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The Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Falling, Stonehearst Asylum and A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence: the Guardian film show – video review

16 hours ago

Catherine Shoard and Peter Bradshaw join Xan Brooks for our weekly round-up of the big cinema releases. This week the team turn on each other as they assemble their opinions on The Avengers: Age of Ultron; swoon (or snooze) at Carol Morley's drama about fainting schoolgirls, The Falling; go loony for the antics of Ben Kingsley in Stonehearst Asylum; and watch the weird, lonely lives of Roy Andersson's lost souls play out in A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence Continue reading »

- Xan Brooks, Peter Bradshaw, Catherine Shoard, Henry Barnes, Caterina Monzani, Dan Susman and Andrea Salvatici

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A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence - video review

16 hours ago

In this excerpt from the Guardian film show, our critics make a return trip to the fascinating, frightening world of director Roy Andersson, who makes stark tableaux of the strangest extremes of human behaviour. A critical hit at this year's Venice film festival, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence is on general release in the UK now Continue reading »

- Xan Brooks, Peter Bradshaw, Catherine Shoard, Henry Barnes, Caterina Monzani, Dan Susman and Andrea Salvatici

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Stonehearst Asylum - video review

16 hours ago

In this clip from the Guardian film show Xan Brooks, Peter Bradshaw and Catherine Shoard review Sir Ben Kingsley in an old fashioned British horror film about a heroic doctor who makes a house call to the patients of the mysterious Stonehearst Asylum. Kate Beckinsale and Michael Caine co-star in a film that's on general release in the UK now Continue reading »

- Xan Brooks, Catherine Shoard, Peter Bradshaw, Henry Barnes, Caterina Monzani, Dan Susman and Andrea Salvatici

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The Avengers Age of Ultron - video review

16 hours ago

In this excerpt from this week's Guardian film show our critics assemble their opinions of Joss Whedon's superhero super epic. Faced by an maniacal artificial intelligence known as Ultron (James Spader), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans) et al must again put their differences aside to fight a great evil. The Avengers: Age of Ultron is out now Continue reading »

- Xan Brooks, Catherine Shoard, Peter Bradshaw, Henry Barnes, Caterina Monzani, Dan Susman and Andrea Salvatici

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Hatton Garden heist: the movie – exclusive leaked script!

18 hours ago

The daring raid on the safe-deposit boxes in central London has all the elements of a proper gangster film. No one has been arrested. Our film critic imagines who’d star and how they’d pull it off...

The movie begins as Dave, played by Neil Maskell, leaves Wormwood Scrubs prison in west London, clutching a canvas bag of his belongings; he looks grimly around, lights cigarette. An old-fashioned Bentley purrs up, and from out of the back steps Big Mal, played by Mark Rylance, with a thin, menacing smile: “All right, Dave? I heard you were out. You’re looking good, Dave. I’ve got a bit of work on, as it goes, and there could be a drink in it for you. What do you know about enormous concrete-piercing drills?”

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- Peter Bradshaw

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We Are Many: the legacy of the global anti-war protests in 2003 – video trailer world exclusive

19 hours ago

We Are Many, directed by Amir Amirani, explores the legacy of the global anti-war demonstrations of 15 February 2003, an event that saw an estimated million people march against the Iraq war in London alone. Filmed over nine years, the film talks to key campaigners, including Damon Albarn, Ken Loach and the late Tony Benn, as well as those who made the decision to go to war. A special satellite screening of the film with a Q+A with Jon Snow takes place in London on 21 May, transmitted to select cinemas across the country, while the film is released on 22 May Continue reading »

- Guardian Staff

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Is M Night Shyamalan found-footage horror The Visit too late to the party?

19 hours ago

The once-respected film-maker is returning to his roots with evil gran outing The Visit – but is the stumbled-across-video format too dated to work?

The words “an M Night Shyamalan film” were were once sure indicators of box-office success. The writer/director/cameo actor enjoyed huge hits with The Sixth Sense, Signs and The Village.

But things started falling apart. His shtick became repetitive (Philadelphia setting – check, precocious kid – check, twist at the end – check) and his name became synonymous with disaster. Lady in the Water was a contrived fantasy with an egotistical turn from Shyamalan, playing a writer whose words had the power to change the world. The Happening was a laughable thriller about plants turning against humans, which even Transformers 4 star Mark Wahlberg called “a bad movie”.

Related: The Sixth Sense: the film that frightened me most

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- Benjamin Lee

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Denis Villeneuve: ‘Sicario is a very dark film, a dark poem, quite violent’

20 hours ago

The French-Canadian director talks about conquering Hollywood and his latest gritty crime drama, tipped for recognition at the 2015 Cannes film festival

Canada is on a roll at Cannes. Last year it was Xavier Dolan, a young director who came with Mommy, an edgy Quebec family drama that won a world audience. This year it’s Denis Villeneuve, 21 years Dolan’s senior, bringing a Hollywood action thriller, his Tex-Mex drug war film Sicario. Prior to Mommy, the last time a Canadian film was selected for Cannes was The Barbarian Invasions, by Denys Arcand, in 2003.

The night before the announcement that Villeneuve was getting the nod, he and Dolan got together at the younger director’s place in Montreal to toast the nomination with champagne. The evening marked a transition of sorts – in reverse. Usually the older generation hands off the baton to the younger one, but this time the veteran was »

- Jeff Heinrich

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A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence director Roy Andersson: 'I feel friendly to pigeons' – video interview

21 hours ago

Swedish director Roy Andersson tells Andrew Pulver how the interruption of a bout of writers' block by a feathered friend inspired his new film, the third in a trilogy of movies about death, loneliness and the funny-odd extremes of human behaviour. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence is released in the UK today

Peter Bradshaw's five-star review Continue reading »

- Andrew Pulver, Tom Silverstone and Henry Barnes

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Mark Ruffalo: five best moments

23 April 2015 11:00 PM, PDT

We pick our favourite scenes starring the twice-Oscar-nominated actor, who is reprising his role as the tortured and irritable Bruce Banner in Avengers: Age of Ultron. But which would you choose?

When Mark Ruffalo initially broke on to the scene, his nervy awkwardness didn’t scream out, “Please cast me in a superhero movie.” But when playing the socially challenged Bruce Banner, whose unhinged temperament leads to his transformations into the Hulk, Ruffalo’s shiftiness becomes a major selling point.

In this week’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ruffalo returns to the greenest green screen in the business, to alternate between brooding and smashing. If you miss Ruffalo just being Ruffalo, without any CG help, here are his five best moments.

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- Benjamin Lee

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I know who you Skyped last summer: how Hollywood plays on our darkest digital fears

23 April 2015 11:00 AM, PDT

Hit horror Unfriended takes place entirely on social media and computer screens. So if the genre really is a barometer for the anxieties of an age, what does that say about the world we now live in?

‘Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep,” cautioned the tagline for A Nightmare on Elm Street back in 1984. Thirty years on, having your dreams interrupted by some old codger with a pair of scissors is the least of your worries. These days, you can’t even open your laptop.

More than any other genre, horror acts as a barometer on exterior fears. The bogeymen of our times are stumbling ciphers for outside concerns. In the 50s, Invasion of the Body Snatchers fretted about McCarthyism. In the 80s, The Thing riffed horrifically on the emerging Aids epidemic (watch that blood-test scene again). And post-9/11, the torture-porn subgenre, spearheaded by Saw and Hostel, placed viewers in the position of prisoners, »

- Benjamin Lee

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Aaron Taylor-Johnson: ‘Changing my name felt beautiful’

23 April 2015 9:13 AM, PDT

The smouldering star of Avengers: Age of Ultron explains why, when he and his wife Sam Taylor-Johnson only take on one project a year, he opted for another action blockbuster role. And no, it wasn’t all about the money

The first thing I notice when I meet Aaron Taylor-Johnson is his beard. Glossy, thick and caviar-coloured, it seems to precede him by several seconds. The term “face-furniture” would be underselling this bad boy; it’s more like a three-piece suite. I compliment him on it – the lustre, the density. He looks pleased to have it acknowledged. His blue eyes sparkle. Then he says something strange: “It’s real.” I hadn’t thought that it wasn’t. I mumble something about believing him. But now he has made me suspicious.

We chew the fat, or rather the fur. He has noticed a lot of face fuzz in Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife, »

- Ryan Gilbey

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My favourite Cannes winner: Blow-Up

23 April 2015 8:48 AM, PDT

Continuing our series in which writers choose their favourite Palme d’Or victor, Steve Rose grooves to Antonioni’s 1967 winner, a ‘strange, beguiling time-capsule of swinging London’

You could say Blow-Up was my gateway drug into art cinema. For me, it was the perfect bridge between the British pop culture I knew and the European cinema I had yet to discover. And when I think of Cannes, despite so many great American winners, I immediately think of European film-makers – especially Italians. That’s just me.

Related: My favourite Cannes winner: The Conversation

It's not a detective story. Rather than fitting together, the pieces of the puzzle gradually disappear

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- Steve Rose

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London Road: watch the exclusive trailer for a musical about Ipswich townsfolk dealing with tragedy in their community – video

23 April 2015 6:53 AM, PDT

London Road, which includes Olivia Colman and Tom Hardy in its ensemble cast, is an adaptation of the award-winning National Theatre production about the arrest of Steve Wright, an Ipswich man who was convicted of murdering five sex workers in 2008. Rufus Norris's film uses the dialogue from the real townsfolk who were interviewed by author Alecky Blythe as they came to terms with the fact that a serial killer had been living in their community. London Road is released in the UK on 12 June Continue reading »

- Guardian Staff

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Robert Downey Jr and the Avengers: Age of Ultron cast hit back at superhero movie critics – video interview

23 April 2015 4:45 AM, PDT

The stars of Avengers: Age of Ultron, including Robert Downey Jr, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans, respond to Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu's statement that superhero films are 'cultural genocide'. Avengers: Age of Ultron, which sees the superhero posse take on an evil artificial intelligence, is released in the UK on 24 April and Us on 1 May Continue reading »

- Henry Barnes

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Why Au Revoir L’été is the film you should watch this week – video

23 April 2015 2:50 AM, PDT

Koji Fukada's drama Au Revoir L'été is about an 18-year-old student (Fumi Nikaido) who moves to the seaside to live with her aunt after flunking her college exams. There she meets and falls for a young Fukushima refugee who is working in his uncle's hotel. Peter Bradshaw explains why the film, which was inspired by the work of Eric Rohmer, deserves your time this week Continue reading »

- Peter Bradshaw and Henry Barnes

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The Good Lie: ‘Expertly wrought culture-shock stuff’

23 April 2015 1:00 AM, PDT

Don’t write off Reese Witherspoon’s new Sudanese refugee drama as a mawkish, liberal Hollywood vanity project – it’s much more than that

Related: Reese Witherspoon: five best moments

I didn’t hold out much hope for Reese Witherspoon and The Good Lie. It comes from the same company, Alcon Entertainment, that gave us Sandra Bullock’s 2009 Oscar-baiter The Blind Side, and from a distance it looked as if it might traffic in more of the same: white ladies being heroically nice to unpromising black kids in big trouble, with a side order of all-out assault on the tear-ducts.

Continue reading »

- John Patterson

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Avengers: Robert Downey Jr walks out of Channel 4 interview – video

23 April 2015 12:45 AM, PDT

Robert Downey Jr walks out of a Channel 4 News interview with presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy. The Iron Man star was promoting his latest movie Avengers: Age of Ultron, when the questions turned to his family and past. Guru-Murthy asked Downey about his relationship with his father, drinking and taking drugs. Downey smiled, got up and waved goodbye, saying off-mic: 'It's just getting a little Diane Sawyer in here'

Watch the full interview here Continue reading »

- Guardian Staff

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From Bushwick to Hollywood: what the Girls movie needs to get right

22 April 2015 9:00 AM, PDT

Lena Dunham is keen to bring Hannah and her hipster pals to the big screen, but she needs to be wary. Just ask Sarah Jessica Parker ...

If there was one lesson to be learned from watching 2010’s vapid Sex and the City sequel, it’s that we as a society have failed and need to burn everything to the ground and start again. If we could scrape another key learning, it’s to be incredibly wary about adapting any other much-loved HBO shows into inflated big-screen blockbusters.

Before we get this summer’s multiplex take on the “bros before hoes except when the hoes are bangin’” comedy Entourage, Lena Dunham has expressed an ambition to turn her Brooklyn-based show Girls into a movie in the nearish future.

Continue reading »

- Benjamin Lee

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Vítor Gonçalves: ‘I am immersed in cinema’

22 April 2015 7:28 AM, PDT

Gonçalves’ last work was hailed as one of the great Portuguese films – of the 1980s. Why has it taken him nearly three decades to make his next, The Invisible Life?

Swedish slowcoach Roy Andersson took seven years to complete A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, the third part of his “existence” trilogy. But that’s nothing compared to the glacial progress of Portuguese auteur Vítor Gonçalves – whose second feature film, The Invisible Life, is about to be released in the UK 29 years after his first, Uma Rapariga no Verão (A Girl in Summer). Gonçalves, now 64, rivals Andersson in his commitment to uncompromising, old-school art cinema, and his extended gap between features – interrupted only by a TV movie, Meia Noite (Midnight) in 1988 – must be some kind of record.

Rather like Andersson, Gonçalves turns out to be a genial, self-deprecating presence: soft-voiced, and prone to occasionally losing himself in his own train of thought. »

- Andrew Pulver

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