This week’s cinema includes an intriguing sci-fi drama, a surprisingly enjoyable children’s movie and an indie film set in 1990s Scotland.
High Life is a dark, profound and unsettling feature starring Robert Pattinson; on the peppier side, Detective Pikachu is a genre-defying film enjoyable for Poké-fan youngsters and adult film-noir lovers alike.
Joe Penna’s Arctic is a snowbound endurance thriller; while Beats is a much less thrilling attempt at gritty realism.
Finally, The Perfection is on Netflix from Friday – a horror film starring Get Out’s Allison Williams.
High Life ★★★★☆
Director Claire Denis, bolder than ever at 73, takes us into deep space, imagining a human future where both alternative energy and reproduction must be tested obsessively. The job falls to Juliette Binoche – part-scientist, part-witch – and an excellent Robert Pattinson as a reluctant dad.
Detective Pikachu ★★★★☆
Film noir might not seem a natural fit for the rainbow-bright Pokémon franchise, but this laudably weird live-action spin-off makes it work. Ryan Reynolds voices the titular custard-furred rodent, who helps Justice Smith track down his missing father.
It’s Mads Mikkelsen versus the elements in this survival thriller, which features the star at his most charismatic, playing the sole survivor of a plane crash on a frozen wasteland. His fight for life becomes a rousing parable of human resolve.
In 1994, two teenage boys in West Lothian attempt one last legendary all-nighter, at a time when raves were criminalised. Desperate to be the next Trainspotting, this black-and-white drama of druggy shenanigans misses the mark by seeming too second-hand, while the main duo – one needy and feckless, the other a baleful fun-sponge – are equally and oppositely frustrating.
As Marnie in Lena Dunham’s Girls, Allison Williams was the one whom no one could stand: so self-indulgent, so insecure. Now she’s playing Charlotte, who doesn’t just threaten the success of her musical rival Lizzie (Logan Browning), but does it with meat cleaver in hand. Once, Charlotte was the toast of the concert hall; today her old mentors only have eyes for Lizzie. As this sensual horror film unfolds, it’s Black Swan with cello bows – and some disgusting insects too.
Have you watched any of the “must-see” films on this list?
We want to hear what you thought of them in the comments section below.