The latest from Neil Jordan stars Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton as vampires in an English seaside town.
BYZANTIUM BLOOD Paul Bettany and Stephen Graham are detectives in the latest hard-as-nails British thriller. a creeping sensation of uneasiness around the pretty multicultural couple (Rahim, Dequenne). The latter is simply one of best actors on the planet. Her portrayal of postnatal psychosis is as subtle as it is devastating. Club, IFi, Dublin; Access Cinema (accesscinema.ie), 114 min PILGRIM HILL Directed by Gerard Barrett. Starring Joe Mullins Shot in unhurried, cautious fashion – and making occasional gestures to the mock documentary genre – Pilgrim Hill offers a quietly devastating portrait of a bachelor farmer (Mullins) eking out his life in a lonely farm on a windy outcrop. Barrett’s debut feature is a quietly stunning
OPENING JUNE 7th AFTER EARTH M Night Shyamalan directs Will and Jaden Smith in another scifi romp set on devastated Earth. slice of rural naturalism. Ian D Murphy’s cinematography is limpid. Barrett choreographs the slow march towards an expected catastrophe with rhythms that are positively Russian in their grace. 12A cert, lim release, 78 min THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES Directed by Derek Cianfrance. Starring Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper Don’t be fooled by the iconic spectacle of peroxide Gosling on a motorbike: the second collaboration between director Cianfrance and the actor is no angsty actioner but a triptych. Gosling’s lost boy carny exits after the first chapter, leaving Cooper’s cop to hold the fort. Two brighter, younger things , in turn, supersede Cooper as the central focus. Picture the time-lapse drama of Blue Valentine on a grander, intergenerational scale. 15A cert, gen release, 140 min THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST Directed by Mira Nair. Starring Riz Ahmed, Liev Schreiber, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Om Puri A Pakistani man grapples with his heritage and his current life as a Wall Street warrior in Nair’s adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s novel. The story relies heavily on snappy coincidences and contrivances. Its diametric principal characters make one think of an overly co-ordinated matchy-matchy outfit. But for all these caveats, it’s hard to dismiss Mira Nair’s attempts to map out the anatomy of a potential terrorist. 15A cert, IMC Dún Laoghaire/ Screen, Dublin; IMC Galway, 130 min NEW RELEASE SIMON KILLER Club, IFI, Dublin, 105 min See review, page 13
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Directed by JJ Abrams. Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Benedict Cumberbatch, Anton Yelchin, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Weller, Leonard Nimoy James Kirk is busted down to first officer following one too many acts of recklessness, but the authorities know they need him when a long-faced maniac (Cumberbatch) begins threatening the safety of the Federation. The film is full of knowing winks. But Abrams’s brilliance lies in his ability to fold the references to classic Star Trek – as well as contemporary politics – into a thrilling, pulpy structure that demands no foreknowledge of the ancient franchise. A firstclass blockbuster. 12A cert, gen release, 132 min 21 AND OVER Directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. Starring Justin Chon, Miles Teller, Skylar Astin One of many recent films that could serve as a recruiting advertisement for Al Qaeda, 21 and Over finds a big idiot (Teller) visiting a lesser idiot (Astin) and somebody who’s almost not an idiot (Justin Chon) at some upmarket college. That last character has just turned 21, but feels unable to do what it is that leads “party” to be used as a verb. He soon relents and the film becomes as sickeningly stupid as expected. 16 cert, gen release, 93 min WRECK-IT RALPH Directed by Rich Moore. Voices of John C Reilly, Sarah Silverman It doesn’t quite live up to the potential of its premise. The graphics are delicious. The contrast between different gaming styles (Ralph tarries briefly in a rough shoot-’em-up) are nicely highlighted. But as the film progresses, the in-jokes decrease and the dialogue loses much of its bite. G cert, gen release, 107 min