Tara Brady and Don­ald Clarke re­view the cur­rent cinema re­leases

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

BABY DRIVER ★★★★ Di­rected by Edgar Wright. Star­ring Ansel El­gort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bern­thal, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Eiza Gon­za­lez, Flea, Sky

Fer­reira El­gort plays the tit­u­lar get­away driver in Wright’s most sat­is­fy­ing film since Shaun of the

Dead. You could call it a mu­si­cal be­cause vir­tu­ally ev­ery scene is chore­ographed to a crack­ing tune: Jonathan Rich­man, Dave Brubeck, T Rex, The Com­modores. But a bet­ter rea­son to call Baby

Driver a mu­si­cal is that it moves and breathes so very like one. It is slick, rhyth­mic and ex­cit­ing. Only a messy last 20 min­utes let it down. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 112 min DC THE BEGUILED ★★★★ Di­rected by Sofia Cop­pola. Star­ring Colin Far­rell, Ni­cole Kid­man, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fan­ning, Oona Lau­rence, An­gourie Rice, Ad­di­son Re­icke Brief, beau­ti­ful retelling of Thomas Cul­li­nan’s novel con­cern­ing a wounded Union sol­dier (Far­rell) who, dur­ing the Amer­i­can Civil War, ends up be­ing tended by frustrated woman in a re­mote school­house. The Beguiled is a rare film that one might wish longer. The pic­ture spend al­most all its du­ra­tion lead­ing us to the edge of the cliff and then kicks us off be­fore we have had time to prop­erly en­joy the view. Spooky and com­pelling none­the­less. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 94 min DC

THE BIG SICK ★★★★ Di­rected by Michael Showal­ter. Star­ring Ku­mail Nan­jiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Ro­mano, Anu­pam Kher, Zeno­bia Shroff, Adeel Akhtar, Aidy

Bryant Lively, funny ro­man­tic com­edy that fol­lows the clas­sic tem­plate while find­ing fresh in­no­va­tions. Nankiani plays a comic who falls for Kazan’s bright spark. He de­cides not to tell his Pak­istani par­ents. Then Zoe’s char­ac­ter falls se­ri­ously ill. Nan­jiani draws on the story of his ro­mance with cowriter Emily V Gor­don to con­struct a twisty, un­usual entertainment. The fe­male lead is miss­ing for a good third of the pic­ture, but she feels present through­out. The rom­com is back. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 120 min DC

THE BOY AND THE BEAST ★★★★ Di­rected by Mamoru Hosoda. Star­ring Koji Yakusho, Aoi

Miyazaki, Shota Sometani A boy es­capes Tokyo for the king­dom of the beasts. Util­is­ing The Boy and

the Beast’s imag­i­na­tively ren­dered par­al­lel worlds, the di­rec­tor ex­plores loy­alty, fa­mil­ial bonds, prej­u­dice and de­pres­sion. There are old-school mar­tial arts show­downs and ir­re­sistible echoes of as Ku­matetsu and Kyuta im­prove one another. There are even nods to Digi­mon, the show that marked Hosoda’s break­through. These fa­mil­iar beats cun­ningly co­a­lesce into an elab­o­rate plot, set to Tak­agi Masakatsu’s bustling score. Club, lim re­lease, 120 min TB CAP­TAIN UN­DER­PANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE ★★★ Di­rected by David Soren. Voices of Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Thomas Mid­dled­itch, Nick Kroll, Jor­dan Peele, Kris­ten Schaal Sling your hook, Spider-Man. Twelve books and 20 years into Dav Pilkey’s best-sell­ing Cap­tain

Un­der­pants se­quence – 70 mil­lion units and count­ing – and the in­ap­pro­pri­ately at­tired su­per­hero has fi­nally made his big-screen bow. Over-sev­ens should, ide­ally, be ac­com­pa­nied. But stray grown-ups will find plenty to amuse, par­tic­u­larly those adults whose in­ner child is think­ing: “You had me at un­der­pants.” G cert, gen re­lease, 89 min TB

CARDBOARD GANG­STERS ★★★★ Di­rected by Mark O’Con­nor. Star­ring John Con­nors, Fionn Wal­ton, Jimmy Small­horne,

Kier­ston Ware­ing O’Con­nor, a young Dubliner of some in­ven­tion, de­liv­ers his most com­plete film yet with this story of a small-time hood­lum (Con­nors) seek­ing to take a few steps up the lad­der. Set in Darn­dale, Cardboard Gang­sters has ad­mirable ki­netic sweep and a keen sense for the ab­sur­di­ties of city life. The pic­ture does lack story and struc­ture. But it is so en­joy­able on a scene-by-scene ba­sis that it proves hard to care. Con­nors is great. 18 cert, gen re­lease, 92 min DC CARS 3 ★★★ Di­rected by Brian Fee. Voices of Owen Wil­son, Cris­tela Alonzo, Chris Cooper, Ar­mie Ham­mer, Bon­nie Hunt, Larry the Ca­ble Guy, Nathan Fil­lion, Kerry Washington The an­thro­po­mor­phic ve­hi­cles are back. The good news is that Pixar has taken Cars 2 to the scrap yard. Cars 3, which picks up where the first, per­fectly ad­e­quate, film left off, is by far the best in­stal­ment in the se­ries. It even has a plot. Mater, hap­pily, has been rel­e­gated back to the side­lines, while Kerry Washington’s data an­a­lyst pro­vides a sly dig at in­ac­cu­rate poll­sters. The mythol­ogy still makes no sense, mind. Who lives in all those build­ings? G cert, gen re­lease, 109 min TB

DESPICABLE ME 3 ★★★★ Di­rected by Pierre Cof­fin and Kyle Balda. Voices of Steve Carell, Kris­ten Wiig, Trey Parker, Pierre Cof­fin, Steve Coogan, Julie An­drews,

Mi­randa Cos­grove De­light­ful third episode in the mas­sively suc­cess­ful an­i­mated se­ries. Hav­ing ac­quired three daugh­ters in the first in­stal­ment, a wife in the sec­ond film, and now a twin brother, Gru, the lov­able vil­lain turned Anti Vil­lain League op­er­a­tive, could be weighted down. Despicable Me 3, how­ever, is such a clev­erly cal­i­brated con­struc­tion that we never no­tice the ex­tra pas­sen­gers. Think of it, in terms of qual­ity, as The Good, the

Bad and the Ugly of the Despicable Me films. G cert, gen re­lease, 90 min TB DUNKIRK ★★★★ Di­rected by Christo­pher Nolan. Star­ring Fionn White­head, Tom Glynn-Car­ney, Jack Low­den, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Ken­neth Branagh, Tom Hardy, Cil­lian Mur­phy, Mark Ry­lance Nolan tack­les the re­treat from Dunkirk in dis­ci­plined, jaw-drop­ping fash­ion. Dunkirk has been fash­ioned with min­i­mal CGI, us­ing real aero­planes, peo­ple and equip­ment where pos­si­ble, and shot on the beaches in France where the events de­picted took place. Thou­sands of ex­tras and a long-re­tired French war­ship, the Maillé-Brézé, were in­volved in the ef­fort. The crunch­ing re­al­ism, as cap­tured on large for­mat film stock, is un­mis­tak­able, and puts ev­ery other ri­val sum­mer spec­ta­cle to shame. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 106 min TB NEW RE­LEASE THE EMOJI MOVIE ★ See re­view, page 11 NEW RE­LEASE ENG­LAND IS MINE ★★★ See re­view, page 10 THE FARTHEST ★★★★ Di­rected by Emer Reynolds Su­perb Ir­ish doc­u­men­tary on the Voy­ager space pro­gramme. Lighter touches blend with denser science to cre­ate a sub­stan­tial but eas­ily di­gestible stew. The film is metic­u­lous, epic and – Kate McCul­lough’s char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally fine cin­e­matog­ra­phy jus­ti­fies the­atri­cal dis­tri­bu­tion – beau­ti­ful through­out. What most sur­prises, how­ever, is how mov­ing The

Farthest turns out to be. Our world is so frag­ile. We are so in­signif­i­cant. But we can do hugely am­bi­tious and gen­er­ous things. PG cert, lim re­lease, 120 min DC

47 ME­TRES DOWN ★★★ Di­rected by Jo­hannes Roberts, Star­ring Claire Holt, Mandy Moore, Chris J John­son, Yani Gell­man, Santiago A Se­gura,

Matthew Mo­dine Moore and Holt are con­fronted with sharks while div­ing on their hol­i­day. The di­a­logue and the set-up – of­ten one and the same thing – are rudi­men­tary. There are mul­ti­ple

ex­pla­na­tions of the bends. There are many ironic re­as­sur­ances that all will be well: “Don’t worry,” of­fers Capt Matthew Mo­dine, as he low­ers a shark cage into the wa­ter; “You’re only go­ing down 5 me­tres.” But it cracks along at a pac. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 85 min TB

GIRLS TRIP ★★ Di­rected by Mal­colm D Lee. Star­ring Regina Hall, Tif­fany Had­dish, Larenz Tate, Kate Walsh, Mike Colter, Jada Pin­kett

Smith, Queen Latifah Messy, broad com­edy con­cern­ing four mid­dle-aged women be­hav­ing badly in New Or­leans. Girls Trip is full of pe­cu­liar shifts in at­ti­tude and phi­los­o­phy. The film fea­tures tor­ren­tial uri­na­tion from a very great height. Yet it ends with a speech so pious that one half-ex­pects it be fol­lowed by What a Friend We Have in Je­sus. It is proud of its shout for per­sonal in­de­pen­dence. But it is des­per­ately in thrall to the cor­po­rate and the con­ven­tional. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 122 min DC

HOUNDS OF LOVE ★★★ Di­rected by Ben Young. Star­ring Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cum­mings, Stephen Curry,

Susie Porter Hounds of Love is set in Perth dur­ing the 1980s and fea­tures John and Eve­lyn, a per­fectly or­di­nary-look­ing sub­ur­ban cou­ple who abduct, rape and mur­der teenage girls be­fore dump­ing their bod­ies. Even with­out the com­plex moral is­sues and the rather prob­lem­atic woman-in-re­frig­er­a­tor nar­ra­tive, this tech­ni­cally ac­com­plished, pun­ish­ing psy­chodrama is hard to jus­tify and harder to rec­om­mend. 18 cert, lim re­lease, 108 min TB NEW RE­LEASE LAND OF MINE ★★★★ See re­view, pages 10-11 NEW RE­LEASE MAUDIE ★★★★ See re­view, page 9 SONG TO SONG ★ Di­rected by Ter­rence Mal­ick. Star­ring Michael Fass­ben­der, Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Natalie Port­man, Cate Blanchett, Holly Hunter, Lykke Li, Val Kilmer Song to Song ap­par­ently con­cerns a love tri­an­gle be­tween an as­pir­ing singer-song­writer (Gosling), his boss (Fass­ben­der) and the sec­re­tary-dog walker (Mara) who is sleep­ing with them both, ev­i­dently as an ill-thought-out ca­reer move. She is also a bud­ding song­writer. Such vi­tal in­for­ma­tion, how­ever, may only be gleaned through the film’s pro­mo­tional ma­te­ri­als, be­cause it sure as hell isn’t in the ter­ri­ble movie. Drifty, pre­ten­tious drivel from a di­rec­tor who seems in­creas­ingly lost. Club, lim re­lease, 129 min TB SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING ★★★★ Di­rected by Jon Watts, Star­ring Tom Hol­land, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr, Marisa

Tomei, Jon Favreau, Gwyneth

Pal­trow Spider-Man is back to bat­tle The Vul­ture and en­dure be­ing a teenager. Among Home

com­ing’s many virtues is an ac­knowl­edge­ment that these su­per­hero things are es­sen­tially for chil­dren. The new film con­vinc­ingly casts a 21-year-old as a 15-year-old. His friends seem younger still. None of this means that the pic­ture is facile, cheap or lack­ing in am­bi­tion. Spider-Man:

Homecoming is more sat­is­fy­ing than any film to date in the Marvel Cine­matic Uni­verse. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 133 min DC NEW RE­LEASE VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOU­SAND PLANETS ★★ See re­view, pages 10-11

THE WALL ★★★ Di­rected by Doug Li­man. Star­ring Aaron Tay­lor-John­son,

John Cena, Laith Nakli A US army staff sergeant (Cena) and a sniper (Tay­lor-John­son) are left on over­watch in a re­mote cor­ner of Iraq. Their seem­ingly deathly dull mis­sion, re­lieved only by bro bantz, quickly goes awry when an un­seen en­emy shooter opens fire. No Aris­totelian unity is left be­hind in this taut, par­si­mo­nious, one-set war thriller, a Gulf War pic­ture that, lumped to­gether with Buried, makes for a pleas­ing, limited edi­tion black-box sub­genre. 15A cert, lim re­lease, 88 min TB

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES ★★★★ Di­rected by Matt Reeves. Star­ring Andy Serkis, Woody Har­rel­son, Steve Zahn, Amiah

Mille Some 15 years have elapsed since the biotech ad­vances of Rise

of the Planet of the Apes ac­cel­er­ated pri­mate evo­lu­tion while si­mul­ta­ne­ously wip­ing out most of hu­man­ity. In­ter-species con­flict rages on, de­spite the best ef­forts of Cae­sar (Serkis), who has led his fam­ily and hun­dreds of apes to a water­fall-masked stock­ade. There are nods to ear­lier films here ( The Great Es­cape and

Apoca­lypse Now most un­avoid­ably). But this re­boot has an in­tegrity that is all its own. Ex­cel­lent end to the tril­ogy. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 140 min TB NEW RE­LEASE WIL­LIAMS ★★★★ See re­view, page 11

Bright sparks: Zoe Kazan and Ku­mail Nan­jiani in The Big Sick, out now on gen­eral re­lease

Girls Trip: Queen Latifah takes cen­tre stage in this shout-out for per­sonal in­de­pen­dence

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