The week's new films reviewed and rated

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This week, two Hollywood big-hitters – 'Inception' and 'Toy Story 3' – go head to head

This might be the best week for new movies so far this year: a pair of quality Hollywood blockbusters, two superb French-language dramas, an amazing British-made doc and, um, ‘Mega Piranha’.

The big multiplex openers will doubtless sweep all before them: ‘Inception’ is director Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to ‘The Dark Knight’, and it’s an equally fast-moving, inventive action thriller in which Leonardo DiCaprio makes a living by thieving ideas from people’s dreams. But come Monday, it’ll be facing stiff competition from ‘Toy Story 3’, the purported final instalment in Pixar’s flagship franchise, which sees Woody, Buzz and the gang shipped off to a day care centre when their owner Andy grows up and heads for college.

Catherine Breillat may have shocked audiences with ‘Romance’ and ‘A Ma Soeur!’, but ‘Bluebeard’ sees her in more restrained but no less impressive form with an inventive recreation of the classic fairy tale about a teenage girl who marries a repulsive older man. At the other end of the foreign-language spectrum, ‘Rapt’ is a superior hostage thriller echoing the classic French genre films of the ’60s and ’70s. Less successful, however, is ‘Le Concert’, a handsome but hollow comedy-drama about classical musicians in Moscow.

The week’s only British release is ‘Rough Aunties’, in which one of our leading unsung national treasures, documentarian Kim Longinotto, heads to South Africa to investigate a charity providing help and support to abused women and children. And going from the sublime to the completely ridiculous, the week is rounded out with zero-budget fishsploitation junker ‘Mega Piranha’, in which top geneticist Tiffany (yes, that Tiffany) breeds killer fish in Venezuela, with predictably messy consequences.


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Dave Calhoun on 'Inception'

‘Like all good science fiction, ‘Inception’ demands we pay serious attention to pure fantasy on the back of strong ideas and exquisite craft.’
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Ben Walters on 'Toy Story 3'

‘Gorgeously detailed digital craftsmanship at the service of a pleasingly simple fantasy set-up.’
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David Jenkins on 'Bluebeard'

‘Breillat has produced her funniest and most immediately pleasurable film to date.’
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Wally Hammond on 'Rapt'

‘A tense hostage thriller with a difference.'
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Trevor Johnston on 'Le Concert'

‘Classy tosh masquerading as something meaningful.
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David Jenkins on 'Rough Aunties'

‘Longinotto’s camera offers an unflinching gaze, a machine of record that she wields with a palpable sense of empathy and despair.’
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Tom Huddleston on 'Mega Piranha'

‘Hasn’t this tiresome, kitschy, so-bad-it’s-good fad run its course?’

Author: Tom Huddleston


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