Sight and Sound
American Hustle (2013)
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."
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."
Journal de France (2012)
The Missing Picture (2014)
12 Years a Slave (2013)
Stories We Tell (2013)
Berberian Sound Studio (2013)
The Selfish Giant (2013)
Ongoing Smile (2014)
Rough Play (2013)
"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... "
"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."
Behind the Camera (2012)
"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."
"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."
Mong-ta-joo (Montage) (2013)
Miracle in Cell No. 7 (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."
"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. "
"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."
Fists Of Legend (2013)
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."
The Act Of Killing (2013)
Frances Ha (2013)
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."
"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"
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, "
"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."
Blood Glacier (2014)
Mark of the Devil (1969)
Patrick: Evil Awakens (2014)
"ingeniously overturns the creaky conventions of the haunted-house movie, [but] by the end it has over-explained its own trickery to a point where there is little room left for the uncanny to come out and play."
Grand Piano (2014)
The Sacrament (2014)
Why Don't You Play in Hell? (2014)
"A deliriously gaudy celebration of the decline of everything (including Japanese cinema, film as a medium, and any notion of good taste), it plays like the improbable bastard offspring of Cinema Paradiso (1988) and Kill Bill (2003) "
The Zero Theorem (2014)
"Gilliam appears to have become trapped in the loop of his own fantasy - although, as fantasies go, it is a good one, dark and despairing precisely because of its awareness that any hope is just part of the illusion."
The Congress (2014)
"imagines a future in which all actors have been reduced to manipulable digital data, and explores the cost imposed upon our sense of history and identity by a virtual world where the image rules and desires are instantly - if emptily - fulfilled."
Rigor Mortis (2014)
"an elegantly realised revitalisation of a lost mode of Hong Kong horror, with loss itself, as well as cinema's special power to preserve and even resurrect the dead, key to its elegantly eerie impact."
Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)
"Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston may be decadent blood drinkers, but it is we mortals who are both mindless 'zombies' and a plague upon the world, while they are the keepers, curators and even contributors of... underground culture"
Camp 14: Total Control Zone (2012)
"It is this very understatement, and the weight given to Shin's words over any accompanying sound or image, that prevent Wiese's film ever seeming exploitative, even though it is addressing unimaginable human depravity and degradation. "
The Selfish Giant (2013)
"Two elements stood out for me: the film's vivid evocation of edge-lands, the scrubby, generally disregarded hinterland areas on the outskirts of British cities, and its depiction of the actual physical circulation of money."
Like Father, Like Son (2014)
"It is the darkest movie - visually, psychologically and spiritually - that Denis has made. It's also one of the rarest of cinematic objects - a completely contemporary, disturbingly relevant film noir."
At Berkeley (2013)