Movie Talk

Far From the Madding Crowd | DVD review - Carey Mulligan's headstrong heroine entrances in ravishing Thomas Hardy adaptation

Grabbing our attention from her first appearance galloping across the Dorset countryside in a tight-fitting russet leather jacket, the magnificent Carey Mulligan rightly dominates this ravishing adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s classic novel Far From the Madding Crowd. And her headstrong, independent heroine, Bathsheba Everdene, bewitches us as much as she entrances the three very different suitors who court her - ever-faithful shepherd Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), rich squire William Boldwood, (Michael Sheen) and dashing soldier Sergeant Troy (Tom Sturridge). Danish director Thomas Vinterberg takes the fateful events of the novel at quite a lick, but the richly nuanced performances...

45 Years | Film review - An Alpine crevasse opens cracks in Charlotte Rampling & Tom Courtenay's long marriage

Adapted by director Andrew Haigh from a short story by David Constantine, British art-house drama 45 Years exposes the flaws beneath the tranquil surface of a long marriage with searching insight and deep compassion.

Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay’s retired couple Kate and Geoff have been plodding among the lower slopes of old age, amiably heading for the landmark of their 45th wedding anniversary, when long-buried memories suddenly come to the surface and reveal the unseen cracks in their relationship. The crisis is prompted by the arrival of an unexpected letter at their home in the Norfolk Broads, a...

We Are Your Friends | Film review - EDM wannabe Zac Efron's quest for the killer track has zest and zip

Graduating from the bubblegum pop of the High School Musical movies, Zac Efron plays a zealous 23-year-old electronic dance music DJ from the San Fernando Valley striving to make his mark in LA’s club scene in energetic coming-of-age drama We Are Your Friends.

The narrative falls into a predictable groove. Efron’s Cole acquires a charismatic mentor, Wes Bentley’s burnt-out celebrity DJ, falls for his mentor’s much younger girlfriend (Emily Ratajkowski from the Blurred Lines video), and struggles to move on from his gang of loose cannon childhood friends, Ollie (Shiloh Fernandez), Squirrel (Alex Shaffer) and Mason (Jonny Weston). You...

Barely Lethal | Film review - Hailee Steinfeld’s teen spy grapples with high-school perils in breezy action comedy

Teenage assassin Hailee Steinfeld discovers that the treacherous world of espionage has nothing on the perils of high school in Barely Lethal, a bubblegum action comedy that is very much Kick-Ass meets Mean Girls.

Trained from infancy at a top-secret government facility that turns little girls into killing machines, Steinfeld’s junior spy yearns for a normal adolescence. So she fakes her own death in the middle of a mission and, having swotted up on a bunch of teen movies, reinvents herself as Canadian exchange student Megan Walsh. Cue larky fish-out-of-water comedy as the clueless Megan grapples with a crush...

HORROR FILM NEWS: FrightFest and Icon to release seven deadly titles

The UK's leading horror festival FrightFest, which kicks off this Thursday, have announced the first set of films to be released under their FrightFest Presents banner from Icon Film Distribution, who are best known for releasing the frightening Aussie horror The Babadook and the chilling It Follows.

The first batch of seven features will premiere first at Frightfest then make their online debut between Halloween 2015 and February next year through  iTunes, Virgin Movies, Sky, Google  Amazon, Xbox , Blinkbox, Google, Wuaki, TalkTalk and Volta.

SEVEN DEADLY TITLES
From Sightseers actor-writer Steve Oram comes the surreal ‘monkey comedy’...

Unconscious | Film review - Kate Bosworth keeps her cool in slow-burn psychological horror thriller

An amnesiac man (Wes Bentley) wakes up following an accident to find a woman (Kate Bosworth) he doesn't recognise standing over his bed, claiming to be his wife. But is she his carer or his captor?

Titled Unconscious in the UK but Amnesiac in the States, this slow-burn psychological horror thriller has echoes of Stephen King's Misery yet very little of that film's chilling suspense or dark humour.

It doesn't help that Bosworth's icy character is all too clearly up to no good from the start, making the story's long-delayed twist revelation very much an anti-climax. Admittedly, director Michael...

The Falling (2014) | Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams plays a troubled 1960s teen in a beguiling British mystery

Set in a rural British girls’ school in 1969, director Carol Morley's The Falling explores issues of female friendship, desire and hysteria in a beguiling tale about a mysterious fainting sickness that spreads amongst the pupils.

Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams is Lydia, an intense and trouble youngster who becomes infatuated with best friend Abbie (Florence Pugh), and terrified that their relationship will be crushed by Abbie’s flirtation with Lydia’s loner brother, Kenneth (Joe Cole), who dabbles in the occult. When Abbie falls victim to the epidemic and Lydia herself succumbs, forcing their tight-knit group of friends to...

The Salvation | DVD review - Who needs revision? This old-school Western works just fine

Shot in South Africa by Danish filmmakers, The Salvation is a gratifyingly old-fashioned Western of the sort Hollywood long ago gave up making.

Mads Mikkelsen’s protagonist, a Danish soldier turned immigrant homesteader in the American southwest, shares Clint Eastwood’s hard-bitten taciturnity, and he makes an ideal hero when he embarks on a seemingly suicidal campaign of revenge against ruthless outlaw leader Delarue (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his gang.

There are no great surprises in store as the action moves relentlessly towards a final showdown, but the film’s cinematography is gorgeous and the supporting cast, including Jonathan Pryce and Eric...

Child 44 | DVD review - Tom Hardy’s dogged secret policeman hunts for a serial killer in Stalin’s Soviet Union

Tom Hardy’s tenacious secret policeman hunts for a child murderer amid the paranoia and terror of Stalin’s Soviet Union in this adaptation of Tom Rob Smith’s bestselling novel, Child 44.

Get past some contrived plotting - and the needlessly thick Russian accents adopted by the mostly British cast - and this 1950s-set crime thriller is grimly fascinating.

Hardy’s dogged MGB officer, Leo Demidov, first realises a killer is at large after the son of one of his colleagues is found dead in Moscow. Yet what makes his investigation so challenging – and so perilous for him and his wife...

Les yeux sans visage (1959) | The French horror classic shocks again on Blu-ray

Along with Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, French director George Franju’s 1959 Les yeux sans visage (aka Eyes Without a Face) reigns supreme as a masterpiece in modern horror, and is now available on Blu-ray in the UK for the first time from BFI.

Demented Parisian plastic surgeon Prof Genessier (Pierre Brasseur) and his loyal lovelorn assistant Louise (Alida Valli) abduct young woman to graft their skin onto the face of his disfigured daughter Christiane (Edith Scob). But with successive surgery, the isolated Christiane begins to lose her sanity and her will to live…

Eyes Without a Face caused outrage...