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

New this week: Emily Attack and Jennifer Saunders in Patrick

New this week: Emily Attack and Jennifer Saunders in Patrick

 

ADRIFT ★★★
Directed by Baltasar Kormákur. Starring Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin, Grace Palmer, Jeffrey Thomas, Elizabeth Hawthorne, Tami Ashcroft, Kael Damiamian. 12A cert, gen release, 96 min

New this week: Sam Claflin and Shailene Woodley in Adrift

We begin with Woodley coming to in the wrecked remains of her sailboat somewhere a long way from land. She is not the sort to give up and welcome death’s embrace. Having located her badly injured boyfriend, she sets to her sextant and plots a course for distant Hawaii. Based on a true story, Kormákur’s picture is better in its perilous “present” rather than its bland, too-cute flashbacks to the couple’s cute meeting. Woodley has enough charisma to make it work. DC

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, Benicio 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

BOOK CLUB
Directed by Bill Holderman. Starring Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T Nelson, Richard Dreyfuss, Alicia Silverstone, Ed Begley Jr, Andy Garcia, Don Johnson, Wallace Shawn. 15A cert, gen release, 104 min
Four women re-evalute their lives after reading Fifty Shades of Grey in their book club. Yes, yes, it’s great to see these older actresses above the title. But this really is a profoundly dreadful film. Keaton does the best job of maintaining dignified enthusiasm while enduring gags that Mrs Brown would think too roughly hewn. In contrast, a haughty Fonda delivers her dialogue as if tonguing pieces of rancid fish onto the back of her fork. DC

THE BOOKSHOP ★★★
Directed by Isabel Coixet. Starring Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, Bill Nighy, Honor Kneafsey, James Lance. Narrated by Julie Christie. PG cert, gen release, 113 min

New this week: Emily Mortimer in The Bookshop

In 1959, free-spirited widow Florence (Mortimer) arrives in a whispering community on the Suffolk coast having purchased a long-abandoned house with the intention of turning it into a bookshop. She is summoned to a ghastly party thrown by a snob (Clarkson) with plans for Florence’s premises. But a local recluse (Nighy) becomes an unlikely ally. Coixet’s adaptation of Penelope Fitzgerald’s novel falters in places, but Clarkson is genuinely terrifying. TB

THE BREADWINNER ★★★★
Directed by Norah Twomey. Voices of Saara Chaudry, Soma Chhaya, Laara Sadiq, Shaista Latif, Ali Badshah, Kawa Ada. 12A cert, Light House, Dublin (Sun only), 93 min
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

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, Light House, Dublin (Sun/Mon), 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

DUBLIN OLDSCHOOL ★★★
Directed by Dave Tynan. Starring Emmet Kirwan, Ian Lloyd Anderson, Seána Kerslake, Sarah Greene, Ciaran Grace, Mark O’Halloran, Liam Heslin, Stephen Jones. 16 cert, gen release, 95 min

New this week: Mark O'Halloran and Emmet Kirwan in Dublin Oldschool

Tynan’s well-made adaptation of director Kirwan’s two-handed play hangs around encounters between Jason (Kirwan), an aspiring DJ, and Daniel (Lloyd Anderson), his heroin-addicted brother. Those sequences offer a convincing advertisement for the play, but the surrounding opened-out action feels chaotic and plotless. The language is steeped in a quasi-poetic romanticism that too often curdles on screen. For all that, Dublin Oldschool constructs a vivid portrait of the “sesh” life that many generations will savour. DC

THE ENDLESS ★★★★
Directed by Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson. Starring Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson, Callie Hernandez, Tate Ellington, Lew Temple, James Jordan, Shane Brady, Kira Powell. 15A cert, lim release, 111 min

New this week: The Endless

Deeply puzzling, delightfully intricate science-fiction thriller concerning two brothers who return to the weird cult in which they spent their adolescence. It steadily becomes clear – well, clearish – that the film is to do with being trapped in cycles. This might have seemed like an unsatisfactory payoff if the directors had not exploited their meagre resources with such skill. The cinematography is fluid, the performances cool and precise. The film itself is worth forming a cult around. DC

THE HAPPY PRINCE ★★★
Directed by Rupert Everett. Starring Rupert Everett, Colin Morgan, Edwin Thomas, Colin Firth, Emily Watson, Anna Chancellor, Benjamin Voisin, Tom Wilkinson. 15A cert, gen release, 104 min
Effective, nicely acted study of Oscar Wilde’s decline featuring a bloated, puffed-out Everett in the lead role. There is no great revisionism at work. Bosie (Morgan) remains a selfish oik. Robbie Ross (Thomas) is again celebrated as the most loyal of supporters. The film-making, packed with too many close-ups, allows only a few mad flourishes. The Happy Prince does, nonetheless, mark out new territory in its willingness to probe Wilde’s final weakness and fragility. You can smell the decay. DC

HEREDITARY ★★★★★
Directed by Ari Aster. Starring Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, Ann Dowd, Milly Shapiro. 16 cert, gen release, 127 min
How freaky is Hereditary, the “scariest film since The Exorcist”? Imagine if Rosemary’s baby had a child with little Gage from Pet Sematary and it climbed to the top of Jacob’s Ladder and fell down with a grotesque splat. Prepare yourself for a discombobulating study of grief that goes beyond the conventional seven stages to take in another 100,000 or so, ranging between psychiatric meltdown, demonic possession, sporadic pyromania and roaring-crying. A nerve-shredding masterpiece. TB

IN THE FADE/AUS DEM NICHTS ★★★
Directed by Fatih Akin. Starring Diane Kruger, Denis Moschitto, Johannes Krisch, Samia Chancrin, Numan Acar, Ulrich Tukur, Rafael Santana. 16 cert, QFT, Belfast; IFI, Dublin, 106 min
Kruger deserved her best actress award at Cannes for this harried turn as a German woman driven to violent revenge after neo-Nazis murder her child and her Kurdish husband. The picture begins as a model of controlled anguish as Kruger weaves the character’s despair into every muscle and every tortured sigh. Then, sadly, it falls into madness with a melodramatic trial sequence and a wildly implausible denouement. Indecently gripping nonetheless. DC

JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM ★★★*
Directed by JA Bayona. Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Jeff Goldblum, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, Toby Jones, Ted Levine, Geraldine Chaplin. 12A cert, gen release, 128 min
Adequate follow-up to the world-crushing Jurassic World. This time round, Howard and Pratt are asked to help the dinosaurs escape from a volcanic eruption. But evil men in suits have ulterior motives. The action is satisfactory, but what sets Fallen Kingdom apart is the decision to allow Bayona, director of the spooky The Orphanage, to turn the last act into a variation on the haunted house movie. The mesh doesn’t really work, but it remains an interesting experiment. DC

KISSING CANDICE ★★★
Directed by Aoife McArdle. Starring Ann Skelly, Ryan Lincoln, Conall Keating, Ryan McParland, Catriona Ennis, John Lynch. 18 cert, lim release, 103 min
Interesting, infuriating drama of teenage life on the Irish Border. The excellent Skelly plays a young woman who, during a seizure, falls for an imagined character who eventually turns up in the flesh. Kissing Candice is sure to drive some viewers barmy. As the picture goes on, its refusal to settle into a rhythm becomes irritating. Still, individual shots stick firmly in the brain. Characters linger. The impressive sound design makes its own throbbing case. We need odd things. DC

LEAVE NO TRACE ★★★★
Directed by Debra Granik. Starring Ben Foster, Thomasin McKenzie, Jeff Kober, Dale Dickey. PG cert, lim release, 109 min

New this week: Thomasin McKenzie and Ben Foster in Leave No Trace

Teenager Tom (McKenzie) and her war veteran father, Will (Foster), live off the grid in a public park in Portland, Oregon. This small survivalist family subsides on foraged mushrooms and the money Will makes from selling his PTSD medication to other tent dwellers. They’re technically homeless, but only so they can stay away from “them”. When social services intervene, father and daughter are transferred to a northwestern logging community where Will finds work at a Christmas tree farm while Tom makes friends with a local rabbit-fancier. But settled life is anything but for Will. Granik’s atmospheric follow-up to Winter’s Bone is as thoughtful and well-observed as its predecessor. TB

MCQUEEN ★★★★
Directed by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui. Featuring Alexander McQueen. 15 cert, QFT, Belfast (Sat only); IFI, Dublin, 111 min
On the night that fashion designer Alexander McQueen took his own life in 2010, his long-time collaborator and friend Mira Chai Hyde felt a presence in her room. It sounds unlikely, and yet, watching this well-crafted biographical documentary, one can empathise. The film-makers have properly scoured the archives in search of their subject and yet McQueen remains a ghostly, unknowable presence throughout. There are illuminating contributions from Hyde, from assistant designer Sebastian Pons, and from art dealer Detmar Blow, the widower of McQueen’s former mentor, Isabella Blow, as this elegantly constructed film outlines the biographical details. TB

OCEAN’S 8 ★★★
Directed by Gary Ross. Starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Richard Armitage, James Corden. 12A cert, gen release, 110 min
Female take on the glamorous sequence featuring all those listed above. Ocean’s 8, like its predecessors, exists solely as a vessel for movie stars and celebrities. A heist at the Met Ball ensures that, in addition to the main cast, there are glimpses of Anna Wintour, Serena Williams and Kim Kardashian. The film rattles along, powered by costume changes, silliness and Bullock and Blanchett’s attempts to out-cool one another. But few of these talented people seem to be trying very hard. TB

PATRICK ★★★
Directed by Mandie Fletcher. Starring Beattie Edmondson, Ed Skrein, Tom Bennett, Emily Atack, Jennifer Saunders, Gemma Jones, Adrian Scarborough, Bernard Cribbins, Meera Syal. PG cert, gen release, 95 min
Sarah Francis (Edmondson, charming) is a recently dumped klutz who has dropped out of law school to become a teacher. As English screen singletons go, she’s not as man hungry (mungry?) as Bridget Jones or as goopy as a Richard Curtis love interest, but she is ditzy enough to make one fearful when, in an unexpected bequest by her late grandmother, she inherits a spoiled-rotten pug named Patrick. Family fun ensues. 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
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

SICARIO 2: SOLDADO ★★★
Directed by Stefano Sollima. Starring Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Catherine Keener, Christopher Heyerdahl, Matthew Modine, Isabela Moner. 15A cert, gen release, 122 min

New this week: Benecio Del Toro in Sicario 2: Soldado

Murderous Mexican drug cartels have nothing on marauding US security forces in a film that could be called Team America: World Police. Trumpian images abound in an overture that begins with Isis terrorists mixing with migrants crossing the Texas border in order to blow up a Kansas superstore – helped by Somali pirates! So the black ops whizzes from the original Sicario (Del Toro and Brolin) are brought back into action. Italian director Sollima specialises in sleek, pacey entertainments (Suburra, Gomorrah) in which the bad guys are the good guys. Though politically we’re in murky territory, Soldado is as exciting as expected, if not nearly as heart-pounding as its predecessor.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. TB

STUDIO 54 ★★★★
Directed by Matt Tyrnauer. Featuring Ian Schrager, Bob Colacello. Club, IFI/Light House (Sun only), Dublin, 98 min
Engrossing, surprising documentary on the upmarket disco that defined New York nightlife in the dying years of the 1970s. Students of the era’s innovative dance music must look elsewhere for elucidation – Studio 54 didn’t do much to develop the sounds. Its unhappy innovations were in the fields of celebrity veneration and body fascism. Drawing on new testimony from co-founder Schrager, the film confirms that awful bits of our present started there. DC

SUPER TROOPERS 2 ★★
Directed by Jay Chandrasekhar. Starring Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Rob Lowe, Brian Cox. 16 cert, gen release, 99 min
Sequel to a not-much-loved comedy from the turn of the century. Oh, yeah. The current film is almost entirely concerned with jokes aboot the cultural distinctions between Canada and the USA. The eponymous former Vermont coppers reunite to police a sliver of the US’s northern neighbour that is about to become part of the Green Mountain State. Cue endless chatter aboot the metric system, the weakness of American beer and the word “about”. Who ordered this? DC

TAG ★★
Directed by Jeff Tomsic. Starring Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Jake Johnson, Annabelle Wallis, Hannibal Buress, Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones, Leslie Bibb. 16 cert, gen release, 100 min

New this week: Jeremy Renner and Jon Hamm in Tag

Over the space of 20 years, a group of men from Washington state really did play out an extended game of tag. For one month a year, they would, sometimes under elaborate disguises, do everything possible to pass the taint of being “it” onto their lifelong chums. Director Tomsic could have gone for something odd and slick, but he, alas, opted for something in the Hangover school – crude, broad and not quite funny enough. Hamm is good, though. DC

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