Film Reviews

Mortdecai

February 7, 2015
Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai' (2015)

Mortdecai is one of those films that would have had me surging towards the exit after about 10 minutes if I didn’t have a professional obligation to hang around. I could only watch with envy while members of the audience filed out at regular intervals. As an attempt at a brand of screwball or ‘caper’ … More


Still Alice

February 7, 2015
Julianne Moore in 'Still Alice' (2014)

“Less is Moore” should be one famous actor’s motto for this year. It’s said that Emmanuelle Riva’s career suffered because she was too selective about the roles she chose to play, but Julianne Moore should start being a little more choosy. We have just seen her in the most recent installment of The Hunger Games, … More


Foxcatcher

January 31, 2015
Steve Carell in 'Foxcatcher' (2014)

Sport in film is invariably used as a way of exploring human ambitions, the dizzy heights of success and the misery of failure. The game is always the game of life with its inevitable winners and losers. There have been sports dramas, comedies and musicals, but Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher is a rare phenomenon: a sporting … More


The Theory of Everything

January 31, 2015
Eddie Redmayne in 'The Theory of Everything' (2014)

Stephen Hawking must be the most unlikely romantic lead ever featured in a mainstream movie. It’s hard enough to imagine a gripping film about a mathematics boffin whose greatest thrill is to solve another equation. When that boffin is struck down by a degenerative motor neurone disease that leaves him paralysed, the required level of … More


American Sniper

January 24, 2015
Bradley Cooper in 'American Sniper' (2014)

Clint Eastwood’s gung-ho endorsement of Mitt Romney in the last Presidential election campaign left no-one in any doubt about his politics. Eastwood, now in his 84th year, is a believer in old-fashioned American values. He also seems to believe that Americans should be prepared to fight to death to preserve their basic liberties, whether it … More


Wild

January 24, 2015
Reese Witherspoon in 'Wild' (2014)

American Sniper shows us a man who sees it as his moral duty to defend what is good, even if it means making vast personal sacrifices on behalf of his colleagues and his country. Wild is the story of a woman who seeks to find herself after screwing up her life big time. Chris Kyle … More


Life Itself

January 17, 2015
Roger Ebert in 'Life Itself' (2014)

Roger Ebert is the only film critic with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It’s curious to think that a critic can be a star, but Ebert (1942-2013) had a following that would make any actor proud. He became the unofficial dean of American movie reviewers by virtue of sheer hard work, and … More


The Imitation Game

January 17, 2015
Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game' (2014)

Michael Keaton should give the Oscars a shake this year for his role in Birdman, but Benedict Cumberbatch will also be in the mix for his portrayal of mathematician Alan Turing in The Imitation Game. Indeed, Cumberbatch is so good it’s almost enough to make one overlook the liberties this film takes with history. By … More


Keep On Keepin’ On

January 17, 2015
Justin Kauflin and Clark Terry in 'Keep on Keepin' on' (2014)

Palace has found the perfect companion for Life Itself, in Alan Hicks’s Keep On Keepin’ On, a documentary about the great jazz trumpeter, Clark Terry. While Life Itself begins with Roger Ebert in his hospital bed, Keep On Keepin’ On introduces us to Terry on his 90th birthday. He may be old and sick with … More


Birdman

January 17, 2015
Michael Keaton in 'Birdman' (2014)

Mexican director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, has a reputation for dark and difficult films but Birdman is a philosophical black comedy that holds us from first to last. It’s a story about the theatre that examines the changing nature of fame, the difficulty of human relationships, the splendours and miseries of the actor’s life. It’s also … More