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The 101 best action movies of all time

The 101 best action movies of all time

Art school snobs and hardcore cineastes may turn their noses in public, but the truth is, deep down, everyone loves a good action movie. After all, film is meant to make you feel something, and the best action movies will quite literally make your chest rumble – usually because something big just exploded. The problem is that the genre has been co-opted by the likes of Michael Bay and a stream of hacks who think that big explosions are the only thing a movie needs. (To be fair, Bay does have some bangers, including one on this list.) But action flicks needn’t be dumb or epic or even particularly loud to succeed. Some find beauty in violence. Others might dropkick you right in the heart. Shoot, some even have character development.  To put together this definitive list of the greatest action movies ever made, we polled over 50 experts in the field, from Die Hard director John McTiernan to the actual folks in the line of fire, such as Machete himself, Danny Trejo. Time Out’s critics have weighed in, too. Light that fuse, clip that wire and batten down the hatches – these are the most pulse-pounding, heart-racing, edge of your seat thrill rides ever put to film. Just be warned that your hand may experience some soreness from all the high-fiving you’re likely to do while watching. Written by Eddy Frankel, Eddy Frankel, Joshua Rothkopf, Trevor Johnston, Ashley Clark, Grady Hendrix, Tom Huddleston, Keith Uhlich, Dave Calhoun, Phil de Semlyen,  Dave Calhoun & Matthew Singer Recommen

The most stunning ghost cinemas in the world

The most stunning ghost cinemas in the world

A hundred years ago, roughly 90 million Americans would stop by their local cinema at least once a week to take in the latest Chaplin, Keaton or Garbo flick. Nowadays, weekly attendances are a fraction of that figure – a modern reality mirrored across the globe.Cinemas, and cinema chains, have spent decades recalibrating and re-gearing themselves for these new economics, offering luxe experiences, fancy dining options, comfier seats, cheaper tickets and memberships, and programming tailored for their specific audiences. Inevitably, though, some of those old picture houses – many of them grand 1920s Art Deco palaces – have fallen into disrepair along the way. As veteran photographer Simon Edelstein’s book ‘Abandoned Cinemas of the World’ records, some have been repurposed and some abandoned altogether. All of them are haunted by the ghosts of old movies, classic movie stars and those rapt bygone audiences. Join us on a worldwide tour of these haunted picture houses. Photograph: Simon Edelstein / Jonglez Publishing 1. Ram Prakash Theatre, Jaipur, India The culture-loving maharaja who first built this Victorian-inspired edifice as a theatre would no doubt have been delighted to know it would eventually become a home to the movies – a medium that was still a pipe dream when he built it in 1879. That didn’t happen until the 1940s, by which time its reputation as a famous theatre had cemented across India. Since then, it was sold to a private owner and closed down after an owners

The 23 best films of 2022 (so far)

The 23 best films of 2022 (so far)

It’s not been your standard, regular, common-or-garden year at the movies so far. The slate of big new movies remains a little (okay, a lot) skinnier than usual and release dates have continued to shift, with more than one big release decamping to the safer surrounds of 2023. But even the lingering impact of Covid hasn’t stopped it being an often crowd-pleasing, occasionally electrifying six months so far. From awards picks like Parallel Mothers and Licorice Pizza, to virtuoso indie gems like British chef thriller Boiling Point, to popcorn perfection like RRR and Top Gun: Maverick, there’s been much to celebrate. Here’s our best of the best of the year to date. RECOMMENDED:😬 The best thriller films of all-time🤣 The best funny films of all-time🌏 The best foreign films of all-time

The 50 best war movies of all time

The 50 best war movies of all time

War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing – well, except for movies. Military conflict has formed the background of many great films, including some of the best of all time. It’s not a surprise. Few events are such natural conduits for drama, suspense, horror, heroism and examination of the human condition. It’s the basis for exploring a slew of existential questions. Why do we fight? Why do people enlist? What happens afterward? Is war ever justified? Is it ever worth it in the end?  Even if there’s rarely ever any clear answer, the best war movies attempt to examine combat from all sides. Simply asking those questions in the right way can produce compelling, often harrowing cinema. For this list, we’ve compiled films that span the historical and fictional gamut, from both World Wars to Vietnam to Iraq to imaginary interplanetary conflict. (Although we did not count Star Wars – sorry, nerds.) If you’ve seen battle yourself, many of these movies will resonate somewhere deep within you. And if you haven’t, perhaps it will give you some small measure of understanding for what those who’ve fought have seen, experienced and felt. Written by David Fear, Keith Uhlich, Joshua Rothkopf, Andy Kryza, Phil de Semlyen & Matthew Singer 💥 The 50 best World War II movies🔥 The 100 best movies of all-time💣 The 101 best action movies ever made

The 35 steamiest erotic thrillers

The 35 steamiest erotic thrillers

It’s hard to imagine now but at one point in time it seemed like you couldn’t go to the multiplex without having the option of watching a woman have sex with a man – usually Michael Douglas – and then try to ruin or end their life. Or both. Yes, erotic thrillers were often ‘problematic’ and almost always self-consciously campy, but damn, they could be a lot of fun – and during their ’80s and ’90s glory years, they did big box office. But then, sometime around the turn of the millennium, studios just stopped making them. What gives? Whatever the reason, it took a failed revival to remind us just how much we miss them. Earlier this year, Adrian Lyne, the British director who made his name cranking out blockbuster erotic thrillers like Fatal Attraction and Unfaithful, came out of retirement to adapt the Patricia Highsmith novel Deep Water. But instead of bringing the genre back from the dead, it only served to show just how prudish movies have become over the last two decades – the film shows more close-ups of Ben Affleck’s pet snails than actual sex. Thankfully, for a while, Hollywood was cranking out more erotic thrillers than most of us could watch, leaving us with a rich back catalogue of steamy violence to revisit. Here are TK of cinema’s best erotic thrillers to get your blood boiling. Recommended: 🍆 The 101 best sex scenes in movies😬 The 100 best thriller movies of all-time😍 The 100 best romantic films of all-time 🕵️ 40 murder mystery movies to test your sleuthing ski

The 100 best thriller movies of all time

The 100 best thriller movies of all time

What makes a great thriller? Well, let’s see. Are your palms sweaty? Your teeth clenched? Is your heart pumping and your leg shaking uncontrollably? If so, the chances are that the movie you’re watching is doing its job. When done right, a thriller provokes a physical response more than any other genre, bar horror. Exactly how it initiates those reactions, however, varies greatly. In the pantheon of the best thrillers ever made, you’ll find murder, political intrigue, espionage, conspiracy, manipulation, gaslighting, and, of course, lots and lots of crime. But as a category of movie, the thriller is also loosely defined – within the genre, you’ll find examples of science fiction, horror, heists, action, even comedy, along with the ever-nebulous ‘psychological thriller’ subdivision. In other words, the thriller contains multitudes. But the best of them will always draw you in, make you sweat and leave you breathless. Here are the 100 greatest thrillers ever made. Written by Abbey Bender, Joshua Rothkopf, Phil de Semlyen, Tom Huddleston, Andy Kryza, Tomris Laffly & Matthew Singer RECOMMENDED: 🕯️ The 35 steamiest erotic thrillers ever made😬 The 20 best thriller movies on Netflix 💣 The 101 best action movies ever made🔪 The 35 steamiest erotic thrillers 🔥 The 100 best movies of all time

The 101 best sex scenes in movies of all time

The 101 best sex scenes in movies of all time

When it comes to sex, the movie are currently going through a bit of a dry spell. It feels like it’s been a long while since we’ve seen a hot, steamy, taboo-shattering roll in the hay – or hot tub, or midsize sedan, or literal bay of hale – in a major studio film, at least not one that truly shocks the zeitgeist and gets audiences talking. Is it because of society’s general rightward shift recently? Or did filmmakers start listening to those misguided social media debates about the merits of the sex scene? In any case, it’s far past time the movies got back to getting it on – and here are 101 examples why. Sure, in some cases, sex scenes can seem pointless. In the best examples of cinematic boffing, though, sex tells stories. It develops characters. Sometimes it’s a punchline, sometimes it’s terrifying. Sometimes, yes, it’s simply meant to arouse – but titillation has value, too. Pour yourself some wine and slip into something a little more comfortable. Here are the 101 best sex scenes of all-time. Written by Dave Calhoun, Joshua Rothkopf, Cath Clarke, David Ehrlich, Phil de Semlyen, Daniel Walber, Trevor Johnston, Andy Kryza, Daniel Walber and Matthew Singer Recommended: 🕯️ The 35 steamiest erotic thrillers ever made🔥 The 100 best movies of all-time❤ The 100 best romantic films of all-time😬 The 50 most controversial movies ever made💪 The 100 best feminist films of all-time

The 40 most beautiful outdoor cinemas in the world

The 40 most beautiful outdoor cinemas in the world

There’s few more glorious summer activities than lying back in the great outdoors and soaking up a movie. The sun dropping beneath the horizon, the prosecco flowing, Hugh Jackman about to start singing in a top hat – let’s face it, you’re statistically likely to be watching The Greatest Showman – and a deckchair to sink into. What could be more perfect? You even get to use that comfy blanket your nan gave you. But if there’s one thing that ups the ante on the experience , it’s doing it in an eye-poppingly beautiful location – like one of the 40 starlit screens on this list. From a screen that emerges from Sydney harbour like a kind of cinematic Botticelli, to a vertiginous Colorado amphitheatre, to Cannes’s iconic Cinéma de la Plage, they cover all bases and the entire globe. Take a tour of the most spectacular screens on the planet.

40 murder-mystery movies to test your sleuthing skills to the max

40 murder-mystery movies to test your sleuthing skills to the max

Other movies may grab your eyeballs and rattle your eardrums or manipulate your heartstrings, but no other genre engages your mind and pulls you through the screen quite like a murder mystery. It’s the most immersive cinematic experience, in part because most of us have solved many ourselves, whether it was on a game board or in a roleplaying dinner party with friends. Mostly, though, it’s simply human nature to see a puzzle and try to piece it together. No matter how charismatic the sleuth up on the screen is, we always see them as a proxy for ourselves – and we always try to one-up them by figuring things out before they do.   It’s a bit odd, then, to imagine that the genre has ever gone out of style. Murder mysteries have been part of filmdom stretching back to the 1930s, but up until recently, the classic whodunnit felt woefully old-fashioned – perhaps because, with the rise of streaming and thus, more distracted viewing, movies that demand an audience’s full attention are less in demand than ever. But over the last two years, murder mysteries have steadily made a comeback, thanks to movies like Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile and, especially, Knives Out. And with Knives Out 2 arriving later this year, we felt it was time to round up the genre’s classics, along with its hidden gems. Here are 40 of the best. Contributors: Phil de Semlyen, Matthew Singer, Annette Richardson, Ashanti Omkar Recommended:🕵️ The 100 best thriller films of all time🔪 The best

The 40 best Netflix original series to binge

The 40 best Netflix original series to binge

The streaming world is much more crowded than it was when Netflix broke the mould with House of Cards back in 2013. Make no mistake, though: whatever you think of the rest of the platform’s offerings, its run of original programming has consistently changed the game, whether it’s Stranger Things or BoJack Horseman or The Crown. Even when it seems like the Big N is being eclipsed by other services that came along later, something like Squid Game explodes out of nowhere and becomes a cultural phenomenon. There’s a lot of competition for your attention these days, and even Netflix itself now has more series than anyone has time for. So we’ve put together a list of the 40 Netflix originals series you absolutely must binge. We’ve left out shows that originated elsewhere before the platform picked them up (sorry Black Mirror) and.we’re also sticking to scripted series (sorry not sorry, Tiger King). Recommended: 🎥 The 35 best movies on Netflix right now🔎 The best true crime documentaries on Netflix👽 The best sci-fi shows streaming on Netflix

23 best free movies on YouTube that are legitimately great

23 best free movies on YouTube that are legitimately great

In a world of streaming platforms that seems to swell by the week (hello, Paramount Plus!), YouTube is like earth’s natural resource for movies. On there, you’ll find a vast array of movies to rent and buy – a tally only matched by Google, Apple and Amazon Prime – but also, a whole cornucopia of incredible freebies to delve into. Take it from us, thanks to the vagaries of copyright law, YouTube is now a remarkable repository of hard-to-find cinema. From The Witchfinder General to Sunrise, it’s a perpetual home for everything from silent classics top undiscovered deep-cuts, essential curios to arthouse gems. Dig in, your Letterboxd account will thank you for it. Recommended: 🎬 100 Best Movies of All Time.💣 The greatest thrillers ever made.

50 Great British actors: the list

50 Great British actors: the list

The Brits didn’t invent acting but at this point they have basically managed to trademark it. Seriously: close your eyes and imagine an actor. Not a specific movie star, but an archetype. Imagine them reciting an intense, dramatic monologue. Do they have an accent? We’re going to bet they do. And even if they don’t, well, that imaginary actor better have a good one in their back pocket, because any performer worth their SAG card is likely going to be called to do one at some point in their careers. The actors on this list, though, don’t have to worry – they were born with it. Here are our picks for the greatest British acting talent of all-time, from Judi Dench to Jack O’Connell, with everyone from Dudley Moore to Keira Knightley in between.  RECOMMENDED: 🇬🇧 The 100 best British films😂 The 100 best comedy movies💥 The 101 best action movies❤️ The 100 best romantic movies👨‍👩‍👦 The 50 best family movies

Listings and reviews (482)

Bullet Train

Bullet Train

2 out of 5 stars

There’s a bit towards the end of this glossy action-thriller where Brad Pitt is pummelling a goon with a fire extinguisher. The ill-fated man takes several blows to the face before Pitt’s operative-for-hire Ladybird nozzles him with some foam for good measure, before resuming with the head-bashing. By this stage in Atomic Blonde director David Leitch’s latest slice of high-octane hokum, you will absolutely know how the man feels. Bullet Train leaves you so punch drunk from its smart-aleck plot twists, matey-matey cameos and inconsequential dust-ups, you can barely absorb the weightless, CG-drenched OTT ending.   The setting, a high-speed Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto, is a lot smoother than the storytelling. Aboard this sleek locomotive are a loosely connected group of violent professionals: some looking for revenge; some on a job that will spell death for their fellow passengers; some babysitting the son of a ruthless Russian mobster called the White Death (Michael Shannon). Oh, and slithering around somewhere among them is a deadly snake.Into this combustible, complex mix comes Pitt’s snatch-and-grab man Ladybird, who just needs to pick up a briefcase and get off the train. Ladybird is fresh from therapy and on a mission of personal growth, and the movie star has fun with his reluctant use of violence and fondness for a self-help aphorism. Bullet Train takes obvious inspiration from Tarantino in its (wildly overused) flashback structure, quirky music cues (shout out to Eng

Notre-Dame on Fire

Notre-Dame on Fire

4 out of 5 stars

Jean-Jacques Annaud’s dramatisation of the 2019 Notre-Dame fire holds a vice-like grip as it records the 12 hours or so of the blaze in forensic detail. Considering we all know how it ended – spoiler: the cathedral didn’t fall into the Seine – it’s a seriously impressive feat. The fire’s cause is kept vague. It’s yet to be established IRL, though Annaud hedges his bets by showing us both a workman’s rogue ciggie and an electrical short. But when the flames start to consume the upper reaches of the cathedral, melting scaffolding and pouring molten lead through the mouths of its gargoyles and on the city below, the 2,200 degree blaze takes an almost demonic presence at the heart of the drama. It’s a formidable villain.  From there, Notre-Dame on Fire zeroes in on the often haphazard, but ultimately heroic response to the unfolding disaster. The Paris traffic, sluggish response times (early photos of the fire popping up on social media are initially dismissed as fakes), locked doors, and the struggle to get firefighting equipment up medieval spiral staircases all ramp up the tension.  Annaud smartly keeps things lean with a cast of characters – weary firefighters, panicky church wardens, emotionally stricken priests, even Emmanuel Macron himself, well-meaning but getting in the way – that’s unencumbered by distracting back stories. The Parisian public, captured via smartly used archival news footage, provide a vivid backdrop. There are some nice details in the firefighting metho

Nope

Nope

4 out of 5 stars

It can’t be easy being Jordan Peele. His first movie came from nowhere to make a motza, land Oscar nominations and create an entirely new genre for your know-it-all mate to drop into pub chat. Now every time he makes another one of his social horrors, we expect the Earth: entertainment, a message and a dozen or so Easter eggs to chew over on Reddit.Happily, the writer-director has the game to back it up. Us, his satisfyingly freaky, if sketchily-plotted follow-up to Get Out, was a slight backwards step, but his dusty new sci-fi horror is a belter.  If those first two movies riffed on the horror classics of the ’70s – Kubrick, Polanski, The Stepford Wives et al – Nope is amped-up on the science-fiction paranoia of the 1950s and Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone, as it unleashes a malevolent force or entity (that I’m absolutely not going to spoil) on a brother and sister in California’s remote Santa Clarita Valley.  Those siblings – Daniel Kaluuya’s taciturn OJ Haywood and his sparky sis Emerald (Hustler’s Keke Palmer, great here) – are Hollywood’s only Black horse trainers, whose business dealings with snooty white film people are complicated when their legendary animal wrangling dad (Keith David) is killed by a coin falling mysteriously from the sky.  Soon, it becomes apparent that something – or someone – is out there. With help from a lovelorn electrical showroom employee (Brandon Perea, a real find), they wire up a CCTV system in the hope of catching it on camera. It’ll be ‘the

Thor: Love and Thunder

Thor: Love and Thunder

3 out of 5 stars

Taika Waititi’s funny but uneven second Thor movie gets tantalisingly close to providing the MCU with its first straight-up comedy, before getting serious and losing its way. In standard Marvel house style, the Taika-ness – that wackadoodle energy, colour and quippiness that made Thor: Ragnarok such a ride – drains away in an over-busy middle stretch that re-ups on that old franchise preoccupation: a superbad who must be stopped from unleashing an(other) apocalypse. Introduced by the Waititi-voiced rock warrior Korg (now rivalling Groot in the fan-favourite stakes), Chris Hemsworth’s mopey, dad-bodded Thor is soon beefing-up again to help Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and his fellow Guardians defeat an army of furry space ferrets. It’s a prelude to the main villain: Gorr the God Butcher, played by Christian Bale beneath layers of pale make-up that make him look like Voldemort rocking up for a Fury Road audition. As his name implies, he’s nursing a grudge against the galaxy’s entire pantheon of deities and has a certain Norse god with a blond mane and forearms like hams on his shit list. There’s an ugly, murkily-framed action sequence in New Asgard – now part home to Asgardian refugees, part tourist attraction – that throws Thor’s old flame, Dr Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), back into the mix. She’s now the owner of Thor’s also-much-missed hammer, Mjolnir, and has newfound powers that are barely keeping a secret terminal illness at bay. Cue some amusing scenes of neurotic hammer ban

Brian and Charles

Brian and Charles

4 out of 5 stars

It might sound like a poundshop Transformers on paper, but this lo-fi, seriously funny and utterly beguiling British robot comedy is proof that you don’t need Hollywood budgets to forge something special out of the sci-fi genre. Sometimes a mannequin’s head, an old washing machine and a big heart works even better. That dummy’s head and Zanussi-shaped torso belong to Charles Petrescu, the lanky A.I. at the heart of this endlessly winning Brit flick. He’s the creation of lonely inventor, Brian Gittens (David Earl), who beavers away in his workshop with his sidekick mouse, Mr Williams, turning out Heath Robinson-esque gadgets of limited utility, like a turbo cup scrubber and an egg belt. For a solitary man squirrelled away in a remote Welsh cottage, the creation of this sentient new life force is a point of pride and astonishment. Then Charles starts talking – and, swiftly, learning – and there’s also the touching realisation that he hasn’t just built a robot, he’s found a friend.Earl plays these beats with the expert hand of a man who has been building these characters in his head for years, while his co-writer and co-star Chris Hayward delivers genuinely skilful physical comedy from beneath that cumbersome robot get-up. What started out as their experimental stand-up routine and became a 2017 short film expands naturally into a sweet-natured exploration of growing up and letting go that eshews gags but still regularly mines comedy gold from this odd-couple bromance.  Props, t

Minions: The Rise of Gru

Minions: The Rise of Gru

3 out of 5 stars

Steve Carell is fun as the voice of supervillain Gru but let’s face it, the $4.5 billion-grossing Despicable Me franchise owes most of that loot to its banana-coloured, pellet-shaped Minions. They’re pure comedy crack for wee’uns – even if their gibberish-spouting antics have driven one or two grown-ups to the edge over their four movies to date. Movie number five – the origin-story sequel to the spin-off, if you’re keeping track – tosses a bone or two to the accompanying adults of a certain age with its sparky ’70s setting, a soundtrack full of needle drops, and at least one good gag involving a rotary phone. Like 2015’s Minions, it’s set before the events of the Despicable Me films – shifting a decade forward from the 1960s to disco-era 1976, and reintroducing Gru (still voiced by Carell) as an 11¾-year-old schoolboy with aspirations to evil.  Below a vinyl emporium called Criminal Records are the villains he wants to join: the Vicious 6, a DC-esque band of superbads led by Taraji P Henson’s disco diva Belle Bottom and featuring a motley crew of pun-tastic baddies (pick of the bunch? The lobster-handed Jean Clawed, voiced by, yes, Jean-Claude Van Damme).Botching his interview, Gru makes off with their supernatural amulet, hoping to prove his villainous bona fides, but instead setting in motion a helter-skelter abduction and rescue mission that shows what his brand-new yellow helpers are capable of. Which, needless to say, is not much. Minions: The Rise of Gru is at its best

Jurassic World Dominion

Jurassic World Dominion

1 out of 5 stars

An extinction-level turkey, this stinker of a dino disaster movie plays like a Jurassic Park tribute band: you vaguely recognise the tunes, but it leaves you pining extremely hard for the original. It is to the 1993 original what The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was to Raiders of the Lost Ark, a so-called ‘legacy sequel’ that collapses under the weight of its own leaden callbacks, fan-friendly casting, ropey CGI and dodgy plotting. One thing it’s not short on is dinosaurs: they’re everywhere. After the events of the enjoyably hammy but forgettable Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, dinos now roam the earth and swim in the seas, sinking fishing trawlers and plucking wedding doves from the sky. That darkly funny moment in an otherwise ponderous opening montage raises hope of further sly wit that the remaining two-and-a-half hours steadfastly dashes.   But just when it seems about to tussle with what a world of dino-human interaction would actually look like – forget snakes on a plane, what about T-Rexes in Tesco? – Dominion narrows its horizons, zeroing in on Chris Pratt’s personality-free dino trainer, Owen Grady, Bryce Dallas Howard’s dinosaur activist Claire and their cloned surrogate daughter, Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), as they try to maintain a frazzled domestic equilibrium in the wilds of the Sierra Nevada as poachers hired by evil GM corporation BioSyn circle. The sinister hand of BioSyn CEO Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott) is behind all this, along with a scheme to u

‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show’ review

‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show’ review

This review is from December 2017. ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar' plays the Lyric Hammersmith in summer 2022.  Now in its second festive run, this kaleidoscopic hour-long adaption of four of Eric Carle’s classic children’s stories is a pure, kid-quelling joy. The titular chow-lusting larva doesn’t appear until the final quarter – the big diva – but there’s plenty of colourful puppets, dancing and music to entrance youngsters until then. They can muse on themes of birth, metamorphosis and the existential inner life of the firefly, or like us, just gawp as a shower of bubbles introduces the subsea realm of Mister Seahorse, gently floating down over a rapt audience. They should try this during the drier bits of Ibsen.  A word of caution: changing facilities are thin on the ground at the scruffy Ambassadors Theatre, and the ground is where we ended up changing our little one. The adjacent St. Martin’s Theatre, home to ‘The Mousetrap’, does serve as a handy overflow car park for prams. But for anyone with little ’uns under the age of six or seven, this show is well worth the effort. 

Bergman Island

Bergman Island

4 out of 5 stars

Anyone versed in the emotionally intelligent, endlessly intuitive but entirely ungory work of French filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve might be surprised to learn that her first English-language drama features a scene straight out of a slasher movie. A stalker pursues a young woman through a derelict space until the tables turn and the assailant finds himself stabbed in the guts. As well as an intriguing glimpse of what a Hansen-Løve Halloween movie might look like, it’s one of many playful moments in a relationship drama that uses the former island home of great Swedish auteur Ingmar Bergman as a meta backdrop from a deep dive into the vagaries of the human heart and a woman’s quest for creative freedom.  That stalking scene, it transpires, is a clip from the latest movie by Tony Sanders (Tim Roth). He’s a filmmaker who holes up each summer on the remote Swedish island of Fårö to write a script, while his screenwriter wife Chris (Phantom Thread’s Vicky Krieps) does the same and their daughter is back with the in-laws. Tony has been invited to screen his new film and hold a Q&A in the Bergman Center, and the starstruck fans and aspiring filmmakers who wait for selfies afterwards clue us into his status as an established figure in the movie world.  It’s Chris, though, who is the film’s heart and her efforts to grind out an outline for her new screenplay – an autobiographical story of a 28-year-old filmmaker working through the end of a passionate young love – are the struggles we’re i

All My Friends Hate Me

All My Friends Hate Me

4 out of 5 stars

This enjoyably mean-spirited black comedy set in a grand country house will have you wondering who your real friends are – and what they really think of you. It’s the question Pete (Tom Stourton, who co-wrote the script) starts asking himself a few hours into the 31st birthday bash four old university mates are throwing for him in that remote pile. He seems like a good person, albeit one with an irritating habit of dropping his recent work at a refugee camp into every conversation. At uni, as he sheepishly admits to his girlfriend, he went by ‘Skipper’. ‘Because I was the captain of the party,’ he says. Yup, he’s that guy. First-time director Andrew Gaynord puts us in Pete’s shoes as he turns up and tries to refamiliarise himself with the group dynamics of his four up-for-it mates. They’re overtly friendly but somehow slightly off with him. Have the intervening years just distanced them all or is there something more sinister afoot? And why is the pisshead local, Harry (Dustin Demri-Burns), they’ve brought back from the pub taking notes every time he says anything? The friends are a thinly sketched bunch: Archie (Graham Dickson) is an off-the-rails Gap Yah type who plies everyone with drugs; there’s haughty posh girl Fig (Georgina Campbell), whose husband, George (About Time’s Joshua McGuire), own the place; and the fragile Claire (Antonia Clarke) who still holds a candle for Pete, her ex. Her mental health struggles add a key element of confused self-reproach to further clou

Tori and Lokita

Tori and Lokita

3 out of 5 stars

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have made something suspiciously close to a thriller with this, their twelfth film. There’s handguns and bad guys driving Range Rovers. For those masters of small-scale vérité social dramas, it’s such a bracing sensation to see them tiptoeing into genre terrain, you’ll forgive the fact that the villains are two-dimensional and that the ending is jarringly abrupt.  Of course, the siblings’ trademark empathy and political edge are still present and correct in Tori and Lokita, which follows two young African migrants trying to get a foothold on life in Europe. It’s another deeply humane parable of life on the margins in Belgium’s hardscrabble suburbs, engaging and heartbreaking in equal measure. Framed in the Dardennes’ customary close-ups or captured with long handheld shots are Tori (Pablo Schils) and Lokita (Mbundu Joely), whose migration from Benin and Cameroon respectively has opened them up to new struggles and new dangers. Tori, a whipsmart kid who was persecuted back home as the supposed ‘son of a sorceror’, has residency papers and a place in care. The teenage Lokita isn’t so lucky. Her claim to be Tori’s sister is picked apart by bureaucrats so impersonal, they barely feature in the frame during the fi​l​m’s stark opening interview scene. Deprived of official status, Lokita deals drugs on behalf of the unsympathetic chef in an Italian restaurant to try to pay off the people traffickers​ who brought her to Europe​ and save some money for her

Broker

Broker

4 out of 5 stars

Despite a set-up that falls very heavily into the just-go-with-it basket, Japanese humanist Hirokazu Koreeda’s first Korean-set film unfurls itself into another touching, wryly funny tale of surrogate families. It’s not quite on a par with his Palme d’Or winner Shoplifters – what is? – but it’s a crowd-pleaser and a gentle joy, with a standout performance from Parasite’s Song Kang-ho. Broker opens with a young woman, So-young (K-pop star Ji-eun Lee), leaving her new-born son at one of Busan’s so-called baby boxes. They’re a real-life mechanism to enable struggling parents to ensure unwanted children find their way into care. But they come with social judgment – ‘You threw your baby away’, So-young will be told on more than one occasion – and in Broker’s world, at least, they’re ripe for exploitation. Sure enough, two adoption brokers, Sang-hyun (Parasite’s Song Kang-ho) and Dong-soo (Gang Dong-won), steal the baby and begin touting him around on their network of wealthy wannabe parents, using their laundrette as a front for their criminal enterprise. It’s an unlikely scenario – even before So-young, wanted for murder and being trailed by two cops, forms an unlikely alliance with the two baby traffickers – but Koreeda’s warmth and wit make it easy to let it slide. He wants to take you on a journey with a burgeoning family of misfits that’s soon swelled by another young orphan. The quartet, and the young moppet, travel around in a battered van full of dry cleaning from one lot

News (250)

The UK is getting the world’s first ‘Jumanji’ theme park

The UK is getting the world’s first ‘Jumanji’ theme park

First, it was a much-loved action-adventure with Robin Williams and a few herds of CG beasties. Then, it was a rebooted into highly entertaining comedy caper (plus sequel) starring The Rock, Jack Black and a tonne of much more realistic CG beasties. And now Jumanji is going to be a UK theme park attraction, complete with a hair-rising, jaguar-shaped rollercoaster. Chessington World of Adventures and Sony, the movie studio behind the franchise, have just shared news of a World of Jumanji theme park – as well as a world-first look at what to expect when it opens in spring 2023. A £17 million development within Chessington itself, World of Jumanji will be the first-ever Jumanji-themed land in an amusement park – and the biggest-ever investment in the Surrey resort’s history.  Details on what you’ll find inside are still a little sketchy – the press release promises ‘wild rides, adventurous attractions and drama-filled experiences’ – though as the concept art illustrates, one of those things will be an imposing 55-foot replica of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’s Jaguar Shrine. Photograph: Chessington World of Adventures ResortAn illustration of World of Jumanji’s entrance portal In the movie it’s the ancient home of magical amulet, the Jaguar’s Eye. Returning the jewel and lifting a curse was the plot of the film and it sounds like it’ll be the overarching theme here too (at least, when you’re not busy riding the rollercoaster). And if you’re new to Chessington, the Kingston-

Sam Mendes’s ‘Empire of Light’ is coming to the London Film Festival

Sam Mendes’s ‘Empire of Light’ is coming to the London Film Festival

Sam Mendes’s latest film, period romance ‘Empire of Light’, is the latest big release to be added to this year’s BFI London Film Festival programme.  ‘Empire of Light’ will be the festival’s AMEX gala, a European premiere that will see Mendes joined on the Royal Festival Hall red carpet by stars Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Colin Firth, Toby Jones, Tanya Moodie, Tom Brooke and Crystal Clarke.  Directed and written by Mendes – his first solo screenwriting credit – and shot by his ‘1917’ and ‘Skyfall’ cinematographer Roger Deakins, ‘Empire of Light’ is set in a cinema in an English seaside town in the early ’80s. It promises ‘a powerful and poignant story about human connection and the magic of cinema’. ‘I’m absolutely delighted to be included in this year’s BFI London Film Festival as the AMEX Gala screening,’ says Mendes. ‘“Empire of Light” is a very personal movie for me, and I can’t wait to show it in my home town.’ ‘[The film] explores the importance of community, the power of storytelling and of the movies, specifically the thrill of watching a film in a dark cinema, and the tactile pleasures of celluloid,’ adds LFF festival director Tricia Tuttle, ‘and these are themes so close to our hearts at the BFI’. Photograph: Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved‘Empire of Light’ This year’s LFF opens on October 5 with ‘Matilda the Musical’ and comes to a close on October 16 with Rian Johnson’s murder-mystery ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’, s

6 wildly nostalgic TV game shows that should be brought back immediately

6 wildly nostalgic TV game shows that should be brought back immediately

It’s shaping up to be a long old winter, and sometimes all those high-quality streaming shows just won’t cut it for lazy, escapist nights in. What you need is some old-school, guilt-free telly staples. With ’90s sports game show ‘Gladiator’ dusting off its giant cotton buds for a revival and ‘Big Brother’ preparing to imprison another lot of hopefuls for our entertainment, we’ve been thinking of a few other nostalgic telly faves that we’d like to see given a 2022 redux. The stipulation is that they’re easy viewing, generally cheery and quite silly. Dangerous-looking challenges, viral-worthy catastrophes and unexpected hosts are mandatory.  We are the Champions The ultimate in kids’ entertainment – in the sense that the kids were doing the entertaining and we could just watch – 1980s teatime classic ‘We are the Champions’ set two schools against each other in a souped-up version of school sports day broadcast to the nation. You didn’t even need to be a parent to cosplay as a competitive dad cheering the little tykes on as they frantically relayed across swimming pools filled with random obstacles. Chuck a bit more budget (ie some budget) at it, and it could be the ultimate in family viewing.Dream host: BBC commentator Ron Pickering brought an incongruously professional vibe to scenes of 12-year-old crashing into each other with giant rubber tyres. We’d take it down an age bracket or six and go with the Chicken Connoisseur to shout ‘Away You Go!' on any reboot. Cheaper option:

The London Film Festival closing gala has been announced

The London Film Festival closing gala has been announced

The London Film Festival is kicking off with a surefire crowdpleaser – ‘Matilda the Musical’ – and it’s closing with one too. The European premiere of Rian Johnson’s new whodunnit ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ will bring the fest to an end on October 16. Johnson’s follow-up to his hit murder-mystery, ‘Knives Out’, will be accompanied at the Royal Festival Hall by its stars Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Leslie Odom Jr, Kate Hudson and Madelyn Cline. The film has Craig reprising his role as detective Benoit Blanc, who’ll be heading to a luxurious corner of Greece to solve another murder case.  It’s not the first time Johnson has walked the LFF red carpet. The festival hosted the European premiere of ‘Knives Out’ as its American Express Gala in 2019. ‘I’m thrilled to be back at LFF with “Glass Onion”,’ said Johnson in a statement, ‘and it’s an honour to be closing the festival. A proper whodunnit really does belong in London, so it feels a bit like coming home!’ ‘Like [“Knives Out”], “Glass Onion” is entertaining and culturally literate in equal measure, making some hilarious, razor sharp observations about the world we live in,’ adds LFF festival director Tricia Tuttle. You won’t even need to have tickets for the gala to catch ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ on the night: there’ll be simultaneous screenings at participating cinemas across the UK. The 66th BFI London Film Festival runs from October 5-16. Head to the official site for all the info. Everyth

‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ memorabilia is going under the hammer

‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ memorabilia is going under the hammer

James Bond author Ian Fleming’s other famous creation, the movie version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is rite-of-passage viewing for generations of youngsters. Now those youngsters have grown up and have slightly deeper pockets, they can buy a piece of that nostalgia for keeps. UK-based auction house Excalibur Auctions is selling a collection of memorabilia from the 1968 movie musical, which famously starred Dick Van Dyke as eccentric inventor Caractacus Pott. The sale, which starts on Saturday August 13, features some of the magical contraptions created for the film by inventor/designer Rowland Emett. The biggest is a glass, wood and metal model of flying hut that Grandpa Potts (Lionel Jeffries) used to travel to India. It comes with an estimate of £3,500-£4,500. Look out, too, for a rare 1960s pedal car for children modelled on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang itself (est. £1,000-£1,500), and the original Emett designs that were created for Caractacus Pott’s inventions, including a sketch of movie’s ‘Potts Cruft-de-Luxe Dog Tidy’. ‘We are delighted to be able to offer such a special private collection of items that come from a direct source to the film,’ says Excalibur Auctions’ Jonathan Torode.‘While the total low estimate for the collection is currently a conservative £10,000, I think due to the film’s continuing popularity, it may well surpass this.’ Budding bidders should head to the official site for all the info.  The 50 best family films to stream on movie night.The b

The first trailer for Star Wars spin-off ‘Andor’ has landed

The first trailer for Star Wars spin-off ‘Andor’ has landed

There’s a bit of a formula for ‘Star Wars’ spin-offs in recent times: a mysterious European-sounding figure pulling the strings, a plummy villain bring the menace with a distinctly British inflection and a cute droid bleeping in ways that will immediately have us cooing like proud parents.  And the trailer for the latest Disney+ series, Andor, has them all in spades. For Werner Herzog in The Mandalorian, read Stellan Skarsgård as Andor’s Luthen – an enigmatic figure who helps Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor on his journey from rogue to resistance leader. Oh, and droid is called B2EMO – or ‘Bee-two’ for short. Watch it below.  Andor is set five years before Rogue One and follow’s the title character’s journey from selfish miscreant to a man who’ll risk it all to stop the Empire developing its planet-killing weapon. Helping him on that path are Rogue One pair Genevieve O’Reilly, as Rebel Alliance leader-in-the-making Mon Mothma, and Forest Whitaker as resistance fighter Saw Gerrera. Look out, too, for Irish actress Denise Gough as a so-far unnamed Imperial officer who will be dishing out repressive policies from the comfort of her Star Destroyer. The ever-reliable Tony Gilroy, who helped make Rogue One arguably the stand-out Star Wars movie since Jedi, is the showrunner on this one. ‘Rogue One’ [was] more about an event than the actual journey of [the] characters,’ he tells Empire. ‘It’s quite amazing to start a show where it’s not about where we can end – it’s about, how

Hollywood tweets pay tribute to ‘Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols

Hollywood tweets pay tribute to ‘Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols

Nichelle Nichols, who has died aged 89, was a pioneer and a TV legend. Her depiction of Star Trek’s Lt Nyota Uhura helped break down barriers and show several generations of young Americans a different way forward in a country often riven by racism and racial conflict. As US President Joe Biden put it: ‘Our nation has lost a trailblazer of stage and screen who redefined what is possible for Black Americans and women”. Needless to say, her death has been met with an outpouring of dedications, tributes and fond memories on social media. Former collaborators, Trekkers, Hollywood colleagues, friends and family have all shared their love for Nichols – and the USS Enterprise’s iconic comms officer, Lt Uhura – on Twitter.  Here are just a few of those tweets: Former USS Enterprise shipmate George Takei I shall have more to say about the trailblazing, incomparable Nichelle Nichols, who shared the bridge with us as Lt. Uhura of the USS Enterprise, and who passed today at age 89. For today, my heart is heavy, my eyes shining like the stars you now rest among, my dearest friend. — George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) July 31, 2022   William Shatner, Captain Kirk from Star Trek I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Nichelle. She was a beautiful woman & played an admirable character that did so much for redefining social issues both here in the US & throughout the world. I will certainly miss her. Sending my love and condolences to her family. Bill — William Shatner (@WilliamShatn

‘Blonde’: 5 key takeaways from the new trailer for the ‘adults-only’ Marilyn Monroe epic

‘Blonde’: 5 key takeaways from the new trailer for the ‘adults-only’ Marilyn Monroe epic

The new trailer for Blonde has dropped and it’s set the internet alight – and not in an entirely harmonious way. Charting the actress, model and icon in a state of psychological freefall as she grapples with the ferocious public gaze of stardom, it’s had a few Monroe fans speculating over whether the film will exploit her memory for Black Swan-esque thrills, rather than etching out this complex woman in all her sophistication and intelligence.  All will be revealed when Andrew Dominik’s 12-years-in-the-making dramatisation of Joyce Carol Oates’ bestselling novel makes its bow at the Venice Film Festival in September. It’s worth noting that this is a mere two minutes of footage from a 165-minute movie, but the trailer unquestionably shows Blonde’s Monroe as a troubled soul struggling for agency over her life and career (while there’s a lot less of the frank depictions of sex that has earned the film an NC-17 rating). Here are five things to look out for. 1. The accent is going to polarise Okay, the accent is already polarising people – on Twitter, at least. Ana de Armas had nine months of dialect coaching to master Monroe’s voice and intonation, but while it’s hardly distracting, there still unmistakably a faint Cuban edge to her line readings. But biographical movies demand a readiness to suspend disbelief – did Gary Oldman look like Winston Churchill? – and there’s also the key details that, a) Monroe herself had Mexican roots and, b) Blon

Blonde: Everything you need to know about Netflix’s new ‘adults-only’ Marilyn Monroe movie

Blonde: Everything you need to know about Netflix’s new ‘adults-only’ Marilyn Monroe movie

Netflix’s new Marilyn Monroe movie Blonde is already stirring things up – and it doesn’t even have a release date yet. The film has been slapped with an NC-17 rating, or an 18 in UK terms, for sexually explicit content, making it the first release on the streamer to be given the adult-only certification. Monroe’s on-screen depictions have typically been fairly chaste (see Michelle Williams in My Week With Marilyn), but the bombshell really goes off in Blonde, which is sure to drive clicks and generate headlines in the run-up to its debut in the world’s living rooms.   But it’s not just the racy sex scenes that have grabbed the attention. There’s the small matter of Cuban actress Ana de Armas, breakout star of No Time to Die and Knives Out, playing the American icon, and Aussie auteur Andrew Dominik behind the camera, as well as a supporting ensemble featuring some of ’50s and ’60s America’s key cultural figures. Oh, and it’s produced by Brad Pitt, and scored by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. Here’s everything we know so far. Is there a trailer for Blonde? Yes, the trailer dropped in late July. Watch it below and then check out our five big takeaways from it here. When is Blonde released? It will premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September ahead of a Netflix launch on September 28.  Is Blonde based on a book? Yes, it’s an adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’s 2000 bestseller about the model-singer-actress’s inner life (already the basis for a 2001 made-for-television film sta

5 Bernard Cribbins moments that will melt your heart

5 Bernard Cribbins moments that will melt your heart

When word came through that Bernard Cribbins OBE had died, it felt like we’d all lost a kindly uncle. The Oldham-born actor and one-time Time Lord has left a legacy of roles that acted as waypoints for whole generations of Brits growing up. He was the voice of road safety icon Tufty Fluffytail in the ’70s, helping keep unwary Gen Xers safe from random lorry squishings; he voiced ‘The Wombles’ (if you know, you know) and read more than 100 stories on the BBC’s teatime staple ‘Jackanory’. Older readers may remember him in three ‘Carry On’ films or via a brief pop career that yielded singalong 1960s hit ‘Right Said Fred’, while Millennials will know him as Doctor Who’s companion Wilfred Mott, and younger Zoomers have had the benefit of his storytelling chops as a salty seaside raconteur in CBeebies ‘Old Jack’s Boat’.   However old you are, there’s something to treasure from his life as a performer. Here’s five we’ll be holding close. 1. ‘I'll look up at the sky and think of you’ in Doctor Who In one of the most heartbreaking scenes not just in ‘Doctor Who’ history, but of all British TV, Cribbins’ loveable grandad Wilfred Mott gives the nation’s heartstrings a great big yank. After his granddaughter Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) saved the universe, her memory had to be erased, leaving The Doctor (David Tennant) as a lone traveller once more. ‘Every night, Doctor, when it gets dark and the stars come out, I will look up on her behalf. I will look up at the sky

Everything you need to know about Guillermo del Toro’s new ‘Pinocchio’

Everything you need to know about Guillermo del Toro’s new ‘Pinocchio’

In a classic case of Hollywood doppelganger syndrome, there are not one, but two Pinocchios landing our TV screens this year. In the right corner is the Disney+ live-action take on the story, with Tom Hanks as Geppetto, Cynthia Erivo as the Blue Fairy and the wooden puppet given the full benefit of tech-forward director Robert Zemeckis’s VFX wizardy. In the left corner, and coming at Carlo Collodi’s 1883 fable from a wildly different angle, is Guillermo del Toro and co-director Mark Gustafson’s stop-motion adaptation, which is destined for Netflix. Disney will beat it to the punch – its version is streaming on September 8 – but will it match GDT’s Pinocchio, a lifelong passion project for the Mexican, for freshness, craft and heart? It’s not a competition – and del Toro is a super-fan of Disney’s 1940 Pinocchio– but also, you know, it kinda is…  When is Pinocchio on Netflix? The del Toro version will hit the streamer on a so-far unconfirmed date in December. Is there a trailer for Pinocchio? Si! It came out in late July and you can watch it below.  What is Netflix’s Pinocchio about? Billed as a ‘reinvention’ of Carlo Collodi's classic tale, it moves timeframes to Italy in the 1930s – of course, the moment fascism told hold in the country. It still sticks to the story’s famous coming-of-age arc of a wooden marionette magically brought to life to help grieving woodcarver Geppetto come to terms with the loss of his son. Runs the official synopsis: ‘This whimsical

‘The Crown’ season 5: cast, plot and everything we know so far

‘The Crown’ season 5: cast, plot and everything we know so far

Four seasons in and the Netflix’s The Crown is firmly established as destination viewing for millions around the world. There’s a lot to bathe in with this show: the costumes; the ever-rotating but always immaculate casts; the palatial locations (and budgets); the in-fighting and drama; the occasional appearances by the corgis. Wherever you look there’s escapist eye candy to transport you and national disasters to bring you back to earth – a blend of real-life drama and posh fantasia that even Downton Abbey struggles to match.What also keeps the show top of people’s binge lists, though, is its regularly thrilling depiction of a family in a state of almost permanent crisis. And there’s plenty more of that ahead as season 5 draws closer: Princess Diana’s rift with Prince Charles is about to go apocalyptic and the Queen is, once again, torn between family and duty. And there can only be one winner there. When does The Crown season 5 come out?No word on an exact launch date yet Netflix has the series’s ten episodes scheduled to land in November 2022.  Is there a trailer for The Crown season 5?Not yet. The first trailer has traditionally dropped in late autumn, so expect something in September or October.  Photograph: NetflixImelda Staunton is replacing Olivia Colman as HRH Who will play the Queen in The Crown season 5?Donning the ermine in place of Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth is Imelda Staunton, while Jonathan Pryce replaces Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip. The Crown cas