Sydney Morning Herald

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 7%

Grown Ups 2 (2013)

"Rob Schneider, the butt of many jokes in the first Grown-Ups, is nowhere to be seen. Salma Hayek, as Lenny's wife, looks understandably tense and irritable throughout."

Posted Jul 28, 2014

Jake Wilson

2 91%

Still Life ()

"Still Life has the sort of quiet poise that has all but disappeared from modern movies, at least those of the West. It's an old-fashioned film in a good way -- almost like an Ealing comedy."

Posted Jul 25, 2014

Paul Byrnes

3 8%

Mrs. Brown's Boys D'Movie ()

"It's more funny-peculiar than funny ha-ha, and at times downright inexplicable."

Posted Jul 25, 2014

Jake Wilson

4 60%

Hercules (2014)

"As a take on Hercules, you'd have to say it's a bit laboured."

Posted Jul 25, 2014

Philippa Hawker

5 27%

Deliver Us from Evil (2014)

"These wellworn devices might have been more effective had Derrickson managed to link them to a compelling central idea."

Posted Jul 23, 2014

Jake Wilson

6 100%

Once My Mother ()

"It's quietly moving, thoughtful and loving."

Posted Jul 23, 2014

Philippa Hawker

7 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."

Posted Jul 23, 2014

Philippa Hawker

8 42%

Words And Pictures (2014)

"It's old-fashioned, but no less stirring for that - especially as Schepisi has spent a lifetime practising what he preaches."

Posted Jul 17, 2014

Jake Wilson

9 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."

Posted Jul 17, 2014

Philippa Hawker

10 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."

Posted Jul 17, 2014

Philippa Hawker

11 58%

Reaching for the Moon (2013)

"Its strength is its two beautifully observed complementary performances. "

Posted Jul 17, 2014

Philippa Hawker

12 91%

Charlie's Country ()

"These films are a powerful window on Aboriginal culture, made as a collaboration, rather than by a helicopter director. In every sense, they're a gift to the nation."

Posted Jul 17, 2014

Paul Byrnes

13 92%

Venus in Fur (2014)

"Venus In Fur is essentially a weightless skit, a parody of those hoary old archetypes of Man and Woman. But it's also a tribute to Seigner, who seizes the gift of a role that allows her to be sexy, funny and imposing."

Posted Jul 17, 2014

Jake Wilson

14 18%

Sex Tape (2014)

"The overall problem is that for an supposedly outrageous farce Sex Tape plays things extremely safe."

Posted Jul 17, 2014

Jake Wilson

15 90%

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014)

"This terrific follow-up to 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes bests what was a good film by matching clear, evocative themes to sublime digital effects."

Posted Jul 14, 2014

Craig Mathieson

16 96%

The Lunchbox (2014)

"The Lunchbox is either a piquant romance or a wise comedy. The director's confidence with such a delicate story makes it successful as both."

Posted Jul 14, 2014

Paul Byrnes

17 42%

Words And Pictures (2014)

"Binoche's big throaty laugh is heard to appealing effect and Owen's performance has more depth to it than anything I've seen from him before. "

Posted Jul 14, 2014

Sandra Hall

18 91%

Charlie's Country ()

"It's de Heer's triumph. Most of his films have been about outsiders and this one is the most eloquent of all, a poignant expression of his talents as a filmmaker and his sensitivity and generosity as a human being. "

Posted Jul 14, 2014

Sandra Hall

19 90%

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014)

"As entertainment, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is impeccably crafted and often spectacular. "

Posted Jul 9, 2014

Jake Wilson

20 89%

Calvary (2014)

"It's an immensely moving film, and a brave one for the way it tackles spiritual issues without irony. Run, don't walk. "

Posted Jul 9, 2014

Paul Byrnes

21 48%

Rio 2 (2014)

"The film is at its most entertaining in the musical sequences. "

Posted Jul 2, 2014

Philippa Hawker

22 18%

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

"[Compared to Michael Bay's earlier work in Bad Boys and Armageddon], the Transformers films resemble out-of-control art school projects - crass without being remotely watchable, as if mocking the very notion of entertainment."

Posted Jun 27, 2014

Jake Wilson

23 54%

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."

Posted Jun 27, 2014

Philippa Hawker

24 43%

Yves Saint Laurent (2014)

"We have a film that gives us a hint of what made him a genius, and too much about what brought him low. The other way round, it might have been great. "

Posted Jun 27, 2014

Paul Byrnes

25 76%

The Pirate Fairy (2014)

"While Disney's cheaply made Tinkerbell films have none of the cultural cachet of more lavish animated features, they're getting slyer and more interesting on their own terms."

Posted Jun 27, 2014

Jake Wilson

26 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. "

Posted Jun 19, 2014

Philippa Hawker

27 92%

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. "

Posted Jun 19, 2014

Philippa Hawker

28 78%

Rising From Ashes (2013)

"The film is beautifully put together, with slick editing and glossy photography. The beauty of Rwanda is astonishing. "

Posted Jun 19, 2014

Paul Byrnes

29 84%

The Two Faces of January (2014)

"Structurally his script is excellent, condensing the book's plot while retaining its spirit. "

Posted Jun 19, 2014

Jake Wilson

30 92%

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

"The most distinctive thing about the series is its strictly rational handling of fantasy themes. The dragons themselves can be fearsome or adorable - but since they don't speak, they're treated for the most part as pieces of hardware or beasts of burden."

Posted Jun 19, 2014

Jake Wilson

31 97%

Ernest & CÚlestine (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."

Posted Jun 19, 2014

Philippa Hawker

32 100%

The Last Impresario ()

"What emerges is an affectionate, slightly melancholy evocation of a life - incomplete, but engaging. "

Posted Jun 19, 2014

Philippa Hawker

33 13%

Blended (2014)

"Bland on the one hand, tacky on the other, Blended lives up to its name in more ways than one."

Posted Jun 12, 2014

Philippa Hawker

34 ——

Ruin ()

"While there are rough edges, the strength of the central performances carries an audacious film. "

Posted Jun 12, 2014

Garry Maddox

35 66%

The Rover (2014)

"The Rover is dark and engaging, with superb use of the heart-stopping landscape around the Flinders Ranges, but it could be accused of mannerism."

Posted Jun 6, 2014

Paul Byrnes

36 91%

Omar (2014)

"Abu-Assad does not aim for the Dardennes' breathless immediacy. Rather, the story is laid out in a lucid, diagrammatic way, like a mathematical proof that for someone in Omar's position there are no right choices. "

Posted Jun 4, 2014

Jake Wilson

37 94%

Good Vibrations ()

"In the charming if somewhat predictable Good Vibrations, popular culture proves able to match the firepower of divisive politics."

Posted Jun 4, 2014

Craig Mathieson

38 41%

The Face of Love (2014)

"There is something very dispiriting in watching talent [Ed Harris & Annette Bening] struggling to save something as ill-conceived as this. "

Posted Jun 4, 2014

Sandra Hall

39 80%

The Fault In Our Stars (2014)

"Needless to say, Boone is softening us up for the final act, designed to tug at our heartstrings extensively, repetitively and without remorse. I felt my own heart hardening by the time of the third tear-jerking setpiece."

Posted Jun 4, 2014

Jake Wilson

40 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."

Posted Jun 4, 2014

Philippa Hawker

41 33%

A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)

"The problem isn't just that MacFarlane is a bad actor, but that Anna's character makes absolutely no sense."

Posted May 30, 2014

Jake Wilson

42 10%

Grace Of Monaco ()

"Kidman does her best to dignify the role, but it's all victimhood and tears. "

Posted May 30, 2014

Paul Byrnes

43 ——

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."

Posted May 30, 2014

Philippa Hawker

44 21%

Son Of God (2014)

"The hunk factor aside, it's bizarre that a film presumably conceived as an act of devotion should feel so lacklustre and impersonal. "

Posted May 21, 2014

Jake Wilson

45 92%

Sunshine on Leith ()

"The flash mob finale, with what looks like 500 dancing Edinburghers, is about the most fun I've had in a cinema this year."

Posted May 21, 2014

Paul Byrnes

46 100%

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."

Posted May 21, 2014

Philippa Hawker

47 91%

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."

Posted May 21, 2014

Philippa Hawker

48 100%

My Sweet Pepper Land ()

"Admittedly, the denouement is slightly off the pace and it all fades to an anticlimax, but wide blue skies, craggy bluffs and sure-footed mountain ponies are all put to good use."

Posted May 19, 2014

Sandra Hall

49 92%

Sunshine on Leith ()

"Thankfully more pleasing than patronising, Sunshine on Leith works because it's not universal; while tidied up, it's still peculiar to a place and people."

Posted May 19, 2014

Craig Mathieson

50 100%

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."

Posted May 19, 2014

Philippa Hawker

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