Ratings on the UK system (ie U=universal, PG=parental guidance, 12, 15 and 18 are self-explanatory, E=excempt)
The Devil’s Whore (Lionsgate, cert 15)
Having played Mrs T, Angela Riseborough is once more an iron lady in a proto-feminist English Civil War drama series laced with death and lashings of bodice ripping.
How To Lose Friends and Alienate People (Paramount, cert 15)
Another gold star for Shaun Pegg, as a gauche Brit git in NY journalism in a version of Toby Young’s comic autobiog heavy on the slapstick, easy on the barbs.
W. (Lionsgate, cert 15)
Josh Brolin is good ol’ boy George W. Bush in a headline-hopping biopic saved by great performances. From Oliver Stone, director of JFK, oddly sympathetic.
Elegy (EV, cert 15)
Randy prof Ben Kingsley falls for sexy student Penelope Cruz in a spare, sexy adaptation of Philip Roth’s The Dying Animal missing the authorial voice.
War, Inc. (Lionsgate, cert 15)
John Cusack co-wrote/stars as a political hitman in a Strangelove satire on US foreign policy in ‘Turaqistan” that’s less than the sum of its considerable parts.
The Duchess (Pathe, cert 12)
Ye olde wiggy Gainsborough drama born again via Keira Knightley, as the feisty duchess locked in a loveless threeway marriage. Pretty but pretty vacant too.
Strawberry and Chocolate (Mr Bongo, cert 18)
From Cuba’s great Tomas Gutierrez Alea, a slight if popular 1994 drama about a gay liberal man and his Educating Rita friendship with a straight communist.
Space Buddies (Disney, cert U)
Five cute golden labrador pups go into space in Disney’s latest instalment of the Air Bud series. Squeaky scrapes, the odd fart joke – for bedwetters only.
After… (Optimum, cert 15)
Thrill-seeking urban explorers in the Moscow subways get more extreme thrills than they bargained for. A character-free trudge through horror cliche.
Smother (Optimum, cert 15)
Nowadays only playing annoying old harpies, Diane Keaton is the titular (S)mother, squatting with son Dax Shepard and wife Liv Tyler. A comedy, apparently.
88 Minutes (Warner, cert 15)
Huffing as he goes, Al Pacino plays the forensic psychiatrist given just 88 minutes to live by a grudge-wielding con. A generous amount of time by any measure.
Easy Virtue (Pathe, cert PG)
Noel Coward’s play about flappy American Jessica Biel being bullied by ghastly Brit toffs is the latest clinker from the new Ealing Studios. Frightfully frightful.
© Steve Morrissey 2009