Philippa Hawker

Philippa Hawker

Agrees with the Tomatometer 78% of the time.

Publications:
Sydney Morning Herald , The Age (Australia)
Total Reviews:
196

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

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Showing 1 - 50 of 196
Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
3.5/5 79% Son of a Gun " The action sequences are tense and well-executed and the performances are strong, but the film slips away a little in the later stages, caught up in too many plot twists, turns and somewhat unlikely contrivances. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Oct 16, 2014
2.5/5 40% John Doe: Vigilante (2014) " John Doe: Vigilante starts in promising fashion then fizzles. Dolen and writer Stephen M. Coates give Doe a narrow focus: his targets are obvious malefactors, all male, ranging from paedophiles to sadists. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Oct 15, 2014
3.5/5 80% The Golden Era (2014) " Some writers are shown as activists, political figures, party stalwarts; Xiao, to the last, remains stubbornly committed to her art. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Oct 15, 2014
3/5 40% Tusk (2014) " Smith has always had a weakness for protracted dialogue, and in Parks he has a fitting muse. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Oct 10, 2014
3/5 93% The Case Against 8 (2014) " The Case Against 8 documents, quietly and without histrionics, a long-drawn-out process of advocacy. It presents not only the legal conduct of the case, but also the daily lives of those most intimately affected by it. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Oct 10, 2014
4/5 100% The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2014) " There are light-hearted moments but there is something about Princess Kaguya's experience that is moving and tragic. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Oct 2, 2014
2.5/5 31% Annabelle (2014) " Annabelle drifts away from these potentially interesting elements into a more predictable collage of frights, demons and flickering lights, a grab bag of set pieces, red herrings and familiar occult tropes that never add up to much. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Oct 1, 2014
3.5/5 No Score Yet Terre des ours (Land of the Bears) " What the film shows us, above all, is a trajectory of inevitability, of nature as cycle and repetition, with a place for everything. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Sep 26, 2014
4/5 95% Grzeli nateli dgeebi (In Bloom) (2014) " This is a story of adolescence and female friendship under pressure, explored with a quietly engrossing combination of familiarity and strangeness. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Sep 26, 2014
3/5 63% The Maze Runner (2014) " The Maze Runner might seem at first to have echoes of Lord Of The Flies, with its community of boys forced to survive in the wild. But it seems to have ingredients of a World War II POW movie, of The Great Escape or Stalag 13. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Sep 22, 2014
3/5 35% The Giver (2014) " The allegorical framework starts to look contrived, and things feel far too rushed and glib after an involving start. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Sep 12, 2014
2.5/5 17% Tarzan (2014) " The villains are cardboard cutouts, and the good guys aren't much better; wildlife advocate Jane (voiced by Spencer Locke) is a disappointingly passive character. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Sep 12, 2014
3.5.5 98% Jodorowsky's Dune (2014) " The phantom film is, by its nature, always rich with possibilities. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Sep 12, 2014
3.5/5 75% The Grandmaster (2013) " It is rich, distinctive and lush, as you would expect, although this new feature from Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai has been a long time coming. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Sep 4, 2014
3/5 50% The Reckoning (2014) " It's a heightened work whose occasional implausibilities are swiftly absorbed by the hectic energy of the storytelling. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Sep 3, 2014
2.5/5 71% The Inbetweeners Movie 2 " The focus remains firmly on the delusional quartet, confidently drawn and depicted. Things fall away around them, however: the supporting characters are less deftly written, and the female characters are particularly disposable. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Aug 22, 2014
3.5/5 97% 20,000 Days on Earth (2014) " 20,000 Days On Earth is elegant and elusive, artfully arranged and visualised by Forsyth and Pollard. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Aug 14, 2014
2.5/5 33% The Expendables 3 (2014) " The overall tone of the film is jaunty, almost upbeat, the atmosphere that of an end-of-season trip with a lot of explosions. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Aug 14, 2014
2.5/5 67% The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014) " When it comes to character development, Manish Dayal, as Hassan, and Le Bon are sold short, landed with thankless, undeveloped roles. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Aug 14, 2014
3.5/5 79% Bethlehem (2014) " Its most compelling element, however, is the relationship between informer and informant. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Aug 7, 2014
3/5 No Score Yet The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom " The themes are dealt with rather hastily, however. The martial arts action also feels a little truncated. But it's the central relationship, the intense, transforming romantic encounter between warrior and witch, that is the least successful element. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Aug 4, 2014
3.5/5 91% A Most Wanted Man (2014) " It's difficult to separate A Most Wanted Man from its central performance, to watch the film without seeing it as an affirmation of Hoffman's singular gifts, of his ability to create a fragile yet powerful character caught between dedication and despair. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Aug 4, 2014
2.5/5 60% Hercules (2014) " As a take on Hercules, you'd have to say it's a bit laboured. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jul 25, 2014
3.5/5 100% Once My Mother " It's quietly moving, thoughtful and loving. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jul 23, 2014
2.5/5 23% Devil's Knot (2014) " In literary adaptations such as Felicia's Journey and The Sweet Hereafter, Egoyan has shown that he can depict darkness and explore loss. But here, he feels mired in stereotypes, or dependent on images that documentaries have already created. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jul 23, 2014
4/5 65% The French Minister (2014) " Some of its references might be arcane but most are not, and its sly, satirical depiction of power has universal appeal. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jul 17, 2014
4/5 95% Snowpiercer (2014) " Snowpiercer feels both heightened and grounded, allegorical yet familiar, able to be experienced. The confined space in no way inhibits tension or excitement, or a sense of forward momentum. It's a film not to be missed. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jul 17, 2014
3.5/5 58% Reaching for the Moon (2013) " Its strength is its two beautifully observed complementary performances. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jul 17, 2014
3/5 48% Rio 2 (2014) " The film is at its most entertaining in the musical sequences. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jul 2, 2014
3.5/5 53% Jersey Boys (2014) " It's just that there's a particular combination of looseness, swagger, camaraderie, melancholy and melody in the last sequence; the film itself is solid and entertaining, but right at the end it all comes together in a moment of imaginative flight. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jun 27, 2014
3.5/5 57% Galore " What's distinctive about Galore, however, is not an invocation of the past but the evocation of the present, the here and now: the tactile immediacy and intense tunnel vision of adolescence. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jun 19, 2014
4/5 93% Frank (2014) " It's intriguing to contemplate the nature of Fassbender's performance, focused on voice and body language, as a fragile man who finds life easier to endure when he's both hidden and highly visible at the same time. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jun 19, 2014
3.5/5 97% Ernest & C√©lestine (2014) " From its opening credits, [it] proclaims its hand-drawn, delicate, watercolour aesthetic. But it's not all sweetness and light: there's a dark strand of humour and some sly visual gags in this clever tale of opposites. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jun 19, 2014
3/5 92% The Last Impresario " What emerges is an affectionate, slightly melancholy evocation of a life - incomplete, but engaging. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jun 19, 2014
2/5 14% Blended (2014) " Bland on the one hand, tacky on the other, Blended lives up to its name in more ways than one. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jun 12, 2014
3.5/5 90% Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow (2014) " Edge Of Tomorrow is an entertaining alien invasion movie with neat narrative wrinkles and glancing references to some classic SF-action films. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jun 4, 2014
3.5/5 No Score Yet Gardening With Soul " The film creates a context, and doesn't shy away from bringing up some of the problematic episodes in the church's recent history, and Sister Loyola is ready to discuss them. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted May 30, 2014
3.5/5 100% My Sweet Pepper Land " One of the notable achievements Saleem's quietly surprising film is a combination of off-beat comedy and a strong sense of menace and danger. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted May 21, 2014
3.5/5 92% X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) " The most enjoyable and unexpected element of the film is Evan Peters as the super-speedy yet laid-back mutant teen Quicksilver. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted May 21, 2014
4/5 96% The Babadook (2014) " Jennifer Kent's clever, thoroughly satisfying and neatly unsettling debut feature is about a kind of haunting, but of who or what? This is the question that simmers throughout the film. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted May 19, 2014
2.5/5 53% The Zero Theorem (2014) " Things happen, literally and philosophically, in [the film], but without much real conviction; there's an odd kind of lifelessness to the film, despite the energetic paraphernalia and potentially high stakes that Gilliam conjures up for us to contemplate. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted May 19, 2014
3/5 85% Seduced And Abandoned " Their [Toback and Baldwin] film about the idea of the film is entertaining and diverting, even if there is also something slightly melancholy about this artificial pursuit of a cinematic phantasm. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted May 12, 2014
3/5 100% Next Goal Wins (2014) " Next Goal Wins lingers rather too long towards the end on drawing out its message, but it is a thoroughly engaging exploration of sport, culture, community and the nature of achievement. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted May 2, 2014
3/5 67% Beyond the Edge (2014) " It is a well-constructed, detailed, surprisingly tense account of the journey - physical and psychological - that led them there [the final ascent]. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted May 2, 2014
3.5/5 73% Young & Beautiful (Jeune Et Jolie) (2014) " Vacth, who is beautiful, angular and coltish, brings a quietly authoritative, contemplative, undemonstrative quality to the role: she has a mysterious, unreachable air that perfectly suits Ozon's approach. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted May 2, 2014
3/5 No Score Yet The Crossing " The Crossing is a dogged, likeable account of endeavours and malfunctions, of setbacks faced with stubborn stoicism and wry, matter-of-fact troubleshooting, plus a little bit of wild-eyed, sleep-deprived mania. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted May 2, 2014
3/5 No Score Yet L'√©preuve d'une vie (The Finishers) " Tavernier, who is also a documentary maker, keeps things straightforward and heartfelt; he focuses on the ups and downs of training that bring the two closer before the race begins, but also knows how to give impact to the event itself. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Apr 18, 2014
3.5/5 77% The Invisible Woman (2013) " Felicity Jones gives a strong depiction of repressed emotion. Up against Fiennes' Dickens -- all bonhomie, energy, mercurial self-consciousness -- she's a melancholy figure. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Apr 16, 2014
3/5 79% Any Day Now (2012) " Any Day Now is a movie of good intentions and bad wigs, warm-hearted but slightly oversimplified. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Apr 9, 2014
4/5 92% The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) " It is beautifully designed, visually ravishing and symmetrical to the nth degree. And it is full of frantic chaos, with a Lord of Misrule at its centre played with effortless comic brilliance by Ralph Fiennes. " ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Apr 4, 2014
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