MOVIE REVIEWS

  • 'Court' review: The film is a biting commentary on society 2 days ago

    If you haven't had a brush with the Indian legal system, you may picture courts with lawyers who breathe fire and brimstone, yelling "Milord!", "Tareeq pe tareeq!" or "This whole trial is out of order!" 28-year-old director Chaitanya Tamhane's National Award-winning Marathi film Court is the antithesis of the typical...
  • 'Mr X' review: It is a singularly humourless film 2 days ago

    Emraan Hashmi is a young man who can turn invisible at will. Just think of all the cheeky possibilities that premise could throw up. Alas, it's not the route director Vikram Bhatt goes down in Mr X, a singularly humorless film that's sorely lacking in thrills, a coherent plot, and...
  • 'Margarita With A Straw' review: The film is unafraid to explore touchy themes like female desire and sexual drive of disabled people 2 days ago

    Powered by a staggering performance from Kalki Koechlin as a 19-year-old with cerebral palsy, Margarita with a Straw is that rare Indian film that mostly eschews melodrama to give us an honest, sensitive portrait of disability, and the sexual awakening of an Indian teenager. Co-writer and director Shonali Bose tells...
  • 'Furious 7' review: It has emotional depth with a touching finale April 3, 2015

    Directed: James Wan Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Kurt Russell, Jason Statham For a while now, the 'Fast & Furious' films have made it clear that rules of logic, physics, or even gravity have little place in their universe. It's...
  • 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy' review: A film that deserves to be watched April 3, 2015

    Director: Dibakar Banerjee Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Anand Tiwari, Swastika Mukherjee 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy', directed by Dibakar Banerjee, is a moody thriller set in 1943 Calcutta that unravels at an unhurried pace. Loosely adapted from Bengali crime fiction writer Saradindu Bandopadhyay's enduring literary series, the film is intended as the origin story...
  • 'The Gunman' review: It attempts to blend social conscience with a revenge-themed plot but ends up getting muddled March 27, 2015

    Cast: Sean Penn, Jasmine Trinca, Javier Bardem, Ray Winstone, Idris Elba, Mark Rylance Director: Pierre Morel Sean Penn's new film 'The Gunman' could well serve as an audition tape for the two-time Oscar-winning actor to merit a role in the next Expendables movie. At 54, Penn appears to be in the best...
  • 'Cinderella' review: Kenneth Branagh delivers a full carnival-style orgy of colorful gowns, pirouetting princesses March 20, 2015

    Director: Kenneth Branagh Cast: Lily James, Richard Madden, Cate Blanchett, Stellan Skarsgård, Holliday Grainger, Derek Jacobi, Helena Bonham Carter Encouraged no doubt by the enormous success of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, and Maleficent, the revisionist take on Sleeping Beauty that starred Angelina Jolie as the misunderstood witch, Disney gives another one...
  • 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' review: It packs in more than it can comfortably handle in its two-hour running time March 20, 2015

    Director: John Madden Cast: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie, Penelope Wilton, Ronald Pickup, David Strathairn, Richard Gere You have to hand it to them; they didn't lie when they titled it 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'. This sequel to 2012's surprise hit, about a group of...
  • 'Hunterrr' review: It's promising but ultimately disappointing March 20, 2015

    Director: Hashvardhan Kulkarni Cast: Gulshan Devaiah, Radhika Apte More than a few young men will likely recognize themselves in snatches from the growing up years of Mandar Ponkshe, the protagonist of 'Hunterrr'. Skipping class to sneak into an adult film, gathering with friends outside a girls' school during lunch break, brushing up...
  • 'Chappie' review: It's derivative not fun March 13, 2015

    Director: Neill Blomkamp Cast: Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Watkin Tudor Jones, Yolandi Visser, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Sigourney Weaver, Hugh Jackman 'District 9' and 'Elysium' director Neill Blomkamp's latest film 'Chappie' has a distinctly recycled feel to it. I spent most of the film's running time picking out all the references to other...
  • 'Focus' review: A large part of the film you have a good time March 13, 2015

    Director: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa Cast: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro Will Smith's greatest strength as a movie star has always been his consummate charm, even if it did fail him in his last starring role, in the deathly dull sci-fi stinker After Earth. Thankfully, Big Willie brings his A-game to...
  • 'NH10' review: It's often terrifying on this highway, but you'll be glad you were there for the ride March 13, 2015

    Director: Navdeep Singh Cast: Anushka Sharma, Neil Bhoopalam 'NH10', directed by Navdeep Singh, is about a road trip that goes horribly wrong when a young married couple crosses paths with a gang of ruthless killers on the national highway. It's a standard genre movie on the surface, and Singh does a...
  • 'Coffee Bloom' review: A weak brew having ingredients of a good drama March 7, 2015

    Director: Manu Warrier Cast: Arjun Mathur, Sugandha Garg, Mohan Kapur It's not often that a man gets closure in his life and in relationships through coffee, but Dev Anand Cariappa, the tortured protagonist of 'Coffee Bloom' somehow manages this feat. Directed by debutante Manu Warrier, the film is set in the plantations...
  • 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' review: The film is a spectacle of cartoon violence and irreverent humor February 27, 2015

    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 February 27, 2015

    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 February 27, 2015

    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...
  • Now Showing: Masand reviews 'Roy' February 14, 2015

    In this episode of Now Showing, CNN-IBN Entertainment Editor Rajeev Masand reviews Ranbir Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez and Arjun Rampal starrer 'Roy'. ...
  • 'Anegan' review: Welcome back Karthik! You are in a love story in 2015? Wait. Dhanush is the hero? Who are you in the film then? February 14, 2015

    Film: Anegan Cast: Dhanush, Amyra Dastur, Karthik, Jagan Rating 3.5 What's fascinating about Dhanush is that he doesn't hesitate to experiment with the roles the scripts have to offer. His performances seem to echo - forget how an actor should look, come have a look at what the actor does. Turn of the...
  • 'Temper' review: Whose side are you on? The Good or the Bad? Junior NTR is all of them February 14, 2015

    Film: Temper Cast: NTR, Kajal, Posani Krishna Murali, Prakash Raj. Rating: 2.5 In the very first scene, we see a badly wounded NTR, talking to us, explaining his condition in his usual manner. Slow, understandable cut to flashback. NTR is a police officer working for the criminals. He's on the other side of...
  • '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...
  • Now Showing: Masand reviews 'Birdman', 'Rahasya' and 'Hawaizaada' January 31, 2015

    In this episode of Now Showing, CNN-IBN Entertainment Editor Rajeev Masand reviews 'Birdman', 'Rahasya' and 'Hawaizaada'. ...
  • '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...