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  • Tyrannosaur

    Tyrannosaur 2011

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 19 Mar, 2015 4

    I do hope Paddy Considine isn't going to join fellow British luminaries Gary Oldman and Tim Roth in making one exceptional film and then going silent on the directing front.

    Like Nil By Mouth and The War Zone, Tyrannosaur is an incendiary, brutal and heart-breaking work. Peter Mullan is stunning as Joseph, a deeply troubled man who we first see kicking his own dog to death in a drunken haze. It's an audacious way to introduce a character that, ultimately,…

  • Dream Home

    Dream Home 2010

    ★★★ Watched 18 Mar, 2015 2

    The housing industry is a cut-throat business, literally, in Pang Ho-cheung's satirical slasher Dream Home. Josie Ho is an outbound call operative for a Hong Kong insurance company. She has been saving up for one particular apartment, yet the owners up their asking price at the last moment. She resorts to desperate measures to artificially lower the housing price.

    Dream Home certainly doesn't skimp on the gore. It's bloodier than steak tartar and has a pulsing vein of the darkest…

  • The Fault in Our Stars

    The Fault in Our Stars 2014

    ★★★ Watched 17 Mar, 2015

    Taking its place among the pantheon of ‘Hollywood Cancer’ films, featuring the picturesque deterioration of beautiful people is The Fault in our Stars, a solid adaptation of the hit young adult novel by John Green.

    Shailene Woodley is Hazel Grace, has terminal thyroid cancer that has metastasised to her lungs. Morose and sarcastic, she is urged to attend a support group, where she meets Augustus (Ansel Elgort), a confident and charming young man who has lost a leg to bone…

  • Sunshine

    Sunshine 2007

    ★★★½ Watched 16 Mar, 2015 2

    I came away from Sunshine thinking that this is a film that doesn’t know what it wants to be. A large part is an undoubtedly gorgeous and immaculately constructed metaphysical meditation on the idea of being human in the vast nothingness of space, a la 2001: A Space Odyssey and Solaris. The rest wants to be a slasher sci-fi in the mould of Event Horizon with a mad antagonist with a fixation on Revelations.

    Say what you like about Danny…

  • Sunset Boulevard

    Sunset Boulevard 1950

    ★★★★★ Watched 15 Mar, 2015 3

    You see, the body of a young man was found floating in the pool of her mansion - with two shots in his back and one in his stomach. Nobody important, really. Just a movie writer with a couple of 'B' pictures to his credit. The poor dope! He always wanted a pool. Well, in the end, he got himself a pool - only the price turned out to be a little high.

    It would appear that there’s a new…

  • The Kid with a Bike

    The Kid with a Bike 2011

    ★★★★ Watched 14 Mar, 2015 2

    A painstaking study of a young boy have a very hard time of it, The Kid with a Bike is another slice of microscopically observed small-town Belgian life from the Dardenne brothers.

    Cyril (Thomas Doret) is a troubled ten year-old with unspecified emotional and behavioural problems. He has been abandoned by his feckless father into the foster care system. In the process he has also lost his beloved bike. During an escape attempt from the home, he literally bumps into…

  • Of Gods and Men

    Of Gods and Men 2010

    ★★★★ Watched 10 Mar, 2015

    I can’t profess to be a man of any religious belief. I’m staunchly atheist; I wouldn’t even tip my toe into the ‘spiritual-but-not-religious’ wishy-washy cop out you see as an option on online dating forms. Yet religion and its effects interest me greatly. I can see its use as a crutch during personal crises, or as a means of simplifying one’s existence – to essentially live one’s life according to a text like a metaphysical dice man.

    The monastic life…

  • Chained

    Chained 2012

    ★★½ Watched 12 Mar, 2015

    Chained has a similar premise to a nasty and cheap film called Bereavement that came out a few years back. A serial killer 'adopts' a young child and raises them to be their protege. Jennifer Chambers Lynch's effort is much more assured than Bereavement and she does well in maintaining a bleak tone.

    Lynch is more concerned with the atmosphere of the piece rather than swamping the screen with gore. There are bloody moments for sure, particularly towards the end,…

  • Deliver Us from Evil

    Deliver Us from Evil 2014

    ★★ Watched 28 Feb, 2015

    A turgid cross between Seven and The Exorcist that fails to capture the atmosphere of either. A spurious nod to a basis in alleged fact holds the interest for a bit but this is a road well travelled, and bigger footprints have already been made.

    Eric Bana is reliable as always and Joel McHale is mildly amusing as a wisecracking partner that couldn't be more doomed if he wore a red star fleet uniform, but Deliver us from Evil is as bland and uninspired as its hackneyed name.

  • Enemy

    Enemy 2013

    ★★★★★ Watched 01 Mar, 2015 2

    I love films that broadside you just as you're getting a handle on them. Enemy certainly does that. I can't recall an ending in recent memory that makes me instantly go back and re-evaluate everything I had just watched.

    I read 'The Double', the Jose Saramago novel upon which it's based, a few years back and enjoyed it but couldn't understand why some had whispered darkly about the film being an impenetrable head-twister.

    Watching the film on a surface level,…

  • Birdman

    Birdman 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 27 Feb, 2015

    I finally got to see Birdman after it had beaten Boyhood to the Oscar for best picture. I was a little surprised, not least because Birdman is a film, on one level, about Hollywood eating itself.

    It is a takedown on the movie star ego, like David Cronenberg's recent Maps to the Stars. It is however, a far less scabrous, more melancholy piece. It deals with themes of authenticity, interpreatation, identity and the perceived gulf between high and low art.…

  • The Babadook

    The Babadook 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 24 Feb, 2015 2

    Jennifer Kent's debut film is a great little film with real metaphorical depth, depicting the supernatural in a low-key way that ramps the dread gradually to almost unbearable levels.

    Part fable, part psychodrama, part haunted house, part character study; The Babadook is about Amelia (Essie Davis), a woman whose husband was killed in a car accident driving her to hospital to give birth to their son Samuel (Noah Wiseman). Seven years have passed and she is still gnawed by grief…