Empire Magazine Australasia
Mr. Robot: Season 2 (TV, 2016)
Kill Your Darlings (2013)
Paris Manhattan (2013)
Love Is All You Need (2013)
The Man With the Iron Fists (2012)
Love Story ()
The Science of Sleep (2006)
"More amazing work from Gondry. If you're interested in a basic narrative, look away; if you prize inventive filmmaking, don't miss it. "
"Beautifully poised, slow and sinister: a trance of expectant menace in which Fincher holds his audience until the movie's finale."
"Altar Boys doesn't strive to revolutionise the genre, but by playing to what it knows the film works as an appealing teenage reminiscence."
"Whenever the amphibians are in action, the film finds a rhythm that mixes punk graphic cool and merch-friendly visuals."
"Surreal, inspired cinema from Gilliam that refuses to sugar-coat the dark imagination of children. "
"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."
Paris Je T'aime (2007)
"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."
Curse of the Golden Flower (2006)
"Lavish, grim, magnificent; a robust successor to Zhang's recent martial arts epics, characterised by similarly baroque spectacle and tragedy. "
The Host (2007)
"Joon-ho Bong's The Host is a very different kettle of mutated fish."
"A still, sometimes eerie imitation of life that casts a cold eye over small town paralysis."
Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
"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."
"Like all of Murphy's recent films, there's also a sweet-if-predictable heart beating beneath the discount jokes. "
The Fountain (2006)
"The enormous, and sometimes inspired, visual arc of Aronofsky's reach sadly exceeds his narrative's basic grasp."
"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."
"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."
Notes on a Scandal (2006)
"Lurid melodrama lifted by corrosive writing and a frightening performance from the Dame. "
Inland Empire (2006)
"A shaky CCTV cam from inside a mind on the edge of madness, the visuals and surreal riddles suggest Lynch has come full circle to the genius of his debut, Eraserhead. What he does now is anyone's guess. And that's thrilling."
The Last King of Scotland (2006)
"Captivating hyper-realism, a taut political thriller, and the performance of the year. "
Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
Marie Antoinette (2006)
"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. "
"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."
"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."
Fast Food Nation (2006)
"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. "
"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."
Nacho Libre (2006)
"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."
Lady in the Water (2006)
"Once again Shyamalan is a maddening storyteller, by turns inspired and insipid, and he still manages to conjure some odd, unnerving moments."
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
"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."
"The Bard gets buried in the gruff posturing, while the cadence of the words prevents the actors from playing to their strengths."
"A shockingly crass grab for holiday pocket money that's both infantile and endlessly patronising."
Re-cycle (Gwai wik) (2008)
"Amounts to a monstrous, CGI-disfigured pro-life tract. "
"Love, the filmmakers repeat ad nauseum, is the only act of freedom in times of trouble. So it is about girls, after all..."
A Scanner Darkly (2006)
"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."
Thank You for Smoking (2006)
"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."
" 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."
"Amusing, melancholy, and meditative, Ghost Dog is a modern classic of the hit man genre."
House of Flying Daggers (2004)
"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."
"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. "
"Witness his hilarious high school musical rendition of David Lynch's Blue Velvet: much like the documentary itself, it's a heartbreaking, beautiful monstrosity."
"Strong performances and scenes of the father's imprisonment in war camps make for tense viewing."
"[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."
"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."
- • Michael Adams
- • Jude Allder
- • Kat Brown
- • David Michael Brown
- • Ed Gibbs
- • Zach Gibson
- • Miguel Gonzalez
- • Luke Goodsell
- • Oscar Hillerstrom
- • Tony Horkins
- • Lachlan Huddy
- • Simon Jones
- • Clare Joyce
- • Sara Klein
- • Kristen Krauth
- • Will Lawrence
- • Hannah Lee
- • Alex Lucas
- • Wenlei Ma
- • Ben McEachen
- • Rory Meyer
- • Anthony Morris
- • Danny Murphy
- • Chris Murray
- • Kim Newman
- • Helen O'Hara
- • Olly Richards
- • Sara Sanders
- • Anna Smith
- • Hilton Thomas
- • Sophie Verlane
- • James White
- • Rod Yates