Independent on Sunday

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
The Holiday (2006) Nicholas Barber Isn't it reassuring to know in these troubled times that it's possible for gorgeous rich people to find love? EDIT
Posted Apr 2, 2019
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) Quentin Curtis It's certainly uncouth, and occasionally offensive. But it's also brimming with energy, moderately inventive, and sometimes even funny. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995) Quentin Curtis Even the Die Hardest of fans should accept that the series has at last run out of steam. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
Very Bad Things (1998) Antonia Quirke It's as thought writer and director Peter Berg couldn't face following through what he suggests in the early moments of the film. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
Two Girls and a Guy (1997) Antonia Quirke Tobak is fascinated with Downey, and spends most of the time following him about, like someone with a crush. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
Marie Antoinette (2006) Jonathan Romney ...an ambitious, affecting, truly distinctive piece of work, albeit one that will tell you more about 1780s footwear than about the causes and effects of the French Revolution. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
Stepmom (1998) Antonia Quirke It's a film about a woman who lives for other people and who wears the requisite hunted expression. If this woman wasn't Sarandon, then Stepmom would be altogether hopeless. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
American Dreamz (2006) Nicholas Barber Still, if American Dreamz doesn't quite come together, it's more rewarding than lots of films that do. Like an episode of The Simpsons directed by Robert Altman, it's a smart, cynical sprawl. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004) Jonathan Romney Orson Welles said a film studio was the best train-set a boy could have, but The Life Aquatic is something else: Anderson uses the sound stages of Cinecittá like a kid playing with toy boats in the bath. He makes one hell of a splash. EDIT
Posted Mar 31, 2019
Practical Magic (1998) Xan Brooks Essentially a sibling soap-opera with a dash of mumbo-jumbo. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2019
MacGruber (2010) Andrew Johnson This spoof of 1980s' action hero MacGyver just isn't funny, with its banal reliance on lame sex jokes. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
Jennifer's Body (2009) Nicholas Barber Instead of playing like a hip outsider's subversive new genre-mash, Jennifer's Body comes across as a tame, derivative vehicle for the girl from the Transformers franchise. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
A Further Gesture (1997) Matthew Sweet It's a political thriller from which all the politics has been carefully spooned. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
Persons Unknown (1996) Matthew Sweet The film takes a dive into absurdity. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) Matthew Sweet There are several effective moments... And the epilogue delivers a shock that'll fill your turn-ups with popcorn. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) Matthew Sweet [Director Roger] Spottiswoode serves up a glutinous mix of pastiche and parody, without seeming to know whether he's recycling or debunking his cliches. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
Space Jam (1996) Kevin Jackson Space Jam is so obviously a work of the marketing/demographic-hunting mentality that it's rather surprising to find that the brazen creature gathers a certain charm as it rolls along. EDIT
Posted Mar 22, 2019
Touch of Evil (1958) Antonia Quirke What a film this is. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2019
Bride of Chucky (1998) Antonia Quirke Bride of Chucky is easily the best of the four-film Chucky franchise, and it's a barmy, witty horror movie full of Scream-like ironies. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2019
Venus Beauty Institute (1999) Antonia Quirke Tonie Marshall's quiet, unremarkable film has little real emotional pull. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2019
Gloria (1999) Antonia Quirke An unnecessary remake. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2019
Just the Ticket (1999) Antonia Quirke The film works well when it is down on the street, spying on Gary doing his off-the-cuff stuff with real commuters, and Garcia is physically perfect for this kind of role. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2019
Croupier (1998) Antonia Quirke Croupier is fascinating, mercilessly compact, adamant. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2019
Cruel Intentions (1999) Antonia Quirke Cruel Intentions is a surprisingly winning update of Choderlos De Laclos's 1782 novel Les Liaisons Dangeureuses. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2019
The Last Seduction (1994) Lesley Thornton Linda Fiorentino...gives a wisecracking, ball-breaking, riveting performance in John Dahl's The Last Seduction. EDIT
Posted Jan 18, 2019
The First Wives Club (1996) Kevin Jackson [I]f you're expecting any savour of fin de siecle feminism more bracing than that peddled in, say, Nine to Five (which has much the same fundamental revenge premise), you'd be better off perusing the writings of Gloria Steinem. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2019
Jump the Gun (1997) Matthew Sweet There are plenty of witty sequences... But the film has a shaky grasp on the psychologies of its characters, and can't seem to justify their actions satisfactorily. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2018
I, Robot (2004) Jonathan Romney Given how hard it is to find new ideas in mainstream screen sci-fi these days, the film does a creditable job of repackaging standard speculative circuitry under a sleek new blockbuster carapace. EDIT
Posted Dec 14, 2018
Purple Noon (1960) Matthew Sweet Filmed in sumptuous colour, it's a deliciously amoral thriller with a devilishly attractive star. EDIT
Posted Dec 14, 2018
Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997) Matthew Sweet As she did in Mighty Aphrodite, Sorvino rises above knackered material that seems set on patronising her character. EDIT
Posted Dec 14, 2018
Keys to Tulsa (1997) Matthew Sweet The plot is full of italicised twists and kooky set-pieces, but grossly over-plotted and overwritten. EDIT
Posted Dec 14, 2018
Albino Alligator (1996) Matthew Sweet Christian Forte's script starts a little shakily, but it finds its feet once it has stopped trying to be Dog Day Afternoon, heading squarely into David Mamet territory. EDIT
Posted Dec 14, 2018
Event Horizon (1997) Matthew Sweet But, to its credit, Event Horizon never pretends to be anything other than a series of highly efficient rip-offs. EDIT
Posted Dec 14, 2018
Miami Vice (2006) Jonathan Romney Unlike the TV series, Miami Vice takes itself too seriously to be trashy -- and too seriously to be much fun either. EDIT
Posted Dec 8, 2018
The Crucible (1996) Kevin Jackson A competent, uncontroversial, rather shouty version of a play which is now safely canonical and, if the philistinism may be forgiven, less remarkable than it once seemed, when dramas of the liberal conscience had an urgent edge. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2018
Mars Attacks! (1996) Kevin Jackson A giddy mixture of the gross and the trashily poetic, it's hopelessly undisciplined, and will plunder giggles wherever it can find them; at its best, it can make you yelp with laughter. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2018
Bound (1996) Kevin Jackson Brutal, flashily directed and pretty much meretricious. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2018
The Neon Bible (1995) Quentin Curtis It makes for moments of entranced wonder but for tedium as well. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2018
The Wild Bunch (1969) Quentin Curtis Peckinpah's work, immaculately framed and searingly edited, leads us to wonder whether film form is hopelessly, and inevitably, in thrall to brutality. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2018
Nightwatch (1998) Quentin Curtis Though laboured in its exposition, and at times sadistic, the movie paints a luridly disturbing portrait of male aggression. And the dialogue contains odd shafts of insight. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2018
Species (1995) Quentin Curtis Standard special effects these days, but what lifts Species above the average is the bunch of boffins trying to track down Sil in LA (great camouflage for a weirdo) before she reproduces. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2018
Titanic (1997) Matthew Sweet The dialogue may be unspeakable, but the film remains unsinkable. EDIT
Posted Mar 1, 2018
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) Jonathan Romney This atavistic Christians-vs-Moors narrative doesn't belong in the present day, and that's no doubt why so many people are addicted to it: it's so ideologically overstated that it can easily be brushed off as harmlessly quaint escapism. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2018
A Beautiful Mind (2001) Jonathan Romney Ultimately the message is banal and rather repellent: brainwork wrecks your health. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2018
Crash (2004) Jonathan Romney If there's anything worse than a film with no point, it's one that's all point and nothing but. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2018
The King's Speech (2010) Nicholas Barber Bonham Carter is a joy as the tender yet sardonic Elizabeth, and the Oscar-bound Firth is both heart-rending and remarkably funny in his best ever role. It's all done so expertly. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2018
The Departed (2006) Jonathan Romney If you like Scorsese, or if you just like thrillers, you'll have a good time. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2018
The Karate Kid (2010) Nicholas Barber Smith Jr looks thoroughly bored by Mom and Pop's extravagant gift. I can't say I blame him. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2018
Unforgiven (1992) Anthony Lane No thrill comes cheap in Unforgiven. The West that it shows is Wild all right, but more like a dog than a party. That doesn't mean we can't enjoy being dragged along for the ride; the rougher the better, in fact, as every action zings with ricochets. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018
Singin' in the Rain (1952) Anthony Lane Tap-dancing has never looked so unstoppable, nor so liquid: most tappers clench up and hammer away like road-drills, but these two sway their hips and laugh off the effort. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018