Xan Brooks

King of the slingers: Spidey’s a concrete jungle VIP

If the Spider-Man tale is about anything, it's about gawky youth and surging powers. The film makers know this and keep the tone skittish and fresh.

Wolf of Wall Street: Polished and punchy

This is Scorsese with fire in his belly and Leonardo DiCaprio's Walmart Gordon Gekko cranking up the laughs - a pantomime Goodfellas.

Movie of the week: Stoker

South Korean director Park Chan-wook makes his English-language debut with an outrageous quasi-remake of Hitchcock's 1943 thriller Shadow of a Doubt.

Iran’s response film to ‘inaccurate’, award-winning ‘Argo’

Tehran-based filmmaker Ataollah Salmanian says "The General Staff" will be an appropriate response to Ben Affleck's "ahistorical" thriller.

‘Yellowface’ reflects the racial pecking order

The movie adaptation of the novel 'Cloud Atlas' has been criticised by Asian-Americans for casting white Western actors in "yellowface" makeup.

Alpha nerds kicked ass

This year brought a new kind of hero as <i>Kick-Ass</i> and <i>The Social Network</i> proved it's the geeks who shall inherit the Earth.

A heartbreaking history retold

ON CIRCUIT: <i>The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas</i>, a story of the Holocaust told through the experiences of a young boy.

False notes

MOVIE OF THE WEEK: Xan Brooks reviews <i>The Counterfeiters</i>, which won the Oscar for best foreign-language film this year.

Triumph of the nerds

A new wave of movies is marking the rise of the 'ordinary slob nerd', writes Xan Brooks. This month saw the release of the final installment in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, awash with elves and hobbits and surely the most monumental nerd-fest of the lot.

Behind the Oscar scenes

There are bigger issues than glitz and glam behind this year's nominations, reports Dan Glaister and Xan Brooks.

A tidy hero

MOVIE OF THE WEEK: One of Hotel Rwanda's agendas is to slam the West's discreet non-involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, writes Xan Brooks.

Too big for their boots

The original Gone in 60 Seconds showcases a shapely young starlet known simply as ''Eleanor''. HB Halicki's 1974 action romp credits 28 actors in its cast, but all of them play second fiddle to Eleanor. After that, she probably retired to a garage someplace. Eleanor, you see, was a 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1.

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