Sydney Morning Herald

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 78%

Veronica Mars (2014)

"The film even manages things neatly at the end: we get a mixture of closure and openness, in which things are rounded off, yet there's still the possibility of another adventure."

Posted Mar 21, 2014

Philippa Hawker

2 4%

I, Frankenstein (2014)

"Only in occasional, uncanny moments - when someone uses an iPhone, or gets off a tram - does this world appear to intersect in any way with our own."

Posted Mar 21, 2014

Jake Wilson

3 28%

Pompeii (2014)

"It's an average modern actioner: driven by technology, careless of the past, casually insulting to the audience, mindless in its violence. Vesuvius 1, movie-lovers nil."

Posted Mar 21, 2014

Paul Byrnes

4 52%

Cuban Fury (2014)

"He's [Frost] hamstrung by a film that has a comedy's least desirable quality: predictability."

Posted Mar 21, 2014

Craig Mathieson

5 28%

Pompeii (2014)

"The city's end is far quicker than the two days scientists believe was required, but patience is not a virtue in this film."

Posted Mar 21, 2014

Craig Mathieson

6 99%

Wadjda (2013)

"It's a provocative but credible premise and in exploring it, Al Mansour has come up with an engagingly subversive character. Wadjda is a delight."

Posted Mar 21, 2014

Sandra Hall

7 23%

Need For Speed (2014)

"Aside from some needlessly frantic editing, the main drawback here is an unwillingness to admit that the impulses being celebrated are basically anti-social."

Posted Mar 13, 2014

Jake Wilson

8 ——

The Day Of The Broken ()

"None of this, however, should be taken to imply that The Day Of The Broken is worth anybody's time."

Posted Mar 13, 2014

Jake Wilson

9 80%

Generation Iron (2013)

"While Yudin gives us plenty of room to laugh at them, he also acknowledges their capacity to inspire awe - not only at their bulging muscles, but at their willingness to go all the way with the infantile wish to look bigger than anyone else. "

Posted Mar 12, 2014

Jake Wilson

10 88%

Hannah Arendt (2013)

"Sukowa is a supple and brave actress; getting inside Arendt's arguments is the hardest and if the film only succeeds sometimes, that is still a major achievement. Very few films in this era would have dared."

Posted Mar 12, 2014

Paul Byrnes

11 84%

The Armstrong Lie (2013)

"It's a meticulous examination of a particularly ruthless brand of power game-playing."

Posted Mar 11, 2014

Sandra Hall

12 88%

Hannah Arendt (2013)

"Von Trotta's style is pretty stolid. She aims for documentary thoroughness rather than exhilarating drama. Nonetheless, it's good to see a film that gets its narrative charge from the ferment of intellectual debate. It's a rare breed."

Posted Mar 11, 2014

Sandra Hall

13 32%

The Monuments Men (2014)

"Clooney and Heslov fail to settle on a tone, or at least tie the contrasting moods together. There are daring feats and moments of tragic loss, bursts of sentiment and droll back and forth between Murray and Balaban's characters."

Posted Mar 11, 2014

Craig Mathieson

14 84%

The Armstrong Lie (2013)

"The Armstrong Lie presents an interesting perspective on him, and on his role in the science of doping."

Posted Mar 6, 2014

Philippa Hawker

15 85%

Gore Vidal: The United States Of Amnesia (2014)

"It's easy to believe the friends who attest that Vidal remained shy and vulnerable at heart. But perhaps this wasn't a bad thing, if it helped ensure that his carnivorous elegance remained wedded to an underlying sense of decency."

Posted Mar 6, 2014

Jake Wilson

16 41%

300: Rise of an Empire (2014)

"The battle for Europe continues in this ridiculously violent and cartoonish second installment, which does to history what Darius I tried to do to Greece."

Posted Mar 5, 2014

Paul Byrnes

17 29%

3 Days To Kill (2014)

"It's just as ridiculous as it sounds - and, thankfully, played mostly for laughs. "

Posted Mar 5, 2014

Jake Wilson

18 99%

Gloria (2014)

"For each person who sees Gloria as someone else's mother or co-worker, she's quietly determined to be the centre of her own imperfect world."

Posted Mar 5, 2014

Craig Mathieson

19 93%

All Is Lost (2013)

"All is Lost makes the familiar strikingly new. The filmmaker and his star hold their nerve, refusing easy outs and making you look - and listen - carefully to a starkly pure piece of cinema."

Posted Mar 4, 2014

Craig Mathieson

20 83%

Tracks (2014)

"The film falls short when it comes to evoking the loneliness of being surrounded by all that space."

Posted Mar 4, 2014

Sandra Hall

21 99%

Gloria (2014)

"Garcia's performance is wonderful. The more we watch her, the more beautiful her character becomes. "

Posted Feb 28, 2014

Paul Byrnes

22 99%

Gloria (2014)

"Chilean director Sebastian Lelio's Gloria is a warm, intimate, sharply funny depiction of a life in progress."

Posted Feb 28, 2014

Philippa Hawker

23 93%

All Is Lost (2013)

"Chandor has produced a minimalist gem."

Posted Feb 28, 2014

Sandra Hall

24 59%

Non-Stop (2014)

"It's also cleverly plotted and efficiently put together by the Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra."

Posted Feb 28, 2014

Paul Byrnes

25 59%

Non-Stop (2014)

"There are a few too many implausibilities and loose ends and the interactions with passengers are hard to credit."

Posted Feb 28, 2014

Philippa Hawker

26 75%

Lone Survivor (2014)

"Small in scale but just as intense, Lone Survivor's extended battle recalls the opening of Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan. like its hardy protagonists, is determined to get the job done. "

Posted Feb 24, 2014

Craig Mathieson

27 52%

Out of the Furnace (2013)

"Christian Bale still makes this rather run-of-the-mill proposition appealing, regardless of how oddly unfashionable he may currently be."

Posted Feb 23, 2014

Ed Gibbs

28 15%

Endless Love (2014)

"If there's any obsession or intensity in this movie, it belongs to Jade's father - a detail that throws the movie somewhat off kilter."

Posted Feb 20, 2014

Philippa Hawker

29 92%

Nebraska (2013)

"There is a sentimental aspect to the concluding stages of the film: it's not as broad or astringent as Payne can be. But there's also something intriguingly dreamlike about its tone."

Posted Feb 20, 2014

Philippa Hawker

30 48%

Wolf Creek 2 (2014)

"This is the most notable home-grown fiction feature to hit cinemas since P.J. Hogan's Mental."

Posted Feb 20, 2014

Jake Wilson

31 89%

Le Week-End (2014)

"The black humour here is strangely reassuring. And the cultural nostalgia, with nods to Bob Dylan and in particular Jean-Luc Godard, allows for a pleasing, if slight, conclusion."

Posted Feb 18, 2014

Craig Mathieson

32 92%

Nebraska (2013)

"Nebraska is a rare delight of a film that harks back to a golden era of American cinema."

Posted Feb 18, 2014

Ed Gibbs

33 93%

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

"A powerfully moving film, and McConaughey's extraordinary physical transformation is much more than a stunt."

Posted Feb 18, 2014

Jake Wilson

34 13%

Winter's Tale (2014)

"It's pretty, with wintry white locations and settings, but made with an unrelentingly heightened atmosphere, every scene a climax drizzled with a treacly score."

Posted Feb 13, 2014

Paul Byrnes

35 49%

RoboCop (2014)

"There are plenty of reasons to be sceptical about remakes of action classics, but director Jose Padilha's 21st-century take on Paul Verhoeven's exhilarating, satirical 1987 RoboCop is solid and thoughtful, with a few genuinely inventive moments."

Posted Feb 6, 2014

Philippa Hawker

36 72%

Pacific Rim (2013)

"In essence, Pacific Rim features a series of Godzilla monsters battle an ever dwindling number of Transformers, layered over the plot from Independence Day, only dumber."

Posted Dec 30, 2013

Giles Hardie

37 66%

The Railway Man (2014)

"The film strains so hard trying to sustain the emotional intensity that Teplitzky has whipped up, that there's no energy left for the big finish. "

Posted Dec 23, 2013

Sandra Hall

38 97%

Gravity (2013)

"It's a technical marvel -- appropriately breathtaking in its evocation of space's vastness and the buffeting suffered by the two astronauts in their efforts to anchor themselves to something solid. But Cuaron also knows how suspense works."

Posted Dec 18, 2013

Sandra Hall

39 65%

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

"Comic-book superheroes have become so angst-ridden in recent years it's a relief to be around one who has hung on to his sense of humour."

Posted Dec 18, 2013

Sandra Hall

40 98%

The Rocket (2014)

"The Rocket is a thoroughly infectious yarn set among the jungles of Laos. "

Posted Dec 17, 2013

Ed Gibbs

41 85%

Mystery Road ()

"Mystery Road's links to the classic Hollywood western are as obvious as its hero's cowboy boots and white hat but they do nothing to diminish its Australianness. "

Posted Dec 17, 2013

Sandra Hall

42 95%

War Witch (2013)

"Being a child soldier is tough to imagine, but Canadian writer-director Kim Nguyen takes on the challenge without many qualms."

Posted Dec 17, 2013

Jake Wilson

43 95%

A Hijacking (2013)

"A Hijacking achieves considerable power by avoiding the obvious, and staying close to its characters."

Posted Dec 16, 2013

Paul Byrnes

44 95%

The Act Of Killing (2013)

"The originality of The Act of Killing lies in Oppenheimer's decision to treat artifice as a roundabout path to truth."

Posted Dec 16, 2013

Jake Wilson

45 93%

Frances Ha (2013)

"Frances Ha -- both the movie and its heroine -- is graceful, awkward, luminous and hilarious."

Posted Dec 11, 2013

Philippa Hawker

46 93%

American Hustle (2013)

"American Hustle is an extremely entertaining ride through the human condition, with characters just short of ridiculous. The beautiful thing is that Russell does this without becoming mean."

Posted Dec 11, 2013

Paul Byrnes

47 99%

Wadjda (2013)

"Al Mansour's first feature film is a striking achievement."

Posted Dec 10, 2013

Garry Maddox

48 8%

Diana (2013)

"Neither as dreadful as some would claim nor as poignant as it would like to be, Diana skirts the surface of a complex figure while trying to keep all parties at bay."

Posted Sep 19, 2013

Ed Gibbs

49 17%

Zambezia (2013)

"In the end, the cast proves to be too big, the storyline too muddled."

Posted Apr 15, 2013

Sandra Hall

50 46%

Beautiful Creatures (2013)

"The problem is tone. LaGravenese lets the English have their heads, while the young Americans moon and kiss and frown like they mean it. "

Posted Feb 22, 2013

Paul Byrnes

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