Movie Reviews

Screen scream

Unfriended review: Horror through a computer screen

Craig Mathieson This internet-age horror movie is curiously inert.

Plenty to pique the interest

Clouds of Sils Maria review: Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche find rich rapport

Juliette Binoche (left) and Kristen Stewart in <i>Clouds of Sils Maria</i>.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Sandra Hall Olivier Assayas' film ends on an enigmatic note but there's so much to enjoy and beguile en route that it hardly matters.

Cobain uncovered

Cobain: Montage of Heck review: Kurt Cobain's mythology stripped away

Kurt Cobain:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Craig Mathieson A new film about Kurt Cobain is a reminder that artistic genius defies comprehension.

Skype fright

Unfriended review: Teen slasher takes cyberbullying to extremes

Close watch: Shelley Hennig and Matthew Bohrer in <i>Unfriended</i>.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Jake Wilson Technology wreaks terror in this ingenious teen slasher film that plays out onscreen.

Following Fargo

Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter review: Culture-clash comedy leaves us out in the cold

Out in the cold: Rinko Kikuchi is searching for Fargo money in <i>Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter</i>.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Jake Wilson When does culture-clash comedy shade into racism? The tale of a "quirky" Japanese woman chasing her dream in Minnesota raises the question.

Shameless crowd pleaser

Trash review: Stephen Daldry's contradictory moral fable a blatant crowd-pleaser

Gabriel Weinstein and Eduardo Luis in Stephen Daldry's Trash.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Jake Wilson Given that the script for Stephen Daldry's film was written by Richard Curtis of Love Actually fame, it's not surprising Trash is a shameless crowd-pleaser.

One to watch

One-Eyed Girl review: Dark side of cult exposed in flawed but promising debut

True believer: Tilda Cobham-Hervey in <i>One Eyed Girl</i>.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Jake Wilson Despite its flaws, this Australian feature exposing the dark side of a cult announces director Nick Matthews as a filmmaker of some promise.

Brittain's finest

Testament of Youth review: Love in a time of war

The love between Roland Leighton and Vera Brittain  traverses pre-war England's class system.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Sandra Hall A devastating coming-of-age made Vera Brittain a writer.

Familiar thrills

The Avengers: Age of Ultron review: Familiar thrills in Avengers' return

Marvel's Avengers (from left) Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey jnr) in <i>Avengers: Age of Ultron</i>.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Craig Mathieson Joss Whedon mixes drily witty banter, fanboy-friendly action and mythic emotion into sturdy, supple blockbusters.

Offbeat but empathetic

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter review: A droll look at delusion

Rinko Kikuchi stars in <i>Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter</i>.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Craig Mathieson Japanese films about mysterious video tape usually involve horrible deaths, but this drama spills no blood.

Musical mayflies

Boychoir review: Dustin Hoffman impresses but feelgood film doesn't quite get there

Garrett Wareing is befriended by Dustin Hoffman in <i>Boychoir</i>.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Jake Wilson A curious film that promises to explore some edgy territory but instead plays it safe - and, at times, a little incompetently.

WWI in focus

Testament of Youth review: Alicia Vikander centres Vera Brittain's WWI memoir

Love in wartime: Kir Harington and Alicia Vikander in <i>Testament of Youth</i>.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Paul Byrnes Vera Brittain's World War I memoir comes to vivid, masterful life with newcomer Alicia Vikander at its centre.

Street writing man

Banksy Does New York review: Fast and furious documentary charts elusive street artist's New York residency

Still from the HBO documentary <i>Banksy Does New York</i>.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Philippa Hawker This documentary captures the frenzy and confusion around a month-long 'residency' by the street artist in New York in 2013.

Joss stuck

Avengers: Age of Ultron review: Joss Whedon goes through the motions

Too miuch of a good thing: Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Marvel's <i>Avengers: Age Of Ultron</i>.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Jake Wilson The latest big-budget blockbuster for Marvel could signify the start of a new era - of diminishing returns.

Mediocrity at its best

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 review: Downtrodden everyman gets back up again

Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Jake Wilson Kevin James' everyman security guard is a buoyant sadsack, like one of those punching-bag dolls you can't knock over.

A story for the ages

The Age of Adaline review: eternal youth proves a lonely business

Michiel Huisman and Blake Lively star in <i>The Age of Adaline</i>.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Sandra Hall This fairytale about a woman who can't stop being young plays like a cautionary tale for the Botox generation.

Mind the gap

While We're Young review: Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts jump into generation gap

Cornelia (Naomi Watts) and Josh (Ben Stiller) are invigorated by a friendship with a younger couple.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Craig Mathieson A comedy about the generation gap that's filled with wit, envy and not a little compassion.

Hitting the high notes

Boychoir review: Dustin Hoffman and Kathy Bates help get around plot's false notes

Stet (Garret Wareing) is  reluctant to take advantage of all  his school can offer.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Sandra Hall There are some false notes in Francois Girard's film, but the glorious singing covers up a multitude of sins.

The Gunman review: Sean Penn brings conviction and commitment

Hit out: Sean Penn is in the firing line in <i>The Gunman</i>.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Paul Byrnes A ripped Sean Penn can't elevate this senior citizen's action film above the mundane.

While We're Young review: Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts chase their youth in Baumbach's latest comic winner

Ben Stiller chases after his youth in <i>While We're Young</i>.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Paul Byrnes Noah Baumbach's demolition of the generation coming up behind his own is comprehensive.