Our critic reviews the latest films to be released...
This season’s most uncomfortable film follows Jamie (Lucas Pittaway, below), an abused 16-year-old Australian who forms a disastrous attachment to the new man in his mother’s life. John Bunting (Daniel Henshall) is casually charming and appears to bring support and order to a chaotic home, and a wider community. But he’s also manipulative and much worse.
Based on a 1999 serial killing spree known as “the bodies in the barrels” in the suburbs of Adelaide, the film follows Jamie’s crossover from victim to accomplice. It’s a hard film to watch, harder still to forget.
• Filmhouse, Edinburgh, 27-29 December; Glasgow Film Theatre, 28-31 December
SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS (12A)
Robert Downey Jr is still a great fit as the mordant detective whose mind and mouth outpaces the script he’s working with, this time matched against his fiendish nemesis Moriarty (Jared Harris), who is itching to start a war in Europe. Unfortunately Guy Ritchie is too busy staging his elaborate mannered action set pieces to energise his plot, which only catches fire in the second hour. It’s also a film which offers intense focus on fist-fights, but the characters lack detail. Stephen Fry pops up as Holmes’ smug brother, Mycroft, largely to facilitate some easy laughs from a nude scene with Mrs Watson (Kelly Reilly), and the women fare even worse: in particular Dragon Tattoo’s Swedish star Noomi Rapace is utterly wasted as a gypsy queen. The franchise’s most fashionable reinvention has been elevating the clubby friendship between Holmes and Watson (Jude Law) into a full-blown bromance but Ritchie, never having been a subtle director, opts for a sniggery depiction of homoerotic manlove that is both grating and elementary.
• On general release
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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