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Hot Tickets! This Weekend's US Movie Releases: Anna Karenina, Silver Linings Playbook, Lincoln And Twilight


Daniel Day Lewis Steven Spielberg Keira Knightley Kelly MacDonald Kristen Stewart Robert Pattinson Bradley Cooper

If you're like us, then a trip to the cinema is the best way to spend the weekend. And if you, like us, saw Skyfall last weekend, then you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd caught the movie highlight of the year already. Wrong! You've got a tough choice between Anna Karenina, Silver Linings Playbook, the full release of Lincoln, and Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 - the final film in the franchise - and we're here to help you out with that tough choice. 

Unless you were lucky enough to catch Lincoln last weekend on its limited release, this is the time to see it. Daniel Day-Lewis stars impressively as Abraham Lincoln, as Steven Spielberg auteurs the story of the 16th President of The United States, and his fight with congress to push through the emancipation of the slaves. Drenched in the sweet nectar of Oscar buzz, Lincoln is a film that demands attention, and with excellent reviews so far, it looks certain to top the U.S Box Office come Monday. Check out the trailer below.

Continue reading: Hot Tickets! This Weekend's US Movie Releases: Anna Karenina, Silver Linings Playbook, Lincoln And Twilight

Kelly MacDonald and Emmy Awards Sunday 18th September 2011 The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards, held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE - Arrivals Los Angeles, California

Kelly Macdonald and Emmy Awards
Kelly Macdonald and Emmy Awards
Kelly Macdonald and Emmy Awards
Kelly Macdonald and Emmy Awards

Dougie Payne and Kelly MacDonald - Dougie Payne, Kelly Macdonald New York City, USA - Boardwalk Empire season 2 Premiere Wednesday 14th September 2011

Dougie Payne and Kelly Macdonald
Dougie Payne and Kelly Macdonald
Dougie Payne and Kelly Macdonald
Dougie Payne and Kelly Macdonald
Dougie Payne and Kelly Macdonald

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Review


Excellent

The eight-part saga comes to a close with an action-packed finale that neatly ties up the strands of the whole series and also manages to give its actors some meaty scenes to play with. While it's hugely satisfying, there's also a letdown as we reach the end.

With Voldemort (Fiennes) in possession of the mythical Elder Wand, and four Horcruxes still at large, Harry (Radcliffe) and pals Hermione and Ron (Watson and Grint) know that they have work to do. Breaking into a Gringotts vault is tough enough, but when they sneak back into Hogwarts, they find themselves in all-out war against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. So with the help of adults (Smith, Walters and more) and fellow students (including Lewis, Wright and Lynch), they make their final stand.

After a sort of "Previously on Harry Potter" prologue and a quietly intense opening, the film plunges into the Gringotts heist and barely pauses for breath. Director Yates adeptly juggles action and drama, keeping images razor sharp and making sure the effects work is seamlessly eye-catching (they're also the most consistently high-quality effects in the series). But of course Lord of the Rings-scale spectacle is nothing without great characters, and this film pushes everyone into new territory.

Radcliffe takes on the challenge extremely well, bringing Harry's self-doubt and crippling guilt together with a potent sense of destiny and sacrifice. Of the supporting cast, Rickman, Smith and Gambon get the weightiest scenes, while Lewis and Walters finally have superb moments in the spotlight. And Bonham Carter clearly has a ball with a terrific scene as a shape-shifted Hermione.
Meanwhile, that outrageously starry ensemble fills out each scene, including many who barely utter a word.

As the story propels to the climactic moments, there are a few fits and starts while events recoil and wait to burst forth again. Even though this is the shortest of all eight movies, it feels a little long due to its intensely focussed plot. This means every moment on screen is vitally important, and most are given the chance to play out without feeling rushed. But it also means that, as the ending (and epilogue) get closer, we simply don't want it to end.

Kelly MacDonald - Sunday 30th January 2011 at Screen Actors Guild Los Angeles, California

Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald
Paz De La Huerta, Aleksa Palladino and Kelly Macdonald
Paz De La Huerta, Aleksa Palladino, Ariel Winter and Kelly Macdonald

Kelly MacDonald and Dougie Payne - Kelly Macdonald and Dougie Payne Sunday 16th January 2011 at Golden Globe Awards Los Angeles, California

Kelly Macdonald and Dougie Payne
Kelly Macdonald and Dougie Payne

Kelly Mcdonald and Steve Buscemi - Kelly McDonald and Steve Buscemi Sunday 16th January 2011 at Golden Globe Awards Beverly Hills, California

Kelly Mcdonald and Steve Buscemi

The Merry Gentleman Review


Good
Moody and thoughtful, this quiet character study is extremely beautiful to look at and features some superbly understated performances. But it moves at such a slow pace that most viewers will find it difficult to stick around until the end.

Frank (Keaton) and Kate (Macdonald) see each other before they meet. He's a hitman on top of a building, efficiently going about his grisly business; she's a lively office worker still recovering after running away from her abusive husband (Cannavale). They meet later, in a cute Christmas sort of way, and strike up a warm and wary friendship. Both aren't so much lonely as alone.

Although Kate has a new friend (Hunt) at the office and has attracted the attentions of the cop (Bastounes) investigating who she saw on that rooftop.

Continue reading: The Merry Gentleman Review

Kelly MacDonald Wednesday 25th March 2009 VIP Screening of 'Skellig' - Arrivals London, England

Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald

In The Electric Mist Review


Weak
This isn't the first time auteur director Bernard Tavernier has waded through the American south... though if you've even heard of (much less seen) his Mississippi Blues, give yourself a gold star.

In the Electric Mist -- my nomination for the worst-titled film since Quantum of Solace -- is likely destined to meet a similar fate. Despite star turns from Tommy Lee Jones, John goodman, Mary Steenburgen, and Peter Sarsgaard, Tavernier's rural Louisianan tale of murder, mobsters, and, er, dead Confederate soldiers, is a rocky affair that makes next to no sense at all.

Continue reading: In The Electric Mist Review

Choke Review


OK
Let's face it: No one thought Fight Club would be anything other than another flash of David Fincher directorial determination when it first came out. Critics and audiences were not enamored with the machismo and mayhem epic, even with stars Edward Norton and Brad Pitt in the lead. No, it took a few years for the cinematic scales to fall from everyone's eyes, turning a cult flick into a classic. Perhaps actor turned auteur Clark Gregg is hoping for the same time-aided appreciation. His interpretation of Club author Chuck Palahniuk's novel Choke is equally quirky and unsettled. One senses, however, no future re-evaluation for this uneven effort.

Since leaving medical school, sex addict Victor Mancini (Sam Rockwell) has worked tirelessly to keep his mentally deranged mother (Anjelica Huston) in a private nursing home. By day, he's a "historical recreationist" at a local colonial village. By night, he travels to various restaurants around town and pretends to choke. Once saved, he hits up his good Samaritan marks for any and all kinds of financial assistance. Desperate to learn who his father is, Victor teams up with a new doctor named Paige Marshall (Kelly Macdonald) to decipher his mother's memories, as well as translate an old diary which may provide some clues. Of course, in between consultations, it's nothing but fornication and copulation.

Continue reading: Choke Review

Kelly Mcdonald Sunday 10th February 2008 The Orange British Academy Film Awards held at Royal Opera House - Arrivals London, England

Kelly Mcdonald
Kelly Mcdonald
Kelly Mcdonald
Kelly Mcdonald

Kelly MacDonald and British Academy Film Awards 2008 Sunday 10th February 2008 The Orange British Academy Film Awards London, England

Kelly Macdonald and British Academy Film Awards 2008
Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald and British Academy Film Awards 2008
Kelly Macdonald and British Academy Film Awards 2008
Kelly Macdonald and British Academy Film Awards 2008
Kelly Macdonald and British Academy Film Awards 2008

Kelly Mcdonald - Sunday 10th February 2008 at Grosvenor House London, England

Kelly Mcdonald
Kelly Mcdonald and Grosvenor House

Kelly Mcdonald - Friday 8th February 2008 at Grosvenor House London, England

Kelly Mcdonald
Vanessa Redgrave and Kelly Mcdonald

Kelly MacDonald - Friday 8th February 2008 at Grosvenor House London, England

Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald

Kelly MacDonald and Vanessa Redgrave - Kelly Macdonald and Vanessa Redgrave Friday 8th February 2008 at Grosvenor House London, England

Kelly Macdonald and Vanessa Redgrave

No Country For Old Men Review


Excellent
The only good man to be found in Joel and Ethan Coen's No Country for Old Men is a sheriff by the name of Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones). Every morning he has bacon and black coffee with his eggs and he'll take any chance he can to ride horses with his wife in the canyons of California's border territory. In a jarring opening monologue, Bell says that to know the kind of evil going on these days would require a man to put "his soul at hazard" and to say "OK, I'll be part of this world." He doesn't find appeal in conceding to either.

Bell's troubles kick off when a deputy makes the fatal mistake of arresting a pale man with a terrible bowl cut, properly named Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem). Chigurh strangles the deputy while his flailing boots leave a trail of scuff marks on the jail floor. As he makes his way back to his meeting spot, Llewelyn Moss (a near-stoic Josh Brolin) has come upon a massacre of drug runners in the California canyons and prairies. He leaves the drugs but takes a bag full of money for his own. Within hours, he is sending his wife to live with her mother and plotting the best way to shake the trail of dead that is left in his wake. A cocky fixer (Woody Harrelson) makes nothing but a blip on Chigurh's radar as he rifles through hotels and hospitals to find his money and the man who has "inconvenienced" him.

Continue reading: No Country For Old Men Review

Kelly MacDonald - Sunday 4th November 2007 at Arclight Theater Los Angeles, California

Kelly Macdonald
Kelly Macdonald

Ethan Coen, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin and Kelly MacDonald - Ethan Coen, Kelly Macdonald, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Joel Coen Frederick P. Rose Hall New York City, USA - Arrivals for NYFF "No Country For Old Men" Saturday 6th October 2007

Ethan Coen, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin and Kelly Macdonald
Ethan Coen
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story Review


Very Good
At one point during Michael Winterbottom's shambolically hilarious Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, a film about trying to film the legendarily unfilmmable 18th century novel, Steve Coogan says to a reporter that the wonderful thing about Laurence Sterne's book (which he obviously hasn't read) is how ahead of its time it was, that it was "a postmodern novel... before there was a modernism... to be post of." It's a throwaway line in some respects, but it's an excellent example of the layered absurdist humor that abounds within its wonderfully loose format. This is a film about ego, the fatal inability of people to plan their lives, and the delirious chaos of the creative process. It's also about what utter jerks movie stars can be, God bless 'em.

Sterne's novel is a big old mess and has never been quite accepted in the literary canon. Published in nine installments over a decade, it's a subplot-mad, diversion-crazed bildungsroman where the narrator - Shandy - can't even get past describing his own birth by the end of the book, due to his tendency to go off on tangents. Along the way it packs in satires of contemporary intellectuals like Pope and Locke and plays with the novelistic form, including even having one page printed entirely black to represent sorrow at a character's death. They try that in the film, but then realize it's not quite so interesting for audience.

Continue reading: Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story Review

Stella Does Tricks Review


Weak
Bleak, bleak, bleak story of an underage Glaswegian prostitute (Macdonald) who gets in one scrape after another while trying to get her life in order. Blame her father? Blame her boyfriend? Blame society? Stella Does Tricks splashes a lot of blame around without ever answering for any of it. I'd say a rather banal flashback device only gets in the way, only there's not much for it to actually get in the way of.

Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story Review


Very Good
At one point during Michael Winterbottom's shambolically hilarious Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, a film about trying to film the legendarily unfilmmable 18th century novel, Steve Coogan says to a reporter that the wonderful thing about Laurence Sterne's book (which he obviously hasn't read) is how ahead of its time it was, that it was "a postmodern novel... before there was a modernism... to be post of." It's a throwaway line in some respects, but it's an excellent example of the layered absurdist humor that abounds within its wonderfully loose format. This is a film about ego, the fatal inability of people to plan their lives, and the delirious chaos of the creative process. It's also about what utter jerks movie stars can be, God bless 'em.

Sterne's novel is a big old mess and has never been quite accepted in the literary canon. Published in nine installments over a decade, it's a subplot-mad, diversion-crazed bildungsroman where the narrator - Shandy - can't even get past describing his own birth by the end of the book, due to his tendency to go off on tangents. Along the way it packs in satires of contemporary intellectuals like Pope and Locke and plays with the novelistic form, including even having one page printed entirely black to represent sorrow at a character's death. They try that in the film, but then realize it's not quite so interesting for audience.

Continue reading: Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story Review

Strictly Sinatra Review


Weak
If Frank Sinatra had been born in Scotland, would he sound exactly the same? In Strictly Sinatra, Ian Hart's uber-Brit sounds like a squeaky-voiced Glaswegian when he talks, but he has a low and smooth American voice when he sings. He even croons Elvis! And his name is Toni Cocozza!

Alas, Strictly Sinatra is just as perplexing as its lead character, from Hart's ridiculous, patchy 'fro (this makes him sexy?) to his inexplicable involvement with the local mob (led by Brian Cox in another hardass performance). The thick accents are difficult enough to fathom, but when the characters have to scream over ambient noise, it's far worse. By the time Sinatra turns into GoodFellas, you'll have likely given up on the whole affair. (Worst moment: Boy-meets-girl montage reminds you of those aching moments that passed between the two lovebirds 45 minutes earlier.)

Continue reading: Strictly Sinatra Review

Intermission Review


Very Good
Intermission, a gritty ensemble comedy about a bunch of gritty Irish folk, bears some resemblance to late-nineties indie crimedies like Trainspotting, Go, and Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, and fans of those movies should certainly check this one out--it's practically made for those "if you liked [that], check out [this]" shelves at the video store.

What Intermission resembles just as handily, though, is an Irish Love Actually, which is to say it's like Love Actually with a lot more drinking and violence. This is unlikely to placate anyone who truly hated Love Actually and, as such, would require something on the order of a soccer riot to feel fully cleansed. But if you (like me) merely thought a few of those charmingly stammering Englishmen could use a good deck, Intermission is the punch-throwing, rock-chucking romantic comedy for you.

Continue reading: Intermission Review

Entropy Review


Good
Enjoyable despite being only midly comprehensible, Entropy gives us Steven Dorff as star -- and simultaneous on-screen narrator -- in a tour of his character's out-of-whack hipster-cum-filmmaker's life. While it's easy -- and forgivable -- to dismiss Entropy as dreck produced by Hollywood insiders, about Hollywood insiders, there are enough juicy moments in the film to merit giving it its due. Namely, Kelly Macdonald's charming performance as a brief love interest and a talking/smoking cat. U2's Bono guest-stars as himself.

Two Family House Review


OK
A sappy independent, Two Family House creates a romantic dramady out of the two unlikeliest characters -- a tubby married Italian guy who lives in Staten Island (Michael Rispoli) and a pregnant, Scottish import (Trainspotting's Kelly Macdonald) married to a bum.

Love at first sight? Not quite, but you can be sure writer/director Raymond De Felitta is going to get us there in short order.

Continue reading: Two Family House Review

Gosford Park Review


Good
If Robert Altman had been given The Remains of the Day, the end product might have looked something like this.

Gosford Park is the name of an English country estate, where, in 1932, a gaggle of royals and wannabes -- including a horde of locals plus a popular British actor and a Charlie Chan-obsessed Hollywood movie producer -- gather to attend a weekend hunting party. Upstairs, it's the usual hoity-toity, drawing room chitter-chatter, while downstairs an army of servants does little but gossip about the visitors above.

Continue reading: Gosford Park Review

Cousin Bette Review


Good
Passable ripoff of Dangerous Liaisons. Tries to be funny (as black comedy) but largely fails, mainly because Jessica Lange is about as comedic as leukemia.

The Girl In The Café Review


Good
Underneath this cute, awkward romance is a movie with an agenda. The story concerns a befuddled, senior civil servant (Bill Nighy) and the quiet ingenue (Kelly Macdonald) he happens upon in a cafe. Things start popping when he lets her tag along to the G8 conference -- causing the sleepy financiers to get angsty when she makes inappropriate remarks about children dying in Africa. Strangely out of nowhere, Macdonald's diatribe makes only slightly less sense than Nighy's tolerance for it. Their love affair is tender and heartwarming, but the political bent (with closing tagline telling us about starvation in Africa) is a singular buzzkill.

The Loss Of Sexual Innocence Review


OK
Jesus, when I went to the movies today I didn't know I was going to have to think!

Mike Figgis, the genius behind Leaving Las Vegas, has put together one dense piece of celluloid here, his first outing since One Night Stand tanked last year.

Continue reading: The Loss Of Sexual Innocence Review

Gosford Park Review


Very Good

You may need a program to keep track of the two dozen-plus characters in Robert Altman's soap opera, murder mystery, chamber comedy-of-manners "Gosford Park."

Carpeted with dry wit and filled to the rafters with salacious secrets and unspoken animosity, the film takes place at an English country estate in 1932 and unfolds from two points of view -- above stairs, where a multitude of aristocrats size each other up in subtle sociological war games, and below stairs, where their gossipy maids and valets fall into a strict pecking order based upon whom they serve.

The estate is the home of the aloof upper-crusters Sir William and Lady Sylvia McCordle (Michael Gambon and Kristin Scott Thomas) and it's gathering place for their many coattail-riding relatives, including Aunt Constance (the wonderful, quizzically austere Maggie Smith) who habitually puts on airs as if she's not living off an allowance from the McCordles.

Continue reading: Gosford Park Review

Splendor Review


Weak

The heroine of "Splendor," Gregg Araki's new anything goes sex comedy, is irresistibly adorable -- a sexy, spunky, sparkling Generation Y Holly Golightly with bouncy, ringlet hair and a freckled nose.

But aside from inspiring the protective vibe in every guy she meets and lighting a fire in their loins as well, Veronica (Kathleen Robertson) doesn't have much going for her. She's shallow, self-absorbed, irresponsible and so wildly ambivalent that the plot hinges entirely on her inability to decide between three lovers.

Two of them -- struggling writer Abel (Johnathon Schaech) and dim-bulb punk rock drummer Zed (Matt Keeslar) -- are so whipped by Veronica's considerable charms that they agree to share the girl and her bed, and both boys move in, forming an oddly harmonious threesome in the big, funky L.A. flat she can inexplicably afford on her salary as an office temp and aspiring actress.

Continue reading: Splendor Review

Finding Neverland Review


Good

A colorful but melancholy whimsy burns at the heart of "Finding Neverland," and it is perfectly personified by Johnny Depp in another irreproachable, unconventional performance as playwright J.M. Barrie, creator of "Peter Pan."

In every scene, Depp gives the subtle but unmistakable impression of a man who, given his druthers, would chose to live in his imagination rather than in the real world. It's not that he's leading a miserable life -- although his theatrical career and his marriage have both hit a rough patch. It's just that the Barrie of this fantasy-tinged biopic has misplaced his sense of wonder until, battling writer's block during a day in the park, he meets the Sylvia Llewelyn Davies family, a pretty widow (Kate Winslet) and her four young sons who inspire his platonic adoration, his inner child and his legendary departure from stiff theatrical convention.

Although the story, adapted from a play by Allan Knee, feels indulgent and oversimplified at times -- especially when it comes to the many fanciful (and wonderfully staged) illustrations of Barrie's "Peter Pan" plot ideas that spring from playing with the Davies boys -- "Neverland" makes up for any shortcomings with intricate, intimate performances from its exceptional cast.

Continue reading: Finding Neverland Review

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Kelly MacDonald Movies

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Trailer

Goodbye Christopher Robin Trailer

Like most men and women of his time, Alan Alexander Milne - professionally known as...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

T2 Trainspotting Trailer

T2 Trainspotting Trailer

Set 20 years after the original movie, we see our favourite once drug-addled Scotsman reunited....

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

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Swallows And Amazons Trailer

Swallows And Amazons Trailer

The first book in Arthur Ransome's much loved book series has been turned into a...

Anna Karenina Movie Review

Anna Karenina Movie Review

Tolstoy's iconic novel may have been filmed several times, but you've never seen a version...

Brave Movie Review

Brave Movie Review

Pixar continues pushing boundaries with this lavishly animated Scottish adventure, which centres on an involving...

Anna Karenina Trailer

Anna Karenina Trailer

Anna Karenina is the young wife of senior statesman Alexei Karenin. Theirs was more of...

Brave Trailer

Brave Trailer

Princess Merida is the daughter of the warrior, King Fergus and his wife, Queen Elinor....

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Movie Review

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Movie Review

The eight-part saga comes to a close with an action-packed finale that neatly ties up...

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 Trailer

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 Trailer

Harry Potter and his friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, continue their search for Voldemort's...

The Merry Gentleman Movie Review

The Merry Gentleman Movie Review

Moody and thoughtful, this quiet character study is extremely beautiful to look at and features...

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