Rental and retail dvd & video (columbia tristar home entertainment, widescreen)

Secret Window

Highly entertaining Stephen King adaptation, stylishly directed by David Koepp, with a mesmerising Johnny Depp as a best-selling mystery writer in the throes of a messy divorce who's accused of plagiarism—and threatened with unpleasant retribution—by sinister hillbilly John Turturro. Cue havoc on all fronts, and bodies piling up very quickly indeed. Splendid.

The Missing

When her daughter's kidnapped by murderous types in this odd, grisly gothic western, frontierswoman Cate Blanchett saddles up and gives chase, accompanied by estranged father Tommy Lee Jones. A tiresomely grim offering from Ron Howard, whose fussy, pointlessly tricksy direction is a consistently irritating distraction. Very poor.


Predictably brash big-screen version of unremarkable '70s TV show, with Samuel L Jackson knocking a rogue SWAT team into shape and making unlikely heroes of them. There's more gunfire than dialogue, so Jackson isn't asked to do more than shout a lot, while Colin Farrell squints manfully and kills everyone in sight.

Punch-Drunk Love

The fundamental tension here isn't whether bipolar salesman Barry (Adam Sandler) will end up with doe-eyed English executive Lena (Emily Watson). No, the question here is one of authorship. At a snappy 97 minutes, detailing Sandler's eccentric but essentially loveable dufus, his explosive temper and wacky air-miles scam, it fits neatly into the Sandler lineage. Yet, with Sandler's broader antics leavened by long tracking shots and static arthouse takes, the film is recognisably the work of pop-auteur Paul Thomas Anderson.

Good-Time Charlie

Being John Malkovich team twist the rules of narrative to ingenious comic effect


Boisterous action ensues when colourfully tattooed extreme sports fanatic Xander Cage is press-ganged into the service of the US government. Rob Cohen directs with brutal bravado, there are some amazing stunts, and the whole thing is noisily entertaining. Vin Diesel's Xander, though, is no match for Kurt Russell's Snake Plissken, and a touch of John Carpenter's genuine anarchy would have been welcome.

Editor's Picks