maddeningly flat retelling of a twisty literary hoax

Dir: Justin Kelly; Starring: Kristen Stewart, Laura Dern, Jim Sturgess, Kelvin Harrison Jr, Diane Kruger. 15 cert. 106 mins As a masterclass in having as little fun as possible with an irresistible premise, JT LeRoy is a hard act to beat. Justin Kelly’s film dramatises one of the juicier literary hoaxes of recent times: that…

a sweet, silly antidote to summer break boredom

Dir: James Bobin; Starring: Isabela Moner, Michael Peña, Eva Longoria, Jeff Wahlberg, Madeleine Madden, Nicholas Coombe, Eugenio Derbez. PG cert, 102 mins. Okay, so it’s no Tarantino. But there might not be a pleasanter surprise in cinema this year – really! – than this live-action adaptation of Dora the Explorer, the long-running Nickelodeon cartoon. Sweet, exciting,…

Disney executives reportedly worried about forthcoming Hitler satire JoJo Rabbit

Adolf Hitler and the horrors of war don’t immediately seem like Disney territory, so it’s hardly surprising that executives at the House of Mouse are getting concerned over a forthcoming film that deals with both. JoJo Rabbit is an arch “anti-hate” satire from Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi. The film is being released by Fox: Searchlight,…

‘A film that will make your head and soul ring’

Dir: Robert Eggers; Starring: Robert Pattinson, Willem Dafoe. “We had faces!” Norma Desmond spat in Sunset Boulevard, pining for cinema’s awestruck, hero-worshipping past. The Lighthouse proves we still do. The ferociously entertaining new film from Robert Eggers, director of The Witch, fixates on two of the best in the business, and they belong to Robert Pattinson and…

Controversial film The Hunt’s promo halted after El Paso shooting

Blumhouse, the studio behind satirical horror series The Purge, in which Americans have one day a year on which they can harm or kill anybody they liked with no repercussions, is soon to release a new film in the same vein: The Hunt. Co-written by Lost showrunner Damon Lindelof, The Hunt, which stars Betty Gilpin from GLOW and Hilary…

Blinded By the Light review: irresistible Springsteen-powered Eighties escapism

Dir: Gurinder Chadha. Cast: Viveik Kalra, Kulvinder Ghir, Hayley Atwell, Meera Ganatra, Aaron Phagura, Dean-Charles Chapman, Nikita Mehta, David Hayman. 12A cert, 117 mins Luton, 1987. There it nestles, grey and squat, in the opening moments of Blinded by the Light, not far enough out of London to be anyone’s idea of a destination in its own…

Statham and Johnson butt heads in a full-metal screwball hoot

Dir: David Leitch. Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Vanessa Kirby, Idris Elba, Cert 12A, 135 minutes Buddy movies don’t come any more riotous than this Fast and Furious spin-off in which Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham trade punches and put-downs as super-agents with fists of fury and hearts of gold.   The running gag is that…

the perfect hybrid between Fleabag and Booksmart 

Dir: Sophie Hyde. Cast: Holliday Grainger, Alia Shawkat, Fra Fee, Dermot Murphy, Amy Molloy, Pat Shortt. 15 cert, 109 mins While Phoebe Waller-Bridge enjoys her Fleabag victory parade, spare a thought for Holliday Grainger, the magnetic star of Animals, who shouldn’t have her epic debauchery in any way eclipsed. Her character, Laura, starts the film – as…

a radiant vision of 18th-century female intimacy

Dir: Céline Sciamma. Cast: Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajrami, Valeria Golino. Cert tbc, 120 mins There are dozens of portraits going on in Portrait of a Lady on Fire, including oils on canvas, crayon sketches and astonishingly radiant widescreen close-ups from the director of photography Claire Mathon (Stranger by the Lake), who, with this and…

this quiet profile of Mexico’s working class is close to perfect

Dir: Lila Avilés, 15 cert, 102 min Cast: Gabriela Cartol, Teresa Sánchez, Agustina Quinci High up in a plush Mexico City hotel room, the blinds ascend, as 24-year-old Eve (Gabriela Cartol) creeps in to clean with an air of trepidation. The room is chaos – the rumpled bedding could even hide a person. But she guesses…

Dwayne Johnson just Tweeted endorsing ‘his cousin’ Boris

Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson spoke too soon this morning when, having been asked about the new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, he told Good Morning Britain: “He’s family, by the way; you don’t know that, but now all of Britain knows … he’s my cousin….It’s like looking in the mirror, every time I see Boris.” The Rock then…

this big-screen adaptation is neither horrible nor historic

Dir: Dominic Brigstocke. Cast: Emilia Jones, Sebastian Croft, Nick Frost, Rupert Graves, Kim Cattrall, Kate Nash, Alex Macqueen, Derek Jacobi, Craig Roberts. PG cert, 92 min After a decade on TV, the Horrible Histories series seeks the Python-style Holy Grail of a big-screen spinoff, with intermittently entertaining if also cloddish results. Lifting its plot from the…

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Edison biopic could use more electricity

Dir: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Tom Holland, Katherine Waterston, Tuppence Middleton, Matthew Macfadyen, Tom Fisher Cert: 12A Time: 108 min For better or worse, The Current War was shaping up to be 2017’s answer to The Imitation Game, until two things happened to this star-laden drama about the electricity race….

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Got a Game of Thrones-shaped hole in your viewing schedule now your watch has ended? Has Avengers: Endgame left you with a Stark need for the next installment in Marvel’s cinematic universe? Wondering which rising star is about to drop your next favourite album of all time?  Whether you’re looking for binge-worthy options to Netflix and chill, a…

a beguiling tale of music, heartbreak and life with Leonard Cohen

Dir: Nick Broomfield. 12A cert, 102 min Sun, sea, free love, and songs of regret: the Greek island of Hydra, where Leonard Cohen bought a small house in 1960, sounds like a balmy dream for expat artists in that decade. It was also an idyll guaranteed to end in tears. “When you’ve lived on Hydra,…

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: who’s playing who?

Quentin Tarantino’s eagerly-anticipated 9th film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, is to premiere today in Cannes. Both Charles Manson and Roman Polanski are central figures in the film, an exploration of Hollywood’s hippy era set against the backdrop of the 1969 killings. The cult murdered Sharon Tate, Polanski’s pregnant wife, and four others in the couple’s home; it was part of…

rollicking adventure and creative missteps in Guy Ritchie’s Disney remake

Dir: Guy Ritchie. Cast: Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Alan Tudyk (voice), Billy Magnussen, Nasim Pedrad. PG cert, 127 min. If you thought that Guy Ritchie would bring no small amount of grit to the fairy-tale world of Disney, you’d be mistaken. His Aladdin, the latest in a series of remakes (we’ve just had Dumbo and…

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