Film

Richard Gere in The Benefactor

What were they thinking? The Benefactor reviewed

27 February 2016 9:00 am

The Benefactor is both a bad film and a thoroughly inexplicable one. It’s one of those what-were-they-thinking projects that wastes…

Scarlett Johansson as a mermaid? Bung her in

What is a serious film festival doing opening with Hail, Caesar!

20 February 2016 9:00 am

What is a serious film festival doing opening with Ethan and Joel Coens’ turkey Hail, Caesar!? James Woodall reports from Berlin

Tim Roth in ‘Chronic’, a morality tale about the care industry

Cinema needs films like Chronic – just not a lot of them

20 February 2016 9:00 am

Scholarly filmgoers may recall a movement that sprouted from Danish soil called Dogme 95. It worked to a Spartan set…

Owen Wilson as Hansel, Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander and Penélope Cruz as Valentina Valencia

What on earth was Ben Stiller thinking? Zoolander 2 reviewed

13 February 2016 9:00 am

‘I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good-looking,’ said a pouty Derek Zoolander…

Dream team: the cast of ‘Dad’s Army’ 2016

Watch it backwards – and then don’t stay for long: Dad’s Army reviewed

6 February 2016 9:00 am

The TV sitcom Dad’s Army ran on the BBC from 1968 to 1977 (nine series, 80 episodes) with repeats still…

Left to right: Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Brian D’Arcy James, Michael Keaton and John Slattery

A worthy film that just doesn't fly: Spotlight reviewed

30 January 2016 9:00 am

Like The Revenant and The Big Short, Spotlight is yet another Oscar contender ‘based on true events’ — although it…

Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugo Glass

I admired it - but also desperately wanted it to end: The Revenant reviewed

16 January 2016 9:00 am

The Revenant is a survival-against-the-odds film that so puts Leonardo DiCaprio through it I bet he was thinking, ‘I wish…

Close encounters: Jacob Tremblay and Brie Larson in ‘Room’

Not as good as the book, but good enough: Room reviewed

9 January 2016 9:00 am

This is the week of The Hateful Eight, the latest Quentin Tarantino film, but Tarantino being Tarantino, there were no…

Why isn’t the Millennium Falcon called the Millennium Pigeon?

Darth Vader is dirty and it’s not just me that thinks so

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Star Wars taught Hollywood how to make children’s films for adults, says Tanya Gold

Rudolf Nureyev — Dance to Freedom

Why did a Russian ballet dancer throw acid in his boss’s face?

12 December 2015 9:00 am

The 16th June 1961 and 17th January 2013 are two indelible dates in the annals of Russian ballet. Two events…

Julia Garner and Lily Tomlin in ‘Grandma’

Grandma: a feminist comedy that punches magnificently above its weight

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Apologies if you were expecting a review of Star Wars here, but Disney is not allowing critics access prior to…

Towering will-o’-the-wisp: Agyness Deyn as Chris Guthrie

Sunset Song is close to masterly

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s Sunset Song is the best-remembered title of a short career. Born in 1901, he was dead by…

Spectator letters: Bombing, Botham and Steven Spielberg

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Bombers without borders Sir: To define this week’s debate as being about ‘bombing Syria’ (‘The great fake war’, 28 November)…

Adolf Hitler with Hans Frank in the background (Photo: Getty)

What’s it like to have a Nazi for a father?

21 November 2015 9:00 am

This is a documentary in which three men travel across Europe together, but they’re not pleasurably interrailing, even though there…

Judy Garland as Esther Smith in Meet Me in St Louis (1944)

How Technicolor conquered cinema

14 November 2015 9:00 am

Peter Hoskin celebrates Technicolor’s 100th birthday

Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs

Was Steve Jobs really a genius?

14 November 2015 9:00 am

Steve Jobs is a film about a man in whom I have little interest, but for 120 minutes I was…

Rosalie Craig as Rosalind in ‘As You Like It’

How did this plotless goon-show wind up at the Royal Court?

14 November 2015 9:00 am

One of the challenges of art is to know the difference between innovation and error. I wonder sometimes if the…

Hot seats: Charles and Ray Eames posing with chair bases

The couple behind the world’s most famous chair

29 October 2015 9:00 am

Peter Mandelson, in his moment of pomp, had his portrait taken by Lord Snowdon. He is sitting on a fine…

Sultry and dull: Daniel Craig as James Bond

I wept only with frustration: Spectre reviewed

29 October 2015 9:00 am

Spectre is the 24th film in the Bond franchise, the fourth starring Daniel Craig, the second directed by Sam Mendes,…

Domhnall Gleeson as Jim Farrell and Saoirse Ronan as Eilis in ‘Brooklyn’

Colm Toibin on priests, loss and the half-said thing

24 October 2015 9:00 am

Jenny McCartney talks to unstoppable literary force Colm Tóibín about loss, priests and half-said things

Electrifying: Marlon Brando as a young man

Self-pitying, despairing, often delusional: the real Marlon Brando

24 October 2015 9:00 am

Listen to Me Marlon is a documentary portrait of Marlon Brando that has him burbling into your ear for 102…

Riding high: Ben Foster as Lance Armstrong in 'The Program'

The Program could do with a good dose of performance-enhancing drugs

17 October 2015 8:00 am

The Program, as directed by Stephen Frears, is a biopic of Lance Armstrong, the American cyclist and ‘sporting hero’ who…

'Fire Woman', 2005, by Bill Viola

What is it about Bill Viola’s films that reduce grown-ups to tears?

17 October 2015 8:00 am

What is it about Bill Viola's films that reduce grown-ups to tears? William Cook dries his eyes and talks to the video artist about Zen, loss and nearly drowning

From top left: Lucian Freud, Rudolf Bing, Stefan Zweig, Walter Gropius, Rudolf Laban, Max Born, Kurt Schwitters, Friedrich Hayek, Fritz Busch, Frank Auerbach, Emeric Pressburger, Oskar Kokoschka

German refugees transformed British cultural life - but at a price

3 October 2015 9:00 am

German-speaking refugees dragged British culture into the 20th century. But that didn’t go down well in Stepney or Stevenage, says William Cook

Michael Fassbender: animal magnetism but no clue as to what oils Macbeth’s cogs

Horridly magnificent - but real problems occur when anyone opens their mouth: Macbeth reviewed

3 October 2015 9:00 am

Who goes to big-screen Shakespeare? Not theatre-goers much, and with reason. Apart from the odd corker by Kurosawa, arguably Olivier…