Somebody messed with the wrong mother when they murdered her daughter Angela Hayes (Kathryn Newton). Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) will stop at nothing to make sure that her child's killer is caught and after several months of still no arrests, she decides to take drastic action. She forks out for three enormous billboards to go up in her Missouri town with a message to the highly respected Police Sheriff Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson). An embarrassed Willoughby visits her to encourage her to take the billboards down, but she's standing firm and will certainly not be intimidated by police involvement - or, indeed, anyone who dares complain about them. She assaults her dentist with his own drill after discovering that he made a complaint and attacks two local high school kids who try to mock her. Even the local vicar is trying to appeal to her sanity at this point, but when she torches the local police station, it becomes clear that she's quickly becoming way out of control.
An intelligent ode to a time when Hollywood made wildly inventive movies without pressure from focus groups, there's a serious edge to what superficially looks like a madcap comical romp. But this isn't one of Joel and Ethan Coen's nutty comedies. It's a pointed exploration of the collision between art and commerce, assembled as a sprawlingly entertaining ensemble movie packed with lively, often hilarious characters.
It's set over 24 hours at Capitol Pictures in 1951 as studio minder Eddie (Josh Brolin) tries to keep several movies in production despite a series of hitches, while twin gossip columnists (two Tilda Swintons) try to get a scoop. Top movie star Baird (George Clooney) has been kidnapped by communist writers from the set of his Roman epic. Water-ballet diva DeeAnna (Scarlett Johansson) is pregnant and unapologetically unmarried. And rising-star Hobie (Alden Ehrenreich) is struggling to make the transition from Western action hero to chamber room drama, clashing with his demanding new director Laurence (Ralph Fiennes). Meanwhile, song-and-dance man Burt (Channing Tatum) is up to something on the set of his sailor musical. With all of this, Eddie begins to think that maybe he should take the offer of a job outside the film industry.
As the movie darts between these various productions, the Coens gleefully reinvent this series of genres that have essentially died out. Yes, the film is a pointed depiction of how Hollywood used to make a wide array of movies for much broader audiences. Each sequence is written and directed with witty details that perfectly catch the way the chaos of a film set can be transformed into a glamorous motion picture in time for the starry red-carpet premiere. And the entire cast rises to the challenge. Clooney is terrific as the dim-witted star who hasn't a clue what's happening around him. Ehrenreich shows real charm as a smart kid struggling in an insane situation. Brolin holds things together in a surprisingly sympathetic role, while Swinton, Johansson and Fiennes add plenty of spark, and the film is stolen by Frances McDormand as a spiky film editor.
Continue reading: Hail, Caesar! Review
Ever since his wonderful appearance in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, we've been waiting for Ralph Fiennes to take up a similar role that shows a completely different side to the actor, now it looks like the Coen Brothers have given the actor such a role. Laurence Lorenz is an eccentric film director who finds himself caught up in a fiasco when Hollywood superstar Baird Whitlock is kidnapped.
Continue: Hail, Caesar! Trailer
What if the asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs missed? Well in Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur, the dinosaurs are still roaming the earth and one young Apatosaurus named Arlo is about to head out on his biggest adventure yet.
After loosing his father in a tragic accident, Arlo is left alone and scared. One day he falls into a river and gets knocked out by a rock, finding himself far away from his home. But while trying to make his way back to the Clawed-Tooth Mountains, he befriends a human caveboy that he names Spot.
With Spot by his side, Arlo embarks on a quest that will take him across the land as he finds new friends and faces his fears. Through their ups and downs, together the pair will learn that sometimes the most unlikely companions make the best of friends.
Continue: The Good Dinosaur Trailer
HBO has set a new Emmy best with 126 nominations in total - 24 of them going to flagship show 'Game of Thrones'.
It's that time of year again - the nominations for the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards have been announced, and 'Game of Thrones' has battled its way to the top with a huge haul of 24, including one in the fiercely competitive category of Outstanding Drama Series.
Game On!: Will Peter Dinklage win an Emmy?
The globally popular fantasy series will go up against 'Better Call Saul', 'Downton Abbey', 'Homeland', 'House of Cards', 'Mad Men' and 'Orange is the New Black' for the coveted award. And if doesn't win, well, the show's got 23 other decent chances, including a possible gong for Peter Dinklage - up for Supporting Actor - and either Lena Headey or Emilia Clarke, who are competing against each other in the Supporting Actress arena.
Continue reading: Emmy Nominations: Record Year For HBO, Thanks To 'Game Of Thrones'
Hydraulic fracturing might not be the most compelling subject for a movie, but it provides a topical backdrop for this engaging drama about ethics. It also lets actor-screenwriter Damon reunite with his Good Will Hunting director Van Sant for another strikingly well-made movie centring around a handful of strong characters. And while we know what the filmmakers feel about this contentious issue, at least the script isn't heavy handed about it.
The story takes place in a rural New England town, where oil company workers Steve and Sue (Damon and McDormand) are trying to secure the leases needed to drill for natural gas. The farmers badly need the cash to keep in business, but a retired science teacher (Holbrook) voices concern about the potential dangers of "fracking". He's joined by environmental activist Dustin (Krasinski) to turn the town against Steve and Sue's multinational corporation. And Dustin even starts to meddle in a budding romance between Steve and local teacher Alice (DeWitt).
The script is cleverly constructed to make us wonder who is telling the full truth. There are obviously risks associated with fracking, but have they been exaggerated by politically motivated campaigns? Damon plays Steve as a straight-arrow, a nice guy who genuinely believes that the process is safe. Meanwhile, Krasinski is a but more slippery as the grassroots voice of caution, and the terrific McDormand gets all the best lines.
Continue reading: Promised Land Review
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Django Unchained are riding high at the top of the US box office charts and as the movie industry lurches slowly into the new year, it’s likely that they’ll remain there. After all, an unsolicited addition to the Texas Chainsaw collection is hardly going to have the pulling power to shift some of the biggest movies of last year off the top of that chart.
That, however, is one of the biggest movies of the week: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D. That’s right. An extra dimension has been added to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre story. No, we’re not sure why, either. The phrase “let’s leave well alone, shall we?” springs to mind. The horror genre was just fine and dandy with the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the other Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation and... okay all you need to know is that there are already seven of these movies.. but hey, now we have one in 3D, so that, presumably, you can fear not only for the safety of the characters onscreen, but also for the integrity of your own eyeballs, as chainsaw after chainsaw comes flying out of the screen and straight towards your face.
In a classic game of paper, scissors, stone, it becomes quickly apparent that ‘chainsaw’ beats ‘wooden door’ as good old Leatherface wreaks havoc with his favourite power tool once more. Unsurprisingly, it has been met with a tired response, with one reviewer on Rotten Tomatoes describing the film as a “giant turd of a movie.” So, probably not bound for big bucks box office success, then. Bound to divide audiences this one. Divide them between ‘Don’t really like it’ and ‘Really don’t like it,’ that is.
Matt Damon gets political in his new movie Promised Land, which tackles the issue of ‘fracking,’ the process of hydraulic fractured drilling, which has been at the root of great political debate in the US for some time. Its effects on drinking water and the debate surrounding energy use is a controversial one and has been gaining notoriety. The arrival of Promised Land will inevitably bring that debate to the awareness of even more American citizens.
In an interview with Reuters, though Damon was not prepared to weigh in on either side of the environmental debate. "The point is that the movie should start a conversation. It's certainly not a pro-fracking movie, but we didn't want to tell people what to think.” Damon also said that whilst the issue of fracking was at the centre of the story. “It wasn't that we said we wanted to make a movie about 'fracking' as much as we wanted to make a movie about American identity, about real people. We wanted to make a movie about the country today, where we came from, where we are and where we are headed.”
Continue reading: Is Promised Land Political? Matt Damon Won't Weigh In On Fracking Debate
Steve Butler is a successful businessman as part of a natural gas company who wishes to close down failing farming communities in order to obtain resources. He and his business partner Sue Thomason go to visit a particular town that is suffering a lot in the economic crisis in the hope that it will be easy to get drilling rights for the farmers' land in order to gain important resources through hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as 'fracking'. Things do seem easy at first, with his proposition providing some hope of economic relief for many members of the community, however he is soon challenged when a highly regarded teacher from the school and a determined grassroots campaigner object to the proposal and go about trying to get the rest of the town to vote against it.
'Promised Land' is a particularly appropriate film for the current economic climate and raises important issues that are of real concern to many. It has been directed by Gus Van Sant ('Good Will Hunting', 'Milk', 'Paris, je t'aime'), written by the movie's stars John Krasinski and Oscar winner Matt Damon (writer of 'Good Will Hunting') and based on a story by Dave Eggers ('Away We Go', 'Where the Wild Things Are') and is set to hit screens in the UK next year on April 19th 2013.
Directed by: Gus Van Sant
Continue: Promised Land Trailer
Instead of developing the characters or situations for comedy gold, the filmmakers instead just crank up the chaos. So while some scenes are both funny and visually impressive, this second sequel is simply too inane to make us hope there will be a part 4. Very young kids may be distracted by the hectic pacing and hyperactive characters, but everyone else will quickly be bored by the nonstop mayhem, simply because there's nothing interesting going on.
Anxious lion Alex (Stiller), chatty zebra Marty (Rock), nerdy giraffe Melman (Schwimmer) and silly hippo Gloria (Smith) are living a Lion King-style existence in Africa, although their only hope for escape has just flown away. Namely, the brainy penguins and their monkey assistants. So our heroes follow them to Monaco, where they all end up on the run from the notorious animal control agent Dubois (McDormand). They run straight into a failing circus, which they set out to bring back to its glory days so they can catch the eye of an American promoter and go home to New York. To do this means working with the current circus acts: sultry cheetah Gia (Chastain), dorky sea lion Stefano (Short) and tetchy tiger Vitaly (Cranston).
The circus premise lets the filmmakers have a lot of visual fun with the characters, most notably in a riotously colourful Cirque du Soleil-on-acid performance in London. But the plot makes no sense at all (if they can get to Monaco, surely they could get to New York, right?), and there are so many new characters that the central quartet feels almost sidelined. Especially since they've also wedged in an under-developed romance for the lemur king (Baron Cohen). Yes, it's all over the place, and being busy is not the same thing as being clever or funny.
Continue reading: Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted Review
Cheyenne is a soft-spoken, retired rockstar still wearing make-up and hairspray whilst living in Dublin and has been estranged from his Jewish father for 30 years. When he discovers that his father is dying in New York, he is determined to set out to put things right with him, but his journey is delayed by Cheyenne's aversion to flying; when he finally makes his way over, he is too late to see his father alive for the final time. He learns that his father was a victim of persecution in Auschwitz during the Holocaust of World War II and that he was once made to suffer public humiliation by the Nazi officer Aloise Muller. In a last bid to make peace with his father, Cheyenne sets out to kill Muller (who is currently hiding out in the States) whilst meeting several people along the way, including members of Muller's family. When he is finally led to Muller, he finds himself confronted with a difficult decision as he listens to his story and, eventually, he manages to mark out a new chapter in his retired life.
Continue: This Must Be The Place Trailer
Scout leader Ward (Norton) sends out a search party when preteen scout Sam (Gilman) runs away from the camp. He can't get far on this New England island, and it turns out that he has run off with Suzy (Hayward) daughter of a local couple (Murray and McDormand). As Sam and Suzy's naive love blossoms in the wilderness, local police Captain Sharp (Willis) takes over the search and calls in Social Services (Swinton). But these kids are more tenacious than anyone expects.
Continue reading: Moonrise Kingdom Review
After escaping to Africa from Madagascar, Alex the lion; Gloria the hippo; Melman the giraffe and Marty the zebra decide it's time to head back to New York once and for all. Unfortunately, they have to rely on the penguins - Skipper; Kowalski; Rico and Private - and the two chimpanzees, Mason and Phil and their combined mechanical knowledge, to get them back home. Nothing can go wrong this time, though, can it?
In 1960's New England, Sam and Suzy meet after the former sneaks backstage before a show, which features the latter. The pair fall in love and, from then on, communicate by writing letters. The pair makes a pact to run away together. Sam will escape from his summer camp and Suzy will climb out of her bedroom window.
Continue: Moonrise Kingdom Trailer
When man first landed on the moon over 40 years ago, their journey was well documented and broadcast on the TV around the world, what we weren't to know was the details of a secret mission the astronauts carried out on the 'dark side of the moon'. What they discovered was beyond their belief, evidence that we're not alone in the universe.
Continue: Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon Trailer
While blessed with entertaining performances and uncommon earnestness (for a Hollywood movie) about the tribulations of middle-aged romance, there's something a little too artificial about "Something's Gotta Give."
Taking place largely in a Hamptons beach house (that is quite obviously a soundstage) where a divorcee playwright (Diane Keaton) has been duped into acting as nurse to an aging playboy (Jack Nicholson) after he's had a heart attack while fooling around with her flighty daughter (Amanda Peet), the film's snappy sense of humor is all too often undercut by affected romantic chemistry and by the overuse of facile cinematic conventions, like musical montages of characters laughing, talking and drinking wine while the camera circles them in the candlelight.
As written and directed by Nancy Meyers ("What Women Want," "The Parent Trap" remake), the unlikely love story that forms between Nicholson (who prefers "the complete, uncomplicated satisfaction of the younger woman") and Keaton (who has been adjusting to independence and getting over old-fashioned notions of spinsterhood) is a source of sophisticated laughs -- with the occasional low-brow guffaw thrown in for good measure (say, Nicholson's posterior peeking out of a hospital gown).
Continue reading: Something's Gotta Give Review
Date of birth
23rd June, 1957
On the 14th January 1977 David Bowie surprised everyone yet again with one of his most extraordinary records when he released his 11th studio album,...
As 2022 begins and New Year's resolutions are made, and just as quickly broken, the first batch of eagerly awaited new musical releases are set to...
Having just released their feel good, and irresistibly funky - "guaranteed winter blues killer", Roll The Dice, Edinburgh's Atom Eyes are seeing out...
When he's not focused on his on-line tuition, or stuck in the back of his brothers van mixing his latest compositions, GARGALO (Bruno G. Roth) is to...
As the days get progressively colder and shorter November ushers in celebrations of light, gunpowder and treason as well as bringing with it some...
If all things were equal then Ed Sheeran may have made the cut for our final five favourite new album releases of October, but they're not, and he...
Imagine a world without dogs. It hardly bears thinking about, but in this dystopian look...
Somebody messed with the wrong mother when they murdered her daughter Angela Hayes (Kathryn Newton)....
An intelligent ode to a time when Hollywood made wildly inventive movies without pressure from...
Ever since his wonderful appearance in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, we've been waiting...
What if the asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs missed? Well in Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur,...
Eddie Mannix is a fixer who works in Hollywood where he tames celebrities and keeps...
Luckily for the human race, dinosaurs were wiped from the face of the Earth millions...
Hydraulic fracturing might not be the most compelling subject for a movie, but it provides...
Steve Butler is a successful businessman as part of a natural gas company who wishes...
Instead of developing the characters or situations for comedy gold, the filmmakers instead just crank...
Cheyenne is a soft-spoken, retired rockstar still wearing make-up and hairspray whilst living in Dublin...
Anderson's films definitely aren't to everyone's taste, with his quirky approach to direction, character and...
After escaping to Africa from Madagascar, Alex the lion; Gloria the hippo; Melman the giraffe...
In 1960's New England, Sam and Suzy meet after the former sneaks backstage before a...