a jaw-dropping Jennifer Lopez dares you to take her seriously

Dir: Lorene Scarafia. Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Cardi B, Lizzo, Stormi Maya, Madeline Brewer, Mercedes Ruehl. 15 cert, 110 mins You’ve never seen Jennifer Lopez sell a character quite like she does in Hustlers. In a ruling-the-roost turn that’s already much buzzed about, she plays Ramona, the queen of a…

Catherine Deneuve excels in a modest but beautifully observed family drama

Dir: Hirokazu Kore-eda. Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Ethan Hawke, Clémentine Grenier, Manon Clavel, Alain Libolt, Christian Crahay, Roger van Hool. Cert tbc, 106 mins The truth hurts, so they say – and in The Truth it’s like toothache: an ambient nag that waits for the worst possible moment to twinge. The new film from Hirokazu…

The Rise of Skywalker trailer

The new trailer for the final Star Wars film has been publicly released and shows Rey, the heroine of the most recent trilogy of Star Wars films, breaking bad.  Rey, who has been played by Daisy Ridley since the character’s arrival in 2015’s The Force Awakens, can be seen wielding an impressive double-pronged red lightsabre…

Stallone ramps up the bloodlust in a grim, gruellingly crude killathon

Dir: Adrian Grünberg. Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega, Óscar Jaenada, Louis Mandylor, Adriana Barraza,Yvette Monreal. 18 cert, 89 mins The fifth and, if we’re lucky, final instalment in the Rambo series is called Last Blood, but it could just as easily be called Most Blood. Apparent retirement hasn’t stopped Sylvester Stallone’s ever-ready ’Nam vet, John Rambo, from…

the undercooked, uneven all-female Goodfellas nobody asked for

Dir: Andrea Berloff. Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss, Domhnall Gleeson, Margo Martindale, Common. Cert: 15,  103 mins The story of cinema is in many ways the story of men seizing power and influence while women watch from the margins. This historical injustice is now being corrected – off-screen with the MeToo movement and on it with films…

Gerard Butler turns down the nastiness and ups the action

Dir: Ric Roman Waugh. Cast: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Jada Pinkett Smith, Nick Nolte, Piper Perabo, Danny Huston, Tim Blake Nelson, Lance Reddick. 15 cert, 121 min Angel Has Fallen is almost worth seeing. It could gain this distinction for the end-credits sting alone, which features – wait for it – a half-naked Nick Nolte bestially moaning…

Survivors of Aurora mass shooting protest Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker film

Joaquin Phoenix’s new film Joker has been criticised by survivors and families of the victims of the 2012 mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado. In a letter to Warner Bros, the studio responsible for the film, the group asked for donations to groups that help mass-shooting victims. “We are calling on you,” they wrote, “to be a part…

Laura Dern, Sam Neill & Jeff Goldblum reunite for new sequel

The original cast of Jurassic Park will reunite for Jurassic Park 3 in 2021 under the direction of Colin Trevorrow, who co-wrote and directed Jurassic World, and produced the franchise’s most recent film Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Confirmed at a screening of Trevorrow’s new short film Battle at Big Rock on Tuesday night, which serves as a prelude…

real life terror with the cheap veneer of a travel brochure

Dir: Anthony Maras; Starring: Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi, Jason Isaacs, Anupam Kher, Tilda Cobham-Hervey. 15 cert, 123 mins When a director decides to re-stage a real-world atrocity in the form of a thriller, they had better be prepared to show their ethical workings in the margin. Much of the time they are –…

US cinema chains ban costumes and masks at screenings of Joker

The Landmark Theaters cinema chain will ban costumes and masks for moviegoers during screenings of the film Joker, it said on Thursday, following concerns expressed by families involved in a 2012 mass shooting during a Batman film in Colorado. The Los Angeles-based chain, which runs 52 theaters in 27 markets, said it wanted customers to…

a dithering, arduous shredding of Donna Tartt’s doorstep novel

Dir: John Crowley. Cast: Ansel Elgort, Oakes Fegley, Aneurin Barnard, Finn Wolfhard, Nicole Kidman, Sarah Paulson, Luke Wilson, Jeffrey Wright, Ashleigh Cummings, Willa Fitzgerald, Denis O’Hare, Boyd Gaines. 15 cert, 149 mins How do you solve a problem like The Goldfinch? Published in 2013, Donna Tartt’s nearly-800-page novel won the Pulitzer Prize while starkly dividing readers –…

Downton meets devil worship in a bloody good horror comedy 

Dirs: Tyler Gillett, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin. Cast: Samara Weaving, Mark O’Brien, Adam Brody, Andie MacDowell, Henry Czerny, Nicky Guadagni. 18 cert, 95 mins Marrying into an insane family is the most reliable motor ever devised for Gothic drama. With just a malevolent twist of the knife, it spawns a cracking, Gothic-flavoured horror comedy in Ready or Not. Families…

Frozen 2’s attempt at Let it Go sounds remarkably familiar

Parents of under-10s will be all too familiar with the strains of Let It Go, the fearsome earworm from Frozen that ricocheted around the world for months after the film’s release. When a sequel to Disney’s most successful animation of all time was announced, many wondered if the song could ever be topped – and now…

what the critics are saying about Scorsese’s ‘masterpiece’

There’s been so much fuss about the extraordinary – and somewhat baffling – de-ageing in The Irishman, Martin Scorsese’s first film for Netflix, that it’s almost eclipsed the potential it had for being a very good film. Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci have teamed up with the Taxi Driver director for a crime epic based…

Armando Iannucci’s rollicking farce keeps the spirit of Dickens intact

Dir: Armando Iannucci. Cast: Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Jairaj Varsani, Hugh Laurie, Ben Whishaw, Peter Capaldi, Daisy May Cooper, Paul Whitehouse, Rosalind Eleazar, Aneurin Barnard, Morfydd Clark, Benedict Wong. Cert: PG. Time: 119 mins. “Like many fond parents,” Charles Dickens wrote a few years before he died, “I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And…

The secret – and not so secret – gay Disney characters

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