Movie Talk

The Bad Education Movie | Jack Whitehall returns as teacher Alfie Wickers in a frenetic big-screen spin-off

How do you solve the puzzle of turning a half-hour sitcom into a 90-odd-minute feature film? From On the Buses in the 1970s to The Inbetweeners in the 2010s, British filmmakers have come up a reliable fix: send the characters on holiday.

That’s the time-honoured custom honoured by The Bad Education Movie, a spin-off from the BBC3 series created by and starring stand-up comedian Jack Whitehall, which dispatches Whitehall’s posh teacher and his comprehensive school pupils on a typically unruly trip to Cornwall.

Yet the sitcom’s core dynamic remains essentially unchanged. Whitehall’s Alfie Wickers is still the loveable buffoon, hopelessly...

Bobby | Film review - England's World Cup hero Bobby Moore had 'the aura of a prince'

1966 World Cup hero Bobby Moore is the subject of stirring documentary Bobby, released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of England’s win.

And Moore really does cut a heroic figure here. ‘He had the aura of a prince’ and ‘he was an Adonis’ are the kind of phrases used about him by the film’s contributors, who include teammates Geoff Hurst and Gordon Banks, famous adversary Pelé, celebrity fans Ray Davies and Russell Brand, and members of Moore’s family.

Watching the glorious footage of Moore in his prime, you can easily see what they mean. Blond, blue-eyed and coolly composed,...

The 5th Wave | Film review - Plucky teen Chloë Grace Moretz battles aliens and a lacklustre script

Chloë Grace Moretz is the latest plucky teenager battling overwhelming odds in a dystopian sci-fi thriller, following in the footsteps of Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games and Shailene Woodley in the Divergent series.

Based on the young-adult novel by Rick Yancey (first of a trilogy, naturally), The 5th Wave finds the Earth attacked by an alien spaceship. Moretz’s high-school student, Cassie Sullivan, survives the extraterrestrials’ initial assaults – the first wave power cuts, second earthquakes, third a deadly virus – and, like her fellow movie heroines, winds up torn between two potential suitors, school quarterback Ben (Nick Robinson)...

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,...