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The KnightWatcher’s FILM REVIEWS   2013 edition

 

 

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Hi!  I'm Bob Brown (AKA The KnightWatcher).  A big welcome to all you fellow film lovers to the 2013 edition of my  film reviews. 

 

All of these reviews have previously been published on LoveFilm under my Lovefilm name of the KnightWatcher and on my Facebook page -Bob Brown’s Film Lovers Group. 

 

These film reviews are also published on my website ,  http://www. movieandfilmreviews. co. uk which you are encouraged to visit.

 

 

My interest in films has confirmed that when it comes to films ‘One man’s meat is another’s poison’.  There are no films where everyone agrees that it is brilliant or awful.  Everyone has different tastes.  And so it is with my ratings.  You may find that usually you agree with my rating,  or you may find that often you disagree.  And therein is the fun and interest.  I love to hear other’s views and where you disagree that is just as interesting and welcome.  It is fun to discuss and debate these things.  You will see a table below which defines what my  film ratings mean . I will warn you that I mark tough.  Often on Lovefilm if someone likes a film they will automatically just give it a 10 but I do not do this.  Instead  I make careful use of the full range of scores and generally I would consider any film with a score of 4 or above watchable and enjoyable to some extent.  So where I have given a film a score between 4 and 7 for example then I liked it and thought it watchable but it is just not a particularly great film; it might just be reasonable ,   average,  good or very good respectably.

 

If you limit yourself to just great films or those with Oscar nominations or to those which are well known and  widely popular  then you can miss a lot  of perfectly good watchable  enjoyable movies.  I believe you need to be open minded and sometimes you will discover a hidden gem ,  or one that just appeals to you personally and be surprised.  It is always satisfying to discover an unknown and underrated film.

 

My favourite genres are ,  erotic thrillers (especially from the 1990s)  and Rom Coms and WWII dramas and so you will find a disproportionate number of these .   I like nearly all the genres except I am not really into fantasy action films so e.g. you will not find any reviews of Harry Potter , or Lord Of The Rings or Star Wars here.  It is fun sometimes to watch a film when you have absolutely no idea what it is about or the genre in advance.

 

It is surprising how many films have the same name.  The same names are used frequently even within a couple of years.  .  Therefore to identify a film you have to also  look at the year.  Where I am aware there is more than one  film with the same name I have added the year to distinguish the one that I have seen.

 

The film reviews are arranged in alphabetical order ,  but this is followed by another list of what I consider the best films and which I have  awarded scores of 8, 9 or 10 .

 

As I said above I also publish my film reviews on my Facebook page- Bob Brown's film Lovers Group.  I would very much appreciate it if you would visit that page and LIKE it and even better start to add some of your own reviews occasionally to help me make it more active and fun.

 

Good watching-The KnightWatcher

 

 

 

 

 

Definitions of Ratings

 

Rating

Quality of Film

1

A very poor ,  awful and painful film with  no merit that is probably unwatchable through to the end.

2

A poor just about watchable film that is  disappointing and let down by some fundamental weaknesses in plot,  and / or credibility, .  You may not have made it through to the end.

3

A dull mediocre watchable  film with some moments of interest or quality ,  good in parts,  but overall only  just so so.  You may not have made it through to the end.

4

Watchable,  reasonable,  adequate,  but slightly disappointing film  probably let down by low budget feel,  predictability,   and not particularly memorable or enjoyable.

5

OK watchable  average film ,  enjoyable but let down by some aspects of casting,  script,  or plot.

6

A good watchable film that is  definitely OK but could have been better in places.

7

very good watchable and enjoyable film.

8

A great film.  May be very funny or very moving,  or both ,  or a thriller which  holds your interest and with a great plot.

9

A superb and  excellent film of  great merit and depth,  with an excellent cast and script.  A film that you would be keen and eager to watch again the following day.

10

A rare  exceptional , brilliant and  outstanding film of depth,  meaning,  superb casting,  outstanding acting,  and credible script.  A film that touches your soul,  and probably makes you laugh and cry.  A film that stays with you in your immediate memory.

 

 

 

For more movie fun and discussion go to :

http://www. movieandfilmreviews. co. uk

and Facebook. com/MovieandFilmreviews. co. uk

 

 

 

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Knowing my interest in films people often ask me what do I think are the best ten films ever. This is an extremely difficult question and obviously very controversial. It would be easier perhaps to list twenty!  But if forced here is my list of  a dozen films to take to a desert island. Sorry I could not get below 12!

 

Air Force One

Apocalypse Now

Apollo 13

Armageddon

Blade Runner

Casino Royale

Fever Pitch

Parenthood

Saving Private Ryan

Sophies Choice

Terms of Endearment

The Graduate

 

FILM REVIEWS     

 

Film

Comments and Rating

 

Adjustment Bureau (The)

2011 The Matrix meets The Trueman Show.  Matt Damon running to be senator of New York but is torn by his love for a girl (Emily Blunt) he is not permitted to have.  Their romance is sweet and credible.  The ending is hard to predict.

6

Agora

2009 Rachel Weisz  is as usual excellent in this Roman / Greek 3rd century saga about the rise of Religious fundamentalism and the clash with early astro theoretical physics.  Brutal in parts.  A bit laboured though and not particularly enjoyable.

5

All Good Things

2010 Ryan Gosling.  Sad romantic drama mystery.  Idyllic marriage turns bad when husband , who was messed up by his childhood,  starts working for his father in New York as a cruel landlord.  He forces his wife to have an abortion.  After his wife ,  played by Kristen Dunst,  goes missing and is no longer in the cast the film is much weaker and the final third is disappointing,  a little bizarre and unconvincing.  Based on a true story. 

6

All Over Me

(1997)

1997 drama.  Coming of age teenage drama about two girls in a first lesbian relationship but discovering other partners.  Sensitively handled with no gratuitous explicit sex.  Has all the bleakness of a typical  Mike Leigh film set in the USA.  Has a low budget feel but overall it is a good film ,  and much better than the typical offering in this genre.  It has a credible feel and I do not agree with other reviews that it is predictable.  Has an awesome but esoteric score.

6

Almost Famous

2000 Drama.  An entertaining and sweet easy watch yarn about a 15 year old boy who somehow infiltrates the 1970s rock scene in the USA and writes reviews for music publications and eventually Rolling Stone.  He travels with the band from gig to gig becoming fully accepted and forms a loving relationship with a groupie.  It is a somewhat implausible plot but if you can get past that then it is a very watchable good film.  The scantily clad young girl used to promote the film belies a film which contains no nudity or sexual content and could have been a U rather than the 15 that it has. 

6

American Gangster

2007 Tough violent ,  hard hitting true story of black drug Mr. Big in New York who brought drugs into the USA from Vietnam concealed in military coffins.  Also led to conviction of three quarters of the DEA !

7

 American President (The)

1995 Political Drama . Classic political romance.  Excellent in parts,  and great cast,  plot and script

9

American Psycho

2000 Thriller.  A good thriller about a rich Wall Street young bull who turns out to be a highly obsessive compulsive psychotic serial killer.  This unlikely combination is actually carried off quite competently and convincingly.  Has a twist at the end.  Not for the squeamish.

7

An Education

2009 drama.  School girl has an affair with much older married inveterate playboy.  Carey Mulligan is great in this and it is an interesting view of the early 1960s. A great film actually.

8

Analyse That

2002 Comedy.  Sequel that should not have been made

4

Analyse This

1999 Comedy. Robert Deniro is superb as a mafia mobster who is having a breakdown and losing his grip. Billy Crystal excellent as his unfortunate psychiatrist. Very funny.

7

Another Country

1984 Good depiction of outrageously privileged pre war elite life at Eton and how it produced a number of homosexual  rebel communists who became spies for Russia.

6

Another Woman

1988 Typical Woody Allen.  This is a highly acclaimed film but it is not for me.  A woman writing a novel in a small flat overhears the consultation sessions of a psychiatrist in the same block through an air vent.  The patient is played by Mia Farrow.  The emotional  pain and angst of the patient make the author reevaluate her own life and she makes some radical changes including leaving her husband.  But the acting is poor and the story slow and laborious and the whole film seems to be intellectually pretentious trying to be more than it is. 

5

Another Year

2010 . Another Mike Leigh film!  It’s ok but it is very low key even for a Mike Leigh film.  It is very well observed as ever but quite tragic really and severely lacking in any action whatsoever! It is like all his previous films but less  dramatic and much more ponderous .  Overall-depressing.

5

Anything For Her

2008.  French action thriller with sub titles.  Wife is wrongly imprisoned for 20 years for a murder she did not commit.  Loving husband cannot live without her and takes extreme measures to try to secure her escape.  Very good. 

7

Apocalypse Now

1979 War drama.  Still the benchmark by which other war films should be judged.  Outstanding photography,  production,  score,   real horror,  and really shows the madness of war,  and the drug crazed US army in Vietnam.

10

Apollo 13

1995 Space drama. Tom Hanks stars in this perfect film playing James Lovell. Based on the true events of the ill fated mission to the moon. An unbelievably superb reconstruction and dramatisation of the events leading up to and during this mission. Everybody remembers those immortal words of ' Houston we have a problem'. Superbly acted and highly tense and emotional movie. Impossible to get through without a tear or two running down your cheek from time to time and I have watched this film countless times and it is still as good today as when it was made. Just outstanding from start to finish.

10

Apollo 18

2011.  Apollo 13 meets Alien.  Rubbish.  An appolo-gy for a film.

3

Arbitrage

2012 Strong cast-Susan Sarandon and Richard Gere.  Gere plays a hedge fund master of the universe who has cooked his books.  Tense drama about will he be discovered.  His problems get worse as his life goes into melt down when his mistress is killed in a car he is driving.  Gere is excellent in the role,  and the film is competent enough to be worth a watch but somehow does not excel.  The plot lines are somehow too familiar,  as is Richard Gere playing such roles.  It has a feeling of déjà vu throughout.

6

Argo

2013 Political Thriller.  Argo is a very good political thriller based on true events (1979 Iran hostage crisis) that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  Would have scored 8 but does not develop the characters enough.  Definitely highly watchable though and can see why it got so many nominations.

7

Arthur Christmas

 

2011  comedy.  Children's movie about high tech Father Christmas and how he covers the entire globe in one night using latest technology.  Imaginative ,  and original.  Amusing and harmless fun. 

6

Atomised

2006  Erotic tragic psycho drama German with sub titles . Bizarre story of 2 brothers exploring eroticism.  One of the brothers is an introverted asexual and frustrates the love of his life,  and the other is a totally selfish individual incapable of love but is a slave to his sexual fantasies.  This gives the producer an excuse to indulge in his own sexual fantasies  at frequent intervals!  This is a very heavy  highly alternative film that would not appeal to most people.  The two brothers are both completely messed up by dysfunctional parents who abandoned them.  Tragedy and disaster are never far away for both of them except that the introvert does invent genetic coding on the side! The female partner of the other selfish brother , with whom he participates in  sex orgies, becomes crippled ,  goes mad ,  and  commits suicide ! 

6

Avatar

2009 Very good but you have to get into it.  Maybe watch twice to fully appreciate it .  Loaded with spiritual and environmental messages.

7

Awake

2007 Thriller about man who needs a heart transplant but is tricked by girlfriend and the heart surgeon in  negligence action scam.  Man is awake while the operation is performed.  Plot  stretches credibility but has good twist at the end.

5

Away from her

2007 Ridiculous film about woman with creeping senility and story of husband leaving her in a home prematurely when she could have stayed home for years longer.

1

Babel

2006 Pretentious but watchable  interwoven morality tale of 3 stories  linked by boy shooting at tourist bus with his father's rifle in Morocco.  Also about a young virgin in Tokyo and a nanny taking children to a wedding in Mexico.  Good cast.  Kate Blanchet.

5

Babette's Feast

1987 Classic.  It's about  two spinster daughters who live in a remote Danish coastal town and forsake romance and life for religion.  Their cook is called Babette.  Yes it is as boring as it sounds.  This film is so highly acclaimed and popular that it I am sure it must be brilliant! But all I can say is that it is not for everybody.  I absolutely hated it.  I tried twice to watch it.  First time it sent me straight to sleep.  The second time I lasted 20 minutes and could bear no more.  It is  in Danish with sub titles and so boring and dour and dated.  It was completely lost on me.  Sorry!  Many regard this as a perfect 10 masterpiece.  I have no idea why.

2

Bank Job (The)

2008 Excellent true story based in 1970,  political sex scandal,  and bank robbery,  police corruption,   superb cast,  script and acting.  Great plot.  This film has it all.

8

Basic Instinct

1992 erotic thriller.  I have watched this many times over the years and gave it another run out in 2012.  In my opinion it sets the Gold standard for erotic thrillers and even after 20 years is not the slightest bit dated.  The acting,  script,  and music are superb and yes I know the plot is implausible but I don't care and somehow they get away with it because of the mesmerizing relationship and sexual tension between Douglas,  the detective and Sharon Stone,  the suspect.  It is a long film but you don't want it to end,  and after all that,  at the end you will still not be sure who the killer was!

9

Basic Instinct 2

2006 Erotic thriller. Basic Instinct was a very good erotic thriller and a tough act to follow but this sequel unusually is worthy.  It really is nearly as good as the original.  Stone is even better in this and the lead who replaces Douglas playing opposite Stone does a good job I think and is credible as the psychiatrist who meets his match with the Stone character.  It is a good erotic thriller that holds its own in its own right.  They switch the sequel from Los Angeles to London to freshen it up which seems to work

8

Battle in Heaven

2005 Bizarre and weird story about a couple living in two parallel universes.  Extremely pretentious and stylized.  Spanish (or Mexican) sub titles.  Copious quantities of extremely graphic sex.  Weak script and totally disjointed ridiculous plot.

3

Be Cool

2005 John Travolta comedy romance in the music industry

5

Beaches

1988 Weepie that follows friendship between two women through their lives,  one a self obsessed Broadway star,  the other a lawyer / mother who dies young.

4

Beat

2000 erotic drama. Definitely better than the average rating suggests.  An intimate examination of homosexual and heterosexual relationships within a close group of 4 male and 1 female writers in 1944 New York.  Irritation and boredom prevail within the group.  The viewer gets drawn into the frustration of the unfulfilled relationships and shares the hopelessness as nobody seems to get what they want.  Courteney Love is superb in this film and gives the film its quality and high rating as the hub of the group and the focus of the intrigue and desire.

7

Beautiful Creatures

2001 Dark comedy British thriller,  wacky tale.  Rachel Weisz.  Amusing and harmless.  A sort of Thelma and Louise

5

Beautiful Thing

1996 Drama.  Film 4 British gritty kitchen sink drama in the Mike Leigh mould.  Filmed entirely in Thamesmead near the Thames on a high rise social housing estate,  but where  they actually managed to make some waterside areas look attractive.  A close up examination of dysfunctional families,  that is credible and highly realistic.  The main theme is two adolescent boys  from neighboring families and from the same school who face their realities that they are gay and form a relationship,  and eventually come out.  A very good , poignant,  and underrated film that is surprising that it is not better known.

7

Bedroom (The)

1992 Japanese soft porn with sub-titles.  Bizarre story of a young wife who visits a fetish house where she takes drugs which send her to sleep,  during which she receives the attention of clients who use and abuse her.  There are other sub plots but most of the time the white sub titles are against a  background of white bed sheets! Weird and very explicit.  Rubbish.

2

Before The devil Knows You’re Dead

2007 Thriller. Dark and brooding hard hitting thriller about two loser brothers who hatch up a robbery which goes badly wrong.  From then onwards things go from bad to worse and engulf the entire family.  It is gritty and grim and the storyline unpleasant to watch.  Uncompromising and ruthless.  Best to watch it on your own as not one for an enjoyable movie night in with your partner.  I nearly gave it an 8 but it is spoilt a little by the unnecessary jumbling up of the order of play such that it is a cobbled together series of flashbacks.  Well acted and scripted though and overall a very good watchable film.

7

Behind Enemy Lines

2001 Bosnian war action drama.  I rate this as an excellent action war film.  It is based on real events,  and its high rating reflects the successful development of the characters and the background politics that the film achieves.  It is for a change a 3D plot with depth as compared to so many superficial high octane action war films.  Gene Hackman and Owen Wilson are both superb.  The plot concerns the hunt for a surviving navigator from an F18 fighter jet shot down over Bosnia.  An excellent war film ,  but one I think likely to appeal more to guys than girls. 

9

Being Julia

2004 Period drama.  I recommend this film.  Set in London theatre land in the 1930s it is about the lives and love lives of the cast behind the scenes and in particular the relationship between the leading lady and an upwardly mobile American boy half her age.  The cast is superb and in particular Annette Bening is outstanding.  The film itself is often produced like a stage play.  There are several parallel strands to the story but this adds interest and it is easy to follow.  It is an enjoyable watch

7

Bel Ami

2011 Period drama.  Kristin Scott Thomas. Period drama set in high society Paris in the 1890s.  How can other reviewers say that this has no story? It is a much better film than many other reviews give it credit for.  It is a modern attempt at the Dangerous Liasons theme.  Young man breaks out of poverty and breaks into high society and political circles through his good looks and powers of seduction.  At first he is found out to be out of his depth,  empty and vacuous but increasingly he becomes ruthless and brutal and acquires great wealth through his women and in the end puts an advantageous and cynical marriage above the mistress who he really loves and loves him.  This film has lots of story so do not let others put you off if this theme sounds like your cup of tea.  The film is lavish and stylish in its recreation of the period.  I liked it.

 

7

Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

2012 World class cast.  An absolute delight.  Great performance by Bill Nighy.  Great portrayal of India.  Terrific script.  Funny,  poignant,  with messages.  Where there is life there is hope.  Life is a privilege –not a right!

8

Better than Chocolate

1999 RomCom.  Pleasant enough innocuous light lesbian romantic comedy.  Well acted and touching.  Young teenage lovers struggle to conceal their sexuality when the newly divorced mother of one of them comes to stay.   Other interweaved relationships involving various other characters combine to produce a watchable enjoyable average film with a happy ending.

 5

Between Your Legs

1999 Soft porn drama.  Don’t worry this is not the sexothon that it sounds like.  Spanish film with sub titles.  It is about two people who are attending a clinic for sex addicts but beyond that I cannot tell you much.  I found it impossible to follow what was going on as it weaves a lot of fictional sub plots throughout so it is one of those films where you never know what is really happening and what is being imagined.  I only lasted 30 minutes and found it boring and a waste of time.  Don’t bother with this one.

3

Big Easy (The)

1987 Erotic thriller. Dennis Quaid is excellent in this as a very sure of himself womanising funny sexy maverick homicide inspector character.  A good erotic thriller.  The Quaid character himself becomes the subject of an investigation into police corruption by an attractive woman from the DA's office,  with whom he has a steamy affair.  Done in typical 1980s style and set in New Orleans.  Watchable and enjoyable.

7

Big Kahuna (The)

1999 drama with a strong cast (Kevin Spacey / Danny Devito).  Adaptation of a play and it shows.  Whole film is set in  one hotel room.  Long build up of character development and dialogue ,  which becomes quite boring.  Two disillusioned cynical salesmen clash with young naïve God squadder raw recruit preparing for an out of town cocktail party for prospective buyers.  The film has a real sting in the tail with a profound finish which seeks to preach what is important in life,  and what is real character etc.  

6

Big Year (The)

2012 Comedy about competitive bird watching.  But do not let that put you off.  It’s original and very funny and has a fantastic cast –Steve Martin,  Jeff Black,  and Owen Wilson

8

Bitter Moon

1992 erotic drama.  A good watchable film about a couple who are united by physical attraction but after this fades their relationship becomes destructive and damages another couple.  This film is an acquired taste and improves on second watching.  Sexually charged and dark and sad at the same time.  There is a big surprise awaiting you at the ending and is worth watching for this.  Hugh Grant is very young in this and a bit feeble to be honest and a bit of a weak link in the cast.

7

Black Book (The)

2006 Beautiful Jewish girl who worked for the Dutch resistance at the end of WW2 and  has a relationship with  Captain in the SS in order to infiltrate the Nazis.  The depressing thing is that in transpires that at least 3 of the other resistance fighters turn out to be Nazi collaborators who are also betraying the Jews for their own profit.  However a great film with a great performance by the female lead.   The plot can be a little hard to follow in the final scenes due to confusion between the resistance characters. 

8

Black Hawk Down

2001 excellent war / action movie based on true events in Somalia in 1993 directed by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner). Gritty,  intense,  high octane action drama.  A routine military operation is seriously misjudged and under estimated and quickly descends into chaos as the marines are over run by local militia.  Excellent cast    and well acted.  War films do not get much better or more realistic than this.

9

Black Swan

2010 Psychological  thriller based on New York ballet.  Young woman finding her sexuality,  and confidence and confronting competition and shaking off her controlling mother.  Explicit sex and violence.  Would not be everybody's'  cup of tea.  A bold and unusual film –in the Carrie mould and class.  I liked it.

7

Blade Runner

1982 Sci Fi.  Starring a young Harrison Ford .  In my opinion perhaps the best Sci Fi ever made.  Brilliant.  Amazing graphics and sets.  Haunting and atmospheric.  A movie classic that sets the Gold standard for Sci Fi.

9

Bling Ring (The)

2013 Crime  drama.  Shocking film based on true events about a morally bankrupt teenage gang in Los Angeles who steal from the Hollywood homes of celebrities .  The film depicts a shallow degenerate society obsessed only with wealth,  materialism,  designer brands,  vanity,  and drugs.  Was potentially a good film ,  but let down by poor sound where much of the dialogue cannot be deciphered and is obscured by obtrusive loud musical score.  In addition the story is repetitive and padded out to make it a feature length film.

5

Blood Simple

1983 Coen brothers first film-erotic thriller,  gritty.  Dark and bloody but with some humour.

6

Blue Jasmine

2013 Comedy drama.  Typical Woody Allen fare depicting how underneath we are all a mess and life is a mess! Cate Blanchett is outstanding and the script is superb.  Great cast.  Blanchett  plays a middle aged ex wife (Jasmine)  who since her divorce is suffering from a nervous breakdown and moves to live with her sister.   Blanchett as Jasmine cannot shake off her tendency to judge,  and her snobbish outlook,  always looking down on her sister,  but in reality cannot halt her own decline.

 8

Blue Lagoon

1980 Two children are ship wrecked on a desert Island and as they grow up they become sexually awakened and have a child.  Brooke Shields.  Considered soft porn at the time. 1980 .  Terrible.

3

Blue Valentine

2010 Romantic drama.  Sad story of young couple with young daughter who fall in love ,  get married,  and gradually fall out of love.  Wife out grows and tires of husband who still loves her.  Like The Story Of Us.  Explores the challenges of keeping a relationship fresh.  Excellent.

8

Blue Velvet

1986 Thriller.  Supposedly a classic.  The diversity of views on this film is quite extraordinary .  Some even say it is the best film ever! I am afraid I am in the camp of people who do not get it.  It is too long (nearly three hours) and much of the script and acting is poor.  There is a lot of violence and sadomasochism and overall the film is just weird and bizarre. 

3

 Boat That Rocked (The)

2009 Comedy drama . Based on the true events of the pirate  radio ships of the 1960s. Promises a lot and has huge potential,  but disappoints.  Weak script,  watchable but annoying in parts,  vaguely entertaining in others,  predictable,  school boy humour. A wasted opportunity-disappointing.

4

Body Double

1984 Do not watch this .  It is awful.  It is not a thriller,  and it is not funny.  Not sure what it is supposed to be.  I only gave it a 3 because it has a young and gorgeous Melanie Griffith in it.

3

Body Heat

1981 Erotic thriller.  Kathleen Turner. Personally I like it.  It has aged well and remains a tense steamy erotic thriller full of suspense.  It is uncomfortable to watch but you cannot look away and you do not know who to believe or trust.  I think this film sets the standard for the genre.

8

Body Of Evidence

1992 erotic thriller.  Madonna. You get what it says on the tin with this movie.  It is a bread and butter formulaic early 1990s erotic thriller.  But if you like this genre you should not exclude this one.  It is completely watchable,  and Madonna does her best to act but looks amazing whilst she is doing it-acting that is! Has a good twist at the end.  It seems from the other reviews that you either love it or hate it.  But I don't see it that way.  Not the best or worst film ever made but just a watchable OK movie.

6

Boogeyman 3

2008.  Traditional ,  routine predictable horror/ Boogeyman fare.  Set in the USA on a college campus and featuring the usual cast of perfectly formed students / victims.  One by one they meet a bloody and violent end in their dorms.  The usual flashing of the lights accompanied by lots of electrical arking sounds everytime the Boogeyman makes an appearance.  Mediocre but just about watchable. 

4

Book Of Eli (The)

2010 SciFi drama . In a post apocalypse wasteland Eli (Denzel Washington) is tramping across the USA on a 30 year mission to save the world's only remaining bible.  There is a massive contradiction in this film in that the war was supposedly the result of religion,  and yet the bible is put forward as the only faith that needs to be reintroduced to save humanity.  The plot provides a stage for Washington in his character of few words,  to brutally and violently eliminate all opposition to his mission.  The plot gets even more preposterous and fanciful but if you can ignore that the underlying film is reasonably well done and watchable.  Average.

5

Bound

1996 Sexy erotic thriller about a mobster’s girl who wants out.  She sets up an ingenious con with her lesbian lover to steal $2M from the mob.  It is a cleverly spun web of intrigue.  Violent and scary.  A con with many twists.  Some explicit girl on girl action.  Do not watch this if you are not sure you can handle it.

8

 Boy In Striped Pyjamas' (The)

2008 Tragic WWII  drama. Nazi Death camps and extermination of Jews.  German son of commandant gets mixed up with prisoners and is accidentally gassed .  Original plot and good attempt to portray Nazi German family members attitudes and their ‘normal’ lives.

6

 Brave One (The)

2007 Thriller.  Like a remake of Death wish-Jodie Foster

5

Breakfast At Tiffanys

1961 Drama.  Yes I know this is one of the all time greats,  a legend,  a classic.  But not for me I’m afraid.  It is far too dated,  and false -like a stage farce to me.  Characters are simply not believable but I know that is heresy and I will now probably disappear in the night!

2

Breaking & Entering

2006 Has Juliette Binoche in it which was why I rented it,  and she does a good job as an Eastern European down and out mother.  But overall the plot about a sympathetic business owner who keeps having his premises broken into by the son  stretches credibility to the limit.  Also includes a hooker with a heart who befriends him but really adds nothing to the film.

4

Bridesmaids

2011 .  A RomCom about a bride and her best friend who she appoints as her maid of honour,  and her gang of girlfriends.  Actually a very funny film with some hilarious contrived situations and an unlikely romance thrown in with a police officer.  Be careful-not suitable to be shown to children.

8

Bridge

(2008)

2008 WWII drama.  Made for TV remake of the original classic.  German with sub titles.  Near the end of the war teenage school boys are enlisted to help defend the German homelands to the end.  A good drama,  with some teenage love interest ,  and well acted.  A group of eight boys attempt to defend a strategic bridge in their village from the advancing American army.  The futility of fighting on and  especially involving children when the war was already lost  is shockingly portrayed.  Dramas about life in Germany during the war are fairly rare so don't ignore this one.

6

Bright Star

2009 Period Drama.  Supposedly a love story about the poet John Keats and Fanny Browne but very disappointing.  The film lacks energy and emotion,  is extremely dull,  and never gets going.  It is so slow,  and lifeless and ponderous that it is quite like many French films in style.  The two minute trailer contains all the events of any note in the entire film.  Impossible to watch without falling asleep.  The acting is wooden and the main characters lacked passion and charisma.  The only redeeming feature was the beautifully shot period / rural settings and costumes. 

4

Brothers (The)

 

2010 War family drama. Thoroughly recommend this one.  Superb acting and a highly emotional film with a punch in a story woven around the contrast of two brothers.  Excellent  dramatisation of how the horror of war leaves the survivors irrevocably damaged.  As good as The Deer Hunter and almost as good as The Hurt Locker.  Do not miss this film about modern warfare in Afghanistan.

8

Brothers Bloom

2009 About two brothers who plan and execute their last big con but one of the bothers falls in love with the mark-Rachel Weisz.  It’s watchable and good in parts but lacks credibility and is repetitious and laboured.  A good cast with some fine acting but overall let down by the plot and storyline.  Rachel Weisz is superb is ever.  The films just seems to lack that certain something.  It’s just average   and is not particularly scary or funny.

5

Brown Bunny (The)

2004.  Soft porn (but only in last 3 minutes) Romantic drama.  I’ll sit through most films but this one defeated me.  I lasted 40 minutes before I could stand no more.  Pretentious arty farty photographic account of a troubled young man driving across the USA in a van grieving for the lost love of his life.  Lots of lengthy shots  of all kinds of roads at day and night.  Almost no dialogue and nothing happens.  Boring and tedious.  The film does liven up in the last 3 minutes apparently but only people with no life would have made it that far! Do not be tempted.

2

 Bucket List (The)

2007 Jack Nicholas,  Morgan Freeman,  things to do before you die.  Two great performances and an unusual and moving storyline.  Definitely worth a watch

7

 Bunch Of Amateurs (A)

 English subtle humour and observation.  Not bad.  A bit uneventful.  Too slow and flat and not particularly funny.  This film under performs and is disappointing.

6

Burn After Reading

2008 Excellent FBI thriller / comedy,  great cast,  excellent plot.  An enjoyable farce.

8

Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid

1969 Western. Not the all time classic that I remember but nevertheless a good watchable film.  It is a bit dated now and a bit naff in places.  Cannot be taken seriously as a Western as the two outlaws are just too polite  and friendly,  charming  and unscary to be taken seriously.  It is more of a light hearted drama / comedy really.   Katherine Ross is excellent.

7

Butterfly Effect (The)

2004 Poor teenage horror movie about the very troubled and horrific life of a boy growing up and experiencing horrendous situations.  In adolescence he discovers he can change the past into multiple versions by reading his detailed diaries.  Don’t  bother. 

2

Butterfly Kiss

1995 Macabre thriller about cold blooded serial killer (lesbian) who seduces an innocent girl into falling in love with her,  and together they travel around like Thelma and Louise until it comes to an inevitable and tragic end.

4

Captain Phillips

20013 Action drama based on real events of the hijacking and ransom of a US container ship by Somali pirates.  Things do not go according to plan and the pirates instead switch to kidnapping the captain instead as a hostage.  The captain is as ever brilliantly played by Tom Hanks,  but actually the whole film is well cast and acted.  The action and suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat.  The eventual rescue by the US ‘cavalry’ with their usual high tech equipment and efficient methods is typical Hollywood fare.  However the end result is a great action drama and should not be missed.

8

Caramel

2007 Rare Lebanese  film,  in French with sub titles.  Deals sensitively with the common issues that women deal with the whole world over in their lives.  Like a sort of Mike Leigh style.  Portrays the lives of 4 women who work in a beauty salon.  Many will find it slow and lacking in action.  But it grows on you and makes you care about the characters.

6

Career Girls

1997 Mike Leigh drama.  Two college flat sharing girls meet up six years later.  Deals with the passage of time between friends.  Traditional Mike Leigh fare. Quality varies from good to mediocre.  Let down by OTT stereotype characters who lack credibility.  Also they meet an estate agent by coincidence who it turns out that both girls had had an affair with only six years earlier but neither remembers after only six years.  I don’t think so.  Not really credible in parts. 

5

Casino Royale

2006 James Bond Drama.  The 21st Bond film and the first of the Daniel Craig era.  Quite simply the best Bond film ever and also the best James Bond casting by a country mile.  What joy it was when this film burst onto the scene restoring the James Bond genre to its full former glory.  It is a 100% thriller with none of the embarrassing comedy of the Roger Moore bad times and the Bond portrayal  is a real 3D character with emotions.  Bond films do not get any better than this and it even surpassed the Bond films that followed it (A Quantum of Solace and Skyfall)

9

Celestine Prophecy (The)

2006.  Oh Dear! The book was fantastic,  and full of interesting concepts about energy,  spirituality,  etc but the film just does not compare with the book.  Neither does the film compare with the Da Vinci code.  I don't remember all the stuff about battles between the military and the rebels in the book either.  Was that added to inject more action and violence? I imagine that the concepts would have been too much for the average cinema goer and they would have all left before the end.  I have given it a 4  because I find the subject so interesting and films about spiritual intelligence are as rare as an England football trophy.  But in truth this would not be for most people and was disappointing.

4

Cement Garden (The)

1992 Would not be most people's cup of tea.  Incestuous relationship develops between eldest brother and sister in family of 4 children after both parents die separately in close succession.  Watchable but weird.

5

Chain Reaction (1996)

1996 Action thriller with a young Rachel Weisz.  A team in US university discover how to extract hydrogen from water as a new alternative fuel.  Story meanders into a ridiculous confused improbable unrealistic conspiracy political / FBI soup of rubbish.

3

Changeling (2008)

2008 Mother’s anguish when abducted son returns but it is not her son.  Clint Eastwood.  Watchable but too long.

6

China Moon

1994 erotic thriller.  Good romantic love triangle thriller.  I am a fan of erotic thrillers especially those produced in the 1980s and this one is typical of the genre and does not disappoint.

7

Chloe

2009.  Erotic thriller about wife who tests her husband who she suspects of philandering with a paid prostitute who she ends up with sleeping with herself.  Can’t say that is not different! Stars Liam Neeson.  Watchable.

6

Chris Ryan’s Strike Back Disc 1

2010 war drama made for TV series.  Based on Iraq.  SAS soldier Chris Ryan returns eight years later to single handedly rescue a female journalist hostage.  Unusual to see a British made action war film based on British military forces.  Very credible and tense .  Well worth watching although not as good as the excellent similar themed Homeland.

7

Chris Ryan’s Strike Back Disc 2

2010 war drama made for TV series.  Based on Iraq.  SAS soldier Chris Ryan in two more dramas based firstly in South Africa / Zimbabwe and secondly in Afghanistan.  Unusual to see a British made action war film based on British military forces.  Very credible and tense .  Well worth watching although possibly not quite as good as Disc 1 and definitely not as good as the excellent similar themed Homeland series.

7

Circumstance

2012 Youth and lesbian drama.  A serious,  controversial,  brave,  and rare film about youth rebellious and underground culture in Iran.  Not content with just portraying Iranian youth living out their Western culture fantasies (clothes,  alcohol,  sex and music etc) and enduring brutal raids by the 'Morality Police',  the film sympathetically majors on a lesbian relationship,  and the ways in which women are controlled  and oppressed   by authoritarian puritanical  men.  The film also portrays a controversial view of the legacy of the revolution by the young . So lots of taboo in this which is why the film could only actually have been made outside of Iran.  A rare Iranian film with sub-titles  in which it is not always that easy to tell who is who .  In the end though a good film ,  with a virtually unique theme , well acted but which is sad and depressing.

6

City Of Ember

2008 Sci Fi drama. Future city underground .  Power source is running out.  Good in parts  but excruciatingly bad in others.  Some aspects are embarrassingly amateur. 

4

Close My Eyes

1991 Family relationships drama.  Early Clive Owen,  Alan Rickman,  Story of incestuous love affair between brother and sister.  Actually it is very well acted and a good film. 

7

Closer

2004 Appallingly bad and awful film with all star cast wasted inc Julia Roberts,  Jude Law about sex and relationships between 2 couples.  The script is a joke.

1

Cloverfield

2008 Disaster movie set in new York as usual.  War of the Worlds meets Alien and Armageddon.  Filmed in annoying home camcorder style like Blair Witch style.  Very gory.  How the camera survived the annihilation of New York is a mystery.

5

Code Unknown

2000 I rented it because Juliette Binoche was in it and she was as usual excellent.  But it’s another French slow moving strange concoction.  A group of loosely interwoven stories about racism in modern Paris.  Sub-titles.  Hard to follow.  Hard work.

3

Colour Of Night

1994.  Bruce Willis.  Erotic thriller mystery in the Hitchcock style.  Could also be an Agatha Christie who dunnit.  Much nudity and soft porn sex.  The plot is extremely hard to swallow but if you can ignore that the film does have some merit being packed with suspense,  action,  and big twists and well flesh.  I can see that it is in many ways an awful film but I have to admit I found it watchable,  and did get to the end and found it reasonably enjoyable.  I've seen a lot worse.

6

Compliance

2012 Drama.  Unusual story based on real events about how ordinary law abiding people will do almost anything when they believe they are blindly obeying orders from someone in authority.  This is about an apparently common scam of a prank caller who calls a fast food outlet pretending to be a police detective and , in this instance,  convinces the manageress to carry out a strip search of a pretty blonde employee played by Dreama Walker.  Things get even more extreme as staff suspend common sense and blindly follow instructions from the ‘detective’ on the telephone.  Shocking.  Let down by some scenes which are obviously just padding to make the film feature length. 

6

Complicity

2000 Thriller.  Scottish film made by the same team as The Crow Road and in the same mould.  A good plot and brilliant cast including Valerie Edmond but can be a little confusing and I ended up having to watch it twice but it was worth it.  The plot is interesting because it appears to be some sort of international conspiracy theory but as the story unfolds it turns out the explanations are much closer to the personal lives of the main characters.  Watchable and every bit as good as The Crow Road.

6

Confidence

2003,  Rachel Weisz.  A run of the mill big con story in the Hustle mould with a complicated hard to follow plot.  I am not a big fan of this genre.

5

Consenting  Adults

1992  Classic early 1990s erotic thriller.  Kevin Spacey superbly plays the new neighbour who disrupts Kevin Kline's perfect marriage and life.  Spacey plays a charismatic charmer who is supremely confident and easily manipulates Kline into his insurance scams which net him millions.  The plot gets darker as the sexual tension between the two couple rises.  I watched this film when it came out and am pleased to have rediscovered it now.  It’s an underrated example of the genre and I recommend it.

8

Constant Gardener (The)

2005 Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz.  Weisz is the wife of a diplomat and an activist who exposes cavalier testing of drugs in Africa.  She is murdered in what becomes a suspense thriller with conspiracy theory type credibility.  A great film and one for conspiracy theorists.

8

Conversations With Other Women

2005 Highly stylized and annoying split screen format.  Divorced couple meet up at a wedding reception and have a dalliance.  Average film.

5

Conviction

2010 drama.  Wild brother is wrongfully convicted of murder,  in USA.  Single mother sister qualifies as lawyer in order to clear his name,  and expose frame up by police . Her fight takes 18 years to free him.  Based on a true story.  Good watchable film. 

6

Cook,  The Thief,  His Wife,  And Her Lover (The)

1989 Comedy,  drama,  fantasy.  This film is completely weird,  bizarre,  and surreal.  After the first 10 minutes I really was about to abandon it but something made me hang on in there.  Abused wife ,  Helen Mirren,  of brutal,  sadistic,  vulgar gang leader husband takes a lover.  From then onwards Mirren is never seen in clothes again,  and has sex in all the hidden nooks and crannies of the restaurant (especially in the toilets).  Everything in this film especially the mountains of food,  and the gluttony is phallic and suggestive and is about the connections with love,  and sex,  and death.  There is prolific nudity and sex.  Cannot decide if it is the masterpiece creation of a genius or complete drivel.  I suspect the latter.  The wildly varying reviews on Lovefilm reflects this.  Beware the end is gratuitous bloody violence and gruesome torture ending in cannibalism!

4

Counterfeiters (The)

2006 WWII Drama.  Based on true story of concentration camp where Jewish bakers,  printers,  and craftsmen were forced to forge British and USA bank notes in a plot to destabilize their currencies.  A very good film,  well directed,  cast,  and acted.  German with sub-titles which sometimes come and go a bit too fast to read.  Let down only by an appalling and very dated musical score.

7

Crash (1996)

1996. The original film with the title Crash.  A highly bizarre soft core porno thriller about finding car crashes sexy and strange obsession.  Not for everybody.  Highly alternative viewing.

7

Crash (2005)

2005 Superb social commentary on racial prejudice and disharmony.  A superb film.

9

Crazy Stupid Love

2011 Stephen Carell,  RomCom from the top drawer.  Makes you laugh and cry.  Some unexpected twists . Wife of adoring husband suddenly wants a divorce and he gets adopted by a player who becomes his mentor in pulling women.

9

Crow Road (The) Disc 1 Of 2

1996.  4 hour BBC series released as a 2 DVD film.  Following a seven year silence after the mysterious and unresolved disappearance of his Uncle Rory,  teenager Prentice sets out to uncover the truth - but the truth lies under a tapestry of dark secrets shrouding his own family's past.

6

Crow Road (The) Disc 2 Of 2

1996 Have just watched the second DVD.  Unfortunately there was a bit of a gap between the two DVDs before Lovefilm could send the second DVD which did not help me understand what was going on.  I don't think I ever really got into The Crow Road.  It was lost on me I think.  I did not see it at the time on TV and have only now watched it in 2012.  It just is too slow and drawn out.  By the time the plot is revealed to you at the end of the 4 hours I just felt 'So What'.  I was past caring really.  Very surprised some people found it funny- I saw nothing to laugh at in what is quite a dour Scottish film.  I liked Valerie Edmond though and will look out for her in the future.

5

Cruel Intentions 3

Urrrgh! The OC meets well I’m lost for words.   Highly contrived sex farce portraying worst aspects of young Californian culture.   

2

Crush

2001 RomCom.  Unusual emotional roller coaster.  Starts as a 4 weddings style RomCom,  but then evolves into a straight romance,  and then unexpectedly turns dark and sad and becomes a tragedy.  Explores the friendship  between three 3 40+ women which is tested when one of them has a passionate relationship with a much younger man.    The three lead women characters are all excellent.  As I say the film has severe twists and turns and it is not always clear what the film is aiming to be but I found it watchable and touching nevertheless.

7

Damage

1992 I always liked this erotic drama.  Jeremy Irons is superb and totally credible and Juliette Binoche equally superb as the smouldering sexy ,  enigmatic mistress woman of mystery.  The fireworks and passion that ensue are legendary but the film is compulsive viewing as you cannot turn away from watching a man who seemingly has everything become helpless from following a path of self destruction that eventually  encompasses his whole family.  The final pathetic scene of the fallen but still compulsive obsessive talented man alone as a recluse is unforgettable.

8

Damned United

2009 Michael Sheen is brilliant as Brian Clough during his reign at Leeds in the 1970s. A very good watchable dramatisation even if you don't like football

7

Dan In The Real Life

2007 Excellent Rom Com.  Very funny .  Steve Carell,  Juliette Binoche.   Definitely worth the 8.  The parallel lives of his 3 daughters and the parenting dilemmas are very funny and very well observed.  Plot has some very funny twists.

8

Date Night

2010 Comedy.  A very funny RomCom set in NY.  They steal someone else’s dinner reservation.  Steve Carell is brilliant in this.  I just cannot understand how some do not like this film.  I found it absolutely hilarious.  I loved it.  It is a great comedy.

8

Dawn Of Evil-Rise Of The Reich

2009 WWII film.  Unusual and rare and possibly unique dramatization of life of teenage Adolf Hitler.  A strange film,  with some odd content that attempts to show the influences on Hitler which led him to abandon his talent as an artist and start to lead a small group of vigilantes with anti Semitic ideology . German with sub titles.  The Hitler character is credibly and convincingly acted.  This version interestingly asserts that the young Hitler was hugely influenced by an elderly mentor / friend who was a Jew.  Overall an average film and one for those with an interest in the Nazi era.

5

Debt (The)

2010. Helen Mirren as a Jew tracking down evil Nazi doctor from the concentration camps.  Good Jew / Nazi based thriller with twists.  I enjoyed it.

7

Deep Blue Sea (The) (2011)

2011 Romantic tragic drama set in 1950 about wealthy woman (Weisz) who has a steamy affair with an RAF Battle of Britain hero but who cannot commit to her or give her the love she craves.  She is driven to despair and attempts suicide.  A dark,  sad ,  depressing,  and joyless story.  Weisz is superb but the film is not an enjoyable watch and you sort of end up wondering what was the point? Adaptation of a book and stage play.

5

Deer Hunter (The)

1978 Hard hitting shocking story of group of friends before ,  during,  and after the Vietnam war.  Unforgettable.  Would be a 9 but for the fact that the first half of the film is tooooo long and includes an entire wedding reception in real time.  

8

Defiance

2008 Daniel Craig as Jewish resistance in second world war.  Craig is good in this and overall it is a good watchable film.  Recommended.

6

Definitely Maybe

2008 I really liked this Romantic journey .  Loved all the characters (inc Rachel Weisz) and the script was very good.  Let down slightly by loose ends in the plot-mainly lack of detail as to why the 3 relationships come and go such that there is a slight lack of credibility.  But overall a very enjoyable film with a happy ending that keeps you guessing.  I very nearly gave it an 8.

7

Delicacy

(2012)

2012 Romance and delicate observation of human behaviour.  I am not a great fan of French films and this one is very typical ,  slow moving,  ponderous,  self indulgent and pretentious.  I am very surprised at the high scores and great reviews this film receives.  Having said that it is a watchable average film but no more than that.  I agree that the slow and subtle examination of the budding romance between the beautiful widow and the office dorky geek is in contrast to the usual Hollywood RomCom overnight sensation whirlwind approach.  But does the Romance really convince? We do not really see enough of the supposed charms of the geek character to find his attractiveness convincing.  Gives balding geeks some hope (although I'm not one!) . French with Subtitles.

5

Detachment

2011 Detachment.  Wow! Not for the faint hearted A heavy and very depressing deeply worrying drama about modern American youth culture and daily life in school depicting very neglected and unloved disturbed kids and a supply teacher with an equally troubled past.  Have things really got this bad? This is not a fun or enjoyable movie to watch but has some important hard hitting messages and is about decadence and decay of modern culture.  Best to watch it on your own!

 

8

Devil Wears Prada (The)

2008 Very good comedy set in the fashion magazine industry in New York.  The film is made by the very strong cast especially Streep in the lead role as the all powerful dragon,  supported by Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt who are both excellent.  But it has to be said that whilst it is a very good watchable film,  it is more amusing than outright funny,  and secondly towards the end it tails off like they did not know how to end it,  and in the end plumps for a rather tame predictable ending.

7

Diamonds Are Forever

1971 James Bond.  This is the seventh JB and the sixth and last in which Sean Connery played Bond.  This is the  weakest of the Connery Bond films and the rot is setting in.  Still better than all of the Roget Moore Bond films that followed but this one could not decide whether it was a thriller or a comedy.   This one includes the excruciating embarrassing non PC attempted mocking of the two gay baddies and also the dancing girl who attempts to attack Bond by doing somersaults!  By this time the Bond films were seriously losing their way,

6

Die Another Day

2002 James Bond drama.  The 20th Bond film and the fourth of the Pierce Brosnam  series. Rehash of previous Bond films.  Villain hopes to use glass / diamond studded satellite to harness light and energy from the sun.  Starts well but goes downhill.  Let down by very annoying stupid fencing duel between Bond and the villain,  and laughable cringe making special effects,  especially  the exploding plane near the end,  and the invisible Aston.  Known for the iconic duel between the Aston and the XK8. This was thankfully the last of the dodgy Bond films before the brand was fully  restored to its former majestic glory by Casino Royale and Daniel Craig.  

5

Dinner For Schmucks

2011. A good RomCom with a world class cast.  Steve Carell is as superb as ever.  A comedy with lots of values and morals . A creative plot that allows opportunities for a diverse range of funny scenarios and to give reign to a spectrum of funny actors.  Stephanie Szostak as the female lesser known co star is excellent.  Very good comedy,  light family fun with a message.

7

Dinner With Friends

2001.  Andie MacDowell in a very underrated film.  Bit like The Story of us.  Many of the other reviews are very harsh.  This is a good watchable film.  Good observation of people and marriage. ever but not that bad either and certainly not boring. Good observation of people and relationships.

6

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

1988 Steve Martin,  Michael Caine.  Classic comedy of mutual scamming based around a romance between the scammers.  Good fun and deservedly a classic.

6

Django Unchained

2013 Western.  A great film by Tarantino.  A clever and industrious negro slave becomes a bounty hunter and sets out to rescue his wife from slavery.  A great film,  original,  unconventional,  fresh,  and highly entertaining and amusing.  A very enjoyable watch although a little long,  at nearly three hours and very violent.  One of the best Westerns ever made.  As good as a Clint Eastwood classic.  Recommended.

8

Domestic Disturbance

2001John Travolta.  Good well executed thriller that is worth watching.  Ex husband (Travolta) does not take to ex wife’s new husband and his son witnesses a frightening development that ends in Travolta having to take drastic action.  It is well acted ,  efficiently constructed and easy to follow.  Has a TV movie feel to it.

6

Door In The Floor (The)

2004 Jeff Bridges,   Kim Bassenger.  Steamy drama about teenage boy who goes to work for aged author (Bridges) . Boy forms relationship with wife Bassenger.   Watchable  average film but fairly uneventful,  and unremarkable.

5

Dot The I

2003 Romance.  Rubbish.  Dodgy acting.  Awful film.  Absolutely hated it.  No credible connections or emotions in the love triangle.  Very slow.  I must have missed something as there are a lot of favourable reviews and some say the last 20 minutes are good but I gave up long before that.

1

Double Indemnity

1973 Erotic thriller.  Sadly extremely dated,  plodding  and unerotic.  Only interesting from the point of seeing the 1970s apartments and clothes. The film is entirely shot like a stage play and has almost no musical score which seems strange nowadays.  The acting is wooden and unconvincing. The story just seems to be going through the motions mechanically and the film has little to commend it.  It is apparently a remake of a 1944 classic which I have not seen.  Anyway don't bother with this version.  Any routine TV detective story would be better.

4

Double Jeopardy 1992

1992 Run of the mill erotic thriller.  Starts well but in the end a bit disappointing.  Yes there is a twist near the end but after that the film is very rushed like they could not wait to get finished and the ending is poor .  Watchable bread and butter film but that is all.

6

Double Jeopardy 1999

1999 Highly implausible thriller but it is entertaining and engaging.  Holds your attention with some surprising action scenes.  Rat husband fakes his own murder ,  and wife is convicted , goes to prison ,  and loses touch with her son.  Tommy Lee Jones –her parole officer-saves the film as it lurches towards its violent climax.

6

Dr No

1962  James Bond drama.  The iconic  movie classic first Bond film that started it all.  Brilliant in its day and very innovative.   Inevitable that now it looks very dated.  It does have the big set but even that looks pretty low key now.  But a film that seemed so groundbreaking and exciting at the time will always be held fondly in a movie watcher’s heart.  Definitely worth a watch if you’ve been in a cave for the last 50 years.

6

Dressed To Kill

1979 erotic thriller.  A Hitchcock style story about a transvestite homicidal maniac.  Disjointed.  The film does not flow.  It is poorly scripted,  very  poorly cast and highly formulaic and predictable.  Unbelievably Michael Caine is in it.  How did he ever get associated with something as mediocre as this?

3

Duchess (The)

2008 Kiera Knightley,  A great period drama about the Duchess of Devonshire in loveless marriage forced to give up her lover to retain access to her children.  Thought to be a faithful representation of the times.  Lots of parallels with Charles and Diana.

8

Duplicity

2009 Confusing plot,  Clive Owen useless as ever,  very stilted,  hard to follow,  but second half of film gets better and in the end the twist is unexpected

5

Dustbin Baby

2008 Tear jerker drama.  Dakota Blue Richards.  Young teen who was abandoned as a baby and endured a succession of foster homes and children’s homes retraces her roots.  Very touching ,  moving and an under rated film.  Juiet Stevenson is excellent as her guardian and Dakota Blue Richards very convincing and superb.  Dakota has a big future ahead of her in films.  Very watchable.  Makes you feel grateful.

7

Eagle Eye

2008 Surveillance.  Impossible to know what is going on .  First 2 minutes are good.  Rest is unwatchable.  Totally incomprehensible.  I cannot believe some of the positive reviews out there.  It is just a mindless fest of action for action’s sake.

1

Easy Rider

1969 Watched this again recently.  Not the classic I remember .  Has not really stood the test of time .  Dated predictable 60s drugs and  sex,  intended to shock.  Watchable though , and a  great soundtrack.

5

Easy Virtue

 

 

 

 

2008 British film based on Noel Coward play set just after WWI.  Prodigal son returns home with gorgeous American wife (Jessica Biel) and incurs the prejudice and hostility of his snobby aristocrat mother (Kristin Scott Thomas).  Brilliant cast –includes Colin Firth.  Meanders between comedy and serious statement but very entertaining with an unexpected twist ending.  

8

Edge Of Darkness

2010 Thriller. Mel Gibson investigating murder of his daughter who worked for nuclear energy research company illegally making dirty bombs.  Although panned I quite liked it. 

7

Edge Of Love (The)

2008 A good watchable enjoyable film ,  Kiera Knightly,  WW2 story of Dylan Thomas,  Love story with trio complications. 

6

Edmond

2005 Thriller.  Low budget just about watchable mediocre thriller  about a New Yorker who after visiting a fortune teller ,  leaves his wife and goes completely off the rails.  The acting and script are disappointing.  The main character rapidly descends into a sleazy depraved world of violence and prostitution.  His downfall is rapid and absolute and instead of breaking out and breaking free from the shackles of his former life he finds himself facing ruin and oblivion.  The film is crude and depicts racism,  and gory violence,  so be warned,  if you do not have a strong stomach.  The is an unsuccessful attempt to save the film and give it deeper meaning through some moralizing and amateur philosophy about life towards the end but it looks like a bit of an afterthought.

3

Eight Mile

2002 Kim Bassenger ,  Britanny Murphy,  Clearly you need to be like  Eminem and his rap music to like this movie.  If you do then you will like this story woven around Eminem playing himself.  It is a brutal hard hitting portrayal of trailer trash life in Detroit in the mid 1990s fighting for survival in an urban jungle.  A shocking film with depth and messages about aspiration and ambition in the midst of hopelessness. 

8

Elysium

2013 Science fiction.  A truly dreadful film.  Remixes ideas from Soylent Green,  Blade Runner,  and Armageddon to name a few.  I was attracted to watch this by the imaginative set created for the Elysium 'planet',  and the great cast,  and the plot which sounded original.  But the film is terrible.  It is just non-stop relentless wham bam  mindless boring special effects,  and brainless violence,  and high octane action.  Any character development is rushed,  and laughable.  It even starts well,  but descends very rapidly into chaotic oblivion.  The musical soundtrack is annoying and intrusive.

2

Enemy Of The State

1998 Action thriller. A plot about US government agents using state of the art surveillance technology to pursue and frame an innocent lawyer (Will Smith)  to try to cover up a murder they have committed.  A bonanza of fanciful technology and a fantasy about how efficient and reliable it all is.  It all makes for a non- stop technology fest action movie but  there is no real depth to this film.  I am quite sure that real life is nothing like this and nonstop wham bam action is not a substitute for character development and  substance.  I liked it at first but oh how repetitive it is and in the end I had to fast forward long sequences of it as it was just so long and non- stop action that just became tedious.  Gene Hackman is always excellent of course but his contribution was not designed to use his full talent.  Not sure why they bothered paying his fee as anyone could have done his part.  I know there are many who are satisfied with just continuous action and special effects but a movie must offer more than that for me to enjoy it.

5

Entrapment

1999 Sean Connery,  Catherine Zeta Jones. Good watchable enjoyable innocuous yarn about two master art thieves who hook up ,  but you are never sure who is double crossing who.

6

Envy

2005 Comedy with  an amazing cast.  Albeit young versions of Jack Black and Ben Stiller.  Rachel Weisz is in it as well but wasted as her role gave her little opportunity to show her talent.   I found it amusing and funny in parts and is definitely worth watching but is not in the same class as some of the later work by Ben Stiller and Jack Black.

6

Escort (The)

(1999)

1999 Erotic drama.  French film with sub titles.  Entertaining average watchable highly improbable fantasy about a boring middle aged French husband  who deserts his family and escapes to London to work as a paid escort.  His paid sex life and unpaid love and sex life explode with young beautiful women! In your dreams! Credibility is stretched too far.  However his increasingly complicated life spirals out of control.  Despite the implausible plot  the film has a strong cast and is well acted.  An unconvincing twist awaits you at the end.

5

Exterminating Angels (The)

2006 Sexual fantasy.  French film with sub titles.  A middle aged man lets his fantasies run wild and makes a film watching lots of nubile young girls masturbate and voice their hidden desires! There is a surreal and parallel universe twilight zone dimension to the film that is never fully explained.  The story ends in tears .  It succeeds in being mildly erotic in parts.  Watchable adequate film but no more than that.  

4

Extraordinary Measures

2010 Drama. Harrison Ford,  Brendan Fraser .  True story about the development of new drug to treat a serious medical condition of two young children and the father who becomes a campaigner for the development  of the drug.  A great and moving film about never giving up. 

8

Extreme Measures

1996 Hugh Grant,  Gene Hackman,  .  Doctor in NY uncovers medical research into spinal repairs using live human patients as subjects.  A bit like Coma.  Can this really be Hugh Grant playing a straight role?

6

Fargo

1996 A great thriller with some memorable performances-who can forget the female lead detective in the frozen wastes of Minnesota.  Faultless.

8

Fascination

(1979)

 

1979 Horror.  French film with sub titles.  Extremely bizarre story of a group of vampire women who hold a ritual in a castle dressed only in net curtains and sacrifice a male guest who is a thief on the run.  I imagine he would have welcomed any means of escaping this film including being carved up and drunk.  Lots of blood,  nudity and sex but the acting is appalling and the film as a whole is COMPLETE RUBBISH.

2

Fascination

(2005)

2005 An unerotic erotic thriller.  I watched it because I thought it could not possibly be as bad as the reviews but it is! The acting is awful and the musical score embarrassing.  The plot is preposterous.  Is that enough to be going on with? Do not be tempted.  Deffo rubbisho.

3

Fatal Attraction

1987 erotic thriller. Cannot believe that this film is now 25 years old.  It has aged so well.  Still a standard setting classic of the erotic thriller genre.  The bunny boiling scene is of course iconic in the movie world.  Michael Douglas is superb with his hunted rabbit in the headlights expressions.  A classic film that everyone should see but is there anyone who has not seen it yet? Surprised that this predates Basic Instinct by 5 years.  Tense and captivating from start to finish.

8

Fear

(1996)

 

 

1996. Low budget adequate teen thriller.  Sexy 16 year old girl falls for older smooth talking boy who turns out to be very bad news and a psychopath and have some very nasty friends .  Builds to a massively violent climax but the film is entirely predictable throughout.  The most notable feature is the performance of a very young Reese Witherspoon. 

4

Feast Of Love

2007 romance / drama.  This film is like an American version of a mix of Four Weddings and a Funeral,  and Love Actually.  It is about 3 or 4 couples whose lives become intertwined,  and about love,  disappointment ,  bereavement and hope.  Morgan Freeman is an excellent choice and as brilliant as ever.  The characters are appealing and attractive and credible and make you care about them.  OK it's cheesy and a chick flick,  but actually I liked it and it is emotional and definitely watchable.

6

Fever Pitch

1997 I adore this film.  It is absolutely one of my favourite films ever.  It just has it all.  Just brilliant.  Make you laugh and cry all the way through.  Maybe it is because I am a lifelong football supporter myself and can identify with the emotions so much but it is a great backdrop for a very convincing RomCom too.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.

10

Few Good Men (A)

1992 Excellent drama about megalomaniac marine in charge of Guantamino Bay base ,  (Jack Nicholson) and courtroom drama with Tom Cruise (Naval lawyer) and Demi Moore (one of her best films) tackles the morality and legality of obeying orders,  loyalty and honour.  Superb.

9

Fight Club

1999 Black Comedy drama. Going by the other reviews most love this film.  One thing for sure- you will either love it or hate it.  Personally I hated it.  Definitely not for me.  It is a very dark comedy supposedly making some deep points against capitalism and consumerism through anarchic rebellion.  The argument is that you can break out from being a consumer sheep through bare knuckle man to man fighting as this way you can actually feel something.  It is a relentlessly violent and disrespectful film and anarchic story and goes on far too long.  The conclusion becomes so surreal you are not sure what is going on.

5

 Fighter (The)

(2008)

2008 Based on true story of two brothers who both fight and the rise of the younger brother to win a world championship.  Has love interest.  A watchable film.

6

Fingersmith

2005 Period drama set in 19th century.  BBC series.  An unusual and original plot with more twists than a game of pontoon.  Very good acting and casting,  It is long (180 mins) but is well worth the effort.  It gets better and more intriguing as it progresses.  There is a lesbian relationship tastefully and credibly done.  A very good drama of betrayal,  love ,  greed,  wealth,  poverty, and a gigantic scam.  This film has it all.  I was surprised that I was not aware of this when it was on TV.

8

Firewall

2006 Harrison Ford in a very good thriller where he is head of security at a bank in Seattle but his family is kidnapped to try to force him to release $10M  ransom through computer hacking.  Very credible performances all round.  Violent.

7

Fish Tank

2009 Drama. Bleak gritty portrayal of the lives of a very young single mother and her two daughters the oldest of whom is 15 in a grim tower block in an east London sink estate.  Depressing and sadly extremely realistic view of people living hopeless lives .  The mother's boyfriend also turns his attention on the daughter with predictably disastrous results.  A compelling watch. 

7

Five Hundred  Days Of Summer

2009 Romance,  slow and annoyingly stylized.  Implausible ending.  Dull , poor and disappointing.  Fees like it lasts 500 days.  Boring and cringe making

3

Flame & Citron

2009 WW 2 Drama based on true story about the Danish resistance in 1944 set in Copenhagen.  Sub titles.  I agree that it is a bit long but it is definitely watchable.  Has some similarities to The Black Book so if you liked that then this may be for you.  Good in the sense that you are never sure who are the goodies and baddies just like the real situation.  The relationship between one of the resistance fighters and a glamorous seductress is intriguing as you are never sure which side she is on.

7

Flawless

2008 Thriller. Demi Moore struggled,  Michael Caine excellent as ever,  1960s jewel robbery.  Watchable but plot becomes unrealistic .  Terrific cast but end result is disappointingly average. 

5

Flight

2012 drama.  Denzel Washington is excellent as the hard living airline captain who brilliantly lands a stricken plane,  but then faces an enquiry into whether he was in a fit state to fly.  The movie evolves into a credible examination of the road to facing and dealing with alcoholism.  I loved the line that finally in jail he observes that for the first time in his life he is free-free from the grip of alcohol.  A great movie. 

8

Flock (The)

2007 Richard Gere.  Gere is responsible for a group of paroled violent sex offenders.  He suspects several of them are still involved in the abduction of a new victim.  Gere is mentoring a new female recruit.  A very good drama.

7

For Your Eyes Only

1981 James Bond drama.  The 12th Bond film and the fifth of the Roger Moore series.  I have never been a fan of the Bond films where Bond is played by Roger Moore.  I could never take him seriously as a hard ,  cruel and dangerous agent.  The film is thankfully mainly a straight thriller rather than embarrassing humour of the other Roger Moore Bond films.

The early scenes in the winter Olympics are boring and the plot is confusing. The film improves in the second half . The is much activity under water and the female young ice skater athlete is annoying.

5

Forbidden

2002 soft porn love story.  Most low budget soft porn films of this genre are absolutely dire rubbish.  But this one is watchable and a cut above.  Yes there is oodles of sex and nudity but the four main characters can actually act which is unusual and in particular Renee Rea the lead female is very credible and likeable.  OK as a late night titillating easy watch.

5

Forces Of Nature

1999 RomCom Sandra Bullock Starts OK but seriously peters out and ultimately disappoints.  Has a few amusing moments but most of it is just absurd and lacks credulity.  The story tries to be a sort of mix of Trains,  Planes,  and Automobiles and When Harry Met Sally but this film is not in the same class as either of those.  Even Sandra Bullock is lack lustre and her presence will not be enough even for her fans.  It is watchable but that is all.  Weak ending.

4

Forgotten (The) (2004)

2004 Watchable thriller about mother with a lost son and erased memory.  Low budget American TV movie feel.  Ridiculous plot with human aliens abducting children. 

2

Fortunes Of War

Discs 1 & 2

1987 WWII drama.  Epic made for TV BBC  series set in Romania and Greece.  Stars a young Emma Thompson and Kenneth Brannagh.  It is OK but very slow and drawn out.  (Nearly seven hours long).  If it was a third of the length it might have been a good film. The other reviews over rate it for my money.  A lot of the acting is mediocre ,  and some of the characters are OTT caricatures e.g. middle class wasters and head in the clouds academics.  Good in parts. 

6

Fortunes Of War Disc 3

1987 See fortunes of War Discs 1 & 2.  More of the same except in the last two episodes on Disc 3 there is more human story and relationships as the drama draws to a conclusion.  Still very slow though.

6

Fountain (The)

2006 Very weird sci fi story . Actually 3 parallel stories involving the same characters  500 years apart.  Middle story is a tragic love story of Doctor unable to save his wife but first and third stories are about search for the tree of life and after that it just gets very bizarre.  A minimum IQ of 200 needed! But the film does have an absolutely outstanding sound track-probably the best soundtrack I have ever heard.

I became fascinated and intrigued by this film and have since watched it several times and seen a lot more to it and increased my rating from an original 4.  It grows on you.

6

Four Lions

2010 comedy. This film is very different and alternative dark comedy about a cell of hapless and incompetent would be Muslim Jihad terrorists in the UK.  A dangerous and controversial theme you will agree and I am surprised that this film was ever released,  Many will find it racist and offensive.  The film starts well and you may think you are in for a treat but it does get predictable and repetitive and a bit slapstick.  However it is definitely funny in parts right through to the end.  I think there is something healthy in all races and religions being able to laugh at themselves.  Watchable if you are not easily unsettled by the subject which many will find impossible to find funny.

6

Frankie & Johnny

1991 Very good drama romance set in early 1990s New York.  Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino are both superb in this.  Great supporting cast.   Great character development.  Touching and sad but in the end uplifting love story between two battle scarred and hardened characters.  Unusual score-sounds like it is going to break into Brief Encounter.

7

Freedom Writers (The)

2007 Voluntary integration of multi ethnic children in a Long Beach school and the efforts of a young female teacher to teach tolerance and harmony and the dangers of racism.  Watchable but overrated.

5

Frightened Woman (The)

1969 Italian erotic thriller fantasy dubbed in English.  Weird,  surreal,  bizarre story where the director indulges his sexual fantasies.  Briefly a wealthy narcissistic male supremacy psychopath tortures his female victim slaves.  Dated,  stylised 1960s fare,  with the usual horrendous intrusive soundtrack.  Memorable only for the iconic amphicar which makes an appearance.  Whatever happened to them? Watchable but have a magazine handy to keep you fully occupied!

4

Frivolous Lola (18)

1998 Absolute rubbish sex film.  Unwatchable .  It beat me and I turned if off. Low budget soft porn.  Do not be tempted.

1

From Here To Eternity

1953 The  supposedly Hollywood classic with 27 Oscars.  OMG.  .  Did Americans really ever behave this way? The men all macho and tough .  The women all feeble and weak? Were  they really as confrontational and rude to each other.  Is this really a window on a bye gone culture? I hated this film.  I could never find this stilted dialogue and stiff wooden acting convincing.  This film is not in the same league as Casablanca in my opinion.  Overrated.  B/W.  My score will be an act of film buff heresy.

4

From Paris With Love

2010 Thriller.  John Travolta-very good action spy thriller set in Paris.  US agent taking out an entire terrorist cell.  Good twist at end.  Very violent.  Also quite funny in parts.

7

From Russia With Love

1963 James Bond Drama.  The second Bond film was feverishly awaited but was sadly not as good as the first. Set in Istanbul,  Venice .  Lots of scenes on a train journey.  Now looks very dated with lots of horrendous back projection .  Weak Bond girl.  No big set .  Worth  seeing for completeness but not a classic Bond film.

5

Frost / Nixon

2008 political drama.  A truly perfectly crafted movie.  Michael Sheen and Frank Langella are just stunning in the two main roles and Rebecca Hall adds a nice balance so the film is not only about the duel between Frost and Nixon.  It is just a superb film-I have watched it at least 3 times and it is still as good.

9

Frozen

2010.  Thriller -3 young people stuck on a chair lift in a  ski resort  for a week after the resort has closed for a break.  Horrific.

5

Full Metal Jacket

1987 US Marines Vietnam classic modeled on The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now.  Very  good.  Portrayal of life of a marine in Vietnam.

7

 Game (The)

1997 Thriller.  A successful businessman has his life taken over by a deranged agency with devastating consequences.  This occurs supposedly as the result of  a gift from his brother and is meant to be fun but instead is extremely sinister.  The plot has no credibility at all and is increasingly preposterous as the film progresses.  Having said that Michael Douglas’s brilliance keeps the film highly  entertaining and impossible to turn off.  It is definitely watchable and so extreme that the film does have a riveting excitement where you wonder just what will happen next.

7

Gangster Squad

2012 Violent hard hitting story set in the late 1940s Los Angeles.  Sean Penn steals the show as the evil gangster leader Micky Cohen.  Ryan Gosling superb as goodie police detective,  and Emma Stone terrific as Cohen’s squeeze.  Not for the squeamish.  It is good and watchable,  and entertaining.  The cars and sets are wonderful.  But there is too much gratuitous violence and the relentless machine guns make it like watching a video game.

6

Gathering Storm

2002 Rare film dramatizing the years leading up to WWII in Britain concentrating on the rise of Winston Churchill,  and his marriage to Clementine,  and family life at Chartwell.  Good character development,  and Albert Finney is brilliant as Churchill.  Captures the political campaign well that Churchill ran to raise awareness of the threat of Hitler.

8

General’s Daughter (The)

1999 John Travolta.  A US army general’s popular daughter (herself a captain) is found raped and murdered.  Travolta investigates and uncovers a shocking major scandal.  It is a little contrived but is a very good action drama / thriller.

7

Get Lucky

2013 Thriller.  British film set in London about two brothers and a group of hoodlums and professional gangsters running a mafia style protection racket.  The plot becomes increasingly interweaved into a tangled web where disaster is waiting to happen.  Sure enough it progresses inexorably towards a big finish where everything comes crashing down in a bloody finale.   The characters are credible and in the end the product is a watchable average thriller.

5

Get Smart

2008 Steve Carell in a Spy spoof and Rom Com thriller based on CIA but rather like Johnny English with Jaws from James Bond thrown in.  Steve Carell is a very funny man and is always good value and does his best but apart from him this film is a disappointment.  It is clearly inspired by Johnny English and is an American remake but is inferior.  The film is highly formulaic and predictable and relies on a lot of slap stick action .  I liked the film at the beginning but it just got so repetitive and in the end boring.

5

Ghost  (The)

2010. Excellent political thriller based on Blair involving CIA and prosecution of war crimes.  It goes as far as it can get away with to make some veiled accusations about the Blair premiership.

8

Girl In The Café (The)

2005 Romantic drama. OK not the best film ever and not Richard Curtis' best film either but definitely watchable.  The two lead roles are superb (Bill Nighy and Kelly MacDonald) and it is a low key gentle pleasant innocuous meander of a story.  Two lonely souls sort of drift together for a while and a little connection and love is briefly found before their lives diverge again. It is wrong to describe the relationship as a whirlwind romance-more a gentle drifting together of two awkward lonely people.  It is sensitively handled and I liked it.

7

Girl In The Park (The)

2008 Family drama . Starts well and promises a lot but goes downhill I am afraid.  The plot becomes increasingly unrealistic and improbable.  It is well acted especially by the two main leads,  Sigourney Weaver and Kate Bosworth but they are making the best of a thin and dodgy plot.  The pace is slow and boring and repetitive.  The long awaited ending is a damp squib and you sort of end up asking what was the point of it really.  It is only lifted to a 4  by the individual performance of Weaver.

4

Girl Who Played With Fire (The)

2009Dark brooding ,  gory,  sequel to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Reasonably faithful to the book.  Very Good drama / thriller but not quite as good as Dragon.  Very watchable.

7

Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (The) (2009)

2009 Original Swedish version with dubbing in English.  I liked it.  A good thriller.  I very nearly gave it an 8.  Grim and hard hitting.

7

Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (The) USA Version (2011)

2011 Daniel Craig .  Thriller about the abuse of women.  Explicit rape scene may cause offense to some.  An excellent remake of this popular book.  The plot is still as complicated and difficult to follow due to the vast number of Swedes involved many from the same family.  Helps if you have seen the other version or read the book.  I preferred it to the Swedish original version.

8

Glengarry Glen Ross Feature

1992 Star studded cast,  but very much a stage play style.  All acted in a play style single office.  I did not enjoy this.  A rather pointless flog of a high pressure sales team under enormous pressure themselves.  A long aggressive and highly alpha male competitive uncaring rant between the players who spend the entire film insulting and belittling each other.

4

Glorious 39

2009.  Early WW 2 film about Nazi appeasement.  Pretentious and contrived film that lacks credibility.  Plot is just not believable.  Wooden acting.

4

Going All The Way

1997 Drama.  Drama about unlikely friendship between two guys who have just completed military service in the USA set in 1954.  One is confident ex college sports hero and can have any girl he wants and the other is a nervous social outcast.  The story is about the sexual awakening of the social outcast and his excruciating and ultimately sad experiences of adolescence,  and his horrendous relationship with his overbearing parents.  I thought it was sensitively done and I liked it and consider this an under rated film.

7

Golden Compass (The)

2007 First Dakota Blue Richards film.  Watched it because she was in it (with Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman).  Children’s fantasy.  Everyone has an animal alta ego (Demon).  Dakota is excellent.

6

Goldeneye

1995 James Bond drama.  The 17th Bond film and the first of the Pierce Brosnam  series.  There had been a gap of six years since the previous (Licence To Kill) Bond movie. The style reverts to being mainly a thriller which is a welcome relief after the Roger Moore series lost its way so badly.

However the plot is disjointed and disconnected.  it is something about the Sean Bean character stealing a space based nuclear weapon.  I never have understood what the opening scene of Bond abseiling off the dam has to with the plot.

6

Goldfinger

1964 James Bond Drama.  Absolutely ground breaking Bond that set the Gold standard for the next 42 years until Casino Royale.  Until 2006 Goldfinger was the best Bond movie of all time .  Great villain,  and the introduction of the immortalized Aston Martin,  and who can forget Pussy Galore who turns out to be a goody,  and the model of Fort Knox.  If you never seen it-do not pass go-go and watch it immediately.

8

Good German (The)

2006 Kate Blanchet,  George Clooney,  great cast .  Set in Berlin at end of second world war .  Filmed in black and white .  Disappointing.  Good in parts.

2

Good Mother (The)

1988 Dianne Keaton,  Liam Neeson.  Very credible drama about a single mother who falls in love with an artist and loses custody of her 4 year old daughter over an unfortunate and accidental event involving contrasting attitudes to nudity and the handling of sex education with children.  Excellent cast and script.  Touching and sad.

8

Good Shepherd (The) (2006)

2006 Fantastic cast but this marathon length film defeated me .  The entire story of the CIA back to the stone age.  Like watching paint dry.  Just too slow and ponderous for my taste.

2

 Good Year (A)

2006 Absolute rubbish .  Impossible to get through.  Crowe is mis cast in this. Good scenery photography but that is all.  Otherwise this film is appalling.

1

Graduate (The)

1967 If you have never seen this film because you have lived  in a cave all your life go and watch it NOW!.  In my opinion arguable one of the best films ever made.  Brilliant cast, (a very young Hoffmann and Katherine Ross),  script,  score and plot.  I have watched it more times than I wish to own up to.  Captures the scariness of being a young adult but also the innocence and optimism.  A truly great love story with an infamous iconic last scene for its ending.  Unforgettable. 

10

Gran Turino

2008 Clint Eastwood is excellent as old man struggling with modern world youth culture and prejudice.  Very good and hard hitting.  Great development of characters and detailed observation of behaviour.

7

Gravity

2012 Sci Fi drama.  Sandra Bullock is excellent in this stunning 3D disaster movie set in space.  The special effects are ground breaking and breath taking.  This is an action movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.  Unfortunately that is all it is and is let down by a lack of character development and the plot line is very thin.  It is like spending an hour and a half in a space simulator.  But it deserves the high rating for the special effects alone.

8

Great Gatsby  ( The)

(2013)

2013 Romantic Drama.  Top drawer all start cast-DiCaprio,  Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire who are all good and make the best of it.  This is a big bonanza production with big sets but for my taste is spoiled by an over the top high octane style.  For instance instead of 1920s music we had an overlay of hip hop and rap.  We had over the top car racing instead of atmospheric jaunts into New York.  It feels a bit like Trance,  if you have seen that,  in the sense of it its intense frenetic style.  The films starts like a roller coaster and you wonder if you can stand over two hours of it at that pace and intensity but thankfully it does calm down a bit to give a chance to properly developing the characters and the story and thus the film does get better as it progresses,  The overall product is a watchable and entertaining film but could have been better with that cast and in my opinion not as good as the 1974 Robert Redford,  Mia Farrow classic.

6

Greatest (The) (2009)

2009 Romantic drama / weepie.  Fantastic cast; Pierce Brosnam,  Sarandon,  Mulligan.  Deals with aftermath of son’s death.  Girlfriend was pregnant .  Mother becomes obsessed with finding out the details of son’s  last moments driving the surviving family apart.  Sensitively deals with deep issues ,  but the plot lacks credibility.  Watchable average film.

5

Green Mile (The)

1999 drama about death row.  With the mountain of rave reviews that have gone before there seems little point in my writing one that is more measured and circumspect but I will anyway.  Yes it is a high quality film,  with a heavy plot and its moving.  But it is only a very good film,  it is not a great or excellent film.  Some of it is overdone and over the top.  And it is far too long at over 3 hours; unnecessarily long.  There is a lot of supernatural stuff in it,  and I always struggle with that.  But it is definitely one to watch but keep it in perspective-there are better films out there than this.

7

Green Zone

2009 Iraq War film.  A great action war film combined with political intrigue and conspiracy theory style plot.  Matt Damon is superb as the investigating officer who is doggedly determined to get to the truth and uncover the politicians who have used the war for their own agendas.  I found this a great all round action / thriller war movie  and thoroughly recommend it.

8

Grey (The)

(2011)

2011 Horror.  Liam Neeson-How did he ever get involved with this? Plane crashes in frozen wasteland and only seven survive.  Gradually they are reduced to one as they are eaten by wolves,  and other equally horrific ends.  Inconclusive weak ending.  Don’t bother!

4

Grown Ups

2010 Comedy.  Well it just shows.  One mans's meat etc.  I cannot believe the other reviews and scores.  The humour is just so school boy and slapstick and predictable. I   gave up after 45 minutes-it was just too painful and embarrassing.  Don't see that any real grown up could enjoy this but there you go.  Sorry not for me.

3

Guilt Trip (The)

2012 Comedy drama.  Barbra Streisand is excellent in this comedy about an overbearing and nagging  mother who smothers her son ,  and generally drives him crazy.  She accompanies him on a drive across the USA whilst he attends a series of promotional business meetings.  The film is made by an excellent script as the pair who are bound by love and mutual irritation verbally spar rather like When Harry Met Sally.  The film contains a great deal of subtle humour that sees the funny side of the love hate relationship between a devoted son and an obsessive adoring mother who cannot let go.  Through the experiences they share on the journey they gradually come to understand and respect each other more for who they are,  a great film.

8

Hachiko

2009 Richard Gere.  Corny tear jerker about abandoned cute adorable puppy dog adopted by Richard Gere (professor) but who dies young at 51.  Dog returns everyday for 10 years to meet him off the train.  Based on true story.  More of a kid’s movie really.  Watchable but very sloppy and sentimental.

4

Hancock

2008 Rubbish about a tramp super hero.  Absolutely hated it.  Unwatchable.  Just cannot imagine how it has an average rating of 7 on Lovefilm.  It is truly awful.  Oh well we are all different .

1

Handful Of Dust (A)

1988 Kristin Scott Thomas.  Based on Evelyn Waugh’s 1937 novel.  1930s upper class love triangle .  Quite good actually.

7

Harry Brown

2009 Thriller.  Wow! What a great film.  Michael Caine is brilliant as the character (Harry Brown) an ageing ex veteran takes the law into his own hands due to the ineffectiveness of the police on a London sink estate.  It is a frightening gritty hard hitting portrayal of what it is like to live in one of these areas of social deprivation and gang culture.  Harry turns into Charles Bronson's Death Wish character but this is done with British realism and authenticity.  It is violent and justifies it's 18 certificate but leaves you feeling exhausted and shocked.  Thoroughly recommended.

8

Heading South

2006 Charlotte Rampling.  Romantic drama.  French with sub titles.  Two middle class white women compete for the love and attentions of young black boy in the Carribean on the beaches of Haiti.  Usual slow French style but watchable.

5

Heart Of Me (The)

2003 Good love triangle set in 1930s/40s.  Helena Bonham Carter.  Two sisters in love with the same man-one of their husbands. A good period drama.

6

Heartbreak Kid

2007 Excellent remake,  Ben Stiller good new twists,  very funny.  It is very rare for a remake to be better than the original and that is some achievement because the 1972 version was extremely funny although sadly hard to find a copy nowadays.  This is simply a great RomCom thoroughly recommended.

8

Heat

1995 Robert DeNiro / Al Pacino pitted against each other.  Gangster / pursuit with love interest.  It is a good action thriller but too long so inevitably gets a tad boring from time to time but overall watchable

6

Heat & Dust

1982 Merchant Ivory production.  Two interwoven stories .  Firstly the story of an English diplomat and his young wife in Colonial India under British rule,  and the  wife has an affair and eventually  leaves her husband for an Indian Raj,  and secondly about a young niece of the same wife in 1982 who goes to India to investigate and study the story of the wife.  Too long ,  slow and laboured.  Yes it is a lavish production but  it fails to draw you in and make you care  enough about  the characters.

5

Heat (The)

2013 Action comedy.  Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy team up as two mis-matched FBI agents.  McCarthy is quite rightly a rising star in comedy after her performance in Bridesmaids.  Sandra Bullock picks up her role from Miss Congeniality.  This movie promises a great deal with its all star cast ,  and you hope to be in for a good laugh ,  and it does not disappoint.  It almost could not fail to be a comedy winner and it does exactly what it says on the tin.  Melissa McCarthy is a revelation as the foul mouthed maverick cop.  Strap into your seat and enjoy!

9

Heavenly  Creatures

1995 Drama.  A dark drama about two young school girls set in New Zealand who fall in love and become too close and form a deadly pact.  This is a relatively unknown film based on a true story.  Interestingly it was Kate Winslet's first film.  Increasingly the inseparable girls elaborately construct and inhabit their own make believe world .  Well acted ,  and scripted,  the result is a very good chilling film.

7

Hell

2005 Drama. I'm going to give up on French films.  Yet another pretentious ,  naval gazing,  self absorbed ,  depressing exercise in watching paint dry.  The story is so jumbled up and interleaved with flash backs to try to camouflage what is really a thin plot,  but only succeeds in making it incoherent.  Most of the films concerns three sisters none of whom are happy,  and all have troubled relationships with men and do not see each other.  Gradually it unfolds that they have all been messed up by events involving their father .  I bet you cannot get through it without falling asleep.  Sub titles.

4

Help (The)

(2011)

2011 Great drama of depth and significance set in early 1960s and depicts the awful racist attitudes towards black home helps / nannies' in the USA just prior to the civil rights uprising and revolution.  Based on a true story a young aspiring female journalist writes a compilation of the work experiences  of black home helps.

8

High Hopes

1988 Mike Leigh.  Typical ML film.  Abigail's party meets Secrets & Lies.  Some characters are caricatures.  Not my favourite Mike Leigh film.  Still a good watchable piece though.

6

Hilary & Jackie

1998 True story dramatization of Jacqueline Deprez cellist,  and her sister .  It is very good even if they have taken some poetic licence to spice up the story.

7

 History Boys (The)istory History

2006 Supposedly a comedy but not for me.  Could not get into it.  Eccentric teachers and pseudo intellectuals.  Poor man’s Dead Poets Society.  Mediocre at best, .

4

Hitler's SS

1985 Bill Nighy low budget TV drama about rise of the SS.  It is disappointing and mediocre but there are so few dramas about the rise of Hitler and the Nazis that you cannot be too choosy and for that reason you cannot ignore this one if you are interested in such things.  Yes there are many films about  WWII itself but very  few that attempt to portray the build up and rise to power of Hitler and the Nazis in Germany.

4

Hitler-The Rise Of Evil

( Parts 1 & 2)

2003.  Good dramatization of rise of Hitler over 20 years before WWII.  Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty) is pretty good as the young Hitler.  There are so few dramas about the rise of Hitler and the Nazis that you cannot be too choosy and for that reason you cannot ignore this one if you are interested in such things.  Yes there are many films about the Second WW  itself but very  few that attempt to portray the build up and rise to power of Hitler and the Nazis in Germany.  About 3 hours in total.

6

Hitman

2007 Extremely gratuitous violence ,  flimsy plot.   CIA Interpol meets Ninja Turtles.  Adapted from a video game and that tells you all you need to know.  No depth.

3

Hms Pinafore

1982. Gilbert and Sullivan unwatchable rubbish.  Completely and utterly lost on me.  Should be buried at sea.  Unbearably awful.  Impossible to watch.  Urrrgh!

1

Holiday (The)

2006.  Cameron Diaz,  Kate Winslet,  very good pleasant light formulaic double romance RomCom.  Great cast.  Touching with a happy ending.  What's not to like?

7

Homeland Series 1 & 2

2012 TV war on  terror based drama.  Long running very successful Fox  USA made TV series.  Outstanding drama based on Islamic terrorism ,  Homeland security,  CIA,  double agents,  with overlaid stories of sexual attraction,  politics,  and power.  Every episode keeps you guessing .  A world of mystery,  suspense,  and suspicion  where nothing is as it seems.  This series has everything ,  and is superbly scripted,  cast and acted.  The leading actress and actor,  Clare Danes and Damian Lewis are a revelation.  TV drama does not get any better than this.  Compulsive viewing.

10

Horrible Bosses

2011.  Comedy. This film is mediocre at best.  All of the humour is puerile schoolboy smutty predictable stuff.  Very disappointing after the rave reviews.  Another film that demonstrates how much taste (or lack of) in films differs.  The Jennifer Aniston character is so OTT it belongs in a Christmas panto.  It did not do it for me-did not laugh once.  The only redeeming feature was Kevin Spacey's performance,

3

Hostage (2005)

2005 Watchable mediocre thriller with Bruce Willis playing Bruce Willis  about 3 yobs who break into Californian mansion of man who is also a crook and mixed up in big financial rackets

4

Hotel Rwanda

2004.  Shocking good dramatization of hotel sanctuary where a few hundred survived the civil war between Hutus and Tutsis.  Definitely one to watch.

6

House Of Mirth

2000 Period romantic drama.  Set in 1905 New York high society.  A prominent young unmarried socialite girl falls from grace and is ostracized.   It was not for me.  Yes it is a lavish and stylish production but it is just too slow,  dull and frustrating.

4

Hunger Games (The)

2012  Sci Fi thriller set in the future . Interesting film but not for everyone.  A sort of outdoor sinister Big Brother reality TV show. If you liked The Trueman show,  and /or Rollerball and/ or  Logan’s Run then you will like this.  There is some young love romantic interest.   

7

Hurt Locker (The)

2008.  Shocking,  superb,  gripping ,  disturbing Iraq war bomb disposal. A superb and excellent film.  Graphic and realistic. How do they find people to do these jobs.

9

Husbands & Wives

1992 Woody Allen,  Mia Farrow,  Rom Com farce with  a tragic twinge.  Classic typical Woody Allen. takes a satirical look at marriage,  and affairs,  and the absurdness of  human behaviour.  Entertaining and fun and many a true word is spoken in jest.

7

I Am Love

2009 Slow and pretentious love story.  Wealthy mother falls in love with son's friend with disastrous consequences.  Watchable but only just.  Italian with sub titles so hard to follow and many will find it not worth it.  A very long time before anything happens.  Strange and bizarre fascination with showing food preparation and close ups of cuisine and you will think you are watching a food programme! Dramatic ending but by then it is too late to save the film.

5

I Am Sam

2001 Court battle to restore adorable  daughter taken into care to retarded father.  Relationship develops between lawyer and father.  A sort of Kramer vs Kramer redone with a retarded father and a young girl as adorable as Matilda.  A good film,  sensitively handled although a tad unnecessarily long.

6

I Anna

2012 Thriller.  Charlotte Rampling as a divorcee who has a disastrous speed dating encounter ,  and then falls for a detective.  Does not reach its potential  as it is blighted by endless flash forwards and flash backs which only serve to confuse the order of events so in the end you are not sure of the sequence.  British film set in London.  It sort of lumbers along but does not get completely going somehow,  but in the end is a watchable average thriller.

5

I Can’t Think Straight

2007 drama/ Romantic comedy.  A wealthy Palastinian girl about to get married but falls in love with a British Indian girl (although I did not get that far).  This seemed very Bollywood to me and I find it hard to believe that this film was not made in India.  The voices are dubbed in English.  I really just could not get into this film and it just did not do it for me and I gave up after 40 minutes.  I did not find it the least bit funny.  Just annoying.  However many people really like it and it has lots of positive reviews so I don’t know-I must have missed something-so on this occasion I am prepared to say it was me and not the film.

3

I Give It A Year

2013 Rom Com.  A good solid and funny Rom Com with a new angle on a newlywed couple who fear they made have made a mistake.  Stephen Merchant makes this film and is hilarious.

7

I’m Not There

2007 drama.  Bob Dylan story.  Bizarre style.  Very weird.  Confusing,  jumps around,  pretentious,  Unwatchable.  Painful torture. I hit the eject button.

1

I’ve Loved You So Long

2008 Kristin Scott Thomas is outstanding in this.  French with sub titles.  Woman returns to her family (sister) after being banished for 15 years.  A very good film from someone who does not usually like French films.  Powerful and deep social commentary. 

7

Ice Age 3

2009 Predictable and boring.  Starts OK but goes rapidly downhill.  A sequel that should not have been made.  Not for me but kids will no doubt love it.

1

Ideal Husband (An) (1999)

1999 Oscar Wilde Victorian political and romantic drama / comedy/ farce.  Feels like a play migrated to screen (which it is).  Some people would love it but not really my taste. 

6

Identity Thief

2013 Comedy.  Average comedy that does not reach its full potential.  It is watchable and has some amusing scenes but much of it is very predictable .  It is a rehash of e.g. Trains and planes and Automobiles (which is much better) and also smacks of Date Night (also much better).  The rising star Melissa McCarthy was great as ever but she was trying to work opposite her co star (Jason Bateman) who was an emotionless sack of potatoes and just looked like he was bored and did not want to be there.  They needed Steve Carroll for this part really and then the film would have worked.  The problem with the film is that there is no chemistry or rapport between the two main players.

5

Imagine Me And You

2006 Rom Com.  OK so it's not the best film you'll ever see-it's a so so movie.  Watchable,  funny in parts.  It has a very strong cast,  and is a sort of second rate Notting hill.  It's a bit different in that the ROM Com theme is a lesbian romance for a change.  I quite enjoyed it but it is just cheesy light entertainment-nothing more.  Can't believe some of the 5 star ratings on Lovefilm though-what would they give Notting Hill then on that basis???

5

Impossible (The)

Drama about the 2004 tsunami set in Thailand.  It is a watchable very good movie but not a great movie so some of the other reviews have been a bit effusive.  Yes it is to its credit not just another disaster movie,  but most of the story focuses on the impossibility of finding the other family members,  only for it to happen far too easily.  It is a tear jerker,  and  does  capture the mayhem of the aftermath.

7

Impulse

2008 erotic thriller. Low quality erotic thriller but not as bad as some and just about watchable at a push if you like this genre.  You will need however to swallow the plot line which takes some doing as it relies on the wife not being able to tell who is her real husband between the genuine article and an imposter who looks similar and she unknowingly has an affair with the imposter !! The explanation is that she thinks her real husband is also pretending to be the imposter as a sort of sex game to spice up their relationship!! Yeh and the wife cannot tell the difference between the two men! Sounds bad but I did get through it and I've seen worse.

4

In Bruges

2008 Thriller . Violent Story of two hit men holed up in Bruges.  A third hit man travels to eliminate them.  Some love interest .  Well acted and grim low life with realism.  Dark dour thriller about 2 hapless Irish hit men stuck in Bruges.  Good character development.  Not really a comedy but some subtle dark humour. 

6

In Good Company

2004 Potentially good RomCom and starts well enough  but disappoints and goes downhill,  fading fast running out of steam.  Mediocre.

4

In The Mood For Love

2000 Drama.  Two spouses who are neighbours form a relationship united by the common bond that both their partners are having an affair.  The only thing you'll be in the mood for is sleeping.  It sent me off fairly rapidly.  It is just so slow and mundane  and ordinary and boring.  Obviously I must be missing something as there are so many enthusiastic reviews but I fear that this may be pseudo intellectuals enthusing over something esoteric knowing that ordinary movie watchers will not get it.  Well I certainly did not get it.  There is no passion,  no   romance and certainly nothing steamy.  There is no anything actually.  Chinese with Sub-titles.

2

In The Name Of The Father

1993 A great drama about the Guildford 4 and the pub bombings,  IRA etc.  Portrays the cynical fabrication of evidence and fundamentally flawed police investigation.  Brutal,  frightening,  hard hitting and haunting.  Emma Thompson

8

In The Realm Of The Senses

1976 Japanese erotic drama based on true story set in 1936.  Sub titles.  Contains copious quantities of explicit sex.  Girl becomes obsessed with her older married lover and seeks to possess him.  Bizarre ending.  Alternative watchable viewing for the open minded.  Average.

5

Inception

2010 science Fiction. Lots of people love this but not for me.  The Matrix meets Minority Report,   unwatchable for me.  Something about detecting crime through dreams

2

Indecent Proposal

1993 Obviously the basic storyline is preposterous but if you can ignore that it is a very interesting conundrum that would test most couples.  I like this film and have watched it many times because I think they made a very good fist of giving credibility to a highly fanciful and unlikely story.  Demi Moore is good in this-wasn't she so much better in her early days,  and Redford is superb as always.  It is in the end a touching romantic drama with a plot that is a bit different.  Yes there are some naff bits but this film is definitely worth watching and an enjoyable light experience.

7

Infidel (The)

2010 Religious Comedy.  Devout Muslim discovers he was really born a Jew.  Funny in parts irreverent and healthy send up of Religions.  One particularly funny scene .  The ending is poor and too contrived.

6

Inglorious Bastards (1977)

1977 WWII action movie.  A bunch of US maverick deserters in France team up and machine gun their way across Germany obliterating about 20, 000 German soldiers on a mission to capture a V2 gyroscope device on a special train.  This is a ridiculously farfetched nonstop action movie that becomes very boring as there is virtually no breaks from the continuous mowing down of Germans by this indestructible crew.  There is very little character development and it is not based on real events so you wonder what the point of it was.  The musical score is awful too and the overall effect is very dated . The remake in 2009 was about a different plot i.e.  a plot to kill Hitler and an alternative ending to the war but this was not based on real events either!

4

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

2009 Take care -this is not the similarly named  1977 film Inglorious Bastards Starts well but in the end it is a fantasy about an alternative end to WW II that didn’t happen so you start to ask what was the point ? Ending is not credible

6

Internal Affairs

1990 police crime thriller.  A good crime thriller ,  and one of Richard Gere's best performances.  I won't attempt to summarise the plot as there is a 7000 word limit on these reviews.  Suffice to say that it is a complex fast moving good cop,  bad cop scenario with Gere off the scale in his bent antics and capers.  Good action movie and my score would be higher but for how difficult the plot is to follow as the film progresses.  In the middle of the film there is a Rambo /Terminator style shoot out with machine guns and by then I had really lost it in understanding who was who ,  but thankfully as the film progresses further it does get a bit easier again to follow . A classic-but I recommend to read a plot summary first.

6

Intimate Obsession

1992 very very soft porn routine erotic thriller except that it is neither thrilling or erotic.  Feels like a low budget TV movie.  A bored housewife has a steamy relationship.  A poor imitation of Body Heat.  Poor acting and an unconvincing contrived plot.  Don't bother.

3

Intimate Strangers

2003 Drama. Absolutely typical French film i.e. understated ,  pretentious,  ponderous and nothing happens .  It has the musical score of a great erotic thriller like Body Heat or Basic Instinct but the music does not fit the film in which there is no action whatsoever and it is extremely hard to stay awake .  Even the title of this film promises something that it does not deliver. The entire premise of the story is extremely contrived and unbelievable anyway but I could forgive that if there was subsequently some point to it but at the end you cannot help but conclude it is a waste of time . Sub titles

4

Irina Palm

2007. Low budget dour but credible story about doormat Grandmother who desperate to raise funds for medical treatment for her sick grandson goes to work in the Soho sex industry.  Feels like a TV drama.  It is a very well acted film especially Marianne Faithfull as a middle aged frump.  But I loved her back in the 1960s and prefer to remember her as she was! This is not a porno film although should be an 18 and not a 15 due to the amount of time spent portraying Maggi (Faithfull) working .  Not a particularly enjoyable film but definitely watchable.

6

Iris

2001 Drama.  Based on true story of author who gets Alzheimer's disease.   Great cast.  Judi Dench,  Kate Winslet,  Jim Broadbent.  Well acted but disease comes on absurdly fast and the story loses credibility.

6

Iron Lady (The)

2012. The life  of Margaret Thatcher.  An unforgettable masterpiece that is massively unsettling and depressing on so many levels.  The film deals with and portrays the  sadness of bereavement for a loving couple,  the tragedy of dementia for a once great iconic leader and makes you relive so many of the major news and political events of our lives.  Have a hanky ready. The criticism of this film is that it concentrates too much her dementia in later life and not enough on her achievements in her  heyday when she had all her faculties.

9

Irresistible

2006 Drama.  Psychological thriller.  Low budget movie but with excellent cast i.e. Sam Neil,  Susan Sarandon and Emily Blunt.  I had to watch this film twice to properly appreciate it.  The film is worth staying with because it gets better as it progresses and keeps you guessing,  and ends with a surprising twist.  You think it is the standard married man has affair with gorgeous young assistant  but it is not,  and features a series of events which cause the wife to question her sanity.  Average .  

5

Isle (The)

2000 Korean drama with sub titles although unusually there is almost no dialogue.  A surreal story that is very weird and alternative.  The plot is about an attractive young apparently mute girl who manages a very remote fishing resort where the guests each live in  isolated floating detached huts on a large lake.  I think perhaps the deeper meaning of the film is the isolation of the individual.  But what transpires is a slow,  gory story of love,  lust,  murder and self mutilation (by swallowing bunches of fish hooks would you believe).  I am not sure if this film is genius or rubbish but it will not appeal to most,  and is not for the squeamish.  On the positive side the photography  is stunningly beautiful,  and there is something intriguing about this film that keeps you watching to the end.  Unfortunately what actually happens at the end is equally unclear but also has some esoteric double meaning.

4

Its Complicated

2009 RomCom Good cast – Meryl Streep,  Steve Martin Alec Baldwin in a great  Rom Com about affair with first husband.  Entertaining and a bit sad with an ending that is hard to predict.

8

 Jacket (The)

2004.  Confused,  hard to follow,  flash forwards,  flash backs,  flash upwards,  flash downwards psychological supernatural thriller.  Based on PTSD (Iraq 1991).   Good in parts but overall not enjoyable due to the confusing direction. 

5

Jade

1995.  Appallingly bad erotic thriller.  Totally implausible .  First victim was apparently blackmailing the state governor.  I never did understand whodunit but by the time you get to the end of this you don’t care!

3

Jagged Edge

1985 Jeff Bridges.  80s routine but very good  thriller / courtroom mystery.  Glen Close comes out of retirement to defend Bridges accused of murdering his wife.  She gets him off but was he guilty all the time? Credibility is stretched by his retention of incriminating type writer in his wardrobe.

7

Jerry Maguire

1996 drama.  Tom Cruise.  Sports agent down on his luck.  Boring,  cheesy,  and hard to get into and very overrated film.  It is depressing and dull.

3

Jude

 

 

 

1996 Kate Winslet.  Thomas Hardy novel 19th century life story of a man ,  an aspiring academic,  who endures a life of disappointment and tragedy and troubled relationships.  All the ingredients of a good movie but somehow it does not make you care enough or draw you in .  Somewhat disjointed.

5

Juilia

(1974)

1974 Erotic drama.  There are many films with the title Julia.  This is the one starring  Silvia Kristel released in 1974.  A poor soft porn drama.  Excruciatingly badly acted in parts.  Italian film badly dubbed in English.  Extremely dated 1970s style.  Not the slightest bit erotic-just ridiculous.  Poorly transferred to DVD and unfocussed.

2

Julia (2008)

2008 Underrated very good thriller about alcoholic woman who gets involved in the seizure of a fellow alcoholic’s estranged son and ends up kidnapping the boy herself to try to get the ransom .  A terrific plot as things spiral out of her control in Mexico.

7

Just Another Love Story

2008 Thriller / Romance . I did not enjoy this film but I did make it all the way to the end.  It is Danish with sub titles but that does not put me off as you cannot really afford to exclude all foreign films.  Yes it is a similar plot to While You were Sleeping but to me somehow this version was not remotely credible.  Happy family man with a good job,  loving wife and two children he adores walks out and pretends to be boyfriend of woman who has horrendous car crash and is crippled and disfigured and clearly extremely emotionally disturbed? Takes a lot of swallowing.  And trust me the plot gets even more absurd when the real boyfriend reappears. It has a lot of graphic violence and sex all of which are well done but not well enough to rescue the ridiculous plot.  Sorry but it's a thumbs down from me.

3

Just Go With It

2011 RomCom.  Good cast but sadly I did not find the film funny.  Did not laugh once.  You can see the ending right from the outset.  The film tries hard but the end result is just boring.  Jennifer Aston is OK and Nicole Kidman makes a brief appearance.

5

Justice

2011 Action movie.  Nicolas Cage traditional fare.  In order to try to make him even slightly versatile they have made him a schoolteacher but he is still playing Nicolas cage.  It has the usual fast moving action but the plot is very hard to believe and the  story very confusing .  Basically it is about a secret group of vigilantes in  pyramid sale contracts.  The characters are not developed and in the end you wonder what the point of the film is really unless you are a dedicated Cage fan.  Watchable but a bit tedious and predictable.

5

Keeping Mum

2005 Black dry gentle subtle British comedy .  Great cast inc Kristin Scott Thomas,  Maggie Smith,  Rowan Atkinson.  Watchable good film.  Recommended

6

Kidulthood

2006.  Hard hitting very shocking story of modern London youth culture.  You need a strong stomach to get through this.  Very depressing and thought  provoking.  The black dialogue is hard to follow.

6

Killing Fields (The)

1984.  Cambodian War .  Very disturbing.  A bit of Apocalypse Now about it.  Story positioned about a NY Times reporter experience.  Very good.

7

Killing In A Small Town (A)

TV movie .  Wife is suspected of killing her best friend in a bloody attack with an axe.  The woman accused was having an affair with the husband of the dead woman.  The truth is uncovered through hypnosis.  Low budget routine drama.   She is found not guilty with a defence of self defence! Poor.

3

Killing Me Softly

2002.  Highly implausible soft porn erotic thriller turkey.  Joseph Fiennes at his most enigmatic monosyllabic and unfathomable supposedly male hunk.  The plot is completely absurd,  and the icing on the cake is when they supposedly go mountaineering on their wedding day as their reception! The twist at the end is laughable.  Impossible to take this film seriously.  Don't try the bondage at home!

3

Kind Of Loving (A)

 

 

 

 

1962.  Landmark iconic film set in the industrial north but was life really as grim as that in 1960? Depicts the stilted awkward mf relationships and the social taboos and prejudice of the time.  Young couple who hardly know each other and have little in common  have to get married when she falls pregnant after just one cringe making encounter.  Love dies quickly when they have to live with her mother (Thora Hird) in the girls home.  Makes you glad those days are over and celebrate how much more honest ,  healthy ,  real and mature young people's relationships are today.  B/W.  Shocking.

7

King’s Speech (The)

Colin Firth as King George 6th overcoming a serious stammer during the period of his brother’s abdication over Mrs. Wallis,  and the build up to the declaration of war with Germany in 1939.  Great cast  and a very well crafted great film with superb performance from Colin Firth.

8

Kissing A Dream

1996 Erotic Thriller- Not!. I did watch the entire film but only because I was on a flight and it would have been difficult to change the film on my DVD player.  Soft porn rubbish based on a sort of reverse Fatal Attraction i.e. the baddie is a man.  The wardrobe budget for this film must have been less than a fiver because the entire cast are naked most of the time and any combination of the characters will do for a random coupling as a side show from the main plot.  There is wall to wall sex but it is not the slightest bit erotic or a thriller . Do not rent this film -it is awful.

3

Knowing

2009.  Sci Fi yarn with Nicolas Cage,  watchable,  but goes downhill.  Fades.   Ridiculous ending.  Film of 2 halves.  In the end disappointing and just average really.

5

Lady Chatterley's Lover

1981. French with sub titles 168 minutes ! Like watching paint dry.  No idea why it's an 18.  Disappointing.  Adequate at best.  Nothing to excite though and dull.

4

Ladybird,  Ladybird

1994. Drama.  Typical  director  Ken Loach (Cathy Come Home,  Poor Cow) fare with lots of left wing messages.  Gritty ,  hard hitting,  shocking,  and disturbing social commentary based on a real woman.  An abused single mother has her four children by different fathers taken into care by social services.  The mother ,  Maggie,  then forms a new more successful and loving relationship and has another baby.  Things become very upsetting,  and difficult when this new baby is also taken into care ,  based purely on Maggie’s history and her poor choice of previous partners.  The story is about how hard it can be to lose the stigma of being pronounced an unfit mother,  and about heavy handed treatment by social services.  It also depicts the difficult decisions that the social services and the legal system have to make.  Violent,  brutal,  and unsettling.  Loach also portrays harsh and unfair treatment of the poor in Britain.  

8

Lake House (The)

2006 Romantic Drama.  Sandra Bullock. The star of this film is the house itself.  I want that house! Next the musical score by Rachel Portman is excellent.  After that you are left with a just about tolerable love story that the two leading actors do their best with but the film cannot escape the inevitable illogicality of time travel paradoxes.  You just cannot make sense of the story as you try to ignore the yawning holes in any parallel universe time shifting fantasy.  It is watchable but only just.  Enjoy the music though and then head to the estate agent to buy an over water property.

5

Larry Crowne

2011. Easy going ,  light and harmless drama / romance.  It is pleasant easy viewing but don't expect too much.  There is no chemistry between Hanks and Roberts so the romance is not really credible,  the ending is just too predictable and there is nowhere near enough humour for it to qualify as a Rom Com.  It is an unremarkable average watchable film.  Have it on in the background while you are doing some work on your laptop.

5

Last Chance Harvey

2009 Pleasant tasteful graceful authentic and mature story of estranged father (Dustin Hoffman) meets Emily Thompson and takes to daughter’s wedding.  Very credible and well acted.  Touching 

7

Last House On The Left (The) (2009)

2009.  Low budget gruesome thriller.  A couple avenge the rape and attempted murder of their daughter  in their vacation home.  Extremely violent and graphic.  Not for the squeamish.  Of no real merit.

3

Last Night (2010)

2010 Romantic drama.  very under film which analyses love,  relationships and temptation.  Well acted (Kiera Knightley is excellent) , good script,  and very credible.  Very sensitively handled and touching.  Does not deserve the bad reviews.  Some people just don't like subtle slow stories.

8

Last Orders

2001 Star studied cast,  gentle meander about 3 ageing East End Brits on a journey to scatter the ashes of their fourth mate (Michael Caine).  Lots of flashbacks,  very touching and moving with slowly revealed sub plots.  Would not suit everyone as some would find it ponderous.

7

Last Resort

2000 Low budget BBC film in Mike Leigh slow burn style .  Pretty young Russian single mother jilted by the man she thought she was meeting in UK seeks asylum and is placed in Margate where she falls for bingo caller after someone tries to recruit her into soft porn.  Its watchable but low key and uneventful and is essentially a story about loneliness and hopelessness and low expectations. 

4

 Last Seduction (The)

1994 Erotic thriller drama.  Not as good as I remembered it.  Horrendous dated musical soundtrack.  Average  thriller plot about man eating bitch.

5

Last Seduction Ii (The)

1999 Erotic thriller.  Sequel to the 1994 original.  A lower budget straight to DVD offering that continues the story in Barcelona.  Same man eating bitch.  Not as good as the original with some dodgy acting by the male lead (victim).  Still very much a typical dated 1990s style erotic thriller ,  and watchable,  but adequate at best.

4

Last Song (The)

2010 Californian Teen movie about rebellious daughter spending summer with estranged father in a beach house  who turns out to be dying.  Daughter falls in love,  and comes good.  Predictable and formulaic but actually it is  watchable.  The cast and acting is not bad.  The plot is a bit cheesy. Slushy,  romantic drama weepie.   Watchable.

5

Last Tango In Paris

1972 Classic erotic drama.  Was innovative,  controversial,  and shocking at the time,  but now very dated.  By modern taste it is now heavily of the late 1960s with a pretentious,  self indulgent,  arty farty style.  It has not stood the test of time and seems overrated and over long at over 2 hours.  It is slow and boring   in parts and you may find yourself reaching for the fast forward.  Yes it contains the infamous butter scene but that is not enough to save it.  Heavily based around a brooding,  moody,  enigmatic,  taciturn   Marlon Brando.

4

Law Abiding Citizen

2010.  Gratuitous violence.  Husband exterminates the legal team that arranged a plea bargain that resulted in the release of one of the assailants who murdered his family.  Not credible.

4

Laws Of Attraction

2004 RomCom. Great cast but the film is mediocre.  The plot is just too ridiculous to be taken seriously even as a RomCom and the film is cheesy,  corny and predictable from start to finish.  Some parts are just excruciating and embarrassing.  The only saving grace is Michael Sheen who steals the show as a wild English rock star.  Just about watchable.  .

3

Layer Cake

2004.  Daniel Craig supported by a great cast in a tense and violent story about drug gangs and double crossing / conning and sheer gangster behavior.  Credible and sinister. 

7

Leaving

(2009)

2009.  Kristin Scott Thomas,  French with sub-titles . Rich married woman in South of France is bored and falls in love with builder who is working on her house.  She is engulfed by passion and cannot live without him and it all ends in tears and tragedy.  KST lifts it from a 5 to a 6. 

6

Lemming (The)

2005 French thriller with sub-titles.  I enjoyed this more than I do most French films and it started well and I was hopeful that I would be able to recommend it as an intriguing love triangle thriller .  But sadly I can't because the further into it you get the more weird and surreal it becomes and at the end you will not know what actually happened ,  and what was dreamt or hallucinated.  It is just too strange and I would not bother with it.  It is not worth all those sub-titles!

5

Leo

(2002)

2002.  Watchable average drama.  An enigmatic Joseph Fiennes saying very little released from jail after committing a murder.  A study of troubled people with lots demons coming together.

5

Les Miserables

2012 drama.  Oh dear I am about to commit heresy.  There is so much hype about this film and it being the greatest film ever but I beg to differ.  Yes it is an epic lavish grand no expense spared production.  But it was sadly not for me.  I found many of the characters like ones from a Christmas panto,  and the nearer it got to the finale the more it felt like a scout gang show with all the characters on stage. It is much too long-( 2 ½ hours) and it got tedious.  I would have enjoyed it more if Russell Crowe had killed himself two hours earlier! I did not care about any of the characters.  Maybe I just don’t like musicals generally.

5

Les Valseuses

1974 Erotic drama. Unusual film that grows on you.  1974 but actually feels much more like 1968 swinging 60s sexual liberation era in the mould of Easy Rider and Zabrieski Point.  Two petty criminal anarchic wasters go on an aimless odyssey through France stealing cars and picking up women.  However their relationship with one young girl in particular who becomes a common thread throughout the story gives the film greater depth and appeal.  French with sub titles but it is much faster moving than most French films and I enjoyed it more than most French films. This is an under rated and fairly unknown film of some merit and originality from the 1970s.  It is described as a comedy but it is darker and more menacing than that.

 

7

Licence To Kill

1989 James Bond drama.  The 16thh Bond film and the second and last  of the Timothy Dalton  series.  The style reverts to being mainly a thriller which is a welcome relief after the Roger Moore series lost its way so badly.  This story is about a major drug dealer villain (Sanchez) based in the Florida keys.  The villain is a great character  and the final scenes featuring the destruction of a fleet of massive tankers carrying drugs dissolved in gasoline are impressive. 

In the evolution of Bond films this was the best for over twenty years since You Only live Twice.

 

7

Lie With Me

(2004)

2004 Crime suspense thriller.  Made for TV (Granada) British low budget film.  Similar in style to a Prime Suspect production.  Watchable with a reasonable plot involving sex and drugs.  Things get complicated when rape victim falls for the investigating detective.  A bit long with some padding out that is irrelevant to the story.  Some horrendous gaffs in continuity.  Average. Beware there is another film with the same title released in 2005 and thus is easy to confuse.  This later film is a mediocre soft porn drama best avoided. 

5

Lie With Me

(2005)

2005 . Soft core porno about couple who only wanted casual sex but fall in love.  Fails to develop the characters and provides no credible  basis to the relationship other than sex.

4

Life As We Know It

2010.  Light RomCom based around two Godparents who suddenly have to adopt their orphaned friend’s baby girl. Starts very well but goes downhill.  Cheesy and predictable but watchable light entertainment.

5

Life Is Sweet

1990 Typical Mike Leigh study of the ordinary- grim and underclass family life but where hope and love and optimism can occasionally surface.  The usual cast and the usual good quality film.

6

Life Of David Gale (The)

2003 Kate Winslet.  Story about case against capital punishment.  Kevin Spacey is excellent in this very good film of depth . Tense and gripping drama.

7

Like Water For Chocolate

1992 Romantic Comedy.  South American film in Spanish with sub-titles.  Yarn about a young woman (Tita) prevented from marrying as she has to look after her controlling mother until she dies.  Set in the late 19th century.  Her lover marries her sister instead so he can stay close to Tita.  Not credible,  and not amusing.  Long and tedious with intricate details about cooking recipes!

3

Line In The Sand (A)

 

 

 

2002  Very good film about guy (Ross Kemp) who is selling industrial agricultural machinery to Iran which they are using to manufacture weapons.  When he retires the information he is covertly providing to the British intelligence services is used for anti terrorism security purposes.  Kemp is given a new identity in the UK and eventually meets new partner (Saskia Reeves) and live a new life but remains a major target for the Iranians with frightening consequences.  A good drama with credible script and well acted.

7

Little Black Book

2004 RomCom about an insecure girlfriend who researches her boyfriend's history using his palm pilot.  I was not sure about it for over half the film but my advice is to hang on in there because it gets better and in the end packs a punch with a big twist and surprise ending that you will not predict.  The film stars poor Brittany Murphy who was brilliant in this and you remember in 8 Mile,  but sadly died young in 2009.  In the end the film has more depth than you expect and ends with messages and some learning

7

Little Children

2006 drama.  Actually this serious story is about parents rather than children ,  but maybe about how we all stay children underneath.  A great thought provoking film with depth dealing with sensitive issues (including paedophilia) and situations in human relationships and life .  Two or three threads are interwoven  with great dexterity.  The central plot concerns a touching inter marital love affair between a mother superbly acted by Kate Winslet and another Dad.  The film has a brilliant cast ,  and is well scripted and acted.  An under rated film that I am surprised is not better known. 

8

Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane (The)

1976.  Very  early  Jodie Foster (brilliant),  playing weird 13 year old girl who murders her mother,  landlord,  and the local child molester.  Very  low budget dated and mediocre film.  Feels more like a play.

4

Little Miss Sunshine

2006 Sweet light story of an endearing  young girl who wants to compete in a talent conversation in USA which involves a very long drive and the experience of the journey involves numerous bitter sweet and poignant  events which bring a dysfunctional family together . A happy and enjoyable film to watch.

6

Live And Let Die

1973 James Bond drama.  The 8th Bond film and the first of the Roger Moore series.  I have never been a fan of the Bond films where Bond is played by Roger Moore.  I could never take him seriously as a hard ,  cruel and dangerous agent.    This story is mainly a thriller but does include the rather embarrassing  humour of the state trooper.  This film lacks the big set of other Bond films and recycles a lot of stuff from previous films e.g. throwing 007 to the shark tank,  and placing a snake in his bathroom being a rehash of the tarantula in Dr No.

5

Lives Of Others (The)

2006 Life in the GDR before the wall came down and the intensive surveillance of people’s lives.  Good in parts but it’s just too dour,  dry and ponderous.  Hard to stay awake.

4

Living Daylights (The)

1987 James Bond drama.  The 15th Bond film and the first of the Timothy Dalton  series.  The style reverts to being mainly a thriller which is a welcome relief after the Roger Moore series lost its way so badly. The plot is convoluted especially regarding the double agent defector and I have never really understood what this film is about! After it goes off to Afghanistan the film gets very boring.  The early part in Gibraltar ,  and the defection at the concert are OK,  and the new Aston is fun.  But there is no central villain with a mega plot and the action in the desert is tedious and boring.

5

Lock,  Stock & Two Smoking Barrels

1998 Guy Ritchie,  hated it.  Unwatchable,  stupid,  mindless violence,  fell asleep.  Obviously many people love this film but it was just not for me.  Overrated violence fest.

1

Look Of Love (The)

2013 Drama.  Dramatization of the life of Paul Raymond.  OK but it could have been better,  but is very watchable and pretty good.  Steve Coogan does a good job of playing Raymond,  and the film develops the sad story of his tragic relationship with the daughter than he idolizes.

7

Losing Isaiah

1995 Drama. I recommend this film even though it is now very slightly dated.  It sensitively tackles issues of adoption and racism in the USA ,  but with the passage of time it is almost surprising that attitudes were ever like this.  Halle Berry is superb -her best performance I think.  If you liked Kramer vs Kramer or Crash you will like this.  It is an emotional film with depth and under rated.  All of the characters are real with real strengths and flaws.

8

Lost  & Delirious

2001 Gay /Lesbian drama. Touching drama about two teenage lesbian lovers ,  and their roommate in a girls' boarding school in the USA.  Trauma follows when one of the lovers gets a boyfriend and dumps the other girl who then has a breakdown with disturbing results.  It is well acted and sensitively handled.  This film is a cut above and deeper than the usual titillating fantasy rubbish about girls boarding schools and is much more than just a girl on girl romp.  Watchable.

6

Lost In Austen Disc 1

Very amusing life swap between 21 year old heroin ,  Austen addict Amanda Price ,  and Elizabeth Bennett. Amanda is typical feisty 21 year old who in the absence of Lizzie interferes determinedly to try to make the P & P plot happen correctly with disastrous results.  Very good for Austen fans.  It is actually very good and very amusing.

8

Lost In Austen Disc 2

Very amusing life swap between 21 year old heroin ,  Austen addict Amanda Price ,  and Elizabeth Bennett.  Amanda is typical feisty 21 year old who in the absence of Lizzie interferes determinedly to try to make the P & P plot happen correctly with disastrous results.  Very good for Austen fans.  It is actually very good and very amusing.

8

Lot Like Love (A)

2005 Formulaic repetitive frustrating romance.  Amanda Peet is good in this and almost saves the day but the plot is just too unrealistic and frustrating.  By the time the plot reaches an outcome you are past caring.  Would be a better film if they took out 20 minutes.

5

Love And Other Impossible Pursuits

2011 Also known as The Other Woman.  Drama.  Natalie Portman.  Young woman tackles a raft of sensitive and heavy issues e. g.  a marriage breaking affair, a baby that dies suddenly for which she feels responsible,  the wrath of first wife,  a precocious stepson,  divorced parents,  unfaithful father,  all in short order.  A thought provoking film,  and credible,  but emotionally draining.  A sad film of end to end battles,  disappointments and emotional challenges.  Definitely not a happy movie to watch.  This film is billed as a comedy-be warned it is absolutely not a comedy.

7

Love Exchange

2001 soft porn . Do not watch this movie.  It is complete rubbish.  It is supposed to be soft porn but is just boring and repetitive .  It consists of nothing but a continual series of unerotic boring simulated encounters between all the characters in every possible combination with appalling acting and a stupid story.

2

Love Happens

2009 Widower gives bereavement workshops and falls in love with Jennifer Aniston.  Cringe makingly bad.  Poor embarrassing RomCom.  Bland and forgettable

3

Lovely Bones (The)

2009.  Good thriller narrated by a 14 year old girl who has been murdered.   Has Rachel Weisz

6

Lovewrecked

 

 

2005 Teen film . Light and shallow teen RomCom but if you watch it for what it is the plot is actually quite amusing.  Superstar is marooned on a desert island with one of his obsessed fans (or so he thinks).

4

Loving Annabelle

2006.  Teenage girl with high profile political parents in USA joins new posh boarding school in USA and falls in love with female teacher.  A lesbian relationship ensues which is destined to end in tears.  Sympathetically and credibly handled.  TV movie feel.  Average watchable film.  Weak ending.

5

Lower City

2005 Steamy sexual drama about two low life youths who form a love triangle with a young prostitute.  At first it works but increasingly the boys become unwilling to share her.  The film depicts a harsh life living in poverty and where violence is never far away.  The film is reasonably well acted ,  but is somewhat disjointed,  and has a disappointingly weak and inconclusive ending.  A watchable film throughout though.  Brazilian film in Spanish with sub titles.  

5

Lucky You

2007 Drew Barrymore (wasted in this),  awful,  predictable,  2 hours of poker.  Boring,  no chemistry,  a failure as a RomCom.  Very poor.

2

Lust ,  Caution

Chinese film.  Unusual theme of Chinese resistance against the Japanese in WWII.  A young girl from the resistance forms a very dangerous relationship with a senior Chinese collaborator with the aim of arranging his execution.  The heroin inevitably forms an emotional attachment to her intended victim.  Very explicit sex. Chinese  speech throughout with English sub titles which at times are too quick to read.  Over 2 and a half hours long. I quite liked it.

6

Madame Bovary

(2000)

2000 BBC film based on French novel about woman who marries a doctor  but is unfulfilled and bored.  She embarks on a string of passionate affairs and runs up debts and it all ends in tears.  A bit slow and long.

6

Made In Chelsea Series 1 & 2

2011 TV reality drama.  British made long running successful UK Channel 4 TV series,    that uses an innovative and original formula of including in the cast a proportion of real people.  Events in the lives of the cast appear to be captured live but in reality are restaged for the benefit of the camera crews.  An enticing and seductive drama for prying people who like to watch and listen in on other people’s conversations (i.e. all of us) ! The vast majority of the story lines concern the pairing and breaking up of the cast in seemingly endless combinations.  The show promises a great deal and can be addictive but in the end becomes extremely formulaic and repetitive and is very superficial.  

6

Made In Dagenham

2010.  Very good dramatization of women’s struggle for equal pay at Ford in 1968.  Good script and characters.

7

Mamma Mia

2008.  Loved it.  So much fun. ,  and with a good yarn.  Very watchable. All star cast and what fun they would have had making it! A very good film.

7

Man With The Golden Gun (The)

1974 James Bond drama.  The 9th Bond film and the second of the Roger Moore series.  I have never been a fan of the Bond films where Bond is played by Roger Moore.  I could never take him seriously as a hard ,  cruel and dangerous agent.    This story is mainly a thriller but does include the rather embarrassing  humour of Nak the midget butler.  Also the state trooper is in it again and there is the flying car.  The plot of this Bond film is weak and there is no big set.  This film is however famous for the Thailand island that the villain Scaramanga lives on.

5

Maria’s Lovers

1984 Romantic Drama.  US soldier returns from horrors of fighting Japanese in WW II .  Marries his childhood sweetheart but cannot consummate the marriage.  OK in parts but much poor script and poor acting.  The title is misleading-this is no steamy romp.

4

Marvin’s Room

1996 Drama. Wow what a cast! With a cast as strong as this film should be a perfect 10 but it is sadly just a good film.  It is not in the same class as Terms of Endearment but well worth watching.  It is a touching film but not a massive tear jerker.  The early Rachel Portman score is excellent and Streep as fantastic as ever.  Cannot put my finger on what the film is missing but somehow it is not as good as it should be with that cast.  It might be that the plot is too thin and predictable.  Also as much as I like De Caprio I am not sure his character was well developed enough.  He burns his house down but I am not sure it was ever explained why!

7

Master & Commander

2003.  Competent good film about obsession of a (sailing) war ship captain pursuing a French adversary across the world.  Very realistic.

6

Matchstick Men

2003.  Nicholas cage.  Watchable .  The con artist gets conned.  Over emphasis on his OCD disorder.  Good twist at end.  Average.

5

Mean Creek

2004.  Low budget thriller about a group of friends who plan to teach a bully a lesson which gets out of control when he drowns.  Sympathetic treatment of moral issues.

5

Meantime

1983 Typical Mike Leigh  but particularly bleak,  grim,  depressing,  dark,  kitchen sink drama in which very little happens.  Portrays the hopelessness of a dysfunctional family all stuck in unemployment in an East London flat.  Leaves you feeling drained.

4

Meet The Fockers

2004 Comedy.  Given that sequels are often disappointing this film was definitely not.  It is very funny with some great contrived scenarios.  Robert De Niro is superb-he is so versatile,  and Barbra Streisand perfect in the role.  Very enjoyable.  OK there is a lot of toilet schoolboy humour but somehow with the outstanding quality of the cast they carry it off.

8

Melancholia

2011 Billed as a sci fi psychological thriller disaster movie.  Well I agree the movie IS a disaster at least.  Weird  and bizarre story of two halves tenuously linked.  Really the story of two sisters perhaps.  In the first part the film is centered on a lavish wedding reception for one of the sisters who turns out to be a depressive.   However the sister spends most of the time doing anything but attending her own wedding reception. She even goes and has a bath! But she does find time to dump the groom and resign from her job and have sex on the lawn with a young lad all still during her wedding reception!  I kid you not.  In the second half which concentrates on the other sister-Charlotte Gainsbourg there is the not insignificant matter of a planet on a collision course with the earth and ultimately the end of the earth.  But by the time that happens it is a merciful release from  watching this film and a price worth paying.

4

Michael Clayton

George Clooney –maverick lawyer pursuing  evil corporate polluting company and avenging assassination of whistle blowing friend, .  Complicated and hard to follow

6

Midnight Cowboy

1969 Classic 60s must see iconic very good film.  Dustin Hoffman / John Voight.  Still very good although a little dated.  The two lead roles are amazing.   Great 60s soundtrack

7

Midnight In Paris

2012 Woody Allen lets his imagination run riot and indulges his fantasies in this brilliant romantic odyssey.  Owen Wilson as an aspiring novelist travels back in time in Paris to his beloved 1920s and meets in person the great writers and artists of the era.  Woody Allen’s traditional tongue in cheek superb observation of the detail and subtlety of human relationships.  A real treat.  I loved it.

8

Midnight Run

1988 Very very funny,  Robert Deniro,  bounty hunter.  Simply a great film comedy.  A 1980s classic and definitely not one to miss.  Easy viewing and fun

8

 Mighty Heart (A)

2007 True Real life story of a kidnapped journalist in Pakistan in 2002.  I do not usually like Angelina Jolie but she is good in this.  Very  good.  Emotional and touching ,  and scary.

6

Missing

1982 political thriller. Good quality thriller about a military coup in Chile and the search for a husband and son.  I really liked the searching wife (Sissey Spacek) in this and she was the star for me but of course Jack Lemmon is excellent although did seem to be going through the motions at times.
The film is brutal and hard and shows just how frightening it would be to be around in the aftermath of a coup with curfews and people disappearing and being executed just for breathing and being in the wrong place.   It is also as early conspiracy theory type plot as it depicts the US , military assisting and advising but maintaining that they are not even there in the country.  Even more sinister is the bland condescending treatment that they receive from the US consulate and embassy who claim to have been helping to investigate to find the man but in truth are doing nothing except covering up.  Top of Form

 

7

Mistress Of Spices

2005 Indian  (Bollywood) film about a woman with psychic powers working in San Francisco who can see the destiny and fortunes of her customers and prescribe appropriate spices which can change their destiny! But in her own life she cannot find love.  Yes it is as bad as it sounds.  It is never easy trying to mix magic with a credible drama.  It stars Aishwarya Rai who is the most beautiful woman in India and possibly the world,  and in fact is a former Miss World winner but who unfortunately cannot act.  I managed about 20 minutes for which I deserve a medal.  But there is always an audience for every film and on the internet some people actually liked this film.

1

Mon Amour

1997 Soft porn. Very sexually explicit story about wife nymphomaniac.  Italian film with sub titles.  Minimal plot,  tasteless gratuitous nudity and poorly acted.  Italia Rubbishimo.

3

Monroe-Class Of 76

1983 thriller.  Robert Carlyle shows his acting quality and rescues what would have been a mediocre film.  The story is a mystery concerning the apparent serial killing of the members of a  gang of school  friends  over a period of 30 years.   The film is too long and too slow and repetitive,  but is watchable,  and the end result is average.

5

Monster (2003)

 

2003 Drama. Shocking and moving ,  hard hitting, and very violent tragic drama based on the true story of prostitute who begins killing her clients in USA.  Not for the faint hearted but a good film. 

6

Moon (2009)

2009 Sci Fi.  Lone man in space station discovers he is only a clone and has a fabricated duplicated memory.  Impressive set and the story is nicely paced and unsettling.  Great score (Clint Mansell).  Quite good actually.  Need to watch it twice to really appreciate it.

6

Moonraker

1979 James Bond drama.  The 11th Bond film and the fourth of the Roger Moore series.  I have never been a fan of the Bond films where Bond is played by Roger Moore.  I could never take him seriously as a hard ,  cruel and dangerous agent.  It has the ridiculous Jaws character in it throughout and much of this film is embarrassing humour .

5

Morning Glory (2010)

2010 Drama.  Harrison Ford,  Diane Keaton.  Innocuous light fun story about the revamp of a morning news programme by a new ambitious Executive Producer.  Excellent cast who make the absolute best of what would have been a very ordinary film.  However this film is enjoyable and the characters are engaging and endearing.

7

Mr. Brooks

2007 Thriller.  All star cast,  Costner,  Demi Moore,  psychological killer addicted to killing.  Too many twists and sub plots,  parallel stories and interwoven murders to be credible.  Too complicated and tenuously linked.  In the end it’s a parody of a thriller. 

4

Mrs. Brown

1997 Period drama.  Good quality film,  great cast,  (Judi Dench,  Bill Connoly) about relationship between John Brown and Queen Victoria,  but does not particularly grab you

6

Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

1993 Yes it is Shakespeare and is loyal to the original text.  One of the most star studded casts ever-Kenneth Branagh,  Kate Beckinsale etc etc.  Beautiful scenery.  Average film

5

Mulholland Drive

2001 thriller based on life in Hollywood and the film industry.  I have watched it twice to try to figure it out but it's completely incomprehensible.  It is without doubt the most  weird,  bizarre and strangest film I have ever seen.  There are many scenes that seem to have no relevance to the film at all.  It is mind-bogglingly disjointed.  The same characters keep reappearing in different guises and swopping roles.  Dead people come back to life. Others become miniature and walk underneath closed doors.  There are two lesbian scenes which have a dubious relevance to the ‘plot’.  If anyone knows what it is about please tell me.  It must all be a metaphor for something I suppose.  And the film is an agonizing 2 and a half hours long!

2

Music Box

1989 WWII Nazi war criminal hunter theme.  Based on Hungarian man who has lived his life since the war in the USA.  He is suddenly accused as an old man and tried for  sadistic war crimes against the Jews and his lawyer daughter defends him.  She is convinced of his innocence but as the story unfolds she is forced to face the horrific truth.  A very good moving thought provoking film and very watchable.  Well scripted,  and acted.  Jessica Lange is excellent    as the daughter.

7

My Blueberry Nights

2007 Don’t watch this! It’s a lazy slow meander through a series of largely unconnected stories with a very tenuous thread and a low key predictable anti climax ending.

3

My Sisters Keeper

2009 Cameron Diaz . Alec Baldwin. Sad tear jerking weepie drama about a girl who has been bred to save her sick sister who is dying from leukaemia but eventually rebels.  Yes I know it sounds very cheesy but actually it is well executed and is sophisticated and credible and has a good twist at the end.  Good script,  and acting performances from a strong cast.  Cameron Diaz gets by in a non comedy role for a change but shows her limitations.  A powerful thought provoking film with depth and an original theme.

8

My Summer Of Love

2004 love drama (Lesbian).  Two 16 girls from different ends of the social spectrum enjoy a summer friendship in a Yorkshire village and growing intimacy.  The love between them is sensitively handled and there is a detailed and credible observation of how they bridge the gulf of affluence and education.  It is a touching story well acted .

7

Naked

1993 Drama. Typical hard hitting Mike Leigh film about low life,  and abuse of women.  Violence, rape, drugs,  hopelessness.  Bleak,  depressing ,  moving,  but a very good film.

7

Nathalie

2003 French film with sub titles.  A wife sets up her serial philandering husband with a prostitute and then forms a friendship with the prostitute herself in order to hear about the encounters.  Typical slow,  ponderous and pedantic and pretentious French film.  Unnecessarily long and strung out.  Not even particularly erotic.

4

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

1989 Comedy.  This is the only National Lampoon film that I have seen but it is considered the best in the series,  It is a very funny film and made me laugh all the way through.  Chevy Chase is brilliant.  This is I think the funniest Christmas film of all but so much so that you could watch it any time and you should.  Who can forget the saga of the Christmas lights.

8

Nelly And Mr. Arnaud

1995 Romantic drama.  A subtle French film with sub titles about love and relationships.  I liked it although not as much as many other reviewers apparently.  It is a typical French film,  i.e. slow and ponderous and lengthy but better than many French films due to the excellent acting and credible characters .  It is a low key slow burning observation of human behaviour without much action.  Watchable but could be a bit uneventful for many.

6

Never Let Me Go

2010. Cathy Mulligan (An Education),  Kiera Knightly, .  A group of children in a public boarding school gradually discover they are reared for organ donation.  An original plot sensitively and well delivered.  Sad and emotional.

7

Night Listener

2006.  Robin Williams,  radio phone- in mystery about abused boy-does he really exist ? Dark and drab.  Boring and uneventful plotline.

4

Nights In Rodanthe

2008.  Richard Gere playing Richard Gere.  Watchable love story weepy.   Good in parts.  Average watchable film.

5

Nine

2009.  Musical drama about an Italian film director.  Hated it.  Abandoned after a few minutes.  A painful,  annoying and tedious film.  Unwatchable

2

Nine And A Half Weeks

1985 Erotic drama.  Kim Bassinger.  Shame-this iconic erotic film has not aged well.  No longer warrants an 18 as you will see more explicit sex on regular TV nowadays.  Kim Bassinger is superb and saves the film and really carries off well her insane obsession and infatuation with the Mick Rourke character.  She is totally credible.  Alas Micky Rourke is not and has only one facial expression throughout the entire movies i.e. a supercilious smirk.  He just looks a smug and self satisfied b*****d throughout.  Not the sensation I remember but watchable.

6

Nine Songs

2004 A poor soft porn and not so soft porn drama.  Said to be the most sexually explicit film ever put on general release.  Based on a rock star performing 9 songs in concert with each performance interspersed with an explicit  sexual encounter with his girl friend.  But it is not erotic ,  and the characters are not developed,  there is no story,  and almost no script.  Don’t bother.

2

Ninth (9th) Company

2005.  Russian war film with sub-titles based on true events about new platoon of rooky soldiers posted to Afghanistan.  Shocking,  horrific,  pointless and hopeless annihilation by the Taliban at the end of 1989.  Horrendous climax

7

No Way Out

1987 . A classic first rate political thriller with everything.  Gene Hackman,  and Kevin Costner are superb. This is a top draw gold standard superb and excellent political drama. I have watched it many times. Political thriller. img5.pngimg6.pngimg7.pngimg7.pngimg8.pngimg9.pngimg8.pngimg10.pngimg10.pngimg11.pngimg12.png

9

Noce Blanche

1989 Romantic Drama. Typical French film-slow and ponderous but not as watching paint dry as some French films.  A well worn plot- a Lolita charms and induces obsession in a middle aged married man.  You know it will end in tears.  It is not if but when.  Why are French supposed heart throbs always dodgy looking ,  and overweight with paunches? It does succeed as a convincing love story and is touching , all the time knowing that it is all doomed like watching Titanic.  There is some mild nudity but no explicit sex and of course it is sub titles.  It is watchable but this is no Fatal Attraction or An Education.

6

Normal

2007 drama.  Story has some similarities to Crash .  Three previously unconnected families intersect through a tragic car accident which results in the death of an adored son.  The story traces their lives in the subsequent two years and the emotional fallout.  Quite credible,  very watchable and an under rated film .  Surprised to have not heard more about it.  Slightly heavy but not depressing.

7

North County

2005.  Hard hitting,  shocking story of first sexual harassment class action in USA.  Excellent and moving story.  Superb and excellent film.

8

Not Forgotten

2010. Starts OK as thriller about husband whose daughter is kidnapped.  Involves devil worship sect in Mexico.  Combines a good thriller with a grand finish in which the plot becomes confused and incomprehensible.  In the end disappointing.

You would need to like films about the occult and black magic to enjoy this film and I do not.  It has some unexpected twists but the entire plot is highly implausible (ignoring the black magic elements) and confusing and unclear.

4

Not Here To Be Loved

2005.  French with sub titles.  Another French film that moves at a snail’s pace and populated by repressed characters who cannot express their or show feelings.  Two saddos meet at a Tango dance class,  one of them supposed to be engaged.  Almost nothing  happens except the man’s father dies.  Like watching paint dry.  So slow  moving.  I watched the second half twice in case I had fallen asleep the first time-but I hadn’t! Fans of French films might be charitable and say it was a detailed observation of delicate nuances of relationships.  Boring.

3

Novo

2002 Erotic drama.  French with sub-titles.   Unusual film about a young man who has almost no memory retention and survives through making copious notes in a notebook.  He does however enjoy a very active sex life ,  vividly recorded,  with two very attractive women and every time is like the first time for him! The film starts weird enough but is watchable and entertaining.  However as the film progresses it gets increasingly strange and surreal and incomprehensible  as French films so often do.

4

Now You See Me

2013 Drama.  Fast moving action drama about a group of four magicians who appear to be giving away cash to their audiences.  The story has many clever twists and a big finish that pulls the unfolding mystery together.  Unfortunately ,  ultimately the plot is an ever more fanciful fantasy that more or less completely lacks credibility.  Still watchable though and enjoyable. 

6

Nowhere Boy

2010 . Early John Lennon life and how he was abandoned by his mother and brought up by his Aunt.  Very good watchable film. 

6

Oblivion

2013 Sci Fi Drama.  Tom Cruise playing Tom Cruise extended special edition.  Was this film designed around him I wonder.  Starts off awful and you think it is just another cowboys and Indians in space.  But try and hang in there because it gets better and has some good twists.  But there is too much padding out with Luke Skywalker style aerial combat.  The film is like a combination of Star Wars,  Moon (2009) ,  and Armageddon.  Grows on you but not for everyone.

6

Obsessed (2009)

2009 Low budget erotic thriller .  Temp attempts to seduce corporate executive with increasingly extreme tactics.  A third rate Fatal Attraction.  Reasonable acting by main players lifts the rating.

4

Octopussy

1983 James Bond drama.  The 13th Bond film and the sixth of the Roger Moore series.  I have never been a fan of the Bond films where Bond is played by Roger Moore.  I could never take him seriously as a hard ,  cruel and dangerous agent.

This film is tediously long and full of slap stick; Bond is chased by flying Tuc Tucs,  by baddies on elephants,  clowns with balloons tied to them.  There is no big set.  I can only assume they thought they were making a comedy but the film is just an embarrassing pantomime and boring.

If you like Bond films then do not watch this one because  it is sacrilege of the genre.

4

Officer And A Gentleman (An)

1982 Excellent classic romance.  Debra Winger and Richard Gere,  Gere is a trainee naval aviation pilot officer who falls for local girl. Perhaps Debra Winger’s best film.  Would be a 9 but for some implausible bits of the storyline ,  but the final scene where Gere goes into the factory in his white pass out uniform is one of the great iconic moments in film history.

8

Olympus Has Fallen

2013.  Action /Thriller.  Wow! This film has had some mixed reviews in the media but it doesn't deserve them -it is actually a great action thriller.  I loved it.  It captures the presidential Whitehouse environment and security well and reminded me of the film The American President.  The plot is very topical based on the tension between North and South Korea and a monumental terrorist attack on the Whitehouse by the North Koreans.  If you liked Air force One,  and /or Black Hawk Down you will like this.  Be warned there is much realistic graphic  violence .  Holds your attention from start to finish.  Morgan Freeman excellent as ever.

8

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

1969 Drama.  The sixth Bond film in the series and followed the brilliant You Only Live Twice.  Bond is played by George Lazenby following the end of Sean Connery's reign.  Sadly Lazenby did not work as a credible Bond and was not asked to fill the Bond boots again.  The film itself is slow ,  and lacks traditional Bond action ,  except there is too much reliance on chasing Bond down the ski slopes.  Telly Savalas is also a poor choice for the mega villain Blofield and his gaggle of indoctrinated hypnotised sex starved middle aged women in his lair in the Swiss Alps are laughable.  Overall the film is very dated and a bit of a joke,  but is worth watching by all Bond buffs simply as a piece of important Bond heritage which you cannot ignore out of completeness.  Thankfully following this disaster Sean Connery returned for one more gig as Bond in Diamonds Are Forever.

4

Once Upon A Time In The Midlands

2002 Very good British comedy drama about a love triangle ,  funny,  but sinister,  characters are all wacky but credible.  Very watchable and recommended.

7

Ondine

Romantic drama.     2009   A mediocre film that is watchable but only just.  The best thing about it is the sound track / score.  The story itself is just about tolerable .  Overall a so so movie.  The mermaid's rapid transition from drowned rat to lingerie model in 2 hours flat is not credible.  The film is to some extent saved by the twist at the end which delivers an explanation to the mystery.  But not a memorable film really.

4

One Day

2012.  Anne Hathaway. Romantic drama about the lives of 2 university graduates who meet on their last day at Uni and become best friends and maintain an in off relationship throughout their lives.  He turns out to be a frustrating commitment phobe who tantalizes her with possible long term devotion but continually lets her down causing her to waste her life on him.  Sad and highly credible.  Love story about taking ones chances in life when they arise,  and playing your cards when they are dealt  to you.  And it is absolutely about not messing about with ,  and taking for granted,  the people who love you and deserve better.  A superb and excellent film.

9

One More Kiss

1999 Drama that has a dodgy script and with wooden acting.  The story is disjointed and implausible with an unsuccessful attempt to overlay a couple of themes.  The soundtrack is also embarrassing.  The heroine who is terminally ill returns to Scotland from New York to pick up with a now married old flame,  and also rekindle her troubled relationship with her father.  Overall the film is just about adequate and watchable but no more than that.  It tries to be very moving but the film is just not convincing enough to make you care and ends up just being cheesy.

4

One True Thing

1989 weepy drama. Meryl Streep is outstanding as usual in this touching tear jerker which tells the story of a daughter whose mother is dying,  and her relationship with her father and generally about growing up.  The rest of the cast is very strong,  and this is a well acted and scripted great weepy drama.  Yes it is long but never boring.

8

Other Guys (The)

2010.  Comedy about NYPD. Two back room cops step in to become front line heroes.  Excellent cast.  Typical Will Ferrell.  Very funny. A very good comedy.  .

7

Other Woman (The)

2011 See Love and Other Impossible Pursuits

7

Out Of Sight

1998 George Clooney-rather implausible yarn about bank robber who forms relationship with his FBI pursuer.  Weak Rom Com . Predictable.  I have to declare that I am not a Jennifer Lopez fan

5

Out Of Time

2004 Thriller Police Chief seduced by clever mistress.  Great plot.  A very good film.

7

Page 8.

2011.  British political thriller made for TV.  Two of my favourite actors; Bill Nighy and Rachel Weisz and both are superb in this.  Nighy as his battle hardened,  world weary,  pragmatic but very sharp and a softie underneath  personna. Tense,  credible and so well crafted from start to finish.  An under rated film

8

Painted Veil (The)

2006 Romantic Drama set in the 1920s that ends in tragedy.  This is a very good film with depth and substance.  The main characters are developed,  and the film is beautifully crafted ,  and superbly exploits the Chinese stunning scenery and landscapes.  Edward Norton is superb as the enigmatic ,  repressed,  intellectual,  do gooding,  save the world micro biologist.  Naomi Watts is equally superb as his spoilt,  philandering,  young gorgeous,  frustrated wife,  who grows in stature and maturity throughout the story to come to love,  admire and respect her husband.  It is mostly well paced,  although perhaps a little slow in the middle of the film.  Recommended.

7

Pandorum

2009.  Sci Fi  boring predictable –endless fighting aliens on a huge space ship that is supposed to be Noah's ark

2

Paprika

1989 Erotic farce / fantasy about a young country girl who goes to work in a brothel in Italy.  The film charts her rapid rise  through the ranks as she gathers fame and fortune.  Much nudity throughout,  but the film fails to be anything in particular as it is not that funny,  and the acting is too awful,  and the plot too silly,  for it to be taken seriously as a drama or erotic.  In the end it is boring and repetitive.  Directed by the supposed maestro of erotica,  Tinto Brass.  Italian film with sub-titles.

3

Parenthood

1989 Family drama.  I have watched this film several times and have no hesitation in awarding it it’s perfect 10.  Great cast,  script,  and very poignant.  Makes you laugh and cry all the way through.  Every parent should watch this.

10

Patagonia

2010.  A Welsh film set in Argentina and Wales about 2 separate interwoven romantic and sad stories of a young and old woman travelling to and from Patagonia.  It's in Welsh and Spanish with sub titles but worth watching and sensitively handled.

6

Pathology

2008 Good but dark  extremely vivid and graphic,  macabre  thriller with twists –pathology department murdering their own cases in a sinister game. 

7

Peace,  Love,  Misunderstanding

2012 Comedy drama.  Divorcing mother takes her 2 teenage children to stay at her own hippie mother’s house in Woodstock.  The grandmother’s character is like Barbra Streisand's in Meet The Fockers.  Actually quite a sweet film,  with both teenagers and the mother finding love and solace in one form or another.  Various prejudices and attitudes are challenged.  Watchable.

6

Perfect Ending (A)

2012 Romantic lesbian romantic drama about an uptight socialite who finds the love of her life in a high priced female escort.  They fall in love and there is much 12 rated passion.  It sounds preposterous and it is.  Also the film is punctuated by slow ,  arty farty artistic indulgent imagery,  and the dialogue is hard to decipher above the over loud invasive musical score.  Absolutely not erotic.  It was a struggle to  make it through to the end.  Mediocre. 

3

Perfect Life

2010 Erotic teen drama.  I really tried with this film and for a while thought it was better than the other reviews give it credit for.  But it starts mediocre and goes downhill from there.  It gets increasingly weird so in the end you do not know what is really happening and what is dreamt or imagined.  It should be a simple story about two friends who are competing for the love of the same woman but the film just gets totally surreal .  In the end I think it turned out that the two main characters had been dead for most of the film but I would not swear to that.  Sienna Guilloy is gorgeous and there is some exciting scenes of youth ,  sex and drugs culture but in the end it is just too confusing and weird.  Give it a miss I say.

4

Persepolis

2007 animated cartoon comedy drama.  Cartoon style story about a girl / woman living through 1970s to current times  in Iran.  Weird.  Going by all the other favourable reviews I can see the film must have some  merit but it was not for me so will not suit everyone.  In fact I hated it,  and could not stand it,  and turned it off. 

1

Phantom Of The Opera

2004 Musical romantic drama. Superb adaptation of the legendary stage musical.  A world class spectacular production that does the stage musical proud and captures the atmosphere.  The music of the Phantom was a true masterpiece and may never be equalled in its brilliance,  and its exquisite quality is beautifully and perfectly performed in this film.

9

Pianist (The)

A great must see movie about life in WWII in Warsaw and the holocaust.  Grim account of life of a Jew in second world war Warsaw. One of the best WWII films available so don't miss it.

8

Place Beyond The Pines (The)

2012 Drama.  Touching and emotional intelligent thriller in which Ryan Gosling brilliantly stars as a motor cycle stunt rider who turns to crime in an attempt to raise the cash to win back his former lover.  The plot unfolds to become a story with depth and messages about class,  opportunity and chance.  A superb social commentary in the Crash mould which features prejudice,  corruption ,  and the drugs culture.  A film of two halves in which one story leads to another eighteen years later.  Great cast,  acting,  direction and sound track.  I do not understand some of the negative reviews.  This an excellent and highly under rated film.

9

Playing  For Keeps

2012

2012 RomCom.   Actually more a Rom than a Com.  Great cast that is wasted  and the end product is disappointing and adequate at best.  American ex football star (are there any?) coaches his son’s football team and tries to win back his divorced wife.  Poorly acted and unconvincing.  It is watchable but only just,  and requires no mental effort whatsoever so one to have on in the background .   Predictable ,  ordinary and formulaic and not memorable. 

4

Plenty

1985 Drama about a young English woman played by Meryl Streep who finds the rest of her life an anti-climax after the highs of working in the French resistance in WWII.  An all star cast but this film fails to exploit its potential and eventually becomes boring.  It is somewhat disjointed , and lacking in passion and does not make you care.  The Streep character lives an unfulfilled and spoilt life never really finding love or recreating the excitement of the war but somehow you find yourself thinking -so what -get over it!

4

Poet (The)

2003 Erotic thriller. Awful film.  Appallingly acted and rubbish script. Assassin supposedly falls for the sister of innocent young man that he has killed because he witnessed him killing the real target victim.  The sister is the worst actress I have ever come across.  Absolutely no idea why it is an 18.  There is nothing erotic and no nudity.  I gave up half way through.  Rubbish!

2

Poor Cow

1967.  British kitchen sink docudrama style which pre dates similarly themed Mike Leigh films.  This was an attempt to bring the success of the TV game changer play Cathy Come Home to the big screen.  In its day Poor Cow was shocking and ground breaking.  Now sadly it appears very dated and poorly acted.  Carol White as the lead really was not a great actress.  The basic story is about a young promiscuous mother living in poverty with her husband  in jail during the swinging 60s sexual revolution in London.  The film tried to shock by portraying   the new attitudes to sex.  The film does not live up to its iconic reputation and by modern standards is watchable but only average.

5

Possession (1981)

1981 drama horror.  Probably the most  weird and bizarre horror film I have ever seen and I have watched a lot.  It starts normally enough as a  story about a couple whose marriage is breaking down and suddenly morphs into a mix of Alien and Zombies.  You won't have a clue by the end what is going on but by then neither will you care.  A hardly recognisable very young Sam Neil is in it.  How did his career survive this? It was apparently banned in the UK.  It still should be so nobody gets tempted to watch it! Lots of blood and violence and gore for those that like such things.  I stuck it right to the end out of fascination that I could not believe what I was watching.  

4

Possession (2002)

2002 love story drama. Underrated love story / period drama.  Thoroughly recommend this.  Gwyneth Paltrow is brilliant as ever.  You get two parallel interleaved love story dramas,  one in the present day,  and one from the Victorian era (about a famous poet and his mistress) that the modern day characters are researching.  Touching and pleasant drama although ultimately the period drama strand is a tragedy.  Well acted by all.

8

Possession (2009)

2009 Drama / thriller.  A poor made for TV film with a totally ridiculous plot,  poor script and weak acting.  A freak car accident puts wife’s husband and brother in law into comas.  The brother in law wakes up first and thinks he is his brother-as does the wife! In a feat a human endurance I made it through to the end but strongly advise you not to bother.  It is rubbish.

2

Precious

2009.  Shocking ,  hard hitting,  story about an obese black American girl who is repeatedly raped by her father and has two children by him.  Her mother treats her cruelly and as a slave.  She is taken under the wing of her teacher and eventually and very slowly escapes the misery and cruelty of her home.  The film is  sobering and humbling ,  but has an annoying ‘fly on the wall’  reality show camera style.  Also the dialogue is mumbled and often hard to decipher.

5

Presumed Innocent

1990.  Harrison Ford,  superbly acted and scripted thriller but let down by a highly contrived plot which is not credible and has major flaws.

6

Priceless

 

2007. French film with sub titles.  Enjoyable and very funny in parts RomCom yarn about hotel worker who  forms a relationship with a girl who makes her living from sugar daddies.  He also starts doing the same with rich middle aged women and they both them have lucrative side liaisons going on whilst they actually fall in love with each other.

6

Princesses

(2005)

2005 Drama .  Sad and touching film about friendship between two down beaten prostitutes trying to make it in a Spanish city in very tough circumstances.  Well acted,  bleak,  and realistic .  A good film and much better than most in this genre.  It is a serious film without gratuitous sexual content and very watchable.  Spanish film with sub titles. 

6

Proof

 

 

 

2005 Excellent cast-Gwyneth Paltrow,  Anthony Hopkins,  superb performances.  Brilliant mathematician who has gone mad,  and his also brilliant daughter mathematician who spends years caring for her father ,  and an interfering controlling sister.  A hugely significant proof is discovered but was it the work of the father or the daughter? Sensitively handled multiple relationships,  adapted from a play.  I liked it.

8

 Proposal (The)

2009 Typical Sandra Bullock,  Rom Com,  arranged marriage,  to avoid deportation,  very funny. Light,  lots of fun,  harmless,  and a nice romance.  What’s not to like?

7

Quadrophenia,

1979 . A classic film.  Has stood the test of time,  great capture,  of Mods,  Rockers,  and the 60s,  scooters,  and a great classic soundtrack.  You will love it if you were there and part of it but I am not so sure about younger watchers.

8

Quantum Of Solace

2008 action movie. Casino Royale was outstanding and the best Bond film ever made and even surpassed the  other two previous greatest Bonds which were of course Goldfinger , and You Only Live Twice.  Casino would always have been difficult to follow so Quantum was inevitably  a disappointment . But it is still very good and indeed better than any of the Roger Moore ,  Timothy Dalton or Pierce Brosnam Bond films.  So for Bond fans definitely worth watching .  The villain is great in Quantum ,  the technology amazing,  and Daniel Craig perfection itself in this role. 

7

Quiet American (The)

2002 I  watched this when I had just returned from a trip to Vietnam.  It is a fascinating dramatization of the beginnings of the Vietnam war in Saigon in 1952 and how the meddling by the USA in covert operations ultimately made everything worse. The story is overlaid on a love triangle story and Michael Caine is excellent in this film. Good photography and atmospheric,  but somehow strangely uninvolving.

6

Rabbit Hole

2011 Drama. Nicole Kidman.  Excellent touching poignant story about married couple trying to deal with and come to terms with death of their 4 year son. Every parent's worst nightmare.  Obviously it's a depressing film but it was always going to be

8

Rabbit Proof Fence

2002.  Film with a serious thought provoking theme and message about the appalling way that Australia interfered with Aboriginal families.  The photography of the outback in Western Australia is superb  .  Sadly the film itself is dull and slow and uneventful and little more than watching the girls tramping along in the heat in the desert.  It is mildly touching but disappointing and just an adequate film and  nothing more.

4

Raining Stones

1993 Drama.  More typical Ken Loach.  Gritty working class drama depicting how harsh life is trying to eke out a living however you can in a rundown impoverished Northern city in the UK.  Depressing,  and memorable vision of how tough it can be living in poverty,  and how almost impossible it is to escape and break out.  As with all Ken Loach films ,  lots of left wing messages,  but this film also makes a point about religions too and in particular how striving to live  a good Catholic life does not put food on the table.  A thought provoking well cast and acted film.  Some violence. 

7

Reader (The)

2008.  Love story about former SS Guard (Kate Winslet) and young boy lover.  Also more importantly about the morality of only obeying orders.  The Winslet character working in a lowly role cannot see that she was doing anything wrong beyond doing her job but becomes a high profile scapegoat and a public example and is made to take the blame for Nazi atrocities.  A great and deep film.

8

Red (2010)

2010 Star studded inc Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren action packed  spoof with love interest based on CIA / FBI yarn.  Willis is Retired and Extremely Dangerous.  It grows on you as you get into the film and accept it for what it  is which  is amusing OTT spoof of the genre. 

6

Red State

2011. Thriller set in Middle America,  a group of teens receive an online invitation to some MMMF sex, but instead  they find themselves in captivity by some  religious fundamentalists with a much more sinister agenda.  Builds to an utterly ridiculous climax-a sort of serious straight version of the Hot Fuzz comedy . You just cannot take this film seriously.  Weird

4

Regular Lovers

2005  French films are often slow ,  pretentious and ponderous but this one takes that to a whole new level.  This one is the film equivalent of live coverage of watching a banana sitting on a plate.  It is 3 hours long,  shot in black and white and in French with sub titles.  I lasted about 10 minutes and I submit that that is a record of human endurance.  It is something about the aftermath of student riots in the 1960s but I couldn't care really.

1

Remains Of The Day

1993 Period drama.  A great classic drama superbly scripted and acted.  Based on the Upstairs / Downstairs theme but overlaid by the politics of the upper class and their attitudes towards Hitler and the Nazis and appeasement.  But also overlaid by the relationship between the Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins characters which is just so uncomfortable to watch.  Ultimately this relationship and in particular the Hopkins character is the point of the film.  His inability to show his feelings or opinions beyond his profession is exasperating and very sad and the Thompson character spends her lifetime hoping in vain for Hopkins to express or show his feelings towards her.  In the end  he wastes his life and there is nothing left of his ‘day’. 

8

Rendition

2007 thriller.  Very good film about USA torture of suspects with flimsy evidence. Very sinister and troubling. Excellent score-like Crash. If this really happens then it is very troubling.

7

Requiem For A Dream

2000 drama.  A shocking tale about a son on a slippery descent into a drink addiction hell,  and his mother who goes insane through addiction to slimming pills.  Hard to watch towards the end,  as a group of lives are destroyed.  You would never inject heroin if you watched this film.

7

Return To Me

 

2000 Romance with unusual original heart wrenching plot.  Amusing weepie.  David Duchovny (X files).  Millie Driver.  Watchable and innocuous.  Some  comedy. 

6

Revolutionary Road

2008 Kate Winslet.  Married life in mid 1950s .  A great film which is depressing to watch and about the conflicts,  and frustrations,  and dissatisfaction that accompany hope and aspiration in suburbia.  It explores the pressures in relationships and is well acted. 

8

Rich Man's Wife (The)

1996 Erotic Thriller.  Traditional 1990s erotic thriller fare,  formulaic and predictable  but watchable and enjoyable.  Halle Berry is good in this as the abused wife but Clive Owen is as useless as ever and the film is the poorer for his inclusion in the cast.  Overall adequate.

4

Riff Raff

1990 Comedy drama.  Building site worker (Robert Carlyle) finds a handbag in a skip and returns it to its owner and forms a relationship with her (Emer McCourt).   Story depicts a tough harsh life for all the cast in this down to earth ,  working class drama.  The film is typical of the director,  Ken Loach,  (Cathy Come Home) .  The girlfriend is a very needy insecure and desperate character who is constantly terrified of the relationship ending.   A very good film but I did not find it a comedy- more a serious drama making some left wing political points.  A lot of the dialogue is hard to decipher.

7

Righteous Kill

2008 Good cast-Deniro, Al Pacino,  2 NYPD veteran maverick  cops ,  taking law in own hands . Watchable adequate film but disappointing given the potential.

5

Risky Business

1983 comedy . Very early Tom Cruise Rom Com.  Funny in parts.  Student leaves home alone with daddy’s Porsche.  Supposedly an 80s classic but it is a watchable adequate film but that is all. 

5

Roadkill

2001 Watchable thriller based on killer psychotic lorry driver.  Low budget ,  not a classic,  CB radio storylines and some similarities with Duel.  .

4

Rogue River

2010 horror / thriller .  Has similarities to Wolf Creek.  If you liked that you will like this.  It is a good bread and butter horror / thriller.  Absolutely not for the squeamish or easily shocked .  Don’t watch it unless you have a strong stomach for torture and violence.  Has a climax scene that will offend some.  Definitely watchable if you like this sort of thing.

6

Rollerball

1975 sci fi drama.  Has stood the test of time except for computer technology.  Still a classic.  A very dangerous and lethal organized game  has taken the place of warfare.

7

Romeo & Juliette

1968.  Big Zeferreli production.  Reasonable well cast and acted,  good costumes,  and faithful to the play.  Perhaps a little long at 133 minutes.  But a good watchable film.  Of course it has to end in tears.

6

Rosetta

1999 drama.  Belgian (French with sub-titles) A grim and bleak story about a poor but determined young girl who tries to break out from the desperate poverty trap that her mother has landed her into.  Very low budget film shot in the hand held camera Blair Witch style.  By the end of the film you feel sea sick.  There is little dialogue and many scenes are very repetitive.  Yes the film is gritty and hard hitting in its portrayal of how the capitalist system conspires against the have nots.  But this film is so devoid of charm and so lacking in any joy or fun whatsoever that you could never say that you enjoyed it.  I know you are not supposed to but there are limits.  Just one smile would have been nice.  The film lacks any proper ending or conclusion.  A good film to accompany topping yourself maybe!

5

Runaway Jury

2002 Gene Hackman,  Rachel Weisz,  Dustin Hoffman.  Excellent drama about attempts to control a jury and influence the outcome.  Many twists and turns.   Tackles the morality of manufacturing guns.  Would be a 9 except that the plot whilst being thoroughly entertaining is in reality quite contrived to the point of stretching credibility.

8

Safe Haven

2013 Romantic drama.  Innocuous and harmless average romantic drama.  More of a chick flick really.  Young girl flees violent Boston cop partner and escapes to a small seaside town- Southport in North Carolina.  Actually Southport  was the star of this film for me and looked so nice I want to visit! Anyway back to the film,  the girl falls in love with a handsome widower with the usual two adorable children.   Eventually,  predictably,  the rogue cop ex partner  finds her and attempts to upset the apple cart.  Predictable,  soppy,  and sweet watchable film for a rainy afternoon.  Spoilt a little by an unbelievably cheesy cringe making twist at the end.

5

Safe House

2012 Action thriller.  High action competent film that does what it says on the tin.  It is predictable and formulaic but worth a watch.  The film seems to lack something and be a little two dimensional but despite all that if you like high action drama based on the CIA with the latest technology,  and frantic car chases thrown in then it is a sort of what's not to like really.  A good but not a great movie.  Hard to know who is who in some of the frenzy.

6

Salmon Fishing In The Yemen

2012 Romantic drama.  Wow! I really loved this film.  I found it an extremely enjoyable story with an original plot.  A story of aspiration,  and determination with great likeable characters that you actually care about. All combined with an engaging and credible romance the outcome of which is hard to foresee.  Emily Blunt is superb in this.  Just a thoroughly pleasant watch and highly recommended.

9

Salt

2010 Very good exhausting spy double agent thriller in the No Way Out mould.  Angelina Jolie does well actually.  Plot is hard to follow .  I watched it twice! Very fast moving with a plot with many twists that keeps you guessing.  It is very good actually .  The action is amazing.

7

Sam & Janet

2002 Teen romance.  Typical Californian teen romance made for TV film.  Predictable and cheesy with a twist at the end to try to inject a big finish.  Usual all American guys with broad smiles,  perfect teeth  and big chins and usual blonde stick insect girls.  Divorced guy determined not to get married again gets smitten and tries to resist.  Uninspiring.

3

Sarah’s Key

2010 WWII . Kristin Scott Thomas.  Story starts in July 1942 about the round up of Jews by the French authorities and the shame of how they assisted the Nazis.  Kristin ST is an American journalist investigating the story that uncovers secrets which link to her own family in Paris at the same time.  Disturbing,  very credible,  excellent.

8

Saturday Night And Sunday Morning

1960s kitchen sink classic.  Worth watching as a rare view of life at the end of the 1950s in an industrial city in the Midlands (Nottingham),  and a window on how people and families behaved towards each other.  Life was grey and hard in those days and the black and white seems to emphasise this aspect.  Also a portrayal of how stilted and awkward relationships were between the sexes.  A bit like A kind of Loving really.  Not a lot happens by modern taste -like a modern Mike Leigh film,  and the film fizzles out without any real ending or conclusion .  But the film is watchable and compelling as a window on life over 50 years ago .

7

Saving Grace

2000.  Average British comedy about widow who attempts to resolve her financial problems by growing marihuana.  Starts well and is amusing and well acted with an all star cast but loses its way and is unsure how to end it,  although the end result is not bad and very watchable.

5

Saving Private Ryan

WWII drama. Epic Spielberg masterpiece about a US army captain assigned to find the one surviving brother out of four brothers who have been killed in combat. Tom Hanks is superb. Set in June 1944 Normandy and begins at the infamous Omaha landing beach. Quite simply one of the best war films ever made and certainly some of the most realistic and harrowing battle action footage. An emotional tense and draining story. Better than the similarly themed Band Of Brothers which followed and was inspired by it.

9

Scarlet And The Black (The)

1983 WWII story based on true events about a courageous Roman Catholic priest who hid Jews and allied POWs from the Nazis in German occupied Rome.  All star cast.  Portrays the normality of the high life enjoyed by the Nazis during their occupation.  A made for TV good film,  well acted,  although a little long. 

6

Sea Of Love

1989 Thriller.  Al Pacino is great as veteran cop in a good erotic thriller.  Good cast.  Good watchable thriller.  Plot keeps you guessing

6

Secret In Their Eyes (The)

2009 Spanish with sub titles.  Why don’t they warn you? Too hard to follow.  Too many similar looking characters.  A thriller about investigating an unsolved rape and murder.  Going by the rave reviews maybe I should have tried harder.

2

Secret Of Moonacre (The)

2009.  Second Dakota Blue Richards film.  Watched it because she was in it.  Children’s fantasy .  Dakota is excellent.  Two families at war and a magic curse .  Shot in castles and the forest.

5

Secretary

2002 If there was ever a film that shows that one mans's meat is another's poison this is it.  Oh how taste differs! This is a low budget soft porn story about a masochist submissive girl and a dominant OCD boss.  I thought I would be the only person who ever got to the end of this movie before I was shocked to see the rave reviews.  It is neither erotic or funny or credible.  It is nothing other than ridiculous.  Complete rubbish.  Don't bother.

3

Seduction Of Joe Tynan (The)

1979 Drama.  Very early Meryl Streep film about corruption and affair of up and coming ambitious young American senator.  Very underrated film.  I like it but many will find it very dated.

8

Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World

2012 Comedy and romantic drama.  Top drawer cast of Steve Carell and Kiera Knightley try to rescue a mediocre film.  Divorcing man is seeking new love days before the end of the world apocalypse.  Kiera Knightley is excellent but Steve Carell looks bored and like he did not want to be there.  He only comes alive in the final scene.  Good in parts but overall disappointing due to Carell’s uninspiring performance

5

Sentinel (The)

(2006)

2006 Michael Douglas political thriller.  Plot to assassinate the President of USA while meanwhile Douglas is having an affair with the first lady. Good.

6

Sessions (The)

2012 Drama.  A very brave film that tackles an extremely delicate subject.  A paralysed lifelong victim of polio who is a virgin embarks on a course of sex therapy with a professional sexual surrogate therapist brilliantly played by Helen Hunt.  The film successfully navigates the tight rope of good taste and delivers a serious ,  credible,  and touching emotional drama  about his sexual awakening.  The film also manages to be appropriately amusing again always in good taste.  This is an uplifting film based on a real man in the USA that tackles a taboo subject with absolute dignity. 

8

Seven Pounds

2009.  Some would find a bit corny and gushy.  Will Smith,  donating his organs .  Gentle tear jerker drama sympathetically and tastefully executed.  Good.

6

Sex And Lucia

2001.  Spanish film with sub titles.  Very explicit.  Good in parts but the plot is very difficult to follow and is about an author writing about another author (himself) and his sex life.  A lot of the time you do not know whether what is happening is the story or in the book he is writing. 

4

Sex Traffic

2006 Gritty drama.  Story of two young Mouldovan sisters kidnapped and trafficked through eastern Europe to London Very realistic,  thought provoking  and scary .

7

Sexual Malice

1994.  Low budget erotic thriller.  Very amateurish.  Poorly acted and laughable script. University professor frames his wife for the murder of her lover.  Awful.

3

Shadowlands

(1993)

1993 True story of tragic love affair of Oxford don C S Lewis.  Tear jerker.  Anthony Hopkins,  Debra Winger.  Hopkins superb as always and perfect for the part.   A very good film.  Recommended.  

7

Shame

2011 Drama.  Carey Mulligan. A brave film that addresses the difficult subjects of sex obsession and addiction to pornography in an modern American culture where anything goes.  It is actually more tragic than I was expecting and packs a hard message that ultimately free sex and promiscuity makes for an empty,  hollow ,  unhappy and lonely life.  Shame is worse than that though because this totally selfish ,  self obsessed character is also totally unable to give love and support even to his sister when she reaches out to and needs him.  And when a chance does come along and a bubbly attractive girl comes along who genuinely reaches out and is attracted to the main character he again is unable to respond with anything being emotionally bankrupt and dead inside.  As I say it is much harder hitting than I was expecting and is a comment of modern free and easy sexual behaviour and self obsession.  Carey Mulligan is superb.  Warning -Contains much nudity and sex.

7

Shape Of Things (The)

2003 Romantic Drama.  A strange and unusual film.  Had to watch it twice and I did get it the second time.  It is supposed to be about superficiality and vanity and appearances,  and delusion.  But in the end I think it is just about mental cruelty and exploitation in a relationship. Super seductive and attractive Rachel Weisz play an alluring young artist who turns out to be a super opinionated manipulative heartless control freak.  She is as superb as ever in this role.  Her victim is thoroughly nice and innocent guy Adam played also very well by Paul Rudd. Absolutely massive twist in the finale which explains all that has gone before. This film will not be for everybody but it is definitely watchable.  It is not about what you think it is and in the end even the viewer is misled by the Weisz character!

6

Sharpe’s Mission