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Good Time review - Robert Pattinson sticks up for his brother in chaotic heist movie

1 hour ago

Pattinson turns in a strong performance as a career crim in the Safdie brothers’ exciting, if sometimes bewildering take on Elmore Leonard-style crime dramas

Related: A Gentle Creature review - brutally realist drama offers up a pilgrimage of suffering

Law And Order is a favourite TV show for a lot of people in this film. But what can those two exotic concepts mean to them? The Safdie brothers have directed a sometimes funny, sometimes bewildering odyssey of crime-chaos and crime-incompetence, co-written by Josh Safdie and Ronald Bronstein; they borrow some tropes and images from Elmore Leonard.

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- Peter Bradshaw

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Spark review – cosmic monkey business is a load of space junk

5 hours ago

This misconceived animation draws its influences from Star Wars, Planet of the Apes and Hamlet to no good effect

This egregiously bad cartoon posits a universe in which a race of upright, vaguely simian creatures have mastered interplanetary travel. The title character (voiced by Jace Norman) is a gauche teenager mad keen on adventure who has been living on a remote garbage asteroid with only a vixen skilled in martial arts and a nerdy tusked boar for company, along with a babysitter robot named called Bananny (Susan Sarandon). However, it seems that Spark is not just some lowly nobody, but the son of a great warrior who was murdered, like Hamlet’s father, by his own brother, the tyrant Zhong (Alan C Peterson), who then imprisoned Spark’s mother (Hilary Swank) in their palace on home planet Bana. Now Spark hopes to join the resistance, overthrow his evil uncle, and so on, »

- Leslie Felperin

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul review – road trip to nowhere

6 hours ago

A fourth big-screen outing for the amiable family franchise features a new cast but it’s run out of fun

Faced with ageing or refusenik performers, the amiable family franchise’s fourth big-screen outing elects for ruthless, root-and-branch recasting. Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott are new and 33% blander as the Heffley elders, while Jason Drucker succeeds Zachary Gordon as eponymous weakling Greg, here caught plotting to reroute the clan’s road trip towards a much-anticipated gaming expo. Returning director David Bowers gives it sporadic pep: there’s a fun Psycho homage, and CGI projectile vomit. Elsewhere the books’ stick-figure illustrations get converted into banal, overlit, primetime sitcom images, and the endless off-route wheelspinning makes that subtitle lamentably apt. For once, it’ll be the grownups asking the kids: “Are we there yet?”

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- Mike McCahill

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The Red Turtle review – a desert island movie to bask in

6 hours ago

This Studio Ghibli co-production with its zen-like minimalism offers a magical, meditative take on Robinson Crusoe

Less is a whole lot more with this palate-cleansing animation, which sets itself apart from its caffeinated Hollywood counterparts with a minimalist, meditative approach. Jointly made by Europeans and Japan’s Studio Ghibli, it’s like a zen variation on Robinson Crusoe. A man is washed up on an archetypal desert island. Repeated attempts to sail away bring him into contact with a mysterious giant turtle, out of which a surprising companionship magically develops. The story operates at the level of a universal myth, free of dialogue or specifics, subtly alluding to more essential, existential matters. The simple, uncluttered images do the rest. This is a movie to bask in, and we’re given the space to do so. Characters are often dwarfed in lush expanses of sea, sky or forest, and there’s »

- Steve Rose

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'One of nature’s true gentlemen': your Roger Moore stories

6 hours ago

Guardian readers share their stories of meeting the legendary James Bond actor, who has died at the age of 89

In the summer of 1982 a man asked if I was a Sikh and if I wore a turban. He had phoned to book a disco as I ran a mobile disco with my brother, so I wondered what my religion had to do with things. He told me he was from Eon Studios, the company behind the James Bond film franchise.

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- James Walsh and Guardian readers

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Netflix series The Get Down reportedly axed as Baz Luhrmann says he will focus on film

10 hours ago

Australian director describes hip-hop show’s revival as unlikely and says ‘the simple truth is, I make movies’

The Netflix series The Get Down has been cancelled after just one two-part season, according to Variety, with director Baz Luhrmann taking to Facebook to describe an exclusivity deal that became a “sticking point” for Netflix and Sony Pictures Television, precluding him from working on a new film project.

The show – an extravagant Us$120m retelling of the founding of hip-hop, executive produced by Grandmaster Flash and narrated by the rapper Nas – was plagued by a revolving door of crew and beset by a series of delays. By the time it premiered in August 2017, to a polarised critical reception, it had become the most expensive series in Netflix’s history; but when part two debuted in April, the buzz had largely died down.

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- Steph Harmon

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A Gentle Creature review - brutally realist drama offers up a pilgrimage of suffering

15 hours ago

A nightmare journey to a Siberian prison provides the backdrop to Sergei Loznitsa’s powerful and severe film

At an early stage in Sergei Loznitsa’s A Gentle Creature, one minor character proposes a toast: “To our enormous suffering!” And the whole film is in some sense pledged or consecrated to this Russian pain, unknowable and unassuageable, that makes its devotees drunk with fear and dismay. A Gentle Creature is a brutally realist movie – at least at first – that takes its heroine on a pilgrimage into the vast, trackless forest of national suffering. Yet it does this with an unsettling, accelerating pattern of eerie coincidences and echoes, which finally mutates into a kind of satirical expressionism – a set-piece flourish which some might consider a bit of a narrative evasion or even an undermining of that basis of authenticity on which we had understood the movie. But it certainly provides a convulsive, »

- Peter Bradshaw

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What we learned from Vanity Fair's Star Wars: The Last Jedi issue

17 hours ago

The magazine’s latest issue offers an in-depth look at the highly anticipated sequel. From Leia’s role to the remote planet of Ahch-To, here’s what it revealed

The closer we get to the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi this December, the more Jj Abrams’ achievement on The Force Awakens begins to crystallize. That cliffhanging final scene – with Daisy Ridley’s Rey reaching out to a mute, disbelieving Luke Skywalker on the remote planet of Ahch-To – left Rian Johnson with the perfect platform to go deeper into the new Star Wars galaxy in part two. Vanity Fair’s latest issue offers an in-depth look at the highly-anticipated sequel to Abrams’ blockbuster megalith. Here are six takeaways from the magazine’s extensive behind-the-scenes view.

Related: 40 years of Star Wars – why the blockbuster saga is the greatest soap opera in the galaxy

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- Ben Child

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What’s the scariest tune at the Cannes festival? (Clue: it’s all around us) | Peter Bradshaw

19 hours ago

These notes signal something menacing and malign. Yes, it’s the unmistakable, jarring little marimba of the iPhone ringtone

At this year’s Cannes festival there is a new musical signature, almost supplanting the Saint-Saëns theme which traditionally prefaces every film. I’ve heard it in almost every movie here, and it’s a harbinger of bad news.

Related: How the phone case became the most important part of your wardrobe

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- Peter Bradshaw

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Meme team: after Rihanna-Lupita, what if other viral moments became movies?

21 hours ago

A joke about a picture of Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o is set to become a movie – so maybe there’s more money to be made from scouring the web for viral pitches

Aspiring film-makers on the verge of giving up: take heart, for we now know exactly what Hollywood wants. Forget nimble storytelling or twist endings – if you really want your project to get off the ground, you need to do a good meme.

Related: A meme come true: Rihanna and Lupita Nyong'o to star in film based on tweet

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- Stuart Heritage

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Nicole Kidman: I will work with a female director every 18 months

24 May 2017 4:01 AM, PDT

Actor makes pledge as part of an effort to improve the number of women working behind the camera in film and television

Nicole Kidman has pledged to work with a female director at least once every 18 months as part of a wider effort to increase the number of women filmmakers in Hollywood.

Related: The Beguiled review – Sofia Coppola contrives hilariously fraught feminist psychodrama

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- Gwilym Mumford

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How to stage a Hollywood comeback

24 May 2017 4:00 AM, PDT

Avoiding tabloid headlines, choosing the right director and knowing your eccentricities are just a few of the secrets to Nicole Kidman’s reinvention

For all intents and purposes, the 70th Cannes film festival belongs to Nicole Kidman. She has four offerings this year and seems to be a virtual one-woman invasion on the Croisette. She’s the ruthless head of a girls’ seminary in Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled; she reigns as the intergalactic punk monarch Queen Boadicea in How to Talk to Girls at Parties; she goes deadpan in high-concept head-scratcher, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, from The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos. She also forcibly integrates TV into the festival by virtue of her star power with a turn in season two of Top of the Lake.

Related: Nicole Kidman in Cannes: her tortuous journey to Queen of the Croisette

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- Charles Bramesco

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The Beguiled review – Sofia Coppola contrives hilariously fraught feminist psychodrama

24 May 2017 3:47 AM, PDT

Colin Farrell plays a wounded soldier who throws himself on the mercy of a ladies’ seminary during the American civil war – and sets them all of a decorous flutter

Sofia Coppola delivers a very enjoyable southern melodrama, the tale of a handsome, badly wounded Union soldier in enemy terrain during the American civil war who throws himself on the mercy of a ladies’ seminary – of all the outrageous things. Their inhabitants are all of a decorous flutter at the idea of this semi-unclothed male to whom they must minister, intimately.

With its hilariously fraught psychodynamic, the film has hints of Black Narcissus and the famous Diet Coke ad about office workers admiring a perspiring worker slaking his thirst. It is adapted by Coppola from the 1966 Thomas P Cullinan novel - already filmed by Don Siegel in 1971 with Clint Eastwood in the lead role.

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- Peter Bradshaw

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Readers' competition: win one of 15 double passes to a preview screening of Churchill

23 May 2017 11:27 PM, PDT

Transmission Films and Guardian Australia celebrate the release of Churchill, with the opportunity to win one of 15 double passes to a preview screening

Churchill, the new drama directed by Jonathan Teplitzky (The Railway Man), looks at the actions of the British wartime prime minister in the days before the 1944 D-day landings, at a time when his uncertainty over invading Normandy clashed with the gung-ho spirit of his political opponents.

Brian Cox (The Bourne Identity, Braveheart, Troy) stars as Sir Winston Churchill and Golden Globe-winner Miranda Richardson plays his headstrong wife Clementine, while Mad Men’s John Slattery makes for a spiky General Eisenhower.

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- Guardian Staff

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Why I bluffed my way into North Korea: Claude Lanzmann on his Pyongyang lover

23 May 2017 10:00 PM, PDT

He said he was making a film about taekwondo. But the great French director was actually on the trail of an old flame he had a secret romance with in the 1950s

At 91, Claude Lanzmann is a virtual folk memory of cinema. He is the former teenage fighter in the French resistance whose Jewish family went into hiding when war broke out. In 1985, he directed Shoah, the eight-hour documentary about the Holocaust composed almost entirely of first-person testimony. Now in Cannes, he has premiered a film about his personal experiences in North Korea. Napalm is a movie that, initially, takes its cue from the underreported fact that the Us used the incendiary weapon in the Korean war of 1950-53.

Related: Napalm review – Claude Lanzmann's gripping account of erotic encounter in North Korea

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- Peter Bradshaw in Cannes

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Top Gun 2 is 'definitely happening', says Tom Cruise

23 May 2017 5:17 PM, PDT

Actor confirms sequel to 1986 classic with filming to begin ‘probably in the next year’

Tom Cruise has confirmed rumours that a sequel to 1986 classic Top Gun is in the works, with filming to begin “probably in the next year”.

He revealed the news while on a promotional tour for his upcoming film Mummy, telling Australian morning show Sunrise, “It is definitely happening.”

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- Steph Harmon

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Rodin review – Jacques Doillon sculpts an excruciatingly bad film

23 May 2017 1:59 PM, PDT

The only passion this mind-blowingly dull biopic of the French sculptor is likely to incite is from audiences screaming for their money back

Related: Radiance review – a poignant vision of the power of sight

Jacques Doillon has directed a quite excruciatingly bad film about the sculptor Auguste Rodin and he needs to sit down and think about what he has done.

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- Peter Bradshaw

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Top of the Lake: this singular drama is still gloriously weird

23 May 2017 11:21 AM, PDT

The second series features big budgets and huge stars – little wonder Cannes finally embraced a TV show

The barbarians have stormed the battlements. Television has arrived at Cannes. It’s a development that some swore would never come to pass, including the artistic director of the festival, Thierry Frémaux. “Cannes is a film festival,” Frémaux rather tersely said last year. Netflix is one thing, with its flouting of theatrical releases, but at least it still makes movies. TV is quite another.

Still, it seems that needs must, and Cannes have solemnly recognised that prestige TV is frequently beating arthouse cinema at its own game – in its budgets, its audiences, the stars it attracts, and, most crucially, the quality of the stories it tells. And so, this week two shows are being shown at the festival: David Lynch’s revived Twin Peaks, and Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake.

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- Gwilym Mumford

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Radiance review – a poignant vision of the power of sight

23 May 2017 9:06 AM, PDT

In Naomi Kawase’s gentle, thoughtful story, a photographer with deteriorating eyesight meets a woman who writes audio descriptions for the visually impaired

Naomi Kawase’s delicate movie Radiance lowers its eyes humbly in the presence of blindness with this story of a young woman employed to write movie audio commentary for visually impaired people, who falls in love with the semi-sighted photographer on the advisory panel offering guidance on her script.

Radiance attempts to find in this a metaphor for the act of noticing, for the need to communicate and the need to imagine what other people think, see and feel.

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- Peter Bradshaw

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Roger Moore: the modest, self-deprecating 007 who brought some serious aplomb | Peter Bradshaw

23 May 2017 8:40 AM, PDT

Though Moore never considered himself much of an actor, he was an incredibly skilled performer who inspired adoration in the audience

Related: Roger Moore – Saint, Persuader and the suavest James Bond – dies aged 89

Action heroes aren’t prized for suavity much these days, or for knowing how to carry off a double-breasted pinstripe Savile Row suit, or how to raise a single eyebrow, or how to pose with a Walther Ppk – under the chin in repose, or drawn dramatically, as if about to shoot the photographer, with a facial expression of satirically calm disapproval. Even the Action Movie 101 skill of finishing a deafeningly loud and chaotic scene with a single droll wisecrack is not executed with much of the élan of old. But Roger Moore’s James Bond was a master of all this; over seven Bond movies from 1973 to 1985, he brought some serious aplomb. No-one delivered the aplomb like Roger Moore. »

- Peter Bradshaw

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