A new Dwayne Johnson movie is always a spectacular affair and his latest is no different. If you like your movies a little more offbeat, however, there’s still plenty to enjoy on screens big and small this week.
Black Adam (cinemas)
Dwayne Johnson blasts back onto the big screen in this latest superhero blockbuster from DC. The wrestling megastar plays the title character, an ancient hero with anger issues resurrected in the present day, proving almost too much for the authorities. Is he better off restrained or could his powers actually be useful? Featuring crossovers with other DC films such as Shazam! and Justice League, this is a typically explosive (and expensive) action pic that ticks all the boxes for comic book fans, even if it never hits the sublime heights of its Marvel rivals. Co-starring Pierce Brosnan.
WATCH: Will you be watching Black Adam?
The Banshees of Inisherin (cinemas)
Irish acting heavyweights Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleason reteam fourteen years after the cult favourite In Bruges for this hilariously absurd comedy set on a remote island in the 1920s. Colin plays Pádraic, a sweet-natured farmer whose best friend Colm (Gleason) suddenly announces one day that he no longer wants to be friends. Why? Colm has just had enough. What follows is a brilliantly bonkers look at male friendship and how misunderstanding can spiral out of control, set against the backdrop of the stunning Aran Islands. Hilarious and profound.
The School for Good & Evil (Netflix)
Could this be the new Harry Potter movie franchise? Netflix certainly hopes so (although critics are less convinced). Sophia Anna Caruso and Sofia Wylie star as best friends who are kidnapped and taken to the magical school of the title - a place where heroes and villains learn their trade. But in trying to work out how to escape, the girls’ close bond is put to the test. A big name cast including Charlize Theron, Kerry Washington, Michelle Yeoh and Laurence Fishburne play some of the school’s teachers with Cate Blanchett lending her recognisable tones to narrating duties. The result is a baggy - but occasionally bright - teen fantasy.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sky Cinema)
The cast from the first film return for this breezy sequel which sees superfast Sonic race to find the mystical Master Emerald before his arch-nemesis Dr Robotnik, who this time is aided by an anteater called Knuckles (obviously). Jim Carrey is fabulously freewheeling once again as Robtonik whilst new boy Idris Elba has fun voicing the battle-hardened Knuckles (so much so, he’s getting his own spin-off series). Is the plot up to much? Well, that’s not really the point is it. Sonic 2 is a funny and furious two hours aimed at younger audiences that’s also one of the biggest hits of the year. No wonder Part 3 is in the works!
You’ve got to love Kaitlyn Dever. Powerful in dramas Unbelievable and Dopesick, funny in teen movie Booksmart, she’s now starring as the title character in this winningly smart and sassy Shakespearian spin-off. If you know your Bard, you’ll remember that Rosaline was Romeo’s girlfriend before Juliet, and the movie focuses on how she copes when she discovers she’s being dumped for the Capulet teenager (who also happens to be Rosaline’s cousin). Based on a hit YA novel, this succeeds in the same way that Bridgerton does - by mixing modern attitudes (and music) with a historical setting.
Being the Ricardos (Amazon Prime Video)
Nicole Kidman rightfully wowed awards voters earlier this year with this engaging portrayal of legendary American sitcom star Lucille Ball. Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin (of The West Wing and The Social Network fame), Being the Ricardos looks at both Lucy’s marriage to her co-star Desi Arnaz (a powerhouse Javier Bardem) as well as detailing the daily grind of making her huge sitcom I Love Lucy. This might be set in a different era (the 1950s), a time of very different attitudes, but it’s still a must-see for present day fans of the entertainment world.
The Duke (rent/buy on all major platforms)
If a film stars Jim Broadbent and Dame Helen Mirren you can pretty be sure you’re in safe hands and The Duke is thankfully no exception to that rule. Set in Newcastle in 1961, this is the true story of the wonderfully eccentric, strong minded Kempton Bunton, a man who made the headlines when he confessed to stealing a famous portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. Why did he do it? To raise awareness about benefits for OAPs, briefly turning Kempton into a folk hero. Unsurprisingly, Jim Broadbent is a joy in this, so full of great lines and a charmingly eccentric outlook on life, with Helen Mirren his supportive but more sensible other half.
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