Latest reviews of new albums:
The 33
  • Composed by James Horner
  • WaterTower Music / 2015 / 63m

It was in 2010 that the world’s attention was gripped by the tale of 33 Chilean miners stuck underground for over two months.  With the mining company reluctant to mount a rescue bid, the government eventually stepped in and did so by drilling a hole from the surface to the chamber in which they were trapped 700m below.  It was no surprise to see Hollywood turn their story into a movie, with Antonio Banderas playing the miners’ leader.  Mexican director Patricia Riggen took the helm for by far her biggest film to date, but it has received mixed reviews and poor box office receipts.

  • Composed by Brian Tyler
  • Varèse Sarabande / 2015 / 56m

Based on a controversial incident in 2004, Truth tells the story of an American news report which cast doubt on President Bush’s military service at the time he was seeking re-election, a report which it later emerged was based on fabricated evidence.  It led to the downfall of a major tv network’s main news anchor and one of its producers, who are played in the film by Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett respectively.  The film is the directorial debut of screenwriter James Vanderbilt, known for the recent Spider-Man movies amongst others.

En mai, fais ce qu’il te plaît
  • Composed by Ennio Morricone
  • Quartet Records / 2015 / 44m

Set in France in 1940, En mai, fais ce qu’il te plaît tells the true story of a group of villagers who flee their homes to escape from the invading Germans.  Directed by Christian Carion and starring August Diehl and Olivier Gourmet, the film is staged as a kind of western and its tale of people crossing France away from Calais to flee the horrors of war offers an interesting (if coincidental) juxtaposition with the refugee crisis currently engulfing Europe.

Bridge of Spies
  • Composed by Thomas Newman
  • Hollywood Records / 2015 / 48m

Steven Spielberg’s latest is a chronicle of the negotiations that followed the famous U-2 incident of 1960, when Bono and Larry Mullen said something very naughty indeed and almost triggered World War 3.  Bridge of Spies stars Tom Hanks as the lawyer trying to secure the release of the shot down American pilot, in exchange for a KGB agent (played by the great Mark Rylance) held by the Americans.  The film has been well-received critically, though in common with some of Spielberg’s other more “serious” films lately it hasn’t really made the box office impression the money men may have wanted.

Secrets of a Psychopath
  • Composed by Scott Glasgow
  • Screamworks Records / 2015 / 52m

When cult director Bert I. Gordon made his last film Satan’s Princess in 1990 at the age of 68 I don’t suppose that many people would have thought that a quarter of a century later he would make another one, well into his nineties.  But here is Secrets of a Psychopath, a disturbing-sounding story of an incestuous brother and sister who use a dating website to lure unsuspecting victims to their house to kill them to satisfy the brother’s sexual perversions.


Composed by Danny Elfman Sony Classical / 2015 / 64m R.L. Stine’s series of children’s books Goosebumps was turned into a popular tv show in the 1990s and at one point Tim Burton was developing a film version late in that decade; that fell through but it has now turned up on the big screen, […]

Back to the Future

Composed by Alan Silvestri Intrada / 2015 / 49m One of the most beloved films of the 1980s, Back to the Future opened to rave reviews in summer 1985 and has remained popular with audiences ever since.  Its easy-going blend of humour and nostalgia coupled with memorable action sequences and gentle science fiction captured the mood of […]

The Martian

Composed by Harry Gregson-Williams Columbia / 2015 / 52m Based on the excellent book by Andy Weir (which he initially self-published before its incredible word-of-mouth success led it to being picked up by a publisher), The Martian stars Matt Damon who is left stranded on Mars after his colleagues incorrectly believe he has been killed.  It […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


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 […]


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, […]

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 […]