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Focus (15A) ***1/2
Will Smith plays the part of Nicky, a smooth hustler, who hires aspiring con artist Jess as his intern. He shows her the ropes and introduces her to his team of lifters who are adept at making a quick buck from petty theft.
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Smith and Margot Robbie have sizzling chemistry and are the perfect pairing. A cameo by BD Wong as Nicky's long-time partner in crime provides the movie with some of its best moments, while Gerald McRaney brings old school energy to the production. Laura Delaney
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Second Best Marigold Hotel (PG) ***
This sequel opens with Sonny and Muriel seeking out financial backing for a second hotel. Sonny's also in the process of getting engaged, so when a suspected hotel inspector arrives, he panics.
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Evelyn and Douglas have now joined the Jaipur workforce, while Norman and Carol are negotiating a tricky exclusive relationship, and Madge juggles two eligible and very wealthy suitors.
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It's not nearly as much fun as the first film, but if you enjoyed it, chances are you'll be grinning again. John Byrne
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It Follows (16) *
This teen horror film is a tedious exercise indeed, based on really nothing much, bar the Thing which is chasing people around the place.
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Jay (Maika Monroe) is seduced by Hugh (Jake Weary) but he truly spoils their tryst when he tells her that she had better find someone else to sleep with.
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Otherwise she will be plagued by the Thing, which may arrive as a stranger or as someone she knows and loves. Paddy Kehoe
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The Boy Next Door (16) ****
One night of ill-advised passion with the 19-year-old boy who moves in next door (played by Ryan Guzman) leaves Claire Peterson (Jennifer Lopez) prey to a nightmare of humiliating exposure that will keep you engaged, while you smugly laugh up your sleeve at the ridiculousness of it all.
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This is pure gas-guzzling escapism. Paddy Kehoe
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The Wedding Ringer (15A) **
Despite the best efforts of its two likeable leading men, Kevin Hart and Josh Gad, The Wedding Ringer disappoints by failing to deliver genuine laugh-out-loud bits.
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Gad plays Doug, a friendless tax attorney who needs to hire a best man for his upcoming wedding. He enlists the help of professional con artist Jimmy (Hart) and high-jinks ensue.
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There are moments that are mildly amusing - the best of which is an extended dance sequence involving Doug and Jimmy - but, overall, the jokes fall flat and leave this film feeling utterly stale. Sarah McIntyre
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Blackhat (15A) **1/2
Chris Hemsworth of Thor fame stars as an imprisoned hacker who's offered a get out of jail card if he can nail whoever's responsible for causing havoc at a Chinese nuclear plant.
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There's a good flow to the action in the third act and some great tech-related visuals but, overall, Blackhat just doesn't engage or come across as even remotely plausible.
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There may be enough for some cinema-goers in terms of pace, visuals and gunplay, but we should expect more from director Michael Mann. John Byrne
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Cake (15A) ****
Jennifer Aniston fairly rips it up as Claire Bennett, an LA divorcee hooked on painkillers, pretty angry with the world - and booted out of therapy.
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At home, Claire's Mexican housekeeper is the saintly Silvana (Adriana Barraza), who puts up with her boss's mood swings, and even brings her across the Mexican border for some illegal medication.
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The script's not exactly testing but Aniston and Barraza are great leading the charge through this dysfunctional romp that could only involve people living in LA, the most self-obsessed place on the planet. John Byrne
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Pelo Malo (Club) ***
Marta (Samantha Castillo) is by training a security guard living in a flat with her two sons on the ragged outskirts of Caracas. She is trying to get her job back and has had enough of cleaning rich people's homes.
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This fine indie movie appears to tell us a lot about what it means to be poor and vulnerable in modern-day Venezuela. In Spanish with English subtitles, Pelo Malo is released exclusively at the IFI. Paddy Kehoe
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Love Is Strange (15A) ****
The love of the title underpins this charming, thoughtful movie as a subtly diffuse theme. Seventy-one-year-old Ben (John Lithgow) and the younger George (Alfred Molina) have been an item for 39 years.
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After their wedding day, things get messy when George loses his job and they must sell their Manhattan apartment and rely on friends for places to stay.
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Love Is Strange sends out the notion of human love and kindness in diffuse rays. Paddy Kehoe
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Fifty Shades of Grey (18) **
For all the speculation and hype that have bulldozed their way into the minds of punters about what we would or wouldn't see on screen, the most shocking thing about this adaptation of EL James' bestseller turns out to be the lack of drama and emotional connection with the characters.
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It's not a hilariously bad film, but it is dull and repetitive. If you're looking for real emotional involvement when it comes to a he's-scared-she's-scared dynamic, spend your time watching Secretary, Shopgirl or Atomised for starters. Harry Guerin
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