Cosmopolis – 2/5

In short: Sometime in the near future, 28-year-old billionaire Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) lives a reclusive life. On this particular day, he decides to get a haircut. The journey across a gridlocked Manhattan takes all day, and along the way he meets various people who spark reminiscences on his past and present. All from the confines of his bullet-proof stretch limousine of course.

What we think:

Densely scripted but scarcely plotted, R-Patz delivers a chilling performance in a film that is too detached to get us excited.

[Related video: Robert Pattinson reveals bizarre party trick]

The word out there:

The Telegraph
: Cronenberg’s script is often oblique, and the film is talky and evasive... But its portrayal of civilisation as an impossibly intricate, crucially flawed equation, about to buckle and snap, is sinuously compelling.
Empire
: Even by the director's lofty standards this is a talky film, and most of it goes round in circles.
The Scotsman
: Cronenberg’s mannered, theatrical film feels studenty and a little embarrassing...
Film4
: An extraordinary psychological and sensual immersion in the psychosis of capitalism with a brilliant performance from Robert Pattinson...

Release date: 15 June

Runtime: 108 mins
Rating: 15

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Rock Of Ages – 4/5

In short:
The stage version of 'Rock Of Ages' has proven to be a big hit, and now a host of stars bring the story of '80s rock to the big screen. Small town girl Sherrie (Julianne Hough) heads to Hollywood seeking fame and fortune, but on her first night gets robbed, meets wannabe rocker Drew (Diego Boneta) and lands herself a job waitressing at The Bourbon Room. The seedy music venue is under threat from the mayor (Bryan Cranston) and his wife (Catherine Zeta Jones), who see it as the head of a snake that is corrupting the youth of the city. Fighting to keep the place open is owner Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin) and his zany assistant Lonny (Russell Brand).  In an act of desperation, they call in Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise), the brilliant but unreliable front man of rockers Arsenal to try and save they day.

What we think:
Daftly enjoyable, 'Rock Of Ages' is the perfect summer musical. Tom Cruise is on top form, and who knew he had such a fine pair of lungs on him?

[Related video: Catherine Zeta-Jones belts out tune in 'Rock Of Ages' clip]

The word out there:

Empire: Like every one of its songs, it makes a lot of noise about nothing much and cockily straddles awfulness and greatness.
HitFix: I expect that this will be my 70-year-old mother's favourite movie about the heyday of Motley Crue ever made… so take that for what it's worth.
UltraCulture: As the tagline says, ‘Rock Of Ages’ is nothin’ but a good time. Sometimes, it’s even less.
WhatCulture:  As a story, ‘Rock Of Ages’ is all over the place, but the performers are clearly having a blast, and their enjoyment is infectious.

Release date: 13 June
Runtime: 123 mins
Rating: 12A


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Red Lights – 2/5

In short:
Two paranormal researchers are about to face the challenge of a lifetime when they do battle with a world famous psychic who comes out of retirement after 30 years away from the limelight.  Dr Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) and her young protégé Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy) have spent years debunking 'supernatural incidents'. They take a particular interest in catching out fraudulent psychics and mediums but one man has remained unattainable. Simon Silver (Robert De Niro) has a cult following, even though his last public appearance decades ago ended in tragedy. They've steered clear of him for some time but when fate intervenes, Buckley and his own assistant (Elizabeth Olsen) are forced into action. As inexplicable occurrences begin to increase, will the team of doubters find the truth too hard to swallow?

What we think:
A routine thriller with some added fright, but sadly lacking a convincing story. This should not have been given the green light.

The word out there:

The Guardian: ‘Red Lights’ is thick with mystery, especially when De Niro is on screen, but at nearly two hours it takes too long to reveal its secrets.
Empire: Even with flashes of invention and the game cast, it would take a wilier showman than Cortés to truly impress with this shabby bag of tricks.
Total Film: A starry cast, curious premise and well-crafted shocks make for an ambitious thriller that ekes – and eeks – out the tension to its iffy finale.
Digital Spy: It's just another dead end in a story that goes rooting for drama in every corner. But guess what: there's nothing there.

Release date: 15 June
Runtime: 113 mins
Rating: 15


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A Royal Affair – 4/5

In short:
Denmark, 1766, King Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) has just ascended to the throne at the tender age of 17. He has now taken young English noblewoman Caroline Mathilde (Alicia Vikander) as his new bride and is setting about the business of the kingdom. There's just one problem, the court isn't entirely convinced of his sanity. A new doctor is set to be appointed, and scheming nobles looking to bring the Enlightenment to the backward and conservative Danish court see to it that German doctor Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) brings his radical ideas to bear on the susceptible young king. Sure enough, the pair soon become friends of sorts - and Struensee's influence grows. But as he grows in stature in the court, he also grows in his fondness of the Queen. If his enemies were to seize on this emotional entanglement, it would see all of his political progress wiped out in one fell swoop, and potentially jeopardise his life.

What we think:
Sumptuous visuals, potent ideas and gripping human drama all come together in this superb royal drama from Denmark.

The word out there:

Empire: A voluptuous slice of historical drama that will satisfy period fans and Mikkelsen admirers equally.
TimeOut:  ‘A Royal Affair’ is the definition of classy period drama: well acted, intelligently scripted with a small-ish dose of bodice-ripping. It’s almost impeccable, in fact, if ever-so-slightly underpowered.
The Film Pilgrim: The characterisations, and ‘A Royal Affair’s distinctive visual and cinematographic styles, make the film a stand-out dramatic historical work.
The List: A skillfully delivered but coldly aloof period drama from the Swedish Dragon Tattoo team.

Release date: 15 June
Runtime: 137 mins
Rating: 15


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Polisse – 3.5/5

In short:
Based around a collection of real-life cases from the child protection unit of the Parisian police, 'Polisse' focuses on the tight-knit group of officers who deal with trauma of the worst kind, day in, day out. But when photojournalist Melissa (writer/director Maiwenn) appears on the scene, the group react in different ways. And as their lives weave in and out of those of children in trouble it becomes clear that every member of the team is harbouring their own traumas, and they are sorely lacking the time and energy to deal with them.

What we think:
Moving, powerful and often unbearably real, this uncompromising look at the Parisian police child protection unit is gripping from start to finish.

The word out there:
Empire: Unsparing in its portrayal of the seedier side of French society, only ‘Polisse's loose focus keeps it from matching ‘The Class’ for emotional punch.
Los Angeles Times: The film's greatest achievement is how fully alive it is.
TimeOut:  [‘Polisse’] has an infectious energy and aims for a bottom-up, slice-of-life air characterised by naturalistic performances and a fly-on-the-wall shooting style.
Studio Magazine: Maiwenn uses the power of language to make the audience use their imagination
http://www.studiomagonline.com/reviews/film-polisse-studio-magazine/

Release date: 15 June
Runtime: 127 mins
Rating: 15


Watch the trailer



Fast Girls – 3/5


In short:
Shania (Lenora Crichlow) dreams of competing at the World Athletics Championships. Having grown up on a tough council estate in London, her dream is seen as far-fetched, and those around  her think she should concentrate on the 'real world'. However, after a successful trial run, where rival Lisa (Lily James) is surprised by the newcomer, Shania joins up with British squad under the guidance of trainer Tommy (Noel Clarke). Can the girls put their differences to one side and go for gold in their home-town games?

What we think:
Utterly predictable but with a sense of occasion, this is a feel good British sports drama that manages to keep you interested thanks to some great performances.

The word out there:
Empire: Despite the whiff of soap, this should get you in the mood for the Olympic summer.
TimeOut: The target audience is clearly those teenagers who piled in to see ‘Kidulthood’ and ‘Streetdance’ so the script is all attitude and gobby put-downs, some of them pretty funny.
The Scotsman:  Clarke is a prolific writer of clichés and sassy running babes are just the latest addition to an undistinguished collection.
Sky Movies: Any rom com that manages to stick to 90 minutes gets an extra tick in our book.

Release date: 15 June
Runtime: 91 mins
Rating: 12A


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A Thousand Kisses Deep – 1/5

In short:
Mia (Jodie Whittaker) travels back in time in a sort of metaphorical lift in order to examine the history of her family and love life. It’s a complex affair involving a duplicitous trumpeter (Dougray Scott), a distant mum (Emilia Fox) and some history repeated. Mia needs closure, but will she discover more than she wanted to know?

What we think:

Pretentious psychological nonsense of the highest order. The script is corny and ill thought-out, the acting dull and lifeless, and the final reveal is as stale as the grey cinematography.

The word out there:
Empire: It's brimming with bold ideas but none entirely come off, despite a willing cast and solid performances from the leads.
TimeOut: [T]his fresh way of exploring inner turmoil isn’t matched by the quality of the characterisation or the credibility of the relationships.
ViewLondon: After the first unsuspecting lift trip back in time, there are few plot twists that offer any surprises.
WhatCulture: Scant time travel logic aside, Dana Lustig might finally have found her groove with this unassuming, low-budget sci-fi.

Release date: 15 June
Runtime: 84 mins
Rating: 15

Watch the trailer