Release date: 23 January 2015
Running time: 125 min
Director: J.C. Chandor
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola, Albert Brooks
New York in the Seventies and early Eighties was a thoroughly violent Neighbourhood, and the backdrop to many of America’s much-loved crime classics. The likes of Dog Day Afternoon, Taxi Driver and Mean Streets forged the careers of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, and it is to films of this ilk that A Most Violent Year owes its biggest debts. An accomplished throwback to one of American cinema’s most revered periods, it recalls its best and most memorable traits whilst breathing originality into a well-trodden formula.
Release Date: 23 January 2015 Certification: 12A Running Time: 106 min Director: David Koepp Starring: Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Paul Bettany, Olivia Munn
“I am Mortdecai. And this, is my moustache”. These are the first onscreen lines uttered by Johnny Depp’s latest caricature, the bumbling, crooked art dealer, Charlie Mortdecai. As an opening gambit it pretty much lets you know what you’re in for. There are films based on books. There are films based on video games. And now, there is Mortdecai, a film based on a moustache. More to the point, a film based on a Hercule moustache, and the presumption that the mere presence of it on Johnny Depp’s face is pure comedy gold. If there is a joke in there, it gets old pretty darn quickly.
Release Date: 21 January 2015 Certification: 15 Running Time: 108 min Director: Alex Garland Starring: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Sonoya Mizuno
At times it seems that much of modern science fiction cinema has traded in ideas for flashy pyrotechnics. As much fun as films like Pacific Rim and Guardians of the Galaxy are, they don’t really address anything deeper than cool technology and funny aliens. Enter stage left Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, a smart, thought-provoking sci-fi that’s not about blowing up spaceships and more about blowing your mind, man. … Continue Reading
Release Date: 16 January 2015 Certification: 15 Running time:107 minutes Director: Damien Chazelle Starring: J.K. Simmons, Miles Teller, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist
Its January again, and the latest Oscar nominees are once again being paraded about with a laughable sense of self-importance, predictably turning film lovers everywhere into a tiresome tirade of petulant children. Whiplash joins this slew of awards season releases, but remains relatively modest compared to its nominated peers. With its biggest star being mostly remembered for playing J Jonah Jamieson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-man trilogy, and a director with only one previous film under his belt, its hardly your conventional Oscar fodder. No silly prosthetics, no true stories or real people, and no politics. Whiplash might seem low-key, but don’t let that fool you. Underneath its basic exterior lies an incredibly intense and extremely rewarding drama, and one which will stay with you for a long time after the credits roll. .
Release Date: 16 January 2015 Certification: 15 Running Time: 132 min Director: Clint Eastwood Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner, Jake McDorman, Mido Hamada, Luke Grimes
Opening in the UK a day after the Oscar nominations were announced, Clint Eastwood’s biopic cum war film American Sniper hits our shores with six of the buggers, including nods for Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture. The story of the most lethal sniper in US military history, this picture is the latest attempt by Hollywood at turning the complex, morally uncertain war in Iraq into some kind of middle-brow Oscar bait, following in the footprints of films like In the Valley of Elah, Green Zone and The Hurt Locker.