Five star - Film Reviews

Latest Guardian Film Reviews sorted by Star Rating. Cut the crap!
  1. Manuscripts Don’t Burn review – Iranian hitmen on a mission to silence
    Based on real events, this thriller bravely explores Iran’s attempt to suppress knowledge of its assassination of intellectuals, writes Leslie Felperin
    5 stars
  2. The Wizard of Oz review – a dazzling remastered masterpiece
    Oz is even more glorious in this revived proto-psychedelic gem from 1939, writes Peter Bradshaw
    5 stars
  3. While We're Young: Ben Stiller has a hipster replacement in brilliant comedy
    Stiller and Naomi Watts play a couple whose marriage alters after they become friends with Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried
    5 stars
  4. M review – timeless portrayal of crime and punishment

    Mark Kermode enjoys afresh Fritz Lang's nightmarish 1931 film starring Peter Lorre as a tortured killer

    5 stars
  5. Pride review – power in an unlikely union
    Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and George MacKay sparkle in this tale of lesbian and gay activists’ support for the miners’ strike, writes Mark Kermode
    4 stars
  6. The Boxtrolls review – splendidly inventive children’s animation
    Laika studio’s adaptation of Alan Snow’s Here Be Monsters is deliciously scrungy, with dazzling visuals, writes Mark Kermode
    4 stars
  7. Big Game review: a sparky Samuel L Jackson romp for dads and lads
    Paul MacInnes: With its breathtaking vistas and sharp action, this Finnish-set woodland adventure is as spectacular as it is funny
    4 stars
  8. Pride review – when gay activists struck a deal with miners
    Peter Bradshaw: This poignant account of an unlikely alliance between gay activists and striking miners has strong resonances today
    4 stars
  9. Tusk review: Kevin Smith seals his comeback with walrus horror show
    Henry Barnes: Inspired by a hoax Gumtree ad, Kevin Smith’s bizarre imprisonment horror movie sees the director back to his snarky best
    4 stars
  10. Top Five review: Chris Rock dazzles in full meta jacket
    Chris Rock is already No 1 when it comes to money at the Toronto film festival with this charming – and highly bankable – story of a stand-up struggling to reinvent himself
    4 stars
  11. Wild review – a two-hour hallucinatory montage

    Reese Witherspoon shines in Jean-Marc Vallée's lean, energetic adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's bestselling memoir, writes Henry Barnes

    4 stars
  12. The Theory of Everything review: Hawking's story packs powerful punch

    Boffin biopic built on towering performances from Eddie Redmayne as the physicist and Felicity Jones as his first wife

    4 stars
  13. Eden review: heaven is midnight in Paris, dancing to electronica

    Mia Hansen-Løve’s brilliantly realised clubbing drama is an unusually warm and perceptive look inside a world rarely handled well by cinema

    4 stars
  14. Nightcrawler review: Gyllenhaal gets his hands dirty in brilliant news thriller
    Jake Gyllenhaal drops 30 pounds – mostly from his morals – to play an ambulance-chasing hack in this LA-set satire also featuring an on-form Riz Ahmed and revelatory Rene Russo
    4 stars
  15. A Dangerous Game review – insightful documentary about Donald Trump
    Anthony Baxter’s follow-up to the brilliant You’ve Been Trumped exposes the true cost of developing playgrounds for the super-rich, writes Mark Kermode
    3 stars
  16. A Most Wanted Man review – post-9/11 paranoia from John le Carré
    Philip Seymour Hoffman sets the beat of this dour thriller, as he traipses through a moral no-man’s land, writes Mark Kermode
    3 stars
  17. In Order Of Disappearance review – its debts to Fargo and Pulp Fiction are crystal clear
    Peter Bradshaw: This Norwegian thriller is entertaining and well acted, but borrows rather too obviously from modern American classics of the genre
    3 stars
  18. Good Kill: righteous take on US drone warfare – Toronto film festival review
    The disconnect of American drone ops is perfectly captured, but the supporting cast’s characterisations are one-dimensional, writes Henry Barnes
    3 stars
  19. Ballet Boys review – three teenagers step up to the barre
    This documentary about a trio of ballet hopefuls in Oslo is pleasant but not especially insightful, writes Leslie Felperin
    3 stars
  20. At Berkeley review – four hours spent studying a university
    Peter Bradshaw: Frederick Wiseman’s long documentary sometimes feels like a promotional video, but the emphasis on ideas is refreshing
    3 stars
  21. A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness review – an arresting exploration of solitude
    Peter Bradshaw: This strange work by experimentalists Ben Rivers and Ben Russell is utterly uncommercial and borders on video art
    3 stars
  22. Jack to a King: The Swansea Story review – from near-bankruptcy to the Premier League
    Peter Bradshaw: Thriller director Marc Evans turns documentary-maker to follow the fortunes of Swansea City football club
    3 stars
  23. A Dangerous Game review – Scottish yes voters may want to consider this
    Documentary updates the battle between Aberdeen farmers and Donald Trump over the property magnate’s new golf links – in Alex Salmond’s constituency, writes Leslie Felperin
    3 stars
  24. The Boxtrolls review – one of the summer’s best animations
    This tale of a junk-loving species living in a cobbled town’s sewers will enthral mucky pups with its conspicuous filth, writes Mike McCahill
    3 stars
  25. A Little Chaos review – Louis XIV romp borders on verge of ridiculous
    Alan Rickman's second film as director appears to take inspiration from templates of Mills & Boon's historical range
    3 stars
  26. The Imitation Game review: Knightley and Cumberbatch impress, but historical spoilers lower the tension

    The Alan Turing biopic has all the elements of drama going for it, but somehow the script fails to catch fire

    3 stars
  27. Love & Mercy review – a warm tribute to the extraordinary life of Brian Wilson

    Bill Pohlad's biopic of the Beach Boys mastermind is immaculate and respectful, but the arc of growth and redemption is too neat, writes Henry Barnes

    3 stars
  28. The Face of an Angel review: disconcerting dreams, riotous hacks and the mystery of Meredith Kercher's murder

    This fictionalised account of the murder of an English student in Italy wants us to think about remembering those who are lost, but it never directly addresses the crime itself, writes Paul MacInnes

    3 stars
  29. St. Vincent: I can't get no beatification – Toronto film festival review
    This hymn of love to Bill Murray is a symphony of slapstick with some discordant quavers – and a lot of bars
    3 stars
  30. Before I Go to Sleep review – enjoyably preposterous

    Nicole Kidman wipes the slate clean post-Grace as an amnesiac in Rowan Joffe's nicely overcooked suspenser, writes Mark Kermode

    3 stars
  31. The Drop review: James Gandolfini's swansong unfolds at Brooklyn fights
    The last screen performance by James Gandolfini is one of the quieter pleasures in this gamey New York procedural thriller starring the ex-Sopranos star and Tom Hardy
    3 stars
  32. Men, Women & Children review: Adam Sandler gets a logon in ambitious digital sex drama
    Emma Thompson adds frisky voiceover to chaste visuals in Jason Reitman’s latest
    3 stars
  33. The Guest review – from Downton to downright dangerous

    Dan Stevens's charismatic US soldier is the house guest from hell in this gory thriller from the team behind You're Next, writes Mark Kermode

    3 stars
  34. The Hundred-Foot Journey review – food wars in the south of France

    Helen Mirren impresses as a snooty restaurateur in a culinary drama that doesn't quite fill you up, writes Mark Kermode

    3 stars
  35. Finding Fela review – portrait of Afrobeat king

    This documentary highlights the Nigerian superstar's brilliance, but sidesteps some of his troubling opinions, writes Mark Kermode

    3 stars
  36. Cake review – an anti-vanity vehicle for Jennifer Aniston
    Despite Aniston’s diverting drab-act as a bitchy, suicidal woman in constant pain, this humdrum character study is sour and half-baked, writes Catherine Shoard
    2 stars
  37. Pawn Sacrifice review – Bobby Fischer biopic is a bit stale, mate

    Tobey Maguire makes a decent fist of playing the prickly chess grandmaster, but Edward Zwick’s unsubtle film never delves beneath the surface of his paranoid psychology

    2 stars
  38. Shelter review – Paul Bettany’s drama is striking but improbably anguished
    For all its good intentions, Bettany’s tale of the relationship between a drug addict and an illegal immigrant is undermined by a lack of balance and nuance, writes Henry Barnes
    2 stars
  39. The Equalizer review – Denzel Washington: ordinary guy, cool killer

    Paul MacInnes: director Antoine Fuqua reunites with his hard-as-nails Training Day star for a violent remake of the 80s TV series

    2 stars
  40. This Is Where I Leave You review: Fey and Bateman in tale of sibling ribaldry
    Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Adam Driver play the offspring of Jane Fonda, required to come home and remain there for a week after the death of their father. The performers excel, but the schmaltz can send a shiva down the spine
    2 stars
  41. The Reach: Looney Tunes in the desert with Michael Douglas

    The pulpy conceit of Jean-Baptiste Leonetti's cartoonish desert thriller runs dry as Michael Douglas hunts Jeremy Irvine across the Mojave, says Henry Barnes

    2 stars
  42. Sex Tape review – Cameron Diaz is no fun between the sheets

    A married couple search for their missing sex tape in this dreary excuse for a comedy, writes Mark Kermode

    2 stars
  43. They Came Together review – lame comedy with Paul Rudd

    This parody of romcoms provides fewer laughs than the movies it's mocking, writes Mark Kermode

    2 stars
  44. Life of Crime review – a poor man's American Hustle

    Jennifer Aniston stars in a disappointing kidnapping drama adapted from Elmore Leonard's The Switch, writes Mark Kermode

    2 stars
  45. Glengarry Glen Ross review – Philip French on one of the best American casts ever assembled
    Philip French enjoys David Mamet’s ear for ‘American demotic at its most colourfully obsence’ in Glengarry Glen Ross
    unrated
  46. DVDs and downloads: The Two Faces of January, Only Lovers Left Alive, Frank and more
    Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst are dressed to kill in a well-tailored Patricia Highsmith adaptation, writes Guy Lodge
    unrated
  47. The Wizard of Oz 3D review – unnecessary surgery to a classic
    Mark Kermode: Why impose stereoscopy on images that never felt the least bit flat in the first place?
    unrated
  48. Toronto film festival 2014: afflictions, addictions and angst
    Toronto grappled with troubled geniuses, suffering women, homelessness and the perils and triumphs of technology, writes Catherine Shoard
    unrated
  49. Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review; Masters of Man Time With Just for Men; Phone Farage; Sam Walker – radio review
    Kermode and Mayo’s longstanding review show treads a fine line between joy and ire, writes Miranda Sawyer
    unrated
  50. The Pit and the Pendulum review – Philip French on Roger Corman's low-budget, hair-raising Poe adaptation
    This Blu-ray version with plenty of extras does full justice to Corman's low-budget, hair-raising Poe adaptation, writes Philip French
    unrated
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By Gideon Goldberg