★★★★ Whether you know your Chaplins from your Keatons or not, the heartfelt wonder Hugo evokes for early cinema is relatable for even the most jaded of modern audiences.
★★★★☆ Frank Oz may find it disrespectful to the legacy he has been quietly cheapening for the past 20 years, but whether you’re a Muppet fan or not The Muppets is a must-see movie, and would make for a fitting close to the Muppet story if the Walt Disney Company had the foresight to quit while they’re ahead.
★★★★ The first half-hour of Jonathan Teplitzky’s Burning Man is a frenetic series of excerpts from the life of Bondi chef, negligent father and all-round terrible human being Tom Kinnear (Matthew Goode), the jigsaw almost impossible to fit together because pieces jump forward and back through time and what little dialogue exists is naturalistic rather than expository.
★★★★ Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) is content, at least outwardly. His relationship with his family – wife Samantha (Jessica Chastain) and daughter Hannah (Tova Stewart) – is full of happiness, his job in construction pays well and gives him access to a great health insurance plan, and he works alongside his best mate using huge machinery to drill holes into the Earth. His daughter is deaf but they’re working on learning sign language and, thanks to his health insurance, she’s getting a bionic implant soon. There’s little more a man could ask for in financially and socially depressed America.
★★★☆ It’s been a persistent criticism – or, at least, observation – of Kevin Smith that he isn’t a particularly visual director, and indeed the man himself has admitted in the past that he self-identifies as a writer first, and sees filmmaking as merely one mechanism by which he can get his stories told.