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Criterions that Chris Tookey hated

by Edward H.

Created 03/21/16

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In the world of film criticism, one of the more underrated names for me is Daily Mail critic Chris Tookey. Despite his often controversial stances on certain films (particularly with David Cronenberg's Crash), his reviews are quite enjoyable and demonstrate a passion for film that the best critics have. Here, I'll be recollecting his negative opinions to the films in the CC. Enjoy.

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Believe me: plots don't come much cornea. Absurdly overpraised by some critics, The Killer is a blood-spattered oriental thriller, manufactured in Hong Kong and full of somersaulting stuntmen, cascading character-actors and perfunctorily perforated performers. The style of director John Woo (pictured) veers insanely between pretentiousness and comic-strip, nauseating sentimentality and high camp."

  • Rating: 3/10 - "Although they may arouse the admiration of some critics and film-makers who see only their craft, their excesses are more likely to rouse audiences to incredulous laughter; I fear, however, that even as we laugh we are being desensitised into coldness and callousness. Woo may well be as hard boiled as his heroes. But the ideas in his films are poached; his morality is over-easy; he leave most of his characters fried and his audiences’ brains scrambled. Mr Woo isn’t God, Mozart or Hitchcock: he represents cinema at its most decadent and pernicious. He is the bore of gore."

  • Rating: 2/10 - "Pasolini overhauls de Sade's original conception by placing the story in Italy during the closing days of World War II, and giving it a Marxist interpretation. A magistrate represents the legal system, a banker is unbridled capitalism, a duke stands for the top echelon of the class system, and a monsignore is an icon for the corrupt Roman Catholic church. The victims are, of course, the working class. Pasolini all too obviously revels in the very humiliations he is affecting to condemn."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Downbeat to the point of dullness."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Intriguingly oriental approach to an Ed McBain thriller plot. The oriental formalism of a static first half is transformed into an exciting man-hunt in the second. Kurosawa's superb visual style bridges the two approaches cleverly, but there are moments during the first hour when one wishes he would get a move on."

  • Rating: 3/10 - "Deadly dull picture of a dehumanised society, which looks all too similar to 60s Paris. Godard's attempts to make political statements amount, as usual, to inane twaddle. It was voted Best Film at Berlin in 1965, and ludicrously overpraised by contemporary critics."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "This supposedly tear-jerking moment reduced me to tears of helpless laughter - and it may do the same for you, if by then you’re not looking at your watch and silently urging the asteroid to blow all these incredibly tiresome people to kingdom come."

  • Rating: 3/10 - "This drab, talky, dull film won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, for no good reason except that the director was critically fashionable, Iranian officials had tried to prevent the film from being shown, and it coincided with a devastating Iranian earthquake that earned it sympathy. It has been hailed as a profound fable about the existential dilemma of whether or not to exist, and “a desperately needed affirmation of cinema” - whatever that means. The cinematography is static and unimaginative. The sound quality is dreadful. The script is repetitive and banal. We never learn who the central character is, or why he wishes to kill himself. Every so often, we are made to watch rubble being poured into a quarry. We are even robbed of a satisfactory ending. Instead, the director pulls off a trick calculated to appeal to pretentious post-modernists the world over, and reveals that it was - golly, gosh - only a film. There are critics who think The Taste of Cherry is a masterpiece, and Abbas Kiarastomi the world’s greatest director. I don’t."

  • Rating: 3/10 - "Film is often spoken of as a director’s medium, but Insomnia - though skilfully framed and edited by first-timer Erik Skjoldbjaerg, who trained at the National Film and Television School in England - proves that you don’t have much of a film without a decent script. The range of suspects is far too limited, the characterisation flimsy, the tone dour, and the pace funereal. If it weren’t so relentlessly over-lit, Insomnia would send most people to sleep."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "For some, Fellini's finest film. For others, including myself, it's sentimental, schlocky soap opera with painfully thin characterisation. How much you enjoy it may depend upon how sympathetic you find Giuletta Masina, who strives to be ingratiating as the tart with a heart, and ends up sugary-sweet."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Portentously symbolic, stylised, overlong, tedious."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Sven Nykvist's Oscar-nominated cinematography and three terrific performances can't disguise the rambling nature of the screenplay - which starts off as lively but loses its way, and threatens to become comatose in the second half. Gone is most of the philosophising of Kundera's novel, to be replaced by sexy nude frolics featuring two of Europe's most gorgeous actresses. Even so, it's hard to care about these characters, and there's a meaningless "shock" ending; fate strikes, seemingly for no other reason than to put us out of our misery. Known to its detractors as The Unbearable Boredom of Seeing."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Not all that violent by modern standards, but heartily disliked by virtually all contemporary critics for seeming to revel in both the anti-hero's deeds and (even more tastelessly) the terror of his victims. It is fashionable now to say that the initial reaction was mistaken, and to hail the movie as a masterpiece. I'm not so sure that it was wrong: though cleverly made, this is a nasty, mean-spirited film."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Young director Wes Anderson was wildly acclaimed for his would-be comedy. Unfortunately, its hero, who's meant to be a nineties equivalent to Billy Liar, comes across instead as a potential Norman Bates. We're clearly meant to find him quirky and cute, but he will strike most people as being well on his way to becoming a murderous psychopath - whether he is stalking his teacher, sawing through the brakes on Murray's car, or setting off for his school with a gun and a crate of dynamite. The film's flashes of originality and fantastical style won rave reviews in the States, but the reason for its disappointing performance at the box office isn't hard to detect. It's more funny peculiar than funny ha-ha, and the characters don't react to the central character in a way that is even slightly plausible. Rushmore is memorable for its disturbing insights into the minds of the sort of troubled loner who guns down his schoolmates and then blows himself up. But that was not, I think, the film-makers' intention."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Despite the religious controversy which it aroused, this is neither irreligious nor shockingly salacious. It is, in fact, Scorsese's most boring film, more tedium than Te Deum. He is evidently inhibited by his high subject-matter and low budget; he is not helped by a script of painful banality. The fact this is one of the few films to have won Scorsese an Oscar nomination says a lot about Academy members' hostility to censorship, but not much for their taste."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Tacky, tasteless film which remains Bardot's most famous film - more because of her sex appeal than the film's merits."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "A severely pruned version of Shakespeare's tragedy: Olivier excises Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and interprets the play as being "the tragedy of a man who couldn't make up his mind". Olivier's directorial attempts to make the film more cinematic are more distracting than effective, and his performance hasn't stood the test of time - he seems bent at times on putting the "ham" back into Hamlet."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Very low-budget horror, somewhat redeemed by Thomas Spalding's camerawork and Barton Sloane's special effects."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Much overpraised by critics who wanted it to be a great film and elevated Spike Lee well beyond his capacities, into a cultural and political guru - an elevation which predictably destroyed his potential as a film-maker and made him incorrigibly pompous. Energetic and well photographed (by Ernest Dickerson) but shambolic as narrative, this is a film in which virtually every character from a racial minority, regardless of colour or creed, behaves like a jerk. The claim of Mr Lee and some critics that this was a work of social realism was absurd. The characters were didactic caricatures, and any film about black street life in 1989 which tried to get away without mentioning crack was plainly escapism. Lee was even confused about whether racial violence was to be condemned or condoned. At the end, he offered contradictory quotations from Martin Luther King and Malcolm X: a blatant cop-out."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "What's the most overrated film of all time? This would be my nominee."
    "The adjective most often applied to Bunuel's film is "witty". His running joke, though I've never heard it make an audience laugh, is that the central characters are always interrupted just as they are about to eat dinner. The gag soon becomes repetitious, however, as do the intrusions by subsidiary characters to tell us their dreams, which are tiresomely inconsequential.
    So where is all this alleged wit? Certainly not in the words. Writers such as Coward or Moliere exposed the workings of the bourgeois mind via a dazzling, epigrammatic facade. Although Bunuel and his co-writer Jean-Claude Carriere frame the action in scenes of drawing-room comedy, with consciously theatrical touches (painted backdrops and even, at one stage, an applauding audience), there is no verbal wit of the kind you get in genuine drawing-room comedy. "

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Jim Thompson's steamy black comedy of the deep South is relocated to the French colonies. In some ways, it's a more comic version of Taxi Driver, with one man suddenly getting it into his head that he should wipe out everything that's wrong in society. Noiret is terrific, but we never really understand him; the blood and violence detract from the comedy; and Tavernier's direction has many longueurs. It was much acclaimed, but one has the feeling that Hollywood would have compressed the tale into 90 minutes, and made it less morally confused."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Bunuel's didacticism and political predictability means that the film's impact has diminished with the years."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Bruce Robinson’s satire on advertising and (by extension) consumer society starts promisingly but becomes didactic, shrill and hysterical."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Luis Bunuel's light comedy about masochism is disappointingly heavy going - repetitive and monotonous despite a good performance from Rey. It was Bunuel's last film and contains echoes (or rip-offs) of his former work."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Beautiful but heavily sentimental weepie which won prizes at the Cannes and San Francisco Film Festivals. The director's woolly propagandizing for peace on earth is less interesting than his portrayal of "ordinary" Russian life, which now comes across as highly idealized."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "A simple story is blown out of all proportion as Fellini allows his visual imagination to run riot."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Though Melville has become fashionable with style-conscious critics, his work always seems slower and more self-consciously arty than the American movies he imitates, and there is something unpleasant about his glorification of criminality."

  • Rating: 2/10 - "An achingly slow, soporific mood piece. In the disastrous tradition of Terence Malick, new director David Gordon Green delights in long, elegiac shots of very little that has relevance to character or narrative. The symbolism of ruin and decay is repeated and repeated and repeated with such neurotic obsessiveness that you want to moan. Almost everything seems to have been shot in the "magic hour" just before sunset, so it is bathed in orange backlight, whether this is appropriate or not. Yes, it's an "art movie", so you can expect lousy acting - long after one of the children has "died", he continues to breathe heavily - impenetrable diction, a narrative that meanders incoherently with no idea whatever of what it is trying to say, and intense, nihilistic miserabilism. Sample line: "Ah ain't smart. Ah ain't no good. Mah whole family ain't no good. Ah ain't got no excuses for mah future." This is just the kind of unconsciously patronising waffle about the underprivileged that attracts rapturous reviews from patronising critics wallowing in liberal guilt about nothing in particular, and then sinks without trace in the face of massive public indifference. Totally deservedly."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Anderson would like his characters to be endearingly quirky, but they lack the deeper humanity that might make their quirks lovable. They are like case-studies from psychiatry text books. Anderson's leading characters are childish rather than childlike, adults who have never properly matured. They have an exaggerated sense of their own intelligence, as many children do, yet they are driven by a neurotic insecurity, a sense of their own isolation, a certainty of their own unique importance. They combine this self-obsession with a reluctance to look deeply into themselves, make painful judgments about morality, recognise the selfishness of their own behaviour and perhaps even do something about it. It's not so hard to see why such roles attract star actors - who are among the most self-obsessed, least self-critical people on the planet. But it also explains why normal people feel so totally alienated."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Here's a Lottery-funded picture that arrived garlanded with critical praise for its first-time writer-director, Lynne Ramsay. It has wonderful moments. It captures the way children seem to live more intensely than adults: the feel of unfamiliar materials upon the skin, the pain of social and parental rejection, the burning importance of friendship. Unfortunately, such high points can't compensate for the lack of a strong storyline, a relentlessly grim atmosphere, an ill-advised excursion into whimsy (there's a fantasy sequence involving a mouse that belongs to a different film) and a damaging sense of deja vu. We've been here before in a thousand miserabilist TV dramas: garbage rotting in the streets, women old before their time, workshy dads who get drunk and go in for a spot of wife-beating, teenage girls who think that giving the local lads easy sex will make them popular. The reluctance to probe into the reasons behind these over-familiar phenomena becomes irritating after a while, as does the extremely slow pace."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "The deadly slow narrative and tedious, humourless philosophising ruin it for most viewers, including this one."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Low-key, lowlife comedy which trades heavily on Benigni's charm and Robby Muller's cinematography."

  • Rating: 3/10 - "Partly Godard's lament about a failing relationship (his own with actress Anna Karina was collapsing at the time). It is also a cinematic in-joke - with director Fritz Lang playing himself, Godard as his assistant, and Palance giving a cruel impersonation of producer Joseph E. Levine. Levine, not surprisingly, hated the film. Its principal appeal now will be to those who share Godard's rage at America's domination of cinema. The film is so sloppy, under-scripted and technically primitive, with ugly edits, crude lighting and poorly mixed sound, that it goes a long way towards explaining why America achieved that domination."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Godard rips off his own A Bout de Souffle and pays homage to American film noir - but, as so often, in his work, he seems to have nothing of importance to say. It was his seventh film in five years, and fresh ideas are far from abundant (though the nine-second tour of the Louvre is a jolly idea). Indeed, the script and characters are so obviously feeble that it's hard to see why contemporary critics were so enthusiastic."

  • Rating: 3/10 - "Unwatchable film of an unfilmable book. By the end, I knew how it must feel to be low on drugs. I didn’t, as the hero of Fear and Loathing does, have hallucinations about bats flapping around my head. Everything looked bats to me. The people on screen looked bats. The people behind the images were even more clearly bats. I mean, who seriously imagined that Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was (a) filmable, (b) worth filming and (c) funny any more? This is a faithful adaptation of a book altogether lacking in plot or purpose, which records, celebrates and is amused by extreme drug abuse in the Seventies, and social irresponsibility of all kinds - sexual harrassment, theft, homicidal driving, threatening people with guns, you name it. Rarely has drug abuse been depicted with a more affectionate eye. Director Terry Gilliam must have had a terrific giggle committing to celluloid a drug-addled view of the universe: carpet patterns wriggle, people change into lizards, you know the sort of thing; and his leading actors have a whale of a time indulging in rubber-legged slapstick without having to worry about depth of character, changing motivation, clear diction, or any of the usual things which normally concern actors. You might think Johnny Depp would have a twinge of remorse at making such a film after his buddy River Phoenix perished of an overdose in the gutter outside Depp’s club in Los Angeles, but apparently not. The one moment of truth comes towards the end when a sad waitress (well played by Ellen Barkin) fastens the two idiots with a look that says everything about egomaniacal self-indulgence; but long before then most sane members of the audience will have tired of the characters and walked out."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Very little of Hemingway's short story is left in this made-for-TV remake, which was shown in cinemas instead because NBC couldn't stomach its sex and violence. Siegel directs with no great subtlety, and can't disguise the artificiality of the sets. The two killers are well played, however, by Lee Marvin and Clu Gulager. This was Ronald Reagan's last feature film, and one of the few in which he was a bad guy; he's not very convincing."

  • Rating: 2/10 - "A landmark in censorship because of its brief scenes of female nudity, and the fact that it was (for a time) banned in the USA, this colossal bore ran for a long period in British cinemas but is now deservedly forgotten."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "It is a deeply nasty film - Home Alone for psychopaths - taking a lip-smacking delight in violence and rape; the scene where Susan George is forcibly sodomised is deliberately filmed for erotic effect. Almost as distasteful is the long action climax, where we are supposed to applaud the villagers' gory come-uppances."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Resnais's first feature was overrated because of its fashionable, anti-Bomb message and tricksy way of telling an essentially simple story (which continues to earn it undeserved comparisons with Citizen Kane ). The extent to which Resnais innovated by using flashbacks in a subjective rather than chronological order has been exaggerated; directors such as Sjoberg, Cocteau and Bunuel had been using the technique for decades. Any film in which the heroine is merely named "She" is likely to have pretentious overtones, and this one certainly does; worse still, the hero - though known as "Hiroshima" and presumably symbolising Japan - is a cypher, merely a sounding-board for the heroine's thoughts, which are supremely uninteresting. The insensitivity of Redsnais and Duras towards the oriental side of the love affair ensured that the film was much more acclaimed in the west than in Japan, where it failed under the less politically ambitious title Twenty-Four Hour Love Affair."

  • Rating: 2/10 - "Steven Soderbergh's film, which might most politely be described as extremely personal, is an avant-garde shambles. It starts out as an amusing satire on Scientology but soon loses its way, and rambles about in no discernible direction for an interminable two hours. It is self-consciously absurdist, in the dadaist tradition, and the leading characters occasionally lapse into non-subtitled Japanese, French and Italian. Not content with playing two leading roles, Soderbergh appears at a lectern before the start, assuring us that no expense was incurred in the making of this movie and that if we can't understand it , that's our fault. After making a series of dull, conventional films which lost money, Soderbergh admits that he made this as a wake-up call to himself. However, its effect on the critics around me was more like that of a sleeping pill. It deserves a measure of respect for daring to be experimental; but the experiment comprehensively fails."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Ingmar Bergman's character study is probably the most doom-laden of all the Swedish director's films."

  • Rating: 3/10 - "Not so successful are Cronenberg's attempts to graft thriller elements on to his theme: the central character is too obviously hallucinating for an audience to share his enthusiasm for finding a "villain" who is plainly inside himself all along. Another problem is that drug addicts and writers soon become boring to watch: a drug-addicted writer, more so. This - plus a two-hour running time - means that the film outstays its welcome."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Touching little story, too doom-laden for most tastes."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Competent but psychologically unconvincing thriller, now mainly of interest as an example of Fifties anti-Red propaganda."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Extraordinary fantasy based on the first two-thirds of Gunter Grass's epic novel. 12 year-old Bennent is impressive; there are some memorably grotesque sequences (especially the hero's birth, shot from his point of view); and it makes its point about German - or is it bourgeois? - complacency. But there's a heavy-handedness and repetitiousness which, together with the long running-time, make it heavy going."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "First of three films (the others being French Cancan and Elena et les Hommes) which reflect Renoir's love of theatre; unfortunately, the theatricality extends to some of the performances and the plot, which is artificial and unconvincing."

  • Rating: 3/10 - "A disgusted - and disgusting - look at media junkiedom. Woods is entertainingly sleazy in the leading role, but the narrative becomes chaotic, and the shifts between reality and hallucination too confusing. Cronenberg's response to running out of ideas is, as ever, to pile on the visual horrors."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Famous John Cassavetes film that is more often talked about than watched, mainly beasuse it is far too long. There is no doubting its influence, which can clearly be sen in many “kitchen sink” dramas and even in foreign-language films, such as Respiro (2002). The raw emotional subject-matter would make it hard to watch, in any case, but the mannered performances by Falk and Rowlands - considered by some to be a high water-mark of acting - will strike many observers today as absurd and anything but realistic. Some contemporary critics, notably Stanley Kauffmann and John Simon, would agree. There’s a bravery in confronting mental illness that gives the film some power, but very poor production values (see Christopher Null’s review of the DVD) rob this film of its impact. This is one probably best left to film historians."

  • Rating: 2/10 - "The hatred of men that is such a distinctive characteristic of Breillat's oeuvre continues in A Ma Soeur. In this, a glamorous 15 year-old girl is first sodomised, then loses her virginity to an older boy, while - in the same bedroom - her chubby, 12 year-old sister watches, listens and weeps. Heterosexual sex is made to appear as sleazy and exploitative as possible, as the older girl's naive romanticism is corrupted, and the younger one comes to see sex as something inflicted by man upon woman. The film ends with a shocking event - involving child rape and double murder by hammer and strangulation - which comes out of nothing beyond Breillat's wish to portray men as unfeeling brutes. Breillat does have some talent as a director - the climactic drive along a motorway is one of the most atmospheric I have seen - but her sexual agenda is trite and repetitive, to the point of lunacy. Her use of a 13 year-old child actress to play the 12 year-old is equally questionable. It is surely a gross hypocrisy if a director, whether male or female, abuses a child, even if it is in order to condemn child abuse. Surely even coolness and non-judgmentalism have their limits."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Cecil B. de Mille's silent epic, as vulgar as it is lavish."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Big, bold, beautiful film with epic battle scenes. It is also much too long and lacks warmth; it's one of those classic films which many people secretly find boring. Though it won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, the less intellectually respectable Ivan Reitman's Dave covers the same ground more entertainingly and at equal depth."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Writer-director Gus Van Sant is best at observing the central (gay) relationship, but his attempts to draw a parallel between this and Shakespeare’s Henry IV are pretentious and contrived."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Non-characters walk through a non-plot, to a non-conclusion. Another meditation by Antonioni on the lack of communication between human beings, this film transmitted little to me other than a sense of profound boredom."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Gruelling, stiflingly claustrophobic drama which suffers from pretentious references to Dante's Inferno, an unremittingly bleak storyline, and an absence of interesting characters (though their situation certainly holds the interest)."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Somehow, at the age of 75, Bunuel continued to wow the critics with this collection of recycled ideas from his previous films."

  • Rating: 3/10 - "More hip tedium from Wes Anderson, who also perpetrated the overrated Rushmore and The Royal Tenebaums. A few moments underwater are visually arresting, but there’s no dramatic conflict - and an annoyingly limp kind of druggy whimsy that just lies there and dies there."

  • Rating: 2/10 - "Roeg's erotic thriller is distinguished by a strong central performance from Theresa Russell. However, Garfunkel and Keitel (as a Viennese police inspector!) appear miscast ; the excess of symbolism and narrative confusion leads to a suffocating atmosphere of pretentiousness; and it's all needlessly nasty. The British Film Critics' Circle voted Roeg director of the year for this; it was certainly the most directed film of the year."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Although the film looks good, it is often arty for its own sake, needlessly puzzling, and loses its central theme in a fog of pretentiousness. To confuse matters further, the film’s US distributor has released the film in four different cuts: 117, 120, 125 and the original length, 140 minutes. Reviewers have always been divided as to the merits of the film, and its extraordinarily passive leading performance."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Regrettably, the screenplay is low on laughs, and hasn't much depth: it comes across less like the profound social critique it's sometimes cracked up to be, than a facile and all too influential example of bad-tempered snobbery about the bourgeoisie."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "With its cold, muted colours and a minimum of words, it's certainly stylish, and Delon was unquestionably handsome; but it's also slow, shallow and portentous, with a minimal, ultra-conventional plot stretched to intolerable lengths. The film is rendered even more absurd by sub-James Bond gadgetry, and a hilariously unconvincing notion of police procedure."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Leigh has certainly succeeded in creating a mood piece which expresses an alienation, despair and anger about Britain (or western man, or human nature, or something). But it gives little reason for us to share his mood. Still less does it illuminate for us why his characters are so amoral, vicious and vacuous. It’s the kind of suicidal depression made celluloid which seems less in need of criticism than a course of psychiatric therapy."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "For most of the time, however, this is a disappointingly dull character-study which fails to place the pickpocket in any social context and doesn't give any convincing reason why he has a change of heart at the end. Bresson here is at his most austere, pseudo-philosophical and inaccessible. Obviously influenced by Dostoievsky's Crime and Punishment , he is drawn into questions of Free Will versus Predestination, but conspicuously fails to dramatise his ideas."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "A run-of-the-mill gangster plot keeps getting sidetracked by some amusing visual gags and Charles Aznavour's amusingly hangdog performance. Truffaut's second film, applying New Wave techniques to American Film Noir, is as anarchic as Dick Lester films were later to be in England. It has a tendency to trivialise human emotions and create caricatures, which would be all very well in a comedy, but then demands that we sympathise with these characters as rounded human beings."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Kurosawa loosely based this drama on both Hamlet and an Ed McBain story, and adopts a style reminiscent of 40s film noir - but his target is very much eastern: the feudal nature of authority in modern-day Japan, a subject he was to return to even more effectively in High and Low (1963). Here, his message is diminished by moments when the melodrama goes over the top, and an unsatisfactory ending."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Idiotically overpraised, partly because of the writer-director's reputation and partly because of its superficial similarities to Citizen Kane , this is a total shambles, poorly acted (especially by Welles), full of irrelevant visual flourishes, and with an uninteresting plot."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "I'm one of the few who doesn't consider Eric Rohmer's austere moral comedy to be one of this writer-director's best. The leading character, an earnest Catholic engineer and chauvinist prig, is less enjoyably hypocritical than most of Rohmer's anti-heroes, and his philosophising about Pascal and predestination is tedious. Rohmer's women, as usual, are fascinating - none more so than Francoise Fabian as she tries to lure Trintignant from the straight and narrow. The film might have been more entertaining had she succeeded."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Although Sweetie was a promising debut by the New Zealand writer-director Jane Campion, I couldn't share my fellow-critics' wholehearted admiration for it. I could see why it was booed as well as applauded at the Cannes Film Festival. The characters are enough to stretch any audience's patience. Of the two heroines, Kay (Karen Colston) is stupid, superstitious and frigid: her sister, Dawn alias Sweetie (Genevieve Lemon), is ugly, mad and sexually insatiable. Their respective lovers are, respectively, moronic and drugged. The girls' lumpen parents are understandably depressed but less understandably tolerant. "If Dawn wants to be a dog, that's fine by me," comments mum, when her daughter literally goes barking mad. Dad remains confident of Sweetie's potential as a showbiz artiste, even though she demonstrates less talent than the average New Zealand sheep. Perhaps he can see her potential as part of a performing dog act. Despite tedious characters and an almost complete absence of momentum, the movie has moments of humour and originality and is notable for interestingly weird camerawork by the splendidly named Jane Bongers. It remains, however, very much a minority taste: a laid-back comedy in the new-wave tradition of Jim Jarmusch, Percy Adlon and Pedro Almodovar: self-consciously cultish, less consciously patronising."

  • Rating: 2/10 - "A ferociously boring travelogue. This kind of old tat is usually decribed by kindly or gullible critics as “intensely personal”. In reality, it’s a loosely assembled collection of images linked together with turgid narration that pontificates in the wooliest possible way. If these are the only insights that Chris Marker can come up with after a lifetime of globe-trotting, heaven help him."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Grindingly slow, symbolic melodrama. It has style and beauty, but the meaning - if any - is very obscure. If it's an allegory about monogamy, it's a very depressing one."

  • Rating: 1/10 - "Jim Jarmusch’s hip, detached, plotless movies have become more impressive over the years. But this terminally tedious and modish piece of laid-back pseudery is a reminder that Jarmusch had a lot of scope for improvement. Aren't comedies supposed to make you laugh? For some reason this won the Camera d'Or at Cannes, as the best first film of 1984. Glad I didn't have to sit through the runners-up."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Audiences stayed away from this beautiful, critically acclaimed film, Malick's follow-up to Badlands - and no wonder. Even Nestor Almendros's cinematography (which rightly won an Oscar) can't disguise the fact that the screenplay is sordid, depressing and leaves too many questions unanswered (why, for example, does Brooke Adams pretend to be Richard Gere's sister?). The characters are undeveloped, and the voice-over is irritating."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "A portrait of a city, in much the same way as James Joyce's Ulysses depicted Dublin. Made for German TV in 14 episodes, this is an epic in the Germanic style: i.e. it sees its characters virtually throughout as victims. Xaver Schwarzenberger's cinematography is excellent, however. It's a remake of Phil Jutzi's 1931 film, which had the not inconsiderable merit of only running two hours."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Lindsay Anderson's first feature film has an aura of documentary realism and is well-acted; and these strengths led to some extravagantly favourable reviews. It doesn't look as impressive today. The two leading characters are irritatingly self-destructive, and their world is so dourly depressing that it's hard to watch, let alone become involved. There's something anti-climactic about the film's message, which is muddled but seems to amount to that good old liberal standby "Only connect"."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Ronet's fine performance and Malle's sensitive direction can't disguise the fact that the project is relentlessly gloomy and death-affirming."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Trendy and zany to the point of incoherence, this cult comedy from Hong Kong about two love-lorn policemen contains a few interesting camera angles and one or two funny ideas. This first foreign acquisition by Quentin Tarantino's company Rolling Thunder was very overrated by some critics. Anyone looking for a comprehensible story or character development is likely to find it very, very tiresome."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "It's a promising idea for either a comedy or a thriller, but Von Trier shows little aptitude for either. Max Von Sydow supplies a soporific narration which manages to be obtrusive, uninformative and completely redundant. The plot is confusing, the characters are one-dimensional, and there's no audience involvement with a protagonist who is so passive as to be infuriating. And the pace is that of a snail which has lost the will to live. Admittedly, much of the film is beautifully shot (particularly a long drowning sequence at the end): so much so that it won a Jury and a technical prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Two techniques are used repeatedly: back-projection and the mingling of black and white with colour footage. The results are often striking, but unfortunately (as in Lindsay Anderson's If ... ) there seems to be no reason why some moments are in monochrome and others in colour. The overall effect is to distance us further from a story in which we have little interest anyway."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Typical of the kind of "art" movie which attracts favourable criticism but doesn't attract audiences. The subject-matter is obviously interesting, but the screenplay doesn't dramatise it in an appealing way: the downbeat message is made relentlessly clear, and the characters throughout are heading for disaster."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "One of Bunuel's unfunny, plodding satires on the bourgeoisie, with the characters gradually reverting to bestiality and cannibalism. Even The Discreet Charm of the Bourgoisie did it better. Lord of the Flies did it a lot better. Adored by critics, who found it wittily surreal and evidently felt superior to the characters portrayed here with such unconscious complacency."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Epic costume drama with splendid set-pieces, obviously intending to draw parallels between 18th century France and modern Poland. Marred by a talky script, too slow a pace, uninspired direction and some over-acting by Depardieu."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Kurosawa's second film in colour looks impressive, but doesn't seem able to settle for one style or another - fantasy sequences sit awkwardly next to the social realism; there's little in the way of characterisation or audience involvement; and his tendency to preach (and repeat himself) becomes irksome."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "But basically the film is little more than erotica. All kinds of intellectual pretensions have bean read into it by people who should know better and who argue that In The Realm of The Senses is great art not because it is, but because they disapprove of censoring erotic films. Still, I doubt whether the film will deprave or corrupt anyone over 18: it is much more likely to titillate, and then to bore."

  • Rating: 2/10 - "One difference between Gump and Button is that, whereas Forrest interconnected with his times, albeit in a jokey way, Benjamin never does. The movie refers to two world wars, the coming of the Beatles and Hurricane Katrina, but Roth has nothing to say about any of these events. And even though much of it is set in the segregated South and is about a black woman bringing up a white baby, Roth doesn’t even mention race. Some people will say none of this matters: that Benjamin Button is simply an epic love story. If only it were. Pitt and Blanchett look handsome in their prime, but they never have any chemistry. What do they have in common? What do they love about each other? I don’t know, and the movie doesn’t tell us. Some people are seduced by the look of this movie, and find Benjamin Button magical and moving. I found it mawkish, morbid and inexcusably pretentious."

  • Rating: 2/10 - "At any rate, he’s clearly bade farewell to his short-term memory, for he repeats himself, to an extent which would send any normal woman screaming all the way to Hyderabad. Mme Seyrig wanders about the marbled halls and formal gardens, as gorgeous and vapid as a Vogue model out of her skull on glue. Now and again there wanders across frame “M” (Sacha Pitof), who may be her husband or even the Devil, but mainly looks as if he regrets failing his audition to buttle for the Munsters. An art-house “classic” that certainly looks elegant and has a dreamlike atmosphere all its own, but is devoid of drama, characterisation or discernible point. This staggeringly pretentious film has, over the years, brought the worst out of many normally intelligent people. It won top prize at the 1961 Venice Film Festival, shared the Andre Bazin Gold Medal given by the International Federation of Film Critics, and won the French film critics' Melies award as best picture of the year. It packed out cinemas in Paris and New York, and even won an Oscar nomination for its screenplay (perhaps the most bizarre nomination in Oscar's chequered history). British critics and audiences have always been more sceptical. I would like to think well of writer Alain Robbe-Grillet and director Alain Resnais, so perhaps they made the film with the intention of exposing the pretentiousness of pseudo-intellectuals. In keeping with this thesis, I couldn’t help noticing that the topiary in the formal gardens is mainly in the shape of numerous dunces’ hats and (if you’ll pardon my French) a load of balls."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "This is Part 3 of Whit Stillman's satirical trilogy about young professionals in The Eighties. It began with Metropolitan in 1989 and continued with Barcelona in 1994. Several characters from the previous two films feature briefly here, and the trilogy would make a highly entertaining triple-bill. Disco is the weakest of the three, because there is little story beyond the shifting romantic relationships; the sub-plot of the decline, fall and prosecution of a New York disco rather like Studio 54 is confusingly handled; the characters are not all that likeable, and some of the male ones are difficult to tell apart."
    "I wished the story had been about Eigeman and Beckinsale. The heroine is left little to do beyond look awkward, droopy and - less intentionally - bovine as misfortunes hit her. Perversely, her one triumph, a professional one, occurs offscreen."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Wenders's most celebrated film is memorable for Henri Alekan's beautiful cinematography, but for little else. As usual in this overrated writer-director's films, there are glaring weaknesses in casting and narrative. A potentially interesting story is sabotaged by the stolid, uncharismatic non-acting of Solveig Dommartin (who we are supposed to believe would convince Bruno Ganz that he should give up immortality) and a plot which asks us to swallow the notion that Peter Falk is a fallen angel."

  • Rating: 1/10 - "A strong early candidate for the most agonizingly tedious film of 2009 is this first part of Steven Soderbergh’s hagiography of Che Guevara, who is presented throughout as a secular saint, rather than the Stalin-worshipping, mass-murdering Communist who helped to destroy industry, society and the rule of law in Cuba, and believed he had the right to imprison or execute anyone who disagreed with him. Benicio del Toro (pictured) poses rather than acts in a series of outfits which seem surprisingly clean for a guerrilla. The main hint as to why he won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival is that the chairman of the jury was that well-known armchair revolutionary, Sean Penn. Peter Buchman’s slack, disorganised screenplay never probes Che’s character nor challenges his beliefs, and sparks into life only in the final half-hour, a prolonged action sequence in which Guevera captures the town of Santa Clara. The rest is as insanely long-winded as one of Che’s old mate Fidel Castro’s speeches."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Rossellini's film is designed to show the resilience of people in wartime; and, like his previous film, Open City , it attracted much critical acclaim for its realism. Now, much of it looks sentimental. The shooting and editing is often amateurish, performances are uneven, and much of the dialogue seems poorly improvised. The absence of narrative and dramatic conflict means that the film drags long before its end."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Gruelling, dour account of German life at the end of World War II, with emphasis on suicide, prostitution and perversion. Naturalistic performances and a documentary style of shooting add authenticity, but the view of humanity is so relentlessly dark that it ultimately doesn't convince."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "As flat and arid as its desert landscape, Paris Texas certainly looks at first like a great film; and Harry Dean Stanton endows the leading character with an impressive depth and melancholy. Ry Cooder's score is great, as is Robby Muller's cinematography. The pace of the picture is, however, intolerably slow and there comes a point when you realize that the film and its anti-hero aren't getting anywhere and never will. Sam Shepard's screenplay proceeds on the assumption that narrative is a dirty word, and the two-hander scene with Nastassja Kinski at the end is unpardonably protracted. Wenders's direction is, as so often, modishly cool and pretentious."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "It isn't hard to see why Ophuls's last film has been overpraised by critics: it is visually magnificent and makes inspired use of colour, widescreen and mobile camerawork. This is also a very romantic view of life: at any moment, one half expects the heroine to launch into Je Ne Regrette Rien . However, it is let down by a dire script, a turgid pace, and a plainly inadequate leading actress."

  • Rating: 3/10 - "Preposterously over-praised by critics and a depressingly predictable winner of awards at Cannes, Toronto, Flanders and Venice, this first film by uber-trendy, Turner Prize-winning artist Steve McQueen adopts a supposedly “experimental” structure in order to worship at the shrine of terrorism. It’s the fluffy-headed Left’s version of a mediaeval triptych."
    "As usual in this kind of propaganda, the bogeyman is Mrs Thatcher, whose comments on the criminality of the IRA are quoted ironically throughout. I have yet to see a British film about politics in which she is not demonized. So, unsurprisingly, there is no mention of the compromise deal she offered over the hunger strikers, which was turned down by the IRA leadership and might have saved six of Sands’ fellow suicides. Firmness on the government side about bargaining with terrorists is portrayed as pig-headedness. Sands’ obstinacy is depicted as heroism. There is, of course, no mention at all of his determination to shoot and bomb the Northern Ireland majority into a Socialist republic, whether they voted for it or not – which some might consider less than heroic. Nor is there any hint that Sands’ decision to hunger-strike was initially opposed by the IRA leadership outside the prison, until they came to appreciate its propaganda value. The imagery is carefully chosen to give the impression that Sands was a martyr, and shots of Sands’ starved body create deliberate echoes of Jewish victims in Nazi concentration camps and El Greco’s pictures of the crucifixion. The film-makers’ sympathies throughout are with terrorists, naturally, and not their tens of thousands of victims who, unlike Bobby Sands, were not granted the choice to live or die. The final descent into hackneyed, film-school symbolism may strike even those in sympathy with McQueen’s proselytising for violent extremism as banal. The bigoted, the mischievous and the gullible – into which categories, regrettably, fall the vast majority of people currently commenting on film - are certain to swallow McQueen’s analysis, and will think themselves clever in drawing the clearly suggested parallels with fundamentalist Muslim prisoners, who have also been willing to sacrifice their bodies for what they too imagine are justified political purposes."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Under Nicholas Ray's direction, it turns him into a demented, homicidal megalomaniac. James Mason is terrific and does his best to make the plot credible, but the odd little story gets lost in this massive Cinemascope production. Where it needed restraint and sympathy, Ray gives it the full operatic treatment."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Not so much a narrative, as a succession of images of Godard’s then wife - deliberately comparing her to icons of the silver screen, but giving away little in terms of emotion or character. Karina’s detached attitude towards her clients is compared with Joan of Arc as she is judged in Dreyer’s classic, La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc. But is she really a martyr? It’s hard to say, though Godard’s Marxist interpretation of her plight lingers just below the voyeuristic surface. Karina’s dead-eyed expression won’t tell, either. Godard’s direction constantly calls attention to its own cleverness - which seemed daring, fresh and adventurous in 1962, less so today. If you know this director’s work, you wouldn’t expect much by way of warmth or moral perspective."

  • Rating: 3/10 - "A dour melodrama in which Tennessee Williams's writing often drifts into self-parody. The story rambles, and the final castration scene from the play has been cut. Lumet's direction is at best pedestrian, at worst insufferably pretentious."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Not a bad idea for a film, but this is not the masterpiece that some critics would claim it to be. It's inordinately slow, and not that illuminating."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "More terrible, tedious twaddle from Antonioni. It's his first venture into colour, and he uses it intelligently to reflect Vitti's confused emotions; but the absence of a story or human interest becomes wearisome, and the alienated view of industrialism just seems facile. Richard Harris gives every indication of not understanding what the hell is going on, a viewpoint with which many members of the audience will sympathise."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "There are those who believe that The Thin Red Line makes Saving Private Ryan look corny. But Spielberg's picture was very much tougher and infinitely more truthful. Spielberg's film recognised the important truth that World War II was a just war. Malick's precious, platitudinous posturing in the face of bloodshed is weightless and sentimental. The subject-matter calls out for someone who can handle action and involve us with characters, not someone who makes the thing look like a commercial for masculine deodorant. This beautiful bore is about as enjoyable as a film about the last world cup match between England and Argentina, re-enacted by preposterously self-indulgent Lithuanian performance artists under the personal supervision of Yoko Ono."

  • Rating: 2/10 - "Here is a tragic-comic tale of three American brothers (Owen Wilson, pictured right, Jason Schwartzman, left, and Adrien Brody, centre) who travel across India to acquire spiritual growth. In the movie’s defence, it is colourful, and one sight gag is well-timed and actually funny. But that is more than can be said for the rest of it. Writer-director Wes Anderson goes for the same kind of laid-back, would-be cool comedy that won him rave reviews (though not from me) for Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums. As usual, he thinks his characters are endearingly quirky, when in fact they are tiresomely juvenile and self-obsessed. The nadir of the film, epitomising its crassness, complacency and insularity, comes when the three become involved in the accidental death of an Indian boy, and the awful realisation dawns on the audience that we’re meant to care not about the dead child or his family, but about the humanising effect of the death on our irksome western heroes. Long before the end, we know that these characters are going on a spiritual journey with no destination except up their own fundaments. The final image is of the trio jettisoning their baggage – presumably, a psychological metaphor. The trouble is that, even without their Louis Vuitton suitcases, they’re just the same annoying, vacuous, humourless creeps that they were at the beginning."

  • Rating: 1/10 - "Antichrist is a horrible combination of extraordinarily unpleasant elements. It’s offensively misogynistic. It’s needlessly graphic in its use of violence. And its maker almost certainly needs psychiatric help. But if I were you, I would just give it a miss."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Although Chaplin and Paulette Goddard play the sentimental sequences to the hilt, these don't really fit in with the rest of the picture. The film's final speech, calling for peace and understanding, is embarrassing in its banality - Chaplin at his worst."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "One of the most overrated films of all time - a fatuous celebration of sexist drug-dealers, replete with narcissism and fashionable hippie paranoia. It has dated horribly, except for Jack Nicholson's amiably crazed performance. Its imitation of the French New Wave, and its anti-establishment posturing, made it a favourite with critics and youth audiences alike, though it managed to collect the coveted Harvard lampoon award as worst picture of the year. Audiences today may be amused as well as shocked that the foolish and incoherent script actually won an Oscar nomination."

  • Rating: 3/10 - "Jack Nicholson's attempt to do an American version of WR. - Mysteries of the Organism is a fascinating insight into attitudes of its period, but an almost total failure as a movie: a sprawling accretion of counter-cultural posturing which celebrates free sex, bad language and being generally stroppy. Dated, silly, and indifferently acted by Tepper and Margotta."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Critically acclaimed but terribly derivative film which seems to lack any real feeling for the characters, some of whom are not well acted. It all seems like an academic exercise in various old-fashioned directing styles, although Robert Surtees's Oscar-nominated cinematography is undeniably atmospheric."

  • Rating: 3/10 - "Arnold’s first movie, Red Road, had promise. This merely has pretensions, summed up in a title that suggests something the rest of the film doesn’t – that our heroine’s problems may be caused by her being constantly on display. This may be true of Katie Price, but certainly isn’t true of this stroppy teenager. Dreary and unoriginal, like hundreds of its sub-Ken Loach predecessors, this is how Billy Elliott might have turned out, had it been made by a collective of depressive Essex girls."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Unfortunately, the screenplay – by Denis herself and the Senegalese-French novelist Marie N’Daye – is awful. It gives away the ending early on, which removes any suspense, and pointlessly plays with time, so that it’s hard to know what is happening when, let alone why. The leading lady’s character is frustratingly opaque. We never know whether she is courageous or stupid. Her relationships with her estranged husband (Christopher Lambert), aged father-in-law (Michel Subor) and apathetic teenage son (Nicolas Duvauchelle) are extremely poorly written. Her reactions to a wounded rebel leader called The Boxer (Isaach de Bankhole) are just as undeveloped. Little attempt is made to explain the historical or political context."
    "When so little attempt is made to clarify or reach out to the audience, talented directors should not be surprised if their work dies a horrible death at the box office."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Ray's love of music comes through in this poorly constructed, slow-paced drama which weaves its own spell - but only for the patient."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "The picture should have been more tightly plotted, and it conspicuously lacks narrative drive. Also, as a black comedy shot through with ironies, it could have been funnier. I’ve watched it twice, and found it less thought-provoking the second time through - which isn’t a good sign."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Extremely peculiar movie which succeeds neither as thriller nor black comedy, and has no discernible point; but its mood and characters do linger on afterwards."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "It remains famous as the anarchic inspiration behind Lindsay Anderson's If...; but the truth is that its satire is crude, its story-telling perfunctory, and the performances (mostly by non-professionals) pretty awful."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Bleak, depressing look at the Paris student scene: critically acclaimed as a New Wave film, but there's no one for an audience to sympathise with. Henri Decae's camerawork is so outstanding, and Chabrol's feeling for the atmosphere of 50s student life so assured, that it's easy to see why Chabrol's second film won Best Film at the Berlin Film Festival; but the story and characters are too slight and predictable to sustain its length."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Dreary attempt at comedy by Krzysztof Kieslowski. It is incoherently scripted, boringly acted and lazily directed."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "The central characters - the judge , the model and a young lawyer (Jean-Pierre Lorit) - are not recognizably people at all; they are inhabitants of that parallel universe called Art House Cinema - a world where people are randomly motivated, talk endlessly about huge philosophical questions but to no effect, and so much is left unspoken and enigmatic that average moviegoers may find themselves thinking of Arnold Schwarzenegger with nostalgic gratitude. It's the kind of elegant, empty movie which all but killed off the European film industry. Kieslowski has said that the cinema is an inadequate medium through which to communicate his ideas. I'm inclined to agree."

  • Rating: 3/10 - "This Hollywood version of Noel Coward’s famous sex comedy was a travesty, despite Ernst Lubitsch as director and Ben Hecht as screenwriter. Gary Cooper, Fredric March and Miriam Hopkins were all hopelessly miscast, censorship meant that most of the best jokes were removed, and Hecht coarsens the humour without adding to it."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Thanks to its eroticism, Bunuel's most commercially successful film. Catherine Deneuve is realistic and oddly touching as a woman frightened by her sexuality. The film has Bunuel's surreal trademarks and is generally considered a classic. But Deneuve's fantasies are poorly directed (note the extraneous car in the background of the first shot, and the flat lighting throughout); the story descends into melodrama in the final 20 minutes; the female actors are much better than the men; and Bunuel doesn't seem to know ultimately what he's trying to communicate. If all he's saying is that cold exteriors often hide dark passions, Belle De Jour is little more profound than the average novel by Jackie Collins."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Robert M. Young's debut feature is sincere, well researched and angry - but let down by cliched characters and situations, and lacks the force of documentary."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "But the plot foundation is shaky - I couldn't work out why the three flatmates needed to bury their dead pal in such secrecy. The psychology of the central character, a repressed accountant who turns into a maniac (Christopher Eccleston) is too glibly written to be convincing. And the quirky policemen, inserted as comic relief, belong to a different movie. Most damagingly, it is hard to care what happens to Eccleston's two flat-mates (Kerry Fox and Ewan MacGregor), so unpleasant and amoral a couple that I found myself rooting for the villains."

  • Rating: 2/10 - "The latest attempt at social realism by one of the world’s most notorious drunks, Aki Kaurismaki, Le Havre is the would-be heartwarming tale of working-class Frenchmen joining together to enable a black illegal immigrant teenager elude the authorities and reach England. Set in the present but steeped in redundant references to old French films, and slowed down by numerous shots in which characters do nothing but stare into the middle distance, the narrative lies there and dies there. The Finnish director’s deadpan sense of humour has deserted him, and left in its stead a befuddled nostalgia for a universal working-class liberalism that never existed. I couldn’t help wondering heretically how the plot might have worked out, had it been set in modern Marseille, where far right leader Marine Le Pen recently chose to launch her war against immigration. That might have made for a more interesting and truthful movie. A sentimental fairy tale for Guardian readers who wish to see the world as it demonstrably isn’t, Le Havre is Le Schmaltz."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Rosetta is shot in documentary style, as though trying to tell us something important, but what this is remains abstruse. The old implication in this kind of film used to be that Capitalism was to blame, but here most of the heroine's problems seem medical and psychological. Emilie Dequenne (pictured) provides an unsentimental portrayal of an adolescent with virtually no redeeming features and horizons so limited that she borders on the animalistic. Rosetta won the top award, the Palme d'Or, at Cannes last year, and the inexperienced but intense Dequenne won Best Actress at the age of 18. This is the kind of film that does win awards at festivals, since it goes to the opposite extreme from glossy, sentimental Hollywood movies. It paints a profoundly depressing picture of its home country without bothering to offer any analysis or solutions, and features an unlovable central character who starts out overwrought and gets steadily madder. The story is thin and repetitive, and the hand-held camera so unsteady and closely focused on the leading lady's face that it becomes tiresome. It received overwhelmingly favourable reviews and had virtually no appeal to a paying audience."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "As a portrait of British youth at its most depressing, Quadrophenia is worryingly accurate; but Roddam, feeling his way as a first-time director, is content merely to mimic the miserabilism of the French New Wave. The script looks as though it was patched together in an afternoon, and the glimpses of uncomprehending parents and a class-ridden advertising agency border on self-parody. Phil Daniels’s self-destructive anti-hero is intended to be a study in alienation and existential angst. Frankly, he looks more like a bored, stupid yob infatuated with a slut (Leslie Ash) who doesn’t have any morals and is more turned on by violence than sex."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Deliberately tasteless black comedy, which has all the callousness of an American Kind hearts and Coronets , but doesn't contain enough good jokes or lively enough characters."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "The Game is a control-freak’s worst nightmare. David Fincher’s direction has the paranoid intensity of his previous film, Seven , and its best moments are reminiscent of Hitchcock’s North By Northwest , or that famously enigmatic Sixties TV series, The Prisoner. The trouble is that I couldn’t believe in the caricatured central figure, nor care what happened to him. The final plot-twist makes no sense, in terms of practical feasibility or psychological credibility. Nor did I believe in Douglas’s reaction to that twist. By the end, I felt the film had wasted my time, and my efforts to understand it. Maybe you won’t mind so much, and will let it carry you along like a roller-coaster designed by Franz Kafka. But, for me, The Game fails because it cheats, and insults, the audience."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Realistic, violent, cheerfully amoral version of tales from The Arabian Nights, which benefit from naturally beautiful locations in Iran, Nepal, Yemen and Eritrea. Though generally considered the best of Pasolini's three story-cycles - the others are The Decameron (1971) and The Canterbury Tales (1972) - this is a film which would have benefited from cutting and a greater sense of urgency."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Weekend is far from the devastating satire on materialism which some film historians claim it to be. It's an experiment in style which ends up going nowhere. It was in this film that Godard broke free from the constraints of conventional film-making, only to find himself in a void where he never rediscovered his talents. It's a fascinating, over-acclaimed failure."

  • Rating: 3/10 - "A very low-budget British thriller, shot in black and white, which won acclaim for its young writer-director director, Christopher Nolan. He deserves credit for getting it made on a very low budget, and for persuading his cast and crew to give up so many weekends. For a first foray into film noir (though its style is naturalistic), it has promise. However, the acting is not good, the characters' behaviour far from convincing, and the gimmicky narrative structure unnecessarily confusing. The slow pace makes it seem longer than its 70 minutes. The 28 year-old Nolan, now making a properly budgeted movie in Hollywood, can do better than Following, and probably will."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Fragmentary, lovingly photographed images of a decadent America. The word is a Hopi Indian one to denote hopelessness: a state of life which calls for another way of life. The environmental message is put across beautifully at first, but after a time it becomes heavy-handed and distinctly tedious."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Terrence Malick’s directorial debut garnered terrific reviews for its look and its atmosphere, but hardly anyone paid to see it. It’s meticulously directed and beautifully acted, but also cold, dark and depressing. As a view of alienation, it's more than as little alienating itself."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "After half a century, Monsieur Verdoux still has the power to divide critics. It has much less of the glutinous sentimentality which mars so many of his films. But its humour - especially the slapstick - has dated, and Chaplin's didactically anti-capitalist, anti-war message is so crassly expressed (and unconvincing) as to be embarrassing. Personally embroiled at the time of its release in a much-publicised paternity case, Chaplin generated little sympathy with the public in the role of a man with a cavalier approach to conventional morality; though much praised by some critics (especially on the Left) it was a flop."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Pictorially magnificent and beautifully composed, but very formal, stiff and tedious to most modern western eyes."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "It's beautiful to look at, but relentlessly downbeat."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "The Mexican Guillermo del Toro directed a classy vampire flick called Cronos in 1992, after which he made Mimic, a horror film about - would you-believe? - man-sized cockroaches terrorising New York, which never quite transcended its dumb storyline. Devil's Backbone, though attractively bathed in amber light and blessed with strong performances from its child actors, is less effective than either - long on atmosphere, fatally short on shocks. The attempt to identify the orphanage with Spain itself is half-hearted, and the plot disappointingly predictable, with a far too obvious villain in the school caretaker. Returning to movies with subtitles seems to have dissipated Del Toro's sense of pace."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Veronica Lake is extremely attractive, and the idea is fun; but the script is disappointingly tame, and the direction more stolid than Rene Clair's high reputation might lead you to expect."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Altman at his smuggest and most chaotic."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Stylishly directed by Michael Mann on his big-screen debut, this delves into the psychology of professional criminals - but not as persuasively as Mann later did in his masterpiece, Heat , or his acclaimed Manhunter . The problem here is that neither the story nor the central character is sufficiently original or interesting to hold the attention for over two hours."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "An exhaustingly frenetic attempt by Stanley Kramer to evoke the great days of silent comedy. The cast includes many great comedians, but Kramer - a heavy-handed director of drama, and a hopeless director of comedy - wastes all of them. Most of all, the film it leaves a nasty taste in the mouth because everyone in it - even the children - are horrible."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Soderbergh is, if anything, too artistic to endow his film with the smell of fear, or bitter realism, which the subject-matter needed. Almost every frame is drowned in a golden, Hovis commercial glow. Those that aren’t are lit like a Hopper painting. It is the kind of meticulous, well made film which is guaranteed to garner respectful reviews. But there’s nothing in it which couldn’t have been directed by many other film-makers: Soderbergh regained respectability, but lost his voice."

  • Rating: 1/10 - "Director Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited) goes with the kind of stop-motion animation pioneered by Wladyslaw Starewicz in The Tale of the Fox (1932). But this has none of the charm of Wallace and Gromit, or even those irritating compare-the-meerkat commercials. For children, the jerky movement of the animals may be disturbing, not to mention the moments when they bare their unbeautiful teeth. They look horribly like stuffed, dead animal heads on human bodies, with virtually no expression on their rigid little faces. Anderson, who lived in Paris while his film was shot in England and tried to direct the thing by email, has set the story in an annoyingly spaced-out vision of England, seemingly based on viewings of Postman Pat while under the influence of recreational drugs."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Lars von Trier's prizewinner at Cannes is worth seeing for two terrific performances from Emily Watson (a spectacular cinematic debut) and Katrin Cartlidge as her worldly-wise best friend. But von Trier's documentary style clashes with a plot which starts losing its grip on everyday reality during the second hour, and descends into the kitsch end of magic realism in the third. His decision to set the film in the Seventies may make sense logically - this was an era when distant Scottish communities first came into contact with outsiders - but the film's mythic pretensions might have been better served by setting it in more distant times. At its sublime best, the film has power and passion; at its ridiculous worst, it smacks of self-indulgence and sadism towards the heroine."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Many people find it wither charming or hilarious. It's doubtless my loss that I find Tati's humour tame and self-indulgent."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Daring, sexy and sophisticated in 1960, this has not worn well; it now looks suspiciously like voyeurism under the guise of moralizing; the narrative is disorganised; and the quality of acting is not high."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Lurid, stylised, humourless melodrama depicting sado-masochistic power games among women. The tone of repelled fascination - the writer-director is obviously a gay man - is not altogether sympathetic."

  • Rating: 3/10 - "As so often with socialist film-makers nowadays, it’s full of indignant ranting about the destruction of working-class traditions, and its mood – if not its politics - is paradoxically ultra-conservative. Maddin indulges in hilariously hamfisted recreations of crises in his own family life, with special emphasis on the awfulness of his mother (impersonated by elderly film noir diva Ann Savage, pictured). Whether this is of the slightest consequence to anyone except him remains highly dubious. This is a not particularly distinguished example of “personal” film-making. Critics routinely praise this kind of self-absorbed maundering above films which actually have some pretensions to entertaining an audience and saying something important. I’m not sure why."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Big, bold, boring, repetitive movie about Ancient Roman debauchery, which Fellini unsurprisingly finds A Bad Thing. The trouble is that he also revels in it, which confuses his message; there's hardly any characterisation or plot; and the whole thing is grossly overlength."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "A one-sided anti-American polemic, controversial in its time and especially popular with the Left. The thriller aspects are well managed, but the preachiness becomes hard to take, after a while."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Hugely praised for daring to depict Pakistani immigrant businessmen as rapacious. Kureishi, being of Pakistani stock himself was allowed to do this; and, in common with most British films of the period, such rapaciousness was ascribed to the evil atmosphere of Thatcher's Britain. It was also fashionable among critics for telling a gay love story (although critics kindly ignored the fact that one of the leading actors, Gordon Warnecke, gave an embarrassingly feeble performance). Fortunately, Daniel Day Lewis was outstanding and managed to conceal that his character was extraordinarily unrealistic. Stephen Frears' direction was, as ever, competent but utterly lacking in any style personal to himself. The seeds of Kureishi's subsequent, disastrous decline are already evident - especially his political naivety and a lack of interest in narrative structure."

  • Rating: 2/10 - "Violent, gruesome, sometimes disgusting shocker notable for its twisted imagination and bleak view of male-female relationships (the writer-director had just undergone a divorce). The relationship between father (Art Hindle) and daughter (Cindy Hinds) has a warmth rare in the Cronenberg canon, but the film is not for the faint-hearted nor anyone sentimental about children and family life."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Directorially flashy, terminally modish destruction of a decent thriller. Wim Wenders loses the coherence of Patricia Highsmith's narrative, not to mention the suaveness of her central character, in pursuit of existential angst and a ponderous statement about the way American culture dominates Europe. Cult directors Sam Fuller and Nicholas Ray turn up as heavies, and add to the air of self-congratulation."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Llewyn is egregiously rude and tactless to those around him, especially women. He doesn’t even like folk music, unless it’s him singing it. I’ve seen the film described as “sweet” and “funny”, but I found it exactly the opposite: sour and very unfunny. The hero is so churlish, so lacking in self-knowledge, so hellbent on never changing that I kept wondering why on earth he was meant to be holding our attention. The Coens are often weak on narrative and character development, and here their plot meanders all over the place, to astonishingly little effect. This is at least in part a road movie, but an excursion to Chicago in the company of a beat poet (Garret Hedlund) and a heroin-addicted jazz musician (John Goodman) doesn’t add up to anything. Throughout, there’s a palpable sense of inertia. All might be forgiven if Llewyn were a musical genius, but he patently isn’t. He’s a second-rate talent – an adequate singer and guitarist, but one without the spark of creativity that might enable him to succeed as a solo act. After one audition, Chicago agent F. Murray Abraham shrugs and says “I don’t see any money in it”. I didn’t, either. The Coens deliberately leave unresolved why half of his previous double act threw himself off the George Washington bridge. By half way, you might find yourself wondering if the wrong half of the act committed suicide. Llewyn’s cardinal sin as a leading character is not that he’s a failure – after all, Tim Burton made an excellent film about the extravagantly untalented Edward D. Wood - but that he’s a bore. Not only that. There’s no character development and virtually no story. Shouldn’t a film with “inside” in the title probe deeply, reveal secrets, solve mysteries? Inside Llewyn Davis does none of these things. The movie also fails to probe the extent to which the protest movement fuelled the revival of folk music in America. That’s one heck of an oversight."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Not exactly a barrel of laughs. The performances of Ullman and von Sydow add depth and compassion to a workaday script; and it's quite fascinating if you can stand the gloom and doom. (It might also help if you're Swedish-American.) Troell was his own cinematographer and editor, as well as writer and director; and there are times when the tale could have done with some lightness of touch, not to mention an injection of pace."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Uneven, well photographed road movie which meanders past a lot of interesting issues, such as the clash between American and European cultures, without having much to say about any of them. The central relationship is well handled, but the film suffers from Wenders's usual faults: it's pretentious, long-winded and humourless."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Sadly, the pivotal role of the Englishman John Smith – the settler who comes to love the Indian princess – is played by the very Irish Colin Farrell (pictured left), as miscast here as he was in Oliver Stone’s biopic of Alexander the Great. Farrell’s strengths are his dynamism, menace and a faintly sleazy sexiness. These qualities are wasted on a character who, as written by Malick, is introverted, repressed and wary of making a sexual, let alone an emotional, commitment. Christian Bale, who appears far too late in the picture as John Rolfe, Pocahontas’s eventual husband, would have been far more effective in the role. The film has been cut down to 150 minutes from the much longer (and heavily criticised) time it ran at the Cannes Film Festival, but still feels flaccid and overextended. One problem is that the insipid love story between Smith and Pocahontas drags on forever and never becomes involving. The portrayal of Native American culture changes slowly from honest and muscular to idealised and hippieish. The technique of making the characters almost entirely inarticulate (they tend to say nothing while intoning their thoughts in voice-over) adds to the air of pretentiousness. A film that starts off as treasurable, turns into something that’s “precious” in the wrong sense. With a decent script, Malick’s visual talents could be used to much greater effect. But on this evidence he is unlikely ever to escape from imprisonment by his admirers on Planet Art-House. A pity."

  • Rating: 1/10 - "Arguably the high-point of Sixties Hollywood kitsch, Somehow, Susan Hayward (a late replacement for Judy Garland) and Sharon Tate (as a porno star with cancer) retain some trace of dignity; but for the most part, this is an engagingly dreadful exploitation movie - all the more tasteless for high production values which emphasise the movie's underlying tawdriness."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Film critic Roger Ebert wrote the screenplay, which is lumbering, obvious and (by modern standards) tame. It's hard to work out just how much of the movie's badness is intentional."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Despite its critical kudos, the film struck me as dreary, predictable and stupid: an awful reminder that just because a film is gruelling does not make it powerful, dourness does not guarantee profundity, and the road to bad art is all too often paved with liberal intentions."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Directorially, this is an over-melodramatic exercise in Swedish Expressionism."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Slower and less eventful than some of Ozu's other films, and therefore a tad boring."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Oh dear. Even great directors make poor films, and this penultimate picture by the Japanese master Ozu is something of an ordeal. Stronger on imagery than story, the film pursues Ozu’s theme of the old versus new Japan (as is made obvious in the opening shot). But the characters never come alive or deepen, and the narrative is a bore. For Ozu completists only."

  • Rating: 5/10 - ""The Lubitsch touch" was much acclaimed in the 1930s, but today his escapist musicals have lost much of their impact. This critical and commercial hit of its day is a very dated, mechanically plotted operetta with four undistinguished songs. The morality is questionable, and Colbert's motivation is sketchy; the three stars make it just about watchable."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Aki Kaurismaki’s eccentric, deadpan comedy about a Finn at the end of his tether starts out as an effective parody of Scandinavian cinema at its most doom-laden, then forgets to be funny itself. It won America's National Society of Film Critics' award for Best Foreign Film, which shows that there's no accounting for tastes."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "On the evidence of his comedies such as Hamlet Goes Business and Leningrad Cowboys Go West, there are few quirkier directors than the Finn Aki Kaurismaki, but this isn't a bundle of laughs. Kaurismaki's self-confessed aim was "to make a film that will make Robert Bresson seem like a director of epic action pictures". In this, at least, he succeeds: he has created an arid, academic exercise in fashionable minimalism."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Claude Rains (excellent) and Vivien Leigh (surprisingly unsexy) star in this sumptuously produced but only moderately effective version of Shaw's play. The writer himself liked this the best of all the films made from his work, and wrote "It is so wonderful as to make my other films look naive." Others may feel that the emphasis on epic splendour and sheer number of characters gets in the way of the central storyline, and Shaw's dialogue is a shade theatrical for the screen."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Good performances - although Mature is at his most wooden - can't save a plodding, uncinematic production of Shaw's play."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Competent whodunit, clearly inspired by 1958's race riots in Britain. The film seems about to address issues of racial intolerance but then backs away. Winner of the BAFTA Award, for Best British Film, but now very dated."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "A well acted but mechanically plotted whodunit which was widely praised on release for its sympathetic treatment of homosexuality. Audiences now may wonder why Bogarde's heterosexual relationship (with Sylvia Syms) had to be depicted as so much more meaningful than his homosexual one."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Interesting but not entirely successful attempt to update Othello."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Now regarded as a camp classic for its delightfully unconvincing sense of period and banal dialogue, this was Gainsborough Films' most successful costume adventure, more thanks to Lockwood's plunging neckline (which meant some scenes had to be reshot for America) than because of any artistic merits."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "The first five minutes promise an enjoyable romp: a combination of Rob Reiner's spoof on rock bands, This is Spinal Tap, and Jim Jarmusch's beady look at American decadence, Mystery Train. Later in the movie, Jarmusch turns up in person, playing a used-car salesman. Unfortunately, almost all the best jokes turn out to be in the first five minutes; and the movie falls back on predictable and repetitive sight-gags. Kaurismaki has nothing to say about rock music, American culture, or anything else."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Even a second-rate Kurosawa movie is more beautiful than practically any other film of the year; and perhaps at the age of 80 Kurosawa feels entitled to pass on his thoughts in a more straightforward and portentous way than hitherto. But, given the tiresome banality of those thoughts, I rather wish he hadn't."

  • Rating: 3/10 - "Some critics are going to love this film for being different and unpredictable, but different and unpredictable don't always equal good. Most people will find it baffling and repellent. Adam Sandler fans will wonder where the laughs are. I disliked Punch-Drunk Love so much the first time I saw it, that I went to see it again, to check that I hadn't been in a bad mood. A second viewing confirmed my impression that this is a shambles, made by a writer-director with plenty of style and talent, but absolutely nothing to say."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Marlon Brando directed and starred in this psychological western - which may be one reason why it's much too long and self-indulgent. But Charles Lang Jr's cinematography was rightly Oscar-nominated, and most of the performances (apart from Brando's, which is tiresomely mannered) are fine."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "So long and rambling, it seems to be an attempt to make the Eternal Film. Fellini's disorganized thoughts and observations looks grotesque enough to be recognizably Felliniesque, but he allows himself to be so abstruse that sitting through it is quite an ordeal for all but his staunchest admirers. As usual with this film-maker, there are some striking images."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Laboured, unfunny and curiously offensive. Although the film poses as a feminist comedy, it actually reinforces the Latin macho view of men as the centre of women's lives, and women as emotional cripples. A creaky boulevard comedy in trendy wrappings: the plot is nonsensical, and the characterisation thin. Best aspect is the colourful design, which has a camp, tacky flamboyance. It was named best foreign film by the US industry's National Board of Review and by critics' associations in New York City and Los Angeles. It also won prizes at the Toronto and Venice film festivals. Very overrated."

  • Rating: 3/10 - "Since this is basically a two-hander talk-piece with very little plot, the viewer's subjective reaction to the people involved is all-important. Some people - especially those in their Twenties - find this film much more engaging than I did. Though Julie Delpy's character is reasonably attractive, I found Ethan Hawke's young American charmless, bland and boring, and the film as a whole hard to watch. Richard Linklater's dialogue was well reviewed, but I found it mannered and irritating. The sequel, Before Sunset, is far superior."

  • Rating: 2/10 - "John Waters's first sync-sound feature and last black-and-white film is as trashy as any of his later movies, but with lower production values and an even less coherent storyline."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "A film which, despite many intensely irritating characteristics including an inconclusive plot and enigmatic characters, sums up the spirit of the swinging 60s. Antonioni's use of colour really is wonderful."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "Wenders’ camera style and habit of interrupting the performances is irritating, and with the exception of a couple of songs the music did not strike me as all that distinguished; but it's touching to see talented veterans given a new lease of life. Wenders does not probe deeply into their disappointments and tactfully avoids Cuban politics; the result is a charming but superficial film, dedicated mostly to recording the performers before it is too late."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Director Terry Zwigoff and his co-writer Daniel Clowes have an acute eye for the cultural conformity that passes in America for freedom. There's a delightful cameo from Illeana Douglas as a grievously under-talented art teacher ("My own background," she says cheerily as our heroine understandably rolls her eyes, "is in video and performance art"). But a few witty lines and strong acting can't disguise the fact that the satire lacks bite, and the plot goes nowhere."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "Though it can be enjoyed in its own right, this is best enjoyed as the third part of Marcel Pagnol's Marius trilogy - the first two are Marius and Fanny. It's the only one to be directed by Pagnol himself, and he seems to be still learning his craft as a director. The trilogy is a masterpiece of sentimental storytelling, with likeable characters and a splendid central performance by Raimu; this episode is a shade predictable and theatrical, and Raimu is a little too self-consciously lovable."

  • Rating: 4/10 - "The plot and atmosphere of this initially intriguing but ultimately abstruse film are fairly indescribable; but influences seem to include Dante's Inferno and T.S.Eliot's Wasteland. It’s one of the least accessible of all Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky's films, despite its masterly use of colour. The problem (as usual with this director) is the slowness of the narrative, which makes Ingmar Bergman look like Steven Spielberg."

  • Rating: 5/10 - "The central problem with The Piano Teacher - and it's a big one - is that it doesn't truly connect with the audience. The relationship between evil mother and daughter borders on melodrama - Annie Girardot plays the most malevolent mum to hit the screen since Carrie - and it's hard to believe that an intelligent, professional daughter nearing forty would not have walked out years previously. Equally implausible is the heroine's treatment of her pupils. She is so brutal that, even in a notoriously authoritarian country such as Austria, it seems unlikely that her behaviour would be tolerated for long. She is so cold, and at times vicious, that it makes it impossible for the audience to empathise with her. These factors, together with the unpleasantly explicit and unremitting nature of her self-debasement and Haneke's dispassionate, usually distant placement of the camera, all make for a film that will make the vast majority of people feel alienated and even disgusted. It's too easy for us to back away from the thought-provoking issues raised by the film, and echo the words of the heroine's male pupil: "It's totally sick what you're doing here. And it hurts!"

  • Rating: 5/10 - "This is a one-joke comedy about the sheer filthiness of the Middle Ages, and the enjoyably repellent production design can't disguise a certain monotony, and an absence of jokes which rise above the lavatorial and slapstick. The Jabberwoick itself, however, is well worth seeing."

5 comments

  • By SgtDungler
    October 05, 2016
    12:56 PM

    What a bungle! Dodesukaden was Kurosawa's first color film. This guy is a grump but it's great reading.
    Reply
    • By Edward H.
      October 10, 2016
      03:00 PM

      Glad you enjoyed the list. I chose this guy because he is a lesser known critic, and that his old reviews are easy to find. He may be a grump slightly, but he is good at what he does, and demonstrates a love and knowledge for film, which many of his contemporaries sadly lack.
  • By Sean Ramsdell
    August 05, 2017
    05:51 PM

    I wonder what his favorite films are?
    Reply
    • By Edward H.
      September 07, 2017
      02:19 PM

      Here's some indication: http://www.movie-film-review.com/devtops.asp?param=Tops
  • By Sean Ramsdell
    September 20, 2017
    06:41 AM

    I agree with him on Salo
    Reply