Friday 9 December 2016

Film Reviews: Paul Whitington's Movie Round Up

Paul Whitington

Published 08/07/2011 | 05:00

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BAD TEACHER * * *

(16, general release)

Knowingly trashy comedy starring Cameron Diaz as a gold-digging bad girl who takes a job as a substitute high-school teacher in order to pay for an impending boob job. With Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake.

THE BEAVER * * *

(15A, general release)

In this uneven but interesting comic drama from Jodie Foster, Mel Gibson delivers a strong performance as a businessman who begins to communicate with the world via a glove puppet after a nervous breakdown.

BRIDESMAIDS * * * *

(16, general release)

Kristen Wiig co-wrote and stars in this delightful ensemble comedy as a likeable but scatty woman whose attempts to organise her best friend's hen party end in chaos. With Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy.

THE CONSPIRATOR * * *

(12A, general release)

Dull but worthy historical drama from Robert Redford based on the unseemly rush for vengeance and scapegoats that followed the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. With James McAvoy, Robin Wright.

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID 2: RODERICK RULES * * *

(G, general release)

Lively comic sequel about a geeky kid with a fertile imagination who does battle with his obnoxious older brother while trying to win the heart of a new girl at school. With Zachary Gordon, Devon Bostick.

FILM SOCIALISME

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THE FIRST GRADER * * *

(12A, limited release)

Justin Chadwick's moving drama tells the true story of an 84-year-old veteran of the Mau Mau uprising against British rule who turned up at his local primary school in 2001 hoping to learn to read and write.

THE GREEN LANTERN * * *

(12A, general release)

Glossy and reasonably entertaining 3D yarn starring Ryan Reynolds as a cocky air-force test pilot who develops super powers after being chosen by aliens to become part of an elite extraterrestrial corps of guardians.

THE GUARD

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THE HANGOVER: PART 2 * *

(16, general release)

The band of idiots decamp to Thailand to wreck Stu's wedding to the girl of his dreams in this lazy, charmless and deeply unpleasant sequel. With Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis.

HANNA * * * *

(15A, general release)

In Joe Wright's stylish and impressive thriller, a young girl who has been raised in the Arctic wilderness and trained as an assassin is pursued by a rogue CIA agent across North Africa and Europe. With Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett.

HONEY 2 * *

(PG, general release)

Katerina Graham is the girl from the wrong side of the tracks who enters a high-stakes dance competition with a new 'crew' in this hackneyed and shamelessly derivative sequel. With Lonette McKee.

HOP * * *

(12A, general release)

Sentimental but rather winning kids' film that mixes live action and animation and stars James Marsden as a Los Angeles slacker who runs into a talking rabbit that turns out to be the Easter Bunny. With the voices of Russell Brand, Hugh Laurie.

KUNG FU PANDA 2 * * *

(PG, general release)

Po the Panda and the Furious Five set out to confront a megalomaniac peacock who wishes to destroy China in this enjoyable animated sequel. With the voices of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Gary Oldman.

LA PRINCESSE DE MONTPENSIER

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LARRY CROWNE * * *

(12A, general release)

Tom Hanks directs and stars opposite old friend Julia Roberts in this cloying but enjoyable romantic comedy about a middle-aged man who loses his job and decides to reinvent himself.

MAMMUTH * *

(Club, IFI)

Uneven French drama starring Gérard Depardieu as a recently retired slaughterhouse worker who embarks on a journey of discovery across rural France. With Yolande Moreau, Isabelle Adjani.

THE MESSENGER * * * *

(15A, general release)

Oren Moverman's impressive debut feature stars Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster as US soldiers given the grim job of informing relatives about combat fatalities. With Steve Buscemi, Samantha Morton.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES * * *

(12A, general release)

Captain Jack joins forces with an old flame to search for the fountain of youth in this overlong but modestly entertaining sequel. With Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane.

RIO * * *

(G, general release)

A domesticated Blue Macaw experiences a severe culture shock when he returns to his native Brazil to save his species in this colourful and entertaining computer animation. With the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway.

THE RUNWAY * * *

(PG, limited release)

A Colombian pilot who crash-lands in Co Cork becomes the toast of a small country town in this likeable comic drama from Ian Power. With Jamie Kierans, Kerry Condon, Demian Bichir.

SENNA * * * *

(12A, general release)

Asif Kapadia's excellent documentary tells the story of Ayrton Senna, the charismatic Brazilian who dominated Formula 1's golden age until his premature death in 1994 at the age of just 34.

A SEPARATION * * * *

(Club, IFI)

In Asghar Farhadi's complex and compelling drama, a husband and wife become victims of a tragic misunderstanding after they decide to separate. With Leila Hatami, Peyman Moadi.

SWINGING WITH THE FINKELS *

(16, general release)

Dire sex farce starring Martin Freeman and Mandy Moore as a couple who decide to spice up their snooze of a marriage by joining a group of 'swingers'. With Angus Deayton, Melissa George, Jonathan Silverman.

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON * * *

(12A, general release)

Big, bold and incredibly loud, Michael Bay's 3D action sequel proves a lot more entertaining than the last Transformers film, as Sam and the Autobots set out to save the Earth from the Decepticons.

THE TREE OF LIFE

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VIVA RIVA!

(18, limited release)

An ambitious hoodlum bites off more than he can chew in this promising but ultimately trashy crime thriller set in the forbidding slums of Kinshasa. With Patsha Bay, Manie Malone.

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS * *

(12A, general release)

Handsome but deadly dull romantic drama starring Robert Pattinson as a restless young man in 30s America who finds adventure and troubled love when he joins a passing circus. With Reese Witherspoon.

THE WAY * *

(12A, general release)

Emilio Estevez directs his father Martin Sheen in this emotional drama about an elderly Californian who comes to Europe to follow his dead son's footsteps along the Camino de Santiago. With Deborah Kara Unger.

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS * * *

(12A, general release)

The Cuban missile crisis forms the backdrop to this surprisingly enjoyable superhero prequel about the origins of Charles Xavier's X-Men. With James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, January Jones.

Day & Night

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