Film reviews

The Gang show relives the past

Tanya Horo

The Z-Nail Gang shot in Te Puke for an estimated $30,000 is perhaps more at home on a small screen rather than a large one.

The Last Saint should be celebrated

The Last Saint

But for its energy, for the craft and love that have gone into making it and for the fact it actually exists, The Last Saint is one to celebrated.

Review: If I Stay

If I Stay

This young adult movie suffered from an overdose of tragedy.

Boyhood: It's a wonderful life


Over a decade in the making, Boyhood looks like being one of the movies of the decade.

Inbetweeners sequel offers middling fare

inbetweeners 2

While comparisons to the American Pie series are inevitable, this offers additionally salty language and virtually none of Pie's sweetness.

Boyhood: Epic work of art


REVIEW: Without question my Film of the Year So Far, Boyhood is a hugely affecting cinematic experience.

Review: The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

100 year old man

REVIEW: An entertaining romp through an alternative history of the world and a remarkable life.

Review: 20,000 Days on Earth

20,000 days on earth

REVIEW: 20,000 Days on Earth is a good idea, irritatingly executed, with barely enough honesty or insight to justify its existence.

Review: Lucy


REVIEW: Lucy is predicated on that hoary old urban myth that we only use 10 per cent of our brain.

Review: The Expendables 3


Sly Stallone leads another troop of of 1980s action-heroes in The Expendables 3.

Review: Postman Pat: The Movie

postman strap

Postman Pat conjures up plenty of contemporary corporate satire, along with visual gags and knockabout fun for a pre-school audience.

Review: The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

100 strap

REVIEW: This is the wholly fitting cinematic rendering of the Swedish novel about a 100-year-old Swedish man who disappeared.

Review: Postman Pat: The Movie

postman strap

REVIEW: In a full-length reimagining of the children's classic of Postman Pat, he's threatened to be replaced by a robot.

Alive Inside 'powerful and moving'

Alive inside

Alive Inside has a moving message for anyone whose lives have been touched by dementia.

Film review: And So It Goes

And so it goes, Diane Keaton

REVIEW: Rob Reiner's latest movie is no more than a generic amble through the countryside of a late-age rom-com.

Film review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy

REVIEW: Marvel rolls out the 10th film in one of the most successful franchises ever.

Film review: Palo Alto

Palo Alto

Stories about teenagers and their struggles have been cinematic catnip for decades.

The Dark Horse: An instant Kiwi classic

Cliff Curtis in Dark Horse.

As Genesis Potini, Cliff Curtis gives the performance of his career so far.

Film review: Boyhood


I hid behind my hands watching the main character indulge in predictably stupid teenage stunts.

Review: Deliver Us From Evil

eric bana strap

REVIEW: Versatile Australian actor Eric Bana can't rescue lame exorcism movie Deliver Us From Evil.

Review: Just a Sigh


REVIEW: French romance-drama Just a Sigh is a strange hybrid love story.

Film Review: The Broken Circle Breakdown

broken circle breakdown

REVIEW: Although dark at times, The Broken Circle Breakdown celebrates life and love, and is a film to be savoured.

Film review: Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie

mrs brown's boys d'movie

REVIEW: D'Movie is affectionate, genuinely funny, well put together, and has flourish and flair to make it more than the TV show.

Film review: Begin Again

begin again

REVIEW: Begin Again is a deceptive film, with some fine tuned storytelling machinery purring away beneath its facade of naivety.

Film review: Hercules


REVIEW: Hercules labours towards a predictable end. File under sporadically fun, but fatuously formulaic.

Sequel that's no false Dawn

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

REVIEW: It's hard not to be swept along by the thought-provoking premise and entertainment value of gorillas as guerrillas.

Musical tale bucks the cliche

Keira Knightley Begin Again

REVIEW: Sometimes a cliched poster and a trite movie title prove to be completely misleading as to the quality of a film.

Nice visuals, shame about the violence and silliness

planet of the apes

Being a film reviewer means appreciating movies you don't like. Planet of the Apes tested that for me.

Review: A Promise falls flat

A Promise

It's like binge-watching the first few seasons of Friends.

Review: The French Minister

The French Minister

Fans of Yes, Minister and The Thick of It will lap up this hilarious, razor sharp French political satire.

Review: Sex Tape less than satisfying

Sex Tape

After a strong, attention grabbing opening, this rekindling-the-romance comedy all gets rather flaccid.

Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

This is a hugely competent film, with story-telling nous to match it's huge technical achievement.

Film review: Broken Circle Breakdown

Broken Circle Breakdown

The Broken Circle Breakdown is at heart a romantic melodrama incorporating exquisite musical numbers.

Film review: How to train your dragon 2

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Except for one fairly major asterisk, this is a school holidays winner.

Film Review: Tinker Bell and the Pirate Fairy

tinker bell

REVIEW: Fifth time around is not all bad for Tinker Bell.

Film review: Jersey Boys

jersey boys

REVIEW: Would you believe, Clint Eastwood has made a musical?! Of sorts.

Film Review: Ernest and Celestine

ernest and celestine

REVIEW: Award-winning children's film Ernest and Celestine is a long, cool drink of watercolour.

Film review: The House of Magic

The House of Magic

This is a curiously old-fashioned and understated children's animated movie.

Film review: Calvary


It's a funny thing. I came out of Calvary none too keen on the film, let me tell you.

Film review: The Face of Love

The Face of Love

Handled well, tales of grief can be sensitive and touching. This film wastes the opportunity.

Transformers reboot same-same

Transformers: Age of Extinction

REVIEW: Transformers 4 is a hugely overlong, incoherent and witless slab of naked product placement.

Film review: Million Dollar Arm

jon hamm

REVIEW: I'm not exactly the target market for this Disney update on Jerry Maguire meets Slumdog Millionaire, but I was prepared to be charmed.

Film review: Jake

film jake

REVIEW: Jake moves at pace from one humiliation to the next for our poor, incapable hero.

Film review: Tarzan


REVIEW: Come back Phil Collins - all is forgiven.

'Slumdog McGuire' comes to mind

Million Dollar Arm

When an American sports agent travels to India to unearth potential stars, a likeable fish-out-of-water yarn emerges.

Funny without a shadow of a doubt

vampire film

REVIEW: I shake my head at the sheer cleverness of the elaborate on-going gags in What We Do in the Shadows.

Uninspiring despite engaging leads

Words and Pictures, Clive Owen

PREVIEW: In the spirit of not judging a book by its cover, just ignore the trailer for Words and Pictures.

Vampire flick hilariously deadpan

Taika Waititi

REVIEW: What We Do in the Shadows is the most consistently funny Kiwi film in over a decade - even the tagline is genius.

22 Jump Street a truly funny sequel

22 Jump Street

PREVIEW: 22 Jump Street is a film that doesn't just mock the cop movie genre, it also mocks its own status as a sequel.

A heady mix of punk rock

Good Vibrations

PREVIEW: Good Vibrations is a raw, funny, bittersweet paean to tough times, small record shops and brilliant music.
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