Archive for the ‘★ ★ ★ ★ ½’ Category

This year, we’ve seen superheroes, aliens and boy wizards explode onto the big screen, but where have all the real action movies been? I’m talking about the ones featuring people, not pixels. The ones where the actor dangles perilously from the world’s tallest building, and not from a wire in front the world’s widest green screen. What happened to those action movies? Don’t they get made any more?

Well, it turns [...]

By on December 20, 2011

A timely tale of disenchanted youth and criminal culture set against a sci-fi genre backdrop, Attack the Block is a fresh, energetic, spectacularly original and wildly entertaining debut feature film full of wit, suspense, action, terrific characters, awesome monsters and a totally bad-ass score. Written and directed by English comedian Joe Cornish (who also co-wrote the recent Steven Spielberg directed Tintin movie), the film sees a gang of south London [...]

By on December 20, 2011

One of the year’s most difficult to watch films is also one of its finest. Adapted from the award winning novel by Lionel Shriver, We Need To Talk About Kevin is a stunning psychological drama and thriller that will set crawling the skin of anyone who watches it… and it will do so without a depicting a single moment of  violence. With mesmerizing control over her craft, Scottish director Lynne [...]

By on November 21, 2011

However rote and derivative the genre may seem, the underdog sports movie still has the capacity to overwhelm even the most cynical critical urges with the pure power of triumphant emotion. Rocky did it. Hoosiers did it. And believe it or not, the Ultimate Fighting Championship movie Warrior does it as well. Thanks to an excellent cast, increasingly fantastic fight scenes and a script where the sincerity far outshines the [...]

By on November 1, 2011

Chronicling the outbreak of a global pandemic, Contagion is a lot like the virus it depicts, surging through your bloodstream and into your brain, wracking you with fear, paranoia and moral indecision. Bolstered by a practically inconceivable cast, director Steven Soderbergh weaves multiple storylines — not dissimilar to his 2000 Oscar-winning drug drama Traffic — in order to show the effects of the disease on various levels of society. Succeeding [...]

By on October 19, 2011

After the fatal shooting of two North Korean guards by a South Korean soldier at the Demilitarized Border between the two adversarial nations, an independent body of Swiss and Swedish officials are sent in to investigate the crime and contain the potentially explosive political situation. So begins Park Chan-wook’s Joint Security Area [Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok JSA], a 2000 film that combines an intricately assembled mystery with absorbing human drama. Artfully [...]

By on September 20, 2011

In the closing credit scroll of writer/director Kevin Smith’s Red State, the cast is listed under three subheadings: sex, religion and politics. It’s not a very subtle way of outlining the themes of the film, but then again, very little is subtle about this ambitious and visceral stylistic departure from a writer/director who, up until now, has confined himself to the realm of raunchy adult comedies in the vein of [...]

By on September 12, 2011

An utterly gripping documentary that transcends its subject matter and the restrictions of the medium to play out like the very best kind of narrative film, Asif Kapadia’s documentary about the life, career and tragic passing of Brazilian Formula One racer Ayerton Senna has been heralded – and rightfully so – as one of the most exhilarating, moving and quite simply best films of 2011.  Chronicling the life and career [...]

By on September 4, 2011
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Adventures of Tintin, The
- Tom Clift
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