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

New this week: Under the Tree, Dog Days and Pope Francis, the man

Bad, bad neighbours: Under the Tree from Iceland, on select release

Bad, bad neighbours: Under the Tree from Iceland, on select release

 

UNDER THE TREE/UNDIR TRÉNU ★★★★★
Directed by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson. Starring Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson, Edda Björgvinsdóttir, Sigurður Sigurjónsson, þorsteinn Bachmann, Lára Jóhanna Jónsdóttir, Selma Björnsdóttir. Club, lim release, 89 min
What’s the most astonishing dark act of screen comedy you can think of? Think dirtier than The Dirties, holidaying with Sightseers, faultier than Fawlty Towers, terrorising with Four Lions. Under the Tree raises (or possibly lowers) the bar for the nastiest, meanest, pettiest act committed by seemingly ordinary folk. We’re told that good fences make for good neighbours, but even Trump’s wall couldn’t made a dent in the simmering feud at the black heart of this killer – literally and figuratively – Icelandic comedy. Unmissable. TB

DOG DAYS ★★★
Directed by Ken Marino. Starring Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens, Adam Pally, Eva Longoria, Rob Corddry, Tone Bell, Jon Bass, Michael Cassidy, Thomas Lennon, Tig Notaro, Finn Wolfhard, Ron Cephas Jones. PG cert, gen release, 113 min

This is now officially a thing. Arriving at rear-sniffing distance from Disney’s pug-themed Brit-com Patrick, Dog Days confirms a new subgenre with a wet nose. Remember the rom-com? The 20th century form of visual storytelling that ended when Matthew McConaughey put his shirt back on? Like that, but with added dog and fewer abs. The LA-set Dog Days unfolds as an Altmanesque daisy chain. All possible similarities with the auteur behind Nashville begin and end with choral effect. Wish fulfilment with a waggly tail. TB

POPE FRANCIS: A MAN OF HIS WORD ★★★
Directed by Wim Wenders. Featuring Pope Francis. PG cert, lim release, 96 min
Wenders talks to Pope Francis, intercutting the interview with footage of Jorge

Mario Bergoglio’s early life and monochrome recreations of Saint Francis of Assisi’s experiences. No film called A Man of His Word is going to draw much blood from the subject. Sure enough, Wenders lets him off on clerical abuse and includes no mention at all of abortion. The Pope still emerges as an impressive personality: engaged, intelligent, compassionate. DC

SICILIAN GHOST STORY ★★★★
Directed by Antonio Piazza and Fabio Grassadonia. Starring Julia Jedlikowska, Sabine Timoteo , Gaetano Fernandez, Corinne Musallari. Club, IFI/Light House, Dublin, 122 min

This imaginative adult fairy tale chronicles the blossoming relationship between 13-year-old Giuseppe (Fernandez) and 12-year-old Luna (Polish-newcomer Jedlikowska), who, in spite of their parent’s disapproval, have fallen in love. One day, Giuseppe, the privileged son of a mob boss, disappears. Luna searches for him, wandering through the increasingly otherworldly woodlands, to no avail. The story shares kinship with the similarly lush The Spirit of the Beehive and Pan’s Labyrinth. Full review/trailer TB

ANT MAN AND THE WASP ★★★
Directed by Peyton Reed. Starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Pfeiffer. 12A cert, general release, 117 min

In the aftermath of the Marvel Civil War, Ant Man (Rudd) and The Wasp (Lilly) attempt to rescue Wasp Emeritus (Pfeiffer) from something called the quantum zone. It’s lightweight. It’s confusing. Not nearly enough is stolen from The Incredible Shrinking Man. Oh well. With all the overly pompous franchise movies cluttering up cinemas it remains a pleasure to sink into something so unapologetically goofy. The mad San Francisco chases suggest a hallucinatory What’s Up, Doc?. Full review/video DC

TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES ★★★
Directed by Peter Rida Michail and Aaron Horvath. Voices of Greg Cipes, Scott Menville, Khary Payton, Tara Strong, Hynden Walch, Will Arnett, Kristen Bell, Nicolas Cage, Michael Bolton, Will Wheaton, Stan Lee. PG cert, general release, 84 min

For those unfamiliar with the gloriously silly comics and animated TV series, Teen Titans Robin, Raven, Beast Boy, Starfire, and Cyborg are the other guys of the DC Extended Universe. As their first feature film opens, the gang are too busy rapping about their own brilliance to stop the gigantic, marauding Balloon Man, who is smashing up the city. As with Lego Batman, Teen Titans Go! is as fun and self-referential as the DC action films are ponderous. Full review TB

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