Won’t you take us to the bioscope?

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Won’t you take us to the bioscope?

The films opening in our cinemas this week

Critics’ choice


EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL AND VILE
What it’s about
A chronicle of the crimes of serial killer Ted Bundy from the perspective of his longtime girlfriend, who refused to believe the truth about him for years.
What people say
So how is Zac Efron as Bundy? I think he’s startlingly good: controlled, magnetic, audacious, committed, and eerily right. – Owen Gleiberman, Variety 
Berlinger’s film gets sucked into the gravity of sensational events that are already a matter of public record, and spends so much time meticulously recreating them that the perspective is diluted. – Emily Yoshida, Vulture
UGLY DOLLS
What it’s about
In the adorably different town of Uglyville, weirdness is celebrated, strangeness is special and beauty is embraced as more than meets the eye. After travelling to the other side of a mountain, Moxy and her UglyDoll friends discover Perfection – a town where more conventional dolls receive training before entering the real world to find the love of a child. Soon the UglyDolls learn what it means to be different – ultimately realising that they don’t have to be perfect to be amazing.
What people say
Wacky and really dumb, but it has a good heart, which is what really matters. Right? – Alex Billington, firstshowing.net
It’s a pretty important, complex message for a kids’ movie that’s delivered in an upbeat, bright way to mask its seriousness. – Germain Lussier, gizmodo.com
CURSE OF LA LLORONA
What it’s about
In 1970s Los Angeles, the legendary ghost La Llorona is stalking the night – and the children. Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother, a social worker and her own kids are drawn into a frightening supernatural realm. Their only hope of surviving La Llorona’s deadly wrath is a disillusioned priest who practices mysticism to keep evil at bay.
What people say
Though it certainly could have been scarier and made better use of its premise, this film is still an accomplished, skillful effort in terms of its crisp, fluid look and spooky sound design. – Jeffrey M Anderson, Common Sense Media
An efficiently formulaic shocker inspired by the centuries-old Mexican legend of the titular bogeywoman. – Manohla Dargis, The NYTimes
MISS BALA
What it’s about
Young Gloria seeks help from the police when cartel hit men kidnap her friend from a nightclub in Mexico. She soon finds herself in big trouble when a corrupt cop hands her over to the same goons who shot up the place. Their gang leader, Lino, decides to use Gloria for his dirty work to avoid detection from the Drug Enforcement Administration. Determined to get away, Gloria must now play a dangerous game to outwit not only the cartel, but the DEA agents who suspect her of complicity.
What people say
What we have here is something perched between soap opera and action movie yet doesn’t quite commit itself to either genre. – Bilge Ebiri, Rolling Stone
Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, it has solid DNA. It’s more or less based on an earlier film that used action-thriller techniques to explore the effects of narco trafficking on Mexicans. – AO Scott, The NYTimes
SKEMERSON
What it’s about
A young man, battling a mental illness, decides to take his own life. Then he meets two strangers on a bridge.
What people say
“It’s okay, to not be okay.” This is the overriding theme of the film. – joburg.co.za
One of the warmest, most honest South African films you’ll see this year. – Tarryn Jameson

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