20,000 Days On Earth: is Nick Cave the missing link? Or the next stage in evolution?


Inspired by Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never (2011), Katy Perry’s Part of Me (2012) and One Direction’s This Is Us (2013), Nick Cave has released a documentary about himself. No doubt he wanted to prove that this old dog has… Read more

Whoop! The 1985 Gay Pride march through central London

Ignore the simplistic politics, Pride will make you laugh and cry


1984 and all that. Which side were you on? The side of Margaret Thatcher, her hairdo and person standing rigid against a rising tide of industrial activism and British declinism? Or the side of the miners, socking it to the… Read more

Identity crisis: Nicole Kidman in Before I Go to Sleep

Before I Go to Sleep prefers creepy car parks to feelings


Before I Go To Sleep is Rowan Joffe’s adaptation of S.J. Watson’s bestselling thriller of 2011, but whereas the book was smart, gripping, ingeniously plotted and had psychological depth — who are we, when we can’t remember who we are?… Read more

Angry young man: Jesse Eisenberg as Josh in ‘Night Moves’

Night Moves – the opposite of a Dan Brown film


Night Moves is a film by Kelly Reichardt, who also made the heart-wrenching Wendy and Lucy (2008), which may be one of my favourite films of all time. (If you don’t know it, go look it up; I’m old now,… Read more

Inhuman being: Scarlett Johansson as Lucy

Lucy: the shoot-outs, car chases and mysteries of the universe


Here’s an idea for an article: The Tree of Life (2011) is the most influential film of the past decade. There’s quite a strong case to be made. Everything from car adverts to Hollywood blockbusters seems to have a touch… Read more

Daft, and sensationally innocent: the Inbetweeners down under

The Inbetweeners 2 is as filthy as a teenage boy – and it's hilarious


The first Inbetweeners film made £45 million at the box office, and was such an unexpected smash there was always going to be a second one, which is fair enough. It is based on the TV sitcom (Channel 4, 2008–2010),… Read more

Doctor in the house: Alex Brendemühl as Josef Mengele

Allergic to blockbusters? See Wakolda


Wakolda is not a sunny film for a sunny day, just so you’re aware, but as there is so little else around — August is a hopeless month for films; August is a dumping ground for the sub-par — you… Read more


Moon Indigo: an all-you-can-eat buffet for the eyes - but your brain will feel famished


Your enjoyment of Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo may entirely depend on how much visual whimsy you can take, what your threshold might be, whether you can go with it or whether it wears you out and brings you to your… Read more

Still from 'The Lunchbox'

The Lunchbox: a love story based on food and free postage


Was Kate due a grounding after the awards extravaganza of Revolutionary Road and The Reader? Because Labor Day (12A) slipped into cinemas in March and slipped out again almost unnoticed. With the DVD release this is a good time to… Read more

Obstacle on the footballing front: Natascha McElhone as Georgie’s mother

The problem with Believe is you simply won’t believe any of it - unless you’re a child


The trouble with Believe is that, unless you are ten years old or under, which I’m assuming you are not, you won’t believe. Not for a second. Not for a minute. Not a word of it. This doesn’t see itself… Read more


How did a New York nanny become one of the great photographers of the 20th century?


Finding Vivian Maier is a documentary about the American nanny who led a wholly secretive life as a photographer and who, posthumously, has been described as ‘one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century’. It’s a good story, which… Read more

Naturalistic: Ellar Coltrane and Ethan Hawke as Mason, junior and senior

A miracle: a three-hour film that flies by


Richard Linklater’s observational chronicle, Boyhood, was 12 years in the making and is 166 minutes long — that’s nearly three hours, in real money — and I wasn’t bored for a single moment. Isn’t that miraculous? Have you ever heard… Read more

Robert Gustafsson as Allan Karlsson

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of a Window and Bloody Well Should Have Disappeared


If it were up to me this would be called ‘The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window, Fell, and Was Never Heard From Again’ as this way we’d be out of the cinema in two minutes flat, no hard… Read more

A hunk of the highest order: Giulio Berruti as Raf

Walking on Sunshine: the feel-ennui musical of the year


As far as ‘jukebox films’ go, Mamma Mia! was a riot, Sunshine on Leith was tolerable, just about, while Walking on Sunshine is a step too far and brings the genre to its knees.It’s being billed as ‘the feel-good musical… Read more

Love story: Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley

A funny weepie that paints itself into a contrived corner


The Fault in Our Stars, which is based on the bestselling young-adult novel by John Green, is about two teenagers with cancer who fall in love and it’s a sort of Love Story for younger people, God help them, although… Read more

Fretting about marriage: Sarah Gadon (Elizabeth) and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Dido)

Belle has everything going for it – except for a decent soundtrack or script or plot or acting


Belle is based on the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate, mixed-race daughter of a sea captain and his African slave mistress, who was brought up as a free gentlewoman by her great uncle, Lord Mansfield, at Kenwood… Read more

Fairy tale: Nicole Kidman as Princess Grace

Grace of Monaco: a big, glistening, strutting, irresistible turkey


Grace of Monaco, the Grace Kelly biopic starring Nicole Kidman, is an absolute joy, and I highly recommend it. Unless you live under a rock, which I think I might envy (dark, quiet, peaceful, but maybe dank?), you’ll know it… Read more

Engaging: Angelina Jolie as Maleficent

I suspected Maleficent would be terrible from the very first shot


If a gang of knife-wielding toddlers ever presses you for the name of the best Disney film, Sleeping Beauty (1959) is a pretty good answer. It has everything you expect from those features animated during Walt’s life: a simple story… Read more

Optimistic, vivacious, fun-loving and sexy: Maxine Peake as Vanetia in ‘Run & Jump’

Avoid the latest commercial juggernaut and go off-road with Run & Jump


When you see the latest corporate entertainment juggernaut hurtling at you, what are your options? When I saw X-Men: Days of Future Past (what?) hurtling at me, I thought: I can either jump aboard or I can swerve off-road. In… Read more

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor-Johnson

The humans in Godzilla are so bland and dull you may well find yourself rooting for the monster


Godzilla is from the director Gareth Edwards, a Brit whose first film, Monsters, truly put him on the map, as it daringly played with the genre, and incorporated a plausible human love story, and the difference between that film and… Read more

Scoot McNairy and Maggie Gyllenhaal

‘Sometimes audiences applauded Frank; sometimes they threw stuff at him’


Frank is a music biopic, but only of sorts, as it is not at all like your average music biopic. It’s not that processional march we have come to expect; that chronological story of tough beginnings, the moment of discovery,… Read more

Macon Blair in Blue Ruin

Blue Ruin is unwatchable, bloody – but, from what I saw, rather good


Blue Ruin is a low-budget yet highly accomplished revenge thriller although whether you have the stomach for it is another matter. I do not have a strong stomach, as we know, and as I braced myself for the next startlingly… Read more

Failing the Bechdel test: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Cameron Diaz in ‘The Other Woman’

If The Other Woman is a box-office hit, I’m going to have to top myself


The Other Woman is not just an extremely bad film but also a wholly reprehensible one (she says, with her most disapproving hat on). It’s a comedy, although if you find any of it funny, that’s all I will ever… Read more

Ready to swoosh: Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man, aka Peter Parker

The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Too much bang-bang, not enough kiss-kiss


Have you seen that pizza with a cheeseburger crust? If not, just imagine a normal pizza, except where the pizza ought to end — and civilised society begin — there’s a ring of about ten miniature burgers, all encased in… Read more

Kelly Reilly and Brendan Gleeson: on tremendous form

Waiting for Godot - but with plot


If the very first scene of Calvary doesn’t immediately draw you in there’s every chance there is something seriously wrong with you and I would urge you to book an appointment with your GP. It is a terrific opening and… Read more

Mia Wasikowska as Hannah in ‘The Double’

The Double will stay in your mind, like a bit of food caught in a tooth


I should warn you that if you go see The Double it is one of those films that will trouble you long after the event. It will trouble you at breakfast and it will trouble you at lunch and it… Read more


What backing singers are really thinking behind the ‘ooh, ooh, oohs’


Have you ever looked at backing singers and thought: what is their story? Do they or have they ever prayed for their time to come? As they are going ‘ooh ooh, ooh ooh’ behind Kylie are they thinking, ‘I want… Read more

Will she jump? Imogen Poots as Jess, the daughter of a politician

These screen suicides deserve a nudge off the ledge


A Long Way Down is about four would-be suicides who meet for the first time on the top of a tall London building, intending to jump, but instead of jumping they decide to hang around and annoy the hell out… Read more