Films
Chi-Raq

Chi-Raq @ BFI London Film Festival

by Neil Dowden

Spike Lee’s exuberant, sassy hip-hop musical is both topical and archetypal. It transfers Aristophanes’ classical Greek comedy Lysistrata – in which the eponymous heroine persuades all women to go on a sex strike to stop…



Shot! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock @ BFI London Film Festival

by Neil Dowden

Rock by name, rock by nature. As Mick Rock himself states in Barnaby Clay’s fascinating documentary about the acclaimed music photographer showing in the London Film Festival’s Sonic strand, with a name like that he...

Film Review: Elephant Days

by Neil Dowden

Filmed over two years, James Caddick and James Cronin’s Elephant Days takes a refreshingly alternative approach to the music documentary. As well as being a record of the creative process that resulted in The Maccabees’...

Film Review: Danny Says

by Neil Dowden

What individual forms a link between American psychedelic rock, proto-punk and punk rock itself? The answer is Danny Fields. He may not be a household name, but he was a close associate of The Velvet...

Biutiful

by Neil Dowden

Nominated as Best Foreign Language Film in both the Oscars and BAFTAs, Mexican director Alejandro Gonzlez Irritus fourth feature is unlikely to gain him any new admirers, and may well turn some of the old...

The American

by Neil Dowden

The American is an accomplished second movie for rock music photographer/video maker turned feature film director Anton Corbijn. With a very different subject from Control, his biopic of Joy Divisions doomed front man Ian Curtis,...

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

by Christian Cottingham

Few critics have been kind to the Harry Potter franchise. The early entries – cosy, Christmas-afternoon affairs – were dismissed as mere family fare, stock characters writ large against a backdrop of rudimentary CGI and...

Another Year

by Neil Dowden

Famed for his bleak comedy-dramas, writer/director Mike Leigh seems to have mellowed recently. Although not nearly as chirpy as the previous Happy-Go-Lucky, his latest, deceptively understated film is a nicely rounded and subtly nuanced study...

Gainsbourg: Vie Héroïque

by Daniel B Yates

In the late 1950s a film called La Belle Américaine caused quite a scandal in French cinemas, for the sole reason that it starred a car made by the American firm General Motors. At that...

Dirty Oil

by Mike Barnes

cast list Neve Campbell Andrew Nikiforuk Lester Brown Mike Hudema directed by Leslie Iwerks Dirty Oil is the third film to be distributed by The Co-operative and Dogwoof, whose partnership is designed to help socially...

Afghan Star

by musicOMH

cast list Daoud Siddiqi Rafi Naabzada Hameed Sakhizada Lema Sahar Setara Hussainzada directed by Havana Marking Im going to shoot a documentary about Pop Idol, but in Afghanistan! It could have been one of those...

Leap Year

by Alec Kerr

cast list Amy Adams Matthew Goode Adam Scott John Lithgow directed by Anand Tucker Leap Year is the latest in a seemingly endless stream of flat, unimaginative romantic comedies. The current state of the rom-com...

The Last Station

by Neil Dowden

cast list James McAvoy Christopher Plummer Helen Mirren Paul Giamatti directed by Michael Hoffman The Last Station focuses on the tumultuous final months of Leo Tolstoys 82-year-old life, as full of drama as any of...

Invictus

by Shawn Fitzgerald

cast list Morgan Freeman Matt Damon Tony Kgoroge Patrick Mofokeng directed by Clint Eastwood Based on the novel by John Carlin, Invictus is set in South Africa during the first half of the 1990s. The...

Breathless

by Anton Bitel

cast list Yang Ik-june Kim Kot-bi Jeong Man-shik Lee Hwan Hong Seung-il Kim Sang-won Kim Seon-bin Park Byeong-eun directed by Yang Ik-june “Fucking bitch you wanna die?” says a thug in the street as he...

Edge Of Darkness

by musicOMH

cast list Mel Gibson Ray Winstone Danny Huston Bojana Novakovic Shawn Roberts directed by Martin Campbell It cant be emphasised enough how groundbreaking and prestigious Troy Kennedy Martins 1985 TV series Edge Of Darkness was...

A Prophet

by Rob Watson

cast list Tahar Rahim Niels Arestrup Adel Bencherif Hichem Yacoubi directed by Jacques Audiard French cinemas style and swagger has captivated and influenced American filmmakers and audiences since the explosion of the nouvelle vague in...

Up In The Air

by John Murphy

cast list George Clooney Vera Farmiga Anna Kendrick Jason Bateman Amy Morton directed by Jason Reitman He may only have directed three films, but Jason Reitman has already cast off the shadow of his famous...

44 Inch Chest

by Daniel B Yates

cast list John Hurt Ray Winstone Ian McShane Tom Wilkinson directed by Malcolm Venville The Brit gangster flick has always dealt in masculinities. From Dicky Attenboroughs puckish violence to Bob Hoskins territorial violence, to Michael...

It’s Complicated

by Alec Kerr

cast list Meryl Streep Steve Martin Alec Baldwin John Krasinski directed by Nancy Meyers The romantic comedy has a bad reputation that probably has more to do with the quality of recent examples of the...

The Road

by Andrew Burgess

cast list Viggo Mortensen Kodi Smit-McPhee Charlize Theron Robert Duval Guy Pearce directed by John Hillcoat TRAILER: The Road SOUNDTRACK: The Road OST After the apocalypse, a father and son travel together across a bleak,...