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

New this week: A bear’s essence, childhood dreams near Disney World, machismo ablaze, the birth of Wonder Woman, and naming names in Co Down

Marmalade dreamer: Paddington Bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) in Paddington 2

Marmalade dreamer: Paddington Bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) in Paddington 2

 

PADDINGTON 2 ★★★★
Directed by Paul King. Starring Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Hugh Grant, voice of Ben Whishaw. G cert, general release, 104 min

Paddington is fond of quoting his Aunt Lucy. “If you are kind and polite,” he reminds himself and others throughout this lovely, lovely sequel, “everything will come right”. It’s a mantra that holds the bear in good stead when he is framed for the theft of an antique pop-up book and, ultimately, sent down. Hugh Grant preens and puffs magnificently. Brendan Gleeson scowls and softens with similar aplomb. Both look to be having an absolute ball. As are we all. Review TB

THE FLORIDA PROJECT ★★★★★
Directed by Sean Baker. Starring Bria Vinaite, Brooklynn Prince, Willem Dafoe, Valeria Cotto, Christopher Rivera, Caleb Landry Jones, Macon Blair, Karren Karagulian. 15A cert, limited release, 111 min

One of the best films ever about childhood, Sean Baker’s follow-up to Tangerine goes among the poor families living in welfare motels near Walt Disney World in Orlando. Vinaite is vibrant as a distracted mom. Prince is explosive as her young daughter. Willem Dafoe nearly keeps order as the motel’s decent manager. The picture deals with parental irresponsibility so extreme it borders on criminal neglect, but The Florida Project remains stubbornly humanistic and openhearted throughout. Funny. Energised. Sad. Delightful. Review DC

ONLY THE BRAVE ★★★
Directed by Joseph Kosinski. Starring Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, James Badge Dale, Taylor Kitsch, Jennifer Connelly. 12A cert, general release, 133 min

Hugely macho study of the brave firefighters from a real-life crew in Arizona. Brolin and Bridges are the crusty chiefs, Teller the inevitable “rookie”. The ultimate impression is of a less jokey, fire-based version of John Milius’s great surfing epic Big Wednesday. We are all biding macho time until the big one comes around. It eventually does arrive and the results are properly bone-shaking. Tougher than the rest. Review DC

PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN ★★★
Directed by Angela Robinson. Starring Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote, Connie Britton, Oliver Platt. 16 cert, limited release, 108 min

Unusual, professionally made study of William Moulton Marston and Elizabeth Holloway Marston, two academics who managed to invent Wonder Woman when not inventing gender studies or pushing the boundaries of marriage. The film forgets to ask some pertinent moral questions and offers a clunky origin story for the superhero. But Hall and Evans have such classy fun in the lead roles that it proved hard to care. An interesting footnote to one of the year’s big hits. Review DC

NO STONE UNTURNED ★★★
Directed by Alex Gibney. 15A cert, limited release, 111 min

Gibney moves from documentaries on Scientology and Lance Armstrong to controversies concerning the UVF’s murder of six civilians in a Loughinisland pub during the 1994 World Cup. Unhappily, No Stone Unturned is one of the prolific film-maker’s less satisfactory efforts. Coded diagrams referring to suspects in the case are often more confusing than illuminating. The fact that last year’s Ombudsman’s report agrees with Gibson – confirming collusion with security forces – lessens the documentary’s impact. But it does name the key suspect for the first time. Review TB

THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER ★★★★
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. Starring Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan, Raffey Cassidy, Sunny Suljic, Alicia Silverstone, Bill Camp. 16 cert, general release, 121 min

The latest absurdist stunner from Lanthimos finds Barry Keoghan’s odd youth stalking Colin Farrell’s closed-off heart surgeon. Farrell, having previously channelled Fr Dougal on Valium for the purposes of The Lobster, finds unexpected new textures in flat to explore: think Buster Keaton doing Beckett. Kidman nails a sign to the wall. But it’s Keoghan who steals the show, thanks to a mouth-breathing, awkwardly gaited physicality and a breathless and-then-and-then playground game tone he uses to deliver his malevolent plan. Trailer/Review TB

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