Six of the best movies to see on the big screen this weekend

This week's best release is completely wordless, which makes a change

'The Red Turtle' is an animated fantasy film directed by Michael Dudok de Wit which tells the story of a man shipwrecked on a tropical island inhabited by turtles, crabs and birds.


Directed by Michael Dudok de Wit. PG cert, limited release, 81 min
Rumours of Studio Ghibli’s death have been greatly exaggerated time and time again. The great Japanese animation house emerged from semi-retirement at last year’s Cannes Film Festival with this beautiful, tricky, wordless film from Dutchman Michaël Dudok de Wit. The film’s magic is of a less exuberant stripe than the work of Ghibli’s master Hayao Miyazaki. But the damp washes and elegant story are right up to Ghibli’s consistently high standard. The picture’s baffling swerves do nothing to deflate its final emotional payoff. A truly delightful film that does its parent company proud. Hugely recommended.. DC Review/Trailer

Directed by Aki Kaurismäki. Starring Sherwan Haji, Sakari Kuosmanen. Cert 12A, limited release, 98mins

Following on from 2011’s Le Havre, in which an elderly shoe-shine merchant harboured a young African migrant, the second instalment of a proposed port city trilogy follows the migrant trail to Helsinki. Or rather the director’s Helsinki, a city  defined by candy-coloured formica, old rock’n’rollers, and fish. For the director’s  many  fans, the dry dialogue, winning performances, musical interludes, and DOP Timo Salminens still tableaux will feel wonderfully familiar. But the urgent subject matter lends weight to a lovely-looking, slow-cooked confection. TB  Review/Trailer

Directed by Nacho Vigalondo. Starring Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens, Austin Stowell, Tim Blake Nelson. Cert 15A, limited release, 109mins

Anne Hathaway in Colossal

Colossal begins with a classic Kaiju stomp-about, as a giant monster dominates the skyline of Seoul. We cut across continents to Gloria (Hathaway), an unemployed writer struggling with alcoholism and a long-suffering boyfriend (Stevens) heads for the generic sleepy Midwestern town where she grew up. Once there, she’s reunited with her childhood best pal Oscar (Sudeikis). The plot twist that links monster and drunk is a doozy, but Colossal has even more surprises up its sleeve. Take note DCEU and Marvelverse. TB Review/Trailer

Directed by François Ozon. Starring Pierre Niney, Paula Beer, Ernst Stötzner, Marie Gruber. Cert 12A, limited release, 114mins

A Frenchman in the inter-war years visits the grave of a slain German soldier in Ozon’s tricky, clever remake of an obscure 1932 Ernst Lubitsch film. He becomes friends with the family. But what is he hiding? Such gameplaying is typical for the post-Hitchcockian Ozon, who, throughout Frantz teases with disingenuous epistolary voiceover and untrustworthy images. Even the title serves as a twisty political homonym: France is victorious, but at the cost of Frantz. Lovely b&w images. TB Review/Trailer

Directed by Lone Scherfig. Starring Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, Helen McCrory, Jack Huston, Richard E. Grant, Rachael Stirling, Henry Goodman, Jeremy Irons. Cert 12A, gen release, 117mins

A varied team of film-makers shoot a patriotic drama in England during the second World War. Arterton, who plays the writer, does tremendous work, bringing a rare vulnerability to a Blitz-era heroine where a lesser thespian might have opted for full-blown Stiff Upper Lip. Picture Brief Encounter’s Celia Johnson with a Welsh lilt. The production makes charming use of the no-budget film-within-the-film and of its talented, likeable ensemble. Funny, moving and cast in depth. TB  Review/Trailer

Directed by William Oldroyd. Starring Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, Paul Hilton, Naomi Ackie, Christopher Fairbank. Cert 16, gen release, 89mins

Stirring, kinetic adaption of Nikolia Leskov’s 1865 novella Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk, concerning a young woman who fights back violently after being sold into a loveless marriage. Oldroyd relocates the stort to Northumberland with windy, effective results. Pugh, who made such an unforgettable debut in Carol Morley’s The Falling, is remarkable as the variously carnal, ruthless, suffering, pitiable, monstrous anti-heroine. Imagine the fur and feathers Angela Carter would spit out if she chewed up Downton Abbey. TB Review/Trailer 

  • For reviews of all films currently on release, see our Film Reviews page
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