- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (3D)
- Promise, The
- Belko Experiment, The
- Finding Fatimah
- Free Fire
- Their Finest
- Fast & Furious 8
- Hatton Garden Job, The
- Boss Baby, The (3D)
- Autopsy of Jane Doe, The
- Lost City of Z, The
- City of Tiny Lights
- Quiet Passion, A
- Void, The
- Man Down
- Ghost in the Shell (3D)
Stars: George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson, Alden Ehrenreich, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Channing Tatum, Alison Pill, Frances McDormand, Jonah Hill, Fisher Stevens, Clancy Brown, Christopher Lambert, John Bluthal
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
The Coen Brothers' satire on the glitz of early 1950s' Hollywood certainly has its bright spots, but sags like a deflated balloon every time George Clooney and his part of the story are on screen.
This is not entirely Clooney's fault: he certainly gets the didactic butt-end of the Coens' screenplay, as a thickish Hollywood star who, dressed for his part as a centurion in a time-of-Christ story, gets himself kidnapped by a very dull cell of Communist writers who plan to extract £100,000 from abrasive studio fixer Eddie Mannix (a real-life figure) - a terrific Brolin - for their major star's return.
Of far more interest, however, are Ehrenreich as a cowboy star parachuted embarrassingly into a drawing-room drama; Johansson as a sassy, Esther Williams-style swim star, who's strictly from Brooklyn and looking to adopt her own illegitimate child and avoid scandal; and Tatum as a song-and-dance man with feet of (Red) clay, who leads a gang of sailors in the film's best musical number, proving in the process that he's no slouch at the all-singing, all-dancing game.
But Swinton rather overdoes it as tiresome twin gossip columnists, and the film focuses far too often on Clooney and the oh-so-talky nest of Communist sympathisers. Having said that, McDormand's cigarette-puffing editor is a hoot, and, even with its longueurs, the film's best bits put it a cut above most American comedies today. The 12A certificate is pretty harsh.
USA 2016. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour by efilm.
107 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.
Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.
Review date: 02 Mar 2016