more

Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias and Nick Robinson in The Kings of Summer

26 September 2013-09-23

Out in the UK This Week   The Kings of Summer (StudioCanal, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) An immensely smart coming of age film pitched somewhere between Stand By Me and Superbad (ie dark undertow, with jokes). And it’s entirely on the side of the kids, whose decision to go off and live in the woods, leaving … Read more

Jacir Eid and Hussein Salameh in Theeb (aka Wolf)

26 October 2015-10-26

  Out This Week   Theeb (New Wave, cert 12) Jordan’s contender for this year’s Best Foreign language Oscar is, somewhat unexpectedly, an old school adventure story, the sort of thing Rider Haggard would recognise, set in a Lawrence of Arabia desert and starring Jacir Eid as a Bedouin kid. Eid is an untrained actor, … Read more

14 January 2013-01-14

14 January 2013-01-14

Out in the UK This Week             Tabu (New Wave, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) From Miguel Gomes, director of the unique, genre-confounding Our Beloved Month of August, another amazingly original work – a story of forbidden love set in colonial Africa that looks and feels like an archive photograph of the … Read more

Saoirse Ronan in Byzantium

23 September 2013-09-23

Out in the UK This Week   Byzantium (StudioCanal/cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) Ah, the burden of being a vampire. It’s been done to death in the movies recently but Neil Jordan is at the helm here and knows how to spice things up. Here he adds a touch of the same mix he used on The … Read more

Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowsk in Stoker

24 June 2013-06-24

Out in the UK This Week   Stoker (Fox, cert 18, Blu-ray/DVD) Park Chan-Wook – of Oldboy fame – makes his English language debut with a visually, sonically, thematically accomplished film that seems to be trying to get as many varieties of gothic horror assembled in one place as possible. Mia Wasikowska delivers another of … Read more

BB-8 and Daisy Ridley in Star Wars the Force Awakens

11 April 2016-04-11

  Out This Week     Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Disney, cert 12) You don’t go to a Rolling Stones gig to hear new tunes. And you don’t turn out for Star Wars – reboot or not – for new stories. And yet. JJ Abrams, having done a remarkable job on the first Star … Read more

Naomi Watts in The Impossible

6 May 2013-05-06

The Impossible (Entertainment One, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) The Spanish have an appetite for mutilation. Look at bullfighting, or the bloody effigies of the crucified Jesus Christ in their churches. And though this film is entirely in the English language, it has a Spanish director, writer and production money behind it. It’s very much a Spanish … Read more

Jaeden Lieberher in Midnight Special

1 August 2016-08-01

  Out This Week   Midnight Special (E One, cert 12) I’m a sucker for a deduction film, and in Midnight Special we are asked to deduce first what’s going on, and then what sort of a movie it is. This being a Jeff Nichols film, Michael Shannon is the star – as he has been in … Read more

Martin Freeman in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

7 April 2014-04-07

  Out in the UK This Week     The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Warner, cert 12, Blu-ray/DVD) One book, three films – there’s something almost Tolkienesque in that phrase, don’t you think? Against expectation I enjoyed the first instalment of The Hobbit, even though every fibre of my being had been rebelling against … Read more

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