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.

Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck as Amy and Nick in Gone Girl.
Female villains and false accusations: a feminist defence of Gone Girl
By Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett - 07 October 13:20

Gone Girl is not anti-feminist. True equality is admitting that women can be evil too.

Pierre Niney and Charlotte Le Bon in “Yves Saint Laurent” (2014). Photo: Thibault Grabherr
What lies behind French film’s fascination with the glory days of Les Trente Glorieuses?
By Oliver Farry - 06 October 13:31

A recent spate of biopics focused on the cultural icons of France’s prosperous decades after World War Two prompt the question: what is it about those years that keeps French cinema harking back to them?

Other side of perfect: Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and Amy (Rosamund Pike).
David Fincher’s Gone Girl is a grim comedy about the impossibility of perfection
By Ryan Gilbey - 02 October 15:00

This film, adapted by Gillian Flynn from her bestselling thriller, is a whodunnit without a body.

Fading icon: Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore) stars in Cronenberg’s satire.
David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars sees Hollywood as a disease
By Ryan Gilbey - 25 September 17:11

Maps to the Stars places elements of ghost story, black comedy and Hollywood satire in a screwball framework.

George Sluizer.
George Sluizer (1932-2014): The obsessive director behind River Phoenix’s last film
By Ryan Gilbey - 23 September 12:10

The Dutch director, who has died aged 82, stole the unfinished reels for Phoenix’s last film Dark Blood from after coming close to death in 2007.

A chase in Allan Dwan’s “Trail of the Vigilantes” (1940). Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The European Western: popular culture for the late Imperial age
By Oliver Farry - 22 September 14:45

It wasn’t just Hollywood that revelled in the glorious adventures offered by the Western as a genre – Europe made its fair share, too.

Emma Stone and Colin Firth.
Magic in the Moonlight: Another year, another Woody Allen mediocrity
By Ryan Gilbey - 18 September 17:50

It is astonishing, with actors as gifted as Colin Firth and Emma Stone, that Woody Allen’s latest film so badly misses the mark.

“The Riot Club” is based on Laura Wade’s Bullingdon Club-inspired Royal Court play “Posh”.
If only the lads of The Riot Club were a little less revolting
By Ryan Gilbey - 18 September 13:07

Lone Scherfig’s film adaptation of the 2010 play Posh feels unbalanced: we want to see a bit of naughty fun before the nastiness kicks in.

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