Four new films to see in cinemas this week

Limbo, The Suicide Squad, The Sparks Brothers, Jungle Cruise

Vikash Bhai and Amir El-Masry in Limbo

Vikash Bhai and Amir El-Masry in Limbo

 

LIMBO ★★★★★
Directed by Ben Sharrock. Starring Amir El-Masry, Vikash Bhai, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ola Orebiyi, Kwabena Ansah, Kenneth Collard, Kais Nashif. 15A cert, cinema release, 103 min
Delightful, serious comedy about a group of asylum seekers getting by on a remote Scottish island. Sharrock has suggested that he filmed in the narrow Academy ratio to remind us how we tend to put refugees into boxes, but that gives a false impression of the subtle, oblique techniques on display here. The off-centre nature of the humour presses home how skewed the world has become for the men on this austerely lovely island. One can see shades of Roy Andersson and Shane Meadows here, but Sharrock has a voice all his own. Compassionate, touching, essential. Full review DC

THE SUICIDE SQUAD ★★★☆☆
Directed by James Gunn. Starring Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Peter Capaldi, Michael Rooker, voice of Sylvester Stallone. 15A cert, cinema release, 132 min

Margot Robbie in The Suicide Squad
Margot Robbie in The Suicide Squad

A bunch of super-powered maniacs in a high security prison are, under threat of death, compelled to land on a South American dictatorship and liberate a prison where all sorts of sinister experiments take place. Gunn’s follow-up to the much derided (though financially lucrative) DC romp Suicide Squad is allegedly inspired by The Dirty Dozen, but it’s closer in tone to an epic version of Tom and Jerry. That is not necessarily a bad thing. The cartoon violence is diverting. Robbie and Elba chew up the scenery with gusto. Not bad as such things go. Full review DC

THE SPARKS BROTHERS ★★★★☆
Directed by Edgar Wright. Featuring Ron Mael, Russell Mael, Beck, Jane Wiedlin, Jason Schwartzman, Tony Visconti , Mike Myers, Giorgio Moroder, Neil Gaiman, Todd Rundgren, Nick Heyward, Steve Jones. PG cert, cinema release, 140 min

Russell and Ron Mael in The Sparks Brothers
Russell and Ron Mael in The Sparks Brothers

The Sparks Brothers is an oddly shaped movie. Then again, Sparks are an oddly shaped band. Don’t expect earth-shattering revelations. Save for a few old photographs of the younger Mael brothers playing football and attending a Beatles gig, by the final credits the titular siblings remain as enigmatic as ever. Wright has, however, assembled an impressive array of Sparks collaborators and celebrity fans to talk through their favourite lyrics and songs. Beck, New Order, Björk, Flea, and Duran Duran doff their respective caps. It will work well for fans. It may also win a few new converts. Full review TB

JUNGLE CRUISE ★★☆☆☆
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. Starring Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Édgar Ramírez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons, Paul Giamatti. PG cert, cinema release, 127 min

Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt in Jungle Cruise
Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt in Jungle Cruise

In the distant future, Jungle Cruise will pop up over Christmas on the permascreen, and, assuming we’re all behind on our Netflix neural implant payments, will cause viewers everywhere to squint for the first 45 minutes before suddenly exclaiming: “Oh, this thing.” What was it? Oh yes. The adaptation of the Disney ride with Emily Blunt as an intrepid botanist travelling downriver with Captain Dwayne Johnson. Jungle Cruise passes the time, much like that old-fashioned, uneventful ride. But the script is a gumbo of exposition and voiceover. Full review TB

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