Learning to Drive (2014)

Romantic comedies, as a rule, tend to get a bad rap. About half the time it’s deserved, as cliché follows cliché while subpar acting combines with flimsy plot development. (Doesn’t mean I don’t love them.) Learning to Drive, however, strays as far from this stereotype as possible while still falling under the rom-com umbrella. In the…

The Boxtrolls (2014)

The Boxtrolls (2014)

On a purely visual basis, The Boxtrolls is one of the most inventive animated films in some time. Like Laika predecessors Paranorman and Coraline, it’s animated in tremendously tactile stop-motion. Its troglodytic characters are cast amongst the cobblestone streets of a 18th century minor metropolis which brings to mind, variously: the spindly grotesquery of the…

Iron Man 3 (2013)

Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark is a tricky character to write for. He’s entertaining, charming and quick-witted but he’s also – it must be said – a total jerk. To stay on his side for the length of a feature film, he needs to have real challenges to face – with the proviso that, ultimately,…