All the Easter box office releases reviewed

Yahoo UK Movies Features
5 April 2012

Titanic 3D – 5/5

In short:

For those who don't know, the story focuses on Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose (Kate Winslet).  He's a scruffy young upstart from the lower decks who wins his place on the boat in a lucky hand at cards. She's a well-to-do woman in a time and place where her opinion doesn't matter. Feeling trapped by her overbearing fiancé Cal (Billy Zane), Rose tries an extreme escape method.  Her suicide attempt is scuppered by Jack who, now a hero, dines at the head table. The young couple continue to bond and romance blossoms, but it doesn't go unnoticed. There is, of course, a bigger problem ahead and a frantic race to survive ensues.

[Related story: Kate Winslet condemns her 'Titanic' performance]
[Related video: Exclusive interview with Billy Zane]

What we think:

Despite the gargantuan runtime, and 15 years of technological advancement, 'Titanic' is able to rise above our cynicism. The original effects look flawless and the 3D works a charm.

The word out there:
Total Film: The retro-fitted 3D creates a weird disconnect between actors and sets, making certain green-screen moments glaring.
Empire: With a 3D conversion from the medium’s pioneer-in-chief, ‘Titanic’ is a big-screen romance that’s every bit as epic as you remember.
TimeOut: The 3D is dazzling, conveying the vastness of the ship in a way that will hit vertigo sufferers in the bladder. So too will Celine Dion’s theme song, which hasn’t improved with age.
The Telegraph: James Cameron and his team have applied 3D to 'Titanic' with intelligence, and often restraint.

Release date: 6 April
Runtime: 194 mins
Rating: 12A

This Must Be The Place – 3.5/5

In short:
In the suburbs of Dublin, jaded former rock star Cheyenne (Sean Penn) lives in his mansion with his loving wife Jane (Frances McDormand). Stuck in his former glories, Cheyenne trudges through his daily routine in full Goth garb - misery included. Even his daughter (Eve Hewson aka Bono's daughter) is caught up in the gloom. When he receives news of the death of his estranged father, however, Cheyenne starts to face up to his past, and the man behind the make-up. But it's not that simple. He also discovers that his father had one unfinished task: hunting down his SS tormentor from Auschwitz. Yup, Cheyenne has to go from coddled rock star to Nazi hunter, and quickly.

What we think:
Sean Penn is in extravagant form, Paolo Sorrentino composes his film beautifully and the bonkers plot is all over the place in this quirky drama.

The word out there:

Empire: Determinedly quirky and cool, arresting and ultimately too baffling to be satisfying, although Penn is priceless. Cultdom beckons.
Total Film: Succeeding against the odds and adroitly blending its disparate elements, this is a fine entry into the Eurodirector-gawps-at-America subgenre.
TimeOut: Sorrentino’s films are visual delights, and there’s a lot to savour here. But too often we’re left with a carefully framed shot or travelling camera in search of an idea.
Den of Geek: Penn’s oppressively kooky, meticulously idiosyncratic performance reminds you that, even though they appear in radically different films, he is very much a contemporary of Johnny Depp.

Release date: 6 April
Runtime: 118 mins
Rating: 15

Headhunters – 3/5

In short:
Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) is a corporate headhunter at the top of his game. He has a beautiful home, and a beautiful wife (Synnøve Macody Lund), but maintaining all this is more expensive than you might imagine, so he does a little work on the side: stealing rare works of art. When a job that seems too good to be true comes his way, he hesitates only momentarily. He soon finds out he has bitten off more than he can chew, however, and he becomes caught up in a game of cat and mouse in which the stakes grow as quickly as his trusted allies seem to be disappearing.

What we think:
This slick Norwegian thriller with deliciously dark and funny undercurrents is already destined for a US remake. We can see why.

The word out there:
Empire: It’s fascinating rather than exciting, but makes for chilly thrills with two strong, charismatic lead performances, a great deal of style and amusingly repulsive, ruthless twists.
Total Film: ‘Headhunters’ is an entertaining Nordic noir achievement – and sure to be tagged as this year’s ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’.
TimeOut: The plot moves like a rocket, the despicable characters are marvellously sketched, and if ‘Headhunters’ is not always entirely convincing (a few twists take a bit of swallowing), it’s always deliriously entertaining.
Sky Movies: What starts off as an ice cool crime thriller compellingly morphs into a deliriously daft comedy.

Release date: 6 April
Runtime: 100 mins
Rating: 15

Le Havre – 4/5

In short:
In the French port town of Le Havre, or rather, Kaurismäki's reimagined port town, the community is about to be rocked by controversy. A shipping container bound for London has been erroneously deposited in the harbour, and it's cargo is full of illegal immigrants from Africa. One young boy, Idrissa (Blondin Miguel) flees the authorities and has the good luck to run into ageing shoe-shine man Marcel Marx (André Wilms), who takes pity on Idrissa and resolves to help him reach London.  But when Marcel's wife Arrietty (Kati Outinen) falls ill he has to call on all of his friends in the community to aid his young charge; and with the port authority and a shady local policeman (Jean-Pierre Leaud) closing in, it will take all their energy, cunning and good will.

What we think:
It's quiet, it's simple, but somehow Aki Kaurismäki's latest film tells a dozen stories in a way few other living directors could. And with a lot more character.

The word out there:

Empire: It may not be up there with his very best, but Aki Kaurismäki offers a reminder that he's a still one of the freshest voices in cinema.
Total Film: Kaurismäki adeptly weaves rockabilly musical interludes, a stylised colour scheme and droll performances into a warm-hearted salute to both classical French cinema and working-class solidarity.
TimeOut: What really saves ‘Le Havre’ from being too precious, apart from a wicked thread of black humour, is a sense of solidarity between not just the story’s characters, but between them, the filmmaker and us.
The Metro: Ultimately, this low-key shaggy dog story has bags of Gauloise charm and winning, behind-the-beat-humour.

Release date: 6 April
Runtime: 93 mins
Rating: PG

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