Sunday 21 October 2018

Movie reviews: American Animals, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, The Nun

Barry Keoghan with Even Peters in heist drama 'American Animals'
Barry Keoghan with Even Peters in heist drama 'American Animals'

Paul Whitington

Paul Whitington reviews this week's other new releases.

American Animals

(15A, 117mins)

4 stars

Bart Layton’s strange and distinctive indie thriller is based on the true story of four young men who robbed the library of Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky in 2004. Barry Keoghan and Evan Peters (right) play Spencer Reinhard and Warren Lipka, high school friends whose hunger for significance leads them to their crackpot plan. Their exploits are intercut with the reflections of the real protagonists, and surprisingly, this odd mix of documentary and drama works.

Read more: 'My whole aim has been to show my range' - Barry Keoghan talks 'American Animals' and 'Black 47'

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

(16, 91mins)

5 stars

Desiree Akhavan’s powerful drama is set in 1993 and stars Chloe Grace Moretz as Cameron, a high school girl who’s sent to a gay conversion therapy centre after being caught kissing a girl. There, she’s subjected to ghastly Christian folk songs and browbeaten by quack psychologist Dr Lydia Marsh (Jennifer Ehle), a thinly smiling bully who claims there’s no such thing as homosexuality. It’s a very fine film, and thoroughly debunks a barbaric practice.

The Nun

(16, 96mins)

2 stars

James Wan’s Conjuring franchise has cleverly spun a modest supernatural yarn into a kind of demonic soap opera, but The Nun may be a chill too far. It’s the 1950s and the Vatican sends exorcist Father Burke (Demian Bichir) and novice nun Irene (Taissa Farmiga) to a Romanian convent to investigate a suicide. Nuns levitate, Latin devotions are furiously muttered, but only a phial of the Christ’s blood will end the nonsense. I wish they’d used it earlier.

Also releasing this week: Black 47 movie review: 'Lance Daly’s Famine epic is an admirable attempt to go where no one has gone before'

Read more: Bye bye summer blockbusters, here are 17 of the best film releases to check out in autumn 

Films coming soon...

Crazy Rich Asians (Henry Golding, Constance Wu); Mile 22 (Mark Wahlberg, John Malkovich); Superfly (Trevor Jackson); Lucky (Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch); The Predator (Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes).

Irish Independent

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