Latest reviews of new albums:
He Named Me Malala
  • Composed by Thomas Newman
  • Sony Classical / 2015 / 53m

A documentary about Malala Yousafzai, He Named Me Malala tells her moving story.  Still only 18 today, she campaigned for the rights of girls to be entitled to education in her local area in northern Pakistan, where the Taliban had periodically banned girls from attending school.  In 2012 she was shot in the head on her school bus but miraculously survived; the incident drew the world’s attention to her cause, changed the law in Pakistan and saw her win the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.

The Walk
  • Composed by Alan Silvestri
  • Madison Gate Records / 2015 / 56m

The Walk, directed by Robert Zemeckis, is a biographical film about French high-wire performer Philippe Petit’s walk between the two towers of New York’s World Trade Centre in 1974.  It seems a slightly strange thing to make a two-hour dramatic film about, but then again I suppose it was a slightly strange thing to do in the first place.  Petit’s stunt was unauthorised and attracted much publicity, and in 2008 a documentary (the very well-received Man on Wire).

Every Thing Will Be Fine
  • Composed by Alexandre Desplat
  • Wenders Music / 2015 / 45m

Directed by Wim Wenders, Every Thing Will Be Fine stars James Franco as a man who causes a car accident; the film examines his guilt and search for redemption over a period of many years.  It was shown at the Berlin Film Festival back in February and has been released around the world in stages throughout the year, with the American release scheduled towards the end of the year, around Oscar season (but if the majority of the reviews are to be believed, that may be rather wishful thinking).

  • Composed by Hans Zimmer and Johnny Marr
  • WaterTower Music / 2015 / 28m

Based on a true story and a 2007 documentary short of the same name, Freeheld stars Julianne Moore as a police officer in New Jersey who, after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, undergoes a tough battle to allow her pension benefits to transfer to her domestic partner (Ellen Page) following her death.  Peter Sollett’s emotive film was a particularly personal project for Page in particular (who was involved in it ever since the earlier short movie was released), though the early reviews have been rather mixed.

  • Composed by Dario Marianelli
  • Varèse Sarabande / 2015 / 49m

Everest tells the story of the 1996 Everest disaster in which numerous climbers lost their lives during a blizzard.  It is made as a dramatised action/adventure, starring Jason Clarke and Josh Brolin, and has received a generally positive reaction from critics and audiences.  The writer Jon Krakauer, who wrote an exceptional account of the disaster (Into Thin Air, itself turned into a movie some time ago) was somewhat less enthusiastic (“It’s total bull”).

Maria di Nazaret

Composed by Guy Farley Caldera Records / 2015 / 78m An epic 2012 Italian tv production, Maria di Nazaret tells the story of Jesus’s life through the eyes of his mother, with German actress Alissa Jung as Mary and Spaniard Paz Vega as Mary Magdalene.  Giacomo Campiotti’s film attracted a massive audience and decent reviews when […]

Pawn Sacrifice

Composed by James Newton Howard Lakeshore Records / 2015 / 23m A biopic of the controversial, complex chess grand master Bobby Fischer, Edward Zwick’s Pawn Sacrifice stars Tobey Maguire (remember him?) in the lead role and inevitably focuses on his legendary Cold War duel with Boris Spassky.  The film has sat on the shelf for a […]

Je Te Survivrai

Composed by Stephen Warbeck MovieScore Media / 2015 / 24m An odd-sounding French movie, Je Te Survivrai (also known as I’ll Bury You) is about an estate agent who plans to get a house off an old lady by cutting off her water supply.  Unfortunately for him, while doing so he ends up stuck down a well […]

Fantastic Four

Composed by Marco Beltrami and Philip Glass Sony Classical / 2015 / 66m Another film series rebooted by its studio just in time to avoid losing the rights to the property, Fantastic Four comes ten years after Twentieth Century Fox’s first attempt at turning the Marvel comic-strip into a film series.  It was a pretty awful film […]

Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius

Composed by James Horner Varèse Sarabande / 2004 / 63m A straightforward biopic of legendary golfer Bobby Jones who in 1930 became the first – and so far, only – man to win the grand slam of all four majors in a calendar year, Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius – starring Jim Caviezel in the lead role – was […]

Indian Summers

Composed by Stephen Warbeck Silva Screen / 2015 / 63m Set in the later years of the British rule in India, Indian Summers is a ten-part series looking at a group of British socialites who spend their summers in a town near the Himalayan foothills.  The key focus is of course on their relationships with the locals and […]

Mr Holmes

Composed by Carter Burwell Lakeshore Records / 2015 / 39m I’ve been thinking on many occasions recently that it’s a shame it’s been such a long time since anyone made a Sherlock Holmes movie or tv show, so Bill Condon’s Mr Holmes is a real boon.  Ian McKellen plays the famous sleuth, living out his retirement and […]


Composed by James Horner MCA Soundtracks / 1995 / 54m Loosely based on actual events of 1925, Balto is an animated film telling the story of a half-dog/half-wolf who helps prevent a diphtheria epidemic in Alaska.  I’m very amused by the Wikipedia entry for the film, which boldly states that the film’s biggest inaccuracy was portraying Balto as […]

The Pelican Brief

Composed by James Horner Big Screen Records / 1994 / 52m A rather routine John Grisham thriller (on screen at least, it’s hard to argue that there’s any other kind of John Grisham thriller, apart from the first one, though many of them are very entertaining) The Pelican Brief attracted the services of veteran director Alan J. […]


Composed by James Horner Epic Soundtrax / 1995 / 51m Joe Johnston’s 1995 movie Jumanji was one of those movies made in the aftermath of the success of Jurassic Park that threw in a load of computer-animated creatures and assumed that was enough to make audiences come flocking, and that was indeed correct.  (Twenty years later, there is no sign […]