Updated on Feb 20, 2017 12:56:15

 

 

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18-Feb-2017

Ghazi': War like you've never seen before

Breaking away from everything Telugu cinema is accustomed to, debutant Sankalp Reddy's "Ghazi" shines as it truly offers a cinematic experience and it's easily the most engaging film from the industry in recent times. It takes the story of a few unsung heroes...

18-Feb-2017

'The Ghazi Attack': Well-intended war saga

A bigger mystery than the sinking of the submarine during the 1971 India and Pakistan war that this film so bravely recreates, is Rana Daggubati's one single immovable expression that he has been holding steadfast on his impressive face ever since he graced...

17-Feb-2017

'The Lego Batman Movie': High on energy, low on taste

An action thriller, this edition of the Lego film is a far cry from its original.It fails to raise the creative bar that was so enthusiastically raised by its directors way back in 2014. Nevertheless, crammed with numerous, adrenaline charged and emotionally...

17-Feb-2017

'The Ghazi Attack': Submerged in mediocrity

Purportedly an underwater war film set in 1971, "The Ghazi Attack" is the story of the triumph of India's submarine S-21 over Pakistan's PNS Ghazi, a submarine set out to destroy INS Vikrant.On the face of it an interesting premise, it could have been an engaging...

17-Feb-2017

'Silence': A punishing masterpiece

5 stars? Or no stars at all? It is impossible for me to rate Martin Scorcese's latest film -- a monumental achievement, by all means. Though it's undoubtedly a masterpiece, I hated it. The film is an extended prolonged painful repetitive and frequently...

17-Feb-2017

'Moonlight': A pretentious triptych tableaux

Designed as an art house film, "Moonlight" is a universal tale about self-discovery, connection, sexuality and masculinity. It sheds light on the plight of gay men who struggle with their sexuality and identity, especially when living in a masculine environment.It...

17-Feb-2017

'John Wick: Chapter 2': Action-packed and thrilling

Very rarely do sequels create an impact as the original, but in the case of "John Wick: Chapter 2", the intensity surpasses its predecessor. It excels as a scaled-up action thriller about John Wick, "the man, the myth and the legend".Literally, from the very...

17-Feb-2017

'Irada': Good intention poorly executed

If "Udta Punjab" unearthed the can of drugs in Punjab -- India's wheat bowl -- then "Irada" throws light on the cause of cancer there.Fictionalised, dramatised and mounted as a semi-documentary, Director Aparnaa Singh's attempt to showcase this issue is...

17-Feb-2017

'Running Shaadi': A frothy entertainer

This film, with the recent controversy that plagued its title, suffers from the curse of its name. The constant bleeps in between the dialogues is a frustrating, kill joy. And that is not the only one.Though with an interesting premise and a well-drafted...

16-Feb-2017

'Running Shaadi' keeps you smiling

What do you call these? Haan, the Pheelgoood type of film. Running Shaadi keeps the proceedings running at a hectic pace. With a shaadi happening every ten minutes you'd expect a certain strain monotony to waft into the proceedings. But no. Debutant director...

16-Feb-2017

'Moonlight': Emotionally shattering experience

Watching "Moonlight" is akin to getting into the skin of these unfathomably unhappy people. The film has no formal structure. It cuts sharply into slices from the protagonist's life and leaves the shards and splinters strewn across the narration for us to stumble...

16-Feb-2017

'Hidden Figures': An easily digestible feel good film

Based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly, "Hidden Figures" is a biological drama that pays tribute to remarkable Afro-American women who broke colour and gender barriers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).Set...

12-Feb-2017

'Si3': Suriya's Singam act falls abysmally short

Don't let the agitated agile ambience of unlimited energy fool you. This is a work of illimitable laziness. The writing is slothful, so much so that it often as though the script is a pretext for the fights. The direction is a muddle of rapidly moving shots...

10-Feb-2017

'Jolly LLB 2': Akshay shines in an entertaining satire

Apart from being a courtroom drama and Saurabh Shukla playing Judge Tripathi, there is nothing common between "Jolly LLB 2" and its predecessor the Arshad Warsi-starrer "Jolly LLB". And the only reference, if any, is a faint line when Saurabh Shukla, says:...

10-Feb-2017

'Rings': One of the scarce scary scare fests

A nervous-looking man shares his fears with a co-passenger as a plane is about to take off. No, it's not fear of flying. It's fear of dying. He has watched a cursed video cassette which predicts death for the viewer within seven days.And now those seven...

09-Feb-2017

'Mostly Sunny': Stunning look at Sunny Leone's lurid life

At one point in this haunting look at the life of a porn star who betrayed her conservative Punjabi family to rule the adult entertainment industry, Sunny Leone bursts out, "So what if my home town disowned me? Today every Indian family wants me to be a...

03-Feb-2017

'Alif': Well-made film with a strong message

As in his debut film "Dozakh - In Search of Heaven", which was officially released in 2015, director Zaigham Imam's "Alif" is a well-meaning, simple, yet layered story that highlights the need for Muslims to rise above their ghetto mentality. It mirrors...

03-Feb-2017

'Kung Fu Yoga': A poorly gummed up entertainer

The title conjures an exciting amalgamation of practices of world's most ancient and traditional civilisations -- Chinese and Indian martial arts with the spiritual and ascetic discipline of meditation, breath-control and body postures for health and relaxation....

03-Feb-2017

'Resident Evil: The Final Chapter': A loud snooze fest

"The Final Chapter" is the sixth and final installment of the action packed, sci-fiction horror "Resident Evil" film series, which is loosely based on a video game series of the same name.The six films made over a span of fifteen years, were all written and...

03-Feb-2017

'Kung Fu Yoga': It's good fun

The worst crime you can accuse a Jackie Chan film of is silliness. "Kung Fu Yoga" is supremely silly. But like Jackie's films in the past, it is a whole lot of fun if you are in the mood for some goofy antics.The film's utterly implausible plot opens with...

03-Feb-2017

'The Great Wall': A Great Mess

In the mood for some Chinese feud? Avoid this film as such an awful movie can only be the result of either criminal carelessness or overweening ambitions.Said to be the most expensive film to have ever been shot in China , this work of mythological mayhem...

02-Feb-2017

'Bogan': Partly impressive, partly a letdown

On paper, "Bogan" comes across as a great story idea - one that involves soul-swapping - but when translated on screen, it becomes one of those films which has a shaky start, impresses midway and then loses steam towards the end trying to play to the gallery....

02-Feb-2017

'The Great Wall': An affectless effect-laden extravaganza

Director Zhang Yimou's "The Great Wall" is an epic spectacle of warfare, action sequences and fantasy, grandly mounted with excellent cinematography and equally brilliant visual effects. But unfortunately, with a bland, formulaic story with no major inciting...

25-Jan-2017

'Kaabil': Hrithik Roshan paints every frame in glorious colours

Why do awful things happen to good God-fearing, law-abiding, tax-paying, spouse-loving people?Look! Just see that man's face. Rohit loves his wife Suparna to death. Her death, as it happens to be. A moment so shocking in the film and filmed with such gruesome...

25-Jan-2017

'Raees': An immersive SRK entertainer

"Raees" is a typical Bollywood blockbuster designed like films of the early 1980s, with over-the-top yet thrilling action, drama and a tinge of romance. It is a biography of a disciplined businessman, albeit with ragged edges.Set in the late 80s and early 90s...

20-Jan-2017

'Coffee With D': Coffee With D is fun in a ditzy way

Isn't it amazing what a slew of talented actors can do to an outrageous idea? Think of "Coffee With D" as a boys' day out with Dawood, and you will actually enjoy the implausible goings on.This is a what-if idea carried to an extreme of satirical eventuality...

19-Jan-2017

'The Bye Bye Man': Poorly written and executed

"The Bye Bye Man" is a psychological thriller that has gone terribly wrong.The film is about how an evil entity appears or gains control over its victims. The film works on the premise that controlling one's thoughts can be a real challenge. The simple act...

15-Jan-2017

'Ok Jaanu': Better than Mani Ratnam's original

Welcome back, Shaad Ali. It was a Mani Ratnam remake that gave us Shaad, one of the sharpest, smartest directors in "Saathiya". It is another Mani Ratnam remake that brings Shaad back in form after a string of duds."Ok Jaanu" (ignore the yucky title) is smart,...

14-Jan-2017

'Live By Night': An engrossing period drama

Based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane, "Live By Night" is a period crime drama that is designed like an old school gangster film.Set in the 1920s post World War I, it is the tale of an honest policeman's son, Joe Coughlin, who returns home...

14-Jan-2017

'xXx: Return of Xander Cage': Action-packed and noisy

This is the third film of the xXx franchise. After skipping the second edition -- State of the Union which was released in 2005 -- Vin Diesel who had featured in the original 2000 film returns in this action-packed spy thriller with pomp and panache.When...

13-Jan-2017

'Haraamkhor': A tad amateurishly mounted

Designed as an art house film, "Haraamkhor", is a slice of life projecting the abuse of minor girls in rural India.With precisely two shots of dark clouds with a silver lining in an otherwise hazy skyline, the film does not offer any hope or resolution to the...

13-Jan-2017

'Ok Jaanu': Hackneyed and superficial

A Gen-Y girl and boy meet, are physically attracted, become friends, live-in together, sans any commitment, then eventually fall in love and get married. Familiar? Extremely. Trite, oft-seen and offering nothing new. That in a nutshell, is what Shaad Ali's...

12-Jan-2017

'Haraamkhor': Nawazuddin Siddiqui makes your flesh crawl

She is 15, going on 18. Or so she claims when the local female doctor examines her for missing her period. At her age, she should be only thinking of the periods that she must not miss when the bell rings. But no. Sandhya is about to be seduced by her sleazy...

12-Jan-2017

'Khaidi No 150': A great tribute to a star

"Khaidi No 150" is the perfect red carpet welcome for Chiranjeevi, who has faced the arc lights after nearly a decade. And he stuns with his charisma and energy.Right from the first frame, Chiranjeevi owns the show and he doesn't go overboard in his attempt...

12-Jan-2017

'Bairavaa': It's Vijay's show all the way

It is appalling that Vijay chooses to do a film like "Bairavaa" when he is already on the right track with projects such as "Thuppakki", "Kaththi" and "Theri", his recent best commercial outings which appealed to both audiences and critics alike. "Bairavaa"...

07-Jan-2017

'Passengers': Remarkable for its attempt rather than success

First things first. "Passengers", a film about two very beautiful people thrown together in outer space, would have been a much finer work if it had not been in 3D. What the 3D technique does is to isolate the audience from the action. Passengers needed the...

06-Jan-2017

'Passengers': A visual extravaganza

Set on a spaceship with 5,000 passengers and 258 crew members, travelling from Earth to colonize a distant new planet, "Passengers" is a romantic tale of two of its passengers, who are "lost, find each other and made life beautiful along the way".The spaceship...

06-Jan-2017

'Allied': A drama so blowdried that it feels fake

It's hard to believe this story of a Canadian intelligence officer who falls in love with a German spy who he thinks is a Resistance fighter.Even if we accept that love is indeed blind, what level of 'Intelligence' does Max(Brad Pitt) demonstrate in his choice...

05-Jan-2017

'A Monster Calls': An engaging fairytale

"A Monster Calls" is a suspense-packed, coming-of-age tale of a boy who is "too old to be a kid and too young to be a man and a nightmare". It is based on the book written by Patrick Ness from an original idea by Siobhan Dowd.As a fantasy fable, the story...

01-Jan-2017

'Assasin's Creed': This game-changer will 'sev' the day

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. One apple 'sevs' the day in this deliberately on-the-boil thrill provider. Ignore the awful reviews. "Assasin's Creed" has some of the most heart-in-the-mouth stunts that you will get to see on this side of "Deadpool".Not...

31-Dec-2016

'Assassin's Creed': Visually impressive but fails to excite

With a tired, tried and over abused premise of finding peace among humanity, "Assassin's Creed" is an original story that expands the series' mythology. Oscillating between the Spanish Inquisition circa 1492 and the present, it is an action adventure film...

25-Dec-2016

'Barry': Vikram Gandhi's film on Obama shouldn't be missed

Let's puff up our chests with pride. This year, Ritesh Batra directed two films featuring a formidable western cast of Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Charlotte Rampling, Jim Broadbent and more. And now another director of Indian origin helms a biopic, released...

23-Dec-2016

'Vangaveeti': a 'bloody' saga of revenge for power

In "Vangaveeti", based on the gang warfare of the 1980s in Vijayawada, Ram Gopal Varma has spilt more blood than ever, leaving this partly fictionalised story of true events so gory that it looked like the actors were dipped in a pool of blood. This depiction...

23-Dec-2016

'Dangal': Phogat's Sake, Can't Help Falling In Love With Dangal

There are outstanding films. Then there is "Dangal". A film so rich in the flavours of homegrown emotions you feel you are floating in a field of aromatic sensation for close to three hours without feeling manipulated. You come away from this experience so...

22-Dec-2016

'Dangal': Strong performances and Aamir expectedly shine

A fictionalised tale, based on the lives of an amateur wrestler -- Mahavir Singh Phogat and his famed daughters, Geeta and Babita Phogat -- Dangal is an inspirational story of an ambitious father, who, after failing to fulfil his dreams, aspires to achieve...

20-Dec-2016 New Delhi

Indians have mastered music, dance: 'Pop Idol' creator Simon Fuller

Indians have mastered music and dance, and produce more musicals than any other country in the world, says Simon Fuller, the name behind global entertainment hits including Spice Girls and "Pop Idol". On a lookout for Indian faces for his new global pop group...

18-Dec-2016

'Collateral Beauty': Opposite of what nasty reviews say

"Collateral Beauty" has been dealt with by critics the world over with undeserved savagery. It has its deep flaws, yes. And the core premise of a satirical personification of Time, Death and Love, is hard to swallow.But there is so much that is achingly beautiful...

17-Dec-2016

'Wajah Tum Ho': A poorly conceptualised mystery drama

With a warped story replete with major plot holes, "Wajah Tum Ho", is a murder mystery, characteristic of the T-Series stable.The thriller revolves around the hacking of GTN (Global Time Network) a television news channel which claims the highest TRP ratings...

16-Dec-2016

'Wajah Tum Ho': A monstrous absurdity of a film

There is a lovely chick-bonding moment in this grotesque drama of absurdities where Sana Khan asks Sherlyn Chopra: "Are you really going to spend the night with this rapist?""Will you pay my bills?" comes the prompt retort. Then the brazen gold-digger then...

16-Dec-2016

'La La Land': An ode to classic romance musicals

Set in the heart of Hollywood, and designed like a French New Wave film, "La La Land" is a musical love story that dwells upon fate and choices.The film begins with a trail of cars stuck in a traffic jam one winter day, till the crowd breaks out into the...

16-Dec-2016

'Hacksaw Ridge': Best anti-war film ever

Once in a while, there comes a film that transcends its cinematic obligations to become a comment on the quality of human existence. "Hacksaw Ridge" is one such rarity. It communicates the power to change human perceptions on living, to change the way we...

16-Dec-2016

'Gang of Littles': A poorly presented escapade

Advertised as a children's film, packed with fun-filled adventure, writer-director Vijay Kumar Mishra's "Gang of Littles", is a typical Hindi, B-grade potboiler.Set in Dehradun, it is a tale of five neglected children, who in their bid to seek attention, indulge...

15-Dec-2016

'Shor Se Shuruaat': Makes the right noises

"Shor Se Shuruaat" is an anthology of seven indie shorts, whose fledgling directors were hand-picked and mentored by veterans of the Hindi film industry. Released under the HumaraMovie banner, the title of the film is an apt self-proclamation of creating the...

10-Dec-2016

'Dhruva': Ram Charan fails to impress

Dhruva suffers from a very esoteric cinematic disease. It's known as the sickness of slickness. So hell-bent is it to out-slick the original Tamil film "Thani Oruvan", that director Surinder Reddy orders his entire team to workout in the gym of their minds.Ram...

09-Dec-2016

'Befikre': The worst Yash Raj film ever

Remember "Neil & Nikki", the plotless story of a couple played by Aditya Chopra's brother and Kajol's sister, who couldn't keep their hands off one another?"Befikre", Aditya Chopra's new bizarrely subverted directorial undertaking, reminds us of "Neil &...

09-Dec-2016

'Befikre': A cliched entertainer

"Befikre" is like old wine in a new bottle. A familiar story of friendship, love and realisation, a tried and tested premise that is predictable with the same landmark points or milestones that fulfil the dramatic quotient. Only the setting is different, in this...

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