Cinema

Current highlights from Barcelona's English-language cinema scene


The latest reviews

CitizenFour

  • Rated as: 4/5

In June 2013, after several months of coded messages back and forth, US security worker Edward Snowden summoned three people to a hotel room in Hong Kong to reveal who he was and what he wanted. Two of the three were journalists: freelancer Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian’s Ewen MacAskill. The third person was documentary-maker Laura Poitras (‘Flag Wars’, ‘The Oath’), who has now turned the behind-the-scenes story of Snowden’s revelations into ‘Citizenfour’. (read more)

Policeman

  • Rated as: 4/5

Offering a thoroughly modern take on urban warfare, this unnerving and enigmatic debut feature from Israeli director Nadav Lapid trains its steely focus on the group dynamics of the cops and robbers rather than asking us to get swept along in the specifics of their violence travails. The first thirty minutes of the film depicts the (vaguely homoerotic) bonding rituals of an elite anti-terrorist unit, while we then move over to the more poetically inclined actions of militant socialist cell who plan capture and kill a billionaire industrialist. The film asks if we really know our enemy and it’s an idea that’s hit home with force in the deeply troubling final shot.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

  • Rated as: 3/5

A silver fox for a silver crowd: Richard Gere is the magic card up the filmmakers’ sleeve for this warm if rambling sequel to the 2011 hit ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’. Novelist Deborah Moggach only ever wrote one book about a ramshackle Indian hotel that attracts British retirees. So it’s down to writer-director team Ol Parker and John Madden to continue the tale, bringing back most of the cast – with added Gere as an American tourist suspected of being a hotel inspector. (read more)

Home

  • Rated as: 2/5

A smart concept is thoroughly wasted in this cute but grating Dreamworks animated comedy. It opens with an alien invasion – but not one of those messy, bloodthirsty ones. Our new extraterrestrial overlords, the cheerful, squashy Boov, merely want to shift the population of Earth to a new home in Australia – renamed Happy Humans Town – so they can enjoy the rest of the planet in peace. (read more)

The Boy Next Door

  • Rated as: 2/5

Jennifer Lopez has serious beefcake issues in this lazy, low-budget, not-as-much-fun-as-it-should-be potboiler. Following the departure of her cheating husband (John Corbett), schoolteacher Claire (Lopez) should be throwing herself into work. Instead, she throws herself into the well-toned arms of neighbouring hunk Noah (Ryan Guzman), the kind of all-American kid who likes to quote Homer, shoot oranges off a log with automatic weapons and slowly peel off his tank top in front of open windows. But when Claire opts not to go back for seconds, Noah’s inner psycho is unsurprisingly revealed. (read more)

Chappie

  • Rated as: 4/5

After the out-of-nowhere sucker punch of his 2009 debut ‘District 9’, Neill Blomkamp’s second film, 2013’s ‘Elysium’, felt like the work of a Hollywood-designed, blockbuster-producing robot: slick and anonymous. So it’s a huge relief to discover that, with ‘Chappie’, the South African filmmaker has re-engaged his emotion chip and ramped up the weirdness factor for this lovably scattergun cybernetic satire. (read more)

Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story Of Cannon Films

  • Rated as: 2/5

Is there a more toothsome subject for documentary than Cannon Films? Snapped up for a song in 1979 by wheeler-dealing Israeli producer-director team Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, this iconic production house quickly became synonymous with wild, low-budget drive-in trash like ‘The Delta Force’, ‘Missing in Action’ and the incomparable ‘Death Wish 3’, their logo a byword for instant lowbrow thrills, not to mention notorious production practices, out-of-control budgets and bizarre marketing schemes. So it’s a crushing disappointment that this overview from director Mark Hartley – whose Aussie exploitation doc ‘Not Quite Hollywood’ was such a treat back in 2008 – fails to capture the Cannon spirit. (read more)

More film reviews

Recommended films

Pride

  • Rated as: 5/5

Inherent Vice

  • Rated as: 4/5

Selma

  • Rated as: 5/5

Calvary

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Chappie

  • Rated as: 4/5

Nightcrawler

  • Rated as: 5/5

Whiplash

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