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Reviews and recommendations

Our critics’ verdicts on current releases, exhibitions and events.


See the S&S Watchlist for forthcoming film releases and happenings of note


Ai Weiwei  Never Sorry

Art and activism merge in Alison Klayman’s access-most-areas portrait of the formidable Chinese dissident. By Michael Brooke.
10 August 2012

Film of the month: A Simple Life

Ann Hui’s touching film marks a change of pace for Hong Kong action star Andy Lau, but it’s veteran actress Deanie Ip who really shines in this beautifully observed tale of an aged family retainer. By Roger Clarke.
3 August 2012

El Bulli Cooking in Progress

Gereon Wetzel’s spare, surface-bound documentary observes the Age of Austerity in Ferran Adrià’s kitchen, finds Sophie Mayer.
27 July 2012

Creative destruction: Better Books, Cinema 65 and the birth of the London film underground

Henry K. Miller excavates the mid-60s bookshop where by night the likes of Jeff Keen, Bruce Lacey and John Latham attempted to wreck the print word.
24 July 2012

Film review: The Dark Knight Rises

Bulging and distractible, Christoper Nolan’s epic Bat-trilogy closer leaves a lot of time to count its flaws before a superb finale, says Kim Newman.
20 July 2012

Film review: The Giants

Mapping the clash of innocence and experience on to a rites-of-passage adventure balanced somewhere between modern-day realism and the children’s literature of yesteryear, Bouli Lanners’ elliptical widescreen fable speaks straight to one’s inner child, says Trevor Johnston.
13 July 2012

Film review: You’ve Been Trumped

Real-life echoes of Local Hero are just the start of Anthony Baxter’s record of one highlander’s defiance of Donald Trump’s Scotland makeover project.
6 July 2012

DVD: Margaret

Margaret came and went in cinemas without fanfare. Now it’s back thanks to Twitter. Bravo, says Michael Brooke.
6 July 2012

Film review: Your Sister’s Sister

Mumblecore mainstay Lynn Shelton broadens her palette with a warm and winning comedy of step-incest, finds Kate Stables.
29 June 2012

The dead zone? Superpower – Africa in Science Fiction

Settling into the best movie works in this uneven gallery group show, Mark Sinker pines for the focus of the cinema screen.
28 June 2012

Life is the bubbles – Coral: ReKindling Venus

Gazing up at Lynette Wallworth’s marine odyssey for ‘fulldome’ planetariums, Basia Lewandowska Cummings agrees that it’s better down where it’s wetter.
26 June 2012

Film review: Planet of Snail

Yi Seung-Jun’s tenderly observed documentary belongs in the pantheon of cinema about blindness, says Sukhdev Sandhu.
22 June 2012

Film of the month: Kosmos

With its enigmatic tale of a stranger shaking up a small town on the fringes of Turkey, Kosmos confirms Reha Erdem as a director of mysterious vision, whose characters move beyond language. By Trevor Johnston.
15 June 2012

DVD review: Wilder at heart

James Bell raises a toast to Ray Milland and Barbara Stanwyck in a pair of Billy Wilder classics from the 1940s.
8 June 2012

We all scream for… experimental kids’ films?

Gareth Moore invited five artists to contribute to his Children’s Films series – but as Ian Francis discovered at a screening in Birmingham, there is artistic jouissance and there is ice cream.
30 May 2012

Film of the month: Faust

Alexander Sokurov’s retelling of the Faust legend finally arrives on these shores. But it’s not just the film’s hero who’s suffering from hubris, says Tony Rayns.
4 May 2012

Infernal combustion: magic, machines, montage and The Robinson Institute

Patrick Keiller’s reworking of his ‘Robinson’ trilogy as an installation at Tate Britain is a study of British industry’s own uncanny vanishing act. Henry K Miller sees the artist update his beloved Humphrey Jennings – again.
3 May 2012

Film of the month: Goodbye First Love

Girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl meets older man… The new film by Mia Hansen-Løve confirms the promise of Father of My Children with a frank – and very French – look at the pangs of young love, says Philip Kemp.
6 April 2012

Image lib: John Berger’s Ways of Seeing

Forty years ago John Berger’s BBC2 series challenged us to be wiser consumers of fine art. As BFI Southbank marks the anniversary, Jonathan Conlin asks if the series speaks to us today.
29 March 2012

Film review: The Hunger Games

Returning to the audiovisual medium that inspired it, Suzanne Collins’s dystopian bestseller about televised mortal combat loses moral depth but gains some dramatic breadth, says Anton Bitel.
22 March 2012

Film of the month: Into the Abyss

Into the Abyss is not just a compelling documentary about a convicted murderer on Death Row, but a further chapter in Werner Herzog’s obsessive exploration of the American way of life – and death. By Tony Rayns.
9 March 2012

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