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

New this week: Battle of the Sexes is the feminist v male chauvinist pig showdown we need right now

Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in Battle of the Sexes

Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in Battle of the Sexes

 

Battle of the Sexes ★★★★
Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. Starring Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Sarah Silverman, Bill Pullman, Alan Cumming, Elisabeth Shue, Austin Stowell, Eric Christian Olsen. 12A cert, gen release, 121 min

Hugely entertaining, impressively compassionate attempt to dramatise the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King (Stone), legendary champ, and arch self-publicist Bobby Riggs (Carell). Carell hams with abandon as a chancer constantly surveying the horizon for his next mark or hair-brained scheme. Stone brings out the gentleness in a famously tough competitor. At 121 minutes, Battle of the Sexes occasionally drags, but it’s the Feminist V Male Chauvinist Pig showdown that we need right now. TB

Beach Rats ★★★★
Directed by Eliza Hittman. Starring Harris Dickinson, Madeline Weinstein, Kate Hodge, Nicole Flyus, Anton Selyaninov, Frank Hakaj. Club, Amazon, Google Play, 97 min

Charismatic Londoner Dickinson breaks through with this tale of growing up gay (and not quite knowing it) in Coney Island. “I don’t really know what I like,” he says to an online correspondent. “I don’t really think of myself as gay,” he says later to a male lover. We think differently. The film offers an impressive, hazy depiction of the run-down Brooklyn locale as it follows our hero towards a crisis. Beautifully shot. Psychologically subtle. DC

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool ★★★★
Directed by Paul McGuigan. Starring Annette Bening, Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Kenneth Cranham, Stephen Graham, Vanessa Redgrave, Frances Barber, Leanne Best. 15A cert, general release, 105 min

Annette Bening and Jamie Bell in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
Annette Bening and Jamie Bell in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Moving, elegantly acted drama concerning the relationship between a young man (Bell) and the middle-aged movie star Gloria Grahame (Bening) in Liverpool during the late 1970s. Material that could easily have been mined as odd couple or culture clash comedy is instead delicately rendered by Matt Greenhalgh’s screenplay. Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool repeatedly stresses the commonality between the two working actors. A film that earns its epic title and the lush Elvis Costello ballad over the final credits. Review TB

Good Time ★★★★
Directed by Ben Safdie and Josh Safdie. Starring Robert Pattinson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ben Safdie, Barkhad Abdi, Buddy Duress. 15A cert, limited release, 101 min

Robert Pattinson in Good Time: his hair is yellowed to the colour of diseased liver, his eyes suspiciously unblinking

Gritty, awkward thriller starring Robert Pattinson (excellent) as a small-time hood who, after a failed bank robbery, seeks to spring his mentally disabled brother from custody. The Safdie brothers offer us an oppressive, paranoid version of New York City. Nobody dresses well. Nobody looks healthy. Artificial fibres bristle in faintly illuminated apartments. A low-level hum of racism follows the non-white characters around. It’s not always fun, but it’s always engaging. Great score by Oneohtrix Point Never. Review DC

Ingrid Goes West  ★★★★
Directed by Matt Spicer. Starring Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O’Shea Jackson Jr, Wyatt Russell, Billy Magnussen. 16 cert, general release, 97 min

Instagram influencer Taylor (Elizabeth Olsen) and her unhinged stalker Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) in ‘Ingrid Goes West’: social media misquotations and mistranslations pepper the movie

Plaza plays a mentally unstable young woman who becomes obsessed with an instagram star (Olsen). Part King of Comedy, part Single White Female, Ingrid Goes West gleefully despises online fame and the hideous cult of the “influencer”. This comedy needed to be made. It has its flaws, but it’s better than we had a right to expect. The cultural references are perfectly judged. The intellectual vacuum sends echoes all along Venice Beach (where else?). LMFAO! DC

Paddington 2 ★★★★
Directed by Paul King. Starring Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Hugh Grant, voice of Ben Whishaw. G cert, general release, 104 min

Paddington is fond of quoting his Aunt Lucy. “If you are kind and polite,” he reminds himself and others throughout this lovely, lovely sequel, “everything will come right”. It’s a mantra that holds the bear in good stead when he is framed for the theft of an antique pop-up book and, ultimately, sent down. Hugh Grant preens and puffs magnificently. Brendan Gleeson scowls and softens with similar aplomb. Both look to be having an absolute ball. As are we all. Review TB

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