Sight and Sound
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
"It's Fiennes who coolly walks off with the film. Switching seamlessly between courtliness and profanity, he displays a gift for comic timing that's rarely been unleashed since his Essex gang boss in 2007's In Bruges."
The Royal Tenenbaums (2002)
"With Anderson's images, seductive as they are, we can ultimately only guess -- what Margot's plays are about, or who Etheline's suitors are... And that makes Anderson's film an exhilarating experience, a real jungle gym for the imagination."
"This is a story about people floating through space, and Alfonso Cuarón's feature brilliantly contrives to make the viewer feel similarly untethered, to often thrilling effect. This is surely the closest cinema comes to three-dimensional virtual abseiling."
We Are What We Are (2013)
Stranger by the Lake (2014)
"The combination of Jonze's dialogue, the intensity of the performances and the way the film's style wraps you up in Theodore and Samantha's inner-ear relationship makes this feel like a uniquely apt diagnosis of contemporary ills."
"Hyperbolic adjectives such as dizzying, effervescent, kaleidoscopic and exhilarating spring to mind but don't adequately convey the craft and persistence that have gone into this confessional slice of (semi) non-fiction."
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Fill the Void (2013)
"As opposed to the bleak view of sexual subjugation in Kadosh, Amos Gitai's 1999 film about Hasidic marriage, Fill the Void sees Burshtein fortrightly and wittily asserting that this is how her community lives."
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)