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Lucy (2014)

Luc Besson‘s latest action chick flick is a potpourri of several other films (including ones directed by Mr Besson himself), one that starts off with a bang only to sizzle into the sort of pedantic ludicrousness that not even an ambitious, delectably over-the-top third act can overcome. Lucy (Scarlett Johansson), a young student currently residing in…

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Whiplash (2014)

Damien Chazelle‘s Whiplash is an impassioned, gritty account of a student and his mentor, one that looks like, but is not, Music Genius 101. Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) is a student at the esteemed Shaffer Conservatory of music. He is extremely ambitious, envisaging himself a first-class drummer and jazz musician. Music teacher/conductor Terence Fletcher (J…

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Into the Woods (2014)

Rob Marshall‘s take on the Tony-award winning Broadway hit is a tame and dismaying mash-up of half a dozen fairy tales that, unlike many of its protagonists, refuses to venture down any paths other than the ones much travelled. Baker (James Corden) and Wife (Emily Blunt) discover that the reason behind them not having any children…

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Soul Boys of the Western World (2014)

George Hencken‘s film charts the rise, success, lull, disbandment, lawsuit and inevitable comeback of Spandau Ballet, one of the most popular bands of the Eighties. The documentary employs a chronological template. It starts off from the very beginning, chronicling the early days of the band; how they met, and, most interestingly, their hangouts. We are taken on a…

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John Wick (2014)

John Wick sees Keanu Reeves doing what he does best, kicking ass to the tune of gunfire, crunching bones and dead bodies hitting the floor. John (Mr Reeves) receives a posthumous gift from his recently deceased wife, a Beagle puppy whose companionship he finds comforting. But an unfortunate chance encounter with Iosef (Alfie Allen) leaves John with a dead…

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Boyhood (2014)

Richard Linklater‘s quietest of epics is a coming-of-age tale in which we see the protagonists come of age right in front of our very own eyes. Mason Jr (Ellar Coltrane) is a six-year-old boy living with his high-strung mother Olivia (Patricia Arquette) and sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater). His father, Mason Sr (Ethan Hawke), is a puer aeternus,…

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Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

One of the most hotly anticipated films of the year, Sam Taylor-Johnson‘s adaptation of E L James‘s eponymous raunchy and badly written novel, finally makes it to the screen. Ana Steele (Dakota Johnson), an undergraduate at the Washington State University, agrees to interview billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) instead of her friend Kate (Eloise Mumford).…

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The Guest (2014)

Adam Wingard‘s The Guest is a nostalgic throwback to Eighties’ B-movie mindless action flicks, which is not the same as saying that it’s a bad film. David Collins (Dan Stevens) is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. On his return to the US he pays a visit to the Petersons, his late best friend’s family.…

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Enemy (2013)

Dennis Villeneuve‘s adaptation of José Saramago‘s 2002 novel The Double is a gripping thriller that is surprisingly short of thrills but weird enough to whet and satisfy the appetite of those viewers who are looking for an alternative to the more mainstream fare. Adam Bell (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a history professor whose life is as drab…

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American Sniper (2014)

Clint Eastwood directs a biopic of sorts about Chris Kyle, a sniper who holds the dubious honor of being the deadliest marksman in US military history, having amassed 160 confirmed kills during four tours in Iraq. Chris (Bradley Cooper) enlists in the US Navy after watching on television the aftermath of the 1998 US embassy bombings…