James Mottram

Latest from James Mottram

Review | Unhinged movie review: Russell Crowe portrays pure evil in road-rage thriller

A woman in a hurry, stuck behind a car at a traffic stop that won’t move when the light goes green, honks her horn – and a monster is unleashed. Directed with adrenaline-fuelled verve, this movie will leave you unnerved.

31 Jul 2020 - 12:34PM

A woman in a hurry, stuck behind a car at a traffic stop that won’t move when the light goes green, honks her horn – and a monster is unleashed. Directed with adrenaline-fuelled verve, this movie will leave you unnerved.

Unhinged movie review: Russell Crowe portrays pure evil in road-rage thriller
How DC plans to overtake Marvel: the return of Wonder Woman, Justice League’s Snyder Cut and DC FanDome

The DC Extended Universe has struggled to match its rival Marvel, but its fortunes could change with the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984, a new Batman movie, and the much requested Justice League Snyder Cut.

29 Jul 2020 - 6:39PM

The DC Extended Universe has struggled to match its rival Marvel, but its fortunes could change with the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984, a new Batman movie, and the much requested Justice League Snyder Cut.

How DC plans to overtake Marvel: the return of Wonder Woman, Justice League’s Snyder Cut and DC FanDome
Director of Pixar’s Onward on taking his own childhood loss as inspiration for film’s story

Dan Scanlon was a year old and his brother three when their father died in a car accident. Onward, voiced by Tom Holland, Chris Pratt and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, imagines two brothers can magically bring back their father.

17 Jun 2020 - 5:46PM

Dan Scanlon was a year old and his brother three when their father died in a car accident. Onward, voiced by Tom Holland, Chris Pratt and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, imagines two brothers can magically bring back their father.

Director of Pixar’s Onward on taking his own childhood loss as inspiration for film’s story
We Are One: A Global Film Festival offers free movies streamed on YouTube and curated by Cannes, Venice and other festivals

YouTube will be streaming content from international film festivals for free in We Are One: A Global Film Festival, starting on May 29. As well as 13 world premieres, there will be documentaries, short films and virtual talks.

28 May 2020 - 4:42PM

YouTube will be streaming content from international film festivals for free in We Are One: A Global Film Festival, starting on May 29. As well as 13 world premieres, there will be documentaries, short films and virtual talks.

We Are One: A Global Film Festival offers free movies streamed on YouTube and curated by Cannes, Venice and other festivals
Cannes 2020: five films, from Pixar, Spike Lee, Wes Anderson and others, selected for the now cancelled festival, and their fate going forward

Cannes Film Festival has revealed five of the films it would have screened had it not been cancelled due to coronavirus, from Pixar, Spike Lee, Wes Anderson and more. Here’s what we know of the films, and when we’ll see them.

16 May 2020 - 10:34AM

Cannes Film Festival has revealed five of the films it would have screened had it not been cancelled due to coronavirus, from Pixar, Spike Lee, Wes Anderson and more. Here’s what we know of the films, and when we’ll see them.

Cannes 2020: five films, from Pixar, Spike Lee, Wes Anderson and others, selected for the now cancelled festival, and their fate going forward
Netflix series The Eddy will wow music fans – Paris-set drama is a love letter to jazz, its grime and glamour

Set in a contemporary Parisian jazz club, four directors took turns shooting The Eddy’s eight episodes, including La La Land’s Damien Chazelle, who makes his TV debut.

11 May 2020 - 7:42PM

Set in a contemporary Parisian jazz club, four directors took turns shooting The Eddy’s eight episodes, including La La Land’s Damien Chazelle, who makes his TV debut.

Netflix series The Eddy will wow music fans – Paris-set drama is a love letter to jazz, its grime and glamour
Japan movie magic: how anime Akira influenced Stranger Things and The Matrix, and predicted Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympics and cancelling them

Akira, a classic anime from 1988, influenced the creators of Stranger Things, The Matrix and other productions. It has Tokyo winning race to host the 2020 Olympics, then having to cancel the games – an echo of recent events.

6 May 2020 - 6:05PM

Akira, a classic anime from 1988, influenced the creators of Stranger Things, The Matrix and other productions. It has Tokyo winning race to host the 2020 Olympics, then having to cancel the games – an echo of recent events.

Japan movie magic: how anime Akira influenced Stranger Things and The Matrix, and predicted Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympics and cancelling them
Review | Emma film review: Anya Taylor-Joy brings Jane Austen novel to life in beautiful adaptation

Emma, the latest adaptation of Jane Austen’s early 19th century novel, is directed by former rock photographer Autumn de Wilde. Anya Taylor-Joy and Mia Goth light up the screen, and the set and costume designs bring the era vividly to life.

20 Apr 2020 - 4:04PM

Emma, the latest adaptation of Jane Austen’s early 19th century novel, is directed by former rock photographer Autumn de Wilde. Anya Taylor-Joy and Mia Goth light up the screen, and the set and costume designs bring the era vividly to life.

Emma film review: Anya Taylor-Joy brings Jane Austen novel to life in beautiful adaptation
Death Stranding, Fallout, Wasteland: are apocalyptic games what’s needed right now during the coronavirus crisis?

Video games with apocalyptic themes like Death Standing, Fallout and Wasteland may not sound like something people would want to play during a coronavirus pandemic, but they can also bring some inspiration.

9 Apr 2020 - 8:33PM

Video games with apocalyptic themes like Death Standing, Fallout and Wasteland may not sound like something people would want to play during a coronavirus pandemic, but they can also bring some inspiration.

Death Stranding, Fallout, Wasteland: are apocalyptic games what’s needed right now during the coronavirus crisis?
What’s next for Marvel Cinematic Universe now coronavirus outbreak has delayed Black Widow and other summer releases?

Marvel Cinematic Universe fans must wait longer than anticipated to see Angelina Jolie in The Eternals, Black Widow with Scarlett Johansson, and Benedict Cumberbatch in Dr Strange sequel. Delays could mess up studio’s grand plans.

8 Apr 2020 - 5:57PM

Marvel Cinematic Universe fans must wait longer than anticipated to see Angelina Jolie in The Eternals, Black Widow with Scarlett Johansson, and Benedict Cumberbatch in Dr Strange sequel. Delays could mess up studio’s grand plans.

What’s next for Marvel Cinematic Universe now coronavirus outbreak has delayed Black Widow and other summer releases?
Review | Trolls World Tour film review: animated musical sequel a perfect tonic for these distressing times

Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick reprise their roles as happy trolls in this endlessly joyous story about diversity. The songs are infectious and the jolly movie is just what parents with young children need during the lockdown.

6 Apr 2020 - 1:13PM

Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick reprise their roles as happy trolls in this endlessly joyous story about diversity. The songs are infectious and the jolly movie is just what parents with young children need during the lockdown.

Trolls World Tour film review: animated musical sequel a perfect tonic for these distressing times
Ken Loach on his new film Sorry We Missed You, an attack on zero-hours contracts and the British gig economy

Ken Loach is known for films about social injustice, and his latest looks at how Britain’s gig economy cheats the working poor. The van driving main character is sinking into debt, trapped by a ‘clever’ zero-hours contract.

18 Mar 2020 - 6:18PM

Ken Loach is known for films about social injustice, and his latest looks at how Britain’s gig economy cheats the working poor. The van driving main character is sinking into debt, trapped by a ‘clever’ zero-hours contract.

Ken Loach on his new film Sorry We Missed You, an attack on zero-hours contracts and the British gig economy
Review | Bloodshot film review: Vin Diesel is all muscles and mumbles in one-note comic book adaptation

Vin Diesel does not impress in this formulaic tale of a murdered and rebuilt soldier who is out for revenge. Full of clichés and unoriginal, the film fails to tick any of the boxes.

12 Mar 2020 - 12:39PM

Vin Diesel does not impress in this formulaic tale of a murdered and rebuilt soldier who is out for revenge. Full of clichés and unoriginal, the film fails to tick any of the boxes.

Bloodshot film review: Vin Diesel is all muscles and mumbles in one-note comic book adaptation
Review | The Hunt film review: violent political fable proves little more than casual exploitation

The Hunt wants to be a violent political fable about the rich-poor divide and Trump-era America, but proves little more than casual exploitation built on flimsy ideas and plenty of savagery.

11 Mar 2020 - 9:55PM

The Hunt wants to be a violent political fable about the rich-poor divide and Trump-era America, but proves little more than casual exploitation built on flimsy ideas and plenty of savagery.

The Hunt film review: violent political fable proves little more than casual exploitation
Review | My Spy film review: Guardians of the Galaxy’s Dave Bautista stars in entertaining, espionage-themed family comedy

Peter Segal’s film does not break new ground, but there’s still plenty to enjoy thanks to Dave Bautista (of Guardians of the Galaxy fame), who has a real feel for comedy and timing.

11 Mar 2020 - 5:06PM

Peter Segal’s film does not break new ground, but there’s still plenty to enjoy thanks to Dave Bautista (of Guardians of the Galaxy fame), who has a real feel for comedy and timing.

My Spy film review: Guardians of the Galaxy’s Dave Bautista stars in entertaining, espionage-themed family comedy
Best of Berlin film festival 2020: banned Iranian director claims top prize, Asian cinema shines

Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof won the top prize at the Berlin film festival for There Is No Evil, a powerful work about executions in Iran, while South Korea’s Hong Sang-soo won best director for The Woman Who Ran.

4 Mar 2020 - 9:38PM

Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof won the top prize at the Berlin film festival for There Is No Evil, a powerful work about executions in Iran, while South Korea’s Hong Sang-soo won best director for The Woman Who Ran.

Best of Berlin film festival 2020: banned Iranian director claims top prize, Asian cinema shines
Review | Berlin 2020: Days film review – Tsai Ming-liang’s meditative drama offers another dialogue-free experience from the director

Largely a dialogue-free experience, Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang’s new film ‘Days’, starring Lee Kang-sheng and Anong Houngheuangsy, is a long, slow contemplative look at two men who come together for a brief liaison.

28 Feb 2020 - 10:41AM

Largely a dialogue-free experience, Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang’s new film ‘Days’, starring Lee Kang-sheng and Anong Houngheuangsy, is a long, slow contemplative look at two men who come together for a brief liaison.

Berlin 2020: Days film review – Tsai Ming-liang’s meditative drama offers another dialogue-free experience from the director
Review | Berlin 2020: The Roads Not Taken film review – Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning in time-shifting dementia drama

The Roads Not Taken stars Javier Bardem as a dementia sufferer and Elle Fanning as his loving daughter in British director Sally Potter’s film that gives another unique perspective on the human condition.

27 Feb 2020 - 5:11PM

The Roads Not Taken stars Javier Bardem as a dementia sufferer and Elle Fanning as his loving daughter in British director Sally Potter’s film that gives another unique perspective on the human condition.

Berlin 2020: The Roads Not Taken film review – Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning in time-shifting dementia drama
‘My gift’: Chinese director Jia Zhangke on using China’s most influential writers to paint a subtle portrait of country’s history since 1949

Jia Zhangke, part of China’s so-called ‘sixth generation’ of filmmakers, says younger people will be able to draw from the recollections of his interviewees for his latest documentary, Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue.

26 Feb 2020 - 6:45PM

Jia Zhangke, part of China’s so-called ‘sixth generation’ of filmmakers, says younger people will be able to draw from the recollections of his interviewees for his latest documentary, Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue.

‘My gift’: Chinese director Jia Zhangke on using China’s most influential writers to paint a subtle portrait of country’s history since 1949
Review | Berlin 2020: Onward film review – Pixar’s magic-infused family tale is both funny and touching

A family tale about finding your roots and coming to appreciate what you already have, Onward is very funny but also touchingly sentimental, with great voice work from Tom Holland, Chris Pratt and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

22 Feb 2020 - 5:01AM

A family tale about finding your roots and coming to appreciate what you already have, Onward is very funny but also touchingly sentimental, with great voice work from Tom Holland, Chris Pratt and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Berlin 2020: Onward film review – Pixar’s magic-infused family tale is both funny and touching
Review | Berlin 2020: Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue film review: Jia Zhangke documentary is a spiritual depiction of China

Jia Zhangke looks at China’s history since 1949 through the eyes of four writers from different generations. The documentary includes extracts from the writers’ books and interviews and is featuring at the 70th Berlin Film Festival

22 Feb 2020 - 7:38AM

Jia Zhangke looks at China’s history since 1949 through the eyes of four writers from different generations. The documentary includes extracts from the writers’ books and interviews and is featuring at the 70th Berlin Film Festival

Berlin 2020: Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue film review: Jia Zhangke documentary is a spiritual depiction of China
Review | Berlin 2020: My Salinger Year film review – Margaret Qualley stars in festival opener, a love letter to literature

Featuring an impressive central turn from Margaret Qualley, there’s something marvellously old-fashioned about My Salinger Year, a tale set on the cusp of the digital age in the office of a Manhattan literary agency.

21 Feb 2020 - 12:48PM

Featuring an impressive central turn from Margaret Qualley, there’s something marvellously old-fashioned about My Salinger Year, a tale set on the cusp of the digital age in the office of a Manhattan literary agency.

Berlin 2020: My Salinger Year film review – Margaret Qualley stars in festival opener, a love letter to literature
Review | The Call of the Wild film review: Harrison Ford in live action/CGI retelling of Jack London classic

Harrison Ford plays his most moving role for years as the loner and narrator of this classic tale of a stolen pet forced to become a sled dog. The CGI makes for stunning landscapes, even if the animals don’t always look real.

18 Feb 2020 - 4:16AM

Harrison Ford plays his most moving role for years as the loner and narrator of this classic tale of a stolen pet forced to become a sled dog. The CGI makes for stunning landscapes, even if the animals don’t always look real.

The Call of the Wild film review: Harrison Ford in live action/CGI retelling of Jack London classic
Review | Sonic the Hedgehog film review: Jim Carrey vs Sega’s beloved video game character in family comedy

Sonic the Hedgehog, from the 1990s video game, takes on the evil Dr Robotnik, played by Jim Carrey in a welcome return to a major role. Sonic is on Earth and trying to regain his lost rings in this amusing, high-speed kids’ film.

13 Feb 2020 - 2:00PM

Sonic the Hedgehog, from the 1990s video game, takes on the evil Dr Robotnik, played by Jim Carrey in a welcome return to a major role. Sonic is on Earth and trying to regain his lost rings in this amusing, high-speed kids’ film.

Sonic the Hedgehog film review: Jim Carrey vs Sega’s beloved video game character in family comedy
Review | Birds of Prey film review: Margot Robbie reprises Harley Quinn role in violent, grungy spin-off

Margot Robbie reprises her Harley Quinn role in this violent, grungy spin-off, but despite Ewan McGregor’s enjoyable performance and entertaining fight sequences, the script doesn’t produce the same fireworks.

6 Feb 2020 - 4:20AM

Margot Robbie reprises her Harley Quinn role in this violent, grungy spin-off, but despite Ewan McGregor’s enjoyable performance and entertaining fight sequences, the script doesn’t produce the same fireworks.

Birds of Prey film review: Margot Robbie reprises Harley Quinn role in violent, grungy spin-off
Review | Bad Boys for Life film review: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence reunite for buddy cop sequel

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reunite for buddy cop sequel Bad Boys for Life, with the chemistry between the pair just as potent as it once was and no shortage of spectacular action sequences to enjoy.

16 Jan 2020 - 4:38PM

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reunite for buddy cop sequel Bad Boys for Life, with the chemistry between the pair just as potent as it once was and no shortage of spectacular action sequences to enjoy.

Bad Boys for Life film review: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence reunite for buddy cop sequel
Starring Hu Ge and with a plot worthy of Raymond Chandler, film noir by Diao Yinan is a Chinese box office hit, and he says it’s a genre he’ll stick to

He won the Berlin Film Festival’s top prize for Black Coal, Thin Ice. Now Diao Yinan’s stylish film The Wild Goose Lake, starring Hu Ge, is a Chinese box office hit, and the director knows he’s onto something exploring China’s criminal underbelly.

8 Jan 2020 - 8:26PM

He won the Berlin Film Festival’s top prize for Black Coal, Thin Ice. Now Diao Yinan’s stylish film The Wild Goose Lake, starring Hu Ge, is a Chinese box office hit, and the director knows he’s onto something exploring China’s criminal underbelly.

Starring Hu Ge and with a plot worthy of Raymond Chandler, film noir by Diao Yinan is a Chinese box office hit, and he says it’s a genre he’ll stick to
Review | The Gentlemen film review: with laddish crime caper, Guy Ritchie returns to his early roots

The storytelling is lively, if you don’t mind the swearing and the casual racial slurs, and the cast – led by Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam and Hugh Grant – are clearly having a ball. You might too.

19 Dec 2019 - 5:18PM

The storytelling is lively, if you don’t mind the swearing and the casual racial slurs, and the cast – led by Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam and Hugh Grant – are clearly having a ball. You might too.

The Gentlemen film review: with laddish crime caper, Guy Ritchie returns to his early roots
Review | Cats film review: messy big-screen treatment of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical

Despite starring Taylor Swift, film veterans Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen, and James Cordon and Rebel Wilson, this version of Cats proves a letdown. Lovers of Andrew Lloyd Webber will enjoy it, but that’s about all.

19 Dec 2019 - 2:46PM

Despite starring Taylor Swift, film veterans Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen, and James Cordon and Rebel Wilson, this version of Cats proves a letdown. Lovers of Andrew Lloyd Webber will enjoy it, but that’s about all.

Cats film review: messy big-screen treatment of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical
Review | Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker film review – Episode IX’s electric romp through galaxy and series’ history will bring tears to your eyes

Fast-paced, action-packed finale to sci-fi saga sees return of Luke Skywalker, The Emperor Palpatine and – yes – Princess Leia. Rey, still searching for her origins, Finn and Poe Dameron tear around the galaxy. The tender moments will move you to tears.

18 Dec 2019 - 4:08PM

Fast-paced, action-packed finale to sci-fi saga sees return of Luke Skywalker, The Emperor Palpatine and – yes – Princess Leia. Rey, still searching for her origins, Finn and Poe Dameron tear around the galaxy. The tender moments will move you to tears.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker film review – Episode IX’s electric romp through galaxy and series’ history will bring tears to your eyes