Philadelphia – 8/10.


A man with AIDS hires a homophobic lawyer to fight his case for wrongful dismissal. An Oscar winning and Oscar deserving turn from Tom Hanks and a great early performance from Denzel Washington drive this powerful tale. The emotional scenes are handled tastefully and the courtroom scenes are packed with drama. Maybe not quite deserving of its reputation but a good film never the less.

Cinderella Man – 9/10.

The true story of boxer James Braddock. An inspirational story that actually inspires. This has everything you could ever ask for in a boxing movie. This is right up there with The Fighter, Raging Bull and Rocky. Russell Crowe is brilliant in the main role and you wont find stronger support anywhere in the movie business then Paddy Considine and Paul Giamatti. Even Renee Zellwenger more than holds her own as Braddocks wife. One of the best films I’ve seen this year.

The Seventh Seal – 8.5/10

Arty prequel of sorts to Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey…
The Seventh Seal is very bleak but thought provoking tale of a knight playing a game of chess with Death for his life, set against the backdrop of the plague sweeping through Sweden.
Ok so The Seventh Seal was made in 1957, is in black and white and their speaking Swedish so don’t be expecting a popcorn flick but it is in IMDB’s top 250 (#129) for a reason. The acting is spellbinding and the philosophical debate raging between the Grim Reaper and Max Von Sydow’s mysterious knight Antonius Block is powerful and leaves a lasting impression. The script is masterful and brings to mind both classic gothic literature and high end theatre.
They really don’t make em’ like this any more.

IMDB TOP 250 #129

The Way Back – 8/10.

Epic drama that follows a group of prisoners attempting to walk 4000 miles to
freedom. You have to be in the mood for this kind of film, it clocks in at over two hours but it is worth it. The highlight is an absolute superb performance in the lead role by Jim Sturgess. An absolute masterclass of acting from the British up and comer. Ed Harris and Colin Farrell provide good support.

Puncture – 8/10.

Half Nelson with more money…
Chris Evans (The Captain America one not the ginger one) is an injury lawyer who takes on the pharmaceutical companies whilst also battling a drug addiction.
Puncture is a thoroughly entertaining and powerful drama that will leave you fucking furious with the way the world works. Chris Evans is brilliant in this film showing once again he was totally wasted as Captain America who is the most boring superhero ever. Puncture  also delivers on the soundtrack with tracks from such luminaries as Bright Eyes and Silversun Pickups.

Scent of a Woman – 8.5/10

Al Pacino gets the opportunity to shout a lot of nonsensical phrases – grasps opportunity with both hands.
Chris O’Donnell AKA the man who angered everyone with his performance as Robin in those shit Batman films plays a student who is tasked with looking after a blind man over Thanksgiving weekend but instead of a feeble old man he gets Big Al screaming in his face.
Al Pacino is as good as the blind ex military man as he has been in anything. He won an Oscar, it would have been an absolute travesty if he didn’t. Even robin is good in this movie with a good support from a young Phillip Seymour Hoffman. A classic.


Best Leading Actor

Wild Bill – 8.5/10

A touching and brilliant tale about a man who returns from prison to find his two young sons fending for themselves. This is like a mix of Guy Ritchie and Shane Meadows without quite managing to be as good as the best work of those directors. This is the film Nick Love (Football Factory, The Business) has been trying to make his whole career. I loved it.

The Score – 8/10

The story of a criminal coming out of retirement for one last score has been done to death but the cast is so good for this it doesn’t matter. Ed Norton shows why he was IMO the best actor of his generation, De Niro can still be great when he can be bothered and Marlon Brando has lots of fun in what turned out to be his last film. If you like slick crime thrillers such as oceans eleven this is for you.

The Cabin in the Woods – 8/10.

Starts out as wilderness horror movie with a twist. Shoots for being what scream was to slasher flicks but just falls short, with evil dead and the hills have eyes being the only touching off points really. Around the hour mark though it goes fucking nuts and it is worth sticking around for. One 10-15 minute sequence is superb. Well written but one criticism is I proper didn’t care about any of the characters. Overall an original and imaginative film in a genre that has so few.

Tyrannosaur – 8/10 (Second viewing)

Powerful urban deprivation themed drama from writer/director Paddy Considine. Taking his cues from long time collaborator Shane Meadows, Tyrannosaur does not flinch from its overriding motif of bullying and domestic violence and is frequently a difficult watch. Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman are both extraordinary and lift this well directed fable from solid début to a minor classic. Unrelentingly bleak but a great film that I found even more powerful second time round.