Category Archives: Reviews

As he turns 80, ten Jack Nicholson films you should see

By Ray Bennett LONDON – The phone rang on my desk at The Hollywood Reporter and a deep, familiar voice said, “Ray? Hey, it’s Jack.” It was in the run-up to the Academy Awards in 1998 and I was expecting … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: ‘The Sense of an Ending’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – The problem with Ritesh Bafra’s new film “The Sense of an Ending”, which opens in the U.K. today, is that it makes very little sense and it has no ending. Reviews of the Man Booker … Continue reading

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THEATRE REVIEW: Ugly Lies the Bone

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Mind over matter is refined in Lindsey Ferrentino’s absorbing new play “Ugly Lies the Bone” at the National Theatre to the application of virtual reality to deal with physical and emotional pain. The U.S. playwright’s … Continue reading

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Sixty years a film critic … how it all started

By Ray Bennett LONDON – My life as film critic began 60 years ago with a log of movies I saw along with my verdict on each one. I was 11. The first movie image I recall seeing was of … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: Damien Chazelle’s ‘La La Land’

By Ray Bennett Damien Chazell’s musical fantasy “La La Land” starts badly but evolves into a sweet little film for romantics thanks largely to winning performances by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. A tale of two dreamers whose ambitions in … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Rob Reiner’s ‘LBJ’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Rob Reiner’s “LBJ” is an absorbing drama about President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s first days in office that is made memorable by a skillful and insightful performance by Woody Harrelson. The film had its World Premiere … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Gemma Arterton in ‘Their Finest’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Lone Scherfig’s “Their Finest” is a crowd-pleasing British World War II comedy that tells of a hapless group of filmmakers at work on a morale-boosting movie with outstanding performances by Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Mick Jackson’s ‘Denial’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Mick Jackson’s “Denial” tells of a loudmouth who calls himself an outsider and makes offensively racist comments that he claims are jokes. No, it’s not Donald J. Trump, it’s a British writer named David Irving, … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Natalie Portman in ‘Jackie’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Chilean director Pablo Larrain’s “Jackie” purports to tell what Jacqueline Kennedy did in the immediate aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. If the film is to be believed, the answer is: not … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Amma Asante’s ‘A United Kingdom’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Amma Asante’s “A United Kingdom” tells with wit and relish the true story of the Forties romance between a black African Prince and a white English typist and the perils they face in both their … Continue reading

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