Neil Jordan's Greta is the big film this week.
Director Neil Jordan has a stab at psychodrama in his new film, Greta, which is saved - and only just about - by the presence of French veteran Isabelle Huppert.
If you are the type of cinema fan who happens to like sudden loud noises on the soundtrack and unexpected appearances from malign presences - and that malign presence is Isabelle Huppert - then this one is for you. The screenplay was co-written by the director with Ray Wright on whose original idea the movie is based. Wright's credits include remakes of Pulse and The Crazies.
Greta (Isabelle Huppert) is the piano teacher who leaves her handbag on the New York subway train. It's a seemingly treasured personal belonging - the stress is on 'seemingly' - which is found shortly afterwards by the young waitress Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz). Read our full review here.
Dragged Across Concrete ***1/2
For anyone whose month-by-month moan is the lack of 18s films in cinemas, here's an opportunity to put the soapbox away. Seats for Dragged Across Concrete come with grit embedded.
Director S Craig Zahler's biggest film to date sees the return of his Brawl in Cell Block 99 star Vince Vaughn and the controversy-generating casting of Mel Gibson. As a racist cop. The man behind the lens accepts that some people won't want to see the film as a result. There's plenty to chew on for those that do, not least a two-minute scene of Zahler's leading men eating sandwiches.
The sandwiches are part of an off-the-books stakeout that sees two suspended detectives (Gibson and Vaughn) engaging in quite the bit of free enterprise. Also trying to make ends meet is a recently released prisoner (Tory Kittles) who wants to go straight but finds that family circumstances dictate signing up for one last score. Ah yes. Read our full review here.
Red Joan ***1/2
It's been more than 20 years since theatre director Trevor Nunn helmed a movie and Red Joan is a pretty decent shot at a spy tale, based on novel that was itself inspired by a true story that's straight out of Deighton or Le Carré.
Judi Dench heads the cast as Joan Stanley, a retired public servant who is arrested by MI5 under suspicion of spying back in the 1940s. And although she's pretty much tight-lipped under questioning, a series of surreptitious flashbacks unravels her past.
Sophie Cookson plays the younger Joan, a rather shy student studying physics at Cambridge, who is seduced by fellow students more outgoing and radical than her, particularly Leo Galich (Tom Hughes), a communist zealot. Read our full review here.
Paolo Sorrentino's latest film, Loro, plays fast and loose, painting the Berlusconi years in garish shades of outlandish mayhem and crazed decadence.
High-handed interference in the Italian judiciary, alleged serpentine trails of corruption, and ‘bunga bunga’ sex parties have all become a kind of shorthand to sum up the Silvio Berlusconi era of Italian politics.
'Bunga bunga' made the news recently once again with the death of the Moroccan-born model, Imane Fadil, a key witness in the trial in which Berlusconi faces charges of bribing models, escorts and actresses to lie about the alleged parties. Read our full review here.
Wild Rose *****
It's rare a movie as singularly uplifting as Wild Rose comes along.
This familiar tale of self-discovery and dream-chasing is given a fresh breath of life, and takes some unexpected twists and turns, as it follows the unconventional heroine at the centre, Rose-Lynn, a wannabe country singer from Glasgow.
Played with joyful abandon by Kerry actress Jessie Buckley (above), Rose-Lynn is, in Buckley’s own words, "the kind of girl you want to go for a drink with" but "don't want to get in a fight with". Read our full review here.
Out of Innocence **1/2
Out of Innocence is based on the Kerry Babies case of 1984, and makes sure to say at the opening that it is not a documentary, but the film does serve to unpack that tragic story and show audiences the injustice, the harmful way people were treated and the prejudice at play.
In the film, we meet Sarah Flynn (Fionnuala Flaherty), a young single mother who is secretly pregnant with her second child. On one harrowing night, Sarah goes into labour on her family farm and loses her baby.
Meanwhile, miles away, the body of another baby is discovered on a beach. Read our full review here.
The best to be hoped for from Little is that a new generation sets the time machine controls for 1988 and watches Big - the film that inspired this body-swap comedy.
Here, Girls Trip star Regina Hall becomes the latest big screen boss-from-hell to think that her employees are chew toys. The most gnarled among them is her personal assistant - Insecure favourite Issa Rae playing a character whose patience is matched only by her determination to hide her light under a bushel.
After a bust-up with a child magician, the boss wakes up and realises she's now in the body of her 13-year-old self. Enter Marsai Martin (Blackish), who turns in the kind of performance that suggests she's going to be a mainstay in movies for years to come. Read our full review here.
Don't Go **
Don't Go grafts the Hollywood mystery thriller onto an Irish landscape in which Stephen Dorff (Blade, Public Enemies, True Detective) plays the American writer Ben Slater.
Angsty and edgy, Ben is married to the more composed Hazel, played by the Golden Globe-nominated Australian actress Melissa George (In Treatment, Grey's Anatomy, 30 Days of Night).
Following the loss of their daughter Molly after a fall at their Dublin home, the bereaved couple move to a disused hotel in the West of Ireland where Hazel sets about an expensive refurbishment. Read our full review here.
Wonder Park **
Wonder Park is visually vibrant and engaging, but the lack of tact and subtlety in dealing with the big issues is a major downfall.
The film centres on June and her mother playing and creating an imaginary park run by her cuddly toys, where their creativity is boundless and the fun never ends, until bed time anyway. But unbeknownst to them, the park is a real thing and everything they whisper into the ear of her toy monkey is heard by his real life counterpart who then puts their ideas into action.
June is a free-spirited kid whose imagination has been nurtured and her parents have provided her with a home full of love, encouragement and fun, but when her mother becomes ill and needs to go away for treatment, everything in her world comes crashing down. Read our full review here.