The Skinny

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 60%

Nymphomaniac: Volume II (2014)

"Nymphomaniac's clunkiness and desperation to shock could be forgiven if it wasn't so uniformly dull. With a talent such as Lars, it really is unforgivable."

Posted Apr 16, 2014

Rachel Bowles

2 77%

Nymphomaniac: Volume I (2014)

"Nymphomaniac's clunkiness and desperation to shock could be forgiven if it wasn't so uniformly dull. With a talent such as Lars, it really is unforgivable."

Posted Apr 16, 2014

Rachel Bowles

3 58%

Half of a Yellow Sun (2014)

"Strongly played by all four leads, Half of a Yellow Sun is sumptuous and enjoyable, but there is just too much paint in this story for the canvas provided."

Posted Apr 11, 2014

Alan Bett

4 50%

The Quiet Ones (2014)

"Pogue repeatedly allows tension to dissipate, and only a handful of moments come close to inspiring actual fear. Otherwise, it's cheap jolts all the way."

Posted Apr 11, 2014

Chris Buckle

5 80%

The Raid 2 (2014)

"Most of its kinetic choreography is transformed into arduous onslaughts that numb rather than thrill."

Posted Apr 11, 2014

Josh Slater-Williams

6 77%

Noah (2014)

"Darren Aronofsky has managed ... intrigue, and pointed ecological commentary, in among the blood, wrath and spectacle of this fascinating Old Testament adaptation."

Posted Apr 7, 2014

Chris Fyvie

7 92%

Calvary (2014)

"Perhaps to compensate for his talky script and repetitive structure, McDonagh's direction is distractingly fussy, all asymmetrical framing and on-the-nose symbolism. The one grace note is Gleeson."

Posted Apr 7, 2014

Jamie Dunn

8 94%

The Past (2013)

"The Past is clearly the work of a master dramatist, and precious few filmmakers in world cinema are currently operating at Farhadi's level."

Posted Apr 3, 2014

Philip Concannon

9 89%

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

"The Winter Soldier is consistently engaging, exciting in bursts, but there's not one point in which the film ever excels."

Posted Mar 27, 2014

Josh Slater-Williams

10 79%

Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

"Most Wanted abandons the 2011 film's knack for sidelining its title characters, ensuring its star supporting players like Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey remain just that."

Posted Mar 27, 2014

Josh Slater-Williams

11 98%

Starred Up (2014)

"Mackenzie skilfully sketches the sense of community and hierarchy that prison life is built upon, and makes us keenly aware of the simmering aggression that threatens to boil over at any time."

Posted Mar 20, 2014

Philip Concannon

12 99%

Short Term 12 (2013)

"Short is all nuanced performances bathed in sumptuous Californian sunlight: its realism is reflected in its lo-fi aesthetic and naturalistic cinematography."

Posted Mar 7, 2014

Rachel Bowles

13 78%

Sorcerer (1977)

"Breathtaking in its cinematography, production design and sound work, Sorcerer is a worthy contender for the film with the most suspenseful set-pieces in Hollywood history - if such an arbitrary title existed."

Posted Mar 6, 2014

Josh Slater-Williams

14 83%

Drinking Buddies (2013)

"It finds its groove with sincere, nuanced performances and a realistic attitude to romance as refreshing as a fistful of Citra hops."

Posted Mar 6, 2014

Kirsty Leckie-Palmer

15 100%

Wake in Fright (2012)

"The kindness of strangers has never seemed more terrifying than in this dusty, sun-bleached masterpiece, now stunningly restored."

Posted Mar 6, 2014

Lewis Porteous

16 94%

Locke (2014)

"This does not quite share the subtlety of Beckett (metaphors of hardening concrete footprints are a little too obvious), or the poetry of language, but must be considered a modern equivalent."

Posted Mar 6, 2014

Alan Bett

17 ——

Dreams of Flight: The Golden Age...& Beyond (1994)

"Retains a dreamlike quality that at times leaves the film in debt as much to Terrence Malick as Alejandro González Ińárritu."

Posted Mar 6, 2014

Sam Lewis

18 83%

The Punk Singer (2013)

"The Punk Singer takes us back to the era when manifestos were spread in underground fanzines."

Posted Mar 6, 2014

David McGinty

19 93%

Mistaken for Strangers (2014)

"Touching and actually quite smart in its own unique ways."

Posted Mar 6, 2014

Josh Slater-Williams

20 100%

Ilo Ilo (2014)

"A film that is both a vivid portrait of recession-struck Singapore in 1997 and a subdued, bittersweet affair that retains a natural feel."

Posted Mar 6, 2014

Josh Slater-Williams

21 54%

The Zero Theorem ()

"It's a visual marvel: a low-fi, old school dystopia that nevertheless feels both contemporary and worryingly prescient."

Posted Mar 6, 2014

Nathanael Smith

22 ——

El Amor No Es Lo Que Era ()

"Though the middle-aged couple's ennui-filled story proves somewhat dull, much of the film is amiable and engaging."

Posted Mar 6, 2014

Josh Slater-Williams

23 92%

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

"Behind the predictably whimsical yarn of a hotel concierge on the run lies a darker tale of pre-war Europe, a land of intrigue, disease, love and bubbling violence."

Posted Feb 27, 2014

Sam Lewis

24 84%

Run & Jump (2014)

"Despite the strain on the family, ultimately this is a tender story told with heart, humour, and Irish charm."

Posted Feb 27, 2014

Yasmin Ali

25 82%

Salvo ()

"Visually confident with a notably bare sound design of introspective silences, ticking clocks, a solitary barking dog, it's a film sure of its movement, strolling like a lion."

Posted Feb 27, 2014

Alan Bett

26 80%

Aatsinki: The Story Of Arctic Cowboys (2014)

"Audiences will not fail to notice that Oreck has consciously and effectively sought to re-frame her long term fascination with American westerns and cowboys as a Nordic western of the Finnish order."

Posted Feb 27, 2014

Gareth Rice

27 95%

Blue Ruin (2014)

"Blue Ruin is a revenge film filled with enough unpredictability to keep your attention and violence that serves the story rather than being gratuitous - though it does, at times, make for difficult viewing."

Posted Feb 27, 2014

Yasmin Ali

28 88%

The Double (2014)

"Richard Ayoade deftly crafts humanist comedy from dark, Kafkaesque absurdity in his Dostoyevsky adaptation The Double."

Posted Feb 27, 2014

Rachel Bowles

29 99%

20 Feet From Stardom (2013)

"You rush to Spotify to hear more of their songs post-credits."

Posted Feb 27, 2014

Jamie Dunn

30 74%

Night Moves (2014)

"Reichardt, who co-wrote the film, refreshingly opts out of defined moral judgements concerning both the central trio and supporting figures peppered throughout the story."

Posted Feb 27, 2014

Josh Slater-Williams

31 48%

L'étrange couleur des larmes de ton corps (The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears) ()

"It's a confusing and demanding film, at times exhausting; so subjective as to defy simple rating."

Posted Feb 27, 2014

Alan Bett

32 ——

Hundraĺringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann (The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared) ()

"Alan's life weaves through significant events of the 20th century, recalling naďve, hilarious and unrelentingly ridiculous encounters with Franco, Stalin and Oppenheimer, among others."

Posted Feb 27, 2014

David McGinty

33 100%

These Birds Walk (2013)

"The Ehdi Foundation - the non-profit at the centre of the film - looks after children with unwavering love and dedication, and this compassion translates into the film itself."

Posted Feb 27, 2014

Nathanael Smith

34 85%

Mystery Road ()

"Detective Jay Swan is no Marlowe; he just isn't engaging, or all that interesting."

Posted Feb 27, 2014

David McGinty

35 80%

Tom ŕ la ferme (Tom at the Farm) ()

"The result is a mean little absurdist thriller, and, by some margin, the best of Dolan's work so far."

Posted Feb 27, 2014

Jamie Dunn

36 85%

Under the Skin (2014)

"What begins as an eerie psychosexual horror movie slowly shifts to a haunting study of loneliness and female subjugation."

Posted Feb 27, 2014

Jamie Dunn

37 95%

Stranger by the Lake (2014)

"When was the last time you saw an erotic thriller that worked simultaneously on both levels?"

Posted Feb 20, 2014

Philip Concannon

38 87%

Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)

"If you have ever taken a moment to wonder what a vampire romance directed by Jim Jarmusch would look like, then Only Lovers Left Alive probably comes pretty close to the film you imagined."

Posted Feb 20, 2014

Philip Concannon

39 64%

Bastards (2013)

"Bastards sees director Claire Denis back in her more polarising mode as the dark queen of French cinema, with a work of bewitching atmosphere that veers between the sensual and repulsive."

Posted Feb 13, 2014

Josh Slater-Williams

40 78%

The Banshee Chapter (2014)

"H.P. Lovecraft's From Beyond gets a 21st century revamp in Blair Erickson's solid first feature."

Posted Feb 6, 2014

Scotty McKellar

41 94%

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

"Thanks to a lack of heartstrings being insincerely tugged and magnetic performances from Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto ... familiarity never quite breeds contempt."

Posted Feb 6, 2014

Chris Fyvie

42 94%

Her (2014)

"Her asks us to consider what constitutes a 'real' relationship in a world where every interaction is filtered through technology, making it feel like a vital contemporary romance."

Posted Feb 6, 2014

Philip Concannon

43 78%

An Oversimplification Of Her Beauty (2013)

"An Oversimplification of Her Beauty is a love story, and it appropriately feels as if it has been made with the heart more than the head."

Posted Feb 6, 2014

Philip Concannon

44 76%

Lone Survivor (2014)

"The relentless intensity quickly grows numbing."

Posted Jan 30, 2014

Philip Concannon

45 64%

August: Osage County (2013)

"August still feels neutered for mass consumption even to one barely familiar with the source."

Posted Jan 23, 2014

Josh Slater-Williams

46 80%

Crystal Fairy (2013)

"Silva's freewheeling direction is pleasantly at odds with the angst on screen."

Posted Jan 16, 2014

Jamie Dunn

47 93%

All Is Lost (2013)

"[Redford] gives a commanding performance as the nameless protagonist that makes the complete lack of characterisation an irrelevance."

Posted Dec 20, 2013

Philip Concannon

48 93%

American Hustle (2013)

"Somewhat in keeping with its narrative's spectacle of deception, the comedown of this sugar rush of a film might not reveal the most nutritious consumption, but sometimes the messiest concoctions have a better taste."

Posted Dec 20, 2013

Josh Slater-Williams

49 49%

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013)

"Two hours of gloopy, insipid, narcissistic wish fulfilment ensues, alongside an uncomfortably extended promotion for dating site eHarmony."

Posted Dec 20, 2013

Josh Slater-Williams

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