Sight and Sound

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 95%

Norte, the End of History (2014)

"Diaz's most vocal fans do him no favours in this regard: he might become a better, more self-critical director if people stopped reassuring him that every new film he makes is a deathless masterpiece."

Posted Jul 17, 2014

Adrian Martin

2 99%

Boyhood (2014)

"Boyhood proceeds in brisk, implacably linear chronological fashion, and despite its 165-minute running time, is astonishingly minimal."

Posted Jul 11, 2014

Ashley Clark

3 75%

Bicycling with Moliere (2014)

"Cycling with Molière gives us both a French-language fest and acting fireworks."

Posted Jul 7, 2014

Ginette Vincendeau

4 82%

Camille Claudel, 1915 (2013)

"This later history of Claudel, which stars Juliette Binoche, is spare, harsh and minimalistic, as one would expect from Bruno Dumont."

Posted Jun 20, 2014

Graham Fuller

5 83%

Belle (2014)

"This inextricable intertwining of love and justice, private and public, personal and political, is the film's great cri de coeur and its structural brilliance, as costume and courtroom drama comment on, and merge into, each other."

Posted Jun 13, 2014

Sophie Mayer

6 50%

Pain & Gain (2013)

"While Pain & Gain often frustrates, Bay's overwhelming cinematic sense is undeniable."

Posted Jun 6, 2014

Nick Pinkerton

7 93%

Fruitvale Station (2013)

"It focuses on its subject's humanity and assesses the tragedy on a personal rather than explicitly sociopolitical level. However, the way in which it fleshes out Oscar's character makes it an acutely political work."

Posted Jun 6, 2014

Ashley Clark

8 91%

Venus in Fur (2014)

"This is Polanski's second theatre adaptation in a row after Carnage, and at the age of 80 he shows no signs of slowing down. It's easily his most enjoyable film for some time."

Posted May 30, 2014

Roger Clarke

9 88%

The Punk Singer (2013)

"Anderson's film -- a scrappy, exuberant battler like its subject -- shows how Hanna has transmuted a hunger borne of body-image pressure into a hunger to change the world."

Posted May 29, 2014

Sophie Mayer

10 ——

How To Disappear Completely ()

"Shot wide, and made to resound to a throbbing electro pulse... How To Disappear Completely is a haunting, apocalyptic vision that hypnotises the viewer into a trance state while establishing an almost tangible sense of approaching dread."

Posted May 26, 2014

Anton Bitel

11 ——

Shift (2009)

"With its protagonist unwilling, if not quite unable, to shift from her stasis, this is coming-of-age that never arrives, leaving the viewer aptly on hold."

Posted May 26, 2014

Anton Bitel

12 ——

Tuhog (2002)

"all the stories are told with something less than economy, while Tonio's and Caloy's already rather light stories seem all the more disposable when pinned to the gravity of Fiesta's tragedy."

Posted May 26, 2014

Anton Bitel

13 100%

On The Job (2013)

"an audacious trawl through the gutter of Manila's political structures, evoking the very best conspiracy thrillers of the 70s while remaining utterly contemporary and local. "

Posted May 26, 2014

Anton Bitel

14 ——

Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles ()

"This is the first Filipino film to have been shot entirely on green-screen chroma key, so at least there are oddly stylised backgrounds against which all the one-dimensional characters can play out their sub-Night of the Living Dead siege routines."

Posted May 26, 2014

Anton Bitel

15 ——

The Search For Weng Weng ()

"Overlapping to a degree with Mark Hartley's Machete Maidens Unleashed! (2010), Leavold's quest to uncover the man behind the legend becomes an affectionate if bittersweet history of Filipino exploitation cinema"

Posted May 26, 2014

Anton Bitel

16 ——

Struggled Reagans ()

"Struggled Reagans is horny, lysergic and postmodern, reconfiguring its Power Rangers-style ensemble heroics as both priapic trash and transcendental parable."

Posted May 26, 2014

Anton Bitel

17 ——

Quand je serai dictateur (When I Will Be Dictator) ()

"This melancholic oddity may be slow to start, but once it gets going it offers many peculiar insights into film and fantasy; it also manages to be very moving, despite or perhaps because of its overt artifice."

Posted May 26, 2014

Anton Bitel

18 60%

Mood Indigo (2014)

"There are conceits aplenty, but not enough underlying substance or believable characters to render all the wild whimsy attractive or even endurable."

Posted May 26, 2014

Anton Bitel

19 28%

Upside Down (2013)

"The problem is that the physics here are patently ridiculous, and there is likewise no viable chemistry between stars Jim Sturgess and Kirsten Dunst."

Posted May 26, 2014

Anton Bitel

20 100%

Frequencies (2014)

"at once a star-crossed romance, an allegory of (class) discord and (musical) harmony, and a theological investigation into nature and nurture, free will and determinism. It's out there, alright - and there's nothing else out there quite like it."

Posted May 26, 2014

Anton Bitel

21 ——

Suicide Or Lulu And Me In A World Made For Two ()

"In the film's artificial monochrome world, inflected with the stylisations of German Expressionism and the French New Wave, reality proves an elusive concept less desirable than fantasy."

Posted May 26, 2014

Anton Bitel

22 ——

LFO: The Movie (2014)

"Tublén's wryly banalised, tone-perfect scenario builds with disorienting humour to a bleak, thought-provoking close that suggests it is ultimately impossible to escape one's own darkest interiors."

Posted May 26, 2014

Anton Bitel

23 ——

Desolate ()

"Grant's editing is the real hero here, piecing together many close-ups into an impressionistic mosaic of delusion, distraction and deep damage"

Posted May 26, 2014

Anton Bitel

24 ——

Time Lapse ()

"a paradox-filled, reflexive plot "

Posted May 26, 2014

Anton Bitel

25 ——

Bunker 6 ()

"oppressively claustrophobic corridors are made to accommodate two very different 'alternative realities'"

Posted May 26, 2014

Anton Bitel

26 ——

El Desierto (The Desert) ()

"an intense Sartrean character drama, rather than just another low-budget zombie flick."

Posted May 26, 2014

Anton Bitel

27 93%

A Touch of Sin (2013)

"It's that quality of directness, of purpose -- here particularly fierce purpose -- that gives Jia's plays with fiction and nonfiction both their vigour and their political perceptiveness and bite."

Posted May 22, 2014

Andrew Tracy

28 74%

Godzilla (2014)

"Edwards takes care to include people in the frame, often for size reference, and stages excellent moments of awe-inspiring peril in which tiny figures are dwarfed by monsters and general devastation."

Posted May 22, 2014

Kim Newman

29 95%

Sanma no aji (An Autumn Afternoon) (The Widower) (1964)

"While An Autumn Afternoon is in so many ways wholly typical of Ozu, it's also a very distinct variation, following beautifully from its predecessors."

Posted May 20, 2014

Geoff Andrew

30 ——

Le chagrin des oiseaux (Timbuktu) ()

"Abderrahmane Sissako may not be the most prolific of filmmakers, but he is undoubtedly one of the most interesting and ambitious writer-directors working in film today, and quite possibly one of the best."

Posted May 15, 2014

Geoff Andrew

31 89%

The Wind Rises (2014)

"It's Miyazaki's most atypical cartoon, yet it might be his most personal self-representation, a portrait of the artist as a myopic dreamer."

Posted May 13, 2014

Andrew Osmond

32 96%

Blue Ruin (2014)

"Saulnier works intelligent and engrossing variations on the revenge thriller."

Posted May 8, 2014

Trevor Johnston

33 89%

Exhibition (2014)

"Exhibition proclaims itself to be an assertively front-facing film: an object knowingly placed on view, inviting or challenging us to contemplate it from outside."

Posted Apr 28, 2014

Andrew Tracy

34 19%

Transcendence (2014)

"[A] pallid and self-serious genre trifle."

Posted Apr 28, 2014

Michael Atkinson

35 97%

We Are the Best! (2014)

"We Are the Best! is a low-key pleasure. It is perhaps not a project that tests Moodysson as a director but it resoundingly shows his brilliance at directing young performers."

Posted Apr 18, 2014

Jonathan Romney

36 92%

Calvary (2014)

"Gleeson's magnificent intensity and the palpable wit and intelligence of the film's conception make Calvary an audacious advance on The Guard."

Posted Apr 11, 2014

Jonathan Romney

37 77%

Noah (2014)

"What's finally impressive about Noah, even to those of us who are hardly unconditional Aronofskians, is the degree of unbending faith on which this massively ambitious venture is built."

Posted Apr 10, 2014

Jonathan Romney

38 99%

20 Feet From Stardom (2013)

"Consciously avoiding a Dreamgirls vibe that suggests their failure was a showbiz tragedy, Neville lets his subjects unabashedly strut their stuff."

Posted Mar 28, 2014

Kate Stables

39 98%

Starred Up (2014)

"For all its shockingly graphic bloodshed and atmosphere of pervasive doom, the moments when Starred Up grabs the jugular most are the scenes in Oliver's anger-management classes, where Eric sits with people of similar age and vulnerability."

Posted Mar 20, 2014

Michael Pattison

40 86%

Under the Skin (2014)

"For all its clinical detachment, Glazer's film becomes its own oblique treatise on what it means to be and feel human."

Posted Mar 13, 2014

Samuel Wigley

41 88%

In Darkness (2012)

"Though the film's factual basis dictates an upbeat ending, much of the journey is appropriately and memorably grim."

Posted Mar 11, 2014

Michael Brooke

42 92%

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

"It's Fiennes who coolly walks off with the film. Switching seamlessly between courtliness and profanity, he displays a gift for comic timing that's rarely been unleashed since his Essex gang boss in 2007's In Bruges."

Posted Mar 7, 2014

Philip Kemp

43 81%

The Royal Tenenbaums (2002)

"With Anderson's images, seductive as they are, we can ultimately only guess -- what Margot's plays are about, or who Etheline's suitors are... And that makes Anderson's film an exhilarating experience, a real jungle gym for the imagination."

Posted Mar 4, 2014

Jonathan Romney

44 97%

Gravity (2013)

"This is a story about people floating through space, and Alfonso Cuarón's feature brilliantly contrives to make the viewer feel similarly untethered, to often thrilling effect. This is surely the closest cinema comes to three-dimensional virtual abseiling."

Posted Mar 2, 2014

Jonathan Romney

45 85%

We Are What We Are (2013)

"Mickle and co-writer Nick Damici give themselves plenty of time to tease out their themes and ladle on the tension."

Posted Feb 28, 2014

Lisa Mullen

46 94%

Stranger by the Lake (2014)

"It shimmers with that intoxicating sun-on-the-water allure that might make someone not quite themselves."

Posted Feb 21, 2014

Ben Walters

47 94%

Her (2013)

"The combination of Jonze's dialogue, the intensity of the performances and the way the film's style wraps you up in Theodore and Samantha's inner-ear relationship makes this feel like a uniquely apt diagnosis of contemporary ills."

Posted Feb 14, 2014

Nick James

48 78%

An Oversimplification Of Her Beauty (2013)

"Hyperbolic adjectives such as dizzying, effervescent, kaleidoscopic and exhilarating spring to mind but don't adequately convey the craft and persistence that have gone into this confessional slice of (semi) non-fiction."

Posted Feb 7, 2014

Ashley Clark

49 76%

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

"Along with its three-hour runtime, this baggy plotting may make Wolf a somewhat harder sell to audiences but it's a deeper movie than The Departed -- among the best that Scorsese has made."

Posted Feb 7, 2014

Nick Pinkerton

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