James Mcavoy

News, Reviews & Features
  • Review: Glass is a fragile follow-up with wasted promise

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 17th January 2019

    No one knows the importance of a good ending like M. Night Shyamalan. He has built his entire career on them. He knows that many film flaws can be forgiven along the way if, right before the credits roll, he can suddenly wow an audience so that they leave only talking about that ending. It’s a circus approach to storytelling, saving the big top narrative stunt for the final act, but it works. In the case of Split - an otherwise divisive film - it worked so well that the ending itself manifested a whole sequel. But no one should be in any doubt that it’s a cheat. A big last-minute reveal teasing a forthcoming crossover might be an original way to have a shock twist, but it doesn’t automatically make for a good ending to what came before it. Just as it doesn’t automatically make for a good beginning for what comes next.

  • Atomic Blonde

    Movie Review | Ed Williamson | 11th August 2017

    I'd have been cool if I lived in Berlin in the Cold War. You would've been too: we would've smoked constantly and worn elegantly distressed charity-shop peacoats and listened to Bowie in a Lada. Maybe we could've been happy there, you and me.

  • Split

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 19th January 2017

    Some actors go their whole lives without being offered a role as tasty as James McAvoy's character in Split. You've heard of roles being described as "scenery chewing"? In Split, M Night Shyamalan basically builds his sets out of beef jerky and invites McAvoy to tuck in. It's full-on Willy Wonka. As kidnapper Kevin who suffers from dissociative identity disorder (multiple personalities to you, me and I), McAvoy effectively has free reign of a buffet comprised of equal parts cheese, ham and bananas.

  • X-Men: Apocalypse

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 19th May 2016

    Forgive me for sounding like I'm on the company payroll, but have Marvel movies ruined superhero movies for everyone else? I fear they have. The Marvel Cinematic Universe made its own space in the superhero sphere; it owns the area marked 'fun'. DC, as a countermeasure to all the lousy fun everyone was enjoying, staked their claim on the 'serious' space; heroes with grim faces carved out of rock, pre-tantrum lip-wobble expressions lashed with rain. Where does this leave the X-Men? I'm sure I don't know anymore, because X-Men: Apocalypse attempts to be all things to all people and ends up being neither overtly fun or remotely serious, just entirely ridiculous. It feels like a superhero movie back from when no one really knew what that was supposed to mean, or, as a friend of mine put it so perfectly: "It's like a shit superhero movie from the nineties".

  • X-Men: Days Of Future Past

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 13th May 2014

    Have you seen all of the X-Men films? Including the First Class prequel and both Wolverine movies? AND all of the mid-credits and post-credits stings that were tagged on to the end? Good. Then you may proceed. Welcome to X-Men: Retcon. I hope you've been paying attention.

  • Eight astonishing things on the new X-Men: Days Of Future Past poster

    Movie Feature | Ali Gray | 24th March 2014

    The X-Men don't historically have a lot of luck when it comes to cool poster designs - who could forget 9/3/11? - and that trend continues with this mental new one-sheet for X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Featuring: ALL OF THE THINGS.

  • Filth

    Movie Review | Neil Alcock | 4th October 2013

    Bruce Robertson is a cunt. A lying, thieving, cheating, racist, misogynist, homophobic shitstick who would sooner drug you and steal your watch than give you the time of day, and if he did give you the time of day it would be after looking at your own watch, which he has just stolen. He pinches kids' balloons, forces underage girls to nosh on his junk and screws his friends' and colleagues' wives. He's also a Detective Sergeant in Edinburgh's Lothian Constabulary, and probably the greatest lead character in cinemas this year.

  • Trance

    Movie Review | Ali | 26th March 2013

    Trance wastes no time in getting going, so neither shall I. Sir Danny of Boyle hops genres yet again to try his hand at a heist thriller, and it races out of the gate as if the essence of speed was necessary to maintain its air of deception. We're introduced to James McAvoy's art curator Simon, who swiftly tells us exactly how you'd steal a priceless painting if you were so inclined. He is, and does, but partner in crime Vincent Cassel soon thumps its location out of his noggin, setting up Trance's central conceit: how do you retrieve something thought lost from the human brain?

  • Welcome To The Punch

    Movie Review | Matt | 11th March 2013

    At the press screening that I attended for this film, writer-director Eran Creevy gave a short introduction in which he outlined his main objective: to create a stylish US action thriller, but set in London. The kind of film that we just don’t see made on our home turf – glossy and sleek instead of gloomy and bleak. But is that a valid goal? To swap out stark realism in favour of polished spectacle? The answer of course is: "Shut up already and give me all of your cinema tickets".

  • Arthur Christmas

    Movie Review | Ali | 9th November 2011

    I always feel a little pang of guilt whenever I give a kiddy film a negative review, because obviously they are made for small, easily pleased children and not hardened, 30-year-old cynics who spend their evenings sitting in front of a computer thinking of witty put-downs while wearing Batman pyjamas and eating pies. Thankfully, with Arthur Christmas, I don't have to feel bad, because – brace yourselves – it's an absolute Christmas cracker. Hands off, Robbie Collin – that one's MINE.