David Mackenzie

David Mackenzie

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With 97%, Is Jack O'Connell's 'Starred Up' The Best Drama Of 2014?

Ben Mendelsohn David Mackenzie

Jack O'Connell is continuing to prove he is not limited to teen dramas and 'Starred Up' - a gritty prison flick from David Mackenzie - is his best movie to date. He stars as Eric Love, a 19-year-old violent and troubled teenagers making the transition from young offenders' institute to an adult prison.

Jack O'Connell Starred UpJack O'Connell In The Critically Acclaimed 'Starred Up'

Eric appears destined for a life behind bars, though the prison's unconventional therapist is determined to help the youngster find a way through, assisted by one of the prison's longest serving inmates - who just happens to be Eric's father.

Continue reading: With 97%, Is Jack O'Connell's 'Starred Up' The Best Drama Of 2014?

You Instead Trailer

Adam is one half of the globally successful American indie band 'The Make'. He is arrogant and egotistical and dates a vapid blonde supermodel. Morello is the lead singer in the up and coming all girl punk rock band 'The Dirty Pinks'. She takes pride in the fact that her band has worked hard to get to where they are and is also seeing an insipid banker. Both bands are performing at one of the UK's largest music festivals, and both are taking their respective other halves.

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Spread Trailer

Watch the trailer for Spread

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Mister Foe Review

Jamie Bell continues on his zigzag path to stardom, taking yet another oddball role in another oddball movie as he stars in Mister Foe, a Scottish import that's as interesting as it is weird. Teenage Hallam Foe (Bell), still undone by his mother's death two years earlier, spends much of his time in a treehouse in the yard of the loch-side estate where he lives his his father (Ciaran Hines), his sister Lucy (Lucy Holt), and his young and wicked stepmother Verity (Claire Forlani), a woman Hallam suspects may have actually murdered his drowned mother. After all, the wedding came a bit too quickly after the funeral. Sullen, quiet, and prone to making himself up like an Indian scout, Hallam wants nothing to do with his father and "that woman," and when Lucy moves away he feels he can no longer stay at home. After a very unfortunate tryst with the stepmother he claims to hate, Hallam runs away to the city.

Once in town, Hallam lines up a dishwashing job at a big hotel and instantly falls in love with Kate (Sophia Myles), the woman who hired him. Using the spying skills he developed in his treehouse, Hallam is able to peep as Kate has hot assignations with her married boss, and his knowledge of the affair will get him into much hot water, even as he busies himself with trying to solve the mystery of his mother's death once and for all. Did someone put sleeping pills in her coffee and toss her in the loch? He must find out.

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Young Adam Review

"That was pointless," muttered a fellow critic after leaving a screening of Young Adam. Well, he's almost right. The only discernable purpose of the movie is to have Ewan McGregor's solemn, conscience-deprived drifter Joe screw every woman in sight. I was immediately reminded of interviews with James Spader around the time of David Cronenberg's remarkable Crash, where he described his proactive role in the casting process because he gets to have simulated sex with each of his female co-stars. If that seems a shallow way of viewing this adaptation of Alexander Trocchi's celebrated beat novel (which has earned comparisons with Albert Camus's The Stranger), well, this is a pretty shallow movie from the word go. The images feel flat, the dialogue literary, and the performances strong but non-captivating.

Joe works a barge between Glasgow and Edinburgh, working for grouchy middle-aged public servant Les (Peter Mullan) and his miserable wife Ella (Tilda Swinton). Shortly after they discover a dead body floating in the water, Joe and Ella begin a torrid affair right under Les's nose. Much like the Jack Nicholson-Jessica Lange version of The Postman Always Rings Twice, this film adaptation keeps all the fleshy sex scenes front-and-center while losing the moral confusion and dark side of cultural idealism that can't be captured onscreen via Ewan McGregor's endless brooding and cigarette smoking and arid shots of Joe against industrial backdrops.

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The Last Great Wilderness Review

With its stark lighting, close quarters, and video photography, The Last Great Wilderness feels a lot like The Celebration, though it isn't an official Dogme film. Too bad that with a dead tired storyline, it doesn't resemble The Celebration in any way that matters. The story concerns two Scottish fellas (and in fact, the first third of the film concerns how they meet at a roadside diner) who run out of gas and hole up at a bizarre boarding house/maybe-cult den in the remote highlands. The movie wants to be everything from splatter film to black comedy and succeeds at none of them, owing to an unintersting script and dead-dull characters.
David Mackenzie

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