James Mottram

Latest from James Mottram

Rock music still a platform for protest, says Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, as he talks about Us + Them, his new concert movie

Waters says he has ‘run up against a huge brick wall’ championing the Palestinian cause, something referenced in his two-hour concert movie featuring footage from recently ended 156-date tour. The film debuted at the Venice Film Festival.

16 Sep 2019 - 7:16PM

Waters says he has ‘run up against a huge brick wall’ championing the Palestinian cause, something referenced in his two-hour concert movie featuring footage from recently ended 156-date tour. The film debuted at the Venice Film Festival.

Rock music still a platform for protest, says Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, as he talks about Us + Them, his new concert movie
Joker director Todd Phillips’ 10 films ranked, from worst to best, following his Venice Golden Lion win

Best known for The Hangover trilogy, Phillips was a peer of Will Ferrell, Luke Wilson and Vince Vaughn – all of whom he’s worked with. You’d never have predicted his Golden Lion triumph based on this collection of films.

11 Sep 2019 - 6:36PM

Best known for The Hangover trilogy, Phillips was a peer of Will Ferrell, Luke Wilson and Vince Vaughn – all of whom he’s worked with. You’d never have predicted his Golden Lion triumph based on this collection of films.

Joker director Todd Phillips’ 10 films ranked, from worst to best, following his Venice Golden Lion win
Venice 2019: biggest losers of the film festival, from women directors to MeToo to true stories

Prizes for films by Roman Polanski and Nate Parker represented a loss for the MeToo movement, while early favourite The Painted Bird and some mediocre true-to-life stories went home empty-handed.

8 Sep 2019 - 5:15PM

Prizes for films by Roman Polanski and Nate Parker represented a loss for the MeToo movement, while early favourite The Painted Bird and some mediocre true-to-life stories went home empty-handed.

Venice 2019: biggest losers of the film festival, from women directors to MeToo to true stories
Venice 2019: six takeaways from the film festival, from Oscar contenders to hit Asian cinema

With the 2019 Venice Film Festival ending yesterday, here are the key things we learned from the star-studded 11-day event.

8 Sep 2019 - 11:45AM

With the 2019 Venice Film Festival ending yesterday, here are the key things we learned from the star-studded 11-day event.

Venice 2019: six takeaways from the film festival, from Oscar contenders to hit Asian cinema
Review | Venice 2019: Saturday Fiction film review – Gong Li in a Chinese Casablanca, Lou Ye’s evocative spy thriller

Black-and-white tale of spies, lovers, desperation and betrayal set in Japanese-occupied wartime Shanghai feels like a Chinese version of Casablanca; Gong Li excels as an actress in a story where no one is who they seem to be.

5 Sep 2019 - 12:00PM

Black-and-white tale of spies, lovers, desperation and betrayal set in Japanese-occupied wartime Shanghai feels like a Chinese version of Casablanca; Gong Li excels as an actress in a story where no one is who they seem to be.

Venice 2019: Saturday Fiction film review – Gong Li in a Chinese Casablanca, Lou Ye’s evocative spy thriller
‘All the evil came out’: filmmaker Yonfan talks Hong Kong protests and his 1967-set film No.7 Cherry Lane

Yonfan recalls 1967, when Hong Kong was rocked by riots, but says it is a coincidence new film No.7 Cherry Lane, with that violence as a backdrop, has appeared now. He says he is troubled by how ‘all the evil’ has come out in the city now.

4 Sep 2019 - 7:20PM

Yonfan recalls 1967, when Hong Kong was rocked by riots, but says it is a coincidence new film No.7 Cherry Lane, with that violence as a backdrop, has appeared now. He says he is troubled by how ‘all the evil’ has come out in the city now.

‘All the evil came out’: filmmaker Yonfan talks Hong Kong protests and his 1967-set film No.7 Cherry Lane
Review | Venice 2019: Joker film review – Joaquin Phoenix excels as DC Comics super villain in wrenching origin story

Director Todd Phillips takes inspiration from Martin Scorsese for this sublime portrayal of disturbed loner Arthur Fleck and his transformation. Phoenix gives one of the performances of the year.

2 Sep 2019 - 11:00AM

Director Todd Phillips takes inspiration from Martin Scorsese for this sublime portrayal of disturbed loner Arthur Fleck and his transformation. Phoenix gives one of the performances of the year.

Venice 2019: Joker film review – Joaquin Phoenix excels as DC Comics super villain in wrenching origin story
Review | Venice 2019: Ad Astra film review – Brad Pitt shines in James Gray’s philosophical sci-fi masterpiece

Brad Pitt gives a career defining performance in this beautifully shot and scripted film. James Gray makes good use of his big budget, which is reflected in the set pieces and camera work.

30 Aug 2019 - 6:03AM

Brad Pitt gives a career defining performance in this beautifully shot and scripted film. James Gray makes good use of his big budget, which is reflected in the set pieces and camera work.

Venice 2019: Ad Astra film review – Brad Pitt shines in James Gray’s philosophical sci-fi masterpiece
Review | Venice 2019: The Truth film review – Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche in Hirokazu Koreeda’s Paris-set drama

The Japanese director’s first film since winning last year’s Palme d’Or in Cannes is an intimate family drama, much like his previous work. His observations of human behaviour remain razor-sharp as Deneuve and Binoche trade barbs.

29 Aug 2019 - 10:59AM

The Japanese director’s first film since winning last year’s Palme d’Or in Cannes is an intimate family drama, much like his previous work. His observations of human behaviour remain razor-sharp as Deneuve and Binoche trade barbs.

Venice 2019: The Truth film review – Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche in Hirokazu Koreeda’s Paris-set drama
Charles Manson in Mindhunter season two: Netflix serial killer series turns eye on infamous cult leader

Season two of the Netflix crime thriller series features a host of new serial killers from the 1970s and 80s, but it is Charles Manson, played by Australian actor Damon Herriman, who will surely draw the most interest.

18 Aug 2019 - 8:33PM

Season two of the Netflix crime thriller series features a host of new serial killers from the 1970s and 80s, but it is Charles Manson, played by Australian actor Damon Herriman, who will surely draw the most interest.

Charles Manson in Mindhunter season two: Netflix serial killer series turns eye on infamous cult leader
Review | Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark film review: horror for teenagers blends adolescent angst and campfire yarns

Three unpopular nerds visit a haunted house, discover a book left by a tortured soul, and all hell breaks loose. This is a horror film for children that really works.

9 Aug 2019 - 1:57PM

Three unpopular nerds visit a haunted house, discover a book left by a tortured soul, and all hell breaks loose. This is a horror film for children that really works.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark film review: horror for teenagers blends adolescent angst and campfire yarns
Review | The Angry Birds Movie 2 review: Awkwafina, Leslie Jones join fun and breezy animated sequel

The Birds and Pigs are back, but this time they are united against a common enemy, Xeta, an evil bird of prey. This sequel is littered with 1980s songs, plenty of visual gags, bright animation and very little subtlety.

1 Aug 2019 - 8:00PM

The Birds and Pigs are back, but this time they are united against a common enemy, Xeta, an evil bird of prey. This sequel is littered with 1980s songs, plenty of visual gags, bright animation and very little subtlety.

The Angry Birds Movie 2 review: Awkwafina, Leslie Jones join fun and breezy animated sequel
Review | Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw film review – Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham go into Bond territory in spin-off

With expensive cars, over-the-top action, a ludicrous plot and plenty of on-screen chemistry, this Fast & Furious spin-off does not disappoint. It’s the closest that the Fast & Furious films have got to James Bond.

1 Aug 2019 - 2:12AM

With expensive cars, over-the-top action, a ludicrous plot and plenty of on-screen chemistry, this Fast & Furious spin-off does not disappoint. It’s the closest that the Fast & Furious films have got to James Bond.

Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw film review – Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham go into Bond territory in spin-off
Brad Pitt and Quentin Tarantino on Bruce Lee fight scene in Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film, set in the late 1960s, the time of Charles Manson and the Sharon Tate murders, is a love letter to Hollywood. Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Margot Robbie talk about the characters they play and the film’s message.

24 Jul 2019 - 6:31PM

Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film, set in the late 1960s, the time of Charles Manson and the Sharon Tate murders, is a love letter to Hollywood. Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Margot Robbie talk about the characters they play and the film’s message.

Brad Pitt and Quentin Tarantino on Bruce Lee fight scene in Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
Review | The Lion King film review: Disney’s photo-real remake is an unerringly faithful take on 1994 animated film

Beyoncé, Donald Glover, Seth Rogen and James Earl Jones are among the stars voicing the animal characters in Disney’s almost Shakespearean tale; Jungle Book director Jon Favreau retains the Elton John-Tim Rice lyrics from the beloved original.

23 Jul 2019 - 6:21AM

Beyoncé, Donald Glover, Seth Rogen and James Earl Jones are among the stars voicing the animal characters in Disney’s almost Shakespearean tale; Jungle Book director Jon Favreau retains the Elton John-Tim Rice lyrics from the beloved original.

The Lion King film review: Disney’s photo-real remake is an unerringly faithful take on 1994 animated film
Elevated horror: how films like Midsommar, The Lighthouse and Doctor Sleep are bringing new thrills to the genre

Offering more than simple scares and overused tropes, highly original ‘elevated horror’ films such as A Quiet Place, Get Out and Hereditary have been among the best released over the last few years.

18 Jul 2019 - 3:50PM

Offering more than simple scares and overused tropes, highly original ‘elevated horror’ films such as A Quiet Place, Get Out and Hereditary have been among the best released over the last few years.

Elevated horror: how films like Midsommar, The Lighthouse and Doctor Sleep are bringing new thrills to the genre
Review | Spider-Man: Far from Home film review – Marvel takes a fun European holiday after Avengers: Endgame

Still mourning the death of Iron Man, Spider-Man’s teen alter-ego Peter Parker takes a much-needed trip to Europe. Unfortunately, Nick Fury has other plans after the arrival of a superhero from an alternate-reality.

28 Jun 2019 - 1:07PM

Still mourning the death of Iron Man, Spider-Man’s teen alter-ego Peter Parker takes a much-needed trip to Europe. Unfortunately, Nick Fury has other plans after the arrival of a superhero from an alternate-reality.

Spider-Man: Far from Home film review – Marvel takes a fun European holiday after Avengers: Endgame
US$1.5 billion horror franchise The Conjuring Universe and new film Annabelle Comes Home explained

Director Gary Dauberman talks about his debut film, script writing the Annabelle films and keeping the formula fresh. Apart from the US$1.5 billion Conjuring Universe franchise, Dauberman has also worked on Stephen King horror films.

26 Jun 2019 - 7:46PM

Director Gary Dauberman talks about his debut film, script writing the Annabelle films and keeping the formula fresh. Apart from the US$1.5 billion Conjuring Universe franchise, Dauberman has also worked on Stephen King horror films.

US$1.5 billion horror franchise The Conjuring Universe and new film Annabelle Comes Home explained
Review | Child’s Play film review: killer doll Chucky returns in hugely enjoyable horror comedy

Director Lars Klevberg’s Child’s Play pays tribute to its predecessor, but delivers something fresh out the box.

21 Jun 2019 - 1:03PM

Director Lars Klevberg’s Child’s Play pays tribute to its predecessor, but delivers something fresh out the box.

Child’s Play film review: killer doll Chucky returns in hugely enjoyable horror comedy
How Rocketman, Bohemian Rhapsody mark new era of rock biopics as viewers seek out real-life superheroes

Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher and star Taron Egerton talk about the recently released film about Elton John, which comes before a number of upcoming features focusing on stars including Elvis Presley and David Bowie.

20 Jun 2019 - 2:46PM

Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher and star Taron Egerton talk about the recently released film about Elton John, which comes before a number of upcoming features focusing on stars including Elvis Presley and David Bowie.

How Rocketman, Bohemian Rhapsody mark new era of rock biopics as viewers seek out real-life superheroes
Review | Toy Story 4 film review: Woody and friends return in Pixar’s wonderful new instalment

Featuring fresh voices including Tony Hale, Christina Hendricks, Ally Maki and Keanu Reeves, Toy Story 4 is full of fun and exciting new characters and is yet another dazzling showcase of animation from the Pixar stable.

17 Jun 2019 - 7:00PM

Featuring fresh voices including Tony Hale, Christina Hendricks, Ally Maki and Keanu Reeves, Toy Story 4 is full of fun and exciting new characters and is yet another dazzling showcase of animation from the Pixar stable.

Toy Story 4 film review: Woody and friends return in Pixar’s wonderful new instalment
The filmmaker who thinks television is ‘dead as a doornail’: Nicolas Winding Refn on streaming

Danish director Nicholas Winding Refn, who made Drive and new Amazon Prime drama Too Old to Die Young, believes streaming offers filmmakers a broad canvas and that conventional television is too restrictive.

16 Jun 2019 - 6:59PM

Danish director Nicholas Winding Refn, who made Drive and new Amazon Prime drama Too Old to Die Young, believes streaming offers filmmakers a broad canvas and that conventional television is too restrictive.

The filmmaker who thinks television is ‘dead as a doornail’: Nicolas Winding Refn on streaming
Review | Men in Black: International film review – Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson in forgettable sci-fi action comedy

The fourth MIB film in 22 years, International takes the action to London and has a new cast of stars. Unfortunately the sequel fails to excite and, like its best gadget, is entirely forgettable.

12 Jun 2019 - 9:00PM

The fourth MIB film in 22 years, International takes the action to London and has a new cast of stars. Unfortunately the sequel fails to excite and, like its best gadget, is entirely forgettable.

Men in Black: International film review – Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson in forgettable sci-fi action comedy
By the Grace of God: Francois Ozon on his Catholic Church abuse drama, France’s version of Spotlight

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival, By the Grace of God focuses on the sexual abuse scandal behind the ongoing trial of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin – dubbed ‘the trial of silence’ by French media.

5 Jun 2019 - 8:00PM

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival, By the Grace of God focuses on the sexual abuse scandal behind the ongoing trial of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin – dubbed ‘the trial of silence’ by French media.

By the Grace of God: Francois Ozon on his Catholic Church abuse drama, France’s version of Spotlight
Review | Godzilla II: King of the Monsters film review – Millie Bobby Brown is only high point in dark, foggy monster movie

Godzilla returns in this dreary monster thriller, plagued by terrible CGI and rotten dialogue. Millie Bobby Brown is the only stand-out in her role as Vera Farmiga’s daughter.

29 May 2019 - 5:38PM

Godzilla returns in this dreary monster thriller, plagued by terrible CGI and rotten dialogue. Millie Bobby Brown is the only stand-out in her role as Vera Farmiga’s daughter.

Godzilla II: King of the Monsters film review – Millie Bobby Brown is only high point in dark, foggy monster movie
Cannes 2019: the biggest losers and winners, the most talked-about films and a quirky movie that caught our eye

The hype about Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse proved justified, Quentin Tarantino and Pedro Almodóvar were passed over, and women filmmakers were big winners at the Cannes Film Festival, where Asia took home the top prize again.

29 May 2019 - 6:12PM

The hype about Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse proved justified, Quentin Tarantino and Pedro Almodóvar were passed over, and women filmmakers were big winners at the Cannes Film Festival, where Asia took home the top prize again.

Cannes 2019: the biggest losers and winners, the most talked-about films and a quirky movie that caught our eye
Good Omens: will gods smile on TV adaptation of famous book? All the early signs look like they will

Neil Gaiman has adapted his and Terry Pratchett’s beloved joint novel for an Amazon Prime series starring Michael Sheen and David Tennant, while Benedict Cumberbatch and Frances McDormand voice Satan and God.

26 May 2019 - 7:21PM

Neil Gaiman has adapted his and Terry Pratchett’s beloved joint novel for an Amazon Prime series starring Michael Sheen and David Tennant, while Benedict Cumberbatch and Frances McDormand voice Satan and God.

Good Omens: will gods smile on TV adaptation of famous book? All the early signs look like they will
Review | Cannes 2019: Parasite film review – Bong Joon-ho’s sublime family drama lends a demented twist to class divide

Story of a poor family who con their way into working for a rich couple is just made for the big screen. Superbly scripted and shot, the acting is excellent. Full of twists, shocks, and the blackest humour, this is bravura filmmaking.

22 May 2019 - 5:41PM

Story of a poor family who con their way into working for a rich couple is just made for the big screen. Superbly scripted and shot, the acting is excellent. Full of twists, shocks, and the blackest humour, this is bravura filmmaking.

Cannes 2019: Parasite film review – Bong Joon-ho’s sublime family drama lends a demented twist to class divide
Review | Cannes 2019: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood film review – Tarantino’s slow-burn love letter to the movies

Set in 1969, months before the Manson Family murders, and built around cinema’s best buddy bromance in years, between Leonardo DiCaprio’s washed up actor and his loyal stunt double Brad Pitt, this is wild and weird.

22 May 2019 - 11:54AM

Set in 1969, months before the Manson Family murders, and built around cinema’s best buddy bromance in years, between Leonardo DiCaprio’s washed up actor and his loyal stunt double Brad Pitt, this is wild and weird.

Cannes 2019: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood film review – Tarantino’s slow-burn love letter to the movies
Review | Cannes 2019: A Hidden Life film review – Terrence Malick returns to form with profound second world war drama

True story of a conscientious objector in an Austrian village who would rather die than swear allegiance to Hitler is superbly acted and beautifully shot.

20 May 2019 - 12:45PM

True story of a conscientious objector in an Austrian village who would rather die than swear allegiance to Hitler is superbly acted and beautifully shot.

Cannes 2019: A Hidden Life film review – Terrence Malick returns to form with profound second world war drama