Filmstar Magazine

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
2.5/5 Cracks (2009) Anne Wollenberg What should have been a dark study of obsession and teenage rivalry is rendered dreary by poor pacing. Eva Green may captivate, but the film does not. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2009
2.5/5 Dead Man Running (2009) Toby Weidmann It ticks all the right boxes for the Brit crime genre and won't disappoint fans of Guy Ritchie's oeuvre, even if it lacks the flair that once made the latter's films so popular. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2009
3.5/5 The Horseman (2008) Mark Ramshaw An impressive debut, and one that leaves an indelible impression. But does it make for enjoyable viewing? That's less easy to call. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2009
4/5 Tales From the Golden Age (2009) George Kaplan The film has been crisply shot, its static set-ups by turns inventively forlorn and bracingly comic. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2009
4/5 An Education (2009) Steve O'Brien Few films set in this period get the social furniture so right, and it's a refreshingly new look at a time pregnant with expectation. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2009
3.5/5 Made in Jamaica (2006) Neil Davey In a move that will either see it written off as lazy or celebrated for its admirable neutrality, Made in Jamaica doesn't provide a straight answer. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2009
5/5 The Cove (2009) Nikki Baughan In this new, post-Michael Moore age of documentary filmmaking as lucrative big-screen fare, a documentary that educates without condescension, informs without bias and entertains without losing its focus is a valuable commodity. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2009
3.5/5 Colin (2008) Keith Stuart It's rough, it's bleary and the acting is dodgy, but, let's face it, the collapse of human civilisation won't look like a Zack Snyder or even a Danny Boyle movie - it'll look like the discarded home movie footage from hell. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2009
3/5 Ong Bak 2: The Beginning (2008) Tom Hutchinson The camerawork, more so than in Ong-Bak, follows the rigid mechanics of Jaa's battles, so much so that the rhythm of the edit becomes hypnotic, the cartoon thwacks of skin-on-skin acting like a weird music in the final, 20-minute brawl. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2009
4/5 Triangle (2009) Steve O'Brien Triangle is one of the most ingeniously constructed horrors of recent years, and one you'll want to watch again to get your nicely baffled head around. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2009
3/5 Pontypool (2008) Nigel Floyd Talky and claustrophobic, Pontypool is a mash-up of Orson Welles' notorious The War of the Worlds radio broadcast and George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead, with a tone and cast that's reminiscent of John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2009
4/5 The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) Tom Hutchinson The film is too much of a shambles, but it is brave and courageous; not tainted by anything other than circumstance and passion. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2009
3.5/5 Thirst (2009) Tom Hutchinson Chan-wook's film is as gluttonous and stylish as I'm a Cyborg, but fortunately Thirst's renewed appetite for bloodlust and self-annihilation suits the director's pyrotechnics better. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2009
3.5/5 Vanishing of the Bees (2009) Karen Krizanovich Despite its schoolroom tone, The Vanishing of the Bees sounds an alarm; it's essential we heed it. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2009
3.5/5 Katalin Varga (2009) Tom Hutchinson Tidy revenge tragedy that successfully resists the influence of the Romanian New Wave. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2009
3/5 Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee (2009) James Mottram The plot is threadbare and the style is knockabout, but the improvisation, especially that of Considine, lends it an energy and spirit that's hard to resist. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2009
4/5 Up (2009) Joseph McCabe Pixar's most commercially daring and most fanciful film to date. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2009
3.5/5 District 13: Ultimatum (2009) Toby Weidmann It's not hard to be engaged by the sheer energy of the District 13 films and, despite a handful of minor plot gripes, the sequel more than matches its predecessor for eye-popping action and relentless drive. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2009
2/5 My Life in Ruins (2009) James Mottram It's a bit like ouzo: seems like fun at the time but you'll no doubt regret it in the morning. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2009
4/5 Les plages d'Agnès (2008) Justin Postlethwaite Memory is a recurrent theme in Varda's work, and with this film she serves her own with warmth and skill. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2009
3.5/5 Ip Man (2008) Keith Stuart An enthralling, and at times moving, tale, told by Hong Kong action director Wilson Yip with considerable theatrical flourish. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2009
3.5/5 () Toby Weidmann Ghost in the Shell 2.0 has clearly been created to draw to the franchise a younger generation more used to crisper, more vibrant animation, and with this in mind it succeeds. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2009
4/5 The Army of Crime (2009) James Mottram As a tribute to these fearless freedom fighters, it's a worthy effort - and as a welcome, and sobering, antidote to the knockabout silliness of Inglourious Basterds, you couldn't really get any better. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2009
3/5 The Invention of Lying (2009) David Baldwin The simple truth is, any comedian could take Gervais' place in the film, and you probably wouldn't notice. For a comic who likes to put his fingerprints on everything he does, it feels like he's playing it safe. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2009
2/5 Creation (2009) James Cameron-Wilson By focusing on the naturalist's reclusiveness, the film deprives the viewer of the visceral rush of discovery that we're conditioned to associate with Darwin. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2009
2/5 Born in 68 (2008) Tom Hutchinson To have the two episodes of Born in '68 edited down and jammed together into a film of maximal length serves only to inflate its many weaknesses. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2009
2/5 The Soloist (2009) Tom Hutchinson A rich cocktail of all Hollywood's most endemic clichés, it would be easy to apply to The Soloist that rebuking tag, 'Oscar bait'. Its every move is calculated to pleasure and provoke the liberal classes, if only gently. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2009
2.5/5 Away We Go (2009) Tom Hutchinson Although Away We Go doesn't sum to the icon of loveliness that the filmmakers might have hoped for - it is too tonally fractured - the movie does suggest avenues that Sam Mendes might consider exploring in the future. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2009
2/5 Blind Dating (2007) Jes Bickham It's Pine that keeps the whole thing afloat, and he manages, astonishingly, to make even the clunkiest, cheesiest lines work, almost transforming the film's chocolate-box sentiments into something honest. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2009
1.5/5 31 North 62 East (2009) Matt Bielby 31 North 62 East suffers from a clunky title and a lack of credibility. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2009
2/5 I Want to See (2008) Matt Bielby It sounds like nothing happens, and it doesn't, and the strange what's-real-and-what's-planned? atmosphere can annoy somewhat. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2009
2.5/5 Chevolution (2008) Tom Hutchinson Chevolution is punctuated by a few of the more irritating tics that seem to tempt documentarists, but largely remains an informative and balanced history, although it concludes badly. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2009
4/5 The Agent (2009) Rob Buckley Tense, well-acted, and managing to avoid Misery territory, its only real misstep is the ending, which feels more like writer's paranoia - an ever-hovering spectre - than the natural outcome. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2009
3/5 The Firm (2009) Nigel Floyd Love seems happier with his affectionate re-creation of the early '80s than with exploring the contradictions at the heart of this subculture. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2009
4/5 Julie & Julia (2009) Karen Krizanovich Julie & Julia is a heartfelt, deliciously shot, and beautifully designed romp, studded with fine performances that are endearingly cheery, inspirational and funny. It's a must-see for anyone who loves to eat. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2009
3.5/5 Adventureland (2009) Dennis Brabham A charmingly nostalgic and endearing picture of late-teenhood in the '80s. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2009
4/5 Fish Tank (2009) Tom Hutchinson The film gains everything when it takes on the trappings of a thriller. As the teenager takes the fight to suburbia, there is a shocking sense of spatial transgression. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2009
0.5/5 Miss March (2009) Mark Ramshaw A teen sex comedy that isn't sexy or comic - talk about dumb and dumber... EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2009
4/5 The September Issue (2009) George Kaplan The result is extremely gripping. The office walls of Vogue are the ideal place for a fly; a permanent home for well-timed bitchiness, with Wintour alternating between subtly deflating euphemism and overtly withering straight talk. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2009
3/5 Sztuczki (2007) Neon Kelly The plot drags its feet in the film's second half, meandering towards its admittedly moving conclusion. A muted success then, but an enjoyable one nonetheless. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2009
3/5 Passchendaele (2008) David West It is impossible not to be moved by the nightmare of the trenches, but Passchendaele is a frustratingly uneven movie. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2009
5/5 District 9 (2009) Mark Ramshaw The most deliriously inventive sci-fi action movie in years. Truly, this is a game changer. James Cameron may want to watch his back. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2009
3/5 Bustin' Down the Door (2008) David West The movie lacks the jaw-dropping spectacle of 2004 surfing doc Riding Giants, and conveniently sidesteps the issue of what happened to the sport's spiritual side when it became an industry. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2009
4.5/5 Big River Man (2009) Karen Krizanovich Big River Man is as close to documentary perfection as possible. Tough and vulnerable Strel is masculinity incarnate, and his quest gestures beyond his beloved red wine and beer and towards the mystical. Astonishing. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2009
5/5 (500) Days of Summer (2009) Keith Stuart There is more cinematic joy in five minutes of (500) Days of Summer than there is in a packed weekend of mainstream romance movies. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2009
5/5 The Hurt Locker (2008) Keith Stuart Free of liberal hand-wringing and quasi-political subtext, The Hurt Locker is an adrenaline-drenched war thriller which uses a conventional genre format to explore and expose issues of violence, compulsion and masculinity. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2009
2/5 Broken Embraces (2009) Tom Hutchinson The director's previous films...are all, in some way, about cinema - but this need is especially acute in Broken Embraces, which eats its own tail. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2009
4/5 Mesrine: Part II - Public Enemy 1 (2008) Matt Bielby It's a bouncier, more fun, less focussed film - still worth four stars, as the first chapter got, but slightly smaller ones perhaps. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2009
2/5 Afterschool (2008) Anne Wollenberg Afterschool does feel like an interesting play on the idea of voluntary surveillance, but there's no real emotional crescendo, no catharsis and no satisfying conclusion to Robert's angst, which is only ever skirted around. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2009
2.5/5 Chiko (2008) Mark Ramshaw The final scenes simply lack the necessary weight to turn Chiko into something profound, affecting, or entirely memorable. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2009