Movie Talk

Honour | Film review - A home-grown thriller with social-issue grit and heart-clutching suspense

A rigidly conservative British-Pakistani family hires Paddy Considine's ex-con bounty hunter to track down their daughter (Aiysha Hart) as she plans to spurn an arranged marriage and run away with her Punjabi boyfriend (Nikesh Patel) in Honour.

First-time writer-director Shan Khan’s home-grown thriller is the second recent British film to cast an unflinching eye on Muslim honour crimes in the UK. Despite a tricky back-and-forth, flashback-laden narrative, it is far less cinematically bold than 2014’s Catch Me Daddy but does successfully combine social-issue grit with several sequences of heart-clutching suspense.

Certificate 15. Runtime 102 mins. Director Shan...

Ant-Man | Film review - Paul Rudd's tiny superhero proves size doesn't matter

Possessing a special suit that enables the wearer to shrink to the size of an ant seems a comically puny superpower to give a hero, yet Paul Rudd’s miniscule Ant-Man punches well above his weight – and so does this engaging Marvel Comics adventure.

When Rudd’s cat burglar Scott Lang illicitly dons the suit – the creation of Michael Douglas’s wary scientist Henry Pym – the film milks the humour inherent in the perils he initially faces: from being sluiced down a bathtub plughole to getting sucked up by a vacuum cleaner.

And there are more laughs when Pym...

Black Mass | Film review - Johnny Depp's dead-eyed killer blows the viewer away

A world away from the bumbling comic piracy of Captain Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp plays a far deadlier real-life criminal in Black Mass, a biopic of notorious Irish-American mobster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, the pre-eminent crime lord of 1970s and 80s Boston.

Depp’s ruthless Bulger does, however, have something in common with his Captain Jack – they both see the actor disappear beneath layers of make-up.

Here Depp is unrecognisable, totally transformed by facial prosthetics, contact lenses, and state-of-the-art bald cap and wig. Yet his performance as Bulger goes far deeper than swept-back, thinning hair and leathery, reptilian skin and...

The Fallen Idol (1948) | Carol Reed's Graham Greene-penned thriller restored on Blu-ray

Out now on DVD, Blu-Ray and EST from StudioCanal comes 1948's The Fallen Idol.

Painstakingly restored to its former glory, this gripping thriller is the critically acclaimed first collaboration between Oscar-Winning director Carol Reed and novelist Graham Greene who, following the success of the film, would go on to work together on two further masterpieces of British cinema, The Third Man (1949) and Our Man in Havana (1959).

Based on Greene's short story, The Basement Room, The Fallen Idol tells the story of Phillipe, the lonely eight-year-old son of a foreign diplomat who craves the tall tales...

Bridge of Spies | Film review - Tom Hanks & Mark Rylance anchor slippery Cold War tale

Steven Spielberg calls on the ever-dependable Tom Hanks to anchor Bridge of Spies, a slippery tale of espionage intrigue based on a true story from the height of the Cold War.

Radiating his customary diffident decency, Hanks plays James B Donovan, the Brooklyn insurance lawyer given the thankless task in 1957 of defending Soviet spy Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) in a US court.

The country is in the grip of the Red Scare, which for Donovan makes it all the more reason to stand up for the values of the US Constitution and give Abel a fair trial. (You...

The Good Dinosaur | Film review - Fun, peril and awe in Pixar's playful comedy adventure

What if dinosaurs had never gone extinct?

That’s the premise of Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur, a playful animated comedy adventure that invites us to imagine that the fateful asteroid that did for the dinosaurs 65 million years ago missed the Earth, allowing evolution to take a different course - and allowing Pixar to give us a Western-type tale of pluck and peril with a young dinosaur as its hero.

Arlo (voiced by Raymond Ochoa) is the runt of an Apatosaurus family of doughty pioneer homesteaders, who are busily turning a patch of wilderness into farmland in what appears...

Montana | Film review - Vigilante killer Lars takes a lippy orphan under his wing

Ludicrous revenge thriller Montana finds Lars Mikkelsen’s vigilante assassin taking lippy East London orphan McKell David under his wing and training him in the killing trade as he seeks to bring down the Serbian gang lord who slaughtered his wife and son during the Bosnian war two decades before. Cue mawkish surrogate-father/son bonding and unconvincing training montages. Mikkelsen somehow retains a dour dignity, but co-star David is flimsy, as are the script, direction and most of the supporting cast of bent coppers and trigger-happy henchmen, including those urban crime regulars Ashley Walters and Adam Deacon.

Certificate 15. Runtime...

Saturday Island (1952) | Hollywood teen idol Tab Hunter's big screen debut now on DVD

Appearing in his first major screen role, Hollywood teen idol Tab Hunter stars opposite Linda Darnell in this drama of restrained passion set on a remote South Pacific island during World War Two. Renamed in the US with the more racy-sounding Island of Desire, the British-made Saturday Island is featured here in a brand-new transfer from the original colour film elements, in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio.

On a calm night in tropical seas, a hospital troop ship carrying sick and wounded from the Far East hits a magnetic mine, with the ensuing explosion forcing the crew to...

Inside Out | DVD review - Pixar's latest brainwave: a dazzling trip inside a young girl's mind

A young girl’s growing pains are brought to life with dazzling wit and tender wisdom in the brilliant animated movie Inside Out, Pixar’s best work since Toy Story 3 and Up.

Five personified emotions live inside 11-year-old Riley’s head – Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler); Fear (Bill Hader); Anger (Lewis Black); Disgust (Mindy Kaling); and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). They guide Riley’s feelings from a knob-laden control desk, processing her new memories as they arrive. And it’s Joy, wide-eyed, fairy-like and permanently buoyant, who takes the lead until Riley is uprooted from her hometown when her father takes another job.


Ted 2 | DVD review - Mark Wahlberg and his talking teddy bear are rude, crude and sometimes hilarious

Did we need a sequel to Seth MacFarlane’s shamelessly rude 2012 buddy comedy about a Boston slacker and his living teddy bear chum?

Probably not, but given the first film’s humungous box-office success, follow-up Ted 2 was surely inevitable.

Mark Wahlberg is back as stoner John and MacFarlane again voices the stuffed bear. Ted is now unhappily married to his brassy sweetheart (Jessica Barth) and faces legal wrangles when the authorities declare him ‘property’, not a person, leaving Ted and John to seek help from Amanda Seyfried’s pot-smoking rookie lawyer.

The jokes are definitely hit and miss, and many...