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

New this weekend: Border, The Kindergarten Teacher, Captain Marvel, Maiden

The official trailer for Border, winner of the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes 2018. Video: Neon


Directed by Ali Abbasi. Starring Eva Melander, Eero Milonoff, Jörgen Thorsson, Ann Petrén, Sten Ljunggren. 16 cert, limited release, 110 min
Melander is mesmerising as Tina, an unusually perceptive customs officer at a Swedish seaport. Buried beneath Oscar-nominated makeup that renders her faintly Neanderthal, walking with a perennially slumped frame, Tina can literally smell evil from the travellers. The explanation for these mysteries unfolds in a dark tale that allows ancient myth to blend with dirty Swedish realism. Adapted from a tale by John Ajvide Lindqvist, author of Let the Right One in, Border shares that film’s intelligent menace. Full review DC

Directed by Sara Colangelo. Starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Parker Sevak, Anna Baryshnikov, Rosa Salazar, Michael Chernus, Gael García Bernal. 15A cert, limited release, 97 min

Lisa (Gyllenhaal, excellent) overhears one of her students, a precocious five-year-old named Jimmy (Sevak), recite a poem, which is, in turn, rapturously received at her adult poetry class when she passes it off as her own composition. That’s a cringe-making act of deception, but it’s merely an amuse-bouche for the spiralling, toe-curling obsession that follows. Lisa decides that little Jimmy is a prodigy and she’s going to do everything she can to nurture his talent against a soul-crushing world. A fiendishly ambivalent film that segues from poetry appreciation and midlife crisis drama into thriller. Full review TB

Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Starring Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Annette Bening, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Clark Gregg, Jude Law. 12A, general release, 123 min

An alien descends to Earth in the 1990s and seeks to make sense of inexplicable memories. It’s a shame the first episode in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a female protagonist isn’t just a little better. Larson does well enough in a role that would better suit an actor less wedded to underplayed naturalism. The 1990s nostalgia is played for laughs. Sadly, an amusing centre is squeezed into a wafer by a silly framing space operetta that tries the patience. Full review DC

MAIDEN ★★★★☆
Directed by Alex Holmes. Featuring Tracy Edwards, Sally Creaser, Angela Farrell, Jo Gooding, Nancy Hill, Jeni Mundy. 12A cert, limited release, 97 min

Back in the 1980s, nobody wanted a “girl” on their yacht. Well, at least not as part of the crew. Runaway teenager Tracy Edwards had other ideas. She was persistent enough to gain employment as a cook and a cleaner on various boats before she hit upon the idea that landed her in the history books. Having raised enough money to buy a second-hand vessel, Edwards put together an all-female crew and entered the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race. The press were bemused or outright dismissive: yachting journalist Bob Fisher called the team “a tin full of tarts”. The women soon proved them all wrong. In common with its subject matter, this is a real crowd-pleaser with a strong finish. TB

Directed by Stephen Merchant. Starring Florence Pugh, Lena Headey, Nick Frost, Jack Lowden, Vince Vaughn. Dwayne Johnson. 15A cert, general release, 108 min

The Rock plus The Office and Extras co-creator Stephen Merchant sounds like an unlikely tag-team, but this cheery comedy inspired by the life of Saraya-Jade Bevis (aka Paige) who went from the less salubrious boroughs of Norwich to WWE Divas Champion at age 21, makes for a winning alchemy. It’s hard to argue with the results, however formulaic, and even when the material is thin, Pugh is there to, literally and figuratively, do the heavy lifting. Full review TB

RINGU ★★★★☆
Directed by Hideo Nakata. Starring Nanako Matsushima, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rikiya Otaka, Yoichi Numata. 15A cert, Light House, Dublin (Fri/Sat only), 95 min

Twentieth anniversary reissue of classic Japanese horror film about haunted video tape. The ghost-delivery system could hardly seem more antiquated now if it made use of carrier pigeons. But the notion of a mad rumour, passed about eagerly by teenagers, makes even more sense in the social media age. Indeed, Ringu (Ring) now seems like one of the most influential films of its era. The overseas release revitalised (and respooked) the horror genre. Full review DC

Other ★★★★☆ and ★★★★★ movies out and about: Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Capernaum, Cold Pursuit, An Engineer Imagines, The Favourite, Free Solo, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, If Beale Street Could Talk

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