Paul Whittington: All Is True is entertaining and Ian McKellen adds a welcome acidic touch as Shakespeare's arrogant patron
Your guide to this week's movies:
The Lego Movie 2 (G, 107mins)
The Lego Movie was one of the biggest hits of 2014. It used Lego mini-figures and building blocks to tell the story of a power struggle in a kid's playroom. Chris Pratt did a fine job of voicing Emmet, an insanely optimistic construction worker who becomes an unlikely hero. Elizabeth Banks was his true love Wild Style, Will Arnett the impossibly conceived Batman, and all reprise their roles in this sequel which involves a mysterious attack of Duplo (baby Lego). It's neither as busy nor original as the first film, but it's still extremely funny in parts and skates along with giddy and irresistible joie de vivre.
Boy Erased (15A, 115mins)
Written and directed by Joel Edgerton, this slow-moving drama is based on a true story and explores the insanity of gender-conversion therapy. Lucas Hedges plays Jared, the college-going son of an Arkansas Baptist minister (Russell Crowe) and his wife (Nicole Kidman), who is sent to the Love in Action therapy centre, run by Victor Sykes (Edgerton), a very persuasive therapist who may not have any qualifications, but browbeats his inmates into renouncing their sexuality. Boy Erased features some fine performances, but The Miseducation Of Cameron Post tackled the same subject far more imaginatively.
All Is True (12A, 101mins)
All Is True is inspired by the fondly-held belief that, in 1513, following a devastating fire at the Globe Theatre, William Shakespeare (Kenneth Branagh) retired to Stratford and never wrote or acted again. There he faces a reckoning with his somewhat neglected wife (Judi Dench), and his angry, unmarried daughter, Judith (Kathryn Wilder). Scripted by Ben Elton and directed by Branagh, All Is True creates a lush and loving portrait of a literary lion in winter. It's entertaining, the acting is excellent and Ian McKellen adds a welcome acidic touch as Shakespeare's arrogant patron, the Earl of Southampton.