The Irishman *****
If you're as strong as the sum of your parts, The Irishman is a diamond-clad instant classic.
Scorsese, De Niro, Pacino and Pesci. Together. It's the stuff of dreams.
With the instant excitement and anticipation that comes with hearing about a project like this is a natural worry that it won't fit in with their prestigious collective filmographies or, worst case scenario, that it might somehow besmirch their legacies. The fear was needless; this is as close to the magic of Goodfellas as you could hope for, but with added Pacino.
De Niro plays the titular role as Frank 'The Irishman' Sheeran and the film sees him recounting stories from his days as a mafia hitman and close ally of Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino), the head of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Read our full review here
The Good Liar ***1/2
Together at last - and mostly worth the wait.
A wishlist film pairing is finally granted as Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen lock eyes and more in this enjoyably bonkers thriller that sees Dreamgirls and Gods and Monsters director Bill Condon bringing Nicholas Searle's book to screens.
Twisting and turning through London and Berlin, The Good Liar is all about the ways and means of the confidence trickster, but shouldn't leave you feeling like you've been had. Read our full review here
Meeting Gorbachev ****
Werner Herzog and André Singer's remarkable film, Meeting Gorbachev, draws on a wealth of revealing archive footage to supplement Herzog's three interviews with the former General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party.
Seated face to face with Herzog, who proves a sympathetic, hugely engaged interviewer, the former Soviet President now cuts a hesitant, cautious figure at 87.
The interviews are woven with the fascinating footage and the whole project amounts to a hugely engaging portrait of an age and one of its key players. Read our full review here.
This complex, layered drama about a white married couple reckoning with their idealised image of their adopted black high schooler son plays out like a thriller and leaves you grappling with more questions than it answers.
The film's opaqueness is matched by its enthralling, thought-provoking nature that makes it entirely worth the journey.
Luce is a top-of-the-class, head-of-the-debate-team, star-athlete kind of student. Adored by his peers and his high school's principal in equal measure, he is held up as a shining example of a young black American man, a second coming of Obama as one of his friends acidly points out. Read our full review here.
The Aeronauts ****
Set in 1862 and "inspired by true events", the film follows the adventures of meteorologist James Glashier and balloon pilot Amelia Rennes as he tries to discover "the source of the weather" and she does battle with her demons.
Glashier was a real-life founding father of atmospheric science, but Rennes is a composite character. Don't let that burst your balloon: this is still a watchable adventure that soars on old school charm. Read our full review here.
Doctor Sleep **1/2
Stephen King movie sequels are having a poor run, with Doctor Sleep as disappointing as IT: Chapter 2.
Following on decades after the events of The Shining, Doctor Sleep centres on a now grown up Dan(ny) Torrance (Ewan McGregor) as he struggles with alcohol addiction and the horrors of his past.
The big bad this time are The True Knot, a group of semi-immortal people who travel around tracking down children with special powers who they will then either admit to their group, or kill to feed off their "shine" in order to live longer. Their leader, Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson, interviewed below), is drawn to a young girl, and this is when they cross Dan's path as he must help her to escape their clutches. Read our full review here.
Sorry We Missed You ****1/2
Three years after their critically-acclaimed and award-winning I, Daniel Blake portrayed the grim reality of life for people on welfare in Britain, director Ken Loach and writer Paul Laverty (interviewed below) have produced a similarly sombre view of people working in the gig economy.
The cumulative effect of these two films is the obvious implication that the UK is currently at war with its working class.
Kris Hitchen is heartbreaking as the earnest and dutiful Ricky, who has been fighting an uphill struggle against debt since the 2008 financial crash meant he lost his job, mortgage and family home. Times are tough but Ricky, a proud man who has never claimed the dole, thinks he has found the solution to all of his family's problems. Read our full review here.
Brittany Runs a Marathon ***1/2
The title of the new Jillian Bell-starring movie Brittany Runs a Marathon may be a little on the nose, but this dramedy is about as emotionally nuanced as they come.
Our believably flawed-but-likeable heroine is Brittany Forgler (Bell), a 28-year-old New Yorker who is always down for a good time, even though her hard-partying ways are starting to take their toll psychologically, physically and financially.
When she visits a doctor in the hope of scoring the prescription drug Adderall for recreational use, she is instead told she needs to drop 55 pounds, or the weight of a Siberian husky, as she quips. Read our full review here.
After the Wedding ****
Based on a Danish film of the same name from 2006, After the Wedding is a taut domestic drama mostly done with style and verve.
However, the film cannot resist a rather ill-judged, melodramatic scene involving a fit of over-acting from Julianne Moore towards the climax.
Of course, one viewer's over-acting is another's giving it socks. Read our full review here.