World War Z


At one point in WWZ, a character runs, trips and shoots himself in the head, which might be a metaphor for the entire film; so keen is everyone to keep things moving that the film never slows to build tension, or establish characters beyond genre shorthand – its fatal flaw.


Blue Jasmine

Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine

The tragedy of a woman trying to re-write her past and provide for her future, Blue Jasmine is simultaneously timeless and of its time, a surprisingly bleak, late-career masterpiece for a director many had long – foolishly – discounted. Cate Blanchett is flawless. One of the films of the year.

One Chance


OC, the unlikely-sounding film charting ordinary Welshman Paul Potts’ rise to fame via Britain’s Got Talent, begins earnestly but actually rather winningly, with the romance between its two leads developing sweetly. But the plot soon becomes repetitive, while asking us to see the working class as essentially tragic remains… problematic.


White House Down


In which the American president’s home is besieged, for a second time this year, and much more entertainingly, by terrorists. Tatum charms as the jock-hero, while everyone else has a blast with material that is smart enough to know it’s stupid, while acknowledging that it’s directly ripping off Die Hard.

Grand Piano


Grand Piano aims for classic Hitchcock but reaches only lower ebb De Palma or Schumacher, with the preposterous central conceit escalating hysterically (and hilariously) to effectively undermine much of the otherwise impressive technical swishiness. Not in itself un-entertaining, you’ll nonetheless be left, come curtain, with a general feeling of pointlessness.