James Marsh

Latest from James Marsh

Review | Hotel Mumbai film review: 2008 terrorist attacks recreated in intense true-life thriller

The film has a documentary like realism, and the action has a breathless intensity. The terrorists are portrayed as emotionless killers and the victims are larger than life.

17 Apr 2019 - 7:17AM

The film has a documentary like realism, and the action has a breathless intensity. The terrorists are portrayed as emotionless killers and the victims are larger than life.

Hotel Mumbai film review: 2008 terrorist attacks recreated in intense true-life thriller
Review | The Curse of La Llorona film review: The Conjuring horror universe expands into Latin American folklore

Linda Cardellini plays a widowed social worker in 1970s Los Angeles, whose family is targeted by the malevolent spirit of a 300-year-old Mexican woman. The period setting is just a backdrop for a conventional, if occasionally effective, ghost story.

16 Apr 2019 - 7:02AM

Linda Cardellini plays a widowed social worker in 1970s Los Angeles, whose family is targeted by the malevolent spirit of a 300-year-old Mexican woman. The period setting is just a backdrop for a conventional, if occasionally effective, ghost story.

The Curse of La Llorona film review: The Conjuring horror universe expands into Latin American folklore
Before Still Human and The Upside, 10 other great films about caregivers you need to watch

The Intouchables, Misery, The Elephant Man, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane – films both life-affirming and terrifying have focused on carers and their charges.

10 Apr 2019 - 7:38PM

The Intouchables, Misery, The Elephant Man, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane – films both life-affirming and terrifying have focused on carers and their charges.

Before Still Human and The Upside, 10 other great films about caregivers you need to watch
Review | Innocent Witness film review: Kim Hyang-gi, Jung Woo-sung in life-affirming courtroom drama

Lawyer defending a housemaid accused of murdering her elderly employer wrestles with whether to put an autistic teenager on the witness stand; Kim Hyang-gi’s sensitive portrayal of the witness earns the viewer’s sympathy.

9 Apr 2019 - 11:39AM

Lawyer defending a housemaid accused of murdering her elderly employer wrestles with whether to put an autistic teenager on the witness stand; Kim Hyang-gi’s sensitive portrayal of the witness earns the viewer’s sympathy.

Innocent Witness film review: Kim Hyang-gi, Jung Woo-sung in life-affirming courtroom drama
Review | Extreme Job film review: Korean fried chicken meets drug bust – it’s finger-licking fun

Tale of inept narcotics police who buy the failing restaurant they are using to stake out a drug lord, and make it a roaring success, is fast-paced, wacky, and has an ensemble cast of likeable goofballs.

28 Mar 2019 - 1:58PM

Tale of inept narcotics police who buy the failing restaurant they are using to stake out a drug lord, and make it a roaring success, is fast-paced, wacky, and has an ensemble cast of likeable goofballs.

Extreme Job film review: Korean fried chicken meets drug bust – it’s finger-licking fun
Hit-and-Run Squad film review: Korean crime drama’s strong female characters can’t save it from its flaws

Hit-and-Run Squad puts a refreshing female spin on its story of police corruption and professional motor-racing, but the film is held back by a procedural plot, slow pace and misguided ending.

20 Mar 2019 - 1:35PM

Hit-and-Run Squad puts a refreshing female spin on its story of police corruption and professional motor-racing, but the film is held back by a procedural plot, slow pace and misguided ending.

Hit-and-Run Squad film review: Korean crime drama’s strong female characters can’t save it from its flaws
Review | Masquerade Hotel film review: Takuya Kimura, Masami Nagasawa in glossy whodunnit based on Keigo Higashino novel

With a plot based on a Keigo Higashino novel, a team of homicide detectives go undercover at a top Tokyo hotel to catch a serial killer in this Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery.

19 Mar 2019 - 7:40PM

With a plot based on a Keigo Higashino novel, a team of homicide detectives go undercover at a top Tokyo hotel to catch a serial killer in this Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery.

Masquerade Hotel film review: Takuya Kimura, Masami Nagasawa in glossy whodunnit based on Keigo Higashino novel
Hong Kong International Film Festival 2019: the films you shouldn’t miss

Subjects include drugs in Colombia to free climbing in Yosemite, first world war footage in colour to a documentary about Alien. Other films are about a footballer who loses his skill and a documentary about Alexander McQueen.

6 Mar 2019 - 7:25PM

Subjects include drugs in Colombia to free climbing in Yosemite, first world war footage in colour to a documentary about Alien. Other films are about a footballer who loses his skill and a documentary about Alexander McQueen.

Hong Kong International Film Festival 2019: the films you shouldn’t miss
Review | The Wandering Earth film review: Wu Jing leads deep space mission in Chinese sci-fi blockbuster

Chinese film industry’s aversion to sci-fi may end with the success of this entertaining story of a Chinese-led rescue mission to keep Earth on course for a new solar system, but it has a long way to go match Hollywood’s best.

28 Feb 2019 - 4:24PM

Chinese film industry’s aversion to sci-fi may end with the success of this entertaining story of a Chinese-led rescue mission to keep Earth on course for a new solar system, but it has a long way to go match Hollywood’s best.

The Wandering Earth film review: Wu Jing leads deep space mission in Chinese sci-fi blockbuster
Review | Fall in Love at First Kiss film review: Jelly Lin, Darren Wang in Taiwanese take on popular Japanese teen romance

The latest screen adaptation of Kaoru Tada’s manga Itazura na Kiss offers a contrived and frustrating outcome but a loyal fan base is likely to forgive that shortcoming.

27 Feb 2019 - 7:10AM

The latest screen adaptation of Kaoru Tada’s manga Itazura na Kiss offers a contrived and frustrating outcome but a loyal fan base is likely to forgive that shortcoming.

Fall in Love at First Kiss film review: Jelly Lin, Darren Wang in Taiwanese take on popular Japanese teen romance
Review | Kursk film review: Russian submarine tragedy recreated in Thomas Vinterberg’s star-studded melodrama

Thomas Vinterberg’s film humanises the doomed seamen and demonises the naval high command; its themes of political malfeasance, media interference and fake news are more relevant than ever, but it’s the tragedy that resonates.

20 Feb 2019 - 7:07AM

Thomas Vinterberg’s film humanises the doomed seamen and demonises the naval high command; its themes of political malfeasance, media interference and fake news are more relevant than ever, but it’s the tragedy that resonates.

Kursk film review: Russian submarine tragedy recreated in Thomas Vinterberg’s star-studded melodrama
Oscars: 10 great Asian films ignored for the Academy Awards’ best foreign language statuette

True, three of the last 10 winners of the award were from the continent– Departures from Japan, and Iran’s A Separation and The Salesman. But these 10 Asian films didn’t even earn consideration for the Oscar.

18 Feb 2019 - 3:07PM

True, three of the last 10 winners of the award were from the continent– Departures from Japan, and Iran’s A Separation and The Salesman. But these 10 Asian films didn’t even earn consideration for the Oscar.

Oscars: 10 great Asian films ignored for the Academy Awards’ best foreign language statuette
Call Me By Your Name and Suspiria director Luca Guadagnino’s six feature films ranked

Murder, sexual awakening, loyalty, seduction and betrayal are recurring themes in Luca Guadagnino’s films. The Italian has worked with Tilda Swinton several times, and Dakota Johnson looks to be his next muse.

5 Feb 2019 - 7:02AM

Murder, sexual awakening, loyalty, seduction and betrayal are recurring themes in Luca Guadagnino’s films. The Italian has worked with Tilda Swinton several times, and Dakota Johnson looks to be his next muse.

Call Me By Your Name and Suspiria director Luca Guadagnino’s six feature films ranked
Review | Mori, the Artist’s Habitat film review: perceptive portrait of a reclusive Japanese artist

The late Kirin Kiki stars as the wife of celebrated painter Morikazu Kumagai, played admirably and with humour by 82-year-old Tsutomu Yamazaki; she fends off visitors as he communes with nature in their garden.

30 Jan 2019 - 7:05AM

The late Kirin Kiki stars as the wife of celebrated painter Morikazu Kumagai, played admirably and with humour by 82-year-old Tsutomu Yamazaki; she fends off visitors as he communes with nature in their garden.

Mori, the Artist’s Habitat film review: perceptive portrait of a reclusive Japanese artist
Review | We Make Antiques! film review: Japanese caper is more humorous high jinks than homage to tradition

A struggling antiques dealer thinks he’s found a rare tea bowl, only to learn it is the work of a clever faker. They team up for a classic con caper interspersed, jarringly, with scenes extolling Japan’s traditional artistry.

23 Jan 2019 - 11:00AM

A struggling antiques dealer thinks he’s found a rare tea bowl, only to learn it is the work of a clever faker. They team up for a classic con caper interspersed, jarringly, with scenes extolling Japan’s traditional artistry.

We Make Antiques! film review: Japanese caper is more humorous high jinks than homage to tradition
Review | Take Point film review: Ha Jung-woo in illogical South Korean action thriller

Kim Byung-woo’s political action thriller fails to entertain on any level. With terrible English dialogue, corny accents, a convoluted plot line and nauseating camerawork, it could be the worst film of the year.

22 Jan 2019 - 12:22PM

Kim Byung-woo’s political action thriller fails to entertain on any level. With terrible English dialogue, corny accents, a convoluted plot line and nauseating camerawork, it could be the worst film of the year.

Take Point film review: Ha Jung-woo in illogical South Korean action thriller
Review | Shadow film review: Zhang Yimou returns to form with masterful tale of intrigue and deception

Featuring compelling performances and incredible action, Shadow proudly stands alongside Zhang’s past triumphs Hero and House of Flying Daggers.

17 Jan 2019 - 6:28AM

Featuring compelling performances and incredible action, Shadow proudly stands alongside Zhang’s past triumphs Hero and House of Flying Daggers.

Shadow film review: Zhang Yimou returns to form with masterful tale of intrigue and deception
Review | Default film review: financial crisis revisited in straight South Korean take on The Big Short

Unlike The Big Short’s satirical slant, Default plays it straight and fails to engage the audience. Even an appearance by Vincent Cassel does little to make it more appealing.

16 Jan 2019 - 7:03AM

Unlike The Big Short’s satirical slant, Default plays it straight and fails to engage the audience. Even an appearance by Vincent Cassel does little to make it more appealing.

Default film review: financial crisis revisited in straight South Korean take on The Big Short
Review | Ten Years Taiwan film review: speculative anthology paints bleak future for self-ruled Chinese island

Five filmmakers steer clear of Taiwan-China relations to focus on industrial decay, indigenous islanders, sexual politics, falling birth rates and mass insomnia; the anthology is uneven, and the storytelling muddy in places.

15 Jan 2019 - 5:03PM

Five filmmakers steer clear of Taiwan-China relations to focus on industrial decay, indigenous islanders, sexual politics, falling birth rates and mass insomnia; the anthology is uneven, and the storytelling muddy in places.

Ten Years Taiwan film review: speculative anthology paints bleak future for self-ruled Chinese island
Review | Every Day a Good Day film review: veteran Japanese actress Kirin Kiki anchors tranquil tea ceremony film

The film is one of the veteran actress’ final screen roles. Every Day a Good Day portrays the tea ceremony as a women’s refuge, an immaculate sanctuary of calm and composure

9 Jan 2019 - 11:30AM

The film is one of the veteran actress’ final screen roles. Every Day a Good Day portrays the tea ceremony as a women’s refuge, an immaculate sanctuary of calm and composure

Every Day a Good Day film review: veteran Japanese actress Kirin Kiki anchors tranquil tea ceremony film
Review | You Are the Apple of My Eye film review: poor Japanese remake of Taiwanese teen romance blockbuster

Robbed of the original’s vibrant, youthful voice, and saddled with an inexperienced pop-idol lead actress, film is a shadow of Giddens Ko’s 2011 original, which understood what it meant to be young, awkward and horny.

8 Jan 2019 - 7:41PM

Robbed of the original’s vibrant, youthful voice, and saddled with an inexperienced pop-idol lead actress, film is a shadow of Giddens Ko’s 2011 original, which understood what it meant to be young, awkward and horny.

You Are the Apple of My Eye film review: poor Japanese remake of Taiwanese teen romance blockbuster
Five Asian terminal illness films that came before More Than Blue

Boy meets girl, boy (or girl) is diagnosed with deadly incurable disease, hides it from the other – it’s classic Asian cinematic fare; Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Hong Kong directors have all turned their hands to the sub-genre.

8 Jan 2019 - 6:45PM

Boy meets girl, boy (or girl) is diagnosed with deadly incurable disease, hides it from the other – it’s classic Asian cinematic fare; Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Hong Kong directors have all turned their hands to the sub-genre.

Five Asian terminal illness films that came before More Than Blue
Review | Swing Kids film review: Do Kyung-soo plays tap-dancing hero in prisoner-of-war drama

Do Kyung-soo plays the tap-dancing hero in this prisoner-of-war drama, whose La La Land meets The Battleship Island set-up doesn’t convince. Set in the Korean war, it is a hodgepodge of half-baked ideas.

2 Jan 2019 - 8:51AM

Do Kyung-soo plays the tap-dancing hero in this prisoner-of-war drama, whose La La Land meets The Battleship Island set-up doesn’t convince. Set in the Korean war, it is a hodgepodge of half-baked ideas.

Swing Kids film review: Do Kyung-soo plays tap-dancing hero in prisoner-of-war drama
Review | At Eternity’s Gate film review: Willem Dafoe mesmerises as Vincent van Gogh in conventional biopic

Set at the end of the tortured painter’s life, the story does not really cover any new ground. The film’s lack of originality is saved by Dafoe’s inspired performance.

1 Jan 2019 - 5:23PM

Set at the end of the tortured painter’s life, the story does not really cover any new ground. The film’s lack of originality is saved by Dafoe’s inspired performance.

At Eternity’s Gate film review: Willem Dafoe mesmerises as Vincent van Gogh in conventional biopic
Burning director Lee Chang-dong: the South Korean’s six feature films ranked, from good to great

Director’s films champion individuals struggling on the fringes of society, and offer a platform for actors to produce their best work

26 Dec 2018 - 8:03PM

Director’s films champion individuals struggling on the fringes of society, and offer a platform for actors to produce their best work

Burning director Lee Chang-dong: the South Korean’s six feature films ranked, from good to great
Review | Million Dollar Man film review: money is bad, or so this condescending cautionary tale reminds us for two hours

This story about a Japanese lottery winner who has his winnings stolen has little to say. Despite the cast and stunning backdrop the film is laborious and condescending.

13 Dec 2018 - 12:08PM

This story about a Japanese lottery winner who has his winnings stolen has little to say. Despite the cast and stunning backdrop the film is laborious and condescending.

Million Dollar Man film review: money is bad, or so this condescending cautionary tale reminds us for two hours
Nicolas Cage on channelling Andy Warhol, learning from John Woo, and possibly his wildest film yet

The prolific actor says he was inspired by Warhol’s ‘marvellous collages’ of entertainment icons, and that John Woo showed him how to stretch himself; he talks about new film Mandy and working with a Japanese eccentric.

14 Dec 2018 - 12:48PM

The prolific actor says he was inspired by Warhol’s ‘marvellous collages’ of entertainment icons, and that John Woo showed him how to stretch himself; he talks about new film Mandy and working with a Japanese eccentric.

Nicolas Cage on channelling Andy Warhol, learning from John Woo, and possibly his wildest film yet
Review | Homestay film review: Thai supernatural drama rides on charm of its stars, falls on its clumsy script

Bad Genius star Teeradon Supapunpinyo and idol pop group BNK48’s Cherprang Areekul lead fantastical mystery that morphs into hackneyed melodrama; story of a spirit that inhabits body of a recently deceased teen has eye-catching visual effects.

6 Dec 2018 - 3:22PM

Bad Genius star Teeradon Supapunpinyo and idol pop group BNK48’s Cherprang Areekul lead fantastical mystery that morphs into hackneyed melodrama; story of a spirit that inhabits body of a recently deceased teen has eye-catching visual effects.

Homestay film review: Thai supernatural drama rides on charm of its stars, falls on its clumsy script
Review | Life Itself film review: Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde in self-important family melodrama

Dan Fogelman’s trite film charts the repercussions of a traumatic event on four generations of one family; committed performances from the likes of Antonio Banderas and Annette Bening are not enough to save it.

5 Dec 2018 - 8:03PM

Dan Fogelman’s trite film charts the repercussions of a traumatic event on four generations of one family; committed performances from the likes of Antonio Banderas and Annette Bening are not enough to save it.

Life Itself film review: Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde in self-important family melodrama
Review | Call Boy film review: sexually explicit drama about Japanese male prostitute is more tiresome than titillating

Story of an emotionally detached student who becomes a gigolo is shot with all the panache of a 1990s whisky commercial; Tori Matsuzaka is painfully uncharismatic in the lead role

5 Dec 2018 - 7:07AM

Story of an emotionally detached student who becomes a gigolo is shot with all the panache of a 1990s whisky commercial; Tori Matsuzaka is painfully uncharismatic in the lead role

Call Boy film review: sexually explicit drama about Japanese male prostitute is more tiresome than titillating