Movies – 249

Our 5-star holiday movies


Can a computer generated bear change Australia’s collective mind about boat people? Paddington stows away, arrives as an illegal migrant and then melts our hearts. You have to accept Nicole Kidman as a Scott Morrison-type meanie but you can do that, can’t you? (errr… neither can I, she’s much too nice.) PG on now. Our score: 5 marmalade sandwiches

Mr Turner

Mr. TURNER Turner was the Damien Hirst of his time, brilliant, anti-establishment (yet part of it) and super rich. Timothy Spall is fantastic in this stunning biopic by Mike Leigh. It snubs all the conventions of the genre – as did the painter. Probably the best film about an artist, ever. M, Dec 26. Our score: 5 Archibalds

The Imitation Game

Could anyone really resist hopping into bed with Keira Knigthley? Maybe, if they were gay, slightly mad, or Alan Turning. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the unlikely hero of this “how clever Brits won the war” flick. It ticks all the boxes – brilliantly. M, Jan 1. Our score: 5 VC medals

The Water Diviner

British war movies usually celebrate their triumph (see no. 3), Aussie ones are resolutely anti-war – and blame the Brits! Rusty’s return to one of their greatest disasters – Gallipoli, does follows that well-trod path, and it’s also a superbly-accomplished crowd-pleaser. M. Dec 26. Our score: 5 pavlovas


Angelina Jolie has proved she can cut it with the very best of them in her inspirational story of real-life courage. See if you can spot the Inner West shooting locations (Cockatoo Island). It’s not hard! CTC, Jan 15. Our score: 5 kisses from Brad Pitt

Quality Cinema on DemandCharlies-Country

Did you miss Charlie’s Country because Margaret and David didn’t review it? Or The Babadook because (blush) we all did? Well, that happens but lovers of quality (and quirky) cinema now have great new catch-up service. Dendy Direct is Dendy’s new online movies and TV service that offers users movies and TV shows to rent and own. Dendy of course is a name associated with film festivals, arthouse and quality retrospectives – and that’s what they offer on this inventively curated streaming service. Dendy Direct is available on a broad range of devices including desktop computers and laptops (both Macs and PCs), tablets and smartphones (iOS and Android). It has been developed with film lovers in mind, and it’s dead easy. Just sign up and you’re instantly presented with a curated list of new releases and top movies.

Thanks to Dendy Direct we have $10 credit vouchers to give away– See our Giveaways page for details and how to enter

Snowpiercer snowpiercer

Is climate change too serious to satirize? Cult Korean director Bong Joon-ho (The Host) doesn’t think so, and in his English language debut he has a fantastic poke at “the greatest challenge of our times.” Here scientists have fixed global warming by freezing the planet, wiping out most of mankind in the process. The only survivors are all on board a self-propelled train, the “snowpiercer” of the title, which speeds endlessly, round the now frozen planet scooping up its own energy source. On board, a violent version of our capitalist status quo keeps things “sustainable” – the proles live in squalor at the rear while things get progressively nicer towards the front. As Marx told us, that can’t last! No doubt Hollywood thought they’d get a multiplex money-spinner from Bong by giving him lots of money and creative freedom. Boy did they make a mistake! The result is way too nutty for that – a rare cross between arthouse and action blockbuster – and fabulous subversive fun. MA15+ Available now on Blu-ray, DVD and digital. Rent it from Dendy Direct  for as low as $5.99 or own for $19.99.

ReviewsRussell Edwards