Australia ( M): Baz Luhrmann’s sprawling outback epic is a magic pudding of a film: an inexhaustible supply of kitsch and corn, sumptuous landscapes, stirring romance and wartime spectacle wrapped in a soft-hearted story about the Stolen Generations. It’s too much, too silly and too long, but Nicole Kidman has rarely looked lovelier and there’s a passion and grandeur in the film that is hard to resist. — Evan Williams
Epic: Kidman and Brandon Walters in Australia
( M): This sequel to is the shortest of the 22 James Bond films but suffers from sketchy plotting and characterisation combined with seriously over-edited, although unquestionably well-staged, action sequences. Daniel Craig is steelier than ever and Judi Dench’s M has all the best lines, but everyone else gets short shrift. — David Stratton
( M): This extraordinary film — a kind of re-enacted documentary using a cast of real teenagers — explores the lives of a handful of unhappy youngsters at a high school in Indiana. Written and directed by Nanette Burstein, it spares us nothing of adolescent phobias, rivalries and frustrated ambitions but the final message is hopeful and reassuring. — E. W.
( MA15+): A nobudget Australian film about a group of men who meet regularly for therapy is distinguished by fine acting but seriously compromised by the pointlessly agitated camerawork. Despite its considerable shortcomings, it succeeds because it is moving and the problems of these men are addressed with clarity and understanding. — D. S.
( M): Francis Ford Coppola’s first film in 11 years is the mother ( or godfather) of epic romantic fantasies: an over-egged pudding starring Tim Roth as an ageing linguistics professor miraculously rejuvenated by a bolt of lightning while searching for the origins of language. Despite moments of great visual beauty, this meandering and pretentious film will do little for Coppola’s late-career reputation. — E. W.