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

New this week: Assassination Nation, Shoplifters, The Girl in the Spider’s Web and The Camino Voyage

Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef and Abra in Assassination Nation

Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef and Abra in Assassination Nation

 

SHOPLIFTERS
★★★★★
Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda. Starring Lily Franky, Sakura Ando, Jyo Kairi, Miyu Sasaki, Kiki Kirin, Mayu Matsuoka, Kengo Kora, Chizuru Ikewake. 15A cert, limited release, 120 min

Lily Franky and Sakura Andô in Shoplifters
Lily Franky and Sakura Andô in Shoplifters

Kore-eda was a deserved winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes with this Dickensian tale of a family of thieves who – out of common decency – adopt an abused young girl. The Japanese film-maker has been constructing quiet, nuanced masterpieces for 20 years and Shoplifters shows all his talents to advantage. The film creeps up on you. It yields its pleasures stealthily. It has, however, more to say about questions of public and private morality than whole libraries. DC

ASSASSINATION NATION
★★★★☆
Directed by Sam Levinson. Starring Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef, Abra, Bill Skårsgard, Bella Thorne, Joel McHale. 18 cert, gen release, 108 min

Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef, and Abra in Assassination Nation
Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef, and Abra in Assassination Nation

It’s not always subtle, but Levinson’s satire concerning a town where every second citizen has his browser history hacked has indecent zip and impressive edge. The messages are conveyed by a dizzying mass of violent, sexual images – some leering in the style of Larry Clarke – that throb to an excellent score by Ian Hultquist. Bravura shots abound. It falls apart a little in an anarchic last act, but the last line is an absolute killer. Full review DC

THE CAMINO VOYAGE
★★★★☆
Directed by Dónal Ó Céilleachair. Starring Danny Sheehy, Liam Holden, Brendan Begley, Breandán Moriarty, Glen Hansard. PG cert, limited release, 97 min

It takes some class of determination to row all the way from Ireland to Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain. It takes more to do so in a traditional naomhóg. Yet four brave men -- poet Sheehy, artist Holden, musician Begley and stonemason Moriarty – set out to do just that in three gruelling yearly stages, beginning in 2014. Musician Glen Hansard joined them later. Ó Céilleachair’s film records the journey with care and grace. You’ll feel uplifted and a little exhausted by the close. DC

THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB
★★★☆☆
Directed by Fede Álvarez. Starring Claire Foy, Sverrir Gudnason, Lakeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, Stephen Merchant, Vicky Krieps, Claes Bang. 15A cert, gen release, 115 min

Claire Foy in The Girl in the Spider’s Web. The film keeps flagging autism as a superpower, but not everyone on the spectrum is a chess grandmaster
Claire Foy in The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Lisbeth Salandar is back in an adaption – keep up here – of the sequel to Steig Larsson’s Millennium trilogy penned, after that author’s death, David Lagercrantz. The film redraws Lisbeth as James Bond or possibly the Equaliser, as she gets drawn into a convoluted plot to capture all the nuclear launch codes in the world. Even the titles feature naked dancing lady silhouettes. Fede Alvarez is a fine action director, and his exciting set-pieces provide decent compensation for Lisbeth’s now omnipotent skills. But the plot is a shaggy, loose-ended mess. Full review TB

WILDLIFE
★★★★☆
Directed by Paul Dano. Starring Carey Mulligan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ed Oxenbould, Bill Camp. 12A cert, limited release, 105 min

Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal in Wildlife

In his directorial debut, actor Dano takes on a Richard Ford novel about a couple (Mulligan and Gyllenhaal) falling apart in early 1960s Montana. Mulligan is at her best when sulking like a cat confronted with a rainy garden and, as the film progresses, she gets more opportunities to wrinkle her snout and droop her whiskers. But the standout performance may be that of young Ed Oxenbould as the couple’s son. A whole generation’s coming disenchantment is captured in his drooping features. Full review DC

WIDOWS
★★★★☆
Directed by Steve McQueen . Starring Viola Davis, Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Jacki Weaver, Robert Duvall, Liam Neeson. 16 cert, general release, 130 min

Viola Davis and Cynthia Erivo in Widows. Photograph: Merrick Morton//Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Viola Davis and Cynthia Erivo in Widows. Photograph: Merrick Morton/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

The director of Hunger takes another sharp turn as he attempts an adaptation of Lynda La Plante’s 1983 TV series concerning a gang of hoodlums’ wives who plan a heist. It’s all terribly unlikely (let’s have the babysitter drive the getaway car!) and a little over-stuffed with subplots (Duvall and Farrell as Irish-American crooks). But on a scene-by-scene basis it’s quite magnificent. All the performances are excellent, but Debicki stands out from the distinguished crowd. Full review DC

And nearly the last chance to see

GOOD FAVOUR
★★★★☆
Directed by Rebecca Daly. Starring Vincent Romeo, Lars Brygmann, Clara Rugaard, Alexandre Willaume, Victoria Mayer, Helena Coppejans. 12A cert, IFI, Dublin, 101 min

Vincent Romeo in Good Favour, written and directed by Rebecca Daly
Vincent Romeo in Good Favour, written and directed by Rebecca Daly

Daly follows up her acclaimed Mammal with an enigmatic drama concerning a young man who stumbles into an odd Christian community. Good Favour casts enough of a spell to compensate for its ambiguities. The forest setting and the oddly pleasing sound of an English-language script delivered by a varied European ensemble makes for a space in which anything is possible. In common with its inscrutable protagonist, it requires you to follow deep into the woods. Full review TB

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.