Sight and Sound

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 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

2 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

3 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

4 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

5 84%

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

6 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

7 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

8 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

9 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

10 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

11 95%

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

12 94%

Her (2014)

"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

13 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

14 77%

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

15 88%

Fill the Void (2013)

"As opposed to the bleak view of sexual subjugation in Kadosh, Amos Gitai's 1999 film about Hasidic marriage, Fill the Void sees Burshtein fortrightly and wittily asserting that this is how her community lives."

Posted Feb 6, 2014

Jonathan Romney

16 93%

American Hustle (2013)

"Like the Abscam con, the film is a convincing confection, so well played that we don't care if it's the real deal or not."

Posted Feb 6, 2014

Kate Stables

17 93%

All Is Lost (2013)

"The film attains an operatic grandeur in its closing moments, and surprisingly earns it: Chandor's intensely physical, experiential work has brought us right up to the perilous edge between life and death."

Posted Feb 6, 2014

Michael Koresky

18 95%

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

"Where O Brother's picaresque was all sepia, bluegrass, hayseed slapstick and family reunion, this film offers a stringent voyage of overcast skies, melancholy folk, soured relationships and no direction home."

Posted Feb 6, 2014

JM Tyree

19 88%

Journal de France ()

"This fascinating film really belongs to those people whose names never made the history books, barely even their local newspaper headlines."

Posted Feb 6, 2014

Jonathan Romney

20 100%

Shen nu, (The Goddess) ()

"One of the most powerful silent films of all time."

Posted Jan 29, 2014

Scott MacDonald

21 99%

The Missing Picture (2014)

"The result is at once limited and brutally effective in communicating the emotional stasis of memory and the dehumanisation that comes from the ruthless enforcement of pure ideology."

Posted Jan 16, 2014

Robert Greene

22 97%

12 Years a Slave (2013)

"12 Years a Slave proves McQueen's formal prowess and, more significantly, his utter seriousness as a dramatist."

Posted Jan 10, 2014

Calum Marsh

23 94%

Lore (2013)

"Lore is a akin to a bourgeois German version of Elem Klimov's 1985 Belarus-set Come and See, and it has some outstanding features. The star turn is the lurking cinematography of Adam Arkapaw."

Posted Jan 1, 2014

Roger Clarke

24 95%

Stories We Tell (2013)

"Stories We Tell, uniquely, reveals its process as if we are thinking, sifting and selecting along with the filmmaker."

Posted Dec 31, 2013

Sophie Mayer

25 83%

Berberian Sound Studio (2013)

"Berberian Sound Studio refuses such a climax: it at once celebrates giallo and takes it apart, disassembling it like Derren Brown explaining an illusion."

Posted Dec 31, 2013

Sam Davies

26 97%

The Selfish Giant (2013)

"Conner Chapman and Shaun Thomas are terrific fresh finds for Barnard, and the film is a triumph in the direction of young untried actors."

Posted Dec 30, 2013

Jonathan Romney

27 ——

Ongoing Smile ()

"A portrait of Kim Dong-ho, founder and long-time director of the Busan International Film Festival, and recently also a filmmaker in his own right"

Posted Dec 20, 2013

Anton Bitel

28 ——

Rough Play ()

"uses the rise and fall of a self-involved young actor (embodied by Lee Joon) to trace the merciless revolving door of Korea's star system. Reflexive to a fault, and full of references to other Korean films... "

Posted Dec 20, 2013

Anton Bitel

29 ——

Wish ()

"looks unflinchingly at the effects of a horrific child rape on a family already facing financial difficulties, and features a standout performance from Sol Kyung-gu as a father desperate to reconnect with a daughter he barely knows."

Posted Dec 20, 2013

Anton Bitel

30 ——

Fatal ()

"Revenge... features in Lee Don-kyu's astonishing Dogme-style debut "

Posted Dec 20, 2013

Anton Bitel

31 ——

Behind the Camera ()

"Since E sits (purportedly) in an LA office throughout the Korean shoot, he can waggishly refer to himself as a 'Hollywood director' and gently satirise the rush of Korean filmmakers to the US market."

Posted Dec 19, 2013

Anton Bitel

32 ——

Go-ryeong-hwa-ga-jok (Boomerang Family) ()

"involve[s] the family ties that continue to bind despite profound domestic dysfunction, and also include[s] a young woman's sexual exploitation (in a pivotal subplot), but its dramas remain[s] primarily comic in nature."

Posted Dec 19, 2013

Anton Bitel

33 ——

Mong-ta-joo (Montage) ()

"deftly criss-crosses between an unsolved child abduction and a copycat crime 15 years later, with some very thorny dilemmas revolving around the morality of revenge."

Posted Dec 19, 2013

Anton Bitel

34 ——

Miracle in Cell No. 7 (2013)

"handles its seriocomic switching [well]"

Posted Dec 19, 2013

Anton Bitel

35 40%

FLU (2013)

"the shift in Kim Sung-soo's infection disaster movie FLU from buddy laughs and cutesy child antics to what can only be described as Holocaust imagery was too much for this viewer, with poor CGI compounding the alienation."

Posted Dec 19, 2013

Anton Bitel

36 ——

Secretly, Greatly (Secretly and Greatly) (2013)

"not only confounds the borderlines between domestic banality and covert war but also smuggles in much action and ultimately tragedy under the cover of easy comedy."

Posted Dec 19, 2013

Anton Bitel

37 ——

Nam-jjok-eu-ro twi-eu (South Bound) ()

"not only offers a forum for [protagonist] Choi's anti-establishment convictions but also utterly validates them, even as it portrays a Korea that has fewer and fewer spaces where such idealism can be accommodated. "

Posted Dec 19, 2013

Anton Bitel

38 ——

Hide And Seek (Soombakkokjil) (2013)

"first-time director Huh Jung shows a real mastery of pacing, atmosphere and tension as well as a thematic engagement with the destructive power of material acquisitiveness."

Posted Dec 19, 2013

Anton Bitel

39 ——

Pluto ()

"uses its melancholic thriller plot - revolving around high-schoolers willing to commit murder to attain élite university placements - to expose the 'class' divisions in Korea that load the nation's hierarchical system in favour of the undeserving rich."

Posted Dec 19, 2013

Anton Bitel

40 71%

Fists Of Legend (2013)

"boisterously entertaining template serves as sly cover for commentary on the way that Korea's corrupted social and corporate structures have for decades been holding down the nation's real talent."

Posted Dec 19, 2013

Anton Bitel

41 84%

Upstream Color (2013)

"Clearly, the film is intended as a tactile experience of poetic ideas, of modern disconnection and biophysical insecurity and existential doubt, and the clarity of these anxieties is bruising and stunning."

Posted Dec 17, 2013

Michael Atkinson

42 95%

The Act Of Killing (2013)

"The emotionally manipulative use of some of the material raises all kinds of questions about veracity."

Posted Dec 16, 2013

Tony Rayns

43 93%

Frances Ha (2013)

"The thoughtfulness and commitment of Gerwig's performance in its shifts from chaotic exuberance to rigorous rehearsal suggest that she is the more interesting artist to watch."

Posted Dec 11, 2013

Sophie Mayer

44 99%

Wadjda (2013)

"Haifaa al Mansour's debut merits recognition for its fresh-feeling take on the trope whereby the travails of a child protagonist mirror those of a wider society."

Posted Dec 10, 2013

Hannah McGill

45 86%

Computer Chess (2013)

"The code for the future has already been written - and as Bujalski seeks to discover who we are and where we come from (not just as wired-in 21st-century users but as human beings), it's checkmate in 12 hilariously unorthodox moves."

Posted Nov 22, 2013

Anton Bitel

46 ——

Soulmate ()

"a gothic romance cum ghost story where the supernatural and the psychological blur into one. The shrill melodrama of the film's climax seemed out of keeping with both the creeping pace of what had preceded and the subtle ambiguity of the final scene"

Posted Nov 9, 2013

Anton Bitel

47 9%

Nothing Left to Fear (2013)

"a far better remake of The Wicker Man (1973) than its official 2006 iteration, as well as a complicated discourse on the contradictions to be found in faith, superstition and the easy manipulation of both, "

Posted Nov 9, 2013

Anton Bitel

48 ——

Discopathe ()

"as an affectionate postmodern evocation of several kinds of scuzzy flicks, full of satisfying tonal dissonances and psychotronic excursions, it had the midnight audience wanting to get down and boogie to its wayward beats."

Posted Nov 9, 2013

Anton Bitel

49 ——

Blood Glacier (Blutgletscher) (The Station) (2014)

"a smart, contemporary creature feature that addresses, through genre, the radical environmental changes that we're all dooming ourselves to fight, flee or adopt."

Posted Nov 9, 2013

Anton Bitel

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