Premiere.
Gossip about the hacked Sony emails isn’t news, or newsworthy, or remotely justifiable
By Ryan Gilbey - 18 December 11:01

These are not politicians, or powerful corporations meddling with our data, they are Hollywood executives bickering like anyone else. The free speech argument just doesn’t add up.

Manic pixel dream Orcs: suspense-free battles fail to convince in the third Hobbit film.
Time to say goodbye: the end cannot come too soon for the third Hobbit film
By Ryan Gilbey - 12 December 13:04

The first two parts of Peter Jackson’s super-sized Hobbit trilogy held their own, but the director squanders all his best assets in this sorry mess of a final installment.

Chris Rock is right – Hollywood has a race problem. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for BET
Why Hollywood needs to listen to Chris Rock about its race problems
By Sam Moore - 10 December 13:16

On screen and off, Hollywood is terrible at giving opportunities to anyone who isn’t white, and one of the US’s biggest stars is calling them out on it.

Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking in the forthcoming biopic “The Theory of Everything”.
The lure of the biopic: the best of an ever-popular film format
By Ryan Gilbey - 09 December 15:34

Cinemas are going to be full of biopics in the next couple of months – in preparation, Ryan Gilbey picks the best examples of the form from the past few years.

Hard bargain: Rabourdin (left) and Emelyanov in Eastern Boys
Station to station: Eastern Boys is a cool French take on the politics of desire
By Ryan Gilbey - 04 December 15:56

This gritty tale of eastern European rent boys in Paris might at first sound like Ken Loach gone gay. But the effect is more redolent of a Gus Van Sant spin on Oliver Twist.

Fellini’s La Dolce Vita is among the more famous examples of mid-twentieth century Italian cinema.
La dolce vita once more: the new confidence of Italian cinema
By Oliver Farry - 03 December 12:27

The golden generation that made Italy such a cinematic force in the mid-twentieth century may be long gone, but recent output suggests that Italian cinema is more vibrant than it has been in a long time.

Ridley Scott cast the commercially “safe” Christian Bale in a leader role in Exodus.
Why Ridley Scott is wrong to say films with non-white stars won’t get financed
By Musa Okwonga - 27 November 17:29

This is Ridley Scott we are talking about. He’s a superstar director. If anyone is a position to challenge Hollywood’s prejudices, it’s him.

Sleazing on a sunny afternoon: Bill Murray shows Jaeden Lieberher how to do it in St Vincent. PHOTO: REX/WEINSTEIN COMPANY/COURTESY EVE
Return of the slacker: the scuzzy appeal of Bill Murray in St Vincent
By Ryan Gilbey - 27 November 16:02

Murray plays Vincent, a crabby, pasty-faced soak whose days are spent mooching around his neighbourhood, frequenting dive bars and canoodling with a pregnant prostitute. 

Mark Wahlberg as real-life Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell in Lone Survivor. Photo: Universal
Lone Survivor: just because a film shows the ugly side of war, doesn't mean it's an anti-war film
By Sam Moore - 24 November 16:49

Anti-war films often aren't because they still glamourise combat, or fail to ask questions about the wider political reasons for nations to go to war.

Jonathan Brugh.
From Orson Welles to What We Do in the Shadows: A brief history of the mockumentary
By Ryan Gilbey - 20 November 17:40

The greatest offerings from the only new film genre to have emerged in the last 50 years.

Big chill: Bilginer walks in the bleak landscape of Ceylan's Palme d'Or-winning drama
Cold, cold heart: Winter Sleep is far from a Turkish delight
By Ryan Gilbey - 20 November 16:00

While it is no hardship to gaze upon ravishing images of the landscape as its autumnal glow vanishes under an icy crust, there’s not much to keep the intellect thrumming over the course of 196 minutes.

Heavy-handed treatment: Benedict Cumberbatch is Alan Turing in The Imitation Game
Computer says no: How has The Imitation Game managed to make Alan Turing’s story so dull?
By Ryan Gilbey - 13 November 16:39

The way Turing’s story is told is comparable to the montage in Big Brother when Davina McCall told evictees: “Let’s have a look at your best bits.” The Imitation Game is Alan Turing’s best bits.

Life Itself.
Life Itself, the new Roger Ebert documentary, shows just how important a critic can be
By Ryan Gilbey - 13 November 13:22

Nineteen months after his death in April 2013, a new documentary tells the story of Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert - his bravery in the face of illness, and his uniquely democratic approach to cinema.

Cold comfort: Matthew McConaughey as Cooper in Nolan's space opera
Home from home: Christopher Nolan’s space movie Interstellar fails to launch
By Ryan Gilbey - 06 November 15:12

It’s hard to care about the future of civilisation when we meet so few members of it worth saving and most of those behave like they know they’re in a movie.

Auteur to author: David Cronenberg. Photo: Graeme Robertson/Eyevine
David Cronenberg’s first novel is so good, he should ditch his day job
By Toby Litt - 06 November 10:00

Consumed doesn’t read as a novel by a man who has spent most of his life writing screenplays – except, perhaps, that it reacts in the opposite direction, towards an art-house pacing.

The War Room in “Dr Strangelove” on screen. Image: Sony Pictures
Is this the best film set ever designed? On Dr Strangelove’s War Room
By David Hayles - 05 November 11:28

Ken Adam’s design for the War Room in Stanley Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove is one of Hollywood’s most iconic images. David Hayles talks to the man who brought it into being.

Family values: the cast of Citizen Khan
What would Tony Hancock make of Neville’s Island and the muezzin app?
By Mark Lawson - 30 October 16:47

Mark Lawson’s weekly Critics Notes.

Primal fear: Samuel (Noah Wiseman) in psychological drama The Badabook
If you’re feeling sinister: this season’s crop of Halloween horrors
By Ryan Gilbey - 30 October 15:35

Ryan Gilbey is chilled by new releases The Badabook, Annabelle and It Follows.

Colin Firth in Tom Ford’s “A Single Man”, one of the best gay movies ever made.
Why does Hollywood make so few good gay movies?
By Sam Moore - 28 October 12:42

In 2014, it shouldn’t be cutting edge to see a Hollywood movie that features a fair representation of gay people.

Ronald Zehrfeld and Nina Hoss in Christian Petzold’s “Phoenix”.
The digital world hasn’t saved us from being hoaxed – if anything, it has made it more likely
By Ryan Gilbey - 27 October 15:10

Meanwhile, the suspension of disbelief is getting harder and harder to pull off.

Chloe Grace Moretz and Keira Knightley in action.
Introducing the Woman-Child: the continuing death of adulthood in American culture
By Lisa Schwarzbaum - 24 October 14:58

The cinema of amusing male arrested development has been a familiar subgenre for some time, but recent releases demonstrate that there’s gold to be found in femme floundering.

A still from “Margarita, with a Straw”.
Margarita, with a Straw: an Indian indie film with a lot to say about disability and sexuality
By Eleanor Margolis - 22 October 12:04

Central character Laila is hounded by reminders that she’s different, but refreshingly, never accepts this herself.

Luke Evans in Dracula Untold.
What the historical inaccuracies in “Dracula Untold” tell us about the rise of Islamophobia
By Elest Ali - 20 October 17:13

The vilification of Islam has reached such heights that when the Muslim Sultan Mehmet II is cast opposite history’s bloodiest psycho-tyrant, it’s Dracula who emerges as the tragic hero.

John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson radiate effortless cool in Pulp Fiction.
Twenty years on, it’s time to admit that Pulp Fiction is a bad film
By Sam Moore - 20 October 12:47

It’s time we recognised that Quentin Tarantino’s much-lauded movie is about nothing, says nothing and makes you feel nothing.

Tanks for the memories: Brad Pitt and crew in Fury, a misfiring mix of horror and schmaltz
Belly of the beast: Brad Pitt’s new war movie veers from horror to schmaltz
By Ryan Gilbey - 17 October 15:18

For every stab at dirty realism in Fury, there is a sanitising touch to make everything clean again.

Thugs with thick skins: in Goodfellas (1990) De Niro boils over with conflicting emotions. Photo: Moviestorecollection.com
Mythical, merciless butchness: Martin Scorsese’s men
By Tom Shone - 16 October 15:48

From De Niro’s snarl to DiCaprio’s sinewy wildness, no director has explored masculinity as acutely as Scorsese, writes Tom Shone

The original cast of Ghostbusters.
Dad’s Army and Ghostbusters: how to reboot a beloved comedy without ruining it
By Ryan Gilbey - 16 October 12:31

The news that both a Dad’s Army film and Ghostbusters 3 are in the works is great for nostalgia fans. But how do you go about updating something well-loved without wrecking it?

Pucker up: Shahid Kapoor as Haider/Hamler and Shraddha Kapoor as Arshia/Ophelia
To pout or not to pout: Hamlet goes Bollywood
By Ryan Gilbey - 14 October 10:56

Bhardwaj relocates the action to Kashmir in the mid-1990s. If the graft doesn’t quite take, it’s because the film is so persuasive in portraying the oppression of the Kashmiri people that the woes of Hamlet seem small beer.

Emma Thompson attends a photocall for BAFTA's Screenwriter Lecture series at BFI Southbank, 20 September. Photo: Getty
Emma Thompson’s leap into the dark
By Caroline Crampton - 09 October 10:00

Thompson is best known for playing complicated intellectual women, often in period dramas. But at the outset, sketch comedy was where she saw herself.

Pride.
Did Pride really deserve an adult rating in the US? Yes, it did
By Ryan Gilbey - 08 October 13:15

The Motion Picture Association of America may have a poor track record on equality - but in the case of Pride their decision was just and correct.

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