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Closed Circuit Trailer


Martin and Claudia are two lawyers who were formerly in a relationship. They are roped into a case together on the defense team of an alleged terrorist, following a tragic bombing in a London market one morning in November. It may be a difficult job to being with, but things don't get any easier when they covertly discover that their client was actually assigned as an undercover spy for MI5 and was supposed to lead them to the bombers before the attack. They soon begin to realise that their every move is being closely watched, and with threats on their life by some powerful people following their investigations and risky suggestions in court, they must escape the controlling force that is the government before they are eradicated - though it could be too late.

Continue: Closed Circuit Trailer

Cloud Atlas Flops On Opening Weekend At Box Office


Lilly Wachowski Tom Hanks Halle Berry Jim Broadbent Hugh Grant Hugo Weaving

Cloud Atlas has flopped into third place in the US Box Office after a dreary weekend saw the film, which many thought would do well commercially, take in less than Hotel Transylvania and chart topper Argo in US markets.

The film, an adaptation of the David Mitchell novel of the same name, was brought to the screen by Matrix masterminds Andy and Lana Wachowski and Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer, with many foreseeing the time-jumping epic to make a huge impact at the box office. Instead the film only brought in a meagre $9.4 million over its opening weekend, a long way from the predicted $100 million it had budgeted for.

The film, which stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant and Hugo Weaving among others, follows the inter-twining lives of a host of different people throughout time, following the implications of actions made in past lives and how the soul lives on through time. It has so far split opinion right down the middle, with some marvelling and the ground breaking spectacle and story telling of the film, whilst other have smeared it for being overly ambitious.

Continue reading: Cloud Atlas Flops On Opening Weekend At Box Office

Cloud Atlas: Halle Berry's Clouds Are Solid Gold, Let Alone The Silver Lining


Halle Berry Tom Hanks Susan Sarandon Jim Broadbent

Cloud Atlas, the new film adapted from David Mitchell's novel of the same name, stars Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon and Jim Broadbent, among a plethora of other great stars. 

USA today says that film had a budget of $100m which reflects the complexity of its production, and the reason behind its star-saturation. The plot of the movie (and book) is a tapestry of six stories, following one soul as it moves from one body to the next, to the next, spanning around 500 years, from 1849 to the 24th century. The premise assumes reincarnation to be true, and really focuses on the unity of the human race. UPI states the official plotline as "the actions and consequences of our lives impact one another throughout the past, present, and future as one soul is shaped from a murderer into a savior and a single act of kindness ripples out for centuries to inspire a revolution."

Speaking about her role, Berry said "You have to say yes to something like this, [I want audiences to] walk away having a dialogue about it. And really realizing the ramifications of all of our actions and all of the choices that we make, and that they do reverberate for generations and generations. Acts of kindness and also acts of cruelty. It really matters." Halle has also revealed that she believes in reincarnation. "I think it's huge and something I believe in; the idea of reincarnation," she said, reported by CNN. "[Next time] I hope [to be] an animal. I'm a little tired of the human being thing; I'd love to come back as an animal next time around."

Continue reading: Cloud Atlas: Halle Berry's Clouds Are Solid Gold, Let Alone The Silver Lining

The Iron Lady Review


Very Good
A fairly straightforward character portrait without any real analysis or message, this biopic succeeds because of the translucent performance by Meryl Streep. While the script and direction are inventive, they're also oddly uncritical.

In present-day London, Baroness Thatcher (Streep) is battling delusions of her dead husband Denis (Broadbent), who triggers memories of her life in politics.

Growing up during the war, young Margaret (Roach) becomes increasingly involved in politics, catches the eye of young Denis (Lloyd) and moves up the ladder from MP to become Britain's first female Prime Minister. She was also the longest-serving PM in the 20th century, staunchly sticking to her guns through the Poll Tax strikes, Falklands War and privatisation of much of the British state.

Continue reading: The Iron Lady Review

Arthur Christmas Trailer


Arthur Christmas is the clumsy youngest son of the famous Santa Claus. Together with his family, including his father, his cool older brother Steve, Santa's father Grandsanta and Santa's wife, Mrs. Santa, they run a top secret, highly state of the art operation beneath the North Pole, which helps Santa deliver every single Christmas present in one night around the globe and which cannot be seen by anyone else. It is a lengthy process, which sees Santa's team of elves - including a 'Gift Wrapping Battalion' who carry scissors and tape guns - training in the isolated Arctic during the summer by performing drills and practising their wrapping skills on unsuspecting polar bears. There is also a 'mission control' in which Santa and his team can see exactly how many days there are until Christmas and how many presents have been wrapped.

Continue: Arthur Christmas Trailer

Another Year Review


Excellent
Even for Mike Leigh, this film feels like a rather subdued slice-of-life in which nothing much really happens. But it's impeccably made at every level, with bracingly sharp performances and a ruthlessly honest script.

Tom and Gerri (Broadbent and Sheen) are a happy middle-aged couple in London with an equally contented 30-year-old son Joe (Maltman). But Gerri's friend Mary (Manville) is another story: single and more a bit desperate, she also has a creeping alcohol problem. While she seems like the perfect fit for Tom's friend Ken (Wight), she instead has her eye on Joe, which becomes a problem when he brings a girlfriend (Fernandez) home. Meanwhile, Tom's brother (Bradley) is struggling with his strained relationship with his surly son (Savage).

Continue reading: Another Year Review

Jim Broadbent Wednesday 13th October 2010 The 54th Times BFI London Film Festival - 'Never Let Me Go' - Premiere - Opening Gala - Arrivals. London, England

Another Year Trailer


Meet Tom and Gerri, a happily married couple who're closer to the end of their life to the start. Another Year is a touching and true-to-life story that explores the meaning of friendships and relationships through all stages of life.

Another Year was written and directed by British film maker Mike Leigh and sees him collaborate with Lesley Manville for the eighth time, his seventh with Jim Broadbent and fifth with Ruth Sheen.

Another Year is released in the UK through Momentum Pictures on November 5th 2010
Directed by: Mike Leigh

Starring: Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville, Ruth Sheen, Peter Wight, Oliver Maltman, David Bradley, Martin Savage, Michele Austin, Philip Davis, Imelda Staunton, Stuart McQuarrie, Eileen Davies, Mary Jo Randle and Ben Roberts

Jim Broadbent - Tuesday 3rd August 2010 at Royal Festival Hall London, England

Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent

Jim Broadbent - Saturday 15th May 2010 at Cannes Film Festival Cannes, France

Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent

Actor Jim Broadbent and Jim Broadbent - Saturday 15th May 2010 at Cannes Film Festival Cannes, France

Actor Jim Broadbent and Jim Broadbent
Actor Jim Broadbent and Jim Broadbent
Lesley Manville and Jim Broadbent
Lesley Manville and Jim Broadbent

Jim Broadbent Wednesday 10th March 2010 Irish Premiere of 'Perrier's Bounty' held at the Savoy Cinema Dublin Ireland

Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent

Jim Broadbent Tuesday 26th January 2010 The South Bank show awards held at the Dorchester Hotel - Outside arrivals. London, England

Jim Broadbent

Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince Review


Very Good
Darker and a whole lot drearier, this sixth Harry Potter adventure centres on a slow-developing mystery, and the filmmakers clearly struggle to give it much pace. It's well-made and watchable, but feels like an intake of breath before the frantic finale.

After the horrific conclusion of their fifth year at Hogwarts, Harry (Radcliffe) has a solitary summer before being drafted by headmaster Dumbledore (Gambon) into the ongoing war between the wizarding forces of light and darkness. And as year six starts, Dumbledore assigns Harry to get some important information from new potions professor Slughorn (Broadbent) about the Dark Lord's background. He of course does this with the help of pals Ron and Hermione (Grint and Watson), who with Harry are also caught up in conflict more typical for 17-year-olds: raging hormones.

Continue reading: Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince Review

Jim Broadbent, Harry Potter and Empire Leicester Square - Jim Broadbent and Anastasia Lewis London, England - World Premiere of Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince at the Empire Leicester Square cinema - arrivals Tuesday 7th July 2009

Jim Broadbent, Harry Potter and Empire Leicester Square
Jim Broadbent, Harry Potter and Empire Leicester Square

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Trailer & Featurette


Watch the trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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Jim Broadbent Wednesday 18th March 2009 UK film premiere of 'The Damned United' London, England

Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent

Jim Broadbent, Odeon Leicester Square and The Young Vic Tuesday 3rd March 2009 The Young Victoria - World premiere held at the Odeon Leicester Square - Arrivals London, England

Jim Broadbent, Odeon Leicester Square and The Young Vic
Jim Broadbent, Odeon Leicester Square and The Young Vic

Jim Broadbent, Lisa Mayer and Martin Clunes - Jim Broadbent, Lisa Mayer and Martin Clunes London, England - attend the press night for Entertaining Mr. Sloane Friday 30th January 2009

Jim Broadbent, Lisa Mayer and Martin Clunes
Jim Carter, Janine Duvitski and Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent and Angus Deayton

Inkheart Review


Bad
Nothing warms a writer's icy heart more than something that champions books -- and reading, specifically. As communication becomes more and more a collection of texting abbreviations and message board protocols, the art of literature appears to be slowly sinking. So something like Inkheart should inspire all kinds of good will for fellow scribe Cornelia Funke, especially with its love of imagination, fiction, and all things erudite. Sadly, Hollywood's hand in the mix has created yet another attempted Harry Potter clone, a clever idea anemically adapted to capitalize on its commercial, not creative potential.

Mo Folchart (Brendan Fraiser) is a "silvertongue" -- one of a rare few who can "read" characters out of books and bring them to life. Sadly, he discovers this trait one night while entertaining his wife Resa (Sienna Guillory) and their daughter Meggie (Eliza Bennett). While indulging in a passage from the fantasy novel Inkheart, he unleashes fire juggler Dustfinger (Paul Bettany) while accidentally sending his spouse into the tome. Now, 10 years later, Mo is still looking to save her, even though his efforts have let loose more fictional faces from the book, including evil master thief Capricorn (Andy Serkis). But the criminal is not content with being a viable member of the real world. He wants to rule all of mankind, and wants Mo to help him in this horrible pursuit.

Continue reading: Inkheart Review

Jim Broadbent Friday 17th October 2008 The Times BFI London Film Festival - 'The Other Man' - Arrivals London, England

Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent

Jim Broadbent - Wednesday 15th October 2008 at Odeon Leicester Square London, England

Jim Broadbent

Jim Broadbent Wednesday 15th October 2008 The Times BFI London Film Festival - Premiere of Frost/Nixon - Arrivals London, England

Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull Review


Very Good
The great thing about the movies is that our heroes never age. We can keep going back to Chaplin, Newman, or Hepburn (either one), and with the exception of some dated slang, they remain as fresh as the day they stepped foot in front of the camera.

And so, when a bona fide classic character like Indiana Jones, last seen on the big screen 19 long years ago, makes his big return (with all the itinerant hype), fans of the series are faced with a painful mix of emotions. Of course there's joy: Another episode of what might be my favorite childhood movie series is a delightful prospect. But then there's despair: Indy may not age, but Harrison Ford does. Indiana Jones is no longer a spry young guy but a veritable senior citizen. And if Indiana Jones is old, that means I'm getting old, too.

Continue reading: Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull Review

Jim Broadbent - Sunday 18th May 2008 at Cannes Film Festival Cannes, France

Jim Broadbent

Jim Broadbent Monday 14th April 2008 UK premiere of 'Happy-Go-Lucky' held at the Odeon Camden - Arrivals London, England

Jim Broadbent Sunday 9th March 2008 Empire Awards held at the Grosvenor House London, England

Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent

Jim Broadbent - Wednesday 28th November 2007 at The Roundhouse London, England

Jim Broadbent

Jim Broadbent and Matthew Beard - Jim Broadbent and Matthew Beard Edinburgh, Scotland - Edinburgh International Film Festival 2007 - Screening of 'And When Did You Last See Your Father?' Thursday 23rd August 2007

Jim Broadbent and Matthew Beard
Jim Broadbent and Matthew Beard
Jim Broadbent

Jim Broadbent - Jim Broadbent, Tuesday 3rd July 2007 at Old Billingsgate London, England

Jim Broadbent

Jim Broadbent - Tuesday 3rd July 2007 at Odeon Leicester Square London, England

Jim Broadbent

The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (2005) Review


Weak
Since the first comparison made with C.S. Lewis' Narnia fantasy series is to his friend and colleague J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books, it is worth noting that - as recently mentioned in the New Yorker - Tolkien hated the Narnia books because their ideological underpinnings constrained the fiction itself. Tolkien was as devoutly religious as Lewis but you didn't see the hobbits going to church on Sunday; Middle Earth was a pretty pagan land where mythology, not theology, was the rule of the day. Lewis was a different sort, of course, and though the seven Narnia books were brilliant fantasy, they also had an irksome tendency towards preachiness. This same problem afflicts The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the (potentially) first Chronicles of Narnia film, a crass product of merchandised morality from Disney and Walden Media, a media company owned by Christian evangelist billionaire Philip Anschutz.

Director Andrew Adamson makes his live-action debut here after the two Shreks, but it's an easy transition for him, given that a good portion of the film has a CGI/character complexity ratio about as high as the last few Star Wars films. Although Narnia doesn't lend itself well to the cheeky pop culture reference-o-rama that Shrek did, it shares those films' same treacly sentimentality and market-researched plasticity.

Continue reading: The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (2005) Review

Art School Confidential Review


Excellent
Few things are more mystifying to outsiders than the world of modern art. Which of course makes it the perfect backdrop for a Terry Zwigoff film. Where else is eccentricity, flamboyance, and pretension considered normal? And who's more alienated and misunderstood than an art student rejected by his art school classmates, who are, quite naturally, alienated and misunderstood themselves? Art School Confidential, Zwigoff's latest, mines this territory for humor and poignancy, raising questions about the nature of art and alienation.As in Zwigoff's previous films, which include Crumb, Ghost World, and Bad Santa, Art School's hero is far from heroic. Played by Max Minghella, with his dark eyes and brooding bushy brows, Jerome Platz is a young art student whose primary aspiration is to be the greatest artist of the 21st century, the next Picasso. His secondary concern -- to find an emotional, intellectual, erotic connection with a woman -- proves even more ambitious since he feels only one girl, luminous art model Audrey (Sophia Myles), is worthy of his attention.The trouble is, after an initial connection with Jerome, Audrey shifts her attention to another freshman painter, the hunky Jonah, whose simple, innocent paintings have turned him into something of a campus hero. In order to win Audrey back, Jerome asks for the help of Jimmy (Jim Broadbent), a bitter, reclusive, alcoholic painter. Broadbent's performance is the film's strongest, which is saying something in a film packed with celebrated actors. His Jimmy is sensitive and fearsome, wise, and terrible -- all at once. At several points in the film, during fits of artistic pique, Jimmy's eyes flash with anger and fix on Jerome -- and the misery of a rotten, wasted life paralyzes both Jerome and the audience. The jolting power of these moments, of Broadbent's poisonous eyes, makes his turn a thing to behold.Jerome's classmates and instructors at the Strathmore Institute figure prominently in the film's wry exploration of what makes good art good, and what makes the truest art timeless. Professor Sandiford (John Malkovich) is a failed painter who is unable to see Jerome's talent and potential but wouldn't mind sleeping with him. Jerome's roommate Vince (Ethan Suplee, of TV's My Name Is Earl) is a fast-talking, sexually obsessed film student. And Jerome's friend Bardo is a talentless, wayward womanizer who doesn't belong in art school. Several heavyweight actors play the bit parts that round out the cast, including Angelica Huston as a sage art history professor, Steve Buscemi as a freewheeling gallery owner, and Michael Lerner as a greedy art dealer.Art School marks Zwigoff's second collaboration with Daniel Clowes, who wrote both the screenplay and the graphic novel on which it was based. Their first collaboration, the 2001 film Ghost World, earned them an avalanche of critical praise and an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. However, Art School isn't as good as Ghost World, despite their abundant similarities. The connection between the central characters in Ghost World, Thora Birch's Enid and Buscemi's Seymour, was fascinating, odd, and easily understood. Jerome and Audrey's relationship, meanwhile, never takes shape, partly because Audrey's character is completely lifeless. Zwigoff and Clowes never get around to showing us who she is or what she wants. It's never clear why she would turn her back on Jerome to pursue Jonah when she knows better than anyone that Jerome is the real talent.Such problems keep Art School from the heights of achievement of Ghost World and Crumb, but don't keep it from being a provocative, entertaining movie. Art School will go down as a minor work from the maker of off-kilter gems.Between you and me...

The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (2005) Review


Weak
Since the first comparison made with C.S. Lewis' Narnia fantasy series is to his friend and colleague J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books, it is worth noting that - as recently mentioned in the New Yorker - Tolkien hated the Narnia books because their ideological underpinnings constrained the fiction itself. Tolkien was as devoutly religious as Lewis but you didn't see the hobbits going to church on Sunday; Middle Earth was a pretty pagan land where mythology, not theology, was the rule of the day. Lewis was a different sort, of course, and though the seven Narnia books were brilliant fantasy, they also had an irksome tendency towards preachiness. This same problem afflicts The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the (potentially) first Chronicles of Narnia film, a crass product of merchandised morality from Disney and Walden Media, a media company owned by Christian evangelist billionaire Philip Anschutz.

Director Andrew Adamson makes his live-action debut here after the two Shreks, but it's an easy transition for him, given that a good portion of the film has a CGI/character complexity ratio about as high as the last few Star Wars films. Although Narnia doesn't lend itself well to the cheeky pop culture reference-o-rama that Shrek did, it shares those films' same treacly sentimentality and market-researched plasticity.

Continue reading: The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (2005) Review

Nicholas Nickleby Review


Good
Poor Charles Dickens. He has the good fortune to be remembered by the entire world. What high school student hasn't been forced to suffer through Great Expectations? Nowadays, one of his books (and he didn't really write that many) is turned into a movie or a mini-series every year. (2001 saw four Dickens recreations on film or TV.)

2002 will earn but a single Dickens adaptation, a motion picture of Nicholas Nickleby, perhaps Dickens' least-read work and one of his most wandering (the novel being more than 800 pages long).

Continue reading: Nicholas Nickleby Review

Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason Review


OK
In the last three years, Renée Zellweger has lost all 25 pounds of her Bridget Jones weight, vamped her way through Chicago, chunked up again for Cold Mountain, waifed away for Down with Love, and -- finally -- put all that weight back on for her long-awaited return to the role of an insecure Brit -- one which she swore she'd never perform again.

Well, throw enough money at something and it's bound to change people's minds. In fact, that seems to be the operating assumption for the entirety of this sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, a lackluster follow-up to the mildly enchanting original.

Continue reading: Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason Review

The Gathering Storm Review


Very Good
Good TV but still obviously TV. Albert Finney has labored over his doppelganger of Winston Churchill, seen here in the years leading up to WWII, from when no one took him seriously in Parliament to his dominating stint as Prime Minister. I learned a lot about Chuchill in The Gathering Storm, but it still felt a bit like I was taking my medicine. Full of great performances but somehow soulless.

Bullets Over Broadway Review


Excellent
Woody Allen puts away the parlor tricks (singing, Greek choruses, supernaturalism) for this straight-up period piece, a fun romantic comedy that, with seven Oscar nominations, is one of his most award-nominated films, tying Hannah and Her Sisters. John Cusack (odd choice) stars as an idealistic playwright in the 1920s who, for one reason after another, finds his would-be masterpiece being overrun by meddlers, bizarre actors, love entanglements, and a series of absurd situations. Dianne Wiest won an Oscar for turning "Don't speak!" into a catchphrase, and the film vaulted Chazz Palminteri into the limelight -- for a couple of months, anyway. Great fun all around.

The Avengers Review


Terrible
I had heard it was bad... but this is downright silly. In a dead heat for worst movie of the year, an unconscionable waste of the prodigious acting talents that made this huge belly flop.

Topsy-Turvy Review


Good
One of my earliest childhood remembrances was watching a performance of H.M.S. Pinafore. I thought it was really neat. The costumes and music were amazing and even though I couldn't understand all of what was going on, I was fascinated by how all of these people worked together.

Now 20 years later, while watching another Gilbert and Sullivan performance (of sorts) I am still thinking the same things.

Continue reading: Topsy-Turvy Review

Valiant Review


Weak
A lithe Canadian beauty beat the tar out of a Disney animated feature this weekend. People opted to see Steve Carell get his chest waxed. Penguins, not the singing and dancing ones, but ordinary penguins, were a more appealing option than Valiant.

It's easy to see why the money is going elsewhere. Valiant clocks in at just below 80 minutes, and it feels padded. The typical Disney trademarks of untested heroes, sarcastic sidekicks, and puppy love are offered, but they feel like hand-me-downs, worn ragged by Aladdin, Timon, and the rest. Nothing in Valiant is larger than life, including the villains, always a staple. Tim Curry voices an evil falcon, and his work won't make anyone forget Jeremy Irons' Scar anytime soon.

Continue reading: Valiant Review

Vanity Fair Review


Very Good
Mira Nair has groomed her sumptuous adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's novel Vanity Fair for Oscar contention, and the period epic easily could compete in a number of technical categories. Pencil the handsome film down for costume design, art direction, and makeup nominations. Declan Quinn's cinematography certainly deserves a nod, too. It's a little early to tell how all the races will shake out, but leading lady Reese Witherspoon could even surprise a few people by seeing her name on a short list of Best Actress nominees.

Too bad no one is going to pay to see the film. Most mainstream filmgoers would opt for root canal over having to sit through a 19th century social commentary piece. Take Ang Lee's Sense And Sensibility as an example. It earned seven Oscar nominations back in 1995, but only grossed $42 million in the States.

Continue reading: Vanity Fair Review

Widows' Peak Review


Very Good
Widows' Peak is best known -- if it's known at all -- as Mia Farrow's first movie in 10 years that wasn't directed by then-husband Woody Allen. It's a big departure for Mia -- not only is it a black comedy involving blackmail, revenge, and murder, but Mia's playing an Irish lass, to boot!

The titular peak is a small mountain in Ireland, populated primarily by wealthy widows and their kin, while the proles labor in the town at the bottom of the hill. While grand dames like Mrs. Doyle-Counihan (Joan Plowright) are the norm, Miss O'Hare (Farrow) is a bit more mysterious, obviously far lesser in stature despite hanging with the gossipy upper class. Into this sleepy mix comes English/American import Edwina Broome (Natasha Richardson), who immediately livens up the geriatric community by romancing Mrs. D-C's son (Adrian Dunbar) and getting into a series of scuffles with Miss O'Hare. Before too long, the secrets will be spilling out of both of them as the hijinks spiral out of control.

Continue reading: Widows' Peak Review

Brazil Review


Essential
Categorically, one of the greatest films of the century--about a lowly clerk in a postmodern dystopia fighting to regain a sense of self against the all-powerful machine of government tyranny. As fought-over as Citizen Kane. As filled with nuance and meaning as A Clockwork Orange. As prophetic as 1984. Anyone who doesn't like Brazil is a fascist. You can tell them I said so.

Continue reading: Brazil Review

Robots Review


OK

With its expensive but largely characterless voice castand an off-the-shelf follow-your-dreams plot retooled for a world populatedby wacky sentient machines, the computer-animated "Robots" islucky to have spectacular production design and one or two curious mechanicalstars to hold the interest of anyone over age 10.

Created by Blue Sky Studios and director Chris Wedge --the gang behind 2002's "IceAge" -- the story concerns young robotRodney Copperbottom (voiced by Ewan McGregor), a small-town dreamer madefrom well-worn, hand-me-down parts maintained by his dishwasher dad. He'sa hopeful, wide-eyed inventor who travels to the mega-opolis Robot Cityhoping to sell some of his scrap-metal gadgets to Bigweld Industries, apparentlythe monopoly supplier of all things robotic in this world.

The company was once run by the altruistic and welcomingMr. Bigweld (Mel Brooks), who for no adequately explored reason has withdrawnfrom the company he loved and let it be taken over by a greedy, brushed-steelcorporate suit named Ratchet (Greg Kinnear). This villain has decided todiscontinue all replacement parts Bigweld has always made for the robotpopulation -- all part of a sinister plan to scrap and melt down any "outmodes"who can't afford full-body upgrades.

Continue reading: Robots Review

Moulin Rouge Review


Good

Writer-director Baz Luhrmann wastes no time getting to the flamboyant and cinematic razzle-dazzle of "Moulin Rouge," a spectacular near-opera that breathes 21st Century life into the movie musical by invoking the wildest cultural spirits from the dawn of the 20th Century.

In the film's opening sequence Luhrmann pushes into the frame of a scratchy, grainy silent film image of Paris, circa 1900. We're swept over sepia-toned rooftops and down into the deteriorated hotel room of the broken-hearted hero, a once-idealistic young writer named Christian (Ewan McGregor) who sits at a typewriter about to pour out the tale of his doomed love for a beautiful courtesan who had been the star of the floor show at the infamous Moulin Rouge cabaret.

When Christian's flashback to happier days begins, Luhrmann reverses out of this antiquey image of Paris until he reaches the same starting vantage point. Suddenly bright, rich color bleeds into the frame and the camera zooms forward once again, into a now effervescent, vital and fantastical City of Lights in all its bohemian splendor.

Continue reading: Moulin Rouge Review

Gangs Of New York Review


Good

In the opening moments of Martin Scorsese's American history epic "Gangs of New York," a galvanized band of 19th Century Irish immigrants, armed to the teeth with axes and swords, emerges from a catacomb hideout beneath an abandoned brewery and kick open a shabby wooden door to reveal an amazing sight: the vast, almost frontier-like streets of lower Manhattan, circa 1846, brought to life in such exacting detail that you can almost smell the horse plop on the muddy roads.

This single shot does wonders for establishing the heavy, gritty, treacherous atmosphere of the muscle-ruled Five Points area in which the film is set. It's a place where falsely accused people are hung by crooked cops to set examples for petty criminals and where fire brigades duke it out in front of burning buildings to determine who gets to fight the fire.

Leading the pack of Irish bruisers is the stouthearted Priest Vallon (Liam Neeson), who is subsequently killed in the ensuing violent, snow-bloodying street battle by William Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis) -- leader of The Natives, an vicious anti-immigrant gang, who leaves Vallon's young son, Amsterdam, one angry orphan.

Continue reading: Gangs Of New York Review

Bridget Jones's Diary Review


Good

Whether the feature film version of "Bridget Jones's Diary" -- that exalted, best-selling ode to 30-something single gals -- properly captures the oversized pajamas-and-Haagen Dazs essence of "singleton" romantic vexation, I cannot say.

I am male and I haven't read the book, and either one of these facts excludes me from being a bona fide member of the cult following that has built up around this lovelorn English Everywoman. Everything I know about Bridget's struggles with smoking, men and her weight I have gleaned from friends' enthusiastic reviews of the two Helen Fielding novels, which I'm told are written as diary entries in the heroine's first-person short-hand. (I hear both books are v., v. good.)

But I do consider myself something of an expert on (and an unabashed fan of) winsome romantic comedies, and on that front, I'd have to say this movie is a winner.

Continue reading: Bridget Jones's Diary Review

Iris Review


Very Good

Kate Winslet and Judi Dench give wondrously in-sync performances as the young and the old Iris Murdoch in "Iris," an inspired, invoking and inventive biography of one of Britain's premiere 20th Century authors.

With seemingly little effort, both actresses bear a remarkable resemblance to their character in her various stages of life -- as do the two actors (Hugh Bonneville and Jim Broadbent, respectively) who play Murdoch's fidgety and unstrung but unconditionally devoted husband, John Bayley.

But it's the way they play two ends of the same psyche, and the way director Richard Eyre ties those two ends inexorably together with interwoven parallel narratives, that makes this film transcend the biopic genre.

Continue reading: Iris Review

Vanity Fair Review


OK

Surprisingly, "Legally Blonde's" very modern Reese Witherspoon seems quite at home in the 19th Century world of London society as sprung from the pages of William Makepeace Thackeray's "Vanity Fair." Unfortunately she fails to inspire much sympathy for the novel's cunning, charmingly conniving, social-climbing heroine.

An orphan raised at a snooty girl's school, where she was indentured as a maid to pay for her edification, upon graduation the brilliant Becky Sharp rises quickly from nanny for the children of an eccentric country nobleman (Bob Hoskins), to sharp-tongued companion for his gossipy, aged society dame sister (Eileen Atkins), to wife-by-elopement of the nobleman's nephew -- much to the shock and chagrin of her former employers.

On the arm of her dashing army officer husband (James Purefoy) -- who used to "break hearts for a hobby" before falling under her spell -- Becky elbows her way into the disapproving circles of the Georgian-era upper crust, her beauty and biting wit making her irresistible to pliant men and a formidable rival to condescending women.

Continue reading: Vanity Fair Review

VERA DRAKE Review


Very Good

Bustling around drizzly, post-WWII London with a happy, doughy face and gleaming eyes, Vera (Imelda Staunton) works as a floor-scrubber for the wealthy, humming to herself and calling everyone "dear."

She lives in a graying flat with her auto mechanic husband (Phil Davis) and her grown son (Daniel Mays) and daughter (Alex Kelly). When she subtly plays matchmaker for her shy, homely daughter by inviting a poor, reserved bachelor and war veteran (Eddie Marsan) over for some real food, their awkward walk together in a park is one of this movie's oddest delights.

For Vera, no problem is ever so great that a nice cup of tea can't solve it; she often visits ailing neighbors and occasionally helps expectant girls by performing homespun abortions. When one of these patients almost dies, Vera is arrested and tried for her "crime."

Continue reading: VERA DRAKE Review

Topsy Turvy Review


Good

Director Mike Leigh has usurped his subjects' mirthful sense of humor and penchant for prolonged presentation in his new film "Topsy-Turvy," a jaunty, jolly, light-hearted look at the lives of Victorian operetta architects Gilbert and Sullivan.

Like G&S, Leigh delights in garnishments that add color to his characters and to the pliant performances such details inspire.

Leigh's actors are always especially absorbed in their parts because of the way he works -- creating the screenplay in concert with his players during incessant rehearsals -- but in contrast to his downcast-but-hopeful, slice-of-life dramas ("Secrets and Lies," "Career Girls"), this picture radiates a distinct playfulness that is nothing short of contagious.

Continue reading: Topsy Turvy Review

Nicholas Nickleby Review


Weak

You deserve a grain-of-salt warning before reading this review: Your friendly film critic really can't abide Charles Dickens, and "Nicholas Nickleby" is especially exemplary of everything that irks me about his work.

The characters in this tale of 19th Century woe are largely one-dimensional -- implausibly sweet and naive or absurdly ruthless and cruel without reason -- and they invite second-guessing to a distracting degree.

Nineteen years old and suddenly the head of his family after his father's death, the title character (played by the over-earnest Charlie Hunnam) reluctantly moves with his mother and sister from the quiet country cottage they can no longer afford to dirty, polluted, noisy, heartless London, seeking the help of Nicholas's rich, odious uncle (Christopher Plummer), who doesn't see why he should be burdened with helping his brother's family.

Continue reading: Nicholas Nickleby Review

Bright Young Things Review


Very Good

"Bright Young Things" is a terribly witty romp through 1930s pre-war London with a pack of idle young swells who live scrumptious but superficial lives of joyous gossip-page decadence and complacent scandal that has the potential to ruin them.

Very cleverly adapted (from Evelyn Waugh's novel "Vile Bodies") and directed by the gifted comedic actor Stephen Fry ("Wilde," "Peter's Friends"), our surrogate in this world is Adam Symes (newcomer Stephen Campbell Moore), a well-connected but flat broke novelist and fringe member of this society who is railroaded into writing an anonymous gossip column about his pals -- although he's soon inventing entirely fictional members of the circle just to keep his readers amused.

An ironic failure at schemes to get rich quick so he can ask the "frantically bored" and beautiful but secretly vulnerable and melancholy Nina (subtly heartbreaking and simply wonderful Emily Mortimer) to marry him, Adam's fortunes -- which practically fluctuate with the tides -- are just one source of endless humor. But director Fry furtively hints at shades of compunction and misfortune under the film's carefree surface that bubble up as world events encroach on these lives of leisure, eventually taking the film to an unexpected level of empathy, nuance and humanity.

Continue reading: Bright Young Things Review

Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason Review


Terrible

In "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason," the "singleton" Everygal neuroses of its titular British sweetheart have gone from endearing to downright insufferable.

Although still played warmly and winningly by the perfectly plus-sized Renee Zellweger, upon the advent of her still-fresh relationship with dashing, adoring, and a tad bit stiff barrister boyfriend Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), Bridget has become an embarrassing bundle of infuriating stock insecurities.

Jealous, suspicious, clingy, marriage-obsessed and irrational, in effect she's the antagonist in this romantic-comedy sequel. The hero is Mark -- whom she landed at the end of 2001's "Bridget Jones's Diary" -- for putting up with the torrent of rampant, relentless sitcom antics that stream unflatteringly and unchecked from the girl's vacillating self-confidence.

Continue reading: Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason Review

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Jim Broadbent Movies

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

Paddington 2 Trailer

Paddington 2 Trailer

Since being adopted into the Brown family, Paddington bear is now a big part of...

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The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Sense Of An Ending Trailer

The Sense Of An Ending Trailer

Tony Webster is a retired man in his sixties whose past comes back to haunt...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

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The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Bridget Jones's Baby Trailer

Bridget Jones's Baby Trailer

Bridget has always known how to get herself into a muddle - catastrophic muddles at...

The Legend Of Tarzan Trailer

The Legend Of Tarzan Trailer

When Lord John and Lady Greystoke found themselves stranded in strange jungle, their only instinct...

Eddie the Eagle Movie Review

Eddie the Eagle Movie Review

Based on the true story of an unapologetic underdog who never won anything, this British...

Bridget Jones's Baby Trailer

Bridget Jones's Baby Trailer

After battling the dating scene and finally finding love with Mark Darcy, Bridget Jones is...

The Lady In The Van Movie Review

The Lady In The Van Movie Review

Maggie Smith couldn't be more perfect for the title role in this film if it...

Brooklyn - Clips Trailer

Brooklyn - Clips Trailer

Eilis Lacey's life in Ireland has drawn to a standstill, there's no work and her...

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