Five star - Film Reviews

Latest Guardian Film Reviews sorted by Star Rating. Cut the crap!
  1. Carol review - Cate Blanchett captivates in woozily obsessive lesbian romance
    Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt has become an entrancing Cannes premiere directed by Todd Haynes, beautifully made and outstandingly intelligent
    5 stars
  2. Amy review: Asif Kapadia’s Amy Winehouse film is a tragic masterpiece
    This documentary about the late British soul singer is an overwhelmingly sad, intimate – and dismaying – study of a woman whose talent and charisma helped turn her into a target
    5 stars
  3. Son of Saul review: an outstanding, excoriating look at evil in Auschwitz
    This remarkable debut film, about a prisoner in the concentration camp employed in the industrial processes of body disposal, is a horror movie of extraordinary focus and courage
    5 stars
  4. Tale of Tales review: monarch of the gran
    Cannes already has a standout: the horrific new Renaissance fairytale from Gomorrah director Matteo Garrone. Features scenes of flea-petting, heart-eating and a right royal hag-shagger
    5 stars
  5. Girlhood review – electrifying portrait of a French girl in the hood
    Céline Sciamma’s gritty portrait of a teen’s life in the Paris projects is honest and refreshingly non-judgmental
    5 stars
  6. The New Girlfriend review – witty French psychosexual comedy
    Anaïs Demoustier puts in a storming performance as a woman who discovers another side to the husband of her late best friend
    4 stars
  7. Ice and the Sky review – powerful eco doc fronts up to climate change deniers
    March of the Penguins’ Luc Jacquet goes back to Antarctica for this study of the life’s work of influential climatologist Claude Lorius, which offers a strong message
    4 stars
  8. Chronic review: terminal pain, but Tim Roth is a pleasure
    Peter Bradshaw: Michel Franco’s drama, starring Tim Roth as a nurse who invests too much in his clients’ end-of-life care, supplies a carefully measured dose of enigmatic class
    4 stars
  9. We Are Many review – a necessary reminder of a gigantic scandal
    A bold and important documentary about the immediate failure, but also the lasting legacy, of the 2003 Stop the War movement
    4 stars
  10. Spring review – a monster movie with a heart and soul
    One of this year’s foremost genre discoveries is a shapeshifting film that is never quite what it seems
    4 stars
  11. Lamb review: sheer brilliance knits together first Ethiopian film at Cannes
    Yared Zeleke’s sharp eye for the culture of his homeland is showcased in this tremendous ethnographic debut
    4 stars
  12. Dheepan review - Tamil Tiger loose in the urban jungle makes powerful thriller
    The new film from Rust and Bone director Jacques Audiard has a former fighter in the Sri Lankan civil war trying to make a new life in France with a fake family
    4 stars
  13. Mediterranea review – horribly topical drama about African migrants in Italy
    This rich, observational, ripped-from-the-headlines story about the plight of fruit-pickers in southern Italy demands a wide audience
    4 stars
  14. The Assassin review - enigmatically refined martial arts tale baffles beautifully
    The first film in eight years by Taiwanese master Hou Hsaio-hsien is a wonderfully-shot story of a killer facing a critical choice – but its meaning remains elusive
    4 stars
  15. Mountains May Depart review: Jia Zhang-ke scales new heights with futurist drama
    This giddily ambitious new movie from the Chinese film-maker begins relatively conventionally, before spinning out into a commentary on globalisation and a glimpse of a bravura new world
    4 stars
  16. The Brand New Testament review – God's not dead, just useless, in a sweet and blasphemous satire
    In Jaco van Dormael’s peppy, inventive comedy, everyone gets a text message from the Almighty, while “JC”’s sister gathers a gang of disciples
    4 stars
  17. Mustang review: The Virgin Suicides in Anatolia is a sweet, sad Turkish delight
    The fear of lost sexual innocence underpins this ebullient sibling comedy-drama with shades of Sofia Coppola
    4 stars
  18. Hitchcock/Truffaut review: Cannes dons rose-tinted specs for ace cinephilia study
    This terrific retrospective on the week-long series of interviews between François Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock is a brilliant commentary on the discourse of cinema then, and now
    4 stars
  19. Sicario review: Emily Blunt cracks the cartel in a white-knuckle thriller
    Denis Villeneuve borrows Michael Mann’s crown to take control of a straight-ahead genre movie as Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro battle Mexican druglords
    4 stars
  20. Cemetery of Splendour review: a very calm sort of hysteria
    With the follow-up to his Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul drifts off into another world that teasingly blends the spiritual and the mundane
    4 stars
  21. Inside Out review – a buoyant and sweet-natured comedy from Pixar
    While it might not challenge their greatest films, this is a smart and visually inventive piece of entertainment
    4 stars
  22. Tomorrowland review - George Clooney is Mr Incredible in world-saver adventure
    Brad Bird’s new Disney film may not kickstart a whole new franchise, but it’s enormous fun as it hurtles through space, time, and other dimensions
    4 stars
  23. Green Room review - gruesomely effective neo-Nazis vs rockers horror
    The director of Blue Ruin heads back to the woods for a crowd-pleasing shocker film with some jaw-dropping gore
    4 stars
  24. A Fuller Life review – warmly affectionate tribute
    Sam Fuller’s daughter tells the life story of this D-day veteran and legendary film-maker through his own words
    4 stars
  25. Clouds of Sils Maria review – career-best magic from Juliette Binoche
    Juliette Binoche is at the peak of her powers in this tale of a middle-aged actress giving way to a new generation
    4 stars
  26. My Mother review: Nanni Moretti's meta-movie is his best since The Son's Room
    Fourteen years after the Italian director won the Palme d’Or with his bereavement drama, he returns to the domestic with the tale of a film director juggling her teenage daughter, formidable mum and a needy Hollywood star
    4 stars
  27. Mad Max: Fury Road review – extravagantly bizarre and noisy
    The legendary Aussie post-apocalyptic road warrior rides again – as deranged and over-the-top as ever
    4 stars
  28. Only Angels Have Wings review – a likable, garrulous Cary Grant romance
    This 1939 Howard Hawks rerelease is an effervescent and entertaining one about a rackety air-freight company in South America
    4 stars
  29. A Fuller Life review – Sam Fuller, Hollywood legend and action hero
    Teenage hack, pulp novelist, war veteran … the film-maker’s daughter pieces together the extraordinary story of a larger-than-life character
    4 stars
  30. Clouds of Sils Maria review – rivalry, sisterhood and an erotic frisson
    Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart star as an ageing actor and her PA rehearsing a lesbian romance in the Alps – and the clash in styles is fascinating to watch
    4 stars
  31. The Tribe review – one of the most disturbing films of the year
    Squeaking shoes and grunts of anger are the only soundtrack to this brutal and supremely strange Ukrainian film about a school for the deaf falling into anarchy
    4 stars
  32. Cannes 2015: The Anarchists review - heady politics, merciless beatings, free love
    Tahar Rahim and Adèle Exarchopoulos give standout performances in a thriller about a young policeman going undercover in radical circles in fin-de-siècle Paris
    4 stars
  33. Our Little Sister review – Hirokazu Kore-eda's mature siblingmance manga
    The latest from the Japanese domestic maestro is a touching but unsentimental take on sisterly love
    4 stars
  34. Mad Max: Fury Road review – Tom Hardy is a macho Mr Bean in brilliantly pimped reboot
    Charlize Theron joins Hardy’s lone wolf ex-cop in George Miller’s deliriously strange action adventure, a rollicking Grand Theft Auto revamped by Hieronymus Bosch
    4 stars
  35. Rosewater review – Jon Stewart’s shrewd account of a journalist held in Iran
    The host of The Daily Show turns writer/director to make a documentary highlighting the ironies and absurdities of micro-managed tyranny
    4 stars
  36. Honeytrap review – true-crime, urban-realist melodrama
    Jessica Sula is outstanding in a story based on the 2009 case of a teenage girl who lures a lovestruck admirer in a brutal trap set by gang members
    4 stars
  37. A Funny Kind of Love review – smutty-sweet Australian romcom
    Five interconnected story strands about people with peculiar kinks unfold with a disarming depth and poignancy
    4 stars
  38. Futuro Beach review – pining for the waves
    In this tenderly composed, languid study of the nature of exile, Brazilian lifeguard Donato finds himself living in Berlin – but he’s not sure why
    4 stars
  39. We Are Many review – tear-inducing Stop the War documentary
    The passion and scale of the global protests against the Iraq war in 2003 are a moving reminder of people power
    3 stars
  40. Tomorrowland: A World Beyond review – a gorgeous, flawed utopia
    Disney’s future-retro adventure has grand ideas and is amazing to look at, but the storytelling is not so sleek
    3 stars
  41. Return to Sender review – assured revenge thriller
    Gone Girl’s Rosamund Pike brings icy zeal to her role as a rape survivor who starts visiting her assailant in jail
    3 stars
  42. Moomins on the Riviera review – gentle, old-fashioned animation
    There are some sharp gags amid the pastel hues, as Tove Jansson’s beloved Moomins head for the Côte d’Azur
    3 stars
  43. Poltergeist review – restless remake of 1982 original suffers from trope overkill
    Spielberg’s suburban horror gets a credit crunch-era update, with Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt, but even new-school CGI can’t mask the cliched premise
    3 stars
  44. Tokyo Tribe review – lurid, pervy, blood-soaked silliness
    Sion Sono’s rap-musical adaptation of a manga about warring gangs in Tokyo is a hoot
    3 stars
  45. The Supreme Price review – vital lessons about modern Nigeria
    Documentary on the remarkable story of MKO Abiola, elected Nigerian president who died in suspicious circumstances, is a coherent, accessible account of Nigeria’s otiose politics
    3 stars
  46. The Impressionists and the Man Who Made Them review – the smart art man
    Paul Grabsky’s old-school documentary brings the story of art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel to the fore, and the paintings still look amazing
    3 stars
  47. The New Girlfriend review – bold adaptation of a Ruth Rendell short story
    François Ozon’s latest film blurs the boundaries between psychological thriller and absurdist melodrama, but suffers from not settling on either
    3 stars
  48. Moomins on the Riviera review – folksy Finns rock the Cote d’Azur
    Tove Jansson’s lovably eccentric characters teach the filthy rich a thing or two in this cleanly hand-drawn, beautifully coloured animation
    3 stars
  49. Don't Tell Me the Boy Was Mad review – Armenia's tragedy becomes meaty drama
    French-Armenian director Robert Guédiguian takes on the Armenian genocide and the campaign of vengeance against Turkey in a film that goes in unexpected directions
    3 stars
  50. Love review: Gaspar Noé's hardcore 3D sex movie is fifty shades of vanilla
    The Irréversible director’s highly focused sex-epic generously involves the audience in the action and boasts all the best and worst of vintage porn, but lacks the bite of his earlier work
    3 stars
  51. Youth review - age cannot wither Michael Caine, but Sorrentino could try harder
    Michael Caine is excellent as a retired composer opposite Harvey Keitel and Jane Fonda in this strangely sweet-natured opera of pathos
    3 stars
  52. An Open Secret review – damning documentary takes aim at sexual abuse in Hollywood
    Amy Berg’s revealing look at child molestation in the film industry is plainly told but undeniably shocking
    3 stars
  53. Dégradé review: film of hairy events in Gaza Strip beauty salon could use a trim
    Palestinian twin brothers are behind this patchy but potentially important story, which steers almost too clear of politics
    3 stars
  54. Piku review: Amitabh Bachchan lets it all out in constipation comedy
    Bachchan plays a man obsessed with his bowel movements, to daughter Deepika Padukone’s distress in a crude but effective Bollywood comedy
    3 stars
  55. Mad Max: Fury Road review – beware of battle fatigue
    There is much to enjoy about this adrenaline-fuelled reboot, but two hours of ceaseless action can get a bit wearing
    3 stars
  56. Lambert & Stamp review – the men who made the Who
    This enjoyable documentary about the creative partnership behind the British rock giants features candid interviews with Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey
    3 stars
  57. Pitch Perfect 2 review – hilarious Rebel Wilson moments
    It may not quite live up to the uproarious original, but this a cappella sequel outshines most teen comedies
    3 stars
  58. A Royal Night Out review – rollickingly silly
    An imagined VE Day knees-up for the two young princesses is trashy fun from start to finish
    3 stars
  59. Disorder review - unsettling paranoid thriller descends into formula
    Matthias Schoenaerts breaks free from his Hollywood miscasts to play a tortured soldier but the script fails to reward him
    3 stars
  60. A Perfect Day review - Del Toro and Robbins in imperfect aid work adventure
    Director Fernando Leon de Aranoa’s tonal mishmash sees Benicio Del Toro and Tim Robbins hit the road in the Balkans, doing their best to help the locals trapped by post-civil war institutional inertia
    3 stars
  61. A Tale of Love and Darkness review - Natalie Portman's love letter to Israel
    Andrew Pulver: Natalie Portman has gone back to her home country for her directorial debut, a serious, well-made adaptation of Amos Oz’s memoir of the early years of Israel’s statehood
    3 stars
  62. Cannes 2015: Afterthought review - Israeli film takes the stairway to Joycean epiphanies
    Director Elad Keidan’s study of two men wandering around Haifa gives up its secrets slowly, but proves a worthwhile journey by the end
    3 stars
  63. The Lobster review - dark satire on relationships gets fishy near the tail-end
    Yorgos Lanthimos’s first English-language feature is enjoyably strange but fails to follow through on its premise
    3 stars
  64. One Floor Below review: Romanian apartment-block drama is a little flat
    Radu Muntean’s study of inner-city ennui and possible murder keeps the audience at a taut, cool distance right until final reel
    3 stars
  65. The Man Who Saved the World review – how nuclear armageddon was averted
    The extraordinary true story of the Russian colonel who decided not to launch a retaliatory strike when it appeared that US missiles were on their way
    3 stars
  66. Lambert & Stamp review – chalk-and-cheese managers’-eye view of the Who
    The Who’s toff-and-spiv-styled managers merit this doc, and their own film footage of the era is fascinating
    3 stars
  67. Pitch Perfect 2 review – hitting the same notes, and missing a few
    This well-deserved sequel serves up more helpings of bawdy comedy, sisterhood bonding and a college life focused on performing pop standards
    3 stars
  68. In the Shadow of Women review - Philippe Garrel's infidelity drama is just a one-night stand
    This year’s Directors’ Fortnight kicks off with a slight, often stagey drama boasting a set of believably drawn performances
    3 stars
  69. La Tête Haute review – Catherine Deneuve rules over solid Cannes opener
    An often touching drama about a juvenile rallying against the system makes for a respectable start to this year’s festival
    3 stars
  70. Stray Dogs (Jiao you) review – hypnotic power
    This prizewinning portrait of life on the margins of Taipei requires patience, but the effect is breathtaking
    3 stars
  71. Phoenix review – noirish game of cat and mouse
    Plot implausibilities are overcome in this second world war drama thanks to the terrific Nina Hoss as a disfigured woman who gains a new face
    3 stars
  72. Rosewater review – Jon Stewart directs tale of torture in Iran
    A Kafkaesque ordeal suffered by Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari is the source of this engrossing, enraging film
    3 stars
  73. The Age of Adaline review – sweetly soppy fantasy
    Despite the silly premise, this tale of a woman unable to age becomes enjoyable with the capable help of Ellen Burstyn and Harrison Ford
    3 stars
  74. Spooks: The Greater Good review – nonsense but fun
    The plot is sub-Tinker, Tailor… and the action Bourne-lite, but the pace is brisk and fans of the TV show will not be disappointed
    3 stars
  75. Stray Dogs review – uncompromisingly agonised survival story
    Tsai Ming-liang’s artistry is undeniable, but his film centring on an alcoholic father and his children lacks generosity
    3 stars
  76. Top Five review – Chris Rock does the Birdman thing
    Chris Rock plays a comic trying to get serious in a self-aware film that asks interesting questions about celebrity and success
    3 stars
  77. Poltergeist review – unnecessary 3D horror reboot
    Sam Rockwell leads an efficient but unremarkable remake of the 1982 original
    2 stars
  78. Valley of Love review: peaks and troughs as Depardieu and Huppert feel the heat
    Guillaume Nicloux’s half-English language, semi-Lynchian movie has a divorced couple reuniting after their son’s death, featuring Depardieu’s best turn in years
    2 stars
  79. Return to Sender review – Rosamund Pike before she was Gone Girl
    There are few surprises in this cheapo thriller about a nurse who strikes up a relationship with the man who attacked her in her home
    2 stars
  80. Dino Time – a digimated plod through the Cretaceous era
    Despite some flickers of wit, the vocal talents of William Baldwin and a colour palette of radioactive Haribo, this US-Korean feature is still a bit of a dino-bore
    2 stars
  81. Louder than Bombs review: muffled English-language debut by Joachim Trier
    A few bright scenes involving Jesse Eisenberg as a callow new father can’t redeem this weirdly pointless drama with Isabelle Huppert as a war photographer and Gabriel Byrne her accomodating husband
    2 stars
  82. The Man Who Saved the World review – lots of colour, little insight
    The contrived blurring of doc and drama mars this account of Stanislav Petrov’s role in averting a nuclear catastrophe
    2 stars
  83. Irrational Man review: Woody Allen's philosophy lesson is no head trip
    Peter Bradshaw: Joaquin Phoenix plays a jaded philosophy professor, Emma Stone his young flirting buddy in another of the director’s underpowered satires about the fallacy of intellect
    2 stars
  84. A Royal Night Out review – Windsor princesses’ romp on the mild side
    The antics of Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth, who were allegedly allowed out to cavort with the masses on VE night, are presented as tame, trivial and sexless
    2 stars
  85. An review - Naomi Kawase's dessert-filled film is too insipid to swallow
    A preposterous and overly sentimental opener to this year’s Un Certain Regard serves up major disappointment
    2 stars
  86. Big Game review – ridiculous Boy’s Own adventure
    ‘President’ Samuel L Jackson falls victim to a touch of Airport 1975 when his plane is shot down in the wilds of Europe
    2 stars
  87. Top Five review – a self-congratulatory ramble from Chris Rock
    Crass gags spoil the story of a comedian desperate to be taken seriously
    2 stars
  88. Spooks: The Greater Good review – TV spy show sprints on to the big screen
    The tighter constraints of a feature-film story arc expose the antics of the sneery, ennui-ridden, treachery-obsessed Brits – and it all looks a bit silly
    2 stars
  89. Phoenix review – unconvincing postwar noir
    Christian Petzold’s ingenious but flawed fantasy is let down by its unrealistic portrayal of plastic surgery in 1945
    2 stars
  90. Still review – awkward but admirably grimy London thriller
    A grief-stricken man battles a gang of local kids in this clumsy noir effort
    2 stars
  91. Marguerite & Julien review – tale of forbidden love is one giant turkey
    Valérie Donzelli’s story of a real-life incestous relationship in 15th-century France joins the ranks of Cannes’ most appallingly bad films
    1 star
  92. Mon Roi review: Breaks a leg, then takes a tumble
    Vincent Cassel is a glorious, wonderful darling cad in Maïwenn’s dramatically valueless story of an injured women recalling a past love and his betrayals
    1 star
  93. The Sea of Trees review: a fantastically annoying and dishonest tear-jerker
    Peter Bradshaw: Gus van Sant dunks into sentimentality as Matthew McConaughey plays a man stalled in a plan to take his own life by a stranger he meets in Japan’s Aokigahara woods
    1 star
  94. The Age of Adaline review – passport to purgatory
    Time itself seems to slow down as this tale of a woman who is forever 29 years old plods ponderously to its conclusion
    1 star
  95. Testament of Youth; Wild; Big Hero 6; Stray Dogs; Honeytrap; Spring; Life of Riley; Dawg Fight review
    Searing wartime romance with Alicia Vikander and Kit Harington, Reese Witherspoon takes a hike and a chilly Disney tackles evil
    unrated
  96. Midnight Run review – comedy thriller that’s a minor classic
    The chemistry between Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin makes this comedy-thriller a real treat
    unrated
  97. Guardian Live: We Are Many preview
    Guardian Members gathered together ahead of the nationwide release of Amir Amirani’s anti-war documentary for a preview screening and panel discussion with the director
    unrated
  98. Foxcatcher; A Most Violent Year; Into the Woods; Altman; Grace and Frankie – review
    Guy Lodge reviews the latest DVD releases
    unrated
  99. Roberto Rossellini: The War Trilogy review – a landmark in world cinema
    This three-disc set featuring Germany Year Zero, Paisà and Rome, Open City is essential viewing
    unrated
  100. The Theory of Everything; Nymphomaniac: the Director’s Cut; Beyond Clueless – review
    Eddie Redmayne plays Stephen Hawking with wit and warmth, Lars von Trier adds to Charlotte Gainsbourg’s suffering and US teen movies get the documentary treatment
    unrated
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By Gideon Goldberg