Five star - Film Reviews

Latest Guardian Film Reviews sorted by Star Rating. Cut the crap!
  1. What We Do in the Shadows review – best comedy of the year
    Flight of the Conchord writers are behind this wickedly funny mockumentary about a bunch of undead flatmates rowing about the cleaning, writes Peter Bradshaw
    5 stars
  2. Benedict Cumberbatch's impressions – review
    To promote new movie The Imitation Game, Benedict Cumberbatch was challenged to deliver 11 imitations in a minute. Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw rates his performances
    5 stars
  3. Leviathan review – a compellingly told, stunningly shot drama
    This Russian retelling the story of Job is impressive film-making on a grand scale, writes Peter Bradshaw
    5 stars
  4. The Homesman review – Tommy Lee Jones’s frontier western impresses
    Depression, madness and sympathy in 19th-century Nebraska make for a confident, insightful film, writes Peter Bradshaw
    4 stars
  5. Mary is Happy, Mary is Happy review – the first film based on a Twitter feed
    A timeless coming of age tale lurks beneath the modern meta-commentary in this Thai teen tale, writes Phil Hoad
    4 stars
  6. The Gambler review – Mark Wahlberg gives a dynamite display of self-hatred
    Rupert Wyatt’s version of this spiral of self-imposed despair isn’t a typical thriller but offers surefire cinematic – if not moral – virtue, writes Jordan Hoffman
    4 stars
  7. Winter Sleep review – sharply observed tragicomedy
    This chilly but touching Palme d’Or winner takes place against a mesmerisingly vast backdrop – in signature style from the Once Upon a Time in Anatolia director, writes Peter Bradshaw
    4 stars
  8. The Mule review – toilet humour elevated to fiendishly smart art
    Angus Sampson co-directs and stars in an Australian comedy that wisely bypasses the challenges of a cinematic release
    4 stars
  9. The Imitation Game review – an engrossing and poignant thriller
    Benedict Cumberbatch’s excellent performance gives added complexity to a fine account of the life of codebreaker Alan Turing, writes Mark Kermode
    4 stars
  10. Life Itself review – a delightful tribute to US film critic Roger Ebert
    Steve James’s life-affirming documentary about the influential American movie critic gets the Thumbs Up from Mark Kermode
    4 stars
  11. The Drop review – gripping but sometimes irrational crime thriller
    Tom Hardy, co-starring with James Gandolfini in his final role, faces an escapable destiny in Dennis Lehane’s organised crime story, writes Peter Bradshaw
    4 stars
  12. Life Itself review – documentary tribute to film critic Roger Ebert
    Cinema lovers will be inspired by this portrait of the Chicago newspaperman who became a TV celebrity and an internet legend, writes Peter Bradshaw
    4 stars
  13. David Bowie Is review – Bowie’s brilliance shines in star-studded tribute
    Bowie emerges as a figure of dissident, unrepentant gorgeousness in this enjoyable documentary, writes Peter Bradshaw
    4 stars
  14. Jazz in Polish Cinema: Out of the Underground 1958-1967 review
    Jazz helped Poland’s film-makers to deliver a hint of rebellion under communist rule in the 50s and 60s, writes John Fordham
    4 stars
  15. Interstellar review – if it’s spectacle you want, this delivers
    Despite a plot full of holes of various kinds, Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic remains enthralling and amazing, writes Mark Kermode
    4 stars
  16. Made in Dagenham review – the feast of the show is visual rather than aural
    Gemma Arterton effortlessly leads the way in a joyful, garish musical rejig of the hit film, writes Susannah Clapp
    4 stars
  17. The Possibilities Are Endless review – Edwyn Collins and the redemptive power of love
    A documentary following Edwyn Collins’s recovery from a stroke is gorgeously poetic, writes Mark Kermode
    4 stars
  18. A Most Violent Year review: plucky Oscars outsider draws blood
    Xan Brooks: Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain star in the latest film from Margin Call and All is Lost director JC Chandor – a rigorous crime drama which paints a knotty, nuanced portrait of the man who fuelled the 1980s
    4 stars
  19. Guy Pearce: Broken Bones review – the surprise package of 2014
    An assured, confident debut album draws from the actor’s genuinely appealing voice and a who’s-who of New Zealand sidemen
    4 stars
  20. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 review – Jennifer Lawrence still engages in this operatic nightmare
    The YA drama seems to be evolving toward superheroism, showing Katniss Everdeen’s development into a sleek, black-robed ninja, writes Peter Bradshaw
    3 stars
  21. My Old Lady review – a soft-centred but well-acted confection
    Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith and Kristin Scott Thomas star in this thoughtful drama about a ménage ŕ trois of sorts – peppered with some ingenious twists, writes Peter Bradshaw
    3 stars
  22. The Sleepwalker review - symbols clash but the plot stays sound
    This absorbing film may look like a indie cliche but it cleverly unlocks two sisters’ secrets via the distraction of a house-in-the-woods mystery, writes Jordan Hoffman
    3 stars
  23. Paddington review – bear baits Ukip with fluffy immigrant tale
    Antique conceit meets high-concept story in Paul King’s big-screen adaptation of the Michael Bond classic, writes Xan Brooks
    3 stars
  24. The Drop review – Brooklyn neo-noir
    Tom Hardy broods his way though a money-laundering thriller featuring James Gandolfini in his final role, writes Mark Kemode
    3 stars
  25. Diplomacy review – an intelligent if not electrifying second world war drama
    The gripping tale of an encounter on the eve of the Allied liberation of Paris suffers in the transition from stage to screen, says Mark Kermode
    3 stars
  26. Beyond the Lights review: soap-opera struggles and abs to die for
    This story of a put-upon pop star and her bodyguard is no masterpiece, but the big numbers come from the heart
    3 stars
  27. Diplomacy review – thoroughly civilised two-hander
    Volker Schlöndorff’s intelligent film eavesdrops on the second-world war hotel room in which a Francophile Swede persuaded a Nazi governor not to destroy Paris, writes Andrew Pulver
    3 stars
  28. We Are the Giant review – courage under fire
    Worthy documentary tribute to Arab Spring protesters focuses on non-violent methods but fails to tackle a chaotic present, writes Peter Bradshaw
    3 stars
  29. The Imitation Game review – Cumberbatch cracks biopic code
    Benedict Cumberbatch is utterly convincing as Alan Turing, the mathematician who did more than anyone to defeat Hitler but who was destroyed by homophobia, writes Peter Bradshaw
    3 stars
  30. Dumb and Dumber To review – the bottom line: it's still funny
    Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels resume their slapstick double-act 20 years on, but despite some inspired work with a hot dog, this half-assed sequel leaves you feeling numb and number
    3 stars
  31. Set Fire to the Stars review – Dylan Thomas minus his unruly power
    Dylan Thomas’s booze-sodden 1950 tour of the US is the basis for a slight but diverting tale, writes Mark Kermode
    3 stars
  32. The Skeleton Twins review – Kristen Wiig is engaging in this tale of self-destructive siblings
    There’s a natural affinity between Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig in this moody indie pic, writes Mark Kermode
    3 stars
  33. Say When review – Keira Knightley stars in fluffy, disposable rom-com
    Director Lynn Shelton serves up a pleasant enough movie, but it could do with more emotional substance, writes Mark Kermode
    3 stars
  34. Big Hero 6 review: an adorable robot bounces through mayhem
    The plot is predictable and its presentation of science is questionable – but when Baymax hits the screen, all is forgiven
    3 stars
  35. Get On Up review – not the James Brown biopic he deserves
    The truth of the godfather of soul’s rich, troubled life is lost in cliche and glib myth, writes Peter Bradshaw
    2 stars
  36. An Evening with Arnold Schwarzenegger review – more nosiness required
    Simon Hattenstone: Schwarzenegger’s story is remarkable and he tells it well, but we could do with a bit less reverence
    2 stars
  37. The November Man review – Pierce Brosnan’s old-hat cold war thriller
    A decade in the making, but this adaptation of Bill Granger’s spy novel feels dated already, writes Mark Kermode
    2 stars
  38. The Remaining review – biblical torment
    Alexa Vega guides an ungodly group through waves of destruction and dodgy CG demons, writes Mike McCahill
    2 stars
  39. No Good Deed review – no redeeming features
    This preposterous exploitation flick is a baffling career move for Idris Elba, writes Peter Bradshaw
    1 star
  40. Third Person review – Liam Neeson tries to write a masterpiece
    This three-stranded tale involving a blocked writer, a mother battling for custody and a trafficked child is manipulative claptrap, says Mark Kermode
    1 star
  41. Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey? review – more festive nonsense
    Mark Kermode is not amused by the bewildering third instalment of Debbie Isitt’s kids’ comedy
    1 star
  42. Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey? review – unfunny, infantile and crass
    The third in the series, minus all of the charm, is like a British Christmas ad directed by Satan, writes Peter Bradshaw
    1 star
  43. The Vatican Museums review – over-garnished papal-art doco
    The Vatican’s art collection is spilling over with treasures, but they’re hard to concentrate on in this gaudy brandfest, writes Andrew Pulver
    1 star
  44. Third Person review – deeply dubious luxury fantasy
    Liam Neeson is a rich and famous writer lounging around in a five-star hotel, while James Franco plays a painter – with preposterous results, writes Peter Bradshaw
    1 star
  45. #ReviewAnything – from atmospheric soundtracks to a John Travolta's poster, we review your creative handiwork
    Every Friday we pledge to review whatever you’ve sent us over the past seven days, with absolutely no restrictions. We might not be nice about it, mind. SUBMIT YOUR OWN: post in the comments below or send them in via Twitter: @guideguardian
    unrated
  46. Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life review – how Sophia Loren ‘the toothpick’ became a star
    Barbara Ellen enjoys the Italian actress’s tale of her journey from extreme poverty to becoming one of Hollywood’s great beauties
    unrated
  47. The Day the Earth Caught Fire review – Philip French on Val Guest’s lively nuclear angst thriller
    Val Guest’s best sci-fi thriller, newly remastered, makes for a fascinating period piece, writes Philip French
    unrated
  48. Akira Kurosawa review – Peter Wild lets the pictures do the talking
    Focusing mainly on the films, Wild’s study is a succinct portrayal of the intensely private director Scorsese calls ‘my master’, writes PD Smith
    unrated
  49. The Naked City review – Philip French on Jules Dassin’s curious police procedural
    New York’s streets take the starring role in this landmark 40s crime thriller, writes Philip French
    unrated
  50. Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: a tribute to the power of the image
    A show in which John Malkovich recreates famous photographs of the past is funny – but its real subject is the way images permeate public consciousness
    unrated
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By Gideon Goldberg