Greta Gerwig proves her leading-lady mettle with this sparky but somehow saddening portrait of a twentysomething New Yorker who can’t seem to get a grip on where her life is going. Co-written by Gerwig with her current squeeze, ‘Squid and the Whale’ director Noah Baumbach, ‘Frances Ha’ is a film about personal growth, or the lack of it. Frances means well, but she’s too insular and directionless to break out of the traps she’s built for herself. If you’re under 40 and still searching, expect multiple moments of wince-inducing self-recognition.
Read the Time Out review of ‘Frances Ha’
This Johnny Depp comedy western is something of a mess: overlong, undisciplined and at times quite boring – though the climactic runaway train sequence is a hoot.
Read the Time Out review of ‘The Lone Ranger’
A treat of a comedy: yes it’s brash, tasteless and as subtle as a pie in the face, but it’s undeniably funny, and both Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy excel themselves.
Read the Time Out review of ‘The Heat’
This old-fashioned spooker from the makers of ‘Saw’ and ‘Insidious’ combines old-fashioned elements – psychic hunters, haunted houses – with cutting edge effects and hardcore shocks.
Read the Time Out review of ‘The Conjuring’
The decision to confine this debut big-screen outing for the great daytime DJ within the bounds of his hometown, Norwich, was a wise one, but is the result just a little too low-key?
Read the Time Out review of ‘Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa’
This ‘Superman’ reboot may suffer from director Zack Snyder’s customary bluntness and over-reliance on CGI but it’s a rousing spectacle nonetheless. Bring on BatBen!
Read the Time Out review of ‘Man of Steel’
More a rehash than a sequel, this second go-round for the reformed supervillain and his cutesy-poo family should please undemanding youngsters. Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig provide the voices.
Read the Time Out review of ‘Despicable Me 2’
This slam-bang robot-on-robot actioner was enjoyable enough in its own right, but fans of ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ director Guillermo del Toro’s past work will find it a disappointment.
Read the Time Out review of ‘Pacific Rim’
In a relatively short space of time, Italian maestro Paolo Sorrentino has established himself as one of the leading lights of world cinema. This box collects all of his Italian-language features, skipping over US-set drama ‘This Must Be the Place’. Sorrentino’s first feature – and first collaboration with regular leading man Toni Servillo – 2001’s ‘One Man Up’, never got a UK release, so it’s the least known of the titles here. But his star began to rise with ‘The Consequences of Love’, the frosty, mournful tale of a Mafia hit man – played by Servillo – seeking a moment’s rest in his old age.
‘The Family Friend’ drops Servillo in favour of Giacomo Rizzo, who plays a lecherous smalltown moneylender whose grotesque desires complicate the wedding of two young lovers. But director and star were reunited for ‘Il Divo’, a stunning portrait of greed and power in Italian politics. Servillo gives perhaps his finest performance as corrupt Christian Democrat Giulio Andreotti, and the film plays out as a series of eye-frazzling, soul-shaking vignettes. Finally, the set hits its peak with ‘The Great Beauty’, Time Out’s number one film of 2013, a work of astonishing visual mastery and riveting intelligence.
Every Pixar feature up to and including this year’s disappointing ‘Monsters University’, plus their wonderful shorts collection. There are undoubted movie masterpieces in this set, but the quality is starting to plummet.
The first in a new series of international collections overseen by the great director. This inaugural set includes compelling Moroccan music doc ‘Trances’ and award-winning Turkish drama ‘Dry Summer’.
Ulrich Seidl’s trilogy of melodramas about the trials facing a group of unfulfilled modern women was expected to be a remote, sardonic affair, but these films turned out to be surprisingly compassionate and witty, if psychologically pitiless.
This trio of brilliantly choreographed, unashamedly Aussie pedal-to-the-metal action movies are bracing reminder of those bygone days when a trilogy meant three completely different experiences, not the same film three times.
To coincide with the DVD release of this year’s remake, a welcome reissue for Sam Raimi’s original trilogy of ferociously independent splat-coms. Slapstick masterpiece ‘Evil Dead 2’ (1987) remains arguably the finest horror comedy of all time.
John Ford’s 1940 adaptation of John Steinbeck’s classic novel may wander away from its source material, but it remains one of the most soulful and intense films in the Hollywood canon, thanks in large part to Henry Fonda’s note-perfect central performance. He plays Tom Joad, the eldest son of a dirt-poor Oklahoma farming family who returns from prison to find his folks on the verge of shipping out to California. But on arrival in the promised land their dreams are quickly dashed: jobs are scarce, cops are brutal and public opinion has turned sharply against these poverty-stricken ‘Okies’.
Viewed in a modern context, ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ feels like a transmission from an alternate reality, an America that never was: proudly socialist, open-minded and forward-thinking. It’s hard to imagine a modern Hollywood film so defiantly humanist in its thinking, angrily but uncynically questioning the status quo without ever drifting into fuzzy liberal platitudes. The result is, of course, a poetic masterpiece, but it’s so much more than that: a reminder of the principles America was founded on, and how far that nation has strayed.
Read the Time Out review of ‘The Grapes of Wrath’
John Carpenter’s giddy tribute to Chinese kung-fu and American lunkheadedness returns, firmly established as a fanboy favourite and ready to enthrall and amuse a new generation of chopsocky nerds.
Read the Time Out review of ‘Big Trouble in Little China’
With this dizzy, dazzling dystopian debut, French directors Jeunet and Caro announced themselves as major new filmmaking talents. A shame they couldn’t have stuck together.
Read the Time Out review of ‘Delicatessen’
Director Robert Altman boldly transformed Raymond Chandler's classic LA detective novel into a rambling, shambling satire on post-hippie Hollywood hedonism. Elliott Gould's magnificent Marlowe personifies laconic outsiderdom.
Read the Time Out review of ‘The Long Goodbye’
Set in Sheffield on the verge of – and during – a massive Russian nuclear strike, 'Threads' is a ferocious, relentless and heartbreaking piece that should be not approached lightly.
See ‘Threads’ in Time Out's list of the 100 Best Horror Movies
Trading Cold War paranoia for post-hippie angst, Philip Kaufman’s remake of the original pod-person sci-fi shocker is a witty update featuring a cracking cast and one of the all-time great endings.
Read the Time Out review of ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’
Walter Hill transfers western tropes to a futuristic setting for this enjoyable rock-operatic fantasy romance. Ry Cooder and Meatloaf collaborator Jim Steinman provide the overblown score.
Read the Time Out review of ‘Streets of Fire’
The original, far superior adaptation of the spooky stage play about a man who attempts to drive his wife mad rather than reveal his dark secret. Lurking menace hangs in the air…
Read the Time Out review of ‘Gaslight’
Two years after his career-making smash-hit ‘Carrie’, Brian De Palma returned to the theme of telekinesis for another wild, blood-soaked tale of teens with powers they can’t understand or control.
Read the Time Out review of ‘The Fury’
John Carpenter’s wonderful 1978 original gets a Blu-ray spruce. Those deep shadowy corners – from which the knife-wielding ‘boogeyman’ Michael Myers comes lunging – have never looked blacker.
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