Latest Films | What's Showing

Latest Films | What's ShowingLatest Films | What's Showing

New movies in cinemas this week reviewed by EG TheAge, the entertainment guide to plan your weekend and beyond.

Check out latest films, Hollywood blockbusters and independent films.

Last updated: January 17, 2020

NEW THIS WEEK


BOMBSHELL

(108 minutes ) M

Of all the #MeToo movement's heroines, the Fox News women, Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly, are the most unlikely. Bombshell is the third screen account of Fox News founder Roger Ailes' downfall. Here the women take over the narrative. Our chief guide is Kelly (Charlize Theron), who came relatively late to the campaign, revealing her experience of Ailes only to confirm the testimonies of other Fox women. It was Carlson (Nicole Kidman) who set the dominoes falling, gathering proof by taping her conversations with Ailes and secretly briefing a firm of lawyers. PB



DOLITTLE

(101 minutes ) PG

There ought to be scope for a 21st-century Dolittle, Robert Downey's involvement is enough to spark interest, along with that of writerdirector Stephen Gaghan. But the film is an awful disappointment on all fronts. Downey remains a precise enough physical comedian to remind you why he was once cast as Charlie Chaplin, but over-exposure has drained his jittery, manicdepressive persona of any power to surprise. That Downey's furry and feathered co-stars are largely digitally generated can be justified on ethical grounds as well as practical ones but total lack of inspiration is puzzling. JW

NOW SHOWING


1917

(119 minutes ) MA

Sam Mendes' First World War film looks like it was made in one take because he and cinematographer Roger Deakins designed it that way. It's probably more like 30 or 40 long takes and they are beyond remarkable. The story takes place over about 10 hours as two men are sent forward across several miles of no man's land to make contact with a British unit that has pushed too far forward, cutting off lines of communication. It stars Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay and has big-name actors such as Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Benedict Cumberbatch who appear briefly in roles that cement the idea that madness is afoot, in a way Shakespeare could never have imagined. PB

CATS

(100 minutes ) G

Something as theatrical as Cats was always going to be hard to film. It has no plot. The whimsical collection of T.S. Eliot cat poems from which the script is drawn is no more than a prompt for a series of musical numbers. Inevitably, it's a patchy film. And because director Tom Hooper has concentrated on the performances rather than the voices, the songs rarely soar. While it's far from being perfect, it doesn't warrant the abuse that has been heaped upon it. SH

THE GENTLEMAN

(130 minutes ) MA

Guy Ritchie has a lot of fun with the British class system in his new gangster movie. Matthew McConaughey is at his most elegant, playing Mickey Pearson, an American who's been in London long enough to dominate Britain's marijuana trade, forging links with dirty money both old and new. Hugh Grant, as Fletcher, a sleazy tabloid reporter, slyly unfurls the many twists in the plot during an extended interview with Mickey's consigliere, Raymond (a phlegmatic Charlie Hunnam). SH

GO!

(103 minutes ) PG

This first feature from Owen Trevor is a male variation on Mean Girls, except that nobody goes to school. These adolescents spend most of their time tending to their tensions, intrigues and grudges on the Go-Kart racing track. SH

JOJO RABBIT


(108 minutes ) M

Depictions of Hitler as the butt of satire tend to upset some people, regardless of intent. We can assume director Taika Waititi knew exactly what he was doing when he decided to write the script. Waititi plays a comedic version of the Fuhrer, who appears as a small boy's imaginary friend. It's an audacious form of comedy. The premise may be cute – a 10-year-old German boy, Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis), struggles to be a good Hitler Youth – but there is real violence and trauma around the corner. PB

LITTLE WOMEN

(135 minutes ) G

Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women in 1868. Feminists have long argued about whether the book empowers young girls or enfolds them in a corset of middle-class fantasy about homeand-hearth . Director Greta Gerwig glosses over that hump with minimal fuss and admirable simplicity by allowing for both. It's a masterful, passionate, all-in kind of adaptation. PB

SHAUN THE SHEEP: FARMAGEDDON

(87 minutes ) G

One of the charms of the British animation company Aardman's Shaun the Sheep lies in the fact he doesn't speak English – or any language other than his own – leaving you to work out what's on Shaun and friends' minds – and they do have minds, along with an unquenchable desire to enjoy life. Farmageddon is Aardman's version of a sci-fi movie and Mossy Bottom Farm is about to become the landing site of an alien spaceship. The Farmer sees the spaceship as a business opportunity and he sets Shaun and the rest of the sheep to work constructing a theme park. SH

THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE KELLY GANG

(125 minutes ) MA

Poor Ned Kelly. First they hanged him, then cut off his head. Then the film-makers arrived to chew on his bones. Justin Kurzel (Snowtown, Macbeth) gives us the most fanciful version yet: Ned Kelly as bisexual bovver boy, in love with his mother, plagued by his masculinity, an angry suburban mullet-head in search of death and glory, but wearing a dress. Peter Carey, who's celebrated novel took enormous liberties with the story, can take some of the blame. English actor George MacKay, pale and intense, arrives as the grown-up Ned, a firework in search of a match. Kurzel is ambitious and the film is full of poetic shots meant to take us into a dream state, verging on nightmare. PB

Theatre or Theater?
Theatre and theater are both nouns that mean a building, room, or outdoor structure for the presentation of plays, films, or other dramatic performances. Theatre is by far the preferred spelling in British English.


For the latest reviews go to theage.com.au/entertainment/movies

PAUL BYRNES (PB), SANDRA HALL (SH) & JAKE WILSON (JW)

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For more than 25 years EG in Friday's The Age has been synonymous with entertainment in Melbourne.

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