Sunday 23 July 2017

REVIEWS: Paul Whittington’s movie round up

Paul Whitington

A BOUT PORTANT

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ARTHUR

(12A, general release)

**

In this fitfully amusing remake, Russell Brand plays a spoilt billionaire playboy whose wealth is threatened when he falls in love with a penniless waif from Queens. With Helen Mirren, Jennifer Garner, Greta Gerwig.

ATTACK THE BLOCK

(16, general release)

**

When a bunch of aliens invade a south-London housing estate they soon regret it in this clumsy and badly made low-budget British chiller from Joe Cornish. With Jodie Whitaker, Nick Frost.

BLITZ

(18, general release)

***

Brutal but surprisingly enjoyable crime caper starring Jason Statham as a hard-drinking south-London copper who goes on the warpath when an unhinged villain starts murdering police officers. With Paddy Considine.

BUILD SOMETHING MODERN

(Club, IFI)

***

A group of intrepid Irish architects recall their experiences building churches in sub-Saharan Africa in the early '60s in this documentary film from Paul Rowley and Nicky Gogan.

CEDAR RAPIDS

(15A, general release)

***

Ed Helms stars in this likeable comedy as a repressed insurance salesman who experiences an emotional awakening while attending a business conference in Iowa. With Anne Heche, Sigourney Weaver, John C Reilly.

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.

FAST & FURIOUS 5

(12A, general release)

**

Vin Diesel and the gang are back, roaring around Rio de Janeiro in a thoroughly daft story that sees them set out to bankrupt a local crime boss. With Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster.

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's 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.

HEARTBEATS

(16, limited release)

**

A rather self-absorbed young woman and her gay best friend fall in love with the same Montreal adonis in this mannered and pretentious drama written, directed by and starring Xavier Dolan.

HONEY 2

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HOP

(12A, general release)

***

Sentimental but rather winning kid's 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.

INSIDIOUS

(16, general release)

***

A suburban couple realise they are being pursued by a malevolent spirit when their son falls into an inexplicable coma in this breezy horror from James Wan. With Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey.

JULIA'S EYES

(16, limited release)

***

Atmospheric Spanish horror starring Belén Rueda as a woman whose eyesight begins to fail her as she investigates the suspicious death of her twin sister. Guillem Morales directs.

KABOOM

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KUNG FU PANDA 2

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LAST NIGHT

(12A, general release)

***

Fraught, stylish romantic drama from Massy Tadjedin starring Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington as a New York couple whose marriage is threatened over 24 chaotic hours. With Eva Mendes, Guillaume Canet.

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.

MOTHER'S DAY

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ONE HUNDRED MORNINGS

(15A limited release)

*****

In Conor Horgan's perfectly judged and beautifully made low-budget drama, two stranded couples ponder their options in the aftermath of an unspecified global disaster. With Ciaran McMenamin, Kelly Campbell.

ORANGES AND SUNSHINE

(15A, general release)

****

Jim Loach's brilliant drama based on a true story stars Emily Watson as a social worker in '80s Nottingham who uncovers a scandal involving the covert deportation of British children to Australia. With David Wenham.

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.

RANGO

(PG, general release)

****

A pet chameleon reinvents himself as a western gunslinger after getting stranded in the Mojave Desert in this hilarious and rather subversive Gore Verbinski animation.

With the voices of Abigail Breslin, Johnny Depp.

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

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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.

TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT

(16, general release)

**

An 80s geek trails disaster in his wake when he pursues a girl he had a crush on in high school in Michael Downe's clumsy romantic comedy. With Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Teresa Palmer.

13 ASSASSINS

(16, limited release)

****

Takashi Miike's violent but visually arresting historical drama stars Koji Yakusho as the leader of a band of veteran samurai who set out to ambush and kill the shogun's psychopathic half-brother.

THOR

(12A, general release)

***

In Kenneth Branagh's slow-moving but entertaining superhero yarn, Chris Hemsworth plays the impetuous Thor, who's banished to Earth after disobeying his father one too many times. With Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman.

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.

WINNIE THE POOH

(G, general release)

***

Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Rabbit set out to find Eeyore's missing tail in this charming children's film based on the timeless stories of AA Milne. With the voices of John Cleese, Jim Cummings.

WIN WIN

(15A, limited release)

****

Tom McCarthy's low-key indie comedy stars Paul Giamatti as a smalltown lawyer whose life changes when he takes in a client's runaway grandson. With Amy Ryan, Alex Shaffer.

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.

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