Matt Glasby

U.K. CRITIC

Matt is a UK entertainment journalist whose credits include Total Film, Little White Lies, Digital Spy, GQ and Q.

mattglasby

Interview: ‘Everest’ Star Jason Clarke

Matt GlasbyFeatures | 14 Sep

Jason Clarke’s career as a Hollywood hardcase is blowing hot and cold, but mostly the former. Born in Winton, Queensland (where The Proposition was shot) he hit the big time Stateside with Zero Dark Thirty (2012), in a role no A-lister would have dared touch; then held his own against an army of CG simians […]

Review: Amy

Matt GlasbyReviews | 03 Aug

This year has brought forth quality documentaries about three of music’s brightest burnouts, each appropriate to the artist. The explosive Cobain: Montage Of Heck smelt unmistakably of teen spirit; Heaven Adores You was as sweetly sensitive as Elliott Smith’s forgiving folk songs; while Senna director Asif Kapadia’s Amy is in-your-face intimate, a tragic rise and fall lit by paparazzi flashbulbs. From the opening […]

Review: Man Up

Matt GlasbyReviews | 18 Jun

We’ve all come across good-enough films before. Not bad per se, not memorable either, but if caught in the right middling mood – or on a plane – good enough. Ben (The Inbetweeners Movie) Palmer’s London-set rom-com pairs American indie queen Lake Bell with British nerd king Simon Pegg and is, for the most part, […]

Review: Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck

Matt GlasbyReviews | 24 Apr

Borrowing its title from one of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s musical collages, Brett (The Kid Stays In The Picture) Morgen’s exhaustive tribute is aptly named and damn-near definitive. Less a documentary than a swirling mass of doodles, diary entries, backstage grabs and home movies, it puts us right inside Kurt’s roiling brain, a disturbing place […]

Review: Testament of Youth

Matt GlasbyReviews | 23 Apr

Vera Brittain was an English writer who grew up in the shadow of World War I, challenging the sexism of the times to study at Oxford University, serve her country as a nurse, and publish this eponymous memoir in 1933. Sifting through her story, the biggest question is why hasn’t Testament been filmed before (besides a 1979 […]

Review: Birdman

Matt GlasbyReviews | 15 Jan

It’s very rare you find a film unlike any you’ve ever seen before, but Birdman, co-written and directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu (Biutiful, Babel) more than fits the bill. You could describe it as Magnolia crossed with Black Swan. Or Rope meets The Player. Or Sunset Boulevard via Crank. You could call it anything, in fact, and you’d barely get close. If you like […]

Review: Nightcrawler

Matt GlasbyReviews | 25 Nov

The onset of so-called citizen journalism – whereby members of the public capture the news on camera – is meant to be democratic, but what if the citizen in question isn’t quite all there? Sounding like an X-Man and, with his up-all-night eyes and clammy skin, looking a bit like one too, Jake Gyllenhaal’s Lou […]

Review: Jimmy’s Hall

Matt GlasbyReviews | 20 Nov

British director Ken Loach is known – and loved – for dramas of quiet outrage, such as Poor Cow, Kes and My Name Is Joe. Jimmy’s Hall is rumoured to be his last, which would be a pity for two reasons. Firstly, the industry needs film-makers with a moral compass. Secondly, it’s not strong enough to be his swansong. “Inspired by […]

Review: Life of Crime

Matt GlasbyReviews | 18 Nov

You have to hand it to writer/director Daniel Schechter. Although a legitimate Elmore Leonard adaptation in its own right, Life of Crime feels more like a cheeky Quentin Tarantino prequel because its main characters, clueless crooks Ordell Robbie (Mos Def), Louis Gara (John Hawkes) and Melanie (Isla Fisher), all appeared in Jackie Brown. Which takes […]

Review: A Most Wanted Man

Matt GlasbyReviews | 21 Oct

Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014) was, hands down, one of the greatest screen actors of his generation. The problem faced by works like this, released in the wake of his untimely death, is that it’s no longer just a film, but an epitaph. Besides an unflattering debt to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – a rather more ambitious Le Carré […]

Interview: Jason Clarke talks ‘Terminator: Genisys’

Matt GlasbyFeatures | 01 Sep

Australian actor Jason Clarke is so modest you’d never have him down as a man whose last four films made more than US$1.2bn. But then, unassuming or not, he’s made some great choices since relocating to LA, picking blockbusters (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Great Gatsby) that put savvy ahead of size. […]

Review: Calvary

Matt GlasbyReviews | 30 Jun

Named after the site where Jesus was crucified – though set in rural Ireland – John Michael McDonagh’s follow-up to The Guard manages to provoke both thought and laughter, while saying something profound about the human soul. Its first – show-stopping – scene finds worldly wise Father James (Brendan Gleeson) in the confession booth. “I first tasted […]

Review: Good Vibrations

Matt GlasbyReviews | 09 Jun

Good Vibrations may be the most aptly monikered film of the year. Overspilling with boozy bonhomie, it thrums along to its own inimitable groove, leaving you little choice but to join the party. Beginning, “Once upon a time in the city of Belfast…” it tells the barely credible – but true – story of Terri Hooley, […]

Review: Only Lovers Left Alive

Matt GlasbyReviews | 29 Apr

There’s a certain kind of dissolute beauty advertisers use to suggest that being a strung-out supermodel or junkie rock-star would be awesome, rather than grim. Those execs would sell their souls for a drop of what courses through Jim (Dead Man) Jarmusch’s latest indie – not to mention the veins of its vampire protagonists: pure, liquid cool. […]

Review: The Selfish Giant

Matt GlasbyReviews | 01 Apr

Though inspired by Oscar Wilde’s religious allegory, there’s nothing genteel – or veiled – about documentary-maker turned writer/director Clio Barnard’s powerful portrait of austerity England. And nobody’s going to be redeemed either. Schoolboys Arbor (the award-winning Conner Chapman in his first role) and Swifty (Shaun Thomas, every bit as good) are mates on a council […]

Review: The Great Beauty

Matt GlasbyReviews | 27 Mar

Writer/director Paolo Sorrentino makes big, brassy films about all things Italian – not for everyone, or every mood – but his latest effort won this year’s Best Foreign Language Oscar, so he’s doing something right. With the richness – and frustrations – of a rambling novel, The Great Beauty doesn’t really fit a genre, although comedy-drama will […]

Review: Romeo and Juliet

Matt GlasbyReviews | 26 Mar

William Shakespeare’s classic romance has been made into a musical (West Side Story), an animation (Gnomeo and Juliet) and MTV (Baz Luhrman’s Romeo + Juliet), among other things, so it’s hard to know where’s left for it to go onscreen. Adapted by Downton Abbey‘s Julian Fellowes, and set among Italy’s sun-dappled – but strangely empty – palazzos, […]

Review: Stories We Tell

Matt GlasbyReviews | 06 Mar

“Love is so short, forgetting is so long,” quotes a major character in Canadian actor/writer/director Sarah Polley’s gorgeous, quietly daring family documentary. A memorial to her late mother, Diane, an actress who smiled like Marilyn Monroe and conducted her love life just as chaotically, it consists of frank interviews with the extended Polley clan interspersed […]

Review: Le Week-End

Matt GlasbyReviews | 18 Feb

A wistful awards hopeful like Philomena, this drifty comedy-drama from Notting Hill‘s Roger Michell has a spring in its step, but grey in its beard. Excellent as always, veteran charmers Jim Broadbent and Lyndsay Duncan play squabbling couple Nick and Meg, pensionable marrieds who huff and puff a picaresque path around Paris in the hope of rekindling […]

Review: All is Lost

Matt GlasbyReviews | 18 Feb

On the surface, writer/director J.C. Chandor’s second film couldn’t be more different to his debut Margin Call, an excellent ensemble drama depicting the 2008 Wall Street meltdown. But look closer and you’ll see evidence of an auteur at work. Both films benefit from a brutal consistency of time and place, and both pit their protagonists against […]

Review: 12 Years a Slave

Matt GlasbyReviews | 31 Jan

Despite reports to the contrary, Steve McQueen’s Oscar-bait drama is not the greatest film ever made. It may well be the greatest film ever made about slavery, but that says more about the movie world than the work itself. Playing real-life free man Solomon Northup, who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1840’s Louisiana, […]

Review: American Hustle

Matt GlasbyReviews | 20 Jan

The con is on in David O Russell’s Oscar-bait caper. But the greatest mystery is how a super-camp, slightly indie sting flick found itself rubbing shoulder pads with more serious-minded awards contenders. When fraudsters Christian Bale and Amy Adams get caught by Bradley Cooper’s prissy Fed, they’re forced to turn the screws on crooked politician […]