Heading along to the cinema this week? Here's our complete guide to the latest releases including what's worth the ticket price and what is best avoided.
Bridget Jones' Baby ***
Director: Sharon Maguire | Cert: 15A
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey, Emma Thompson
It's been 15 years since the hugely enjoyable Bridget Jones' Diary first appeared in the cinema and, although it took three years to generate a sequel, the truly awful Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, the gap between film numbers two and three is only surprising when you consider that they bothered to make it at all after that disastrously unfunny follow-up.
As we rejoin her, Bridget Jones is 43, hopelessly single, still sipping white wine and listening to Eric Carmen. It's not all bad though: she likes House of Pain too, works as a TV producer on a current affairs show and - would you believe it? - she's lost weight. Fans of the original will really enjoy this film, but even Bridget Jones virgins should get a few laughs out of the middle-aged mirth-making. Read John Byrne's full review here.
The Infiltrator ***
Director: Brad Furman | Cert: 15A
Starring: Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger, Benjamin Bratt, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor
A very serviceable and stylish thriller and more than justifies its bloated running time with some top-notch performances that should keep even the most ardent of Narcos/Breaking Bad fans muy contento.
It's a very brave piece of casting putting the man who brought Walter White to life in the role of an undercover DEA operative, but with Bryan Cranston on board, you're in very dependable territory.
Once again he's in fine form as Bob Mazur, a former accountant now working as an undercover narcotics agent in mid 80s Miami. When the chance comes to move into the big league and disrupt the money-laundering machine being run by the Colombian drugs King-pin, Pablo Escobar, Mazur hits upon the strategy of following the cash rather than the coke. Watch out for a cameo from Tom Vaughan-Lawlor. Read John O'Driscoll's full review here.
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years ****
Director: Ron Howard | Cert: 12A
Starring: John, Paul, George and Ringo
The more time that passes between now and then, the more remarkable The Beatles become. And if you've any doubts about the veracity of that statement, Ron Howard has put together an impressive cinematic book of evidence.
Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years (to give the film its full, unwieldy title) is a quite stunning documentary about the Fab Four during their touring heyday, which lasted from their sudden stardom in 1963 to the final concert, at San Francisco's Candlestick Park in 1966.
Some of the footage is amazing, with colour film of The Beatles performing in Manchester a particular treat. And you really get a flavour of what it must have been like living in the Beatle bubble. It must have been insane. Read John Byrne's full review here.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople *****
Director: Taika Waititi | Cert: 12A
Starring: Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rima Te Wiata, Rachel House, Oscar Kightley
Another week, another must-see... After a summer where the tent pole movies were so disappointing, along comes a Kiwi adventure that shows the blockbusters how it should be done - shot through with the same magic as all that great stuff you remember from days gone by. If Hunt for the Wilderpeopledoesn't make you feel a giddy 12 again then you really need to have a talk with yourself.
Twelve-year-old Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) has received plenty of talkings-to, but not one of them has made the slightest bit of difference. Ricky has been thrown out of so many foster homes that the last resort before juvie is to dump him out in the wilds with Bella (Rima Te Wiata) and Hec (Sam Neill), a bush couple if ever there was one... Read Harry Guerin's full review here.
The Young Offenders ****
Director: Peter Foott | Cert: 15A
Starring: Alex Murphy, Chris Walley, Hilary Rose, Ciaran Bermingham, Dominic MacHale, Pascal Scott, Shane Casey, Michael Sands
While the shelf in the National Archives marked 'Good Irish Comedies' isn't exactly collapsing under the weight - heck, between them Brendan Gleeson and Colm Meaney have been in almost every one - 2016 has given us quite a bit of fun. Sing Street worked its magic in the Spring; last week's A Date for Mad Mary got the mix of heart and humour just right and now The Young Offenders brings gurriers and gags to the multiplexes.
Neither Gleeson nor Meaney makes an appearance here but they're not needed because newcomers Alex Murphy and Chris Walley make a great double act. They also ensure that you'll never look at a Choc Ice in the same way again. Read Harry Guerin's full review here.
Captain Fantastic ****
Director: Matt Ross | Cert: 15A
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, George MacKay, Frank Langella, Kathryn Hahn, Steve Zahn
While the title might call to mind superheroes and CGI adventures, Captain Fantastic is starkly different; it's a stunning story about fatherhood, family and human nature.
The film opens in the forest, in a world so beautiful and alive that you almost expect to hear David Attenborough's voice describing the landscape, and we are introduced to Ben (Mortensen) and his six children, to whom this woodland area is home.
Raised in the woods, away from the trappings of technology and social media, Ben's kids are extremely well-read, intelligent beyond their years and they have the fitness levels of top athletes. Great performances all round but Mortensen that steals the show and it seems only right that his name should be in the mix come awards season. Read Sinead Brennan's full review here.
Blair Witch *
Director: Adam Wingard | Cert: 16
Starring: James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Corbin Reid, Brandon Scott, Wes Robinson, Valorie Curry
When it comes to stealing thunder, director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett did themselves proud at this summer's Comic-Con, where it was revealed that their new horror - working title The Woods - was really a sequel to 1999's box office behemoth The Blair Witch Project. As punter ambushes go it was a masterclass, but it has also turned out to be the only classy thing about this profanity-provoking session of found footage bingo. Suddenly some of this year's other duds don't seem quite so bad.
The 'story' sees a group of documentary film students travel to the Black Hills Forest in Maryland where the three filmmakers from the first movie disappeared. One of the group is the brother of Heather from The Blair Witch Project, and that's about as much depth of character as you get for the rest of the movie. In the meantime, you can pass judgement on your own for having ponied up to sit through it... Read Harry Guerin's full review here.
Director: Timur Bekmambetov | Cert: 12A
Starring: Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Morgan Freeman, Nazanin Boniadi, Rodrigo Santoro
Lightly visceral, occasionally lurid and violent, the odd tender moment - the best that you can say about this Ben-Hur remake is that it's satisfactory and passes two hours pleasantly enough
Timur Bekmambetov's Ben-Hur remake was perhaps the most ignominious of summer flops, debuting to a meagre $11.4 million (€10m) with audiences staying away in their droves. The failure has been attributed to a number of possible factors. The critics piled on derision and scorn, comparing it unfavourably with the 1959, Oscar-winning version starring Charlton Heston... Read Paddy Kehoe's full review here.
A Date For Mad Mary ****
Director: Darren Thornton | Cert: 15A
Starring: Seána Kerslake, Denise McCormack, Tara Lee, Charleigh Bailey
Darren Thornton’s refreshingly affecting yet sparklingly funny debut feature showcases exactly why Irish film-making and talent is stronger than ever.
A Date for Mad Mary is a beautifully crafted coming-of-age-tale that flickers with the excitement and fear that comes with the notoriously-perilous journey through late adolescence.
It captures so colourfully the comedy, angst and exuberance of young adults who feel like they have lost their way, in a society that is constantly judging. Rising star Seána Kerslake leads the way as 'Mad’ Mary McArdle, who returns to Drogheda after a short spell in Mountjoy and tries to connect with her old life. Read Laura Delaney's full review here.
Director: Luke Scott | Cert: 15A
Starring: Kate Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy, Rose Leslie, Toby Jones, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Giamatti
On paper, Morgan sounds like it could be the next cult sci-fi movie; there's an artificially intelligent creation 'Morgan' (Taylor-Joy) with human emotions going rogue, and a specialist (Mara) sent in to clean up the mess who butts heads with the scientists that created her, it sounds like it has all of the raw ingredients required. But sadly, the end product doesn't reflect this at all.
It could've, and should've, been a high drama thriller, but even when it gets going and the action starts rolling in, there is nothing of substance to keep you involved. We've seen it all before, and we've seen it done better... Read Sinead Brennan's full review here.