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

On Chesil Beach' directed by Dominic Cooke stars Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle. The film is based on Ian McEwans adaptation of his 2007 Booker Prize-nominated novella of the same name.

 

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 (Sun/Tues 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

THE BREADWINNER ★★★★
Directed by Norah Twomey. Voices of Saara Chaudry, Soma Chhaya, Laara Sadiq, Shaista Latif, Ali Badshah, Kawa Ada. 12A cert, gen release, 93 min

New this week: Oscar nominee The Breadwinner

The latest from Kilkenny’s Cartoon Saloon concerns a girl in Taliban-controlled Kabul who is forced to dress as a boy to support her family. If the previous Cartoon Saloon features, Song of the Sea and The Secret of Kells, had a flaw, it was a lack of discipline in their narrative structure. Despite its frequent diversions into high fantasy, The Breadwinner has greater momentum and a more secure story arc. As ever, the visuals are gorgeous. DC

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
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
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

EDIE ★★★
Directed by Simon Hunter. Starring Sheila Hancock, Kevin Guthrie, Paul Brannigan, Amy Manson, Wendy Morgan, Rachael Keiller.12A cert, gen release, 102 min

New this week: Sheila Hancock in Edie

The titular heroine, played with plenty of sass by Hancock, has been a long-term carer to her ill husband. Their marriage, we learn, was not a happy one and his death is a cause for her to lament many “wasted years”. She packs a bag and heads to Scottish Highlands in an attempt the reach the summit of Suilven Mountain. There she reluctantly befriends unfailingly helpful local guide (Guthrie). But even with assistance, will the climb prove too much for the octogenarian? A grittier take on the grey pound movie. TB

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

EVEN WHEN I FALL ★★★★
Directed by Kate McLarnon, Sky Neal. Club, QFT, Belfast, 93 min
“My father said I could come home if I didn’t like it. But the people there wouldn’t take me home.” Human trafficking is a fast-growing industry in South Asia. Some 10,000 women and children are trafficked from Nepal to India ever year. Some of them, including Saraswoti, end up in the circus. By the time they are rescued, Saraswoti and Sheetal, two women who were sold to the circus as children, are incredibly skilful performers. As young adults, now returned to Nepal, they are members of Circus Kathmandu, an advocacy group made up of men, women and children who have been similarly rescued from circus servitude in India. 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, Light House, Dublin (Sun/Tues only), 94 min
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

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, IFI, Dublin, 97 min
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

LET THE SUNSHINE IN/UN BEAU SOLEIL INTÉRIEUR ★★★
Directed by Claire Denis. Starring Juliette Binoche, Gérard Depardieu, Josiane Balasko, Laurent Grévill, Xavier Beauvois. 15A cert, IFI, Dublin, 95 min
Isabelle (Binoche) is a smart woman who makes bad choices. Not too far into the series of fragmented encounters that passes for a plot, she tells a friend that she can only orgasm by thinking about how much of a bastard her banker lover is. Or by imagining him with a whore. And so on. Rumours tells us that Denis’s odd film is inspired by Roland Barthes’s A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments. But it’s not really; rather, it is an odd, meandering reverie that engages as often as it frustrates. TB

ON CHESIL BEACH ★★★
Directed by Dominic Cooke. Starring Saoirse Ronan, Billy Howle, Emily Watson, Anne-Marie Duff, Bebe Cave, Adrian Scarborough, Samuel West, Jonjo O’Neill. 15A cert, gen release, 110 min

New this week: Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle in On Chesil Beach

Fitful adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel concerning a disastrous honeymoon in the early 1960s. Ronan is great as the sexually inhibited musician and Howle strong as her insensitive husband. Unfortunately, McEwan’s own script cannot find a cinematic substitute for the sharp prose that helped us understand how sexually bewildered adults could then be. We have, in the decades since 1962, been so bombarded with sexual imagery that the film’s central premise proves too hard a sell. 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

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

SHOW DOGS ★★
Directed by Raja Gosnell. Starring Will Arnett. Voices of Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Natasha Lyonne, Jordin Sparks, Gabriel Iglesias, Shaquille O’Neal, Omar Chaparro, Stanley Tucci, RuPaul. PG cert, gen release, 90 min

New this week: the voice of Chris Ludacris Bridges as Max and Will Arnett in Show Dogs

When baby panda Ling Li is kidnapped by animal traffickers, an FBI agent (Arnett) is teamed with a tough-minded NYPD K-9 unit Rottweiler, Max (voiced by Chris “Ludacris” Bridges). Their mission: infiltrate a Las Vegas dog show, where Ling Li is due to be sold. There, Max mingles with a fallen champion Papillon named Philippe (Tucci), affable Australian shepherd Daisy (Sparks), excitable pug Sprinkles (Iglesias), Zen-master Komondor Karma (O’Neal), and Persephone (RuPaul), a . . . gosh, is that even a dog? Play dead, please. 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, 134 min
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

ZAMA ★★★★
Directed by Lucrecia Martel. Starring Daniel Giménez Cacho, Lola Dueñas, Matheus Nachtergaele. Club, QFT, Belfast; IFI, Dublin, 115 min

New this week: Zama at the IFI in Dublin and QFT in Belfast

This arid-dry comedy of disappointment starts as it means to go on. Don Diego de Zama (Cacho), an 18th-century magistrate in the employ of the Spanish crown, poses heroically in his tricorder hat on a far-flung Argentine shore, before retreating into the rocks so that he might spy on some local women having a mud bath. It’s impossible not to think of Stanley Kubrick’s similarly epic (and capriciously fated) Barry Lyndon, but the strangeness and Beckettian frustrations of the halting drama make for a uniquely bleak experience. TB

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