Um, we didn’t see much this month. We were too busy going mad with best of lists and demolishing
tins tubs of Roses. Even still we’ve still unearthed a gem and can advise you on what to avoid.
Note: This list is by no means complete, we’re only rankin’ wot we seez.
Note 2: Where two films get the same rating they’re ranked alphabetically
Stations Of The Cross – ★★★★½
Dietrich Bruggemann’s visually striking take on religious fanaticism sets itself apart by never moving the camera, once each station has been established. There are just two or maybe three times that the camera pans, perhaps a nod to the number of times Christ fell.
Outstanding performances from all concerned with a strong message tackling fundamentalism makes for gripping storytelling which is, at times, difficult to watch. (Páraic)
Big Eyes – ★★★★
Once again Tim Burton proves he’s still got it, once he remembers not to call Johnny Depp! Following on from the excellent Frankenweenie (and the supposedly not-so-excellent Depp-starring Dark Shadows) comes his rather straight-forward – and all the better for it – biopic of the painting spouses Walter and Margaret Keane.
Margaret painted pictures of big-eyes children, while Walter took all the credit, eventually ending up in court. Amy Adams is a delight as always, while Christophe Waltz has a role that allows him to endulge his inner panto-villain.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – ★★★½
Farewell Peter Jackson’s Tolkien theme park. You wrapped things up by putting aside character development and the need to tie up loose ends, in favour of the best massive battle scenes since Helm’s Deep! Thanks! (Nigel)
Black Sea – ★★½
Ridley Scott’s sandals and more sandals and lots of beards Biblical laugh riot about the story of Moses is the one you know so well, told in a familiar boring way. Christian Bale plays chief beard Moses and Joel Edgerton plays no beard Ramses in a battle best seen on the big screen and clocking in at two and a half hours you’ll need an epic bucket of popcorn. All these holy films have a gimmick with the one here being the fact that God appears to Moses in the form of a child. Grand so, next. (Páraic)
St. Vincent – ★★
I really, really wanted to like this, but it felt like the film-makers were just looking at their list of cinematic tricks for “comedy dramas” and trying to tick as many boxes as possible. The ridiculous third act turn which sees Bill Murray have a stroke was the final straw. A waste of lots of fine talent. And a misleading title, go listen to this instead.