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

Spielberg, Hanks and Streep’s The Post is heavy with shadows of Trumpocracy while Liam Neeson just about stays on track in The Commuter

Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in 'The Post', directed by Steven Spielberg. Photograph: Niko Tavernise/20th Century Fox

Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in 'The Post', directed by Steven Spielberg. Photograph: Niko Tavernise/20th Century Fox

 

THE POST ★★★★
Directed by Steven Spielberg. Starring Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Bruce Greenwood, Matthew Rhys, Bob Odenkirk, Michael Stuhlbarg, Sarah Paulson, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford. 12A cert, general release, 116 min

Tom Hanks (as Ben Bradlee) and Meryl Streep (as Kay Graham) star in 'The Post'. Photograph: Niko Tavernise/20th Century Fox
Tom Hanks (as Ben Bradlee) and Meryl Streep (as Kay Graham) in 'The Post'. Photograph: Niko Tavernise/20th Century Fox

Effective, unflashy investigation of the Washington Posts efforts to print the Pentagon Papers – revealing the state’s dishonesty about the Vietnam War – during a turbulent period for America. Hanks is solid as editor Ben Bradlee. Streep is subtle as publisher Katharine Graham. But it’s the film’s conversation with events in its near future (Watergate) and distant future (the current Trumpocracy) that sets it apart. The cheeky closing shots will delight fans of post-classical Hollywood. Review DC

THE COMMUTER ★★★
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. Starring Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Jonathan Banks, Elizabeth McGovern, Sam Neill, Florence Pugh, Killian Scott. 15A cert, general release, 104 min

Liam Neeson in 'The Commuter'. Photograph: Lionsgate
Liam Neeson in 'The Commuter'. Photograph: Lionsgate

If x is Neeson then y is the ridiculous thing that Neeson has to do so that his wife/family are no longer in jeopardy. And if all variables are travelling at a mighty velocity, then what is the mode of transport? No, it’s not a plane, you fool. That was the same director’s Non-Stop. The Commuter is set on a train and it’s a perfectly adequate entry to the Late Neeson School of Loud Bangs. Makes no sense, mind you. Review TB

COCO ★★★★
Directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina. Voices of Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renée Victor, Ana Ofelia Murguía, Edward James Olmos. PG cert, general release, 105 min

Pixar veteran Adrian Molina, who is of Mexican descent, co-wrote Coco’s songs with 'Frozen' duo Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. Photograph: Disney/Pixar
Pixar veteran Adrian Molina, who is of Mexican descent, co-wrote 'Coco’s songs with 'Frozen' duo Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. Photograph: Disney/Pixar

The latest from Pixar risks telling children (and all others) a tale of the Mexican Day of the Dead. On paper, the mythology scans as complicated and dark, but in the capable hands of Oscar-winner Lee Unkrich and Pixar veteran Adrian Molina, Coco is accessible for even the youngest. The animation eschews the tiring photo-realism of Cars 3 and The Good Dinosaur in favour of the transporting carnivalesque, replete with a stage show by Frieda Kahlo and candy-coloured Xoloitzcuintli. Welcome back. Review TB

INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY ★★★
Directed by Adam Robitel. Starring Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, Kirk Acevedo, Caitlin Gerard, Spencer Locke, Josh Stewart, Tessa Ferrer. 16 cert, gen release, 103 min

INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY
'Insidious: The Last Key': creepy past

Aficionados will be delighted to hear that the latest in the Insidious horror cycle incorporates a bit of “origin story”. The indestructible Lin Shaye – an undisputed horror queen of our day – is back as the fragile psychic Elise Rainier and this time she is investigating her own creepy past. A new demon (“Key Face”, apparently) is put the way of specialist horror publications. Everyday horrors combine with the supernatural variety. It’s insidiously average. DC

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI ★★★
Directed by Martin McDonagh. Starring Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Lucas Hedges, Clarke Peters, Abbie Cornish, Peter Dinklage, Caleb Landry Jones, Kerry Condon, John Hawkes. 15A cert, general release, 115 min

Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Photograph: Merrick Morton/20th Century Fox
Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in Martin McDonagh's 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri'. Photograph: Merrick Morton/20th Century Fox

Martin McDonagh’s third film as director – already an awards monster – starts quite brilliantly. McDormand plays a desperate mother who refuses to take the murder of her daughter lying down. Harrelson is the decent police chief, Rockwell his racist deputy. Sadly the beautifully knotted narrative begins to fray over messier second and third acts. The uneasy treatment of racism becomes more noticeable. The improbable twists become harder to forgive. A shame. Review DC

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD ★★★★
Directed by Ridley Scott. Starring Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, Charlie Plummer, Romain Duris. 15A cert, general release, 132 min

Christopher Plummer as J Paul Getty in All the Money in the World
Christopher Plummer as J Paul Getty in 'All the Money in the World'

Yes, this is the film that, after those disturbing revelations, caused Christopher Plummer to be swapped for Kevin Spacey in the role of billionaire John Paul Getty. It’s worth seeing for that performance and to appreciate the efficiency of the exchange. All the Money in the World, detailing the 1973 kidnapping of Getty’s grandson (the fine, unrelated Charlie Plummer), also happens to be Scott’s best film in a decade. Stylish, gripping and sound on the corrupting effects of wealth. Review DC

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