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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday, May 26, 2016 

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TOP 20 FILMS IN RELEASE AT A GLANCE

Short and sweet (or not) opinions on the most popular current releases. An easy reference for choosing which movie to see tonight ... or tomorrow ... or right now! (Occasionally we also slip in a few of the editorsí favourites if they donít make the top 20...) This list does not necessarily include new releases this week; for this weekís new releases, please see our FRONT PAGE or the REVIEWS menu.

A MONTH OF SUNDAYS
Aus, 2015) Dir: Matthew Saville. Stars Anthony LaPaglia, John Clarke, Julia Blake, Justine Clarke, Donal Forde. "Meandering through a variety of relationship issues, A Month Of Sundays doesnít really hits its stride until the end," says Andrew. "It's a small film with a personality of its own that engages in a low-key sort of way, mostly due to Anthony LaPaglia's strong central performance," says Louise.

ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE
(US, 2016) Dir: Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly. Voices: Peter Dinklage, Jason Sudeikis, Sean Penn. "It is cute and colourful, but a bit too crass - not withstanding its excellent animation and production elements, " says Louise. "I got a chuckle out of the corny throw-away visual pun inside the piggies' fortress of a poster heralding Kevin Bacon in Hamlet, and a few other chortles, but much of the film seems too loud, too fast and too hard to follow for its target market of kiddies. Hell, it was tough for me, too," says Andrew.

BASTILLE DAY
US, 2016) Dir: James Watkins. Stars Idris Elba, Richard Madden, Charlotte Le Bon, Kelly Reilly. "Paris makes a stunning backdrop in this no-holds barred thriller in which Idris Elba makes a towering impression as a CIA agent to Richard Madden's street-smart pick-pocket," says Louise. "Andrew Baldwin's first feature screenplay is a ripper and UK-born director James Watkins makes his third feature positively sizzle with tension throughout," says Andrew.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
(US, 2016) Dir: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo. Stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle. "Heroes or vigilantes is the question raised in this highly inventive, full-throttle adventure... An agile mind is required to keep up with the never-ending plot twists and leaps; it is refreshing to find genuine originality and flair," says Louise.

EDDIE EAGLE
(UK, US, Ger, 2016) Dir: Dexter Fletcher. Stars Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Tim McInnerny. "It's a terrific true story and an inspiring one - about a young boy who dreams of becoming an Olympian. But although the film's heart is in the right place, it struggles to soar to the heights that it deserves," says Louise. "The inspirational story - with many echoes of Billy Elliot - is adapted into a mawkish attempt at a hero's journey, and undermined by a characterisation of the genuine Eddie Edwards by a terrible miscalculation on the director's part," says Andrew.

EYE IN THE SKY
(UK, 2016) Dir: Gavin Hood. Stars Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman and Barkhad Abdi. "The cost of war is the theme of this gripping drone warfare thriller in which protocol, propaganda and consequences play key roles," says Louise. "Full of excruciating truths about impossible choices in war, Guy Hibbert's screenplay is a searing, gripping and heart wrenching work that is superbly transposed from page to screen by a fabulous cast in the hands of a director who knows his craft," says Andrew.

THE FIRST MONDAY IN MAY
(US, 2016) Dir: Documentary featuring Anna Wintour, Andrew Bolton, John Galliano, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, Baz Luhrmann, Rihanna. "The proposition that fashion is art is the subject of this fabulous documentary," says Louise. "Fascinating and tense - almost thriller like, the film offers more food for thought than you may anticipate," says Andrew.

FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS>br> (US, 2016) Dir: Stephen Frears. Stars Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg. "Comedy and tragedy are beautifully intertwined in this entertaining, intriguing and heartbreaking tale when our hearts sink and soar in equal proportions," says Louise. "Stephen Frears works the material and his terrific cast to perfection, eliciting empathy and sympathy for a woman who desperately loved music but to whom fate had denied a beautiful voice," says Andrew.

JUNGLE BOOK
(US, 2016) Dir: Jon Favreau. Voices of Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong 'o, Bill Murray, Christopher Walken, Ben Kingsley. "A beguiling mix of jungle adventure and coming of age story... The sequence in which Bill Murray's honey-loving grizzly bear Baloo sings The Bare Necessities, floating belly-up and acting as a raft to Mowgli as they drift down river is one of my favourites," says Louise.

THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY
(UK, 2015) Dir: Matt Brown. Stars Jeremy Irons, Dev Patel, Toby Jones, Stephen Fry, Jeremy Northam. "It's a great story and so far untold on screen, of a born maths genius from Madras, who even at the age of 7 was revealing mathematical formulas of some complexity," says Andrew. "If you liked A Beautiful Mind and The Imitation Game, you are guaranteed to enjoy to this involving and satisfying film in which intellect and emotion form two sides of the coin," says Louise.

MEDDLER, THE
(US, 2016) Dir: Lorene Scafaria. Stars Susan Sarandon, Rose Byrne, J.C. Simmons. "Delivering much more than you might expect, The Meddler is a thoroughly enjoyable and uplifting film that almost fools us into thinking itís just a bit of fluff... It is also a splendid platform for the ever-wonderful Susan Sarandon," says Louise.

MIA MADRE
(Italy, 2015) Dir: Nanni Moretti. Stars Marghherita Buy, John Turturro, Giulia Lazzarini, Nanni Moretti. "There is a wave of sadness that engulfs Nanni Moretti's film and some moments resonate, although his Palme d'Or winner The Son's Room in 2001 was far more affecting," says Louise. "I find nothing special in this story of siblings about to lose their mother, nothing that shows an observation unfamiliar to us in general. That makes it seem self indulgent, and I donít mean to be harsh," says Andrew.

MOTHER'S DAY
(US, 2016) Dir: Gary Marshall. Stars Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Jason Sudeikis, Timothy Olyphant, Britt Robertson. "Syrupy, manipulative and predictable, Mother's Day smacks of every commercial contrivance with its meshing stories about every kind of mother found in Forrest Gumpís box of chocolates. It's a pity to see an excellent cast wasted on such mush," says Louise.

WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT
(US, 2016) Dir: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa. Stars Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Billy Bob Thornton. "What works best are the amusing personal insights, effectively depicted by Tina Fey, whose central character is trying to not only make some sense of the war, but of her own life, " says Louise. "The temptation to overdo the shtick is resisted, making the film an edgy affair," says Andrew.

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE ZOOTOPIA
(US, 2016) Dir: Byron Howard, Rich Moore. Voices Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba. "It's a bunny movie ... sorry, a buddy movie ... in family-fun land, where the rookie cop (a bunny) has to team up with a small-time crim (a fox) to track down bigger crooks. Anthropomorphic as it is, there is plenty of innocent fun, " says Andrew. "It's a gorgeous film beautifully executed with a story that will have you smiling throughout. Don't miss it!" says Louise.



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Updated May 23, 2016


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