It's got nowhere near the focus or insight of Hurt Locker, and although Jessica Chastain's performance is impressive in its Jeremy Renner-style normality, her character isn't written anywhere near as interestingly as his. The fault is entirely Bigelow's, who can't decide what this film is from one moment to the next - pseudo documentary? Action movie? Historical drama? And with the real world events fresh in everyone's minds still, the time she dedicates to instilling suspense in the final takedown…
Fun but uneven, and very much a step backwards for Tarantino after Inglourious Basterds. There's no doubt the great man has something to say about slavery, but it's largely lost in his switch in tone from the engrossing and solid first half, to the over-the-top second. Foxx is watchable enough as Django, but it's Christoph Waltz who grounds the film with a titanic and very human performance in a cast of mostly caricatures. If only Tarantino hadn't made such lazy choices late on in the film, but at least we have Samuel L Jackson to guffaw over.
The Guard is a small film which manages both to tickle and unnerve at the same time. Gleeson's performance utterly swamps everything before it, but it's to the film's credit that it never quite becomes a big screen Father Ted. There may be philosophy-spouting gangsters, but the threat they pose is real, and the film tries very hard (mostly succeeding) to walk a line between comedy and gangster movie.
The characterisation is excellent, notably framed by the buddy movie pairing…
Sam Mendes succeeds against the odds in delivering a classic Bond film, almost effortlessly blending old and new takes on the character in a spellbinding and increasingly uncomfortable character drama. The acting is the strongest of any in the franchise, the script quite possibly the strongest, and whilst some have complained at a shortage of action, Skyfall gets right into its protagonists' heads.
I have some low level quibbles - not with Bardem's Silva per se but certainly with the…