James has written 12 reviews for films during 2013.

  • Flight


    Flight is like two films welded together. The first - interesting one - is a flight crash investigation. The other - far less interesting one - is an exploration of addiction and damaged people being drawn to one another. This is the part that makes the film boring and ponderous. The factor that makes the film offensive is its tonally uneven attitude to drink and drugs, personified in John Goodman's utterly ridiculous dealer sidekick.

  • Seven Psychopaths

    Seven Psychopaths

    Take a moment to think about In Bruges and the talent that's in this follow-up. Then try telling me that this film isn't a terrible disappointment. Pretentious and devoid of either laughs or clever lines, it's only saved from zero star-dom by the ever excellent Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken. Otherwise, it's RUBBISH.

  • Django Unchained

    Django Unchained

    I wouldn't say that this is a 'return to form' for Tarantino, as I absolutely loved Inglourious Basterds. This is a better film though, sporting some incredible performances - especially a brilliant 'return to form' for Samuel L. Jackson - and some spectacular violence. The running time is a bit long though.

  • Skyfall



    My fourth time watching it. There will be more viewings as I genuinely believe that it's the best (and best made) Bond film ever.

  • The Perfect Storm

    The Perfect Storm

    A solid drama with a great cast. I find it a little more moving with each viewing.

  • Mystic River

    Mystic River

    An excellent film, though perhaps one of the most morally dubious films ever? I found the conclusion very troubling.

  • Lincoln


    A beautifully made and acted film. Undoubtedly worthy but - perhaps - a little dry?

  • Broken City

    Broken City

    Talented cast make very 'meh' drama/thriller. For the first hour, the film suggests several interesting avenues, but sadly doesn't go down any of them. A big waste.

  • Zero Dark Thirty

    Zero Dark Thirty

    Two parts very talky procedural (which, thankfully, I like) and one part absolutely gripping finale - despite the fact you know how it all turns out!

  • The Queen of Versailles

    The Queen of Versailles

    Fascinating documentary about the fragility of the American Dream that's funny and, at times, moving. Skillfully done in the fact that - despite the greed of the 'characters' - you can't quite bring yourself to dislike them.

  • End of Watch

    End of Watch

    It's the type of film I've seen done before (Training Day, Street Kings etc) but the interactions between the leads adds some depth. The camcorder footage conceit is utterly pointless though.

  • Dredd


    Visually arresting but ultimately disappointing. The plot is too close to that of the (frankly superior) The Raid to be truly impactful.