Six of the best films to see at the cinema this weekend

New this week: Two thrillers from Scandi land, another Lego go, and a tough Irishman who wouldn’t stand down

The official trailer for "The Snowman", starring Michael Fassbender. Video: Universal Pictures

 

IT’S NOT YET DARK ★★★★
Directed by Frankie Fenton. Featuring Simon Fitzmaurice, Ruth Fitzmaurice, Colin Farrell. PG cert, limited release, 80 min

Simon and Ruth Fitzmaurice in It’s Not Yet Dark
Simon and Ruth Fitzmaurice in It’s Not Yet Dark

Documentary on the extraordinary life of Simon Fitzmaurice: the stubborn mule who, after contracting Motor Neurone Disease, refused to sit back from his ambitions as a film-maker and, assisted by friends and technology, directed the accomplished feature My Name Is Emily. Colin Farrell speaks Fitzmaurice’s words with a mellifluousness that never dips into the melodramatic. Stephen Rennicks, frequent collaborator with Lenny Abrahamson, delivers an effective, unobtrusive score. A classy piece of work. Review DC

THE SNOWMAN ★★★
Directed by Tomas Alfredson. Starring Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Val Kilmer, JK Simmons, Chloë Sevigny, Toby Jones. 15A cert, general release, 120 min

A killer is lose in Oslo. There’s nothing much wrong with Alfredson’s classy adaptation of an admired detective novel from the Norwegian author Jo Nesbø. Fassbender has enough weary charisma to play Harry Hole – the archetypal “troubled cop” – without breaking into so much as a trot. The plot clicks along adequately. Alfredson brings characteristic damp menace to the visuals. But this sort of procedural Scandi noir seems destined for telly. Review DC

THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE ★★★
Directed by Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher, Bob Logan. Voices of Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Fred Armisen, Abbi Jacobson, Olivia Munn, Kumail Nanjiani, Michael Peña, Jackie Chan. G cert, general release, 101 min

The great trademarked metropolis of Ninjago is routinely attacked by the megalomaniacal Lord Garmadon (Theroux) and his many disposable generals. That’s bad news for Lloyd (Franco), Garmadon’s estranged son, an understandably unpopular high schooler. What now? Arriving only months after Lego Batman, The Lego Ninjago Movie’s unspectacular US box office haul suggests that there’s simply not enough brick love to go around. Bad timing aside, the third of the hitherto excellent Lego movies sequence is the weakest to date. Review TB

THE RITUAL ★★★
Directed by David Bruckner. Starring Robert-James Collier, Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Sam Troughton. 16 cert, general release, 94 min

Four former college friends set out on an isolated northern Swedish hiking trail. There used to be a fifth chum, but he was murdered in a prologue as an off-licence hold-up goes horribly wrong and Luke (Spall) looked on, frozen in fear. Luke, the most laddish and least mature of the posse, mpw blames himself for his pal’s death, and when the hike starts to go awry, it’s clear he’s not the only one. Very effective folk horror follows. TB

BLADE RUNNER 2049 ★★★★
Directed by Denis Villeneuve. Starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Jared Leto, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, Dave Bautista. 15A cert, general release, 163 min
 

Ana de Armas and Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2049
Ana de Armas and Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2049

The much hyped, much delayed sequel to Blade Runner is endlessly beautiful and endlessly endless. Gosling plays a blade runner who discovers a leap in replicant biology. The subsequent investigations shake the foundations of a powerfully imagined world. The plot starts from a strong place, but there are nowhere near enough complications to justify the enormous running time. Most viewers will, however, be sufficiently distracted by the visual invention to remain hooked throughout. Review/Trailer DC

GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN ★★★
Directed by Simon Curtis. Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Kelly Macdonald, Will Tilston Alex Lawther, Stephen Campbell Moore, Vicki Pepperdine. PG cert, general release, 109 min

Domhnall Gleeson and Will Tilston in Goodbye Christopher Robin
Domhnall Gleeson and Will Tilston in Goodbye Christopher Robin

The John Lewis commercial has come early this year. Curtis’s take on the creation of Winnie the Pooh arrives soaked in the same aesthetic that drives that Christmas regular. Never has so much dappled light fallen so gracefully on so many fallen leaves. Gleeson convinces as a shell-shocked AA Milne and Lawther is touching as his exploitedd son (the real Christopher). But the overpowering sense of idyll works against the grimmer undercurrents. Review/Trailer DC

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