A Bump Along The Way is a homegrown heartwarmer, and Timothée Chalamet stars in The King.
A Bump Along The Way ***1/2
If high school comedy Booksmart is already down as your sweetest film of the year then this homegrown heartwarmer will give the Californian caper a serious run for its graduation money.
A Bump Along the Way also has a double act to treasure, this time in Bronagh Gallagher and Lola Petticrew as Derry girls Pamela and Allegra - a warring mother and daughter left reeling by the news that they'll soon be hearing the patter of tiny feet.
But in a clever role reversal it's Pamela who's expecting after a one-hour stand on a birthday night out... Read our full review here.
The King ****
Ronnie Scott used to say that it was easy to make a million running a jazz club - all you had to do was start with two million.
That gem comes to mind watching The King, an excellent historical drama but one which, like the Saoirse Ronan-starring Mary Queen of Scots earlier this year, looks like it has a better chance of finding an audience in homes rather than cinemas.
Sure enough, this Shakespearean adaptation will be on Netflix by November 1, with the big screen release feeling like the pre-requisite awards season hoop-jumping, and the most honourable way to give director David Michôd (The Rover, Animal Kingdom) his due. Read our full review here.
Abominable is one of the most charming animations to come out in a long time. It is not voiced by big names that you would expect from such a production and will definitely seep into the soul of any child over the age of 8.
It is set in contemporary China, but don't think that it's not relatable, the children are fixated on taking selfies and are as attached to their phones as the teens and tweenies ( if they are allowed) in this country.
The story is based around an abominable snowman cub also known as a yeti who is captured and then escapes and hides on the roof of a Shanghai apartment block where a girl called Yi, voiced by Chloe Bennet, who is traumatised by her father's death lives. Read our full review here.
Best Before Death ***1/2
The KLF's Bill Drummond believes that shining shoes, baking cakes, and making wooden beds are all artistic endeavours, so much so that he is on a 12-year tour of the world - 12 cities, 12 countries, the so-called 25 Paintings Tour. Is it art? You decide.
Drummond is an artist. a musician and a record producer. Is he atoning for what he might subconsciously perceive to be the indulgence of art-making, the frittering, frippery aspects of it?
The son of a Presbyterian minister, it is hard not to see him as chip off the old block. At the age of ten, Drummond himself living for three months in the town of Lexington, North Carolina, where his father was doing an exchange programme. only actors and pop stars flew in 1963, so the family left the UK on a ship, sailing from Southampton to New York. Read our full review here.
Joaquin Phoenix turns in an Oscar-worthy performance as a comic-book villain whose power once lay in his ambiguous mythology, but has now been bolstered in Joker by an unflinching deep dive into his origins.
Pulling back the curtain on the Joker was a risk, but it's one that pays off hugely here as Phoenix's portrayal of the character, who has been played many ways by many actors to varying degrees of success, is unique and if anything, more terrifying, as this story is so grounded in a quasi-reality and the most real-worldly Gotham we've seen.
What transpires on screen is chilling, unnerving, completely compelling, anxiety-inducing, sleep-disturbing, and absolutely brilliant. Read our full review here.
I was really looking forward to this. I've been a big Judy Garland fan for decades, and I guarantee that at least one of the songs she's associated with will be played at my funeral.
Add to that the reports that Renée Zellweger had put in a career-defining performance in the lead role, and I couldn't wait to see it.
Unfortunately, the reality didn't match the hype in my head.
Sure, Zellweger is out-and-out Oscar bait in the lead role, showing the camera a version of Garland that also offers a fair amount of Renée too. Unfortunately, her performance only highlights the flaws in this film. She's easily the best thing about it. Read out full review here.
The Polish film Werewolf (original title Wilkolak) shows how credible horror can be achieved on film - Hollywood could learn a thing or two but probably wouldn't be interested.
Crucially, writer-director Adrian Panek has found his source material in Poland's troubled 20th Century history. He could have recoiled from anything to do with the Holocaust to make a horror film, but all the better that he did not desist.
Why is it superior to all of the lazy, unthinking, brain-dead stuff? Because it grounds itself in credible historical detail. Read our full review here.