Ten new movie releases you need to know about this month

May's biggest, best and trending films


Far from the Madding Crowd

It’s back to bonnets for Carey Mulligan after edgy contemporary dramas ‘Shame’ and ‘Drive’. In this new film of Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel of love, lust and lambing, she plays headstrong countrygirl Bathsheba, fending off three suitors – Michael Sheen, Matthias Schoenaerts and Tom Sturridge. The director is Thomas Vinterberg, the man behind ‘The Hunt’, so expect this to be less genteel than your average period drama.

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Pitch Perfect 2

Aca-scuse me! The ladies are back, hitting the high notes (we hope!). Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Elizabeth Banks all return for the sequel to the hit a cappella comedy. This time round, after disgracing themselves on national TV (Fat Amy’s vagina and Barack Obama are involved), the Bellas are fighting for their reputation – and a trophy at the a cappella world championships.

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Mad Max: Fury Road

‘Hotly anticipated’ does not even begin to describe excitement levels for this one. We defy anyone to watch the trailer and not be full-throttle desperate to watch ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’. Rebooting his brilliant and revolutionary ‘Mad Max’ series, director George Miller hits the post-apocalyptic wasteland once again – this time with London lunk Tom Hardy in the title role.

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In a summer of sequels, this George Clooney-starring, save-the-world family sci-fi stands out as an original story. Named after a Disneyland ride, it follows the adventures of a teenage girl transported to a parallel universe where Earth’s brightest and best have created a flawless utopia. We’re particularly enjoying Clooney’s cranky, washed-up shtick in the trailer.

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Critics are comparing this French drama to ‘The Wire’, and one called it ‘the best coming-of-age films in years’. Its title in French – ‘Bande de filles’ – means 'Girl Gang', and it’s the story of a teenage girl from a rough estate in Paris who drifts into a gang. The cast is virtually all-female and 36-year-old director Céline Sciamma picked her lead actresses from over 300 non-professionals.

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Top Five

We’re liking the look of this Woody Allen-ish romcom which has been picking up rave reviews in the US. It’s written, directed and stars Chris Rock who plays a former stand-up comedian who sold out his talent years ago to star in a crappy movie franchise. Now he’s stuck in a creative rut and engaged to a shallow reality-TV star. The whole thing unfolds over one day, when a New York Times journalist (Rosario Dawson) arrives to shadow him for a day. 

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A Royal Night Out

On May 8 1945, when victory in Europe was declared, two teenage girls – Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret – slipped into the crowd to party with commoners. The princesses’ cousins called it ‘Cinderella’ in reverse. But what happened that night? Gambling in Soho, drinking champers and partying in a ‘knocking shop’ according to this (strictly fiction and very fluffy) comedy starring Canadian actress Sarah Gadon as Elizabeth and the very funny 23-year-old Londoner Bel Powley as Margaret.

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Clouds of Sils Maria

‘Clouds of Sils Maria’ was partly funded by Chanel, but don’t let that put you off. OIivier Assayas’s intense, haunting drama gets the five-star review treatment from us. It stars Juliette Binoche as an actress who agrees to star in the revival of the play that made her famous and retreats to the Swiss Alps to rehearse with her assistant (Kristen Stewart, in a career-changingly good performance, if you believe the critics).

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The Tribe

We’ve seen films about teenagers on the rampage before. But none like silent film ‘The Tribe’, which has been picking up buzz since it premiered at Cannes last year. Told completely in sign language, with no subtitles or voiceover, it’s set in a decaying boarding school for deaf teenagers in Ukraine. And Hogwarts it ain’t. Some of the boys break out at night to mug locals, while a couple of girls work as prostitutes. Grigoriy Fesenko plays new kid Sergey, who falls in love with a girl he’s supposed to be pimping.

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San Andreas

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is a helicopter pilot on a mission to save his estranged daughter after an earthquake hits LA. Nothing new there, then.

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Release date: Friday May 29 2015 Now Showing


Chris jones
Chris jones

Schoenarts is amazing in 'Rust and Bone' as well, with Marainne Cotillard. By the way he's Belgian, not Dutch, and it not too hard to pronounce if you ignore the spelling - shone (rhymes with bone) arts - shone-arts .