Tara Brady and Don­ald Clarke

re­view the cur­rent cin­ema re­leases

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM | SEVEN DAYS -

ANNABELLE

Di­rected by John R Leonetti. Star­ring Annabelle Wal­lis, Ward Hor­ton, Tony Amen­dola,

Al­fre Woodard Spin-off from sur­prise hor­ror hit The Con­jur­ing con­cerns a pos­sessed doll that haunts a fam­ily dur­ing the early 1970s. The build-up isn’t at all bad, but, sadly, the film goes com­pletely off the boil in the last half hour as it gives in to the an­ti­logic of the ghost train. Things leap out from be­hind other things. Faces lurk in cor­ri­dors. Creaks echo down loom­ing cor­ri­dors. And now the yawn­ing be­gins! 16 cert, gen re­lease, 98 min DC

NEW RE­LEASE BAT­TLES OF CORONEL AND FALK­LAND IS­LANDS See re­view, p11

NEW RE­LEASE THE BEST OF ME See ir­ish­times.com

BJÖRK: BIO­PHILIA LIVE

Di­rected by Peter Strick­land, Nick Fen­ton. Fea­tur­ing Björk, Manu Del­gado, Matt Robert­son, Grad­uale No­bili Choir Bio­philia Live marks the end of the Ice­landic artist’s 2013 tour. Play­ing in the round at London’s Alexan­dra Palace, she ap­pears against swirls of stars and rivers of lava, adding con­so­nants were there were none be­fore: how many ‘r’s’ are in mir­a­cles, any­way? The movie is un­likely to change hearts and minds among those who think Björk sounds like a bag of cats, but it’s as vis­ually and son­i­cally ex­hil­a­rat­ing as con­cert films get. Club, IFI, Dublin, 97 min TB

THE BOXTROLLS

Di­rected by An­thony Stac­chi, Gra­ham Annable. Voices of Ben Kings­ley, IElle Fan­ning, Dee Bradley Baker, Steve Blum, Toni Col­lette, Jared Har­ris, Nick Frost Set in a tow­er­ing city named Cheese­town, this gor­geously gothic an­i­ma­tion con­cerns a tribe of well-in­ten­tioned troglodytes who ap­pear to have ab­ducted a hu­man baby and made it their own. It is, in short, the sort of grue­some hor­ror show that kids ab­so­lutely adore. PG cert, gen re­lease, 96 min DC

BOY­HOOD

Di­rected by Richard Lin­klater. Star­ring Pa­tria Ar­quette, Ethan Hawke, El­lar Coltrane For 12 years, once a year, Lin­klater asked the same ac­tors to play the mem­bers of a mod­ern fam­ily. Coltrane is the boy, Hawke and Ar­quette his par­ents. Few films have blended the univer­sal with the par­tic­u­lar to such ex­tra­or­di­nary ef­fect. 15A cert, Light House, Dublin, 165 min DC

THE CALL­ING

Di­rected by Ja­son Stone. Star­ring Susan Saran­don, Gil Bel­lows, Ellen Burstyn, To­pher Grace, Don­ald Suther­land De­ranged, over­heated thriller star­ring Saran­don as a boozed-up po­lice of­fi­cer in­ves­ti­gat­ing a rare mur­der in a small town. The

Call­ing is a lit­tle bit Se7en, a lit­tle bit Fargo, and quite a bit daft. You couldn’t de­scribe it as sub­tle: Her de­pen­dency on al­co­hol and painkillers is trum­peted by in­ces­sant, heroic guz­zling from pill­boxes and whiskey bot­tles. The prime sus­pect’s ca­pac­ity for mur­der is bel­lowed by odd fa­cial hair and a doc­tor’s bag. But it’s cer­tainly good fun. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 107 min TB

DOL­PHIN TALE 2

Di­rected by Charles Martin Smith. Star­ring Nathan Gam­ble, Ash­ley Judd, Mor­gan Free­man In a se­quel to a film you and your kids have for­got­ten, the folk at the Florid­ian marine res­cue cen­tre seek to find a part­ner for the dol­phin with a pros­thetic tail (ged­dit?). We know what the kids want. They want movies that cre­ate im­pec­ca­ble role mod­els, avoid all but the mildest con­flict be­tween gen­er­a­tions and pro­vide well-re­searched in­sights into the US Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture’s reg­u­la­tions on the care of aquatic mam­mals. Search no fur­ther. G cert, gen re­lease, 107 min DC

DRAC­ULA UN­TOLD

Di­rected by Gary Shore. Star­ring Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Do­minic Cooper, Charles Dance Con­spic­u­ously in debt to the open­ing sec­tions of Fran­cis Ford Cop­pola’s Drac­ula, Shore’s pic­ture seeks to in­ves­ti­gate the man Drac­ula was be­fore he be­came im­mor­tal and blood hun­gry. That’s Vlad the Im­paler to you, Turk! The ef­fects are nice and the North­ern Ir­ish scenery is well used, but Drac­ula Un­told feels like a rushed, half-hearted at­tempt to do some­thing that wasn’t re­ally worth do­ing in the first place. Mind you, if er­satz Game of Thrones is your thing . . . 15A cert, gen re­lease, 92 min DC

THE EQUAL­IZER

Di­rected by An­toine Fuqua. Star­ring Den­zel Wash­ing­ton, Mar­ton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz, Bill Pull­man, Melissa

Leo The Equal­izer is nom­i­nally based on the TV se­ries from the 1980s. But noth­ing of any sig­nif­i­cance has been re­tained. Wash­ing­ton gives us a men­tally trou­bled ge­nius who can, if given a few seconds, elim­i­nate an en­tire room­ful of Rus­sian thugs with just an ap­ple corer. Filmed in cobalt blue shades, the pic­ture is slick, amus­ing and ut­terly pre­pos­ter­ous. Few émi­grés from the planet Kryp­ton are quite so in­vin­ci­ble. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 131 min DC

NEW RE­LEASE FURY See re­view, p10-11

GOLD

Di­rected by Niall Heery. Star­ring James Nes­bitt, Maisie Wil­liams, David Wil­mot, Kerry Con­don, Con­sis­tently mag­nif­i­cent Wil­mot plays a trou­bled, some­time sui­ci­dal dolt, long es­tranged from his acer­bic daugh­ter (Wil­liams) and her plucky mother (Con­don). When he re­turns after 12 years away, all sorts of quiet hell breaks loose. There’s not a great deal of plot to the piece. But it gets by on strong per­for­mances and con­vinc­ing char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion. A fine follow-up to Heery’s Small En­gine Re­pair. 15A cert, lim re­lease, 88 min DC

GONE GIRL

Di­rected by David Fincher.

Star­ring Ben Af­fleck, Rosamund Pike Fincher’s adap­ta­tion of Gil­lian Flynn’s best­seller proves a near-per­fect match for the di­rec­tor’s ob­ses­sively com­pul­sive in­tel­lec­tual vacu­ity. Be­gin­ning steadily and stealth­ily with in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the dis­ap­pear­ance of a mid­west­ern ice queen (ter­rific Pike), the pic­ture swivels to­wards com­plete ab­sur­dity in its sec­ond half as it in­dulges in some eye-wa­ter­ing misogyny. But the quips at con­tem­po­rary me­dia are acute and the Hitch­cock­ian shocks are well mea­sured. Du­bi­ous, but close to ir­re­sistible. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 149 mins DC

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

Di­rected by James Gunn. Star­ring Chris Pratt, Zoe Sal­dana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Glenn Close, Beni­cio Del Toro Funny, di­vert­ing, light­weight space opera in which trees, racoons and the good-look­ing guy from Parks and Recre­ation seek some sort of magic sphere. A se­ries of dum­b­ass sit­u­a­tions from Golden Age sci-fi – but the char­ac­ters are so charm­ing and the ban­ter so di­vert­ing that it proves very hard to re­sist. 12A cert, 120 min DC

THE GUEST

Di­rected by Adam Win­gard. Star­ring Dan Stevens, Maika Mon­roe, Bren­dan Meyer A sol­dier ar­rives in town to visit the fam­ily of a fallen com­rade. Quite quickly, var­i­ous lev­els of amus­ing chaos break out. Stevens keeps a poker-straight face as he de­liv­ers some of the year’s fun­ni­est lines. Cert 15A, gen re­lease, 99mins TB

IDA

Di­rected by Pawel Paw­likowski Star­ring Agata Kulesza, Agata Trze­bu­chowska Poland. 1960. Anna (Trze­bu­chowska), a young or­phan raised by Catholic nuns leaves the con­vent so that she might meet her es­tranged next of kin be­fore she un­der­takes her vows. Her aunt turns out to be a boozy, jaded, fear­somely Com­mu­nist judge known as Red Wanda (Kulesz). Wanda’s he­do­nis­tic, hard-liquored life­style, it soon tran­spires, is a means of avoid­ing past trau­mas. Ida’s fam­ily are, or were, Jewish. To­gether, the two mis­matched women head out on a road trip, where their ef­forts to dis­cover what aw­ful fates be­fell their rel­a­tives some 20 years be­fore are met with si­lence and se­crets and lies. Club, lim re­lease, 82 mins TB

NEW RE­LEASE THE JUDGE See re­view, p9

LIFE AFTER BETH

Di­rected by Jeff Baena. Star­ring Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, Molly Shan­non, Ch­eryl Hines, Paul Reiser, John C Reilly DeHaan copes badly with the rev­e­la­tion that his girl­friend (Plaza), sup­pos­edly safely buried, has re­turned as a mem­ber of the walk­ing dead. Baena’s clever zom-rom-com makes merry with dead­ened teen in­flec­tions, as be­fits a film fea­tur­ing the star of Parks and Recre­ation and the ti­tle voice of the in­com­ing Grumpy Cat film. (Your in­ter­net click caused this: now live with it). In qui­eter mo­ments, one longs for the hus­tle and bus­tle of The Vir­gin Sui­cides. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 88 min TB

LUCY

Di­rected by Luc Bes­son. Star­ring Scar­lett Jo­hans­son, Mor­gan

Free­man Jo­hans­son ex­cels as a drug mule who gains su­per­hu­man pow­ers after ac­ci­den­tally in­gest­ing her cargo. Her rapid progress from ami­able dope to master killer to un­stop­pable de­ity is a de­light to be­hold. Thanks to a steely per­for­mance from Jo­hans­son, gal­lop­ing edit­ing and lush cin­e­matog­ra­phy, it proves pos­si­ble to dis­re­gard the id­iocy and make one­self be­lieve se­ri­ous ideas have been in­cor­po­rated into the id­i­otic may­hem. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 89 min DC

MAGIC IN THE MOON­LIGHT

Di­rected by Woody Allen. Star­ring Eileen Atkins, Colin Firth, Mar­cia Gay Harden, Hamish Lin­klater, Si­mon McBur­ney, Emma Stone, Jacki Weaver It’s 1928 and the master il­lu­sion­ist Wei Ling Soo (Firth) en­joys an in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion as a dis­ap­pearer of ele­phants and de­bunker of mystics. Might a charm­ing Amer­i­can clair­voy­ant named Sophie (Stone) per­suade him oth­er­wise? Work­ing from a clearly hur­ried script, the Allen does not ap­pear to call for sec­ond takes, even when such things are re­quired. Sweet, nonethe­less. PG cert, gen re­lease, 97mins TB

MAPS TO THE STARS

Di­rected by David Cro­nen­berg Star­ring Ju­lianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Wil­liams, Sarah Gadon, John Cu­sack,

Robert Pat­tin­son Dr Stafford Weiss (Cu­sack) is a hor­rid psy­chother­a­pist who has made a for­tune with his self-help man­u­als; his snake-oil ther­a­pies go over well with ghastly self­ab­sorbed ac­tors such as Ha­vana (Moore). Weiss’s daugh­ter (Wasikowska) is a py­ro­ma­niac. His son is a hor­rid child star. Even the chauf­feur (Pat­tin­son) is aw­ful. Work­ing from a scathing screen­play by Bruce Wag­ner, Cro­nen­berg’s de­pic­tion of nar­cis­sis­tic Hol­ly­wood pulls no punches. 18 cert, gen re­lease, 112mins TB

THE MAZE RUN­NER

Di­rected by Wes Ball. Star­ring Dy­lan O’Brien, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scode­lario, Will Poul­ter, Ki Hong Lee The lat­est bid to trans­form some ran­dom work of dystopian teen fic­tion into a boffo business op­por­tu­nity sees Teen Wolf’s O’Brien wake up, sans mem­ory, in a glade pop­u­lated en­tirely by buff teenage boys: pic­ture a PG-rated ba­nana boat cruise. This im­plau­si­ble agrar­ian so­ci­ety comes with nice look­ing back­packs and is sur­rounded by un­scal­able walls. Some aw­fully good ac­tors work hard to breathe life into a non­sen­si­cal plot. It’s to no avail. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 113 min TB

AMOST WANTEDMAN

Di­rected by An­ton Cor­bijn. Star­ring Philip Seymour Hoff­man, Rachel McA­dams, Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright, Daniel Brühl In his last ma­jor per­for­mance, Philip Seymour Hoff­man ex­cels as a clas­sic John Le Carré character: a flat­tened, dis­ap­pointed anemone who knows more than the sleek fish cir­cling above. The film is rich in pe­riod de­tail and soaked with moral am­bi­gu­ity. Maybe the story lags a lit­tle in the mid­dle, but A Most Wanted Man re­mains a fit­ting fi­nal bow for a great ac­tor. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 131 min DC

NIGHT WILL FALL

Di­rected by An­dre Singer. Fea­tur­ing Al­fred Hitch­cock,

Sid­ney Bern­stein As the Al­lied forces bat­tled their way to­ward Berlin in 1945, the Supreme Head­quar­ters Al­lied Ex­pe­di­tionary Force de­cided to cre­ate an ex­tra­or­di­nary doc­u­ment of oc­cu­pied Europe’s lib­er­a­tion. The film, shot by em­bed­ded news­reel cam­era­men and com­bat pho­tog­ra­phers drawn from the ranks of the Bri­tish, Amer­i­can and Soviet armies, would con­sti­tute a “Ger­man Con­cen­tra­tion Camps Fac­tual Survey”, a pow­er­ful tool for teach­ing, pro­pa­ganda and for fu­ture pros­e­cu­tions. Sadly, pol­i­tics would get in the way. Seven decades later, An­dre Singer’s film uses Hitch­cock’s notes and tes­ti­mony to glimpse the film he might have made, while chron­i­cling the story be­hind the film. Club, IFI, 75mins TB

NOBLE

Di­rected by Stephen Bradley Star­ring Deirdre O’Kane, Sarah Greene, Bren­dan Coyle, Liam Cun­ning­ham, David Mu­meni, Nhu Quynh Nguyen, Ruth Negga Well-acted, clev­erly struc­tured study of Christina Noble, the Dubliner who cam­paigns so force­fully for dis­ad­van­taged chil­dren in south­east Asia. The film is not ex­actly sub­tle: too many sub­sidiary char­ac­ters an­nounce their in­ten­tions on first sight­ing. But the thump­ing sto­ry­telling and fine per­for­mances pull us through. O’Kane and Cur­tis are strong play­ing the pro­tag­o­nist as a child and in mid­dle-age. But Greene steals the show as Christina the young woman. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 101 min DC

NEW RE­LEASE

NORTH­ERN SOUL See ir­ish­times.com NEW RE­LEASE THE OVERNIGHTERS See re­view, p10 NEW RE­LEASE PALO ALTO See re­view, p10

THE REWRITE

Di­rected by Marc Lawrence. Star­ring Hugh Grant, Marisa Tomei, Bella Heath­cote, Al­li­son Jan­ney, J K Sim­mons, Chris El­liott Grant stars as a Hol­ly­wood pro­fes­sional (a writer, not an ac­tor) who just can’t seem to get the pub­lic’s at­ten­tion any longer. After much ar­gu­ment with his agent, he takes a teach­ing post in New York State. It may as well have “kick me” writ­ten on its back. Right? Sur­pris­ingly, The Rewrite turns out to be Grant’s most di­vert­ing com­edy in more than a decade. He’s still got the tim­ing. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 106 min DC

PRIDE

Di­rected by Matthew Warchus. Star­ring Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Do­minic West Hi­lar­i­ous, mov­ing crowd-pleaser deal­ing with in­ter­ac­tions be­tween strik­ers and gay groups dur­ing the 1984 UK min­ers dis­pute. This won­der­ful film al­ready plays like the foot-tap­ping mu­si­cal it is sure to be­come. We have sev­eral lovely sto­ries wound el­e­gantly to­gether. Cracking mu­si­cal num­bers emerge dieget­i­cally. The cast is im­mac­u­late through­out. Raise a fist in support. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 120 min TB

’71

Di­rected by Yann De­mange. Star­ring Jack O’Con­nell, Seán Har­ris, Sam Reid, Charlie Murphy, Paul An­der­son, Kil­lian Scott, David Wil­mot, Martin McCann A Bri­tish sol­dier seeks to es­cape West Belfast dur­ing the dark­est days of the Trou­bles. ’71 is never less than ex­hil­a­rat­ing. De­mange, a French­man, who came to us through tele­vi­sion, keeps his cam­era mo­bile with­out quite suc­cumb­ing to the full, Dex­adrine-sap­ping Green­grass shuf­fle. O’Con­nell of­fers a per­fect im­per­son­ation of a man who, though pass­ing among work­ing­class streets very like his own, feels him­self stranded on a hos­tile planet. First-rate pur­suit thriller. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 99 min DC

NEW RE­LEASE SHOWRUN­NERS See re­view, p10 NEW RE­LEASE TEENAGE MU­TANT NINJA TUR­TLES See re­view, p11

20,000 DAYS ON EARTH

Di­rected by Iain Forsyth, Jane Pol­lard. Fea­tur­ing Nick Cave, Ray Win­stone, Kylie Minogue, War­ren El­lis, Blixa Bargeld No­body who is not al­ready an enthusiast for Nick Cave – singer of Old Tes­ta­ment tales and chron­i­cler of hun­gry crows – will have much time for this sin­gu­lar doc­u­men­tary. We get no old ma­te­rial. We get a great deal of Nick talk­ing about him­self and wan­der­ing about Brighton. But this is an orig­i­nal, oc­ca­sion­ally mov­ing por­trait of the artist. Fans should re­gard it as es­sen­tial. 15A cert, lim re­lease, 97 min DC

UN­BREAK­ABLE: THE MARK POL­LOCK STORY

Di­rected by Ross Whit­taker. Fea­tur­ing Mark Pol­lock, Si­mone George Cracking doc­u­men­tary on a gen­uinely heroic fig­ure. Pol­lock was struck blind as a young man but went on to tri­umph as an ad­ven­turer and kayaker. Then, fol­low­ing a fall from a win­dow, Mark found him­self paral­ysed. That wasn’t go­ing to stop him ei­ther. At times the mu­sic swells a lit­tle too earnestly and the flash­backs to ear­lier, eas­ier times come thick and fast, but th­ese height­ened, life-af­firm­ing tropes frame the ad­mirably sto­ical Ul­ster­man very nicely. Club, Light House, Dublin, 89 min TB

AWALK AMONG THE TOMB­STONES

Di­rected by Scott Frank. Star­ring Liam Nee­son, Dan Stevens, Boyd Hol­brook, Ruth Wilson, Se­bas­tian Roché Is Liam Nee­son seek­ing re­venge for some hor­ri­ble atroc­ity by the East Euro­pean mafia? To a cer­tain ex­tent. But this is a less un­hinged ad­di­tion to Liam’s tough-guy cat­a­logue. Our hero slowly picks apart the strands of a con­spir­acy in pre-mil­len­nial New York. He does, of course, punch a few peo­ple along the way. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 113 min DC

WHAT WE DID ON OUR HOL­I­DAY

Di­rected by Andy Hamil­ton, Guy Jenkin Star­ring David Ten­nant, Rosamund Pike, Billy Connolly, Celia Im­rie Ten­nant and Pike play an es­tranged cou­ple, who for the sake of David’s dy­ing dad (Connolly), elect to pre­tend that they are still to­gether while vis­it­ing the High­lands. Un­for­tu­nately, their chil­dren let them down. Though Hamil­ton and Jenkin have cre­ated new char­ac­ters, this is es­sen­tially a movie ver­sion of their sit­com Out­num­bered. The story is a bit over-worked, but the im­pro­vised ju­ve­nile di­a­logue works well on the larger screen. Passes the time. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 95 min DC

Which way now? Dy­lan O’Brien in The

Maze Run­ner, out now on gen­eral re­lease

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