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Murder On The Orient Express Trailer


It's the 1930s and a group of strangers from different walks of life board a crowded luxury train called the Orient Express in Istanbul, preparing for a long overnight journey to their destination. Among them is the world famous detective Hercule Poirot who certainly isn't expecting to be working in such circumstances, but when a passenger named Edward Ratchett is found havng been brutally murdered in his sleep on the second night, it's up to him to gather all available evidence and wheedle out all of the suspects. So who are they? He soon deduces that the potential killer could be one of eleven including Professor Gerhard Hardman, Edward Masterman the Butler, Count Andrenyi, Hector MacQueen the Assistant, Mary Debenham the Governess, Pilar Estravados the Missionary, Mrs. Hubbard the Widow, Marquez the Salesman, Hildegarde Schmidt the Maid, Doctor Arbuthnot or Princess Dragomiroff. 

Continue: Murder On The Orient Express Trailer

Mindhorn Trailer


In the late 80s, Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barratt) was the most famous police detective on television, but fast-forward to the present day and he's balding, ungroomed and trying to convince himself that he is exactly where he needs to be in life with desperate daily positive affirmations. Fate does have one more adventure in store for the actor, however. A suspected serial killer named Paul Melly (Russell Tovey) has escaped from a secure unit at Darkmoor Hospital and is now taunting Isle of Man police that more will die unless he can speak to Detective Mindhorn. The police are well aware that Mindhorn is just a TV character, but they try their luck and enlist the help of the actor who plays him nonetheless. Unfortunately, Thorncroft turns out to be much less efficient than his onscreen persona, as much as he'd like to believe otherwise. 

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Daisy Ridley And Judi Dench To Join Johnny Depp On Board 'Murder On The Orient Express'


Johnny Depp Kenneth Branagh Daisy Ridley Judi Dench Michelle Pfeiffer

The ensemble cast of Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express is shaping up to be pretty special.

Branagh, who will direct and star in the adaptation, is to be joined by Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Judi Dench and Michelle Pfeiffer for the classic Agatha Christie murder mystery.

Johnny DeppJohnny Depp is among the A-list cast for Murder on the Orient Express

Continue reading: Daisy Ridley And Judi Dench To Join Johnny Depp On Board 'Murder On The Orient Express'

Branagh Live: Romeo & Juliet Trailer


The story of Romeo and Juliet is one of unconditional love that shows how far two people will go in order to be together for eternity. The two families the Montagues and the Capulets are at war with each other and both Romeo the son of Montague and Juliet the daughter of Capulet fall in love with each other which is strictly forbidden because of the family's ongoing feud.

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Kenneth Branagh , Dame Judi Dench - The Critics Circle Awards held at the May Fair Hotel - Arrivals. - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 17th January 2016

Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench
Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench
Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh To Star In And Direct 'Murder On The Orient Express' Movie


Kenneth Branagh Ridley Scott Fox

Sir Kenneth Branagh is to play fictional Belgian detective Hercule Poirot in a film adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express for Fox Studios that he will also be directing, according to reports.

The 54 year old English actor, whose directing credits include Thor, Henry V and 2015’s box-office success Cinderella, is reported by Variety to have signed up for the Fox re-make that has been in the pipelines since 2013. Ridley Scott, fresh from his success with The Martian, is also attached to the project as a co-producer.

Kenneth BranaghSir Kenneth Branagh will be directing and starring in the new adaptation of Agatha Christie's classic novel

Continue reading: Kenneth Branagh To Star In And Direct 'Murder On The Orient Express' Movie

Kenneth Branagh - Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2015 - Kenneth Branagh speaks during a press conference - Cannes, France - Wednesday 24th June 2015

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Kenneth Branagh - 'Just Jim Dale' - Press Night - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 28th May 2015

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Kenneth Branagh - A variety of stars were snapped as they arrived at the BBC Films 25th Anniversary Reception which was held at BBC Broadcasting House in London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 25th March 2015

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Kenneth Branagh - Kenneth Branagh attends the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival screening of his film 'Cinderella' - Dublin, Ireland - Friday 20th March 2015

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Sir Kenneth Branagh - Sir Kenneth Branagh at The Merrion Hotel - Dublin, Ireland - Saturday 21st March 2015

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Sir Kenneth Branagh
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Sir Kenneth Branagh

Sandy Powell, Helena Bonham Carter, Lily James, Richard Madden and Kenneth Branagh - 'Cinderella' photocall at the Cinderella Exhibition in Leicester Square at Leicester Square - London, United Kingdom - Friday 20th March 2015

Sandy Powell, Helena Bonham Carter, Lily James, Richard Madden and Kenneth Branagh
Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter

Kenneth Branagh, Lily James and Richard Madden - 'Cinderella' UK Premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square, London at Odeon Leicester Square - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 19th March 2015

Kenneth Branagh, Lily James and Richard Madden
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Kenneth Branagh - The cast of 'Cinderella' out and about in Leicester Square at Leicester Square - London, United Kingdom - Friday 20th March 2015

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Kenneth Branagh, Lily James and Richard Madden - Shots of a host of stars as they arrived and took to the red carpet for the UK Premiere of 'Cinderella' which was held at the Odeon Leicester Square in London, United Kingdom - Thursday 19th March 2015

Kenneth Branagh, Lily James and Richard Madden
Kenneth Branagh, Lily James and Richard Madden
Kenneth Branagh, Lily James and Richard Madden
Kenneth Branagh and Lindsay Brunnock
Kenneth Branagh and Lindsay Brunnock
Kenneth Branagh and Lindsay Brunnock

Sir Kenneth Branagh, Lily James and Richard Madden - Shots of a host of stars as they arrived and took to the red carpet for the UK Premiere of 'Cinderella' which was held at the Odeon Leicester Square in London, United Kingdom - Thursday 19th March 2015

Sir Kenneth Branagh, Lily James and Richard Madden
Kenneth Branagh and Lindsay Brunnock
Kenneth Branagh and Lindsay Brunnock
Kenneth Branagh and Lindsay Brunnock
Richard Madden, Kenneth Branagh and Lily James
Sir Kenneth Branagh and Lindsay Brunnock

Kenneth Branagh - Richard Attenborough memorial service held at Westminster Abbey - Departures. - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 17th March 2015

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Kenneth Branagh and Lindsay Bunnock
Kenneth Branagh and Lindsay Bunnock
Kenneth Branagh and Lindsay Bunnock

Kenneth Branagh - Memorial service for Lord Richard Attenborough at Westminster Abbey - Arrivals at Westminster Abbey - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 17th March 2015

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Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh - 'Cinderella' photocall in Madrid - Madrid, Spain - Monday 16th March 2015

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Kenneth Branagh - A host of stars were snapped as they attended the premiere of Disney's "Cinderella" The premiere was held at at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 2nd March 2015

Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh and Lindsay Brunnock - A host of stars were snapped as they attended the premiere of Disney's "Cinderella" The premiere was held at at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 1st March 2015

Kenneth Branagh and Lindsay Brunnock
Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh - 65th Berlin International Film Festival - 'Cinderella' - Photocall at Hotel Hyatt - Berlin, Germany - Friday 13th February 2015

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Lily James, Richard Madden and Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh and Sandy Powell
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Elihu Rose, Kenneth Branagh and Adam Flatto - Macbeth opening night party at the Park Avenue Armory - Arrivals. - New York, New York, United States - Thursday 5th June 2014

Elihu Rose, Kenneth Branagh and Adam Flatto
Kenneth Branagh, Alex Kingston, Elihu Rose, Adam Flatto and Rob Ashford
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Kenneth Branagh and Alex Kingston

Kenneth Branagh and Lindsay Brunnock - European premiere of 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' held at the Vue Leicester Square - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 19th January 2014

Kenneth Branagh and Lindsay Brunnock
Kenneth Branagh and Lindsay Brunnock
Kenneth Branagh and Lindsay Brunnock
Kenneth Branagh and Lindsay Brunnock
Kenneth Branagh and Lindsay Brunnock

Chris Pine, Keira Knightley and Kenneth Branagh - 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' UK premiere held at Vue cinema - Red Carpet Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Monday 20th January 2014

Chris Pine, Keira Knightley and Kenneth Branagh
Chris Pine, Keira Knightley and Kenneth Branagh
Chris Pine, Keira Knightley and Kenneth Branagh
Chris Pine, Keira Knightley and Kenneth Branagh
Chris Pine
Chris Pine, Keira Knightley and Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh - Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit LA Premiere at Chinese Theater in Los Angeles - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 16th January 2014

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Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Is A "Muffled" Reboot Of Tom Clancy's CIA Hero, Say Critics


Chris Pine Kenneth Branagh Keira Knightley

As Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit prepares for release worldwide, the critics' reviews have been formed and filed and could determine whether many see the film or not this January. If you're a film fan who was looking forward to Kenneth Branagh's new realisation of the late Tom Clancy's CIA hero Jack Ryan, you may want to click away now because it's not too pretty.

Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit Chris Pine
Chris Pine Leads As Jack Ryan In The Franchise's New Incarnation.

After Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck and Harrison Ford's incarnations of the young but heroic CIA agent, it's now Star Trek's Chris Pine's turn to take on the action role. Pine's Ryan starts out as a CIA office worker but is propelled into a daunting new world of special operations when he is enlisted to help thwart a major Russian terrorist plot.

Continue reading: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Is A "Muffled" Reboot Of Tom Clancy's CIA Hero, Say Critics

Tom Clancy's Legacy Lives On In New Kenneth Branagh Movie, 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit'


Tom Clancy Kenneth Branagh Chris Pine

Talented spy author Tom Clancy died earlier this week, but his legacy lives on via his many novels, his video games and his movies, which are still being made. The 66 year-old novelist died in a Baltimore hospital after a short illness.

Tom Clancy
Clancy Brought Thrilling Tales Of Espionage To Life.

With a personal fortune estimated at $47.8m (£33m), Clancy was one of the most productive, not to mention richest authors in the world. His most famous character Jack Ryan appeared in many of Clancy's novels and movies, including the famous The Hunt For Red October, starring Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery.

Continue reading: Tom Clancy's Legacy Lives On In New Kenneth Branagh Movie, 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit'

Cate Blanchett Will Debut As Film Director In Herman Koch's Epic 'The Dinner'


Cate Blanchett Woody Allen Peter Jackson George Clooney Kenneth Branagh

Cate Blanchett might've put on a jaw-dropping performance in her most recent film Blue Jasmine, but she's about to display a new talent as a budding film director in the upcoming adaptation of The Dinner.

Perhaps working with such iconic directors as Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine), Peter Jackson (The Hobbit), George Clooney (The Monuments Men, due out 2014) and Kenneth Branagh - who she is currently filming the new adaptation of Cinderella with - has inspired her to branch out in her film career as she finally takes on the tricky role new in a new film based on the novel by Herman Koch.

It's a suspenseful thriller about two couples who are trying to make a drastic decision about their teenage sons who have been involved in a horrific situation that's now in the hands of the police. There is little action and one setting, but that will only make it harder to infuse each second with nail-biting tension and heart-stopping dread when it is put to film.

Continue reading: Cate Blanchett Will Debut As Film Director In Herman Koch's Epic 'The Dinner'

Marion Cotillard Lined-Up For Lady MacBeth Role In Upcoming Film Adaption


Marion Cotillard Michael Fassbender Kenneth Branagh Natalie Portman Terrence Malick James McAvoy

Marion Cotillard has been chosen to bring some Gallic glamour to one of Scotland's most malevolent (fictional) characters in the latest big screen adaption of William Shakespeare's MacBeth. The Oscar-winning actress is set to star along German/Irish actor Michael Fassbender, who will be taking on the titular role, under the direction of Snowtown's Justin Kurzel, The Hollywood Reporter first revealed.

Marion Cotillard
Marion Cotillard will replace fellow Oscar-winner Natalie Portman in the latest adaption of 'The Scottish Play'

Distributed through StudioCanal and Film4, the latest rendition of the classic Shakespearean tragedy is being produced by The King's Speech backers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, who run the production house See Saw. Which happens to be the same company that worked on the Fassbender-starring Shame. No further details of the film have been released just yet, so it is still unknown who Cotillard and Fassbender will be starring alongside when filming begins in January 2014.

Continue reading: Marion Cotillard Lined-Up For Lady MacBeth Role In Upcoming Film Adaption

Kenneth Branagh - Celebrities at the BBC Media City studios in Manchester - Manchester, United Kingdom - Friday 12th July 2013

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A Week In News: Tributes Paid To George Jones, Tyler The Creator Finds Controversy, Lily Collins Goes Zombie-Hunting


George Jones Lily James Kenneth Branagh Lily Collins Farrah Abraham Tyler The Creator Beyonce Knowles Mariah Carey Kris Kross Lil Wayne

Lily James Chosen To Play Cinderella In New Disney Flick


Lily James Cate Blanchett Kenneth Branagh

Lily James, who found fame as Lady Rose MacClare in Downton Abbey, has been chosen by Disney to play Cinderella in their upcoming live-action reboot of the fairy tale. The English beauty has beaten off competition from the likes of Saoirse Ronan, Bella Heathcote and Emma Watson for the sought after role, with filming set to begin on the project later this year.

Lily James
Lily James should make a fitting Cinderella

Kenneth Branagh has already been signed on to direct the live action take, with Cate Blanchett playing the evil stepmother. Disney have been planning on bringing a live-action version of Cinderella to cinemas since 2010, following the success of Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland, but have only now gotten round to filling in all the gaps in the project. Blanchett was confirmed to take on the evil stepmother role at the end of last year, but since then the producers have been in a mad dash to sign their lead actress, with many of the would-be Cinderellas, most notable Watson, declining the part due to other commitments.

Continue reading: Lily James Chosen To Play Cinderella In New Disney Flick

If Emma Watson Isn't Doing 'Fifty Shades Of Grey,' Then Who Is?


Emma Watson Kenneth Branagh Alexis Bledel Shailene Woodley Henry Cavill Alex Pettyfer

Emma Watson is officially out of the running to play the submissive Anastasia Steele in Kelly Marcel's adaptation of the S&M novel 'Fifty Shades of Grey.' Watson - who, of course played Hermione Granger in Harry Potter - has long been considered one of the favourites to play the female lead in theUniversal and Focus Pictures movie, though she shot down the rumors in a couple of posts on her Twitter page this week. Watson, who recently turned down the opportunity to play Cinderella in Kenneth Branagh's upcoming Disney movie, started off by telling followers, "Who here actually thinks I would do 50 Shades of Grey as a movie? Like really. For real. In real life."

After encouraging her fans to respond, Watson presumably got few affirmative replies, or plenty of tweets warning her off the project, tweeting, "Good. Well that's that sorted then." The nature of her tweets suggest Watson has been approached by Universal about playing Anastasia and it's likely she would have been the studio's first choice. "I haven't read the book, I haven't a read a script, nothing," Watson told EW.com in July 2012, "There are so many movies you become attached to when I've literally never even received a phone call. It was the same way with 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' - I never even saw a script!"

The Fifty Shades movie remains without a lead actor, actress or director, despite Universal's hopes of releasing the film in summer of 2014. Shooting is likely to go ahead within the next couple of months, though Watson ruling herself will have given producers a potential headache. Is she isn't playing Steele, then who is?

Continue reading: If Emma Watson Isn't Doing 'Fifty Shades Of Grey,' Then Who Is?

The Good Life: Legendary TV Actor Richard Briers Dies Aged 79


Richard Briers Kenneth Branagh

Legendary television actor Richard Briers, who played the enduring Tom in BBC comedy The Good Life, has died at the age of 79. The actor, who also starred in Ever Decreasing Circles, Monarch of the Glen and numerous successful stage productions, had been ill for a number of years with emphysema.

Richard Briers, Variety Club Showbiz AwardsTributes Are Pouring In For The Legendary Richard Briers

His agent, Christopher Farrar, said in a statement, "Richard was a wonderful man, a consummate professional and an absolute joy to work alongside. Following his recent discussion of his battle with emphysema, I know he was incredibly touched by the strength of support expressed by friends and the public, adding, "He has a unique and special place in the hearts of so many. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and deepest sympathy go to his family at this sad time."

Continue reading: The Good Life: Legendary TV Actor Richard Briers Dies Aged 79

Kenneth Branagh Honoured By The Queen: Thats SIR Kenneth Now


Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh was honoured by the Queen at Buckingham Palace earlier this week, receiving his knighthood from the royal following his awarding of the title during her birthday honours list in June this year.

The actor, director and writer, who also had a starring role in Danny Boyle's opening ceremony for this years Olympics, taking on the role of famed Victorian industrialist Isambard Kingdom Brunel, received his honour from the Queen, saying after to the BBC that he felt "humble, elated and incredibly lucky" to be bestowed with such an honour.

Known best for his Shakespearean roles, most notably Henry V, as well as his role on television as the Swedish detective Wallander on the BBC of the same name, Branagh was recognised for his ongoing services to drama, which have spanned more than three decades already. 

Continue reading: Kenneth Branagh Honoured By The Queen: Thats SIR Kenneth Now

Kenneth Branagh? That's Sir Kenneth Branagh To You!


Kenneth Branagh Michael Caine Patrick Stewart Ben Kingsley Laurence Olivier Marilyn Monroe

Kenneth Branagh has received his knighthood from the Queen at Buckingham Palace for services to drama and the community of Northern Ireland. The Oscar-nominated actor, director and screenwriter, is best known for his Shakespearean works though most recently played Swedish detective Wallander in the BBC series of the same name.

Sir Kenneth joins the likes of Sir Michael Caine, Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ben Kingsley and Sir Laurence Olivier in becoming a thespian knight. Branagh - who recently starred in the Marilyn Monroe movie My Week With Marilyn - told Sky News that he felt "humble, elated and incredibly lucky," to have received the award, adding, "When I was a kid I dreamed of pulling on a shirt for the Northern Ireland football team. I could only imagine how proud you might feel. Today it feels like they just gave me the shirt and my heart's fit to burst." Branagh spent his early years in Northern Ireland though moved to Reading with his family at the age of nine. 

In today's ceremony, two British servicemen were awarded the Military Cross for bravery. Corporal Carl Taylor from Birmingham ran 80 feet across open ground under Taliban fire to rescue three young Afghan children. Bombardier Mark Carpenter of the Royal Artillery was also honoured, as were four fire-fighters from Nottinghamshire who received the Queen's Gallantry Medal for acts of bravery. 

Continue reading: Kenneth Branagh? That's Sir Kenneth Branagh To You!

Chris Pine and Kenneth Branagh - Chris Pine, Kenneth Branagh Sunday 21st October 2012 Chris Pine shoots 'Jack Ryan' in London

Chris Pine and Kenneth Branagh
Chris Pine, Jack Ryan and London
Chris Pine, Jack Ryan and London
Chris Pine, Jack Ryan and London
Chris Pine, Jack Ryan and London
Chris Pine, Jack Ryan and London

Kenneth Branagh Thursday 27th September 2012 on the set of his new movie 'Jack Ryan'

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Chris Pine, Kenneth Branagh, Jack Ryan, Liverpool. Two, Liverpool City Centre, Russian, New York. Pine, They, Stoke City, Fitness, Physio and Paul Maxwell Monday 17th September 2012 Chris Pine shooting scenes with director Kenneth Branagh for the upcoming Jack Ryan movie on location in Liverpool. Two sets have been built in Liverpool City Centre, including one recreating a Russian city and the other mimicking New York. Pine appeared to be nursing a leg injury after shooting a scene running up a street being filmed by a camera on a quad bike. They drafted in Stoke City football club's Fitness & Physio co-ordinator Paul Maxwell to give him some help and advice, including using a hot water bottle

Chris Pine, Kenneth Branagh, Jack Ryan, Liverpool. Two, Liverpool City Centre, Russian, New York. Pine, They, Stoke City, Fitness, Physio and Paul Maxwell
Chris Pine, Jack Ryan, Liverpool. Two, Liverpool City Centre, Russian, New York. Pine, They, Stoke City, Fitness, Physio and Paul Maxwell
Chris Pine, Jack Ryan, Liverpool. Two, Liverpool City Centre, Russian, New York. Pine, They, Stoke City, Fitness, Physio and Paul Maxwell
Chris Pine, Jack Ryan, Liverpool. Two, Liverpool City Centre, Russian, New York. Pine, They, Stoke City, Fitness, Physio and Paul Maxwell
Chris Pine, Jack Ryan, Liverpool. Two, Liverpool City Centre, Russian, New York. Pine, They, Stoke City, Fitness, Physio and Paul Maxwell
Chris Pine, Jack Ryan, Liverpool. Two, Liverpool City Centre, Russian, New York. Pine, They, Stoke City, Fitness, Physio and Paul Maxwell

The Boat That Rocked Trailer


Legal radio stations in 1960's Britain weren't exactly what you'd call interesting to listen to if you were part of the hip young generation. 2 hours of rock was their weekly limit. 

Continue: The Boat That Rocked Trailer

Valkyrie Review


Very Good
Because nothing says "Happy birthday, baby Jesus" like Nazis plotting to assassinate Adolf Hitler, United Artists has gift-wrapped Valkyrie and placed it beneath your cinematic Christmas tree.

It wasn't always on the studio's holiday wish list, though. Valkyrie has had more potential dates than a sorority girl during post-production, and UA nabbed headlines as it searched -- endlessly -- for the ideal opening weekend. Such drastic schedule shifts usually suggest a film with serious issues, but fortunately that's not the case with Valkyrie. Director Bryan Singer has made a riveting military drama, a popcorn thriller masquerading as a political potboiler. But he also saddled his studio with a tough film to market.

Continue reading: Valkyrie Review

Valkyrie Trailer


This amazing true story is based around the life of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, a German officer who, along with a group of high ranking officers decide something must be done about Hitler before all of Germany is destroyed by war. 

Continue: Valkyrie Trailer

Sleuth (2007) Review


Weak
Postmodern, sadomasochist, Darth Vader furniture and artwork adorn the house and main setting of Kenneth Branagh's update of Sleuth like the aftermath of a smart bomb. Yet, author Andrew Wyke (Michael Caine) walks around it as if all its missing is the crocheted picture of "Home Sweet Home" over the fireplace. His wife's wardrobe and his self-immortalizing library of books are revealed like secret passages that hide mangled corpses and the man seems to drink expensive, straight vodka exclusively. By all means, Wyke could buy and sell a good portion of the English back country that he inhabits; the man takes an elevator to his bedroom for Chrissakes.

When an honest-to-goodness scallywag named Milo Tindle (Jude Law), an Italian hairdresser with designs on acting, comes to Wyke's estate announcing his plans to marry Wyke's estranged wife, the author seems pleased to have an opponent than enraged by the open deceit. And that in a nutshell is how this cat-and-mouse whirligig operates: two men more excited about the idea of a nemesis than their money or their beautiful mistress respectively.

Continue reading: Sleuth (2007) Review

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994) Review


Weak
This is what happens when a studio lets a director do whatever they want. Kenneth Branagh (Henry V, Dead Again), has really lost his mind on this one. Frankenstein is a bloody mess (in both artistry and gore-level) and is extremely difficult to watch.

Frankenstein is supposed to be a story of a scientist (Branagh himself, in this adaptation) obsessed with reviving the dead. Branagh must have had some pages missing from his copy of Mary Shelley's book--it seems like there are large chunks of movie missing here and there. The dialogue is silly, the plot is convoluted beyond the normal Hollywood trashing of literature, and the characters are contradictory and really pretty stupid for educated Swiss aristocrats.

Continue reading: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994) Review

Love's Labour's Lost Review


Good
Film musicals are a tough sell these days. It's either the annual Disney animation vehicle or it's Edward Norton dancing to swing music. I could probably count the last five years worth of decent musicals on my left hand. The juxtaposition of dialogue with song and dance always seems to remind me of the tragedies of my high school drama days. Those damn tights. The bad pancake makeup.

Kenneth Branagh's latest Shakespearean opus, Love's Labour's Lost, falls into the category of an ingenious experiment gone horrible wrong. Like a bartender with one too many vodka-tonics on his breath, Branagh mixes one of Shakespeare's lesser-known comedies with the music of Cole Porter and Irving Berlin and places everything in 1939 France. Think the Rat Pack in some bad 1960s film.

Continue reading: Love's Labour's Lost Review

The Road To El Dorado Review


OK
The Road to El Dorado is DreamWorks' second big attempt, after 1998's The Prince of Egypt, to break into Disney's monopoly on the animated film business. It is an effort as disappointing as the first.

The one aspect of this film that fits squarely within genre conventions is the subject matter. Like such classics as Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, El Dorado finds a classical fantasy in the lost city of gold, couching it in a historical context: In this case is the Spanish explorer Cortez's very real search for that mythical city. Unfortunately though, Cortez is lost for the bulk of the film while we are left to follow two roguish Spaniards (voiced by Kline and Branagh) who stumble upon, in sequence, a map to El Dorado, Cortez's ship to the New World, and El Dorado itself. Once the two con artists find El Dorado, they are of course hailed as Gods, and the bulk of the story concerns just how they are going to carry out this charade and make off with the gold back to Spain. In the process, we are left with a half-hearted conniving native medicine man voiced by Armand Assante as our only hope for a true villain. Once they find the lost city, the plot follows turn for turn that of the 1975 Sean Connery vehicle, The Man Who Would Be King. One could argue that plagiarizing a great film is not such a bad idea, considering a great bulk of the audience has never seen said film or read the book it is based on. Nonetheless, it tends to irk any true movie fan to see great movies remade badly.

Continue reading: The Road To El Dorado Review

How To Kill Your Neighbor's Dog Review


OK
A mildly amusing Kenneth Branagh starrer has Branagh as a Woody Allen-esque playwright living in the wrong damn town (Los Angeles), where he suffers through noisy neighbors and bad actors who mangle his erstwhile perfect dialogue. On a voyage of self-discovery, he learns a little something about humanity, of course. Like I said, mildly amusing.

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Review


Weak
This is what happens when a studio lets a director do whatever they want. Kenneth Branagh (Henry V, Dead Again), has really lost his mind on this one. Frankenstein is a bloody mess (in both artistry and gore-level) and is extremely difficult to watch.

Frankenstein is supposed to be a story of a scientist (Branagh himself, in this adaptation) obsessed with reviving the dead. Branagh must have had some pages missing from his copy of Mary Shelley's book--it seems like there are large chunks of movie missing here and there. The dialogue is silly, the plot is convoluted beyond the normal Hollywood trashing of literature, and the characters are contradictory and really pretty stupid for educated Swiss aristocrats.

Continue reading: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Review

Dead Again Review


Excellent
One of Kenneth Branagh's sole "mainstream" projects (the excreble Frankenstein notwithstanding), Dead Again is a truly enjoyable popcorn movie, even if it is ultimately total nonsense. Here we have Branagh and then-wife Emma Thompson cavorting through a psychological thriller as they both discover they have past lives that may or may not be coming back to haunt them. Silly fun, but well acted, lively, and featuring a number of clever cameos.

The Theory Of Flight Review


Good
As unlikely as comedy gets, The Theory of Flight is a perverse buddy comedy between Branagh's manic-depressive artist-cum-amateur plane builder and Carter's motor neuron disease-affected (and dying) quadriplegic. When Branagh is assigned to care for her as a public service sentence for one of his hijinks, the two form an unlikely bond -- involving Carter's desire to lose her virginity before she dies. Strange, unique, and funny in a Lynchian way.

Wild Wild West Review


Weak
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

After the masterful Men In Black, Will Smith and Barry Sonnenfeld have reteamed for another oddball adaptation, but somewhere along the wagon trail to the Old West, they lost the magic that made MIB such a smash.

Continue reading: Wild Wild West Review

Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets Review


Good

Welcome back, Potter.

The beloved Harry Potter returns to screens, a scant year after his most debut, with the film version of book two in the unfathomably popular Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Unfortunately, while the Potter-obsessed will likely find few faults with the film, this sequel captures much less of the original's magic. (And while I've not read the books, I understand the same can be said for the second novel as well.)

Secrets finds Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) back at home with his Muggle family on summer vacation, locked in his room (though no longer under the stairs). Before long, Harry is set to return to Hogwarts -- despite the insistence from his uncle that he is no longer allowed to study magic. But a daring prison break, courtesy of the Weasley family -- including Harry's best bud Ron (Rupert Grint), gets Harry back to school, despite the meddling of a Yoda-like "house elf" named Dobby (very obvious CG). The masochistic Dobby tries to convince Harry that his life is in danger if he returns to Hogwarts -- though in reality his life appears more in danger due to Dobby's "helpful" meddling.

Harry of course does return to Hogwarts, where all his familiar experiences await him. Hermione (Emma Watson) is still the class brain. Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) is still the school clown. Snape (Alan Rickman) is still Snape. The new additions to the cast include a new Dark Arts professor, Gilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Branagh), a narcissistic wizard with questionable ability, as well as the father of Harry's platinum blonde archrival Malfoy, Lucius (Jason Isaacs).

While the cast is still in fine form (the exception being a shockingly haggard Richard Harris as headmaster Dumbledore; Harris died a few weeks before the film's release), it's the story that is decidedly lacking in this episode. The titular Chamber of Secrets is a legendary room inside Hogwarts fabled to hold a menacing creature. It can only be opened, we're told, by an heir to the Slytherin family. When a mysterious message appears on the Hogwarts walls in blood, Harry begins hearing hissing voices, and students begin to turn up paralyzed. It appears the Chamber of Secrets has been opened -- and suspicions fall on Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) as the heir. Or is it Harry?

What follows is another nearly-three hours of exposition as Harry, Ron, and Hermione attempt to crack this riddle, Nancy Drew-style, while the body count at Hogwarts keeps rising. Mercilessly padded, the movie drags us through ages of all-too-familiar territory: a Quidditch match ends predictably; spells go awry; the trio works on a potion together; one-note characters appear only to say their line and soon exit the story. Finally, invariably first-on-the-scene Harry coincidentally discovers a blank diary -- it's amazing how much coincidence drives the plot -- that leads him on a circuitous path to discover the Chamber, just in time for a final showdown with what looks astonishingly like a miniature-golf hazard.

Jeez, I'm bored just writing about it. So much of Secrets is so unnecessary that my audience was way ahead of the circuitous yet ultimately very simplistic story. Kids spent the three hours running up and down the aisles -- only their parents had the fortitude to stay with the plot. That said, this installment is much funnier than the original, and it has a bit more of a grown-up sentiment to it. Still, it's going to take more than an ominous voice in the walls and a flying car to keep even the most patient adults interested in a three-hour movie.

Chamber of Secrets is enjoyable for many of its stretches, and it's unfortunate that director Chris Columbus (giving up the reins for episode 3) didn't take more chances with the source material, excising the many irrelevant parts and adding in a bit of his own vision. As such, we have a movie that plays out in fits and starts of fun alternating with boredom. Sad to say, the kids will probably want to leave midway through this one and ask you to replay the original on DVD when you get home. Poor Harry, when we see you again (in two years' time), I hope you'll have regained a bit of your magic.

As with Potter #1, the film comes to DVD in an exhaustive and impressive two-disc package, headlined by one of the most aggressive 6.1 channel audio tracks I've ever had the privilege to hear on DVD. This film thankfully makes it much easier to find the deleted/extended scenes, all of which are well worth checking out and add a bit of depth and flavor to an otherwise so-so movie. There are also tons of games for the kids and a few interviews for the adults, including one with J.K. Rowling.

Try putting right down the middle of the course.

Celebrity Review


Excellent
Another fall, another movie from the Woodman.

Shot in black and white and filled with about 30 big-name stars, Celebrity is a welcome return to old-school Allen, his first really good film since 1994's Bullets Over Broadway.

Continue reading: Celebrity Review

Othello Review


Weak
Seldomly have I been so outright disappointed by a film. Othello's problems are numerous, and given the outstanding cast put together for the film (and an admitted masterpiece to work with), it's amazing that this film comes off as being so downright bad.

The story's been around for 400 years. Othello (Lawrence Fishburne) is a Moorish general in the Italian army, and he is the victim of constant prejudice. Desdemona (Irene Jacob) is his Italian lover, and when the pair secretly marry, Othello finds himself the victim of a fiendish plot by his servant Iago (Kenneth Branagh). Iago's motives are also magnified by the presence of young Cassio (Nathaniel Parker), who serves as Othello's right-hand man despite Iago's longer term of service.

Continue reading: Othello Review

Rabbit-Proof Fence Review


Excellent
Turn off your computer, step outside and start walking. Keep walking. Don't eat or drink anything, save for what you can scrounge up from your surroundings. In fact, take your shoes off while you're at it. Now, every couple of hours, pick up a small child and place him or her on your back. Don't stop. Keep this up for several months, and you might begin to comprehend the true-life events that drive Phillip Noyce's Rabbit-Proof Fence.

In 1931, three Aboriginal children did exactly that after being forcibly removed from their homes as part of a mandatory government program. The politically-influenced community system targeted half-castes, Australian children with white fathers and Aborigine mothers. The government, largely personified here by the prim Mr. Neville (Kenneth Branagh), seeks to appeal to the kids' white blood, fostering values and cultural lessons that would benefit the children in their adult years.

Continue reading: Rabbit-Proof Fence Review

Hamlet (1996) Review


Excellent
The jury is in. The authentic version of Hamlet, four hours long to the minute, is suitable for children 13 and up. Kenneth Branagh has created an intricate version of the Bard's masterpiece, by including every word of the text. The runtime? Yes, it's long, but you'd be surprised how fast it goes by, a testament to the incredible source material Branagh got to work with. The cast is outstanding and unlikely to be replicated anytime soon, and the technical work is amazing. If you have to watch Hamlet at home instead of on stage, this is the version to check out.

Conspiracy Review


Good
Reallllllly weird retelling of an infamous meeting in Nazi Germany wherein Hitler's highest-ups figured out the minutiae of how to dispose with the Jews of Europe. From segregation to sterilization to, ultimately, Auschwitz, the commanders of the Third Reich dispassionately weigh the pros and cons of a Jewish labor force and the "disposal problem." Freaky but not altogether enlightening, as little of the insight given in Conspiracy comes as much of a surprise.

Harry Potter & The Chamber Of Secrets Review


Good

In his second big-screen outing, adolescent wizard Harry Potter is blessed with enough cinematic magic to overcome several of the very same problems that left last year's "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" feeling a little protracted and rambling.

Sure "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" spends twice as much screen time on atmosphere and adventure scenes than on plot and character. But this time around every episode seems relevant, which is a vast improvement over last year's film, bloated as it was with Quidditch matches and monster moments that didn't advance the plot one iota.

Returning director Chris Columbus retains the enchanted ambiance as Harry heads to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his second year of instruction in the black arts. But nothing is ever easy for our young hero, as unseen forces seem to be conspiring against him -- not the least of which is some kind of elusive beast that's loose in Hogwarts' halls, turning students to stone.

Continue reading: Harry Potter & The Chamber Of Secrets Review

Rabbit-Proof Fence Review


Good

An extraordinary true tale of perseverance set against the deplorable backdrop of government-sanctioned racism in 1931 Australia, "Rabbit-Proof Fence" is a stirring film about three kidnapped Aboriginal girls who run away from an indoctrination camp and walk 1,500 miles across the Outback to return to their native village.

The story takes place at a time when it was Aussie government policy to remove "half-caste" children (fathered by white men) from their Aborigine families and re-educate them to be adopted by white families, and director Philip Noyce makes no bones about showing the dismay induced by the enforcement of these laws. In one of the film's first scenes, 14-year-old Molly (Everlyn Sampi), her 8-year-old sister Daisy (Tianna Sansbury) and their 10-year-old cousin Gracie (Laura Monaghan) are ripped from their mothers' arms at a remote trading post near a tribal community called Jigalong, leaving the women sobbing and wailing in the dust kicked up by government cars.

Dragged to the a compound on the other side of the continent where dark-skinned children have the Bible beaten into them and their native languages and customs beaten out by missionaries and nuns, the girls suffer at the hands of the policy that "in spite of himself, the native must be helped."

Continue reading: Rabbit-Proof Fence Review

Love's Labour's Lost Review


Good

For a long time I've had a theory that the musical genre couldn't survive the cynicism of modern audiences except as a ironic in-joke, like the "South Park" movie or as a post-modern homage, like Woody Allen's "Everyone Says I Love You."

I couldn't have been more wrong -- and leave it to Kenneth Branagh, a writer-director-actor who has made his name revitalizing old (old, old!) school entertainment -- to prove it by bringing back the kind of weightless musical delight that carried Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to stardom.

For his new adaptation of Shakespeare's "Love's Labour's Lost," Branagh has re-imagined the buoyant romantic comedy as a classy, corny, 1930s movie musical, complete with uplifting dance numbers and a catalog of favorite big band ditties sung with great enthusiasm (if not great skill) by a quality cast of cheerful actors clearly having the time of their lives.

Continue reading: Love's Labour's Lost Review

The Road To El Dorado Review


Good

How Hollywood's animated filmmakers can continue to crank out pictures built on the same template year after year and have them continue to be even occasionally entertaining is something I'll never completely understand. But "The Road to El Dorado," a 100-percent formula cartoon adventure set against Cortes' arrival in the Yucatan, does it again.

This one is about Tulio (Kevin Kline's voice) and Miguel (Kenneth Branagh), two-bit Spanish con men with a treasure map, caught as stowaways on the conquistador ship as it makes for the Americas in 1519.

Late one night on the high seas they make their escape in a row boat and wash up on foreign shores.

Continue reading: The Road To El Dorado Review

Gandalf Vs Dumbledore - Sir Ian Mckellen Discusses Disagreement With Richard Harris


Ian McKellen Richard Harris Peter Jackson Derek Jacobi Kenneth Branagh Harry Potter

Legendary thespian and film star, Sir Ian McKellen, came under fire from the late Richard Harris several years ago when he landed the role of the wise but mischievous Gandalf in 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. McKellen claims that Harris was furious for not being cast in Peter Jackson's fantasy epic, and this was exacerbated by McKellen being chosen over him.

Related: Sir Ian McKellen Inspires Bristol Students With Famous Gandalf Line

Harris reportedly exploded at the rumour that McKellen would then take the role of Dumbledore as well in 2002 when Harris' health steadily began to fail. The actor explained: "Before Richard Harris died, there was an enquiry: would I be interested in playing in Harry Potter? And I said, 'Yes, certainly'. But I've not heard anything since."

Continue reading: Gandalf Vs Dumbledore - Sir Ian Mckellen Discusses Disagreement With Richard Harris

Kenneth Branagh

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Kenneth Branagh

Date of birth

10th December, 1960

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Male

Height

1.77


Kenneth Branagh Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Dunkirk Trailer

Dunkirk Trailer

It's 1940 and World War II is in full swing. Allied soldiers from Britain, Belgium,...

Murder On The Orient Express Trailer

Murder On The Orient Express Trailer

It's the 1930s and a group of strangers from different walks of life board a...

Dunkirk Trailer

Dunkirk Trailer

In one of the biggest military disasters in British history, 400,000 soldiers found themselves stranded...

Mindhorn Trailer

Mindhorn Trailer

In the late 80s, Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barratt) was the most famous police detective on...

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Branagh Live: Romeo & Juliet Trailer

Branagh Live: Romeo & Juliet Trailer

The story of Romeo and Juliet is one of unconditional love that shows how far...

Cinderella - Extended Trailer

Cinderella - Extended Trailer

Cinderella is an uncommonly kind young woman, overcome with the loss of her dear father....

Cinderella Trailer

Cinderella Trailer

Following her mother's death, Cinderella was faced with a lonely existence while her beloved father...

Cinderella Trailer

Cinderella Trailer

Everyone is familiar with the classic fairy tale of Cinderella. Cinderella lives a mundane life...

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Movie Review

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Movie Review

There's nothing very original in this spy thriller, but director Branagh gives the film a...

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit  - International Trailer Trailer

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit - International Trailer Trailer

Jack Ryan is a young office worker at CIA headquarters whose life turns upside down...

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