Film Review

San Andreas (2015)
Film Review

San Andreas (2015)

“I want to move to Ohio!” Visually, at least, San Andreas beats all earthquake movies. As often as San Francisco has been torn apart on screen, it’s never been reduced to a pile of rubble and a few burning hulks, and then swept over by mammoth tidal waves, like this. […]

We Steal Secrets:  The Story of Wikileaks
Film Review

We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks

Secrecy and revelation This is a documentary about a complex subject that could not be more relevant at this moment: government secrecy, whistleblowers, and Wikileaks. Earlier, Alex Gibney proved himself to be an excellent documentary filmmaker in Taxi to the Dark Side, a subtle and suspenseful indictment of America’s illegally conducted […]

Leviathan (2014)
Film Review

Leviathan (2014)

A downward path in Russia laced with vodka (Not to be confused with Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel’s immersive fishing documentary of the same title reviewed by me and Kevin Matthews earlier.) Bookended by brooding Philip Glass music (from his opera Akhnaten) and its vast unfriendly metallic-blue tinged landscape on a barren […]

Chronic (2015)
Film Review

Chronic (2015)

There’s a strong dose of physician heal thyself in Chronic, Michel Franco’s third feature. Tim Roth’s nurse may be supremely efficient when dealing with terminally ill patients, but he fails utterly to exist outside his work. Unwilling to face past trauma, he instead sinks himself into the lives of those […]

Macbeth (2015)
Film Review

Macbeth (2015)

Justin Kurzel certainly knows how to capture a sense of time and place. Snowtown, his grim suburban serial killer debut in 2011 brought to life the dilapidated restrictiveness of small town Australia. Now taking on the Bard, he really puts Scotland back in the Scottish play. Closing out the Palme […]

Valley of Love (2015)
Film Review

Valley of Love (2015)

No matter how international they purport to be, all film festivals have to be based somewhere. The impulse to give a little boost to local talent becomes a hard one to fight. Valley of Love, perfectly serviceable as it is, feels like one such beneficiary. Competing well above its station […]

The Little Prince (2015)
Film Review

The Little Prince (2015)

Adapting The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s incredibly popular story first published in 1943, does not come without risk. Deciding to then launch it at the Cannes Film Festival in France, the home country of the beloved novella, could be seen as foolhardy. For the most part, Mark Osborne and […]

The Assassin (2015)
Film Review

The Assassin (2015)

I’ve experienced a lot of different things in the cinema, but the onset of agoraphobia is a new one. So deliciously rich are the interiors in Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s long-awaited foray into wuxia, the moment The Assassin ventured outside I was left bewildered and uneasy in the natural light. Not that […]

Dheepan (2015)
Film Review

Dheepan (2015)

As Ron Perlman once put it, war never changes, a sentiment that makes it tricky to move on for anyone forced into conflict. In Jacques Audiard’s drama, equal parts sweet and painful, he tracks the immigrant story of a Tamil Tiger fighter and his family who come ashore in France […]

The Closer We Get (2015)
Film Review

The Closer We Get (2015)

Autobiographical documentaries provide an interesting insight of a life behind closed doors, with TV shows such as Who do you think you are? and 2007’s You Don’t Know You’re Born explores the appeal of undiscovered lives and family pasts.  After being named Best International Feature Documentary at the recent HotDocs 2015, UK […]