Five star - Film Reviews

Latest Guardian Film Reviews sorted by Star Rating. Cut the crap!
  1. L'Eclisse review – Antonioni's strange and brilliant film rereleased
    Monica Vitti was never more sensual than in the story of a young woman who embarks on a doomed affair with Alain Delon’s nervy stockbroker
    5 stars
  2. Until the End of the World review – visionary techno-futurist nightmare
    Starring William Hurt, the five-hour director’s cut of Wim Wenders’s 1991 global road-trip movie seems even more miraculous than the leaner original
    5 stars
  3. 45 Years review – Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling superb as couple freshly possessed by the past
    In Andrew Haigh’s intelligent and moving drama, a retired husband and wife must rethink their whole lives together following the fallout from old news
    5 stars
  4. Mistress America review – anxieties of youth and middle age on a wave of zane
    Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach create a hilarious and hectic picture that returns us to their signature themes of life crises and tragicomic delusions
    5 stars
  5. Hard to Be a God review – art cinema at its most heroically extreme
    As sci-fi medieval fantasy, the late Aleksei German’s extraterrestrial epic makes Game of Thrones look like musical chairs
    5 stars
  6. Max & Lenny review – friendship and rap bask in the Mediterranean hood
    Fred Nicolas’ debut about two female friends on the fringes of French society displays a languorous confidence that bypasses cliche
    4 stars
  7. 45 Years review – a very stylish marriage
    Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling are at the top of their game in this compelling drama of lost love and missed opportunity
    4 stars
  8. Addicted to Sheep review – under the skin of northern tenant farmers
    A terrific documentary explores the lives of a family in the north Pennines trying to rear the perfect sheep
    4 stars
  9. Muhammad: Messenger of God review – evocative account of Islam’s gestation
    Majid Majidi’s origin tale of the prophet Muhammad chronicles the birth and rise of Islam, rich with gestural flair and images of bracing beauty
    4 stars
  10. Building Jerusalem review – how rugby union kicked off a new era
    Documentary-maker James Erskine uncovers the human stories behind the rejuvenation of English rugby that led to World Cup victory
    4 stars
  11. La Danza de la Realidad review – a portrait of the artist with a circus troupe
    Alejandro Jodorowsky relives his troubled childhood in 1930s Chile in a film of carnivalesque exuberance
    4 stars
  12. The Wolfpack review – camera-ready subjects of a revelatory documentary
    Raised in seclusion from the real world – but not from the world of movies – the six Angulo brothers make engaging fodder for this fascinating study
    4 stars
  13. The Mend review – tongue-in-cheek tale of self-destruction pays off
    This rule-breaking film knows it’s far up its own ass, and that’s a well-suited tone for these troubled New Yorkers
    4 stars
  14. The President review – a formidable political parable
    Iranian film-maker Mohsen Makhmalbaf explores what happens to deposed dictators with dyspeptic ferocity
    4 stars
  15. The Treatment review – brutal Belgian noir
    Hans Herbots’ disquietingly gripping forensic thriller transplants Mo Hayden’s crime bestseller to Belgium
    4 stars
  16. The Wolfpack review – young hearts run free
    Crystal Moselle’s documentary about a family virtually imprisoned in their New York flat for decades is necessarily basic but fundamentally joyful
    4 stars
  17. The Dance of Reality review – my father the hero
    Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s fantastical coming-of-age story is euphoric, erotic, despairing – and offers intriguing insights into his long career
    4 stars
  18. Learning to Drive review – touching, insightful and occasionally unpredictable
    Patricia Clarkson as a jilted wife and Ben Kingsley as her Indian driving instructor made a great odd couple in this unflashy but dependable comedy
    4 stars
  19. Mistress America review – a bracing, peppery tonic
    Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig’s hectic comedy confirms them as the first couple of urbane movie wit
    4 stars
  20. Precinct Seven Five review – hair-raising corruption documentary
    Tiller Russell’s documentary about bent cops in the 1980s NYPD is like a real-life Sidney Lumet movie
    4 stars
  21. Precinct Seven Five review – bad cops blurring and doing lines
    A fascinating documentary about two cops pursuing a cocaine-fuelled career of corruption and complicity with druglords in 80s New York
    4 stars
  22. The Diary of a Teenage Girl review – entertaining, insightful and ferociously confident
    British up-and-comer Bel Powley is outstanding as a girl who comes of age in mid-70s San Francisco
    4 stars
  23. The Gift review – sophisticated, chilling surprises in Joel Edgerton’s debut feature
    Edgerton, Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall are all on form in this tense, creepy home-invasion thriller
    4 stars
  24. War Book review – sober speculation goes nuclear
    An expert cast and dynamic direction lend momentum to this pointed Whitehall drama about the fallout of a missile strike
    4 stars
  25. The Next Generation Patlabor: Tokyo War review – beyond the uncanny valley
    Anime goes live action, whereby the real apes the artificial apeing the real, making for some overly art-directed oddness
    3 stars
  26. Phantom review – India's Jack Bauer blows diplomacy out of the water
    Kabir Khan’s pacy film about an army officer sent to flush out the killers of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks is a reckless yet revealing piece of pulp fiction
    3 stars
  27. Straight Outta Compton review – vibrant account of NWA’s rise to rap fame
    Although laden with rock-pic set pieces, this is an energy-packed drama full of conflict, on and off the stage
    3 stars
  28. We Are Your Friends review – music drama marks return to form for Zac Efron
    Efron puts in a smart performance as a would-be DJ who finds himself facing new frontiers
    3 stars
  29. Straight Outta Compton review – how hip-hop pioneers NWA took on the world
    Director F Gary Gray sidesteps the misogyny and cocaine but does a good job of showing the pure electric craziness of the music that NWA created
    3 stars
  30. En Equilibre review – horsing around with Gallic grace
    The human and equine stars are magnetic in this tale of passions ignited in the wake of a stunt-riding accident
    3 stars
  31. The Treatment/De Behandeling review – a Boschian hell that’s all too real
    Horribly convincing performances make this exploitative abduction thriller hard to watch
    3 stars
  32. Gemma Bovery review – flawed but flimsily likable
    Gemma Arterton is a joy to watch but can’t carry this Posy Simmonds-meets-Flaubert caper alone
    3 stars
  33. Looking for Love review – from eye-opening to jaw-dropping
    A frank, funny documentary tells ordinary tales to chronicle the state of modern love in the black British community
    3 stars
  34. Gemma Bovery review – a sugary snack of a film
    Fabrice Luchini and Gemma Arterton star in a watchable if contrived adaptation of Posy Simmonds’ graphic novel about a French baker and his British neighbour
    3 stars
  35. Looking for Love review – engaging documentary about dating
    Menelik Shabazz’s exploration of relationships in the UK’s black British community is laidback and likable
    3 stars
  36. The Forgotten Kingdom review – pleasingly cinematic mini epic
    Andrew Mudge’s latest offering combines classic realism with colourful characters, breathtaking vistas and a light dusting of the supernatural
    3 stars
  37. Trainwreck review – juicy romcom from Judd Apatow
    Amy Schumer’s script and performance are bracingly risque, but the comedy is not as sharp as her standup
    3 stars
  38. The Confessions of Thomas Quick review – intriguing documentary
    The story of Sture Bergwall, who confessed in Sweden to more than 30 murders, makes for a murky, complex documentary
    3 stars
  39. Paper Towns review – charming, engaging teen movie
    John Green’s novel blossoms in a well-acted teen movie that rises above the usual nerdish caricatures
    3 stars
  40. Theeb review – timeless art-house drama
    There is a stark authenticity to this beautifully shot story of a Bedouin boy’s fight for survival during the first world war
    3 stars
  41. Trainwreck review – funny but unthreatening romcom
    Judd Apatow’s latest, with Amy Schumer as a dope-smoking writer who sleeps around, lacks punch but packs in the laughs
    3 stars
  42. Theeb review – Bedouin boy in the fog of war
    Set during the first world war, Naji Abu Nowar’s drama about the arrival of a blue-eyed Englishman in a desert encampment packs a powerful punch
    3 stars
  43. The Confessions of Thomas Quick review – compelling serial-killer doc
    The story of Sture Bergwall is a true-crime tale with a twist, as well as a damning indictment of the Swedish authorities
    3 stars
  44. Marshland review – marvellous swamps but little surprise in Spanish murder noir
    If the intrigue doesn’t quite deliver there’s always great landscape, ominous atmosphere and Wallander-style morose cops to enjoy
    3 stars
  45. 52 Tuesdays review – candid sex-change drama
    Filmed over a year, this confessional video-style drama about a mother’s gender reassignment somehow works
    3 stars
  46. Manglehorn review – hard to buy Al Pacino as oddball in tale of lost love
    Al Pacino – with waistcoat, fob watch and greasy hair – is the pining ex-coach at the heart of this gentle small-town drama
    3 stars
  47. Bangistan review – always something to chuckle at in sly suicide-bomber comedy
    Two bumbling stooges – one Muslim, one Hindu – find they have much in common as they are both sent on a mission in Karan Anshuman’s answer to Four Lions
    3 stars
  48. Death of a Gentleman review – gathering clouds over cricket's sticky wicket
    The increasing wealth gap in the cricket world is the subject of this revealing documentary
    3 stars
  49. 52 Tuesdays review – a compassionate and ingenious look at transgenderism
    It’s occasionally on the nose, but this Australian drama’s fearlessness is impressive
    3 stars
  50. Marshland review – True Detective in post-Franco Spain
    It’s surely coincidence but this Spanish crime drama shares many elements with the HBO drama, including some breathtaking camerawork
    3 stars
  51. Barely Lethal review – cringe-worthy teen assassin hokum
    Everything about this Hailee Steinfeld adventure seems misjudged – from the terrible title to the action itself
    2 stars
  52. Hitman: Agent 47 review – another game that doesn’t translate to the big screen
    Too much action and a senseless plot are the ingredients for a classic console-to-silver-screen turkey
    2 stars
  53. No Escape review: Owen Wilson and Lake Bell suffer boggle-eyed panic attack
    Comedy staples adopt worried faces as parents fleeing with their kids from foreign unrest in this weirdly dubious action thriller
    2 stars
  54. Barely Lethal review – high-school commando ninjas
    Hailee Steinfeld is a trained killer who just wants to be an ordinary kid in a teen movie pastiche that misses its target
    2 stars
  55. Hitting the Apex review – the rising generation of Moto GP riders
    The appeal of this Brad Pitt-produced documentary will depend entirely on your interest in watching men leaning over at high speed
    2 stars
  56. The Bad Education Movie review – Jack Whitehall is charmless in TV spin-off
    It follows The Inbetweeners and Mrs Brown’s Boys on to the big screen, but does little to convince that it’s more than cheap tat looking to turn a tidy profit
    2 stars
  57. All is Well review: Abhishek Bachchan's rock star road trip causes cliche gridlock
    Another week, another family saga played out over the steering wheel. This one features mopey tunes, torturous exposition – and cuckoo sound effects to help underperforming gags on their way
    2 stars
  58. Sinister 2 review – history repeats itself
    The creepy mystery loses all potency second time around in this tame horror sequel
    2 stars
  59. Good People review – ramshackle thriller
    James Franco and Kate Hudson suffer from a fast-deteriorating storyline as they agonise over what to do with a stash of cash
    2 stars
  60. Pressure review – claustrophobic thriller can't avoid that sinking feeling
    Despite a strong premise and solid acting, this subaquatic disaster drama is too much by-the-numbers
    2 stars
  61. Vacation review – when humour takes a holiday
    The not-so-eagerly-awaited return of National Lampoon’s Vacation franchise makes us realise how much we didn’t miss it
    2 stars
  62. A Dozen Summers review – pre-teen angst it's hard to care about
    Twelve-year-old twins lead a film crew through their lives, in a project directed and written by their real-life dad. There are some insights but the execution is excruciatingly amateurish
    2 stars
  63. Escobar: Paradise Lost review – Colombian drug lord fictionalised
    Benicio del Toro has fun playing the world’s deadliest slob, but there’s too much fabrication in this not-quite biopic
    2 stars
  64. Sinister 2 review – credibly unsettling bloody offcuts
    In this workmanlike sequel, a nervous cop heads for an ever eerie Indiana – and a shoddy ending
    2 stars
  65. Hitman: Agent 47 review – an idiotic mess with gory flair
    The story is baffling, the characters disappointing and the twists anticlimactic, but this video game adaptation has violent energy
    2 stars
  66. American Ultra review: bong ho action comedy puts Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart in a stupor
    Jesse Eisenberg plays a stoned shop assistant with latent special agent skills in Nima Nourizadeh’s weak rip of The Bourne Identity
    2 stars
  67. Brothers review – Akshay Kumar is lead Weeble in feeble Warrior remake
    This Bollywood take on the 2011 boxing saga hits home occasionally but sacrifices drama for fight scenes stripped of emotional scar tissue
    2 stars
  68. Pixels review – dreary romp
    Female talent loses out as a bunch of klutzes fight aliens in this lame comedy with Adam Sandler
    2 stars
  69. The Man From UNCLE review – lifeless revival
    Guy Ritchie’s attempt to revive the cold war-defying duo Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin lacks spark
    2 stars
  70. Pixels review – game over for Adam Sandler (again)
    Run as fast as you can from this sci-fi comedy about arcade-game addicts who must defend Earth against space invaders
    2 stars
  71. Captain Webb review – oafish biopic of first man to swim the English Channel
    Stick-on sideburns and phoney yokel accents are just two of the problems with this cheap and unconvincing biopic
    2 stars
  72. Pleasure Island review – subpar seaside crime drama
    Grimsby is the setting for this generic drama about a soldier returning home to help his loved ones escape a life of crime
    2 stars
  73. Early Winter review – last days of a fading marriage told with downbeat restraint
    The sleety cinematography and heavy realism make for a vivid but isolating depiction of flailing lovers butting heads in Michael Rowe’s new film
    2 stars
  74. Downriver review: handsome but deeply unsatisfying small-town drama
    Despite the best efforts of cast and crew, this prodigal son drama starring Reef Ireland is let down by an implausible set up and tangled central premise, writes Luke Buckmaster
    2 stars
  75. The Man from UNCLE review: Style paired with deathly boring substance
    The high-octane thrill of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock films has been replaced by boring, hot guys suavely saving the world in this remake of the 60s TV show
    2 stars
  76. Max review – Lassie Come Home with combat stress
    A US army dog with post-Afghanistan trauma is the hero of this watchable but predictable family film
    2 stars
  77. War Room review: shut up and pray he quits
    Alex and Stephen Kendrick’s faith-based film argues that domestic abuse can be cured by retiring to a bunker and praying. It’s an odd plan of attack, says Jordan Hoffman
    1 star
  78. Hitman: Agent 47 review – shoot 'em up, grind 'em down with dullness
    In this punishingly vacuous thriller, Rupert Friend is a rabbit-faced assassin with dozens of expendable types on his hitlist
    1 star
  79. We Are Your Friends review – wearisome odyssey through the LA club scene
    Zac Efron is a super-hot DJ searching for credibility amid the music-video cliches and Entourage-style bro-love
    1 star
  80. Zombie Fight Club review – undead take the lift in Taiwan tower block
    The gore-heavy mayhem is surpassed by a rampant strain of misogyny in Joe Chien’s nasty horror flick
    1 star
  81. StalkHer review – a long, pointless spat that manages to degrade both genders
    John Jarratt and Kaarin Fairfax co-star and co-direct this rancid battle-of-the-sexes film, which is mean-spirited, implausible and offensive as a work of art
    1 star
  82. Vacation review – middling vulgarity
    A lame return to National Lampoon’s Walley World offers crudity but few laughs
    1 star
  83. Absolutely Anything review – faintly squalid romp
    Simon Pegg cannot save this bleak comedy, which looks and feels as if it was made in the mid-80s
    1 star
  84. Absolutely Anything review - cheap and cheerless sci-fi comedy
    Simon Pegg plays a teacher endowed with godlike powers and Robin Williams, in his final film role, supplies the voice of a dog. But it’s far from funny
    1 star
  85. Paper Towns review – Cara Delevingne is not enough
    Framed around a female lead so adorkable it’s dangerous, this insufferable US high-school movie forgets to be funny or sharp
    1 star
  86. Fantastic Four review – murky and misjudged
    The Marvel superhero family’s poor relations deserve so much more than this dire reboot
    1 star
  87. The Roberto Rossellini Ingrid Bergman Collection review – a tempestuous affair both on and off screen
    It all started with a fan letter from Bergman to Rossellini. What followed were two surprising trilogies
    unrated
  88. Undead rewatched: aliens and zombies collide in a gung-ho low-budget classic
    The Spierig brothers’ self-financed debut film was filled with severed limbs, cut-price but surprisingly sophisticated special effects and lashings of humour
    unrated
  89. #ReviewAnything – going boldly where no reviews have gone before
    Reviewed this week: festival toilets, Simon Cowell’s new beard, the Spike TV channel and the Segway
    unrated
  90. Meru: the documentary that best captures 'the PTSD' of high-level climbing
    The documentary about the struggle to conquer the Shark’s Fin on the northern India peak was long in the making – but offers a rare glimpse of the psychological torment of climbers insistent on pushing themselves to their physical limit
    unrated
  91. Pickup on South Street review – a masterly film noir
    Sam Fuller’s McCarthy-era thriller pleased neither the communists nor J Edgar Hoover but has stood the test of time
    unrated
  92. Cinderella, A Little Chaos, Queen and Country, Love Me Like You Do, Ride, Futuro Beach and more – review
    Cate Blanchett gives a wicked masterclass in scene stealing, Alan Rickman’s period romance fails to ignite, and John Boorman gets nostalgic in Queen and Country
    unrated
  93. Jedda rewatched - powerful melodrama with a strong anti-assimilationist message
    Filmmaker Charles Chauvel’s final production marked a watershed for Australian films and paved the way for Indigenous actors
    unrated
  94. Zombies: A Cultural History review – a grave injustice
    Roger Luckhurst’s study of splatter schlock and ‘cinema vomitif’ should have been livelier
    unrated
  95. 3 Women review – exquisite early Robert Altman film
    3 Women is among the least seen of Altman’s early films and one in which he took a particular pride
    unrated
  96. The Knick, The Duff, The Town That Dreaded Sundown, Run All Night, Song One, Still the Water, Open Range – reviews
    Steven Soderbergh’s gory hospital drama is grotesquely human, Pygmalion is reworked with sass and Kevin Costner puts soul into the sagebrush
    unrated
  97. The Getting of Wisdom rewatched – a benchmark for Australian teen drama
    Bruce Beresford’s proto-Mean Girls drama shines thanks to its teenage lead Susannah Fowle and Barry Humphries’ appearance in a deadly serious role
    unrated
  98. Stalag 17 review – Billy Wilder's fascinating POW movie
    Billy Wilder put his own inimitable stamp on the comedy-thriller that wrested the prisoner-of-war genre from the British
    unrated
  99. Timbuktu, Democrats, Glassland, The Water Diviner, She’s Funny That Way and more – DVD reviews
    Two dazzling films about troubled African nations, an emotionally nourishing study of alcoholism – and Russell Crowe’s return to form
    unrated
  100. Dark Age rewatched: John Jarratt in a creature feature 'so crazy it worked'
    One of Australia’s early horror films manages to combine spirituality, conservation, Indigenous culture, Ray Meagher and a 25-foot crocodile
    unrated
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By Gideon Goldberg