There really is something for everyone in cinemas this weekend!
Pope Francis: A Man of His Word ***
Pope Francis: A Man of His Word makes for an opportune release on Irish shores - it premiered in the US in May - but Wim Wenders' new documentary won't win over many new converts.
Wenders, who was approached by the Vatican in late 2013 to lead the project, doesn't make any attempt to hide his reverence for His Holiness, and as the title suggests, the German filmmaker wants us to hear the words of the Supreme Pontiff.
The majority of the docu-portrait is dedicated to Pope Francis speaking directly to the camera with conviction, sharing his views on the state of the world, while vehemently condemning consumerism and denouncing corporate greed. Read our full review here.
The Meg ****
Legend has it that when Lee Marvin was sounded out about the role of Quint in Jaws, he replied: "I eat fish, fish don't eat me." Robert Shaw had no such nautical notions and 43 years later some of us are still searching out blackboards in his honour.
Like Shaw, Jason Statham is another man who knew better than to look a gift shark in the mouth with The Meg - a film that goes all out to challenge for the title of The Second Best Shark Movie Ever Made. The cellist isn't on double pay here, but all the $150m budget has been well spent elsewhere.
Director Jon Turteltaub (Cool Runnings, the National Treasure movies) has done the popcorn industry a serious service with this carnivorous charmer - bizarrely a pass-the-parcel project in Hollywood for the guts of two decades. Read our full review here.
The Image You Missed ****
Donal Foreman's film is a poetic, Godard-like exploration of his fragmented relationship with his father, the American photographer and documentary-maker Arthur MacCaig.
Foreman boldly eschews any attempt at a chronological A-to-B-style film, perhaps for the very reason that the story he wishes to tell is not one that involves an A-to-B type of relationship. Father and son had contact, but it was intermittent, as his father lived in Paris, while covering the Northern Troubles and, indeed, the ensuing Peace Process. Meanwhile, Donal lived with his mother in Dublin.
Avoiding the mawkish and sentimental, The Image You Missed is a highly-skilled work of art, with a reflective, uncompromising approach to biography. Read our full review here.
Sgt Stubby: An Unlikely Hero ****
The classic Mark Twain quote about how it's not the size of the dog in the fight reaches the big screen in this true tale of the terrier who served in 17 battles and four campaigns in WWI. Stubby attained the honorary rank of sergeant and became the most decorated dog in the US military.
While Logan Lerman, Gérard Depardieu and Helena Bonham Carter are the A-listers lending their voices, their co-star steals the show - saying so much, without saying anything.
As one soldier puts it: "He's got real character." Read our full review here.
Under the Tree ***1/2
This suburban black comedy trundles along for quite some time - for all the world like a 1970s British sitcom. But in its own time it turns very Scandi-dark indeed. Noir as black Icelandic lava.
The evidence that thirty-something Atli (Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson) has cheated on his wife Agnes (Lára Jóhanna Jónsdóttir) comes to light in incontestably embarrassing circumstances when she catches him reviewing some sultry footage on his computer late at night.
Did the playing away pre-date their own romance, as seems to be suggested by Atli later on in the movie? Read our full review here.
Unfriended: Dark Web ***1/2
Dwight Schrute said in The Office that the reason he joined Second Life was because his first life was so great he wanted another one...
If that's not enough to put you off spending more time on the web, then maybe this keystroke-driven chiller from the Blumhouse shingle will do the trick - a standalone sequel to 2015's paranoia primer. Some of the producers of Get Out are behind ...Dark Web and while not in the same league as that landmark, Unfriended is shaping up as a decent anthology franchise.
Six pals (five screens) get together for Game Night online - banter, bravado and 'a bit of news' all follow. One of their number hasn't been entirely straight with the rest of them, however, and soon enough they're all wishing they'd gone to the cinema instead. Read our full review here.
The Darkest Minds **
After a barrage of young adult franchises, The Darkest Minds is here in all its painfully derivative 'glory', with little originality or spark and a cast that just aren't given the goods to work with.
The hot topic in this particular dystopian universe is a pandemic that has killed the majority of the world's children, with those that are left alive developing superpowers. Sounds kind of cool, right? It gets points for premise alone.
When all of this happens, the government steps in to try to find a cure, but when none is found they decide it's best to categorise everybody by their new powers and put them to work in their colour-coded groups, in prison camps... Read our full review here.
Sicilian Ghost Story *****
Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza's masterful, eerie film is a Mafia-fused slow burner which skilfully weds fantasy and reality, as a young boy goes missing in Sicily.
Sicilian Ghost Story's modus operandi is long panning shots of the hilly landscape, carefully framed images of woodland creatures, a rat in the forest, hovering birds and meticulously observed studies of the human subjects concerned.
Put simply, a work of cinematic genius. Read our full review here.
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies ****
Centred on the premise that absolutely every superhero gets their own movie, this oh-so-meta big screen outing for the Teen Titans instantly surpasses most of the films it sends up along the way as Robin and co try to get their movie made and be seen as more than 'just sidekicks'.
The storyline itself is less important in the grand scheme of things, with the self-parody and fourth wall-breaking antics so enjoyable that the loose plot really just serves as a means to an end to get in all of the fart jokes, Easter eggs and witty one-liners.
At a concise 84 minutes this film does that rare thing of leaving the audience wanting more. Read our full review here.
Ant-Man and the Wasp ****
Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly and pals summon the spirits of Saturday morning TV for a catch-your-breath chase movie with the same age-reversing properties as their 2015 charmer. Little wonder indeed.
Two years on from the events in Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Rudd) is under house arrest when he has to break the law (again!) and help out Hope van Dyne/Wasp (Lilly) and physicist father Hank Pym (Douglas) in matters pertaining to "confusing grown-up stuff", aka The Quantum Realm.
Damascus Cover **
Jonathan Rhys Meyers deserves a better script and so does everybody else in this creaky vehicle, based on a Howard Kaplan novel from 1977 that trundles along passably but somehow unsatisfactorily, too.
Looking like a man who would not say no to a Bond role or two sometime in the near future, Meyers acquits himself as well as he can in this lumbering vehicle.
It's a movie that tries to marry the sinister solemnities of John Le Carré with the jumpy, pumped-up derring-do of, well, your standard Bond movie. Is there such an entity as a 'standard Bond movie?' Discuss. Read our full review here.