Empire Magazine Australasia

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
4/5 I Am Mother (2019) Travis Johnson When you get down to it, I Am Mother's ambitions aren't in its ideas, but in its craft, and this is an extraordinarily well-made SF thriller. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2019
4/5 Kill Your Darlings (2013) Ed Gibbs A convincing, evocative drama that captures a key moment in history with aplomb. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2014
4/5 The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights (2009) Ed Gibbs A lively document of a revolutionary band on tour in Canada - and a stark reminder of what a music documentary should do. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2014
3/5 Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir (2011) David Michael Brown A fascinating, if workmanlike, insight into the life of a legend. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2013
3/5 Paris-Manhattan (2012) Ed Gibbs As light and airy as a soufflé, but not without charm. Taglioni and Bruel are both convincing as the reluctant lovers who just might embrace the inevitable. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2012
3/5 Love Is All You Need (2012) Ed Gibbs A deceptively light-hearted romp that blends English and Danish with a touch of Italiano, for a lively, likeable view of the complexities of life and love. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2012
3/5 The Man With the Iron Fists (2012) David Michael Brown A vacuous but fun exercise in chop-sock style over substance. EDIT
Posted Dec 7, 2012
4/5 Love Story (2011) Danny Murphy Smartypantsy, fresh, brave: a rom-com experiment that will have you smiling on hitherto unknown levels. EDIT
Posted Dec 7, 2012
4/5 The Science of Sleep (2006) Luke Goodsell More amazing work from Gondry. If you're interested in a basic narrative, look away; if you prize inventive filmmaking, don't miss it. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2012
4/5 Zodiac (2007) Luke Goodsell Beautifully poised, slow and sinister: a trance of expectant menace in which Fincher holds his audience until the movie's finale. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2012
3/5 The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002) Luke Goodsell Altar Boys doesn't strive to revolutionise the genre, but by playing to what it knows the film works as an appealing teenage reminiscence. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2012
3/5 TMNT (2007) Luke Goodsell Whenever the amphibians are in action, the film finds a rhythm that mixes punk graphic cool and merch-friendly visuals. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2012
4/5 Tideland (2005) Luke Goodsell Surreal, inspired cinema from Gilliam that refuses to sugar-coat the dark imagination of children. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2012
3/5 The Singer (2006) Luke Goodsell A gentle lament for the relics of an era, an affectionate epitaph for a dying breed of crooners perishing in the cheap mockery of neon discothèques and cubicle apartments. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2012
3/5 Paris, je t'aime (2006) Luke Goodsell The bulk of the work, filtered through the idiosyncratic lens of the global art-house, relays a peculiar impression of the city that is at once familiar and displaced. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2012
4/5 Curse of the Golden Flower (2006) Luke Goodsell Lavish, grim, magnificent; a robust successor to Zhang's recent martial arts epics, characterised by similarly baroque spectacle and tragedy. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2012
4/5 The Host (2006) Luke Goodsell Joon-ho Bong's The Host is a very different kettle of mutated fish. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2012
3/5 Bubble (2005) Luke Goodsell A still, sometimes eerie imitation of life that casts a cold eye over small town paralysis. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2012
3/5 Stranger Than Fiction (2006) Luke Goodsell Intriguing possibilities, except Helm and Forster aren't quite Kaufman and Jonze. Once their parallel narratives converge, those hoping for a mind-bending meta-pile-up may feel the movie lacks the courage of its fatalistic fiction. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2012
2/5 Norbit (2007) Luke Goodsell Like all of Murphy's recent films, there's also a sweet-if-predictable heart beating beneath the discount jokes. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2012
2/5 The Fountain (2006) Luke Goodsell The enormous, and sometimes inspired, visual arc of Aronofsky's reach sadly exceeds his narrative's basic grasp. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2012
4/5 Volver (2006) Luke Goodsell Almodóvar's phantasms are emotionally anchored so the story never gets away from its characters -- just when you suspect he might have overplayed his hand he stages a clever, surprising inversion to tie the film together. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2012
3/5 Apocalypto (2006) Luke Goodsell Damn if the movie, through Mel's sheer determination, doesn't almost turn from a fight-n-flight gore fest into a moving meditation on a civilisation in the throes of decline. Almost. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
4/5 Notes on a Scandal (2006) Luke Goodsell Lurid melodrama lifted by corrosive writing and a frightening performance from the Dame. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
5/5 The Last King of Scotland (2006) Luke Goodsell Captivating hyper-realism, a taut political thriller, and the performance of the year. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
4/5 Marie Antoinette (2006) Luke Goodsell This gauzy interpretation of the French icon as the life of a decadent paparazzi princess is Versailles via Vogue, a frivolous New Romantic confection in which history is less important than emotional veracity. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
3/5 A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006) Luke Goodsell Montiel's honey coated Queens of the mid-'80s is rich with the violence and carnality of teenagers, and the performances of LaBeouf (as the young Dito) and Channing Tatum (as his Stanley Kowalski-like grunt friend, Antonio) are raw pleasures. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
5/5 The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) Luke Goodsell In the 13 years since it was released to a predictably puzzled family audience, Tim Burton's macabre stop motion musical has wound its way through cult affection (and survived mall-Goth appropriation) to earn its rightful place as a genuine classic. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
3/5 Fast Food Nation (2006) Luke Goodsell This is a considered film that lacks the immediacy of a blunt message like the more simplistic Super Size Me, or the punchy, smokescreen climax of a film like Syriana to send the audience out feeling enlightened. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
2/5 Aquamarine (2006) Luke Goodsell Little girls and salty sea dogs alike have long been held in thrall to the mermaid's siren song; in Aquamarine, based on Alice Hoffman's book, the ladyfish finds herself awash in the low tide of teen romantic comedy. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
4/5 Nacho Libre (2006) Luke Goodsell In a season of smug, telegraphed quirkiness (hello, Little Miss Sunshine), the rambling Nacho Libre, like director Jared Hess' previous Napoleon Dynamite, feels like an original. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
2/5 Lady in the Water (2006) Luke Goodsell Once again Shyamalan is a maddening storyteller, by turns inspired and insipid, and he still manages to conjure some odd, unnerving moments. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
3/5 The Devil Wears Prada (2006) Luke Goodsell If Hathaway's Andy drives the pedestrian narrative -- idealistic girl learns the value of staying true to herself and her "real" friends; snore -- then Streep is the movie's soul. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
2/5 Macbeth (2006) Luke Goodsell The Bard gets buried in the gruff posturing, while the cadence of the words prevents the actors from playing to their strengths. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
1/5 Barnyard: The Original Party Animals (2006) Luke Goodsell A shockingly crass grab for holiday pocket money that's both infantile and endlessly patronising. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
1/5 Re-cycle (2006) Luke Goodsell Amounts to a monstrous, CGI-disfigured pro-life tract. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
3/5 The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) Luke Goodsell Love, the filmmakers repeat ad nauseum, is the only act of freedom in times of trouble. 

So it is about girls, after all... EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
4/5 A Scanner Darkly (2006) Luke Goodsell A Scanner Darkly is the most faithful Dick adaptation to date. Like Dick's writing, Richard Linklater's movie doesn't sweat at immersing itself in the trappings of sci-fi; it's concerned with ideas. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
3/5 Thank You for Smoking (2005) Luke Goodsell Curiously, the film's key drawback --its impassive resolution feels a little too slick -- is arguably indicative of the theme: no matter how much we may think we're peeling back the layers, all we arrive at is another façade. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
3/5 Renaissance (2006) Luke Goodsell The picture is visually stark - at times imagining Fritz Lang had directed The Matrix - and isolated compositions, spiked with high contrast menace, are impressive in their artistic detail. However, the perfunctory plot is B-grade sci-fi. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
4/5 Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999) Luke Goodsell Amusing, melancholy, and meditative, Ghost Dog is a modern classic of the hit man genre. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
4/5 House of Flying Daggers (2004) Luke Goodsell Though occasionally overwrought, peerless sequences, such as the sublime flight through a bamboo forest, ensure House Of Flying Daggers is a work of real beauty. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
4/5 Nobody Knows (2004) Luke Goodsell What begins as a slow, determinedly realist account of the children's existence gradually weaves a spell via Kore-eda's gift for delicate emotional detail. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
5/5 Tarnation (2003) Luke Goodsell Witness his hilarious high school musical rendition of David Lynch's Blue Velvet: much like the documentary itself, it's a heartbreaking, beautiful monstrosity. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
3/5 Brothers (2004) Luke Goodsell Strong performances and scenes of the father's imprisonment in war camps make for tense viewing. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
4/5 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) Luke Goodsell [Depp is] ever the most watchable of freaks, even if he is slipping in and out of accents, looking perplexed at his slight lines and, most frustratingly, hinting at the mad -- okay, madder -- memorable turn that might have been. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
3/5 Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005) Luke Goodsell July's suspiciously contrived awkwardness notwithstanding, the picture is at its best when it cleaves to her experimental video aesthetic; framing the mundane with the wonder of a child-like perspective. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
5/5 Last Days (2005) Luke Goodsell Wandering in a narcoleptic stupor, Pitt's junkie rock star is as much lost soul as tortured genius, and Van Sant refrains from tacky pop theorising or tired rock-crit veneration. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
3/5 Thumbsucker (2005) Luke Goodsell Mills, a former music video director, writes and directs with subtle clarity, bringing a refreshing sensibility to the archetypical tale in which a displaced teen comes of age in a confusing and banal environment. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012
4/5 Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (2005) Luke Goodsell Visually, Burton is at his most Edward Gorey-esque in the austere, storybook Victorian land of the living, whilst his contrasting comic underworld summons the spirit of Poe, the personality of Harryhausen and the ephemera of his own back catalogue. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2012