Potentially forgettable buddy cop pic, elevated by a killer script and live wire performances.
1st Feb 2017Read more 4.5 star reviews
Seminal kids movie that I underrated in '85. Shot with an easy pace, until the free-swim at the end.
Halliwell says: The bottomless pit of the Spielberg genre, a silly tale which takes forever to get going and is acted by children who have not studied elocution. The trick effects when they come are OK, but it's a long annoying haul to that point.
22nd Jan 2017Read more 3.5 star reviews
Text-book rom-com that rebooted the genre and set the template for the next 3 decades.
26th Dec 2016Read more 4.5 star reviews
A classic story and allstar cast, but John Sturges' vintage western seems slow and dated now.
2nd Nov 2016Read more 3.5 star reviews
It's only episode 2, but it's Dirty-Harry-by-numbers. Luckily those numbers still add up to something.
Halliwell says: Toned-down sequel to Dirty Harry; the violence is still there but the hero no longer commits it.
18th Sep 2016Read more 3.5 star reviews
Dated effort from 60s Disney, sacrificing production value for cheap gags.
Halliwell says: Disney's last really splendid feature cartoon, with the old flexible style cleverly modernized and plenty of invention and detail in the story line. The London backgrounds are especially nicely judged.**
8th May 2016Read more 3.5 star reviews
Meandering, liberal arthouse pic from 69/70. It must have seemed a lot more topical at the time.
Halliwell says: Highly self-indulgent and unattractive fantasy about escape from the crudities of our over-civilised world. An expensive failure and an awful warning of what happens if you give an arty director carte blanche.
16th Oct 2015Read more 3 star reviews
Overlooked gem from Scorsese’s doldrums. Heavy on film school tricks and filled with good turns.
8th Oct 2015Read more 4 star reviews
Lazy re-hash, adequately directed but saved by outstanding art direction and big set pieces.
11th Aug 2015Read more 3.5 star reviews
Classy, emotional, unpredictable sequel. Head and shoulders above the other 5 at every turn.
10th Aug 2015Read more 5 star reviews
Out of context this 50s set (70s style) high school musical starring late 20s actors is almost unwatchable.
Halliwell says: Amiable 'period' musical for teenagers: a highly fashionable explotation of the new star John Travolta, its commercialism was undeniable, and it carefully built in appeal to older age groups.**
7th Aug 2015Read more 2.5 star reviews
Dated, clunky, clumsily directed nonsense - that still manages to capture the worlds imagination.
Halliwell says: Flash Gordon rides again, but with timing so impeccably right that the movie became a phenomenon and one of the top grossers of all time. In view of the hullabaloo, some disappointment may be felt with the actual experience of watching it... but it's certainly good harmless fun, put together with style and imagination.***
7th Aug 2015Read more 4.5 star reviews
Decidedly lacklustre effort from the doldrums of the 1970s Disney studio. With mis-guided Honky Tonk.
Halliwell says: Alarmingly poor cartoon feature with all the characters 'played' by animals; songs especially dim and treatment quite lifeless.
1st Jan 2015Read more 2 star reviews
Despite the praise and success, this Disney entry disappoints with it's design and storytelling.
31st Dec 2014Read more 3 star reviews
Genre-pushing 1950s Disney fairytale, this time in epic widescreen. Tastefully done.
29th Dec 2014Read more 4 star reviews
Rich, action-packed Disney entry, benefitting from J. M. Barrie's more layered source material.
26th Dec 2014Read more 4 star reviews
Disney's flashy re-tread of Snow White, missing some of the charm but pushing forward animation technique.
24th Dec 2014Read more 3 star reviews
Genre-defining animation from Disney. Dated in some ways, but still full of style.
Halliwell says: Disney's first feature cartoon, a mammoth enterprise which no one in the business thought would work. The romantic leads were wishy-washy but the splendid songs and the marvellous comic and villainous characters turned the film into a world-wide box office bombshell which is almost as fresh today as when it was made.****
22nd Dec 2014Read more 4 star reviews
Erratic, wacky morality tale from Terry Gilliam. Uneven, but elevated hugely by Bridges & Williams.
12th Aug 2014Read more 3 star reviews
Glacially paced Raymond Chandler mystery, hampered immensely by the peep show camera style.
Halliwell says: Complex private eye yarn which makes the original Chandler dialogue sound childish by over-reliance on the subjective camera method: we see the hero's face only when he looks in a mirror. An experiment that failed because it was not really understood.*
8th Aug 2014Read more 2 star reviews
Classy slice of 70s film noir, with a fantastic, effortless script and a star turn from Gene Hackman.
Halliwell says: Apparently a Chandlerish mystery, this is really a Pinterish audience-teaser with obsessions about communication and the meaning of life. A smart-ass entertainment for eager trendies.*
31st Jul 2014Read more 4 star reviews
Dull 'existential' 70s remake of tight 50s classic. Friedkin remains one of the most over-rated directors.
Halliwell says: Why anyone should have wanted to spend $20 million on a remake of The Wages Of Fear, do it badly, and give it a misleading title is anybody's guess. The result is dire.
30th Jul 2014Read more 2 star reviews
Confident genre-bending 60s cult classic, that's running a little low on plot.
28th Jul 2014Read more 3 star reviews
A political powerhouse subject, let down by plodding execution and shapeless direction.
Halliwell says: Brilliantly filmed, but probably too strong for a commercial audience to stomach, this true adventure tosses one into the horror of modern war and leaves one reeling despite its comparatively happy ending.***
16th May 2014Read more 3 star reviews
Stagey, studio John Wayne western that falls short of its ominous classic reputation.
20th Sep 2013Read more 3 star reviews
The Complete Novel
Despite Coppola's tinkering, this melodramatic 80s classic still stands up well.
Halliwell says: Oddball youth melodrama, a curious choice for a director with big successes behind him.
13th May 2013Read more 4 star reviews
Atmospheric, somber, slow-burning, post-apocalyptic drama that fails to ignite.
6th Apr 2013Read more 2.5 star reviews
Overblown, vacuous satire that is hampered further by Christian Bale's near-slapstick performance.
25th Mar 2013Read more 2.5 star reviews
Charlton Heston cruises an empty NYC by day, dodges albino mutants by night. Good start, lacks tension.
Halliwell says: "Realistic" version of a novel which was about vampires taking over, and was previously filmed unsatisfactorily as The Last Man On Earth. This nasty version rises to a few good action sequences but is bogged down by talk in between.*
24th Mar 2013Read more 2.5 star reviews
Cary Grant and Ava Gardner wait months for lethal atomic radiation to arrive down under. Apocalypse slow.
23rd Mar 2013Read more 2.5 star reviews
Classic WW2 desert rats adventure with John Mills dying for a Carlsberg in the Sahara.
10th Mar 2013Read more 3.5 star reviews
Tony Curtis gets a wriggle on in this short, functional, not particularly magical biopic.
7th Mar 2013Read more 2.5 star reviews
Essential, but hilariously dated state-of-the-union doc of LA's 80s punk scene.
28th Feb 2013Read more 2.5 star reviews
Brilliantly written and directed thriller that weaves through many classic tropes, plus carpentry.
Halliwell says: As much about the meeting of cultures as about cops and robbers, this is one of those lucky movies which works out well on all counts and shows that there are still craftsmen lurking in Hollywood.***
28th Feb 2013Read more 4.5 star reviews
Interesting time travel companion to #BTTF, held back by Coppola's pedestrian direction.
15th Feb 2013Read more 3 star reviews
A great story helps carry this career-launching slice of 80s New York cool briskly along.
3rd Jan 2013Read more 4 star reviews
Witty, totally enjoyable fairy tale romp, with Homeland's Saul sans beard. Modern classic.
31st Dec 2012Read more 4 star reviews
Chevy almost plays it straight in this late 70s comedy-thriller, while Goldie Hawn does the screwball.
28th Dec 2012Read more 2.5 star reviews
Inspiring, slow-burning sentimental Christmas classic with vintage waterworks finale. #BTTFII.
26th Dec 2012Read more 4 star reviews
Underdeveloped time-travel flick that pits an 80s aircraft carrier against the 40s Japanese.
21st Nov 2012Read more 2.5 star reviews
Dated, but not unsuccessful, attempt to mash up buddy-cop and sci-fi tropes.
Halliwell says: What begins as an interestingly oblique look at the problem of racism soon turns into a lacklustre action movie.
16th Nov 2012Read more 2.5 star reviews
Billy Wilder & Raymond Chandler steer this tightly plotted femme fatale insurance scam noir classic.
Halliwell says: Archetypal film noir of the forties, brilliantly capturing the decayed Los Angeles atmosphere of a Chandler novel but using a simpler story and more substantial characters. The hero/villain was almost a new concept.****
15th Oct 2012Read more 4.5 star reviews
Beautifully handled, genre blending western with standout script, acting, direction.
Halliwell says: Humorous, cheerful, poetic, cinematic account of the two semi-legendary outlaws, winningly acted and directed. One of the decade's great commercial successes, not least because of the song 'Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head'.***
14th Oct 2012Read more 5 star reviews
Harrison F cherchez sa femme in this 87 Paris thriller. Lots of Grace Jones in les clubs as une hipster helps.
14th Jul 2012Read more 3 star reviews
Tense, timeless sci-fi. Magnificently designed and executed and only mildly showing its 33 years.
5th Jun 2012Read more 4.5 star reviews
80s derivative of The Graduate - that hasn't held up too well, despite the early brat pack connection.
Halliwell says: Ghastly travesty of The Graduate which aspires to every kind of sophistication it can think of but ends nowhere.
19th May 2012Read more 2.5 star reviews
Superficial 80s remake of the New Wave classic. Obviously made an impression on Tarantino.
Halliwell says: Fashionable amalgam of sex and violence, borrowed from A Bout de Souffle but far to long after the event.
7th May 2012Read more 2.5 star reviews
Early 90s gangster pic - with juvenile Penn, Oldman and Reilly doing a dry run for 'The Departed'.
Halliwell says: Dull and plodding gangster movie.
28th Feb 2012Read more 3 star reviews
Tight, multi-layered comedy in Jonathan Demme's best film - and the antidote to 'Goodfellas'.
23rd Feb 2012Read more 4.5 star reviews
Shapeless pacing and shoddy production values make for one of the most over-rated film school favorites.
Halliwell says: Absurdly brutalized version of the above, with detailed violence and a superabundance of foul language. Scarface has now become an emigre Cuban, and the film seems to want to make a political statement.
20th Feb 2012Read more 2 star reviews