He's big, he's mean, he's on almost every screen!
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is stomping all over cinemas this weekend, but if he's not your thing then there's the brilliant teen comedy Booksmart, the chiller Ma, and the historical drama Sunset.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters **1/2
The latest instalment of the Godzilla franchise, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, has roared into cinemas as summer blockbuster season has gotten into full swing, and it's an action movie of epic proportions.
Unfortunately, it's also let down by a lacking script and somewhat nonsensical plot.
But then again, if you're here to see Godzilla clashing with some classic monsters, that probably won't hinder your enjoyment of the at-times-spectacular visuals. For his sequel to Gareth Edwards' 2014 Godzilla movie, writer, director and lifelong Godzilla fanatic Michael Dougherty (interviewed above) has taken up the reins and his genuine affection for these monsters is apparent. Read our full review here.
With her directorial debut, House star Olivia Wilde has turned in a hilarious and poignant end-of-high-school caper that deserves its place in the teen movie Hall of Fame.
If there's anything better in cinemas between now and September we'll have been spoilt beyond belief.
In scene after scene, Lady Bird's unsung hero Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever from the sitcom Last Man Standing ship double act gold as the thoroughly-sensible pals who throw their trademark caution to the wind and hit the town. Read our full review here.
Ma doesn't reinvent the wheel when it comes to teen slasher flicks but it derives a decent amount of mileage out of its revenge-horror premise.
Director Tate Taylor's (The Help,The Girl on the Train) venture to the dark side harkens back to psychological thrillers from the late 70s to early 90s - think Carrie and Misery - and on some levels it succeeds.
Octavia Spencer plays a veterinary assistant in a sleepy Ohio town who is left traumatised from high school bullies. In an attempt to capture some of her stolen youth, she forms a bizarre relationship with a gang of fresh-faced teens, luring them in with booze and a dingy basement hangout. Read our full review here.
In Sunset (Napszállta), the latest film from László Nemes, a young woman arrives at an ultra-chic millinery emporium in Budapest, claiming she is the daughter of the former owners. Quietly determined, she inveigles her way into a murky, anarchic scene in the final days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Nemes and his cinematographer Mátyás Erdély, who teamed together for the Oscar-winning Son of Saul, have a highly imaginative way with sunshine, shadow and Renoir-like dappled-ness. The year is 1913 and Budapest, the second city in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is enduring a heatwave.
At times, some of the luxuriant images that lie between the frames could be imagined on canvas - Impressionist or otherwise - and Erdély's painterly vision is remarkable. Read our full review here.
The Blue Angel ****
Josef von Sternberg's 1930 classic, Der Blaue Engel (The Blue Angel), starring the late Marlene Dietrich in her breakthrough role - demonstrates how a loner professor's fatal attraction to the showgirl Lola ruins his very existence.
The Blue Angel is one of the first German-language sound films, and the first of six pictures made by director von Sternberg in the space of five years with his muse and leading actress, Dietrich.
There is a sense watching the film that the days of the silent era still linger, it's there in those wide glances, those exaggerated facial gestures. Emil Jannings had starred in von Sternberg's silent The Last Command, and in this new German talkie he portrays the fusty old school-teacher Immanuel Rath. Read our full review here.
The history of the music biopic is littered with many corpses, both figuratively and literally. Val Kilmer nailed Jim Morrison as a shamanistic lounge lizard in Oliver Stone's flawed-but-worthwhile The Doors; Angela Bassett blew the roof off Nutbush with her powerhouse portrayal of Tina Turner in What's Love Got to do With It?, Joaquin Phoenix painted a nicotine-stained portrait of languorous self-destruction in Walk The Line, and Gary Busey was sublime on the day the music died in The Buddy Holly Story.
However, for every smash hit rock flick, there have been numerous flops.
Very few reservations linger over Dexter Fletcher's madly entertaining life of Elton John, the suburban boy wonder piano player who became the most unlikely of rock superstars in the gauzy Seventies, before morphing into knowing self-parody as the queen bitch of the Eighties and Nineties. If there was ever a pop star who ate himself and, indeed, everything else, it is Elton... Read our full review here.
The wonder of Aladdin is impressively realised and though it lacks some of the magic, there is plenty to sit back and soak in, with laughs and singalongs guaranteed.
Remaking a classic Disney film comes with one distinct advantage; the storyline and songs are already a winner, so the pressure is off in that regard.
The flipside to that - you have an awful lot to live up to and assembling a live-action cast that can do the roles justice becomes absolutely crucial, and here, it's pretty spot on.
Will Smith had big Genie shoes to fill in the place of the late Robin Williams but he does so with ease as his version of the character is just far enough removed from the original that it is completely his own, without going too off-book... Read our full review here.
The Secret Life of Pets 2 ***
Anyone who has spent listless hours scrolling through YouTube clips of cats and dogs doing funny stuff may find some laughs from this brisk sequel to the 2016 animated hit.
Louis CK has been replaced in the lead voice role of eager but timid terrier Max by Patton Oswalt and he's ably supported by Modern Family's Eric Stonestreet as his old buddy, Newfoundland mix Duke, and jive-talking rabbit Snowball (Kevin Hart), who thinks he's a superhero.
This time around Max and Duke have to contend with the arrival of their owners' new baby and a trip to a farm where they encounter Rooster, growlingly voiced by Harrison Ford and who just may be based on Jack Palance's Curly from City Slickers... Read our full review here.
Too Late To Die Young ****
Nervy restlessness and the anticipation of doomed innocence shadows the brilliant Too Late to Die Young (Tarde Para Morir Joven), which is set in 1990s Chile.
On paper, it sounds like a reasonably appealing prospect - a bunch of families head up into the forested hills above Santiago de Chile to set up an alternative commune. There they plan to celebrate New Year with a big party, where the alcohol will flow freely.
It's sometime in the early 1990s and it is, of course, the Southern hemisphere, so we are talking an air of summer. The adults are busy setting up things, a water system and electric power lines are installed. Meanwhile, the numerous children that populate the film mess about in the swimming pool that looks like a disused reservoir... Read our full review here.
Memoir of War *****
Memoir of War, France's submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2019 Academy Awards, is a brilliant rendering of novelist Marguerite Duras's Second World War experiences in occupied Paris, as told in her autobiographical novel, La Douleur, which was first published in 1985. Moreover, La Douleur is the French title of the film.
Mélanie Thierry inhabits the role of Marguerite with such compelling power that the viewer must inevitably spend the entire movie reading her face for signs. How genuine is she in the first place about missing her husband, the Communist and writer Robert Antelme (Emmanuel Bourdieu)? How deep is her wish to locate him?
The actress cultivates a delicious ambivalence about the relationship and seems to be close to another Resistance member, Dionys Mascolo (Benjamin Biolay). She is curiously isolated in the film by the bold handling of her own situation. Indeed she stands apart anyway because she - Marguerite Duras - is a reasonably well-known writer... Read our full review here.