FILM / Critical round-up

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The Independent Culture
RAINING STONES

'Without a lively, convincing cast, Loach's unadorned style might well appear drab. With these players, the risk never surfaces . . . A tremendous film that tackles what so many British film-makers love to shrink from: real people and problems, real joy and pain.' Geoff Brown, Times

'He's done this sort of film before. But the virtues of his realist, overtly concerned, working- class drama seem stronger in the nihilistic Nineties than ever before.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

'Good Loach movies - The Gamekeeper, Riff Raff, Raining Stones - rejoice in life's confusions and contusions and offer ironic sympathy as the only band-aid.' Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

THIS BOY'S LIFE

'Tries our patience by coasting along on the surface of conflicts . . . Adolescent growing pains, domestic frictions, wryly and atmospherically observed: these are reasons enough to enjoy the bulk of This Boy's Life.' Geoff Brown, Times

'Not far short of an attempt at Loach for the Americans . . . Might have been more meaningful left on the page than tidied up smartly for Hollywood . . . But Barkin and De Niro's performances are certainly riveting . . . Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays the boy, is good too.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

HARD BOILED

'Hard Boiled is 100 minutes of movie violence redeemed by its total remoteness from real life.' Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

'Woo's staging and cutting are certainly fast enough to set some pulses racing; but there comes a point when the choreographed violence and phenomenal body count turns your stomach and freezes your heart.' Geoff Brown, Times

'. . . full complement of swirlingly virtuoso action.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

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