Philomena review

Directed by Stephen FrearsWritten by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, based on a book by Martin SixsmithWhen Philomena Lee (Judi Dench) was a teenager (Sophie Kennedy Clark) in Ireland, she got pregnant. For her sins, the nuns at the Roscrea convent made her work in the laundries, seven days a week for four years, and…Read More

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire review

Directed by Francis LawrenceWritten by Simon Beaufoy and Michael Ardnt, from the novel by Suzanne CollinsOne of those rare sequels that genuinely extends the territory claimed in the original, Catching Fire has just a touch of The Empire Strikes Back about it, which is a compliment in almost every way but one: as the middle…Read More

Homefront review

Directed by Gary FlederWritten by Sylvester Stallone, adapting a novel by Chuck LoganYeah, you read that right: Sly Stallone is responsible for this script. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Homefront was at one time imagined as a closing chapter of his Rambo saga, presumably telling the tale of John Rambo's return to the US to…Read More

Dallas Buyers Club review

Directed by Jean-Marc ValléeWritten by Craig Borten and Melisa WallackDallas Buyers Club is a moving gallery of gaunt, desperate faces. At its fore is Matthew McConaughey's, an actor who in the past two years, with sterling work in films such as The Lincoln Lawyer, Bernie, Killer Joe, Magic Mike, and Mud, has turned his career…Read More

About Time review

Written and directed by Richard Curtis Dear Richard, I've very much enjoyed your work. Especially your writing, going back to Blackadder, The Tall Guy, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and The Girl In The Cafe. Your style is so identifiable—foul-mouthed and hilarious middle-class-to-posh Brits, bumbling, awkward leading men, bland American women, and a…Read More

CTV Morning Live, November 15, 2013

Back on CTV morning television in Halifax today with Heidi Petracek to discuss new movies, including 12 Years A Slave and About Time (a review on this site to come soon). Also previews of Diana, opening locally today, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. You can go here to see the clip (which is on the…Read More

12 Years A Slave review

Directed by Steve McQueenWritten by John Ridley, adapting a book by Solomon Northup12 Years A Slave is the most honest and unvarnished depiction of slavery I've ever seen. I'd wager it reaches a verisimilitude unmatched in the history of Hollywood movies on the subject—of which there haven't been that many, granted. It's hard to find historic…Read More

Thor: The Dark World review

Directed by Alan Taylor Screenplay by Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, and Stephen McFeely Story by Don Payne and Robert Rodat From the Marvel Comic by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby Hard to believe this is the eighth big-budget entertainment in this daisy-chain of Marvel movies, going back to Iron Man in 2008. They're really…Read More

Ender’s Game review

Directed by Gavin HoodWritten by Hood, adapting the novel by Orson Scott CardEnder Wiggin is a teenager with a gift for tactics. And on a future earth threatened by alien insectoids, that kind of skill is exactly what the global military is looking for. Apparently, children are required for protecting the earth in the future,…Read More

Five reboots I’d like to see

This is really a case of If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em. I've gone on record saying I'm dubious of reboots, relaunches and reimaginings on film and TV. So rarely are those efforts to replicate and update original material anything near as much fun as what spawned it. But, hey, nobody is listening to…Read More