Almost every film in cinemas this week, reviewed and rated

The Irish Times what-to-see guide to the movies now in cinemas across Ireland

The official trailer for 7 Days in Entebbe, which was inspired by the true events of the 1976 hijacking of an Air France flight en route from Tel Aviv to Paris. Video: Focus Features

 

ALLURE ★★★★
Directed by Carlos Sanchez and Jason Sanchez. Starring Evan Rachel Wood, Julia Sarah Stone, Denis O’Hare, Maxim Roy. Club, Triskel, Cork, 106 min
Eva (Stone), is a naive 16-year-old piano prodigy with an overbearing, micromanaging mother (Roy).The waifish teenager, upset by mother’s plans to move them in with her new boyfriend, is more than flattered when Laura (Wood) pays her attention. It requires only a few complements, a couple of shared joints and some vodka for Laura to inveigle her way into the youngster’s affections. Discombobulating doesn’t begin to cover the central relationship’s sly transition from inappropriate friendship to full-blown Misery kidnap, before swerving into a very screwy variation on Stockholm Syndrome. TB

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR ★★★
Directed by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo. Starring Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, Tom Holland, Zoe Saldana, Sebastian Stan, Benecio del Toro, Paul Bettany, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Gwyneth Paltrow, Peter Dinklage. 12A cert, gen release, 149 min
If Thanos (Brolin) will allow us to say so, the latest superhero chaos kicks off when that alien tyrant arrives on Earth in search of magic jewels that will allow him to dominate or destroy or redecorate the universe. Before long, everybody in Stan Lee’s phone book has rallied in resistance. Even Marvel sceptics might, if the film didn’t take its guff so seriously, accept the gang-show aesthetic and offer two cautious thumbs up. But it’s as up-itself as ever. DC

BEAST ★★★★
Directed by Michael Pearce. Starring Jessie Buckley, Johnny Flynn, Geraldine James, Trystan Gravelle, Oliver Maltman, Charley Palmer Rothwell. 15A cert, Light House, Dublin (Fri-Sun only), 107 min
Upstaged her own deathly birthday party, Moll (Buckley, terrific) slinks off to a local nightclub where a boozy evening is rounded off with an encounter with rugged Pascal (Flynn), a huntsman who lives off the land. Pearce’s film resurrects the psychological thriller with jolts of Hitchcockian intrigue and class snobbery. The insular Jersey setting amplifies both Moll’s isolation and rebellion and makes for strange colonial undercurrents and hints of such ley-line English horrors as The Wicker Man. TB

BREAKING IN ★★★
Directed by James McTeigue. Starring Gabrielle Union, Seth Carr, Ajiona Alexus, Christa Miller, Jason George, Billy Burke, Richard Cabral, Levi Meaden. 15A cert, gen release, 88 min
In Miguel Ángel Vivas’s 2010 thriller Kidnapped, the intruders are listed simply as Head Thief, Young Thief and Strong Thief. Breaking In’s triumvirate could easily be billed as Head Thief, Wimp Thief, and Rapey Mexican Thief. Their target is an African-American mom (Union), who must pitch her wits and various improvised weapons in order to save her two children from murderous marauders. Does Gabrielle get to announce: “You broke into the wrong house”? You bet she does. TB

CITIZEN LANE ★★★★
Directed by Thaddeus O’Sullivan. Starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Gemma-Leah Devereux, Michael Gambon, Marty Rae, Derbhle Crotty, Barry McGovern, Ned Dennehy. G cert, lim release, 81 min

New this week: Tom Vaughan-Lawlor in Citizen Lane

By any reasoning, O’Sullivan’s hybrid portrait of the art collector and gallery founder Hugh Lane simply shouldn’t work. The film’s marriage – or rather menage – of talking heads, artistic flâneurism and historical recreation ought to make for a screaming match, or at the very least uneasy transitions. But working from Mark O’Halloran’s fiendishly clever script, the December Bride director and dexterous editor Mick Mahon have fashioned a project as elegant as its subject. TB

DEADPOOL 2 ★★★
Directed by David Leitch. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz, Leslie Uggams, Morena Baccarin, Brianna Hildebrand, Julian Dennison, Stefan Kapicic, TJ Miller, Terry Crews. 16 cert, gen release, 120 min

New this week: Ryan Reynolds and Brianna Hildebrand in Deadpool 2

Deadpool is rescued by the X-Men after falling into suicidal despair. He blows his chance (obviously) during an encounter with a young mutant. Depending on your appetites, the constant self-reference is either a shameful cheat or a release from the superhero sameness. It’s probably a bit of both and Reynolds’s relish is, for the most part, passed on to the audience. This time round they’ve toned down the recreational sexism. Maybe that’s why it feels less grating. DC

THE DELINQUENT SEASON ★★
Directed by Mark O’Rowe. Starring Cillian Murphy, Eva Birthistle, Andrew Scott, Catherine Walker, Lydia McGuinness. 15A cert, Light House, Dublin (Fri/Sat/Mon only), 104 min
Jim (Murphy) and Daniele (Birthistle) are smugly married. They have other smug marrieds, including Chris (Scott) and Yvonne (Walker) around for dinner parties, until Jim and Yvonne embark on an affair. Sub-Bergmanesque shenanigans ensue. The debut feature from acclaimed playwright Mark O’Rowe is a bit of a disappointment. The denizens of The Delinquent Season are all ghastly and yet – despite valiant efforts from a talented ensemble cast – not quite horrid enough to be interesting or engaging. TB

DIVE ★★★
Directed by Daniel Holmes. Starring Vanessa Schaeffer, Emmet Ryan. Club, lim release, 85 min
A young swimmer, poised for Olympic glory, discovers that she is pregnant. Arriving just in time to enlighten and inform, this modestly budgeted drama highlights the pressures imposed on Irish women seeking abortion in the first half of 2018 (and possibly beyond). It’s a humble sort of film, but it has a sincerity and focus that argues for attention. DC

ENTEBBE ★★★
Directed by José Padilha. Starring Rosamund Pike, Daniel Brühl, Eddie Marsan, Ben Schnetzer, Lior Ashkenazi, Denis Ménochet, Nonso Anozie. 12A cert, gen release, 107 min
Having scored successes with undeniably thrilling celebrations of jackbootery in Elite Squad and Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, Brazilian director José Padilha’s Entebbe (perhaps surprisingly) works awfully hard to be less gung-ho than previous films about that hostage crisis. There are meaningful exchanges between Brühl’s nervy, compromised Wilfried Böse, a member of the Revolutionary Cells, and Ménochet’s pragmatic flight engineer about the PR implications of German’s executing Jewish hostages. Pike plays fellow hijacker Brigitte Kuhlman as vulnerable, dazed and idealistic. The uneasy attempts at balance won’t please anyone who has an opinion on either side of the Israeli-Palestine conflict. TB

FILMWORKER ★★★
Directed by Tony Zierra. Directed by Tony Zierra. With Leon Vitali, Ryan O’Neal, Matthew Modine, R Lee Ermey, Danny Lloyd, Stellan Skarsgard. 15A cert, IFI/Light House, Dublin, 94 min

New this week: leon Vitali and Stanley Kubrick in Filmworker

Interesting documentary on Leon Vitali, the man who acted as Stanley Kubrick’s factotum for the last two decades of his career. There is much here for the Kubrick fan, but it’s also a frustrating film. No attempt is made to pull apart the inadequacies of Kubrick’s last two films (Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut). There is also a puzzling silence from the wives of both Vitali and Kubrick. If there was some sort of breach with Christiane Kubrick, then we needed to be told. DC

THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY
Directed by Mike Newell. Starring Lily James, Glen Powell, Michiel Huisman, Tom Courtenay, Matthew Goode, Jessica Brown Findlay, Penelope Wilton. 12A cert, gen release, 123 min
Lazy, lifeless adaptation of the popular novel following a postwar writer (James, fine) as she hears tales of the Nazi occupation of Guernsey. At least two Downton Abbey alumnae join at least one theatrical great and at least one graduate of the British new wave in a film that pays more attention to the cut of the actors’ tweeds than to narrative cohesion. So anaemic you feel the urge to feed it a pint of Guinness. DC

HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES ★
Directed by John Cameron Mitchell. Starring Alex Sharp, Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, Ruth Wilson, Matt Lucas, Lara Peake, Eloise Smyth. 15A cert, Light House, Dublin, 102 min
Hugely misconceived punk musical concerning a young lad (Sharp) who encounters an alien (Fanning) in 1970s Croydon. Though the director is sympathetic to the genre, the film looks to have been composed by somebody who knows it only through shocked reports on contemporaneous tabloid newspapers and early-evening telly. Sharp and Fanning just about get away with it, but Kidman is ludicrous as a punk auntie. DC

I FEEL PRETTY ★★
Directed by Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein. Starring Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Rory Scovel, Emily Ratajkowski, Naomi Campbell, Lauren Hutton, Tom Hopper. 12A cert, gen release, 110 min
Schumer, online drone at a beauty firm, biffs her head and becomes convinced that she is more “conventionally attractive” (stay with me as I entertain the film’s own logic) than she has hitherto believed. Ham-fisted satire about attitudes to female sexuality follow in a fitful comedy that can’t quite decide what it thinks about the issues. Perennial gloom-bot Williams – hilarious as a wispy fashion maven – comes closest to saving an indifferent project. DC

JEUNE FEMME ★★★★★
Directed by Léonor Serraille. Starring Laetitia Dosch, Grégoire Monsaingeon, Souleymane Seye Ndiaye, Léonie Simaga, Nathalie Richard, Erika Sainte, Lilas-Rose Gilberti-Poisot, Audrey Bonnet. Club, lim release, 97 min

New this week: Laetitia Dosch in Jeune Femme

Paula (the remarkable Dosch), the rudderless, ridiculous, rapturous 31-year-old heroine of this wonderful, kinetic film, has no money and no place to stay. She does, however, have her former lover’s cat. Think the same, messy axis as Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielmann or Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag. A white-knuckle sense of emotional freefall powers every fraught scene. Clemence Carre’s fluid editing and Emilie Noblet’s naturalistic cinematography provide perfect complement to Dosch’s soaring, free-spirited turn. TB

LEAN ON PETE ★★★★
Directed by Andrew Haigh. Starring Charlie Plummer, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Travis Fimmel, Steve Zahn, Amy Seimetz, Justin Rain. 15A cert, IFI/Light House, Dublin, 127 min
Charley (Plummer), a motherless 15-year-old Portlandian, happens upon a local racetrack, hardboiled horse owner Dell (Buscemi), and his world-weary jockey, Bonnie (Sevigny). Bonnie repeatedly warns the boy not to get too attached to Lean on Pete, the ill-starred racehorse of the title. But it’s already too late. The spirit of Sam Shepard lives on in this unsentimental coming-of-age tale, an unvarnished fable that falls somewhere between The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Grapes of Wrath. TB

MAKING THE GRADE ★★★★
Directed by Ken Wardrop. G cert, Light House, Dublin (Wed only), 87 min
Picking up where 2010 sleeper hit His & Hers left off, Ken Wardrop’s third feature depicts the relationships between Irish piano students and their teachers. The film meets and warmly greets some 51 participants – hailing from all over Ireland – as they prepare for their Royal Irish Academy of Music examinations. Using that body’s grade structure, Making the Grade opens with five-year-old Harry Keegan climbing on to a stool for his first lesson, and closes with those tackling Rachmaninoff for Grade Eight. Heartwarming. TB

MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER ★★★★
Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi. Voices of Ruby Barnhill, Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Jim Broadbent, Kate Winslet, Teresa Gallagher, Ewen Bremner. PG cert, lim release, 104 min
Mary (Barnhill) is a red-headed klutz holidaying at her Great Aunt Charlotte’s estate. Finding a broomstick, she is whisked away to the Endor School for witches and warlocks, where the headmistress (Winslet) and a mad scientist (Broadbent) mistake her for their newest pupil. A sign reading: “Trespassers will be transformed” suggests this centre for alchemical excellence is not going to be as much fun as Hogwarts. The debut feature from Studio Ponoc was produced by Studio Ghibli veterans, including director Yonebayashi, and it shows. As transporting as any witch’s broomstick. TB

MICHAEL INSIDE ★★★★
Directed by Frank Berry. Starring Dafhyd Flynn, Moe Dunford, Lalor Roddy, Robbie Walsh, Steve Blount, Hazel Doupe. 15A cert, QFT, Belfast, 96 min
Flynn is terrific as a young Dubliner who gets cast on the slippery slope when he’s banged up for a minor offense. Dunford is charismatic as the bully on the yard. Berry’s follow up to I Used to Live Here is technically assured: enveloping score by Daragh O’Toole; oily, claustrophobic camerawork from Tom Comerford; an astonishing lead performance by Flynn. But it the generous humanism underlying the documentary realism that really sets it apart. DC

PETER RABBIT ★★★
Directed by Will Gluck. Starring Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, Sam Neill, Daisy Ridley, Elizabeth Debicki, Margot Robbie, James Corden, Sia. G cert, gen release, 94 min
Having seen off the mean-spirited elder Mr McGregor (Neill), Peter and his woodland chums fall out with a younger, high-strung McGregor (Gleeson). Cordon’s Peter doesn’t bear much resemblance to Beatrix Potter’s naughty creation. Still, though there are shades of the dreaded Alvin and the Chipmunks, director Will Gluck (Easy A) has a flair for slapstick and comic sadism. Yes, it’s a travesty of the original material, but it’s a passably amusing travesty. TB

A QUIET PLACE ★★★★★
Directed by John Krasinski. Starring Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe. 15A cert, gen release, 90 min
A family struggles to noiselessly survive a post-apocalyptic world in which alien invaders hunt by sound. They have something of an edge against the mysterious creatures that have depopulated the planet: the eldest daughter (the remarkable Simmonds) is deaf. While others have perished, sign language has allowed the family to communicate in their remote, survivalist-friendly farm. Nail-biting thrills, family drama, and a perfectly calibrated high concept ensure that this as good a film as you’ll see this year. TB

RAMPAGE ★★
Directed by Brad Peyton. Starring Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Åkerman, Jake Lacy, Marley Shelton, Jeffrey Dean Morgan. 12A cert, gen release, 107 min
Are a giant albino ape and the artist formerly known as The Rock enough in themselves? That is the philosophical question posed by the latest film from the director of San Andreas. What more could a flick need? A giant flying wolf? Well, you get that too in Rampage. Why are we still having this conversation? Obviously it has its moments. But this creature feature is let down by very ordinary CGI and some indifferent supporting performances (stop smirking, Morgan). DC

REDOUBTABLE ★★★★
Directed by Michel Hazanavicius. Starring Louis Garrel, Stacy Martin, Bérénice Bejo, Micha Lescot, Grégory Gadebois, Jean-Pierre Mocky, Marc Brun Adryan. Club, IFI, Dublin, 107 min
Jean-Luc Godard (Garrel) squabbles with wife Anne Wiazemsky (Martin) as 1968 bubbles around him. Suggestions that Hazanavicius’s film trivialises Godard and his work are not so much wrong as irrelevant. It transpires that the director of The Artist, known first in France for spy spoofs, has returned to his original taste for broad pastiche. Redoutable is utterly trivial, occasionally disrespectful and hugely amusing. Wiazemsky, an intellectual in her own right, is misused, though. DC

SHERLOCK GNOMES ★★★
Directed by John Stevenson. Voices of James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mary J Blige, Johnny Depp, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Stephen Merchant, Ashley Jensen, Matt Lucas, Ozzy Osbourne. G cert, gen release, 86 min
The only film this year that can boast that it is “based on Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare and Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle” sees the headliners of the 2011 original relocate to a scruffy London garden. When all of their ornament chums are kidnapped, a bickering Gnomeo (McEvoy) and Juliet (Blunt) team up with Sherlock Gnomes (Depp) and Watson (Ejiofor). Juliet throws herself into her new duties, while Gnomeo goofs off and undermines her efforts. There are not nearly enough jokes and they misuse “wherefore art thou?”. But Kung Fu Panda director Stevenson keeps the plot moving at a jaunty pace. TB

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY ★★★
Directed by Ron Howard. Starring Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Paul Bettany, Phoebe Waller-Bridge. 12A cert, gen release (opens May 24th), 134 min

Opening Thursday, May 24th: Solo: A Star Wars Story

The young Han Solo falls in with a bad crowd. The new Star Wars movie isn’t really a Star Wars movie. It’s a car chase movie. It’s a heist movie. It’s a poker movie. During the pretty good opening 20 minutes, it actually promises to be a space version of Howard Hawks’s Only Angels Have Wings. Then it falls off the rails and loses coherence. Ehrenreich, though good, can’t capture the cool of a young Harrison Ford. 12A cert, gen release (opens May 24th), 134 min TB

TULLY ★★★★
Directed by Jason Reitman. Starring Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass, Ron Livingston, Emily Haine, Elaine Tan. 15A cert, gen release, 96 min
Reitman reunites with Theron and Diablo Cody, writer of his breakthrough Juno, for an ingenious (sometimes too ingenious) examination of the rigours of motherhood. Flat-out after the birth of her third child, Theron is gifted the services of a “night nanny” (Davis) to allow some sleep during the small hours. She suddenly realises how annihilated she has become. Not everybody will buy the jarring ending, but the film plays fair with its audience. All the bits fit together and Theron is terrific. DC

THE YOUNG KARL MARX/LE JEUNE KARL MARX ★★★★
Directed by Raoul Peck. Starring August Diehl, Stefan Konarske, Vicky Krieps, Olivier Gourmet, Hannah Steele. Club, IFI, Dublin, 118 min
Released to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Marx’s birth, the new film from Peck (I Am Not Your Negro) is no mere biopic, but a superhero-style origins story for The Communist Manifesto. At its heart, The Young Karl Marx is a cerebral, frock-coated bromance between the charismatic, combustible Marx and the rakish Friedrich Engels. Diehl’s mesmerising Marx is a force of nature, jollied along by righteous anger and poverty. Two centuries on and, just in time for his birthday, Peck ensures that Marx lives. TB

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