Won’t you take us to the bioscope?

Lifestyle

Won’t you take us to the bioscope?

The films opening in our cinemas this week

Critics’ choice


VICE
What it’s about
Governor George W Bush of Texas picks Dick Cheney, the CEO of Halliburton, to be his Republican running mate in the 2000 presidential election. No stranger to politics, Cheney’s impressive résumé includes stints as White House chief of staff, house minority whip and defence secretary. When Bush wins by a narrow margin, Cheney begins to use his newfound power to help reshape the country and the world.
What people say
Christian Bale really is sensational here. He transforms into Cheney before your eyes. – Andrew Lowry, Empire
Offers more than rage-bait for liberal moviegoers. If this is in some respects a monster movie, it’s one that takes a lively and at times surprisingly sympathetic interest in its chosen demon. – AO Scott, The NYTimes
THE FAVOURITE
What it’s about
In the early 18th century, England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne occupies the throne, and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead, while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing, and Abigail sees a chance to return to her aristocratic roots.
What people say
Director Yorgos Lanthimos adds a dose of wicked, whiplash humour to his usual bleakness in this largely effective costume movie, filled with deep-focus visuals and strong, ferocious women. – Jeffrey M Anderson, Common Sense Media
Though mostly twaddle as history, Yorgos Lanthimos’s film is wonderful, nasty fun, a period drama (wigs, breeches, beauty spots) that holds the screen with gnashing teeth and slashing nails. – David Edelstein, Vulture
THE POSSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE
What it’s about
A shocking exorcism spirals out of control, claiming the life of a young woman. Months later, morgue worker Megan Reed takes delivery of a disfigured cadaver during the graveyard shift. Locked inside the basement corridors, Megan’s horrifying visions soon lead her to believe that the body is possessed by a demonic force.
What people say
The idea, of course, is that even killing Hannah couldn’t drive the devil out. She’s possessed, although she’s lifeless. Sort of like the movie. – Owen Gleiberman, Variety
Squanders an interesting protagonist only to throw a lot of tropes at the screen that leave you unimpressed in a forgettable film. – Neil Soans, Times of India
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3
What it’s about
From DreamWorks Animation comes a surprising tale about growing up, finding the courage to face the unknown … and how nothing can ever train you to let go. What began as an unlikely friendship between an adolescent Viking and a fearsome Night Fury dragon has become an epic adventure spanning their lives. Welcome to the most astonishing chapter of one of the most beloved animated franchises in film history: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Now chief and ruler of Berk alongside Astrid, Hiccup has created a gloriously chaotic dragon utopia. When the sudden appearance of female Light Fury coincides with the darkest threat their village has ever faced, Hiccup and Toothless must leave the only home they’ve known and journey to a hidden world thought only to exist in myth. As their true destines are revealed, dragon and rider will fight together–to the very ends of the Earth – to protect everything they’ve grown to treasure.
What people say
A fantastic, visually stunning and poignant way to end this beloved trilogy. – Hope Corrigan, IGN Movies
It’s difficult to part with such lush, amusing and electrifying fantasy storytelling, but the production is careful to exit on a pitch-perfect note of hope. – Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com
THE UPSIDE
What it’s about
Phillip is a wealthy quadriplegic who needs a caretaker to help him with his day-to-day routine in his New York penthouse. He decides to hire Dell, a struggling parolee who is trying to reconnect with his ex and his young son. Despite coming from two different worlds, an unlikely friendship starts to blossom as Dell and Phillip rediscover the joy of living life to the fullest.
What people say
Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart have a relaxed comedic chemistry that may not validate the film’s sickly-sweet bromance, but does make it go down easy. – Scott Tobias Variety
This charming, based-on-a-true-story dramedy will appeal to audiences who know and love its stars – and it makes a point of showing viewers how to better treat people with disabilities. – Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media

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