February Film Reviews | Monthly Roundup

FILM ROUND UP the finer things club uk lifestyle blog

Surprise surprise, we've been watching films again! We have been watching quite a few different TV series this month, inspired by our 10 TV Shows We Need To See post, so we haven't managed to watch too many movies. However, the ones we have got round to have been quite varied, so it should make for interesting reading. We hope! Comment below if you've watched these films and let us know what you thought of them! Also, check out our January film reviews if you've yet to do so. 

uk movie review blog

1. silver linings playbook (we loved it!)
2012 | 122 min | comedy / drama / romance
After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

BWe've had this on our 'to watch' list ever since it was at the cinema but we only got round to watching it this month. We were idiots, clearly, because this film was superb. The cast was stellar, the plot was highly engaging and the dialogue was heartfelt. I was so impressed by Bradley Cooper. I don't think I realised just how talented he really is! I cannot wait to read the book, because I've heard it's even better! Watch this film - you won't be disappointed. 

LI have to say I don't agree with Bee. I wasn't surprised by Bradley Cooper's performance in this film as I've seen quite a lot of films he has been in lately, and I think he has steadily become one of my favourite actors. Admittedly a few of these films he has been in recently, such as A Place Beyond the Pines and Limitless, have been disappointing but I think his performance did well to lift them. Silver Linings Playbook, on the other hand, is a film fitting of Cooper's talents, especially alongside Jennifer Lawrence's equally impressive performance. 

american beauty film review uk blog

2. american beauty (we loved it!)
1999 | 122 min | drama
Lester Burnham, a depressed suburban father in a mid-life crisis, decides to turn his hectic life around after developing an infatuation for his daughter's attractive friend.

BKevin Spacey is really bloody good at what he does, and his performance in this film was a testament to his talent. American Beauty was sobering, darkly comedic and executed perfectly. I can't wait to get started on House of Cards so I can enjoy even more Spacey!  

LThis film is one of those ones that if you have not yet watched it you really should get round to it. It's been on my radar for quite a while but I've never got around to watching it. Luckily that changed this month and this film has further solidified my opinion that Kevin Spacey is, and has been, one of the best actors for a number of decades now. Whether he's voicing Gerty in Moon or playing the intriguing character that is Roger Kint in The Usual Suspects, he never seems to disappoint. Fascinating topics, characters and an impressive script are just a few things that make this film a real beauty of American cinema! 

thor 2 the dark world film review uk lifestyle blog

3. thor: the dark world (we thought it was ok!)
2013 | 112 min | action / adventure / fantasy
When Jane Foster is possessed by a great power, Thor must protect her from a new threat of old times: the Dark Elves. 

B: Thor is one of my least favourite superheroes, just because I'm not crazy about the setting. However, as Luke watches so many films that I suggest, I thought I'd give it a chance. There was a lot of action, and impressive special effects. However, I just wasn't crazy about it. I really didn't like the way they portrayed Natalie Portman's character. She plays a highly intelligent scientist, yet she spends the films being defined by her love interest. I just found it really disappointing. I also think they could've done a bit more with the plot, because the setting does have potential. I do have to admit that the ending was pretty explosive, and I can see people really enjoying this film. I'd recommend it to fans of the superhero movies, but that's about it. 

LI'm going to have to disagree with Bee again on this one, as I think Thor and his home world of Asgard offers one of the most interesting settings of all of the Avengers. It's a shame this film couldn't really build on that, every time it jumps back to Earth from Asgard my interest dropped. I'm really not a fan of Natalie Portman's character in this film, its a damsel-in-distress constraint that in my opinion was a hindrance to the film and the scope of its plot. I loved Asgard, its characters, setting and somewhat unique mix of sci-fi and Norse mythology, and I just wish it would have been the main or perhaps even sole focus.  

only god forgives uk lifestyle blog film review

4. only god forgives (we abandoned it!)
2013 | 90 min | crime / drama / thriller 
Julian, a drug-smuggler thriving Bangkok's criminal underworld, sees his life get even more complicated when his mother compels him to find and kill whoever is responsible for his brother's recent death.

BCan we please stop Gosling from doing silent stylised films?! I just don't get them. They aren't enjoyable. They're confusing, and they don't make for interesting viewing. This was all gore and no substance, for me, so we switched it off. Watch it if you're intrigued, or like your films quiet and gorey, or have a niche interest in old men singing for no apparent reason. Terrible. 

LThis was too stylised - way way too stylised. I just couldn't watch it, and I hate not finishing films! I couldn't work out whether it was like watching raw footage of something that had only just finished filming, or a film that had been edited by a mad-man bent on removing almost all dialogue, possible character attachments and general plot direction. Only watch this film if you have to, or you are immortal and have all the time in the world to waste. 

bad grandpa film review blog

5. jackass presents: bad grandpa (we liked it!)
2013 | 92 min | comedy
86 year old Irving Zisman takes a trip from Nebraska to North Carolina to take his 8 year old grandson, Billy, back to his real father.

BJackass movies are my guilty pleasure. I was a bit apprehensive about watching this one, because I wasn't sure whether the narrative would fit around the pranks seamlessly. Thankfully, it did. The narrative was also surprisingly warm and heartfelt in places! There were a few moments in this film where Luke and I were in absolute hysterics, so it's definitely worth a watch if you're a fan. 

LThere is no denying that certain scenes in this film made me laugh, a lot. Like Bee, I was also apprehensive about this film, but mainly because I just didn't think Zisman's transition from small scenes in the Jackass franchise to fully fledged feature film would go that well. My worries were gladly put aside, however, and I'm glad to say I liked this film. Like I mentioned earlier, it did make me laugh a lot at times and for the most part it kept a smile on my face. Like you'd expect it does err very close to certain soft spots in society but in the end I think it's done well and largely with the aim of making people laugh!

catfish the movie film review

6. catfish: the movie (bee loved it!)
2010 | 87 min | documentary
Young filmmakers document their colleague's budding online friendship with a young woman and her family which leads to an unexpected series of discoveries. 

BI'm a massive fan of the TV series, so I just had to watch the original movie. I found it absolutely fascinating, and I'd recommend it to Catfish fans, those who love a good documentary and those who are interested in the online world. 

mud film review lifestyle blog

7. mud (we liked it!)
2012 | 130 MIN | drama
Two young boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the vigilantes that are on his trail and to reunite him with his true love. 

BThis was quite an interesting film but it was the dialogue that really allowed its actors to shine with McConaughey, Witherspoon and the child actors all putting in great performances. I think McConaughey is a really interesting actor at the moment, and I'm looking forward to checking out more of his work - True Detective, in particular. I'm not sure whether this is one of those films that you can only watch once, but it's a good one at that!

LWow, if I had my own boat and an island to explore as a kid I would barely be seen in civilisation, in fact, give me those things right now and the outcome would be pretty much the same. I found it really fascinating to see the lives of the two kids in this film, helped by their impressive performances, living with the responsibilities of adults in comparison to the world I've been living in. It's all the little things that surround the main plot that made me really like this film and if you give it a chance they could be the very things that make you like it too.

jackass number two film review blog

8. jackass number two (we liked it!)
2006 | 92 min | action / comedy
Chris Pontius, Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Bam Margera, and the whole crew return to the screen to raise the stakes higher than ever before. 

BAs I said above, Jackass films are my guilty pleasure. You know exactly what you're going to get from them, and whilst they're near the knuckle, and unpleasant, they're also quite fun and made to make you laugh.

LI think this is the fifth time I've watched this film now and it still manages to make me laugh and wince at the expense of the hilarious cast. It's one of those films I seem to enjoy more when I'm watching it with someone who hasn't before, just to see their reaction. It's mindless laughs, unless you're a health and safety fanatic.  

2004 | 119 min | adventure / comedy / drama
With a plan to exact revenge on a mythical shark that killed his partner, oceanographer Steve Zissou rallies a crew that includes his estranged wife, a journalist, and a man who may or may not be his son. 

BI'm a sucker for Wes Anderson's films, and I'm not ashamed to admit that. I think they're just beautifully done, and this was no exception. Whilst it's not my favourite Anderson, Murray was perfectly cast as Zissou and the supporting cast perfectly delivered the dialogue that was both pleasant and poignant. Also, it's got Jeff Goldblum in it. 

brother bear film review uk lifestyle blog

10. brother bear (we thought it was ok!)
2003 | 85 min | animation / adventure / family
When a young Inuit hunter needlessly kills a bear, he is magically changed into a bear himself as punishment with a talkative cub being his only guide to changing back. 

BWe fancied a light watch, so we thought we'd revisit Brother Bear. It had a pretty good message, was quite aesthetically pleasing and both the mooses(?!) and the rams delivered some funny lines. However, I think the voice acting could have been a lot better, and I would've appreciated a bit more adventure to really pull the film along. I'm also not sure just how much this film appropriated Inuit culture, either. That said, it's a relatively fun family friendly film for a quiet afternoon. 

LThis film wasn't as good as I remember it being but I guess that's the risk you take when you re-watch films from your childhood. Like Bee has mentioned, the voice work could have been better, especially for the main furry protagonist, but saying that I thought the supporting cast did well to pick things up at times (especially the mooses). I remember a lot more happening in this film so it was disappointing to see the adventure not really take off. Putting my bugbears aside though, I think it has a brilliant message, for kids and adults alike, on how to treat animals.  

12 years a slave film review
11. 12 years a slave
2013 |134 MIN | biography / drama / history

B: Just, wow. This film is a masterpiece. I can only hope that this powerful piece of cinema helps to open up a wider dialogue on race, and the white privilege that still plagues today's society.  

LLast Sunday I found myself sat down watching the BAFTAs, largely due to the alluring voice of Stephen Fry but also I guess because its a good barometer of the films that I should really make an effort to see this year. One film that seemed to stand out among the rest was 12 Years A Slave, and it wasn't just because it won best film. It was the reaction of so many in the crowd that caught my eye, how proud and satisfied everyone looked when Steve McQueen and others went up to collect the main award of the night. It seemed like it was far more than just a film and after watching it for myself I feel I can safely say it is the best piece of cinema I have seen in a long time. Of all the films in our list, this is the only one I would say you really really should not let pass you by.  

B: 12 Years A Slave
L: 12 Years A Slave

  What have you watched this month?
• Do you have any recommendations?

LEAVE US YOUR ANSWERS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW or tweet us using @tftcblog. If you enjoyed this post, feel free to subscribe through Bloglovin and check us out on Twitter. We'll see you on Wednesday!

with regards, THE FINER THINGS CLUB.



  1. I'm doubting on whether to watch 12 years A Slave because my best friend and her boyfriend recently watched it and said the film really hit them, especially the brutal scenes. I haven't watched much films this month because I've been glued to watching White Collar, Supernatural, Queer as Folk and House of Cards- only seen two episodes and I'm already hooked.. I've seen About Time (strongly recommend it- you might get teary but it's awesome), The Sessions and Café de Flore.

    Cool reviews!

  2. I really need to see 12 years a slave so many people have recommended it! I went and saw Dallas Buyers Club this month which I strongly recommend as it is fantastic!

    I am glad you both liked Silver Linings Playbook, it is one of my favourite films and if you haven't already go and see American Hustle!

  3. This was probably across 2 months but recently I've seen Her, Wolf of Wall Street and Dallas Buyers Club. I recommend them all but if you was going to pick one definitely go with Wolf of Wall Street. I thought Silver Lines Playbook lacked for the story side but I loved them two, they're wonderful actors. (And actress.) Wasn't totally sure about 12 years a slave but you two have definitely convinced me!
    Amy x
    Everything and Amy

  4. I agree with you about Silver Linings Playbook - both Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence's performances were brilliant. I loved Mud too and definitely want to see more of Matthew McConaughey's films. I've been meaning to see 12 Years a Slave for ages, so it's definitely on my list to watch next!


  5. 12 Years a Slave was so good but such a difficult watch. Only God Forgives really disappointed me; it was too pretentious and confusing and even though I made it to the end I definitely didn't gain anything from the experience! I have Mud on my to-watch list, it sounds great.
    I recently watched Winter's Bone which was great but very bleak, but my favourite recent watch is Blue Valentine; it was so well made, but incredibly sad and I still feel a bit upset about it! I'd definitely recommend it though xx

  6. I recently watched 12 Years A Slave and it is a stunning film. Everything about it is perfect and it deserves all the awards it receives, if not more! x

    Hannah | Ruins or Relics

  7. i just recently watched " Drinking Buddies" ( it was alright) and "Camp Takota" which was so fun!!

  8. Loved reading this, have just downloaded Mud and Catfish - am intrigued as to what happens after watching the trailer! American Beauty is also amazing! xxx


  9. I so want to watch 12 Years a Slave, I need to make a conscious effort to watch more movies this year rather than sitting in front of The Real Housewives of...
    I'd recommend you guys some old classics if that's your kind of thing. I love the old black and white Screwball Comedies like Bluebeard's Eighth Wife and my all time favourite: Bringing Up Baby. Sometimes the old films are the best!
    Nina from little nomad

  10. I absolutely agree with you about the Silver Linings Playbook as it is one of my favourite movies to date, and I also recommend you the book if you haven't read it yet as it is just as good as the movie.




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