Turning Japanese: ‘Spirited Away’ by Hayao Miyazaki, who has influenced Pixar’s latest offering, Big Hero 6

How Japan became a pop culture superpower

Peter Hoskin on the island nation that has taken over popular culture


Trash, review: trash by name, trash by nature

Trash is the sort of film one desperately wishes to be kind about — heart supremely, if not burstingly, in…

No Strings

How consumer habits are subject to the law of unintended consequences

Some time in the 1960s, a group of people in an advertising agency (among them Llewelyn Thomas, son of Dylan)…

A Most Violent Year2

A Most Violent Year, review: mesmerising performances - and coats

A Most Violent Year is a riveting drama even though I can’t tell you what it’s about, or even what…

‘Exceptionally good’: Alicia Vikander as Vera Brittain in ‘Testament of Youth’

Shirley Williams: Saving my mother from the scriptwriters

Jasper Rees talks to Shirley Williams about the forthcoming screen portrayal of her mother


Wild made me want to puke

Wild is yet another film based on a true story, as currently seems to be in vogue for some reason.…


What The Theory of Everything doesn’t tell you about Stephen Hawking

What’s missing from Stephen Hawking’s hagiographic new biopic

Chico, Harpo and Groucho Marx (left to right) enjoy a day at the races

What unites Churchill, Dali and T.S. Eliot? They all worshipped the Marx Brothers

Ian Thomson celebrates the anarchic genius of Groucho and his brothers

Channing Tatum and Steve Carell

Foxcatcher: piercing, shattering, spellbinding

Foxcatcher is a crime drama (of sorts) that has already been dubbed ‘Oscarcatcher!’ as it barely puts a foot wrong.…


Birdman: plenty to see, little to feel

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman, which stars Michael Keaton as a one-time superhero movie star (just like Keaton himself), is audacious…

100 years of Pyrex, processed cheese and nudes in movies

Marking a century Some things which celebrate their 100th birthday in 2015: 3-D films The first was shown at the…

‘I wanted my wine to have deeper shadows’

Michael Seresin – from film noir to pinot noir

The cinematographer and winemaker on seeking vintages with ‘deeper shadows’

Too lovable: Bill Murray and Jaeden Lieberher in ‘St. Vincent’

St. Vincent: too much lovability and not enough roguishness from Bill Murray

Is Bill Murray fit for sainthood? Certainly his fans have him figure as some sort of lesser divinity, maybe one…

Jack O’Connell in ‘Unbroken’ — out next month — one of the few films today with a star writing team, the Coen brothers

How Hollywood is killing the art of screenwriting

Cinema is tough right now for writers. Thomas W. Hodgkinson reports from the front line at the Austin Film Festival


Paddington review: put your mind at rest - no one gets marmalade up the bum

‘Please look after this bear,’ reads the famous label hanging round Paddington’s neck, and this film does that, admirably, handsomely,…

Hilary Swank and Tommy Lee Jones star in The Homesman

Just because The Homesman has a few women in it doesn’t make it a ‘feminist western’

The Homesman, which stars Hilary Swank and Tommy Lee Jones and is set in the Nebraska territory in the 1850s,…

Railly, railly posh: Keira Knightley as Joan Clarke

The Imitation Game: a film that's as much in the closet as Alan Turing was

The Imitation Game is a biopic starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, the brilliant mathematician who broke the German’s Enigma…

Like Star Trek turned up to 11

Interstellar: like Star Trek – but dumber and more tiring

Christopher Nolan’s futuristic epic Interstellar isn’t a clever film, or even a dumb film with a clever film trying to…


Mr Turner: the gruntiest, snortiest, huffiest film of the year - and the most beautiful too

Mr Turner may be the gruntiest film of the year, possibly the gruntiest film ever. ‘Grunt, grunt, grunt,’ goes Mr…

Brad Pitt with the crew of the Sherman tank, Fury

Fury: the men blow stuff up, then Brad Pitt takes his top off

Fury is a second world war drama that plays with us viscerally and unsparingly — I think I saw a…

Timothy Spall as the eponymous painter in Mike Leigh’s new film ‘Mr Turner’

Mike Leigh interview: 'A guy in the Guardian wants to sue me for defamation of Ruskin!'

Hermione Eyre talks to filmmaker Mike Leigh about Mr Turner, Hollywood, and making films his own way

Tissues at the ready: James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan in The Best of Me

The Best of Me is more of a sleepie than a weepie - especially when our old friend No Sexual Chemistry makes an appearance

Take tissues to The Best of Me, I’d read, as it’s such a weepie, so I took tissues, being a…

Brian Blessed as Prince Vultan and Sam J. Jones as Flash in ‘Flash Gordon’, part of the BFI ‘Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder’ season

Without sci-fi, there would be no cinema

Without sci-fi, there would be no cinema, writes Peter Hoskin

Poor, poor Effie: Dakota Fanning

Effie Gray can effie off

Effie Gray, which has been written by Emma Thompson and recounts the doomed marriage of Victorian art critic John Ruskin…

The accused: Ben Affleck stars in Gone Girl

David Fincher plays Gone Girl for laughs - at least I hope he is

Gone Girl is David Fincher’s adaptation of the bestselling thriller by Gillian Flynn, a relentless page-turner which I’ve heard people…