Four new films to see this week

The onset of puberty sends Riley around the bend in excellent sequel Inside Out 2, plus offbeat Bigfoot dramedy Sasquatch Sunset, Ama Gloria from France and Hounds from Morocco

Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler) and Anxiety (Maya Hawke) in Inside Out 2. Photograph: Disney/Pixar

Inside Out 2 ★★★★☆

Directed by Kelsey Mann. Voices of Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Kensington Tallman, Lewis Black, Tony Hale, Maya Hawke, Ayo Edebiri, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Diane Lane, Kyle Maclachlan. G cert, gen release, 96 min

If Pixar’s Inside Out had a problem, it sprang from the profoundly American notion that all life can be made to obey a system. Inside Out 2 is also largely about the breaking down of such order. What else but puberty could so shake up the inhabitants of young Riley’s head? The jokes are strong and the adventure is diverting. What sets the film apart, however, is a central sadness. The argument is that the teenage years (and perhaps all adulthood) are ruled by anxiety, envy, embarrassment and boredom. Don’t work. The new Pixar is more entertaining than that makes it sound. Full review DC

Sasquatch Sunset ★★★★☆

Nathan Zellner and Riley Keogh in Sasquatch Sunset. Photograph: Icon Film Distribution

Directed by David Zellner, Nathan Zellner. Starring Riley Keough, Jesse Eisenberg, Christophe Zajac-Denek, Nathan Zellner. 12A cert, gen release, 88 min

Sasquatch Sunset concerns a makeshift family of cryptozoological wood apes of the title. A brutish alpha male (Zellner) and his female mate (Keough) spend their days fornicating and foraging. The most talked about festival title at both Berlin and Sundance is finally here with a riot of masturbation, defecation, and Erasure-soundtracked extirpation. No film since Swiss Army Man, in which a frazzled Paul Dano dragged Daniel Radcliffe’s flatulent corpse around an island, has married scatology and austere arthouse rhythms quote like this new Bigfoot-themed dramedy from the Zellners, creators of Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter. Full review TB

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Ama Gloria ★★★★☆

Louise Mauroy-Panzani and Ilça Moreno Zego in Ama Gloria. Photograph: Lilies Films

Directed by Marie Amachoukeli-Barsacq. Starring Louise Mauroy-Panzani, Ilça Moreno Zego, Arnaud Rebotini. Limited release, 85 min

Former Caméra d’Or winner Amachoukeli-Barsacq’s affecting quasi-autobiographical drama is sweetly reminiscent of Céline Sciamma’s child-centric will-o’-the-wisps, Petit Maman and My Life as a Courgette. Based on the writer-director’s relationship with her childhood nanny. Ama Gloria concerns Cléo, a motherless six-year-old, and her adoration of Gloria, her Cape Verdean carer. It’s tempting to read a colonial narrative in Cléo’s reluctant surrender of the only maternal figure she has ever known. But Louise Mauroy-Panzani’s uncanny performance ensures we’re solely fixated on the child’s psychodrama. Touching and elegantly composed. TB

Hounds ★★★★☆

Ayoub Elaid and Abdellatif Masstouri in Hounds. Photograph: Barney Production/Mont Fleuri Production/Beluga Tree

Directed by Kamal Lazraq. Starring Ayoub Elaid, Abdellatif Masstouri, Mohamed Hmimsa, Abdellah Lebkiri, Lahcen Zaimouzen. Limited release, 94 min

Following a botched kidnapping in Casablanca, a man and his son, need to get rid of a body before sunrise. There is a strong streak of anthracite-black humour in the drama. An attempt to involve a drunken fisherman ends in disaster of face-slapping proportions. The body itself, as bodies will in such things, eventually takes on the quality of absurdist MacGuffin. But Hounds also profits from its subtle teasing out of the strained relationship between father and son. Amine Berrada’s mobile camera really gets beneath the skin and gristle of the city. That sense of place adds to the pleasures of a singular thriller. Full review DC

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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