• What to Expect When You're Expecting

    What to Expect When You're Expecting

    The one star is for Joe Manganiello (and his perfect abs). Because Joe's presence is the one good thing about the trainwreck that is What to expect when you're expecting.

  • Drive

    Drive

    ★★★★

    Even when it probably shouldn't Drive still works rather well for me. Perhaps it's the quietly brilliant Ryan Gosling (or the almost equally strong supporting cast). Or maybe Nicolas Winding Refn is simply something of a genius.

    Either way I really rather enjoyed this one.

  • Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan

    Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan

    ★★

    A visually stunning epic let down by its lack of narrative clarity.

  • The Deep

    The Deep

    ★★

    Okay, the Deep definitely deserves two stars for its wonderfully gripping underwater scenes. And all right, another star for the all too straightforward telling of the events that precede these strong scenes. But then that third star is lost in the complete and utter dullness that is the last thirty minutes of this movie.

    If only there had been time to get to know the characters, if only said characters had been fleshed out a whole lot more, and if only the movie had not peaked way too early. If only.

    Then perhaps I'd cared.

  • The Marathon

    The Marathon

    ★★★

    The Marathon is probably about as quintessentially Rotterdam as you can get: vibrant, charming and endearing in a rather blunt manner, and far from perfect.

  • Hannah Arendt

    Hannah Arendt

    ★★½

    Interesting. The intellectual subject matter (let's summarize it as 'the banality of evil'), that is. Because while the movie is perfectly watchable it does fall a little flat.

    In short, when all is said and done, I'm merely craving a nice rational debate. And perhaps a cigarette (or two).

  • Lore

    Lore

    ★★½

    Intriguing and uncomfortable, Lore offers a visually beautiful (rather amazing cinematography by Adam Arkapaw) but very grim coming-of-age story.

  • Kid

    Kid

    ★★½

    A quiet and intensely sad tale of two brothers (Billy and Kid) and their family. Very little narrative, but a lot of emotion, aided by a rather moody (to say the least) soundtrack. I can't really say that I 'enjoyed' this movie, but there was just something about it that made it impossible to do anything but watch and feel.

  • The Offence

    The Offence

    ★★★

    This rather bleak adaptation intrigues from beginning to end. Sean Connery is simply brilliant here as an old school police detective on a downward spiral. Strong dialogue and a consistently claustrophobic atmosphere do the rest. Apart from the first thirty minutes or so (when it has a definite classic crime procedural feel) it does appear to stay close to its origins as it feels more and more like watching an actual play as the story continues to unfold.

    Fascinating nonetheless.

  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    The Count of Monte Cristo

    I've arrived at a point in life where I'm more than ready to make a blanket statement about movies that one would be inclined to describe using the words 'swashbuckling adventures'.

    Those movies? Are not for me.

    The Count of Monte Cristo adds a surprisingly poor Guy Pearce and the perpetually mediocre Jim Caviezel to one of those swashbuckling messes. I want to say that neither performance did anything to enhance my viewing pleasure but that would imply that there was any pleasure involved to begin with.

  • Empire of the Sun

    Empire of the Sun

    ★★½

    Spielberg's style over Ballard's substance as far as I'm concerned. Which isn't necessarily always a bad thing, because it's not like Empire of the Sun doesn't have its moments: the first fifty minutes and Christian Bale's overall performance remain quite memorable.

    And yet I have to admit to not being truly moved by anything other than the haunting rendition of the Welsh hymn Suo Gan. Hats off to the Ambrosian Junior Choir.

  • Chaplin

    Chaplin

    ★★

    The thing is, I don't care much for Charlie Chaplin. And so, this movie had its work cut out to get me to care about the man, and his work.

    To make a long story short, that never happened.

    It all looks just fine, the score is more than decent and all the good things I'd heard about Robert Downey Jr.'s portrayal of Chaplin made sense: he appears to have the mannerisms down pat, and he definitely looks the part.…