Deborah Ross rss

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

26 April 2014
The Other Woman 12A, Nationwide

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… Read more

Kelly Reilly and Brendan Gleeson: on tremendous form

Waiting for Godot - but with plot

12 April 2014
Calvary 15, Nationwide

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… 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

5 April 2014
The Double 15, Nationwide

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… Read more


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

29 March 2014
Twenty Feet from Stardom 12A, Nationwide

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… Read more

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

These screen suicides deserve a nudge off the ledge

22 March 2014
A Long Way Down 15, Nationwide

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… Read more

Vroooooooooom! Vroooooooooom! No need for speed

Are you a lobotomised teenager? Then Need for Speed is for you

15 March 2014
Need for Speed 12A, Nationwide
The Rocket 12A, Key Cities

OK, Need for Speed, if we must, and we must because I sat through it (running time: 130 minutes) and do not see why you should be spared. Need for… Read more

Insanely rich but unrecognisable: Tilda Swinton as Madame D

A film to enjoy with your eyes

8 March 2014
The Grand Budapest Hotel 15, Nationwide

The Grand Budapest Hotel is the latest Wes Anderson film and it is beautiful to look at, scrumptious, luscious, such a delicious confection I would have marched up to the… Read more

Sophie Nélisse and Nico Liersch in ‘The Book Thief’

I'm proud to say The Book Thief couldn't pull my heartstrings

1 March 2014
The Book Thief 12A, Nationwide

The Book Thief is based on Markus Zusak’s novel of the same name which, although written for young adults, appears beloved by many, judging from the readers’ reviews on the… Read more

Loving each other deeply, deeply, deeply: Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston

You may be the Only One Left Awake at Only Lovers Left Alive

22 February 2014
Only Lovers Left Alive 15, Nationwide

Jim Jarmusch is the noted American ‘cult director’, and if you were to judge him solely on the basis of Only Lovers Left Alive you’d be minded to think the… Read more

Matthew McConaughey: top performance

Dallas Buyers Club - Matthew McConaughey gives the best performance of anyone's career

8 February 2014
Dallas Buyers Club 15, Nationwide

Although you’ll have heard that Dallas Buyers Club is fantastic and Matthew McConaughey gives the performance of his career, I know you won’t believe it unless you hear it directly… Read more

Lance Armstrong: no shame, no remorse

Can Lance Armstrong squirm? We don't know because The Armstrong Lie doesn't make him

1 February 2014
The Armstrong Lie 15, Nationwide

Alex Gibney’s The Armstrong Lies is fascinating as far as it goes but it may not go as far as you would like, and may not ask the questions you… Read more

Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep in ‘August: Osage County’

August: Osage County? Why not make your own?

25 January 2014
August: Osage County 15, Nationwide

If you and your family are bored — if, for example, it’s one of those dull Sunday afternoons that seem to drag on for ever and it feels as if… Read more


Fists of cash, hookers and a candle in your bum palls after a while

18 January 2014
The Wolf of Wall Street 18, Nationwide

Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street will set the cat among the pigeons as a number of films do. 12 Years A Slave set the cat among the pigeons… Read more

Great performance: Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup

Deborah Ross: 12 Years a Slave harrowed me to within an inch of my life

11 January 2014
12 Years a Slave 15, Nationwide

Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave goes directly to the heart of American slavery without any shilly-shallying — unlike The Butler, say, or even Django Unchained — and is what… Read more

Idris Elba and Naomie Harris in The Long Walk to Freedom (Photo: Pathe / The Kobal)

'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' is a very, very long walk indeed

4 January 2014
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom 12A, Nationwide

The biopic Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom is a timely tribute, and an earnest and respectful and well-meaning one, but it does seem like a very, very long walk… Read more

All girls together: Sheridan Smith (Sam) and Jaime Winstone (Chanel, the slag)

What it's like to spend 90 minutes in the women's loo of a thumping nightclub

7 December 2013
Powder Room 15, Nationwide

Powder Room is a small British film all about women and starring only women — boo-hoo, men; my heart bleeds for you all — yet it is almost entirely set… Read more

Unlikely partners: Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) and P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson)

Deborah Ross: If you don't enjoy Saving Mr Banks, there's something wrong with you

30 November 2013
Saving Mr Banks PG, Nationwide

Saving Mr Banks tells ‘the untold true story’ of the making of the Disney classic Mary Poppins via the stand-offs between Walt and the book’s author, P.L. Travers, and it… Read more

They also serve: the Kennedy family enter the White House

The Butler, about a black domestic in the White House, is too painfully obvious

16 November 2013
The Butler 12A, Nationwide

The Butler tells the story of an African–American butler at the White House who served eight American presidents over three decades and it plays as a ‘greatest hits’ of the… Read more

Give us the money: James Toback and Alec Baldwin

Ryan Gosling couldn’t play Taki better than Taki

9 November 2013
Seduced and Abandoned 15, Key Cities

Seduced and Abandoned is both a satire on film-making and a love letter to film-making and a joy. A documentary made by the director and writer James Toback, in cahoots… Read more


The joy of cemeteries

2 November 2013

The idea of writing Finding the Plot: 100 Graves to Visit Before You Die first came to Ann Treneman when she was chatting with Tony Wright, formerly Labour MP for… Read more

Searching for her lost son: Judi Dench and Steve Coogan

Philomena is Dame Judi’s film

2 November 2013
Philomena 12A, Nationwide

Philomena is based on the true story of an Irish woman searching for the son stolen from her by the Catholic Church 50 years earlier, and although, as a cinematic… Read more

The Selfish Giant (Picture: The Kobal Collection)

Deborah Ross: The Selfish Giant is not fresh, but it's superbly performed

26 October 2013
The Selfish Giant 15, Nationwide

The Selfish Giant is a British social-realism film in the tradition of all such films from Kes onwards, so it never feels particularly fresh, but it does feel real and… Read more

One of the greatest actors alive: Tom Hanks as Captain Phillips

Tom Hanks is the greatest actor alive

19 October 2013
Captain Phillips 12A, Nationwide

The main thing you should know about Captain Phillips is that it really puts you through the wringer. It’s based on the true 2009 story of the hijacking of a… Read more

In it together: Benedict Cumberbatch (Assange) and Daniel Brühl (Berg)

Four good reasons not to watch The Fifth Estate

12 October 2013
The Fifth Estate 15, Nationwide

Just how interesting you find The Fifth Estate may entirely depend on how interested you are in the whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, in the first instance.… Read more

James McAvoy: terrific

I watched Filth from behind my hands. It's ghastly and unpleasant, but what I saw of it was brilliant

5 October 2013
Filth 18, Nationwide

People are generally saying Filth fully fulfils the promise of its title and is not for the faint of heart or queasy of stomach or lily of liver and, alas,… Read more