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Masand's Verdict

  • Now Showing: Rajeev Masand reviews 'Ab Tak Chhappan 2', 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha', and 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' Yesterday

    On this show of Now Showing, CNN-IBN Entertainment Editor Rajeev Masand review Ejaz Gulab directed 'Ab Tak Chhappan 2', Sharat Kataria directed 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha', and a Hollywood movie 'Kingsman: The Secret Service'. Also on the show Badlapur's director Sriram Raghavan takes on 'The Shawshank Redemption'. ...
  • 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' review: The film is a spectacle of cartoon violence and irreverent humor 2 days ago

    Director: Matthew Vaughn Cast: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson Kingsman: The Secret Service is a spectacle of cartoon violence and irreverent humor; it's exactly the sort of wildly entertaining experience that we go to the movies for. This cheeky send-up of classic James Bond films cements director Matthew Vaughn's reputation...
  • 'Ab Tak Chhappan 2' review: The film is an entirely pointless sequel 2 days ago

    Director: Ejaz Gulab Cast: Vikram Gokhale, Govind Namdeo, Gul Panag, Nana Patekar, Ashutosh Rana Ab Tak Chhappan 2 is an entirely pointless sequel, a film that has frankly no business to exist. It has neither plot nor relevance, and even at a running time of 1 hour and 41 minutes, it feels...
  • 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha' review: It's a charming film that you really shouldn't miss 2 days ago

    Director: Sharat Kataria Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Sanjay Mishra, Bhumi Pednekar, Vidushi Mehra The title Dum Laga Ke Haisha has a nice ring to it. These words, commonly chanted when doing any kind of physically strenuous work, evoke an affectionate nostalgia for a time gone by a time before mobile phones took over...
  • 'Whiplash' review: It never lets up or loosens its grip on your attention February 20, 2015

    Cast: Miles Teller, JK Simmons, Paul Reiser Director: Damien Chazelle JK Simmons, best remembered for playing impatient Daily Bugle publisher J Jonah Jameson who regularly underpaid Peter Parker for coveted photos of the mysterious web-slinger in Sam Raimi's Spider-man movies, takes bullying to a whole new level in 'Whiplash'. Bald as...
  • 'Wild' review: It proves to be that rare movie about an epic life-changing journey February 20, 2015

    Cast: Gaby Hoffmann, Reese Witherspoon Director: Jean-Marc Vallée Too many metaphors are employed to convey the story of Cheryl Strayed, a young woman who sets off on a grueling 1000-mile hike in order to exorcise personal demons, in 'Wild'. Reese Witherspoon plays the protagonist, who's shouldering a massive backpack that symbolizes...
  • 'Qissa' review: It's in tradition of compelling folktale that you can't shake off once you've heard it February 20, 2015

    Cast: Irrfan Khan, Tillotama Shome, Tisca Chopra Director: Anup Singh 'Qissa', directed and co-written by Anup Singh, is the haunting tale of a girl who grows up as a boy. The film shows a Partition-displaced Sikh villager Umber Singh (Irrfan Khan), so consumed by his hunger to have a son that...
  • 'Badlapur' review: It keeps you on your toes, curious to see where its twists and turns will lead February 20, 2015

    Cast: Varun Dhawan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Huma Qureshi, Yami Gautam Director: Sriram Raghavan The sheer thrill of watching a film and not knowing what will happen next is one of the great pleasures offered by director Sriram Raghavan's unpredictable and deliciously twisted revenge thriller 'Badlapur'. The film stages a chilling battle of wits...
  • 'Roy' review: The film limps lethargically and collapse in a predictable twist ending February 13, 2015

    Director: Vikramjit Singh Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, Arjun Rampal It's hard not to become deeply suspicious and cynical about the movie business when you have watched a film like Roy. Is it really enough that Ranbir Kapoor agrees to make an extended cameo, for a producer to pump money into this...
  • 'I Am Offended' review: It opens mind towards humor and right to free speech February 7, 2015

    Director: Jaideep Varma Throw a stone in India, and chances are that you'll offend somebody. If you're a stand-up comic, this is a way of life - the genre is one of the last bastions of free speech, a fact explored deeply in Jaideep Varma's documentary I Am Offended. But will...
  • 'Wild Card' review: It gets you in trouble with disappointment February 7, 2015

    Director: Simon West Cast: Jason Statham, Michael Angarano, Dominik Garcia-Lorido I can't remember the last time I saw an actor look so bored on screen as Jason Statham in Wild Card. There's resignation in his tired eyes, his one-liners are delivered without punch, and there are just way too many scenes of...
  • 'Shamitabh' review: The promising film comes undone by the curse of the second half February 6, 2015

    Director: R Balki Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Dhanush, Akshara Like his previous films "Cheeni Kum" and "Paa", director R Balki's "Shamitabh" is constructed around a terrific, refreshingly original premise. A superstar is born when a talented but mute struggling actor (Dhanush) 'borrows' the booming baritone of an ageing alcoholic drifter (Amitabh Bachchan). Balkiskillfully...
  • 'Birdman' review: The film has a delicious script, and characters bring the acidic dialogue to life January 30, 2015

    Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Alejandro González Iñáritu Cast: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton There's a real joy that comes from watching a smart film from listening to crackling dialogue delivered by terrific actors who're at the top of their game. Birdman, co-written and directed by Alejandro González Iñáritu, is easily...
  • 'Rahasya' review: Movie's implausible script quickly ditches real events January 30, 2015

    Director: Manish Gupta Cast: Tisca Chopra, Kay Kay Menon, Ashwini Khalsekar The teenaged daughter of a pair of doctors is found murdered in her room one morning, her throat slit with surgical precision. Not long after, the bloodied corpse of the family servant is discovered in their home too. Evidence seems...
  • 'Hawaizaada' review: The film is jingoistic, melodramatic, naive, and often illogical January 30, 2015

    Director: Vibhu Puri Cast: Mithun Chakraborty, Jeffrey Goldberg, Ayushmann Khurrana There isn't much evidence in history books to support the claim that director Vibhu Puri makes in Hawaizaada - that it was a Maharashtrian mulga in 1895, and not the globally acknowledged aviation pioneers, the Wright Brothers, eight years later in 1903,...
  • 'Dolly Ki Doli' review: The film has improbable scenarios for easy laughs January 23, 2015

    Director: Abhishek Dogra Cast: Sonam Kapoor , Malaika Arora, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub At a crisp 100 minutes, Dolly Ki Doli is likely shorter than your average Indian wedding, which, as it happens, is the setting for much of this film's drama and comedy. Sonam Kapoor plays Dolly, a seasoned con artist...
  • 'Baby' review: The film is a khichdi of influences, uneven film January 23, 2015

    Director: Neeraj Pandey Cast: Akshay Kumar, Zachary Coffin, Rana Daggubati, Danny Denzongpa Borrowing its structure from Zero Dark Thirty, its climax from Argo, its intention from Nikhil Advani's D-Day, and its occasionally jingoistic tone from your standard Bollywood B-movie, Baby, directed by Neeraj Pandey, is a khichdi of influences, and an...
  • Now Showing: Rajeev Masand reviews 'Alone', 'I', 'The Theory of Everything', 'American Sniper', and 'Paddington' January 17, 2015

    In this episode of Now Showing, CNN-IBN Entertainment Editor Rajeev Masand reviews, two Bollywood movies, 'Alone', 'I' and three Hollywood movies, 'The Theory of Everything', 'American Sniper', and 'Paddington'. ...
  • 'American Sniper' review: It is a blunt, uncomfortable and thought-provoking film January 16, 2015

    Cast: Bradley Cooper and Kyle Gallner Director: Clint Eastwood Bradley Cooper's measured performance in Clint Eastwood's American Sniper is one that stays with you. It burrows its way into a faraway corner of your consciousness and just stays there. For days. Cooper plays real-life Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, on whose memoir the...
  • 'Paddington' review: It's warm and full of affection; a film one shouldn't miss January 16, 2015

    Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters Director: Paul King Paddington, like some of the best children's films, is clever, funny, and likely to appeal as much to adults. Based on the popular children's books by Michael Bond, the film, about a small talking bear with a Marmalade habit, is in equal...
  • 'The theory of everything' review: The movie is worth a watch for the performances January 16, 2015

    Cast: Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones Director: James Marsh The Theory of Everything is an ordinary film about an extraordinary life. Director James Marsh takes a conventional approach to telling the complex life story of brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking, one of the most fascinating figures in modern history. The film's strength is...
  • 'I' review: There's a lesson in I for makers of masala movies January 16, 2015

    Cast: Vikram and Amy Jackson Director: Shankar The highly anticipated romantic thriller I from visionary Tamil director Shankar is a work of staggering ambition, somewhat weighed down by the filmmaker's own indulgence. Clocking in at a butt-numbing three hours and six minutes, the film works off a busy story that's centered on...
  • 'Alone' review: No more than two decent scares in this criminally uninspired film January 16, 2015

    Cast: Bipasha Basu and Karan Singh Grover Director: Bhushan Patel Buried somewhere beneath all the shrieks and scares in the ominously titled horror film Alone is a black comedy straining to reveal itself. Think about it: one half of a pair of conjoined twins demands to be surgically cut off from her...
  • Now Showing: Rajeev Masand reviews 'Tevar', 'Big Eyes' and 'Taken 3' January 10, 2015

    In this episode of Now Showing, CNN-IBN Entertainment Editor Rajeev Masand reviews, Amit Ravindernath Sharma directed 'Tevar' and two Hollywood movies 'Big Eyes' and 'Taken 3'. He also talks to team of upcoming Tamil romantic thriller 'I' - Vikram, Shankar, AR Rahman and PC Sreeram. ...
  • 'Taken 3' review: The film wastes your time and money January 9, 2015

    Cast: Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Famke Janssen, and Maggie Grace Director: Olivier Megaton In a recent interview while promoting the film, Liam Neeson said: "It would be insulting if someone got taken in Taken 3." Evidently the 62-year-old star of the money-grabbing action franchise is aware of just how ridiculous these...
  • 'Big Eyes' review: It's a film that keeps you riveted through its drama January 9, 2015

    Cast: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Danny Huston, Jon Polito, Krysten Ritter, Jason Schwartzman, and Terence Stamp Director: Tim Burton There's barely a trace of Tim Burton's signature elements in 'Big Eyes' - no Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter, no Gothic stylings, no creepy monsters - and yet, this true-life story about...
  • 'Tevar' review: It's an exhausting film January 9, 2015

    Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha and Manoj Bajpai Director: Amit Ravindernath Sharma 'Tevar', starring Arjun Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha, is an exhausting film. The kind that leaves you feeling like you've just run the marathon... but with none of the satisfaction, or the sense of achievement that comes with reaching the...
  • Now Showing: Rajeev Masand reviews 'Unbroken' January 3, 2015

    On the first episode of Now Showing in 2015, CNN-IBN Entertainment Editor Rajeev Masand reviews the Hollywood movie 'Unbroken' directed by Angelina Jolie. He also talks to Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra about how she plans her career and what goes into taking the decisions that she does. ...
  • 'Unbroken' review: The film is respectable, competently directed, performed January 2, 2015

    Cast: Jack O'Connell, Takamasa Ishihara, Domhnall Gleeson Director: Angelina Jolie Angelina Jolie's second film as director, Unbroken, is based on the amazing true-life story of former Olympic runner Louis Zamperini who spent two-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war during World War II. The film has enough plot to fill three full-length...
  • Bollywood's hits & pits of 2014 December 26, 2014

    Really great films were few, and hard to come by this year. Think about it. How many films made you feel good about the 200 bucks you spent on buying the ticket? How many films made you think, how many challenged you, how many delivered an experience that felt original...