John Maguire

John Maguire

Cinema: Gervais gives a spirited performance

Cinema: Gervais gives a spirited performance

Having dipped his toe with punchy cameos in films such as For Your Consideration and Night at the Museum, television’s favourite creep Ricky Gervais makes his Hollywood debut as a lead in the spiky, but safely pasteurised, studio comedy . Ghost Town

Scribblings reveal the complex man behind the actor

Scribblings reveal the complex man behind the actor

Ever, Dirk: The Bogarde Letters. Edited by John Coldstream, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, €33.75

Cinema: Nothing is as it seems in new Coen comedy

Cinema: Nothing is as it seems in new Coen comedy

The Coen brothers were always going to struggle to match the Oscar-winning glories of No Country For Old Men, but taken for what it is - a pitch black political comedy - is a fine achievement, made all the more engaging by a series of clipped, breakn

Cinema: Visceral genius of a mob masterpiece

Cinema: Visceral genius of a mob masterpiece

There is a remarkable scene in Matteo Garrone’s Italian mafia film where a smooth-talking, ostensibly respectable businessman is overseeing the dumping of thousands of barrels of toxic waste in an abandoned quarry. Gomorrah,

Cinema: A tale of two taut, tense thrillers

Cinema: A tale of two taut, tense thrillers

Twinned curiosities this week, with David Mamet, American cinema’s snarling id, bringing us his martial arts Rocky and Liam Neeson laying waste to all around him in a politically whiffy French kidnap drama.

Cinema: Hollywood parody hits all the right targets

Cinema: Hollywood parody hits all the right targets

{ "#" : "In his first directing job since 2001’s fashionista-skewering Zoolander, Ben Stiller takes on Hollywood for the caustic, consistently funny and deliriously unhinged , a comedy about ego." , "b" : "Tropic Thunder"}

Cinema: Holocaust fable is tarnished by clichés

Cinema: Holocaust fable is tarnished by clichés

{ "#" : "In , adapted from John Boyne’s critically acclaimed bestselling novel (which was aimed primarily at younger readers), director Mark Harman tells the story of the Holocaust through the eyes of eight-year-old Bruno (Asa Butterfield)." , "b" :

Cinema: Ritchie back on form with his latest geezer romp

Cinema: Ritchie back on form with his latest geezer romp

{ "#" : "Having failed to make his wife Madonna into a film star and likewise, botched his attempts to fashion a crime caper out of the ancient Jewish Kabbalah, mock-cockney Guy Ritchie goes back to his roots for the surprisingly effective and determ

Cinema: Slasher suffers from genre’s limitations

Cinema: Slasher suffers from genre’s limitations

{ "#" : "Minimalist American home-invasion thriller is a bit like Michael Haneke’s Funny Games - without the fun and games." , "b" : "The Strangers"}

Cinema: Del Toro’s devil is in the detail

Cinema: Del Toro’s devil is in the detail

The phenomenal success of his Spanish Civil War fantasy, Pan’s Labyrinth, turned Mexican director Guillermo Del Toro into a force in world cinema.

Cinema: Life in a day of London’s high society

Cinema: Life in a day of London’s high society

{ "#" : "London on the verge of World War II is the setting for , a witty but inconsequential romantic comedy based on the 1938 novel by Winifred Watson." , "b" : "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day"}

Cinema: A mummy better left buried

Cinema: A mummy better left buried

{ "#" : "The third instalment of Stephen Sommer’s franchise, , finally nails the lid down on the dusty old sarcophagus, seven years after the original revival gave a significant fillip to the action-adventure genre, while handily providing Brendan Fr

Cinema: Style and thrills as Ledger bows out

Cinema: Style and thrills as Ledger bows out

{ "#" : "After successfully redrawing the origins of his superhero character in Batman Begins three years ago, British director Christopher Nolan continues his story in the morbid and dangerous , a thrilling crime story cut with an acid misanthropy.

Cinema: Mamma Mia! Mon dieu!

Cinema: Mamma Mia! Mon dieu!

Theatre director Phyllida Lloyd makes her feature debut with this star-filled but horribly saccharine adaptation of the stage musical, based on the lyrics of Abba songs.

Inside the dark mind of a brilliant director

Inside the dark mind of a brilliant director

Spellbound By Beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and His Leading Ladies. By Donald Spoto, Hutchinson, €25.40