Won’t you take us to the bioscope?


Won’t you take us to the bioscope?

The films opening in our cinemas this week

Critics’ choice

What it’s about
With World War 1 looming, Robert Conroy, a young army private, adopts a stray, stump-tailed terrier. Conroy names his new friend Stubby and gives him a home, a family, and a chance to embark on the adventure that would define a century. The two quickly find themselves in the trenches of France and on the path to history. French soldier Gaston Baptiste befriends the man and dog and accompanies them along their epic journey through harsh conditions and incredible acts of courage.
What people say
This animated film has a surprising amount of impact, offering an educational introduction to war history, along with messages of teamwork, courage, and more. – Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
This may be the first cartoon in history designed for this particular overlap of audiences: military buffs and the very, very young. – Ben Kenigsberg, The NYTimes
What it’s about
Clinging to life in a cell in Africa, James is brutally interrogated by jihadis. Worlds away, Danielle prepares to descend into the Arctic Sea. Facing life-or-death ordeals, they must rely on their deep emotional connection.
What people say
Veteran director Wim Wenders is comfortable with taking risks and has never been pigeonholed, but his movies have rarely been as static or flat-out boring as this depressing, message-heavy romance. – Jeffrey M Anderson, Common Sense Media
An art-house weeper starring James McAvoy and Alicia Vikander. Yet even two glamorous and well-matched stars of the moment can’t do much to undermine the Wenders meander. – Owen Gleiberman, Variety
What it’s about
From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home. The universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and an evolutionary biologist can prevent the end of the human race.
What people say
From time to time its mix of foul-mouthed bro camaraderie and in-your-face violence nods in the direction of modest entertainment value, but the net effect is a whiplash-inducing muddle. – Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
An ode to the success of that first movie, to making movies simply because one can, not because one should. – Dom Sinacola, Paste Magazine
What it’s about
Young. Handsome. And cunning. Based on the incredible true story of a group of wealthy boys from LA in the 1980s who established a get-rich-quick scam that turns deadly.
What people say
Cox finds himself doing a poor imitation of Martin Scorsese, channeling the manic hedonism of both Goodfellas and The Wolf of Wall Street, minus the seductive magnetism of either film’s central performance. – Peter Debruge, Variety
Even this star-studded cast couldn’t fool audiences into investing their money for this one. – Stephanie Archer, Film Inquiry

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