Four new films to see in cinemas this week

Nope on general release, Hole in the Head at the IFI, Where Is Anne Frank and Blind Ambition on select release

Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer and Brandon Perea in Nope. Photograph: Universal Pictures

NOPE ★★★★☆

Directed by Jordan Peele. Starring Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun, Brandon Perea, Michael Wincott, Keith David, Wrenn Schmidt. 16 cert, gen release, 130 min

Peele follows up Get Out and Us with a strange, scattershot thriller concerning a horse trainer (Kaluuya, stony) who, with his sister (Palmer, electric), reorganises his perceptions when strange things happen in the heavens. There would be value to the film if it merely assembled such freaky singularities into a busy anthology. Peele has, however, a lot more on his mind. He may never again make a film so elegantly structured as Get Out, but the ferment of interlocking ideas here is so diverting it hardly matters that the film is more at home to a meander than steady ascent. Full review DC

HOLE IN THE HEAD ★★★★☆

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Directed by Dean Kavanagh. Starring John Curran, James Devereaux, Lynette Callaghan. IFI, Dublin, 95 min

Hole in the Head

After a decade and a half of experimental work, Kavanagh delivers a fascinating puzzle piece that balances abstract oddity with genuine narrative intrigue. Curran plays a near-mute filmmaker who, in search of missing parents and missing time, ask two actors (Devereaux and Callaghan) to help recreate a sequence of home movies. Everyone starts to go a bit mad. Filmed in lockdown, Hole in the Head is among the few such releases to make un unquestioned virtue of the attendant claustrophobia. Fun is had with old technologies. Mysteries double back on themselves. Fascinatingly odd. Full review DC

WHERE IS ANNE FRANK ★★★☆☆

Directed by Ari Folman. Voices of Ruby Stokes, Emily Carey, Sebastian Croft, Ralph Prosser, Michael Maloney, Samantha Spiro. PG cert, limited release, 99 min

Where Is Anne Frank. Photograph: PA/Altitude Film Distribution

Folman’s film animates both Anne’s diary and imagines a contemporary existence and adventure for her imaginary best friend Kitty. In common with Anne, Kitty finds a love interest named Peter, although her Peter is an Amsterdam street kid with friends who are classed as illegal immigrants. Against a backdrop where every street and tourist-friendly attraction seems to be named after Anne Frank, Kitty struggles to find out the fate of her chum. The convention of jumping between time periods can clutter the plot, but the film’s worth as an educational tool for pre-teens is inarguable. Full review TB

BLIND AMBITION ★★★☆☆

Directed by Robert Coe, Warwick Ross. Featuring Joseph Dhafana, Tinashe Nyamudoka, Marlvin Gwese, Pardon Tagazu. Limited release, 96 min

Blind Ambition. Photograph: Third Man Films

One of the contributors in this appealing, humane documentary almost evokes the plot of Cool Runnings, a fictionalised comedy inspired by the Jamaica national bobsleigh team’s debut in the 1988 Winter Olympics. Blind Ambition chronicles the similarly unlikely tale of four Zimbabwean immigrants to South Africa who enter World Wine Tasting Championships, an event wherein contestants are required to identify the species of grape used, the vintage, the country where it was made and the region where it was produced. They don’t quite get the fairytale ending they deserve, but they come close enough. Full review TB

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke, a contributor to The Irish Times, is Chief Film Correspondent and a regular columnist

Tara Brady

Tara Brady

Tara Brady, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a writer and film critic