James Mottram

Latest from James Mottram

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
Review | Cannes 2019: Rocketman film review – Taron Egerton superb as Elton John in musical biopic

Styled as a fantasy musical, Dexter Fletcher’s film covers the base points of the singer’s life but doesn’t stick strictly to the facts; musical numbers are staged with panache, with Egerton commanding on stage.

17 May 2019 - 4:24PM

Styled as a fantasy musical, Dexter Fletcher’s film covers the base points of the singer’s life but doesn’t stick strictly to the facts; musical numbers are staged with panache, with Egerton commanding on stage.

Cannes 2019: Rocketman film review – Taron Egerton superb as Elton John in musical biopic
Review | Cannes 2019: The Dead Don’t Die film review – Jim Jarmusch has a blast with all-star zombie comedy

Selena Gomez, Tilda Swinton, Adam Driver, Tom Waits, and Chloe Sevigny star in this cops vs corpses story that’s full of in-jokes and Jarmusch references. Zombies have never looked as cool as this.

15 May 2019 - 11:22AM

Selena Gomez, Tilda Swinton, Adam Driver, Tom Waits, and Chloe Sevigny star in this cops vs corpses story that’s full of in-jokes and Jarmusch references. Zombies have never looked as cool as this.

Cannes 2019: The Dead Don’t Die film review – Jim Jarmusch has a blast with all-star zombie comedy
Review | Never Look Away film review: The Lives of Others director returns to form with Gerhard Richter-inspired drama

Story of the life of a German artist spans 30 years from his childhood in the 1930s. Oscar- winning director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck is supported by great casting; Sebastian Koch shines as a former Nazi eugenicist.

8 May 2019 - 7:00AM

Story of the life of a German artist spans 30 years from his childhood in the 1930s. Oscar- winning director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck is supported by great casting; Sebastian Koch shines as a former Nazi eugenicist.

Never Look Away film review: The Lives of Others director returns to form with Gerhard Richter-inspired drama
Review | Yesterday film review: a world without The Beatles – Ed Sheeran plays himself in Danny Boyle’s comedy

In this tale of a man who becomes the only person to have heard of The Beatles, Himesh Patel plays Jack, who becomes world famous singing Beatles songs after their existence is erased in a mysterious global blackout.

5 May 2019 - 1:00PM

In this tale of a man who becomes the only person to have heard of The Beatles, Himesh Patel plays Jack, who becomes world famous singing Beatles songs after their existence is erased in a mysterious global blackout.

Yesterday film review: a world without The Beatles – Ed Sheeran plays himself in Danny Boyle’s comedy
Review | Pokémon Detective Pikachu film review: Ryan Reynolds in surprisingly enjoyable fantasy mystery

This lavish tale of a Pokémon with amnesia is a mixture of CGI and live action and film noir. Reynolds voices Pikachu like a child-friendly version of his Deadpool character.

3 May 2019 - 9:30AM

This lavish tale of a Pokémon with amnesia is a mixture of CGI and live action and film noir. Reynolds voices Pikachu like a child-friendly version of his Deadpool character.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu film review: Ryan Reynolds in surprisingly enjoyable fantasy mystery
Vox Lux: why Natalie Portman turned into a pop star for dark tale of celebrity and mass shootings

Portman plays a girl who is injured in a shooting and records a tribute to the victims that makes her a star. The cast and director talk about Sia, celebrity, violence and the media.

1 May 2019 - 8:00PM

Portman plays a girl who is injured in a shooting and records a tribute to the victims that makes her a star. The cast and director talk about Sia, celebrity, violence and the media.

Vox Lux: why Natalie Portman turned into a pop star for dark tale of celebrity and mass shootings
Review | Girls of the Sun film review: Golshifteh Farahani fights ISIS in all-female war movie

Directed by Eva Husson, Girls of the Sun celebrates the indomitable female spirit as it follows an all-female battalion in the Kurdish army who fought against the Islamic extremists of ISIS.

30 Apr 2019 - 3:00PM

Directed by Eva Husson, Girls of the Sun celebrates the indomitable female spirit as it follows an all-female battalion in the Kurdish army who fought against the Islamic extremists of ISIS.

Girls of the Sun film review: Golshifteh Farahani fights ISIS in all-female war movie
Avengers: Endgame directors on their Marvel Cinematic Universe journey

Anthony and Joe Russo have directed four of the franchise’s films and were given responsibility to close the US$17 billion-grossing series. Both are well aware of the huge responsibility they have taken on, but feel the film will live up to its billing.

17 Apr 2019 - 8:38PM

Anthony and Joe Russo have directed four of the franchise’s films and were given responsibility to close the US$17 billion-grossing series. Both are well aware of the huge responsibility they have taken on, but feel the film will live up to its billing.

Avengers: Endgame directors on their Marvel Cinematic Universe journey
Review | Hellboy film review: Stranger Things’ David Harbour anchors kitsch and excessively gory reboot

Starring Stranger Things’ David Harbour this blood-splattered, ripsnorting reboot is sure to get your heart thumping. Harbour is an excellent Hellboy, delivering his sardonic put-downs just right.

12 Apr 2019 - 11:26AM

Starring Stranger Things’ David Harbour this blood-splattered, ripsnorting reboot is sure to get your heart thumping. Harbour is an excellent Hellboy, delivering his sardonic put-downs just right.

Hellboy film review: Stranger Things’ David Harbour anchors kitsch and excessively gory reboot
Game of Thrones Season 8: actors talk about series finale and fans’ funniest predictions

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Emilia Clarke, Sophie Turner and other Thrones stars gathered at London’s Corinthia Hotel recently to talk about saying goodbye and fans’ funniest theories on how it will all turn out.

9 Apr 2019 - 7:33PM

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Emilia Clarke, Sophie Turner and other Thrones stars gathered at London’s Corinthia Hotel recently to talk about saying goodbye and fans’ funniest theories on how it will all turn out.

Game of Thrones Season 8: actors talk about series finale and fans’ funniest predictions
Review | Dumbo film review: Tim Burton’s live-action take on 1941 Disney cartoon is a beautifully realised flight of fancy

Long-time Dumbo fans will get a kick out of the film, while a new generation of kids will surely fall for the playful pachyderm. And hats off to the film’s visual effects team, who have done wonderful job realising the elephant.

27 Mar 2019 - 12:28AM

Long-time Dumbo fans will get a kick out of the film, while a new generation of kids will surely fall for the playful pachyderm. And hats off to the film’s visual effects team, who have done wonderful job realising the elephant.

Dumbo film review: Tim Burton’s live-action take on 1941 Disney cartoon is a beautifully realised flight of fancy
Review | Shazam! film review: entertaining DC Comics superhero is a world away from Justice League

A teenage boy is given superpowers and an adult’s body in this fun, good-humoured story. The film is a little long, but enjoyable with Mark Strong putting in a good supporting role.

28 Mar 2019 - 4:06PM

A teenage boy is given superpowers and an adult’s body in this fun, good-humoured story. The film is a little long, but enjoyable with Mark Strong putting in a good supporting role.

Shazam! film review: entertaining DC Comics superhero is a world away from Justice League
Review | Pet Sematary film review: Stephen King horror resurrected with horrifying new adaptation

Remake sticks faithfully to King’s popular novel resulting in the film being among the best adapted from the famous author’s work. Young actor Jeté Laurence’s brilliant performance is one of the film’s highlights.

21 Mar 2019 - 10:35AM

Remake sticks faithfully to King’s popular novel resulting in the film being among the best adapted from the famous author’s work. Young actor Jeté Laurence’s brilliant performance is one of the film’s highlights.

Pet Sematary film review: Stephen King horror resurrected with horrifying new adaptation
Review | Us film review: Get Out director Jordan Peele helms another thoughtful horror triumph

You’ll appreciate the rare moments of comedy in Peele’s new chiller about a family forced to confront doppelgängers bent on their destruction. Lupita Nyong’o, Elisabeth Moss and Winston Duke star in this sinister tale.

20 Mar 2019 - 1:13AM

You’ll appreciate the rare moments of comedy in Peele’s new chiller about a family forced to confront doppelgängers bent on their destruction. Lupita Nyong’o, Elisabeth Moss and Winston Duke star in this sinister tale.

Us film review: Get Out director Jordan Peele helms another thoughtful horror triumph
Review | Five Feet Apart film review: Haley Lu Richardson and Cole Sprouse in tear-jerking teen romance

This against-the-odds love story between two teenagers born with cystic fibrosis turns out to be a touching and dignified romantic drama. It also details the daily drudgery endured by those with CF, while not being mawkish.

15 Mar 2019 - 6:27AM

This against-the-odds love story between two teenagers born with cystic fibrosis turns out to be a touching and dignified romantic drama. It also details the daily drudgery endured by those with CF, while not being mawkish.

Five Feet Apart film review: Haley Lu Richardson and Cole Sprouse in tear-jerking teen romance