Film Reviews

Film review: Rio 2

rio

Beneath its many contrivances, there is something quite admirable going on in Rio 2. It looks and sounds absolutely extraordinary for one thing.

Insightful, compassionate - perfect

Like father like son

PREVIEW: In Like Father Like Son Hirokazu Kore-Eda proves has a genius for writing for and directing children.

Lego Movie a blast

Lego Movie

Yep. Five stars. The Lego Movie really is that good.

Tracks an enthralling ride

Tracks

Tracks is a great yarn, full of heat, solitude, danger and transformation, all set against unearthly landscapes.

Budapest Hotel Anderson's best

Grand Budapest Hotel

With depth, maturity and compassion, the Grand Budapest Hotel will surely be one of the films of the year.

The Raid 2 a spectacular film

The Raid 2

REVIEW: The Raid (2011) is just about the best fight-movie of the last couple of decades.

Review: The Deadly Ponies Gang

Deadly Ponies

REVIEW: The Deadly Ponies Gang is a hugely entertaining film about a couple of mates on the fringes of South Auckland.

How good is Captain America?

Captain America

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a damn good movie, and a worthy part of a remarkable franchise.

Film Review: Nymphomaniac

nymphomaniac

Nymphomaniac is a very different film to the one the posters and the marketing campaign are suggesting.

Film review: The Great Beauty

the great beauty

The Great Beauty has already picked up the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and the Golden Globe in the same category.

Film review: Noah

noah

A tale of biblical proportions for the Game of Thornes generation. An ancient allegory for these climate-change chastened times. Noah – Evangelising Eco Warrior.

Film review: Cuban Fury

cuban fury

Cuban Fury is no great film, but it is good natured, well made, and occasionally very funny indeed.

Film Review: Need For Speed

need for speed

With massive nods to Two Lane Blacktop, Vanishing Point and, err, Smokey and The Bandit, and with a some genuine wit, daring, and energy in its delivery, Need For Speed is an old-fashioned and very likeable film.

Good natured, well played comedy

Cuban Fury

Cuban Fury is no great film, but it's well made and occasionally very funny indeed.

Wadjda deserves to be seen

Wadjda

Saudi director Haifaa al-Mansour delivers a heartbreaking, powerful debut with Wadjda.

Adaptation old-fashioned fun

Need for Speed

There's some good, honest stunt driving in Need for Speed - and for that alone, it deserves to be celebrated.

Preview: It Boy

It Boy

PREVIEW: French romcom It Boy turns the tables by focusing on a 40-year-old woman's fling with a man half her age.

A biographical film masterclass

Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt is a rigorous, intelligent and illuminating study of the writer, philosopher and theorist.

Great story, but a let-down film

Monuments Men

A good true story and a stellar cast aren't enough to save George Clooney's The Monuments Men.

Review: 300: Rise of an Empire

300: Rise of an EMpire

It's never a good sign when you find yourself missing Gerard Butler.

Review: The Rocket

300: The Rocket

Every year there's a couple of films that make me want to blockade the multiplex.

Review: 3 Mile Limit

3 Mile Limit

The story of how Radio Hauraki came to be is a truly great one.

Review: Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor

REVIEW: Lone Survivor does for soldiers what Friday Night Lights did for footballers: it gives us entry into a near impenetrable world, it makes it credible.

Review: Non Stop

Non Stop - Liam Neeson

REVIEW: There is a great hole in the world where Mel Gibson used to be.

Review: Dallas Buyers Club

Dallas Buyers Club

Matthew McConaughey became a leading man in the 1990s, but never quite graduated to Pitt/Clooney/Depp megastardom, and was seemingly destined to grind out the next decade of his career being an attractive place to temporarily hang a shirt in rom-com hell.

Review: All Is Lost

All Is Lost

A few years back I was much impressed with a film called Into The Wild. 

Review: Blue is the Warmest Colour

Blue Is The Warmest COlour

A few years back, writing for another paper, I took my seat in the old and unlamented Rialto, and tried my darndest to watch Basic Instinct 2.

Review: Endless Love

Endless Love

Does it matter that this is a remake of a hilariously trashy and energetic 1981 movie? I doubt it.

Review: Saving Mr Banks

Saving Mr Banks

REVIEW: Tom Hanks is utterly convincing as Walt Disney in Saving Mr Banks. It's a sanitised Walt we're given here, but still a credible one.

Review: 12 Years A Slave

12 Years A Slave

REVIEW: Solomon Northup was a well-liked New York city gentleman.

Walk of Life-affirming work

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom

REVIEW: There is no mention that Nelson Mandela saw the Long Walk To Freedom. And that strikes me as a pity.

Film Review: Last Vegas

Last Vegas

One day in a tough Brooklyn neighbourhood four boys bonded forever by standing up to a neighbourhood bully, and lifting a bottle of whisky from the local drugstore.

Film Review: American Hustle

American Hustle

American Hustle is hugely entertaining, perfectly paced, and generally impressive as all hell.

Film Review: Nebraska

Nebraska

REVIEW: Alexander Payne has come back with a film that is at once both sadder and funnier than almost any other Hollywood film.

Film: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

jack ryan: shadow recruit

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit isn't a bad film. It's just an uninspired and unoriginal one. For a Friday night out, it'll do.

Film review: 47 Ronin

47 Ronin

It's not often a film is already famous for being a failure before it has opened.

Film review: The Book Thief

the book thief

Adapting a beloved and much respected novel is a fraught business.

Review: The Wolf of Wall Street

wolf of wall street

Winning the rights to adapt Jordan Belfort's memoir of a decade of stock-market fraud, high-living, addiction, and eventual imprisonment must have been an absolute gift to Scorsese.

Film favourites of the year

Gravity

Graeme Tuckett rounds up his top 10 films of 2013.

Film review: Anchorman 2

anchorman 2

Anchorman 2 is a nine-years-later return to the great high point of Will Ferrell's career.

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