Movie Talk

Dirty Grandpa | Film review - Robert De Niro & Zac Efron's road trip plumbs the depths

Robert De Niro redoubles his efforts to trash his acting legacy with Dirty Grandpa, a crass comedy about a foul-mouthed, recently widowed military veteran who takes his uptight corporate lawyer grandson (Zac Efron) on a recklessly hedonistic road trip to Florida in a bid to loosen him up.

The gags are mostly witless, with Efron’s character coming in for repeated humiliation from a series of scrapes with frat boys, drug dealers and the police that leave him naked or befuddled or both.

Yet the stars are certainly game, as is Aubrey Plaza, who very nearly pulls off the film’s...

Spotlight | Film review - Oscar-winning newsroom drama salutes Boston's dogged press gang

Worthy to stand alongside All the President’s Men as a great newspaper movie, the Oscar-winning Spotlight chronicles the dogged efforts in 2001/02 by a team of reporters from the Boston Globe to expose the Roman Catholic Church’s cover-up of systemic child sex abuse by priests. There’s nothing flashy about the film, but its sober treatment of the story proves absolutely riveting.

Director and co-writer Tom McCarthy handles the complex story with forensic clarity and he gets terrific ensemble performances from his cast, headed by Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams as three of the investigating journalists on the...

The Big Short | Film review - The weirdos and outsiders who made a killing from the crash

You won’t know whether to laugh or cry when watching this dazzling dark comedy about the guys who made a killing from the global financial crash of 2008.

Based on the book by Michael Lewis (author of Liar’s Poker, Moneyball and The Blind Side), director Adam McKay’s film The Big Short shows how a ‘bunch of weirdos and outsiders’, including Christian Bale’s eccentric, heavy-metal-loving genius, Steve Carell’s furiously indignant fund manager and Ryan Gosling’s reptilian Wall Street trader, spotted what no one else did: reckless mortgage lending by greedy banks meant that the US housing market – and with...

Sing Street | Film review - Young love, mad hair and infectiously catchy songs

Following his New York sojourn for 2013’s comedy-drama Begin Again, writer-director John Carney returns home to Dublin, stamping ground of 2007’s underdog hit Once, for his latest heart-warming celebration of the joys and solace of making music.

A departure for Carney is that Sing Street is set in the past; another is that it has teenage protagonists; and this combination gives his new film a nostalgic sweetness and exuberance that is thoroughly winning.

It’s 1985, Ireland is in recession and the film’s 15-year-old hero, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo’s Conor, has just been pulled out of his private Jesuit school by his...

A Hologram for the King | Film review - Tom Hanks charms in culture-clash comedy

Playing a frazzled American businessman on a make-or-break sales trip to Saudi Arabia, Tom Hanks’ copper-bottomed charisma adds buoyancy to this culture-clash comedy based on the best-selling novel by Dave Eggers.

Hanks’ divorced, debt-stricken Alan Clay is hoping to turn his life around by pitching a 3D holographic meeting system to the Saudi king, but as he contends with jet lag, opaque bureaucracy and a strange lump on his back, his venture doesn’t go to plan.

A Hologram for the King touches on current anxieties about globalisation, including US fears of losing ground to China, but its humour...

Trainwreck | Film review - Amy Schumer lets rip in a rude and raucous romcom

As writer and star of raunchy romcom Trainwreck, American comedian Amy Schumer unleashes the drunken slut persona from her cable TV comedy sketch series Inside Amy Schumer, letting rip with a barrage of rude and raucous gags as her hard-partying New York singleton, a writer on a men’s magazine, tears through a series of riotous one-night stands.

Her boozy misadventures deliver some big laughs, but the film takes a surprisingly conventional and conservative turn when she begins dating Bill Hader’s good-natured Aaron, the successful sports doctor she has been commissioned to profile for her magazine. Amy’s discomfort at the very...

Win a Family DVD Bundle with "Top Cat Begins" - In Cinemas May 27

Everyone’s favourite feline friend is back, and to celebrate his highly anticipated return in Top Cat Begins, in cinemas May 27, we’re giving you the chance to get the whole family together with a DVD bundle, including the classic Top Cat cartoons, for all to enjoy. 

Tracing the roots of the famous animated series from cartoon legends Hanna-Barbera, get set for this 'purrfect' feature adventure that tells the 'tail' of how our hero, T.C. created his infamous, Manhattan alley cats gang.

Poor, lonely and living on the streets, Top Cat is one sad cat, until a chance meeting with Benny,...

Death Walks Twice | Blu-ray release - A double bill of thrills, 1970s Italian style

From Arrow Video comes the restored, limited edition release on Blu-ray and DVD of Italian director Luciano Ercoli's stylish 1970s thrillers Death Walks on High Heels and Death Walks at Midnight starring Nieves Navarro (aka Susan Scott).

In 1971’s Death Walks on High Heels, Navarro plays Parisian nightclub dancer Nicole, the daughter of a murdered jewel thief, who encounters a black-clad assailant with piercing blue eyes demanding to know the location of her father’s stolen diamonds. Suspecting her jealous lover Michel (Simón Andreu) is her assailant, Nicole leaves for London with her wealthy admirer, Dr Robert Matthews (Frank Wolff)....

X-Men: Apocalypse | Film review - Bloated adventure fails to stand out from the superhero crowd

Coming after the extravagant pleasures of the Marvel Comics mutants’ last two screen outings, the third entry in the series’ current cycle is a turgid disappointment.

Where 2011’s X-Men: First Class and 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past nimbly combined the smart and spectacular, X-Men Apocalypse is a bloated affair boasting too many characters and too little narrative momentum.

The movie’s failings start with its less-than-compelling villain. Buried beneath layers of prosthetic makeup, Oscar Isaac proves underwhelming as god-like mutant Apocalypse, despite his awesome powers. Even so, returning director Bryan Singer certainly pulls out all the stops to give...

Jenny's Wedding | Film review - Katherine Heigl gets in a tangle before she ties the knot

Don’t be fooled by the presence of romantic-comedy regular Katherine Heigl in the lead. There are chuckles to be had, but Jenny’s Wedding is actually more earnest social-issue movie than larky rom-com.

The issue is gay marriage, with Heigl’s title character planning to marry Kitty (Alexis Bledel), her girlfriend of five years. The trouble is, she hasn’t told her family she is gay. Will her straight-laced Catholic parents (Tom Wilkinson, Linda Emond) come round before her big day? Will her bitter sister (Grace Gummer, daughter of Meryl Streep) forgive the secrecy?

Writer-director Mary Agnes Donoghue’s heart is clearly in the...