Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Critical Week: Hanging with the boys

London critics got to see our first real 2014 movie (as opposed to a holdover from 2013) this week: That Awkward Moment seems to want to be a sex comedy but is actually a half-baked Richard Curtis-style multi-strand romantic comedy. At least the likeable Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B Jordan are front and centre. The other star-powered film was Grudge Match, an uber high-concept comedy-drama starring Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro as has-been boxers setting up a rematch (get it?). It's ok, but played far too straight.

Off the beaten path we had the British comedy Svengali, about a wannabe music manager trying to launch a band in London against all odds; the implausible horror thriller The Banshee Chapter, about a journalist looking into illicit government drug trials in the 1960s; the astounding award-winning Greek drama Miss Violence, which might be the most unnervingly horrific movie you'll see all year; and the moving German drama Free Fall, which takes a Brokeback-style approach to sexuality in present-day Europe.

Coming this week: Chris Pine in the reboot Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston in Only Lovers Left Alive, the comedy G.B.F., the prison drama Jamesy Boy and Georgia's acclaimed drama In Bloom.

We also have the Oscar nominations coming tomorrow, kicking the awards season into high gear for the next six weeks. Follow the action at the Shadows Sweepstakes.

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