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

New this week: Creed II, Disobedience, Three Identical Strangers, The Wild Pear Tree

This time it’s personal: Sylvester Stallone and Michael B Jordan in Creed II

This time it’s personal: Sylvester Stallone and Michael B Jordan in Creed II

 

CREED II ★★★★☆
Directed by Steven Caple Jr. Starring Michael B Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Dolph Lundgren, Florian Munteanu, Phylicia Rashad, Brigitte Nielsen. 12A cert, general release, 130 min
The follow-up to Ryan Coogler’s excellent Creed also stands as a belated sequel to Rocky IV. Ivan Drago (Lundgren) is back and his son is challenging for the title. Will Donnie Creed (Jordan) fight the man who killed his dad? Will Rocky (Stallone, OBVIOUSLY) be in his corner? That would be telling. We can reveal that Creed II is almost as sleek as its predecessor and certainly as well acted. If you don’t leave punching the air you may wish to throw in the towel. DC

DISOBEDIENCE ★★★★☆
Directed by Sebastián Lelio. Starring Rachel Weisz. Rachel McAdams, Alessandro Nivola. 15A cert, limited release, 114 min

The director of A Fantastic Woman tackles Naomi Alderman’s novel concerning a passionate lesbian relationship within London’s orthodox Jewish community. From the handsomely framed sensuality of its sex scenes to the perfectly formed swells of Matthew Herbert, this carefully crafted chamber piece may prove too tasteful for more rambunctious sensibilities. Veteran cinematographer Danny Cohen makes great, naturalistic use of London’s bright grey skies and escalators. And even under mousy wigs and minimal makeup, Weisz and McAdams shine like the movie stars they are. TB

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS ★★★★☆
Directed by Tim Wardle. Featuring Edward Galland, David Kellman, Robert Shafran. 12A cert, limited release, 97 min

“When I tell people my story, they don’t believe it,” says Robert Shafran at the start of this astonishing documentary. It transpires that, adopted as a baby, he was one of triplets whose later meeting the film relates with great lucidity. Working with Irish editor Michael Harte, director Wardle crafts an impeccable sequence of reveals, that take in a refugee from the Holocaust, unethical scientific design, and files that can’t be opened until 2055. A surefire Oscar contender. TB

THE WILD PEAR TREE ★★★★☆
Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Starring Aydin Dogu Demirkol, Murat Cemcir, Serkan Keskin, Tamer Levent, Akin Aksu, Öner Erkan. Club, limited release, 188 min

Sinan (Demirkol), a recent graduate, returns to his maritime home with plans to self-publish a philosophical tome inspired by those surroundings. He argues with dad. He buttonholes a famous writer. Turkish director Ceylan’s latest conversational epic is gorgeously filmed and features more elegantly constructed philosophical musings. The daunting length and narrative inertia are, perhaps, in danger of becoming directorial fetishes, but there is something miraculous about Ceylan’s ability to draw us into inaction. DC

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, QFT, Belfast; Light House, Dublin, 120 min

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

THE CAMINO VOYAGE ★★★★☆
Directed by Dónal Ó Céilleachair. Starring Danny Sheehy, Liam Holden, Brendan Begley, Breandán Moriarty, Glen Hansard. PG cert, Triskel, Cork; Light House, Dublin, 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

Other ★★★★☆ and ★★★★★ movies out and about: Assassination Nation, Bohemian Rhapsody, Cold War, The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid, Mandy, Rosie, A Star Is Born, Widows, The Wife, Wildlife

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