Sarah’s Key

This really is a strange film. The historical sections are pitch perfect, and it’s such a fascinating story that it’s a pity they had to be sullied by the regular intrusions of the embarrassing present. Worse still, the final section of the film seems like it will never finish until, miraculously, it ends on an incredibly touching note.
Rating: 2.5 starsHoopla Factor: 3 stars Continue reading Sarah’s Key


Like all good confined space thrillers, Buried uses its confined setting to the fullest, deftly taking us through every narrative possibility as Paul does everything he can to get out alive. There wasn’t a dull moment in this film – it moves at a cracking pace.
Rating: 5 starsHoopla Factor: 5 stars

This is a truly brave film, and one that gives hope that films can be made the way their story demands, immune to the influence of what ‘will sell’. Cortez and Reynolds should be applauded.
Rating: 4.5 starsHoopla Factor: 5 stars

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Tomorrow, When the War Began

Beattie has indeed taken much of the dialogue straight from the books, so perhaps this is a simply a case where some more creative rewriting needed to occur in the transition from book to screen. It is such a pity that the film falters in these few moments – and they are indeed only moments – when the rest is so wonderful.
Rating: 3.5 starsHoopla Factor: 4.0 stars

That he has managed to retain the quintessential Australian-ness of the story while aiming to produce a film with more than local appeal is quite impressive. The use of great music by local artists for the film’s soundtrack really helps.
Rating: 3.0 starsHoopla Factor: 4.0 stars

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Beneath Hill 60

The claustrophobia of being at war in such confined spaces is amplified by the danger of imminent discovery by Germans tunnelling in the opposite direction, or from collapse and suffocation under piles of dirt and rubble. The film succeeds in conveying this tension incredibly well.
Rating: 3.5 starsHoopla Factor: 3.5 stars

Brendan Cowell again puts in a great performance. I suppose he doesn’t have quite the chiselled jaw for Hollywood, but then again Sam Worthington hasn’t yet made any particularly noteworthy impression with his chin in American films yet.
Rating: 4.5 starsHoopla Factor: 4.5 stars

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The Hurt Locker

The performances are brilliant, with Jeremy Renner especially standing out as the cocksure bomb-tech Staff Sergeant William James. He manages the bravado of a man used to risking his life as his job with ease, while also completing the out-of-combat sequences with aplomb. This is really his movie, and he has taken charge and delivered.
Rating: 4.5 starsHoopla Factor: 4.0 stars

I keep hearing that its bipartisan nature is to be applauded, but I can’t see how this film is bipartisan at all. It’s basically about a bunch of people slowly going crazy because of the horrid job they do – there was nothing in the film that said what they were doing was worthwhile.
Rating: 4.0 starsHoopla Factor: 4.5 stars

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