Tom Huddleston is Time Out's former London Assistant Film Editor.
The 100 best French movies of all time
For any serious cinephile, all roads lead to France. For many, French movies are the final frontier of film fandom: painfully stylish and achingly cool, with philosophical underpinnings and experimental structures that more mainstream audiences can find impenetrable. And certainly, some of that stereotyping is based in truth – pioneering ew Wavers like Jean-Luc Godard and Agnès Varda prided themselves on their intellect. But once you start exploring French cinema, it’s not difficult to see why it’s had such a powerful influence on global moviemaking – and that it’s not nearly as highfalutin’ and alienating as it can sometimes seem. We understand that leaping in can be intimidating, though. So we’ve ranked the 100 best French movies ever made, less to craft a definitive canon but to give both newbies and hardcore Francophiles a jumping-off point. Sure, there are famous crowd-pleasers like Amélie and Criterion-canonised classics, but also more obscure gems to challenge even deep-diving Nouvelle Vague obsessives. No matter your experience level, you’re sure to discover something surprising. Written by Tom Huddleston, Geoff Andrew, Dave Calhoun, Cath Clarke, Trevor Johnston, Joshua Rothkopf, Keith Uhlich and Matthew Singer Recommended: 🔥 The 100 best movies of all-time🌏 The best foreign films of all-time🇬🇧 The 100 best British movies🛏 The 101 best sex scenes in movies of all-time
The 100 best comedy movies: the funniest films of all time
As a general rule, comedy doesn’t age well. It’s a medium highly dependent upon context, and what’s considered funny now might be met with blank stares 100 years from now. So when a movie can still make audiences crack up decades or even a century down the line, that’s the sign of a classic comedy – and given how difficult it is to pull off a truly timeless comedy, it’s really one of the most impressive accomplishments in cinema. With an assist from comedians like Diane Morgan and Russell Howard, actors such as John Boyega and Jodie Whittaker and a team of Time Out writers, we’ve come up with the 100 finest, most durable and, most importantly, hilarious laughers in history. No matter your sense of humour – silly or sophisticated, light or dark, surreal or broad – you’ll find it represented here. Just make sure you’re wearing dark pants when you watch. Recommended: 🔥 The 100 best movies of all-time🥰 The greatest romantic comedies of all time🤯 33 great disaster movies😬 The best thriller films of all-time🌏 The best foreign films of all-time
The 50 best World War II movies
War has long fascinated filmmakers, no conflict more so than World War II. No wonder: the sheer scale of the destruction, the atrocities associated with it and its place in human history make it a natural framework for stories of resistance, survival and unimaginable loss. So many movies have been made about the war, it’s almost a genre unto itself. For that reason, choosing the best World War II movies is a challenge. That’s why, along with polling our well-studied Time Out writers, we also called in an outside expert: Quentin Tarantino, a man who knows a thing or two about making a great WWII film. Among the selections, you’ll find towering epics, intimate character studies, intense documentaries, historical revisions and even a few comedies. War is hell, and World War II was particularly hellish – but at least we have these films to help make some sense of it. Written by Tom Huddleston, Adam Lee Davies, Paul Fairclough, Anna Smith, David Jenkins, Dan Jolin, Phil de Semlyen, Alim Kheraj & Matthew Singer Recommended: ⚔️ The 50 best war movies of all-time🎖️ The best World War I movies, ranked by historical accuracy💣 The 101 best action movies of all-time🇺🇸 The 20 best Memorial Day movies
The 100 best horror movies of all time
Do you like scary movies? Of course you do. Who doesn’t? Sure, we all have thresholds for the level of scary we’re willing to subject ourselves to. But whether you’re a fiend for the bloodiest, most nauseating shocks available or tap out at shadows and jump scares, everyone enjoys catching a good fright once in a while. Given the recent box-office successes of franchises like Insidious and The Conjuring, horror has proven to be one of cinema’s most lucrative genres. It wasn’t always that way, though. Decades back, horror was largely a niche interest, ignored by mass audiences and dismissed by critics. It wasn’t really until the past decade, and the artistic and commercial success of films like Get Out, A Quiet Place and Midsommar, that it began to truly get the respect it deserves. In truth, though, horror has always been worthy of respect. After all, if movies are meant you make you feel something, what can make you feel emotions more strongly than a scary movie? So consider this an official reappraisal. Here are the 100 greatest horror movies ever made. Written by Tom Huddleston, Cath Clarke, Dave Calhoun, Nigel Floyd, Phil de Semlyen, David Ehrlich, Joshua Rothkopf, Nigel Floyd, Andy Kryza, Alim Kheraj and Matthew Singer Recommended: 🔪 The best new horror movies of 2023 (so far)🔥 The 100 best movies of all time👹 Cinema’s creepiest anthology horror movies🩸 The 15 scariest horror movies based on true stories
The 100 best TV shows of all time you have to watch
It only took about 70 years, but television is finally getting some respect. In the decades leading up to this point, TV was largely considered among the lowest forms of entertainment. It was smeared as ‘the idiot box’, ‘the boob tube’. Edward R Murrow referred to it as ‘the opiate of the masses’, and Bruce Springsteen even wrote a song about the malaise of fruitless channel surfing. Was its poor reputation deserved? Certainly, the ratio of garbage to gold was high, and though it’s hard to quantify if it was worse than any other artistic medium, the fact that it was all being beamed directly into your living room made the dreck much harder to avoid. That’s all changed. Television is now the dominant medium in basically all of entertainment, to the degree that the only thing separating movies and TV is the screen you’re watching on. The shift in perception is widely credited to the arrival of The Sopranos, which completely reinvented the notion of what a TV show could do, and the advent of streaming has made it so that hundreds of new shows are now continually flipping the script every few years, if not months. But that doesn’t mean everything before 1999 is pure dross. Far from it: television has been popular since World War II, after all. And while this list is dominated by 21st century programs, there are hundreds of shows that deserve credit for pushing TV forward into its current golden age. Chiselling them down to a neat hundred is tough, so we elected to leave off tal
The best Halloween movies and TV shows on Netflix UK
It’s beginning to feel a lot like spooky season. The days are gradually getting darker, the air is ever-so-slightly crisper and the smell of pumpkin spice is already wafting through the air. So you know what’s right around the corner: a month-long marathon of horror movies. Depending on when you read this, it might all seem a bit premature. But it’s never too early to start planning your Halloween viewing. Thankfully, Netflix is a veritable pillowcase full of treats, and not just scary movies – though they’ve got a few of those. If you’re looking for something to binge, the streamer has several horror-themed series as well, ranging from the lightly spooky to the downright terrifying. Whatever kind of frights you’re in the mood for, it’s available, and here are the best of them. Recommended: 😱 The 24 best horror movies streaming on Netflix UK😨 The 100 best horror movies of all-time👹 The 50 best monster movies ever made🔪 The best serial killer movies of all-time
The 50 best monster movies ever made
Monsters have existed in the movies almost from the moment cinema began. Think Lon Chaney in a fur mask or Ray Harryhausen’s giant stop-motion lizards, or even the harpoon-wielding insectoid aliens from 1902’s A Trip to the Moon. It goes to show how long filmmakers, make-up artists and special effects magicians have been rooting around in the darkest corners of their imagination, inventing nightmarish beastly beings to scare the heck out of audiences. They come in many shapes and sizes, but whatever their origin, they’re frequently grotesque, usually mean and always incredibly hard to stop. Given that long history and nearly limitless forms make putting together a list of the all-time best monster movies a bit overwhelming. So we put up a few parameters in order to narrow the field. Firstly, no zombies or vampires, as there are simply too many to cull down. Also, no humans. Apologies to Freddy, Jason and Henry from Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, but being monstrous doesn’t make you a true monster. Instead, we focused on all the killer rabbits, killer plants, killer fish, killer clowns, killer aliens and killer giant sandworms – and trust us, that’s a lot on its own. Written by Tom Huddleston, Adam Lee Davies, Andy Kryza, Paul Fairclough, David Jenkins & Matthew Singer Recommended: 👹 The 66 greatest movie monsters💀 The 100 best horror movies of all-time👽 The 100 best sci-fi movies of all-time🦄 The 50 best fantasy movies of all-time
The best thriller movies of all time for a suspense-packed film night
Occupying the blurry middle ground between the raw adrenaline blast of horror films that you watch through your fingers and psychological dramas – Bergman et al – that you feel in the pit of your stomach, the thriller genre covers a deceptively large amount of ground in the cinema pantheon. It might feel strange to lump serial-killer procedurals, ‘70s conspiracies, and obsessed artists all together in the same genre of film. But it speaks to the breadth of themes and subjects they can cover, and it’s perhaps easier to identify a thriller from how they make you feel rather than what they’re about. If you find yourself sitting closer to the edge of your seat, or find your palms getting clammy, you’re more than likely watching a thriller. The best thrillers impress not just with their provocative dialogue or voyeuristic camerawork, but by injecting the cinematic experience with frantic, anxiety-inducing energy. They know exactly which nerves to hit – and when to hit them. All with the intention of leaving you shaken up. Sounds good? Get started with these heart-rate-firing classics. Written by Abbey Bender, Joshua Rothkopf, Yu An Su, Phil de Semlyen, Tom Huddleston, Andy Kryza, Tomris Laffly & Matthew Singer RECOMMENDED: 🕯️ The 35 steamiest erotic thrillers ever made😬 The 22 best thriller movies on Netflix🧨 The 60 most nerve-racking heist movies ever🔪 The greatest pyschological thrillers ever made
The 30 greatest fight scenes in the movies
In real life, violence is never the answer. In the movies, though, it’s very often the solution – and done right, it can be seriously awesome. Whole careers, and even entire film genres, are built off hand-to-hand combat. Think the balletic brutality of Bruce Lee, or Jackie Chan’s blur of motion. But the best movie fights truly run the gamut. Sure, some are so graceful and bloodless they almost count as dancing. Others are as sloppy and ugly as a bar brawl. Both have their place, and both can get audiences leaping out of their seats, for entirely different reasons. On this list of the greatest movie scenes ever filmed, we celebrate them all – with a few caveats. First off, no gunplay allowed, at least not where a firearm is the primary weapon; well-orchestrated shootouts are a whole other category, and probably deserve a list of their own. For similar reasons, we’ve also omitted boxing matches, wrestling bouts or MMA fights, though we did allow an underground kumite tournament to make the cut. Even with those restrictions, though, this list is absolutely bursting with hard-hitting dust-ups, elegant martial arts mastery and the occasional goofy grapple that puts the slap in ‘slapstick’. RECOMMENDED: 🥋 The 25 best martials arts movies ever made.🧨 The 101 greatest action movies ever made.🪂 The 18 greatest stunts in cinema (picked by the greatest stunt professionals)
The 50 best comic book movies of all time
Over the last decade and a half or so, it’s often seemed like comic book movies are the only movies being made anymore. And while it always made sense from a mega-studio business perspective, for a lot of film fans, that level of oversaturation (from both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe) has bred exhaustion and more than a little cynicism – and there are signs that it’s finally starting to happen to mainstream movie audiences as well. It’s a shame, really. Because when done right – and for reasons that aren’t just about keeping a cinematic cash-cow well fed – comic book movies rank among the most spectacular forms of escapist entertainment. But let’s not paint with a broad ink pen here. Sure, those that have dominated the box office across the last 10 years have frequently involved high-powered superheroes with IPs going back to the mid-20th century scrambling to save the world from the latest high-powered mega-villain. And many of them are totally awesome. But ‘comic book movie’ and ‘superhero movie’ aren’t always synonymous. Some deal with complex, real-world issues and emotions, with nary a cape in sight. Others use superhero mythology as a jumping off point for looking for the problems that plague modern society – or simply deconstruct that mythology all together. In any case, comic book movies can do a lot more than just make millions of dollars. Here are 50 of the best, as selected by Time Out writers – with an assist from a guy who has made a
The 50 best fantasy movies of all time
Formerly thought of as the province of those folks you see duelling with cardboard swords in the park, fantasy movies are now big business, thanks to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, Game of Thrones and, of course, the omnipresent Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s not hard to see why audiences have an increasing desire to be swept away to a time and place different from our own – just take a look at cable news or your Twitter… sorry, X feed. Movies are meant to be escapist, and there’s no genre better at transporting us away from the here and now than fantasy. For this list of the greatest fantasy movies ever, though, we’re going with a broader definition of the term than is perhaps most used. Sure, you’ll find plenty of superhero flicks and swords-and-dwarves epics and adventures set on faraway worlds. But you’ll also find movies that suggest magic and mystery can be found right here on Earth, and that it’s attainable for even the smallest children and most cynical adults. You just need to go out and look for it. Recommended: 🦸🏿 50 amazing comic-book movies🛸 The 100 best sci-fi movies of all time👹 The 50 best monster movies ever made👾 The 50 best ’80s movies, ranked
The 20 best friendship movies of all time
In the movies, love gets all the love. But what about friendship? Platonic relationships can often loom larger in our lives and define who we are even more than romantic ones. Certainly, it’s a more universal experience. Not everyone can claim to have been in love, but everyone has bro’d down and/or girl crushed at some point. So let’s raise a glass to those films about buddies, pals, homies, mates – whatever you want to call them. We asked the Time Out staff to name their personal favourite friendship flicks. We enjoy the company of these cinematic friends so much, it’s almost like we’ve come to see them as friends themselves. Recommended: 🤣 The 100 best comedy movies💓 The 100 best romantic movies of all-time✍ The 100 best animated movies of all-time
Listings and reviews (290)
There’s no shortage of great American films by British directors – from Alfred Hitchcock to Alexander Mackendrick, homegrown filmmakers have adopted an outsiders’ perspective to pick at the American dream. But traffic coming the other way is surprisingly light: while Hollywood loves to take advantage of our soundstages and expert craftsmanship, they’re not so interested in telling our stories. Which makes 1963’s ‘The Servant’ all the more special: thanks to the detached, dispassionate viewpoint of American expat and McCarthy refugee Joseph Losey, it’s one of the most insightful films ever made about the British class system. Of course, the screenplay by our own Harold Pinter doesn’t hurt. He begins the story with a pair of sturdy class clichés. Hardworking northern schemer Barrett (Dirk Bogarde) takes a job as a manservant for workshy fop Tony (James Fox). There’s a spot of manly flirting, a touch of jealousy from Tony’s intended (Wendy Craig) and an almost imperceptible bending of master-servant codes of conduct. Then Barrett’s sister (Sarah Miles) arrives from Manchester, and things get very strange indeed… In terms of tone and mood, ‘The Servant’ stands almost alone. You’d have to seek out two other guys-go-mad-in-a-flat movies, ‘Performance’ and ‘Dead Ringers’, to find anything that approaches its atmosphere of febrile desperation and deepening identity confusion. The performances are note-perfect and Pinter’s script is smart, subversive and sly, lifting the lid on our ag
The Boy Downstairs
Nobody panic but New Yorkers may be running out of subjects for romcoms. ‘The Boy Downstairs’ spins 89 minutes out of the story of a young woman who, upon returning from three years abroad, realises she’s inadvertently moved into an apartment upstairs from her ex. That’s literally it – no twists, no subplots, just a girl, a guy and a beautifully varnished hardwood floor. The girl is Diana (Zosia Mamet from ‘Girls’), a budding author who ran from her relationship with Ben (Matthew Shear) when things turned serious. Now they’re in close proximity, will she realise the dreadful error she’s made? What do you think? With not a lot going on ideas-wise, debut writer-director Sophie Brooks plugs the gaps with stock romcom characters and situations. So Diana has an unconventional day job – selling wedding dresses – and a kooky BFF (Diana Irvine). Her landlady is a brassy dame who dishes out life lessons, and her love rival is a snippy shrew who doesn’t deserve gentle Ben’s affections. With likeable performances and serviceable one-liners, there’s nothing truly reprehensible here, though the combination of ostentatious (and very white) privilege and ‘why me?’ angst can get off-putting. If only ‘The Boy Downstairs’ had something – anything – new to say.
Amy Schumer y Goldie Hawn interpretan una madre y una hija perdidas en la selva amazónica en una comedia larga y aburrida. La primera es Emily, una chica que va por la vida sin rumbo e intenta encontrar su camino haciendo un viaje a Ecuador. La segunda es Linda, que se apunta a la aventura como un gato asustado.
Racing docs are still big business in the wake of ‘Senna’, but this is the first to focus not on a driver, but on the head of a Formula One team. Frank Williams is a fascinating case: born into a family of relatively modest means, he developed an obsession with speed that led him to form Frank Williams Racing Cars in the late ’60s, when chain-smoking men’s men ruled the scene. Left with a lifelong spinal injury following a crash in 1986, Williams was awarded a CBE in 1987 and a knighthood in 1999. In the midst of all this, his wife Virginia published a book detailing the struggles that come with caring for a tetraplegic, and it’s that memoir as much as Williams’s own recollections that inform the film. The result is unusually intimate, at times uncomfortably so. Williams admits that he never read his wife’s book, even after her death from cancer in 2013. Is he emotionally reluctant to relive difficult times, or simply unwilling to listen? The film also explores what looks like a troubled relationship between Frank and Virginia’s children: Claire, who is now deputy team principal of the Williams Formula One team, and Jonathan, who seems to feel thinly concealed resentment towards his younger sister. As a story of how families deal with success and hardship, and how one man’s legacy affects those who follow in his footsteps, this is complicated, thoughtful stuff. But ‘Williams’ tries to appeal to the petrolhead crowd as well, with a blow-by-blow account of his career that can f
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
If you have a problem with fart gags and scatological slapstick... why are you reading a review for a movie called ‘Captain Underpants’? Adapted from the hugely popular series of knockabout kids’ books by American author Dav Pilkey, this hectic cartoon aims for broad laughs with its story of two prank-loving boys who semi-accidentally hypnotise their cruel principal into believing he’s a Y-fronts-wearing superhero. Thanks to a feverishly fast-paced script by Nicholas Stoller, the man behind ‘The Muppets’ reboot, it also sneaks in some actual satire and a touch of heart among all the giant toilets and pre-pubescent sniggering. George (voiced by Kevin Hart) and Harold (Thomas Middleditch) have been friends for ever, hiding out in George’s treehouse sketching comic books about their invented action hero, Captain Underpants. But when the evil Mr Krupp (Ed Helms) threatens to separate them for life, George whips out his cereal-box hypnotism ring and goes to work. Soon, Krupp is rampaging around in his pants trying – without great success – to save the world. Crammed with shrieking kids, flying bog rolls and a villain called Professor Poopypants (Nick Kroll), ‘Captain Underpants’ can definitely get a bit much. But just when your brain’s starting to ache, the film chucks in another subversive crack about America’s failing school system, or a genuinely hilarious sock-puppet-animated flashback. It’s been an absolutely disastrous summer for kids’ movies – here’s one that parents might
SHOT! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra Of Rock
Would a Rock by any other name shoot as sweet? That’s the theme of this enjoyable, mildly pretentious documentary about iconic music photographer Mick Rock, who just happened to be born with the right name and skillset at just the right time. Rock has photographed everyone from Syd Barrett and David Bowie – he took those amazing shock-of-red-hair pics from the ‘Ziggy’ era – to Queen, Blondie and The Ramones. Left on the verge of death in the early ’90s by three heart attacks and quadruple bypass surgery – the fallout from decades of substance abuse – Rock threw himself into yoga and clean living. Narrated entirely by its subject – no famous faces popping up to tell us what a ledge he is – the film is intimate and crisply told. It suffers slightly from the fact that Rock takes himself terribly seriously, recounting passages from Rimbaud in the original French and going on about how rock stars (plus himself) were the ultimate outsiders. But a handful of breezily psychedelic visual sequences lighten the mood, and those photographs really are incredible.
Opening a new boozer on the site of a beloved local institution can be a tricky proposition. But the folks behind Stoke Newington’s new beer-nerd destination The Axe have done a bang-up job, retaining everything that worked at Jan’s Belgian beer bar – the dim, cosy atmosphere, extensive ale selection and welcoming vibe – and adding a bright, airy, pine-lined smoking yard along with a captivating food menu. The drinks selection is frankly ludicrous. There are more than 60 beers on offer (22 of them on tap), ranging from a pint of Camden Lager for less than a fiver (a near-miracle in Stoke Newington) to an 11 percent monstrosity called Marshall Zhukov’s Imperial Stout that costs, I kid you not, £33 for 75cl. You can also choose from eight different gin and tonics and a perfectly serviceable wine list. Oh, and they do negronis on tap, which are flat-out gorgeous. The food is every bit as impressive, with starters and bar snacks several storeys up from your standard sausage roll. Try the olives Ascolane, a kind of Italian scotch egg minus the egg, using olives stuffed with veal. The ’nduja on sourdough toast was finger-licking greasy, smoky and heavily spiced, while halloumi chips were as thick as my thumb and dripped with sticky-sweet pomegranate molasses. Beyond gastropub bases, I tried grilled lamb chops, fat and juicy and lying on a heap of hearty, balsamic-rich Sicilian caponata; and mellow, salty-sharp king scallops on lemon risotto. At heart, The Axe is a modest, fairly af
‘Couldn’t you just be a friendly, neighbourhood Spider-Man?’ asks Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) of his 15-year-old webslinging protegé Peter Parker (Tom Holland), fearing that the high schooler is going to tangle with the wrong bad guy and end up in more trouble than he can handle. And indeed ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ offers a welcome narrowing of the Marvel mega-verse, away from alien invasions and globe-smashing supervillains and back towards something more local and intimate. The film’s villain, flight-suited arms manufacturer The Vulture (Michael Keaton), doesn’t even want to rule the world: he’s just chasing a fast buck to feed his family. The problem is that he’s willing to sacrifice innocent lives to achieve that goal – starting with Peter’s. ‘Homecoming’ isn’t strictly an origin story: there’s no radioactive spider bite, no wow-I-can-lift-a-car-now moment. This is about a young man figuring out what to do with the power he’s already acquired, while also navigating the pitfalls of everyday teenagerhood. It’s light and breezy – and perhaps a little throwaway, at times. It’s also dizzingly entertaining. Holland brings just the right blend of goofy and gallant – we genuinely like this kid, even when his cockiness threatens to get out of hand. He’s handed a perfect foil in the form of Ned (Jacob Batalon), the traditional chubby sidekick with a touch more depth. And despite what the trailers might suggest, Tony Stark’s regular cameos don’t unbalance the film: he’s more guard
Gru 3. Mi villano favorito
No es cierto que a la tercera siempre vaya la vencida. Y aquí tenemos un ejemplo claro. La franquicia 'Gru' ha pasado de ser una pequeña locura simpática a un tedioso producto en tres partes –y esto sin contar el temible spin-off de 'Los Mínions'–. Esta vez, el supervillano convertido en superagente descubre que tiene un hermano, que vive en una granja de cerdos dorada –como Gru, también es Steve Carell quien le pone voz–. En paralelo, hay un ladrón de diamantes que está obsesionado con los años 80. Es una película en la que no hay gags memorables ni nuevas ideas, y en la que parece que alguien haya asumido desde el primer momento que la complicidad que la audiencia ha generado con el producto es más que suficiente. La falta de consistencia de los personajes es alarmante. Y, por si fuera poco, hay un mensaje xenófobo encubierto: hay un país inventado, Freedonia –una referencia al reino imaginario de los hermanos Marx–, que hace alusiones explícitas a la Europa del Este, y que han poblado de granjeros analfabetos y gitanas con pelos en la nariz.
Gru 3. Mi villano favorito
No és cert que la tercera sempre sigui la bona. I aquí en tenim un exemple. La franquícia 'Gru' ha passat de ser una petita bogeria simpàtica a un tediós producte en tres parts –i això sense comptar el temible spin-off d’'Els Mínions'–. Aquesta vegada, el superdolent convertit en superagent descobreix que té un germà, que viu en una granja de porcs daurada –com a Gru, també és Steve Carell qui li posa veu–. En paral·lel, hi ha un lladregot de diamants que està obsessionat amb els anys 80. És una pel·lícula en què no hi ha gags memorables ni noves idees, i en què sembla que algú hagi assumit des del primer moment que la complicitat que l’audiència ha generat amb el producte és més que suficient. La falta de consistència dels personatges és alarmant. I, per acabar-ho d’adobar, hi ha un missatge xenòfob encobert: hi ha un país inventat, Freedonia –una referència al regne imaginari dels germans Marx–, que fa al·lusions explícites a l’Europa de l’Est, i que han poblat de grangers analfabets i gitanes amb pèls al nas.
The house always wins? One thing’s for certain – if you pay to see this lazy waste of time and talent, you’ll be the loser. As comedy, it may have worked on paper: Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler play the struggling parents of a perky, sure-to-succeed daughter. Trouble is, they can’t afford to send her to college. Enter their gambling-addicted buddy Frank (Jason Mantzoukas) with a hare-brained scheme to turn his house into an underground casino. In practice, there’s nothing here that works. The script by ‘Neighbours’ writers Andrew J Cohen and Brendan O’Brien is practically non-existent – perhaps director Cohen was hoping Ferrell and Poehler would sprinkle a little of their improv magic and bring it to life. But both performers seem totally disengaged, zombie-ing through their parts as though they’d rather be somewhere, anywhere else (and fair enough). Jeremy Renner is unexpectedly funny in his fleeting cameo as a ruthless mob boss – but, hey, if stone-face Renner’s the liveliest thing in your movie, you’ve got problems.
All Eyez On Me
This Wikipedia-page biopic of Tupac Shakur races through the rapper’s Major Life Events without ever getting to grips with the glaring questions his story throws up. The bullet points are familiar: Tupac (played by eerily identical-looking Demetrius Shipp Jr) is raised by his Black Panther turned crack addict mum (Danai Gurira from ‘The Walking Dead’), hits the big time, beefs with Biggie (Jamal Woolard, who played the same role in 2009’s ‘Notorious’) and ends up dead in the passenger seat of rap mogul Suge Knight’s limo following a drive-by shooting. This feels very much like the Shakur-estate-approved version of events: an essentially decent but desperately unlucky character, ’Pac just happens to be on scene during a shooting and he’s asleep while someone’s getting sexually assaulted next door. The latter incident is handled with a shameful lack of inquiry – Tupac even blames the system when he’s convicted. But at least ‘All Eyez on Me’ tackles misogyny at all, which is more than could be said for this film’s obvious inspiration, the NWA biopic ‘Straight Outta Compton’. The filmmaking is solid, the performances strong and the tunes are pretty terrific. But this is too wary of controversy – and too ‘respectful’ of the fans – to treat its subject to the hard-headed analysis Tupac’s legacy deserves.
This lovely London cinema has a ‘film school’ hosted by directors
Located in one of London’s most atmospheric local cinemas, the Lexi Film School in Kensal Rise isn’t some stuffy, snobby, nose-in-the-books cinéaste course. It’s a series of public screenings, with each film introduced by a notable expert in the field. This term runs from March to May, with six films and six speakers including Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw, who will speak about apocalyptic documentary ‘Homo Sapiens’; film journo (and Time Out alumnus) David Jenkins, who will introduce bracing Argentinian drama ‘The Headless Woman’; and excitingly, an appearance from ‘Suffragette’ director Sarah Gavron, who will present an exclusive early screening of her brand new film ‘Rocks’, a scrappy tale of London teenagers that’s been garnering great reviews at film festivals. The programme also includes British new-wave masterpiece ‘A Taste of Honey’, Beyoncé’s favourite experimental drama ‘Daughters of the Dust’ and intimate relationship comedy ‘Losing Ground’. Every £9 ticket comes with introductory notes written by the speaker, plus a month’s free subscription to MUBI. Head to the official site for all the info. Find out where the Lexi features on our poll of Londoners’ favourite cinemas.
Our verdict on Secret Cinema Presents ‘Stranger Things’
Secret Cinema’s latest interactive experience is a leap into the unknown for its creators as much as their audience. Can an event traditionally tied to a specific, well-loved film – and culminating in a screening – still work when the anchor is a streaming series? Is it really Secret Cinema without the ‘cinema’ part? As always, the creative team has gone to extraordinary lengths to immerse attendees in the world of the show. It’s the Fourth of July and the town of Hawkins, Indiana is hosting the biggest high school reunion party of all time. Mulleted, deely-boppered and dolled up in their shiniest ’80s threads, the students have gathered at the neon-drenched Starcourt Mall to shop, stuff their faces with Scoops Ahoy ice cream and party the night away. But in the darkness on the edge of town, something wicked is lurking… The mall is spectacularly recreated inside and out, with a video bar, a fashion emporium and an old-school arcade where punters can remind themselves how infuriatingly impossible early console machines were (I spent 25 minutes on Donkey Kong and didn’t make it past the first screen). Hits of the era blast from the public address system and those inclined can take part in dance-offs and energetic, Jane Fonda-style fitness workouts in the lobby. But it’s not just about retro rubbernecking: there are stories to follow too, mysteries to uncover and hidden spaces to explore. Actors in character weave through the crowd, pursuing leads of their own and encouraging th
Eddie Redmayne goes prehistoric in the first trailer for Nick Park’s ‘Early Man’
He hasn't made a film since 2008's Bafta-winning Wallace and Gromit short 'A Matter of Loaf and Death'. So the promise of a new film from animator, writer and all-round national treasure Nick Park has us very excited. Set – as the title implies – in prehistoric times, 'Early Man' features Eddie Redmayne as the voice of Dug, a decent caveman whose tribe is under attack by a more advanced army of Bronze Age warriors led by the villainous Nooth (voiced by Tom Hiddleston). There's no sign of Nooth in this just-released teaser trailer, but we do get a good look at Dug and his piggy pal Hognob, who comes off a lot like Gromit with tusks. ‘Early Man’ isn't out until the start of 2018, but we’re officially looking forward to it. And we’re not the only Nick Park fans getting a bit overexcited... Been working with the great Nick Park and Aardman on their hilarious new film, @earlymanmovie. He is absolutely as brilliant as you might expect. Sometimes he makes me laugh so much I have to leave the sound studio for five minutes and calm down and have another go. A photo posted by Tom Hiddleston (@twhiddleston) on Oct 20, 2016 at 3:45am PDT The first clip from Nick Park’s ‘Early Man’ and A look at Tom Hiddleston’s role in ‘Early Man’.
Meet the villains at this year’s Twin Peaks UK Festival
David Lynch’s dizzying detective show ‘Twin Peaks’ features some of the most memorable villains in TV history, from double-denim demon Killer Bob in the original series to Kyle MacLachlan’s gurning greaser Mr C in the recent reboot. For its tenth birthday bonanza, the immersive, weekend-long Twin Peaks UK Festival has invited three of the show’s most notable bad boys over to London to meet their British fans. From the 1990s show, there is Kenneth Welsh, AKA impish master of disguise Windom Earle. Meanwhile, from the reboot they’re bringing George Griffith, who played murderous sidekick ‘that fucker’ Ray Monroe, and John Pirrucello, AKA Deputy Chad Broxford, the dirtiest cop in 'Twin Peaks'. They will be joined by the usual array of special appearances and live acts, from performances by the long-running Double R Club cabaret troupe to a Roadhouse stage crammed with Lynch-inspired bands. Add in movie screenings, a live owl show, doughnuts, limitless coffee and a chance to lose yourself in the immersive ‘Black Lodge Experience’ and this should be as wild, weird and wondrous as the series itself. The Twin Peaks UK Festival runs from Oct 5-6 at Stoke Newington Town Hall. See the official website for more info and tickets.What’s on this Bank Holiday weekend? Check out our guide to the best things to do in London.
Become a film buff in seven evenings at the Lexi Film School
How do you spot a great film? Is it widespread critical acclaim? A regular spot in all-time top ten lists? A famous director and a bunch of big stars? Or is it possible that all those things – whisper it now – don’t actually matter? A weekly programme of screenings introduced by a critic, filmmaker or academic, the Lexi Film School aims to expand the definition of ‘classic’ cinema. Sure, they show the odd established masterpiece – the upcoming run includes ‘Rome: Open City’, Robert Rossellini’s neo-realist masterwork shot on scraps of film in the wake of the fall of fascism, alongside the timeless ‘Saturday Night and Sunday Morning’, in which Albert Finney plays a Nottingham factory worker railing against the strictures of ’60s society. And art enthusiasts won’t want to miss ‘Frida’, the controversial, bracingly original biopic of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. But the season also includes a fistful of titles we’re betting you haven’t even heard of (we hadn’t, and we’ve seen quite a lot of films). There’s ‘Of Love & Law’, a recent documentary about the first openly gay lawyers in Japan and the fight they face to be taken seriously in their profession. There’s ‘Saawariya’, a Bollywood romance with an unexpectedly dark edge. And there’s the fiercely radical ‘Angela Davis: Portrait of a Revolutionary’, a 1972 doc following the woman who came to symbolise the Black Power movement. The Lexi Film School runs from April 29, every Monday at 6pm. Each screening will be preceded by an in
10 Things You Need to Know About the Lexi Cinema
One of our favourite small cinemas celebrates its tenth birthday this month. Here’s everything you need to know about the lovely Lexi in Kensal Rise:1. It shows everything from blockbusters to cult classics While the main programme consists of new-release indies, arthouse titles and the occasional big-ticket blockbuster, the Lexi also finds room for more offbeat fare like their ongoing Film School project (see below). In this anniversary month there’s loads of juicy extras to sink your teeth into, including a screening of ‘The Harder They Come’ complete with a slap-up Jamaican feast. 2. It’s got heaps of celebrity fans This summer, Lexi-goers got the surprise of their lives when Tom Hiddleston showed up unannounced, to discuss his acting debut ‘Unrelated’. And regulars still speak in hushed tones of the time Mark Rylance introduced a screening of ‘Night of the Hunter’ with an impromptu calypso number… 3. It looks – and sounds – amazing From the outside, the Lexi is recognisable for its old-school marquee sign – funded earlier this year with a Kickstarter campaign - and for the graffitied front wall that reads ‘I AM A CINEMA – LOVE ME’. But it’s quality on the inside too, with a plush auditorium and great sound. 4. It’s truly independent In London, most little cinemas are linked in one way or another to the big chains like Picturehouse and Curzon. The Lexi is one of the few genuinely independent venues in the city, free to pick its own film programme. Lex appeal: inside the
Lock up your doughnuts! The Twin Peaks UK Festival is back
It’s been a London institution for nine years, and in the wake of last year’s dizzying, controversial TV reboot the UK’s only official ‘Twin Peaks’ festival is set to be bigger and weirder than ever. Over the weekend of September 29-30, the London Irish Centre and the adjoining Camden Square Gardens will play host to an extravagantly costumed cavalcade of Lynchian obsessives, not to mention guests from the show, musicians, cabaret artists, DJs and doughnut delivery drivers. This year’s lineup includes appearances from Kimmy Robertson, who plays scatterbrained receptionist Lucy Moran both in the original series and the 2017 reboot, and Rebekah Del Rio, the extraordinary singer who performed a haunting Spanish-language version of Roy Orbison’s ‘Crying’ (‘Llorando’) in Lynch’s ‘Mulholland Drive’. Ms Del Rio will be performing live at the festival, alongside ‘Peaks’-inspired cabaret from the Double R Club, a lineup of live bands and some actual performing owls, which may or may not be what they seem. There’ll also be screenings, an art gallery and interactive events, and for the first time, the festival will include a Virtual Reality experience, which sounds potentially bloody terrifying. Standard tickets for the festival are now on sale, starting from £85 – but grab them fast, the VIP tickets were snapped up in less than two minutes. We’ll see you in the trees… Head to the official site for the skinny, or check in with your local log lady.The biggest and best films to see this s
'Star Wars' : toute la saga résumée en gifs
Des robots ! Des vaisseaux spatiaux ! Des sabres laser ! De l'inceste ! Avant 'Les derniers Jedi', et au cas où vous n'auriez pas dix-huit heures devant vous pour revoir l'ensemble des épisodes précédents, voici notre résumé de la saga 'Star Wars' en moins d'une minute... Ceci est un Jedi. Une sorte de sorcier (d'où la barbe) qui saurait manier le sabre laser (cool) et s'occuperait parfois de diplomatie intergalactique (moins cool). Le personnage ci-dessous est un Gungan, nommé Jar Jar Binks. Imaginez un hippocampe qui essaierait de faire du stand-up en imitant Roger Rabbit parlant patois. Autrement dit, un personnage très chiant et pas drôle du tout. Et voici Anakin Skywalker, un sale gosse odieux qui deviendra la force la plus néfaste de l'univers. En grandissant, Anakin travaille à devenir Jedi. Il en profite pour fricoter avec Natalie Portman, une reine qui adore se travestir en clown. Leur meilleur allié est Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), dont le fameux passé de toxicomane fait de lui le conseiller intergalactique idéal en matière de narcotiques. Et voici le plus grand des Jedis (qui est aussi le plus petit) : maître Yoda. Tout vert et parfois pixellisé, il se révèle étonnamment retors, un sabre laser à la main. Malheureusement pour tout le monde, un gros blaireau ridé, le sénateur Palpatine, compte bien être le dernier à rire en dominant l'univers. Aussi Palpatine persuade-t-il Anakin de trahir ses amis et de passer du côté obscur. Ce qui ne lu
Punk, pubs, poetry and politics at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival
Tickets are on sale for next weekend’s big London book celebration, the annual Stoke Newington Literary Festival. Now in its eighth year, the festival offers everything from straight-up author interviews to quizzes, panel discussions and loads of food and drink events. As ever, the focus is on music and politics – the latter is hardly surprising, given the festival takes place just a few days before the election. Here are five events we can heartily recommend. 1. Friday Night Live – Pre-election Special Comedians and commentators including Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore and ‘The Thick of It’ contributor David Quantick discuss the upcoming vote. Try to keep it light, guys.Stoke Newington Town Hall. Fri Jun 2, 7.30pm. £10. 2. John Berger: Ways of Seeing One of Stoke Newington’s most beloved sons, writer and thinker John Berger passed away in January this year. At this event, leading Berger-ologists Tom Overton and Andrea Luka Zimmerman discuss the great man’s life and legacy.Stoke Newington Library Gallery. Sat Jun 3, 12pm. £5. 3. Owen Jones The effortlessly articulate boy prince of lefty politics returns to the festival to try and persuade us that everything’s going to be fine, and the world’s not going to hell in a handcart. Sure, Owen. Sure.Stoke Newington Town Hall. Sat Jun 3, 6pm. £8. 4. ‘Game of Thrones’ Pub Quiz Test your knowledge of all things Thrones, from bastards to battles, Starks to Lannisters, dragons to Dornishmen. Any apparent similarity between this
The return of ‘Twin Peaks’ – how to get the best from the new series
Twenty-six years since its initial run, David Lynch’s game-changing murder-soap-thriller-fantasy ‘Twin Peaks’ returned to TV screens this weekend with the first two instalments of an 18-episode run. Screening on Sky Atlantic in the UK, the series kicked off at 2am on Monday, concurrent with the US launch. But they’ll both air again this evening for non-night owls, and are already available to stream. Our resident ‘Twin Peaks’ expert Tom Huddleston offers a few tips on how best to enjoy the new series. 1. Be realistic At 71, David Lynch is no longer the upbeat upstart who made unusual but approachable works such as ‘Blue Velvet’, ‘Wild at Heart’ and the original ‘Twin Peaks’. In old age, he’s cycled back to his roots in the American avant-garde: his last film, 2006’s ‘Inland Empire’, was his most idiosyncratic since his DIY 1977 debut ‘Eraserhead’. Anyone coming to the new ‘Twin Peaks’ expecting aw-shucks comedy and lashings of cherry pie is going to be disappointed. It’s funny, when it wants to be – but this is most definitely not comfort viewing. 2. Be patient The new ‘Twin Peaks’ doesn’t care if you like it; it is entirely itself and nothing else. This approach results in some of the most mind-blistering moments you’ll ever see on TV, indelible images of shock, horror and unearthly loveliness. But it also means that not everything happens when you think it’s going to, at the speed at which modern television usually operates. In simple terms: it can be slow. It’s not b
It is happening again: tickets for this year’s Twin Peaks UK Festival are on sale now
Londoners, you have a choice – watch ‘Twin Peaks’ or live in it. After 26 years, new episodes of David Lynch’s iconic mystery thriller debuted on Showtime in the US last night (we’ll have a full report on that soon). But there was more exciting news this weekend, as tickets for London’s annual Twin Peaks UK Festival went on sale. This giddy, immersive two-day celebration of all things ‘Peaks’ may not be exactly cheap, but it’s worth it: not only do you get to enjoy a wide range of festival screenings while stuffing your face with complimentary doughnuts, cherry pie and coffee, you get to meet actual real-life cast members – this year's confirmed guests so far are Sherilyn Fenn, aka cherry-twisting high school vixen Audrey Horne, and Kenneth Welsh, who played season two’s madcap villain Windom Earle. There’s also live Lynchian cabaret from the Double R Club, a costume competition, a quiz and a live music stage offering ‘Peaks’-y sounds throughout the day. All this, plus the chance to mingle and get gradually, happily plastered in the company of fellow nerds. The Twin Peaks UK Festival takes place at Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre on Oct 7-8. Get your tickets here. Swot up with our in-depth A-Z for ‘Twin Peaks’ newbies. Check out the first images from the ‘Twin Peaks’ reboot. And did you know that there’s a cookbook celebrating the food of ‘Twin Peaks’?
The first trailer for ‘The Emoji Movie’ is even more annoying than we expected it to be ☹️
It’s an even worse idea than ‘The Angry Birds Movie’, and that was bad enough. But this summer’s family cartoon ‘The Emoji Movie’ didn’t have to be awful. In fact, when news emerged that the legendary Patrick Stewart would be voicing the poo emoji 💩, and that ‘School of Rock’ scribe Mike White was going to be working on the script, some even whispered that it might turn out to be pretty good.👍 Those voices were silenced today 🤐, when the first trailer exploded colourfully onto our laptop screens. You can pretty much guess the plot from the title: inside your phone there’s a whole computerised world (like ‘Wreck-It Ralph’) full of day-glo characters who all represent different emotional states (like in ‘Inside Out’). They work in a kind of emoji factory (like in ‘Monsters Inc’), but our hero the ‘Meh’ emoji 😒 wonders what it’s all really about (like in ‘The LEGO Movie’). Cue snarky humour, speedy action, and absolutely no soul whatsoever. 👎 Of course, this might just be a bad trailer, and the resulting film could still be a lot of fun. And poos might fly. Either way, we’ll find out when ‘The Emoji Movie’ is released into UK cinemas on August 4. In other news, Charlie Brooker didn’t want to do his annual TV ‘Wipe’ because 2016 was so shit.