Sunday 26 February 2017

Paul Whitington: Film reviews

Paul Whitington

Arrietty (G, limited release)

HHHHI

This beautifully crafted Japanese animation from Studio Ghibli is based on Mary Norton's The Borrowers and tells the story of a sickly boy who discovers a family of little people living beneath his house.

BEAUTIFUL LIES

(12A, limited release)

HHIII

A redirected love letter leads to all manner of complications between a hairdresser, her mother and a man who has fallen in love with her in this rather creepy farce starring Audrey Tautou and Nathalie Baye.

BEGINNERS

(15A, general release)

HHHII

Ewan McGregor plays a son who struggles to cope when his septuagenarian father announces he's gay in Mike Mills' wistful comic drama. With Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent.

BRIDESMAIDS

(16, general release)

HHHHI

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.

CAPTAIN AMERICA

(PG, general release)

HHHII

Chris Evans is a 90-pound weakling transformed into a superhero by a wonder drug in this superhero film that brings wit and invention to a rather tired genre. With Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell, Tommy Lee Jones.

CARS 2

(G, general release)

HHIII

Lightning McQueen and his infuriating sidekick become embroiled in international espionage during a grand prix in this disappointing Pixar sequel. With Owen Wilson, Michael Caine.

COWBOYS & ALIENS

(15A, general release)

HHHII

Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig join forces to confront an alien invasion in a 19th-century frontier town in this daft but pretty enjoyable action film from Jon Favreau. With Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Paul Dano.

THE DEVIL'S DOUBLE

(16, general release)

HHIII

Dominic Cooper stars in this grisly drama based on the true story of Latif Yahia, an Iraqi army officer who experiences the madness of tyranny at first hand when he becomes Uday Hussein's body double.

FINAL DESTINATION 5

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GLEE: THE 3D CONCERT MOVIE

(16, general release)

HHIII

The cast of Glee enchant their slavish followers with cheesy cover versions of other people's songs in this 3D concert recorded in New Jersey during a tour last year. With Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale.

THE GUARD

(15A, general release)

HHHII

John Michael McDonagh's surreal crime comedy stars Brendan Gleeson as a Connemara garda sergeant who joins forces with a visiting FBI agent to take down an international drug-smuggling ring. With Don Cheadle.

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2

(12A, general release)

HHHII

In the action-packed final instalment of the most profitable franchise in movie history, Harry and Voldemort finally do battle for possession of Hogwarts and the world. With Daniel Radcliffe, Ralph Fiennes.

HORRIBLE BOSSES

(15A, general release)

HHHII

Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day play three idiots who decide to do away with their revolting bosses in this crude but surprisingly funny comedy. With Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell.

HORRID HENRY: THE MOVIE

(G, general release)

HHIII

Crime does pay for an obnoxious schoolboy in this frenetic children's comedy based on a series of books by Francesca Simon. Anjelica Huston, Richard E Grant and Theo Stevenson star.

IN A BETTER WORLD

(Club, IFI)

HHHII

A friendship between two variously disturbed teenage Danish boys leads them in dangerous directions in this nicely made but rather worthy Oscar-winning drama from Suzanne Bier.

KUNG FU PANDA 2

(PG, general release)

HHHII

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.

MR POPPER'S PENGUINS

(G, general release)

HHHII

Family comedy starring Jim Carrey as a divorced and work-obsessed father whose heart is melted when a gift of six penguins arrives on his Manhattan penthouse doorstep. With Angela Lansbury, Carla Guigno.

ONE DAY

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PROJECT NIM

(12A, limited release)

HHHHI

James Marsh's enthralling documentary charts the frankly deranged 70s experiment in which a baby chimpanzee was taken from its mother and raised as if it were a human child.

RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

(12A, general release)

HHHII

A chimpanzee whose intelligence has been augmented by an experimental drug leads a primate revolt against mankind in this entertaining Rupert Wyatt reboot. With James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto.

SENNA

(12A, general release)

HHHHI

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.

THE SKIN I LIVE IN

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THE SMURFS

(G, general release)

HHHII

The little blue creatures find themselves adrift in New York and on the run from a demented wizard in this tolerable family film that mixes animation and live action. With the voices of Katy Perry, Alan Cumming.

SUPER 8

(12A, general release)

HHHHI

A group of 70s kids shooting a zombie home movie stumble across some real horror in this hugely entertaining fantasy blockbuster from JJ Abrams. With Elle Fanning, Joel Courtney.

TREACLE JR

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THE TREE

(Club, IFI)

HHHII

Julie Bertucelli's self-consciously allegorical drama stars Charlotte Gainsbourg as an Outback mother whose husband dies suddenly and leaves her in charge of five unruly children.

THE TREE OF LIFE

(12A, general release)

HHHHI

Challenging, thought-provoking and visually spectacular, Terrence Malick's metaphysical drama stars Brad Pitt as the stern and demanding head of a 50s Texan family. With Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain.

ZOOKEEPER

(PG, general release)

HHIII

The inmates of a city zoo decide to come to the rescue of their clueless but devoted keeper when he gets involved with the wrong woman in this clumsy family comedy. With Rosario Dawson, Kevin James.

Day & Night

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