Philip Seymour Hoffman in A Most Wanted Man (2014)

A Most Wanted Man (2014)

Zero Dark Thirty was one of the best films of 2013 (going by Australian release dates), but its relentlessly American point-of-view is arguably a failing. I don’t think that Bigelow’s film unambiguously views Bin Laden’s murder as a success, but the controversy/conversation that developed regarding the film as “pro-torture” was predicated on that very assumption.…

The Top 20 Films of 2013

My Top 20 films of the year are listed below. For most them, clicking on the title will take you to my review of the film from earlier in the year. One qualifier before I begin: this doesn’t neatly fit into a “films of 2013” from a cinematic release perspective; thanks to film festivals and…

The Raid: Redemption (2011)

Gareth Evans’ Indonesian action movie The Raid: Redemption (original title Serbuan maut) opens on a static shot of a wristwatch and a gun. It’s an important opening shot because it tells us two things about the film: it’s going to be precise, and it’s going to be violent. The Raid, as you’d expected, revolves around…

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

If you watched the trailer above for Zero Dark Thirty, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a cinematic Call of Duty, a jingoistic portrayal of the war on terrorism, an action film where Bert Macklin, Drazic and Joel Edgerton kill Osama Bin Laden. Certainly, the last hour of the film is a tense, cavernous…

My Top 10 Films of 2012

Given the Academy Award nominations were just announced today, it seemed a good a time as any to finally publish my top 10 films of 2012 list. My criteria for inclusion is a little shaky, but critically acclaimed films like Django Unchained, Zero Dark Thirty and Flight are all yet to be released in Australia…