The Program

November 26, 2015
Ben Foster in 'The Program' (2015)

It’s strange that with so many excellent documentaries being made today, filmmakers still believe that every true story needs to be turned into fiction. This was the case with features such as The Walk and Freeheld, which reworked the subjects of acclaimed documentaries. Now Stephen Frears, who really should know better, has entered the fray … More

The Crow’s Egg

November 19, 2015
Ramesh and J.Vignesh in 'The Crow's Egg' (2014)

Every so often one sees a small, irresistible film that puts the blockbusters to shame. Such is The Crow’s Egg, a low-budget feature about two young brothers who live in the slums of Chennai. It’s a story of crushing poverty that is never allowed to become grim or depressing. This is a first feature by … More

99 Homes

November 19, 2015
Michael Shannon in '99 Homes' (2014)

It must be a relief for Andrew Garfield to appear in a movie without the Spider Man outfit. In Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes even those fabled Spidey powers would be of no use against the unstoppable force of the Global Financial Crisis. In opposition to the black-and-white moral universe of the super hero film, in … More


November 5, 2015
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page in 'Freeheld' (2015). Photograph: Lionsgate

Some actors always get to play the romantic lead, the vamp or the action hero, Julianne Moore should be careful she doesn’t get stuck with another terminal illness. Having gradually succumbed to Alzheimer’s Disease in Still Alice, she now gets the chance to experience Stage 4 lung cancer in Freeheld. Unfortunately she’s really excellent in … More

The Dressmaker

October 29, 2015
Kate Winslet in 'The Dressmaker' (2015)

There has been an 18-year gap between The Dressmaker and Jocelyn Moorhouse’s previous film, A Thousand Acres (1997), with a promising career being derailed by family matters. Although Moorhouse had intended to make an earlier comeback, with an adaptation of Murray Bail’s novel, Eucalyptus in 2005, this project turned into a shipwreck with as much … More

Bridge of Spies

October 23, 2015
Tom Hanks in 'Bridge of Spies' (2015)

Steven Spielberg has spoken out against Hollywood’s over-reliance on superhero flicks, when there are so many other ways to make a popular movie. It’s what he’s been doing since Jaws (1975), the film that put him on the map. Today the name ‘Spielberg’ is synonymous with a certain style of Hollywood entertainment – lavish, detail-perfect … More


October 16, 2015
Brett Lee in 'UNindian' (2015)

If there were an Academy Award for product placement, Anupam Sharma’s unINDIAN would be this year’s hot favourite. This self-confessed “frothy” flick is not going to win any awards for acting, directing or scriptwriting, but when it comes to acknowledging sponsors it is in a class of its own. unINDIAN is an attempt to make … More

Black Mass

October 9, 2015
Johnny Depp in 'Black Mass' (2015)

How many dud movies does it take before one can be over an actor? With his roles in films such as Mortdecai (2015) and Tusk (2014), Johnny Depp has been sailing close to the wind. It’s been a long time since he has worked harder on a character than he does with Boston gangster, James … More

Learning to Drive

October 9, 2015
Ben Kingsley & Patricia Clarkson in 'Learning to Drive' (2014)

Learning to Drive is one of those films that spin an entire story around one simple metaphor. For a middle-aged woman, learning to drive is an act of self-determination, a way of taking control of one’s life. Having entered one’s fifties as a passenger there is a profound sense of affirmation in finally getting behind … More


October 2, 2015
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth' (2015)

Shakespeare’s Macbeth is one of the great political dramas. It demonstrates all of Machiavelli’s ideas about attaining and using power, but also explores the moral and psychological consequences of one man’s ruthless pursuit of the crown. Macbeth begins as a loyal retainer whose head is turned by the prophecies of three witches. Goaded on by … More

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