The International ( MA15+): An undeniably entertaining thriller from director Tom Tykwer, with some very wellstaged, occasionally violent, action sequences, including a spectacular shootout in New York’s Guggenheim Museum. But the characters are thinly drawn and the plot, involving evil bankers mixed up in political assassination and money laundering, isn’t very well developed. Clive Owen, and especially Naomi Watts, aren’t at their best. — David Stratton
The Reader ( MA15+): Kate Winslet gives an unforgettable performance as an illiterate former concentration camp guard in Nazi Germany who seeks solace after the war in a love affair with a schoolboy ( played in later life by Ralph Fiennes). A compelling study of guilt and remorse, directed with majestic insight and restraint by Stephen Daldry from Bernhard Schlink’s acclaimed novel. — Evan Williams
Frozen River ( MA15+): A grimly impressive, Oscar-nominated film ( for screenplay and best actress) about two women who take part in the illegal smuggling of refugees across the frozen St Lawrence River between Canada and the US. Courtney Hunt’s mostly impressive first feature is drably photographed, but Melissa Leo and Misty Upham are excellent in the leads. The MA15+ rating seems quite unwarranted. — D. S.
He’s Just Not That Into You ( M): An overextended, overpopulated romantic comedy that attempts to shed light on the difficulties of dating in the era of the BlackBerry and MySpace. But, despite a stellar cast, which includes Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Affleck and Drew Barrymore, there are few new insights into the battle of the sexes, 21st-century style. — D. S.
Rachel Getting Married ( M): It’s Rachel who is getting married, but it’s her unhappy sister Kym ( Anne Hathaway) who dominates this compelling family drama, turning up unexpectedly for the best-planned of society weddings to unburden her guilt-ridden soul. Jonathan Demme directs in a free-flowing, homemovie style, and Hathaway delivers anguish and brave good humour in roughly equal measure. — E. W.
Zack and Miri Make a Porno ( R18+): The distinctive in-your-face talents of Kevin Smith and the Apatow school of comedy meet in this supremely vulgar, sex-obsessed farce which is, in the end, surprisingly sweet and tender, thanks to the solid performances of Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks as the lifelong platonic friends who embark on the production of a no-budget sex movie. — D. S.
Ghost Town ( M): An English dentist who can talk to ghosts may seem an unlikely lead for a Hollywood romantic comedy, but as Ricky Gervais ( The Office ) plays him in this amiable fantasy, the character and the film work beautifully. Deadpan direction ( David Koepp), sparkling Manhattan backgrounds and an engaging cast ( including Greg Kinnear and Tea Leoni) make this sad, funny film an agreeable surprise. — E. W.
Compelling study: Kate Winslet in The Reader