Film Reviews by TE

Welcome to TE film reviews page. TE has written 89 reviews and rated 89 films.

How to combine charm with depth

A wonderfully humane film from Koreeda, full of wit in the dialogue and boasting excellent ensemble performances by all the children involved.

There is real poignancy in the "wish list" of the children, with hope and optimism at the heart of the movie. Koreeda avoids any drift into sentimentality, thus ensuring that this is accessible art-house direction at its best. His films achieve an effortless warmth and humanity.

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Mediocre middle-aged romcom

Some ok dialogue but the slushy ending confirms an underlying daytime tv feel to the whole film.

James Gandolfini is good, as ever, but Julia Louis-Dreyfus just comes across as annoying, and the big plotline about her friendship with her new lover's ex-wife is stretched way too far.

Watchable enough but immediately forgettable.

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No warmth or soul here

Flashy, tricksy film with no substance. It plays with the various permutations of "twins", but not in any satisfying or meaningful way.

Slick cleverness triumphs over character and narrative, making for an empty viewing experience.

The film also trots out the ancient stereotype that women are somehow irresistibly drawn to violent, abusive lovers.

Very disappointing from Ozon.

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Brilliant and disturbing

This film needs a 5 star review on here to counter the incomprehensible 1 star ratings!

Lucrecia Martel is rightly regarded as one of the world's top film directors and this period drama enhances her reputation even further.

There is a patient build towards the final, hallucinatory section, which has echoes of Apocalypse Now and the violence and misunderstandings that characterise the clash of European imperialists and native peoples.

Every detail of the film is carefully crafted and linked to the wider events. A triumph of world cinema.

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Dated and dull

For the first 15 minutes or so this film offers the promise of an interesting tale, but it falls to embarrassing pieces once life in the cult / commune gets underway. There is an annoying air of tricksy self-pleasuring by the writers and directors. In attempting to be clever they deliver a dud with many unintentional laughs.

The whole time loop concept has been done to death and this film is not about to bring it to life again (and again and again...).

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Captivating slice of film history

A playful but profound record of a collaboration between veteran film director Agnes Varda and the photographer JR.

It feels as if the film has been put together from a random assortment of encounters in (mainly) rural France, though there is also a leisurely sense of a coherent journey.

The huge b/w images they produce are magnificent in themselves, and the accompanying interviews only add to the impact.

The interplay between Varda and JR is full of charm and teasing humour, with an interesting filmic twist at the end (no spoiler here!).

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A Blonde in Love Online DVD Rental

Great portrayal of a time of transition.

Classic film that bridges the Czech cinema of the 1960s into the 1970s.

Watching it again after a long time made me realise how funny it is. This is an elegant, wry tale of the times. An era of social repression is on the cusp of 'freeing up', and Forman produces a wonderfully well-judged metaphor for this process in the travails of this young "blonde in love".

The sequence in the apartment of her lover's parents is a priceless blend of comedy and tragedy, exemplifying the wit and energy of the whole film.

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Starkly gripping and visually stunning

Powerful film set in the Australian outback in 1929. It is one of a number of recent Australian movies that are keeping alive the Western genre. Here the racism is directed at the aborigine people rather than native Americans.

The setting is very realistic, dusty, grimy and hard-scrabble living all around.

Most notable of all is the brilliant use of the harsh but beautiful landscapes.

My only quibble is with the use of quick insertions of scenes depicting both past and future events. It's a great story, just tell it straight!

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Lo-fi but intense and affirming

This film is like a good book that you can't put down.

It creates a fascinating, suspenseful tale without any of the Hollywood gimmicks. The relationship between troubled father and intelligent, open daughter is beautifully written and acted.

The woods and the natural landscape becomes a character in the film as well.

Quiet brilliance.

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Pure hokum!

Silly mess-up of a potentially interesting tale. It feels as if quite a few things were lost in the editing, including some essential plot info and some basic elements of the narrative.

Love Emily Blunt but she's wasted here.

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Quietly enjoyable slice of life

Warm, humane film with excellent performances and direction.

The story is well balanced between the demands of the present and the lingering effects of the past. It's a gentle examination of life and death and whole damn package, but told through the lives of likeable, engaging characters.

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A botched job

The sort of escapist hokum that will find its place on daytime tv eventually.

The action is constantly derailed by dull flashbacks. Why not just tell the story in chronological order? It's based on true events so the chronology is not difficult.

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Shiny, chilly tale of cruelty

This is a better film than the previous reviews on here might suggest. If anything, its problem is that it is too good at achieving its own ends. It depicts a world of cruelty and emotional blankness, and depicts it so well that it becomes like a dry case study.

It is sustained by excellent performances from the two young female leads, and by the humour introduced by Anton Yelchin (who died in a freak accident just after this film was completed).

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Extreme corruption breeds chaos.

A decent enough tale of extreme corruption in the Egyptian police and security forces.

Set against the background of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution it becomes easy to see why that movement failed to achieve any of its progressive aims. With so much corruption within the state itself a whole new political party would have been necessary. Instead the Muslim Brotherhood took over from Mubarak and proceeded to go too far with their own agenda before being kicked out in favour of the present ruler el-Sisi, who seems reminiscent of the Mubarak regime.

Dramatically the film could do with more explanation as to why the hero cop decides to play straight for a change. It's presumably linked to the early scene with his father, but there is no development of that aspect.

In its favour, the film has a real flavour of Cairo and gives an insight into events that exceeds the usual sources.

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A Syrian Love Story Online DVD Rental

Great documentary

This film follows the course of events in Syria through the experiences of one particular family, starting with the oppression that led to the failed revolution against the Assad regime.

We see the terrible toll that this oppression has on one loving relationship and on the children of that family. It is just one of the millions of stories that need to be told about the refugee crisis that has seen huge shifts of people desperately trying to escape intolerable suffering.

Sean McAllister does an excellent job of bringing out the common threads of humanity, and also the sheer waste of life and opportunity that our political systems create. It is terrible to think that the Syrian civil war is still going on and that its end will only produce more families like the one seen here.

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