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


THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING
What it’s about
Old-school magic meets the modern world when young Alex stumbles upon the mythical sword Excalibur. He soon unites his friends and enemies, and they become knights who join forces with the legendary wizard Merlin. Together they must save mankind from the wicked enchantress Morgana and her army of supernatural warriors.
What people say
Director Joe Cornish gives Arthurian legend a modern, crowd-pleasing twist in this version by choosing a kind, courageous “everyboy” to be the once and future king. – Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
More proof that Cornish is a wizard at re-energising tired tropes. The characters are a delight, the action sequences thrum with invention, and when it’s funny, it’s very funny indeed. – Nick De Semlyen, Empire
ESCAPE ROOM
What it’s about
Six adventurous strangers travel to a mysterious building to experience the escape room – a game in which players compete to solve a series of puzzles to win $10,000. What starts out as seemingly innocent fun soon turns into a living nightmare as the four men and two women discover each room is an elaborate trap that is part of a sadistic game of life or death.
What people say
Escape Room is like The Crystal Maze with more death. It’s fun at the start then loses its way, but it’ll do until “Flossing: The Movie” comes along. – Ian Freer, Empire
This horror film/thriller has its virtues, but it badly strains viewers’ suspension of disbelief and can’t avoid feeling like Saw with duller teeth. – Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media
DESTROYER
What it’s about
As a young cop, Erin Bell went undercover to infiltrate a gang in the California desert – with tragic results. Bell continues to work as a detective for the Los Angeles Police Department, but feelings of anger and remorse leave her worn down and consumed by guilt. When the leader of that gang suddenly reemerges, Erin embarks on an obsessive quest to find his former associates, bring him to justice and make peace with her tortured past.
What people say
A grim, dour dive into one LA cop’s unravelling, which centres on a truly transformative performance from Nicole Kidman. – Dan Jolin, Empire
The surrealism of these scenes, compounded by the choppily intricate nature of its flashback structure, makes Destroyer deliberately frustrating, but the anxious, unmoored tone pulls us along. – Bilge Ebiri, Vulture
COLD PURSUIT
What it’s about
Nels Coxman’s quiet life as a snowplow driver comes crashing down when his beloved son dies under mysterious circumstances. His search for the truth soon becomes a quest for revenge against a psychotic drug lord named Viking and his sleazy henchmen. Transformed from upstanding citizen to coldblooded vigilante, Coxman unwittingly sets off a chain of events that includes a kidnapping, a series of deadly misunderstandings and a turf war between Viking and a rival boss.
What people say
This bloody, deceptive thriller starts out like yet another one of Neeson’s revenge movies, but it subtly switches into a very dark comedy that asks us to consider our various reactions to death. – Jeffrey M Anderson, Common Sense Media
Makes for an entertaining subversion of Neeson’s previous action roles, but the story gets dragged down in its larger ambitions. – Chris Agar, Screen Rant
THE BOOKSHOP
What it’s about
Florence Green, a free-spirited widow, puts grief behind her and risks everything to open a bookshop – the first such shop in the sleepy seaside town of Hardborough, England. But this mini social revolution soon brings her fierce enemies: she invites the hostility of the town’s less prosperous shopkeepers and also crosses Mrs Gamart, Harborough’s vengeful, embittered alpha female who is a wannabe doyenne of the local arts scene.
What people say
Only on second viewing did I notice how much Ms Mortimer was doing while Mr Nighy was stealing a scene. In the end, though, it’s his movie. And likely wasn’t supposed to be. – John Anderson, Wall Street Journal
A fine, sensitive leading turn from Emily Mortimer helps shore up these quiet, lightly dust-covered proceedings, but can’t quite put The Bookshop in the black. – Guy Lodge, Variety

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