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Film Review: 'Exodus: Gods and Kings'

24 December 2014 6:30 AM, PST

★★★☆☆ Strap on your sandals and unsheath your swords! Ridley Scott has cinematically traversed ancient Rome with Gladiator (2000) and the crusades with the abysmal Kingdom Of Heaven (2005), now he invites audiences to ancient Egypt, to recount the Old Testament in Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014). As ever, he achieves technical proficiency, but fails to move forward from the biblical epics of old. Earlier this year, Darren Aronofsky's hallucinatory rendition of Noah's flood was a mind-bending experience, which can arguably claim to be one of the most expensive arthouse films of recent years. Scott takes a traditional route, in the mould of Cecil B. DeMille, with the apparent goal of impressing us with architectural grandeur.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'Unbroken'

24 December 2014 5:30 AM, PST

★★☆☆☆ Angelina Jolie has stated that she has given up on acting, and is now solely a director. If her sophomore effort Unbroken (2014) - a biopic of Olympian long distance runner and World War II Pow Louis Zamperini (Jack O'Connell) - is to be taken as evidence, it might be wise she doesn't entirely give up on her acting career. The drama opens with a thrilling action sequence with a B-24 Bomber flying high over Japan's island of Nauru. The plane is heavily damaged in an attack; on board is Lieutenant Zamperini, who witnesses the death of several of his crew. A few weeks later, the reassembled team is tasked with a routine rescue mission during which they are gunned down over the Pacific.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: 'We Still Kill the Old Way'

23 December 2014 3:42 AM, PST

★★★☆☆Respect is a funny thing. In order to get a little, you have to give a little. What Sacha Bennett's sixth feature We Still Kill the Old Way (2014) stylishly and cheekily showcases the ramifications of children not seeing their way to respecting their elders. It knows when to have fun and sits easily between gritty gore and being irreverent to a fault, meanwhile the ganglands of East London have never looked more enticing. When aging gangster Charlie Archer (Steven Berkoff) is murdered by a group of hubristic criminal upstarts, led by upstart Aaron (Danny-Boy Hatchard), it is up to his brother Richie (Ian Ogilvy) to exact vengeance.

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- CineVue UK

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Top 20 Films of 2014: Part One (20-11)

23 December 2014 1:32 AM, PST

It’s that time of year where we brace ourselves for what’s to come. Yet before we say au revoir to 2014 the CineVue team has taken the time to cogitate on the cinematic delights of the past twelve months. This year we’ve decided to split the list in two; partly to help promote indie films we’re passionate about, but also to celebrate just how great a year it’s been. Even though CineVue is a UK-based film blog, we pride ourselves on our festival coverage and as such have decided to allow any film that has received a world or UK premiere during this year's festival circuit to be nominated. Yes some of these films haven’t received a UK theatrical release, but in a world where on-demand services are pulling apart the theatrical model we believe it’s important to champion some of cinema’s braver, »

- CineVue UK

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Top 20 Films of 2014: Part Two (10-1)

23 December 2014 1:31 AM, PST

Welcome to our rundown of the top ten films of 2014. To see the cinematic delights that comprised the rest of our top twenty, check out our first post here. We'd also like to take the time to mention some of the films that narrowly missed out but remain deserving of recognition. Festival favourites Jauja, The Duke of Burgundy, Mommy and It Follows all came close to penetrating the final list, but with UK theatrical releases lined up in the new year they'll get a second chance in 2015. It was also a shame to see films like Exhibition, Norte, The End of History and Bastards fall by the wayside, but then the cultural significance of art isn't always instantly recognisable. Anyway, enough of the formalities, without further ado we'd like to introduce you to the 10 best films of 2014 as voted by the CineVue team - enjoy.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: 'Sex Tape'

23 December 2014 1:18 AM, PST

★★☆☆☆Boring, befuddling and slightly out-of-touch are all criticisms that can be aimed squarley atSex Tape (2014). In what is seemingly just a ninety minute product placement for the nifty capabilities of Apple products, this sex comedy falls limp very quickly, despite it being built on the premise of hot-blooded homebodies paying woefully for their dirty deeds. Playing on the timely issue (and hazard) of what might happen when private videos accidentally get leaked to the public, this film could have been insightful, topical even. What is actually delivered is uneven and, at times, too smart for its own good. Jay (Jason Segel) and Annie (Cameron Diaz) are college sweethearts who have fallen into a rut.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: 'The Guvnors'

22 December 2014 3:20 AM, PST

★★☆☆☆It's unlikely that The Guvnors (2014) is going to be admitted to the canon of gangland crime thrillers in the near future. A middling script, poor direction and a varying array of stereotypical performances all contribute to the gathering inertia of director Gabe Turner's sophomore feature (his first as scribe). The plot is so razor-thin, it can barely sustain the momentum of any action that the film puts forth. Purportedly, a generational battle of East London firms is in the offing, and at the head of each are two men who must confront their own choices head-on and decide whether they will rise or fall by fates of their own making.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: 'God's Pocket'

22 December 2014 1:38 AM, PST

★★★☆☆The feature debut from Mad Men's John Slattery (who plays the wonderfully urbane Roger Sterling in the hit AMC show), God's Pocket (2013) may not share the same air of sophistication as the stylish ad industry ratings winner, but this sleazy tale of small town Joes and two-bit hustlers is easily pulled through by its impressive ensemble cast. For his first film, Slattery calls on the talents of Mad Men co-star Christina Hendricks, the sorely missed Philip Seymour Hoffman (in his penultimate role), the always excellent Richard Jenkins and John Turturro, alongside a host of other familiar faces. Though missteps are made, Slattery strikes an effective balance between black comedy and noirish morbidity.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'Annie'

22 December 2014 1:23 AM, PST

★★☆☆☆Not even the promise of sunshine can save the one-note exercise in musical adaptations that is Annie (2014). Helmed by Will Gluck (of Easy A (2010) notoriety), this adaptation of the 1977 Broadway musical delivers on sights and sounds, but sadly, there is little meat on these bones. Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna and Gluck have updated not only to a modern New York City, but they have also tweaked the plot to near fallibility. Most noticeable is a more racially diverse cast, a musical score that has been sufficiently urbanized and a more whip-smart yet oh-so-doe-eyed Annie (Quvenzhané Wallis). Annie lives in foster care rather than a bustling orphanage and with only a few girls to keep her company.

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- CineVue UK

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Weekly Round-up: 'Annie', 'Kon-Tiki'

22 December 2014 12:48 AM, PST

Welcome to our regular weekly round-up of the best DVD, Blu-ray and cinema releases over the past seven days in the UK. We'll also strive to keep you updated on upcoming festivals, events and the latest trailers from across the web. Come back each Friday to see what our talented team of writers are recommending and catch up on all the week's new releases. As an independent film site, our aim is to reach out to the largest audience possible, whilst also highlighting and championing some of the more diverse and less known new releases from the world of cinema. We can only do this with your help and support, so please feel free to add your comments and let us know what films and events you'd like to hear more about. For regular updates or to continue the conversation, be sure to follow us on Twitter.

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- CineVue UK

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