Six of the best films to see at the cinema this weekend

Cruise flies high, Soderbergh & co get lucky, and the big man’s back in a retooled T2

 

AMERICAN MADE ★★★★
Directed by Doug Liman. Starring Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright Olsen, Alejandro Edda, Caleb Landry Jones. 15A cert, general release, 115 min

Domhnall Gleeson and Tom Cruise in American Made
Domhnall Gleeson and Tom Cruise in American Made

Amusing, break-neck true-life thriller concerning Barry Seal (oddly ageless Cruise), a TWA pilot who was recruited by the CIA for surveillance and ended up running drugs and supplying the contras. American Made flings itself off a ledge in the opening moments and then flails in panic for the succeeding two hours. But it’s brash, funky, exciting and, crucially, it allows Cruise to have some fun with who he used to be. Review DC

LOGAN LUCKY ★★★★
Directed by Steven Soderbergh. Starring Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Riley Keough, Daniel Craig, Hilary Swank, Katie Holmes, Seth MacFarlane. 12A cert, general release, 118 min

Channing Tatum, Riley Keough and Adam Driver in Logan Lucky
Channing Tatum, Riley Keough and Adam Driver in Logan Lucky

Soderbergh emerges from quasi-retirement with a successful heist flick set among blue-collar eccentrics in rural West Virginia. Our assembled oddballs target the cash drops at a racetrack during the biggest Nascar event of the season. Craig is the safecracker. Tatum is the (ahem) mastermind. None of it is very probable, but the cast work the switches and the director’s characteristically sharp visual sense remains a delight. More fun than we deserve. Review DC

TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY ★★★★
Directed by James Cameron. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, Edward Furlong, Joe Morton. 15A cert, general release, 137 min

Arnold Schwarzenneger, Joe Morton and Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Arnold Schwarzenneger, Joe Morton and Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

James Cameron’s gift for stone-stepping from set-up to pay-off is best showcased in Aliens (1986) and in this carefully curated time capsule from the pre-grunge 1990s. Between the Proustian ripples inspired by Guns N’ Roses, PepsiCola, floppy fringes, arcade games and, lest we forget, Arnold Schwarzenegger, older viewers will be glad to note that this beautifully scrubbed new edition has aged rather well. T2 looks pristine. The 3D is the careful, immersive (and rather pointless) kind. The brightness loss, however, is unforgivable. Southern California and New Mexico take on the grey gloom of the midlands in midwinter. Peak from behind your glasses and there’s an entirely different film playing. Still, it's nice to see this oldie back on the big screen. Review/Trailer TB

NAPPING PRINCESS ★★★★
Directed by Kenji Kamiyama. Voices of Mitsuki Takahata, Shinnosuke Mitsushima. PG cert, general release, 110 min

Beautifully animated anime: Napping Princess
Beautifully animated anime: Napping Princess

In Heartland, a world of machines and car manufacture, a princess and her talking pirate teddy attempt to give heart and life to machines through a magic tablet. Back in Japan a sleepy young woman named Kokone is studying for her university entrance exams when her father, a talented mechanic, is arrested. It takes a special, innovative, spectacular kind of anime to simultaneously invite comparisons with Sailor Moon, The Wizard of Oz and Primer. This is it. TB Review/Trailer

AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER ★★★★
Directed by Jon Shenk and Bonni Cohen. Featuring Al Gore. PG cert, limited release, 99 min

As Al Gore offers a follow-up to his Oscar-winning environmental doc, there’s a new orange villain in town. As the former VP has it: “You always have a plan until you get punched in the face.” But he makes an optimistic presentation. We meet various well-wishers (John Kerry) and self-promoters (Justin Trudeau) as we journey from the Antarctic to Texas, where an amiable Republican mayor has introduced 100 per cent solar-powered electricity, and on to Florida. Sobering, but not without hope. TB Review/Trailer

QUEST ★★★★
Directed by Jonathan Olshefski. Featuring Christopher Rainey, Christine’a Rainey, Patricia Rainey, William Rainey. Club, limited release, 105 min

Beginning as Barack Obama was tussling with John McCain and ending during the rise of Trump, Olshefski followed the few ups and many downs of Christopher and Christine’a Rainey. Christopher is a rapper – performing as “Quest” – who also runs a studio for the local up-and-coming talent. Christine’a works at a shelter for abused women. The north Philadelphia streets are summoned up with great power. The characters are fully explored. An essential document. DC Review/Trailer

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