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Film screenings, reviews and events in Croatia

Great films showing at Zagreb Film Festival
Film

Great films showing at Zagreb Film Festival

Curtains have opened on the 14th Zagreb Film Festival, which is screening a huge and varied selection of brilliant international films. Here are some that you won't want to miss.  You can check out the full schedule here. 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Film

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Has JK Rowling been taking divination lessons at Hogwarts? With spooky clairvoyance, the first movie in her new five-film wizarding franchise opens with two factions in America at each other’s throats. No, not Republicans and Democrats. It’s 1926, and wizards and muggles (only in America they call them ‘no majs’) are on the brink of civil war. Oh, and in the non-magical world, a bully-boy heir to a fortune is wooing voters. Top of the class, JK! ‘Fantastic Beasts’ is basically a Harry Potter prequel (though you’ll get a detention for saying that). JK Rowling, writing her first film script, and longtime Harry Potter director David Yates have created an entirely new corner of the wizarding world. They strike a savvy balance between shiny new elements and recognisable ones for Potterheads. I’m not sure which is more adorable, Eddie Redmayne as eccentric magician Newt Scamander or the creatures he smuggles into the US in his battered and bottomless leather briefcase. Redmayne radiates a wet-eyed warm glow as stumbling, bashful Newt – an English wizard in New York. He’s perfect for Rowling’s world, where a kind heart is the most potent magical power of all. Like a hot young David Attenborough with a wand, Newt is a bit of an eco-warrior, arriving in the US on a conservation mission to release into the wild a creature he’s rescued from captivity. The cutest of his beasties is the naughty Niffler, a kleptomaniaccross between a platypus and a cuddly penguin, with its expressive sno

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Independence Day: Resurgence
Film

Independence Day: Resurgence

The blockbuster arms race officially goes into nuclear meltdown with this insanely OTT sequel to the hugely enjoyable, already-ludicrous-enough 1996 alien invasion smash. Never a man to shy away from a world-ending special effect – remember that tidal wave cresting Everest in ‘2012’? – director Roland Emmerich is trying really hard to outdo himself here. So hard that he ends up painted into a corner, with no recourse but to throw everything at the screen and hope that some of it sticks. So instead of the city-sized ships that terrorised Earth in the first movie, there is one massive mothership more than 3,000 miles across, spanning the entire Atlantic ocean. And instead of an Earth resistance force led by plucky jet pilots, humans have taken the alien technology and developed their own super-speed X-wing style dogfighters. And instead of a ranting, dire-warning Jeff Goldblum... well, he was already larger than life.Weirdly, the only thing not extra-huge is the running time – and that’s where the problems arise. ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ is crammed with pornographic destruction and madcap action, not to mention almost all the characters from the first movie (minus Will Smith) plus a heap of new ones – and it’s only two hours long. So it’s goodbye to proper character development and the slow-build tension that made the first film such a thrill, and hello to exposition delivered at double speed and a cop-out ending that makes absolutely no sense. Which isn’t to say ‘Resurge

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Me Before You
Film

Me Before You

This adaptation of Jojo Moyes’ bestseller ‘Me Before You’ might have the structure of a chocolate-and-tissues weepy, but it’s a romcom with brains. The movie manages to shift sensitively from laugh-out-loud moments to tear-jerking scenes, discussing euthanasia on the way. It’s not perfect, but the novel’s five million readers have nothing to worry about: it’s totally loyal to the book (unsurprisingly since Moyes wrote the script). Emilia Clarke (Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen from ‘Game of Thrones’) plays naïve, unambitious Louisa, who takes a job caring for quadriplegic millionaire Will (Sam Claflin). It turns out Will was a former action man before a motorbike accident left him paralysed from the neck down. Unable to live the life he wants, he’s depressed, angry and ready to die. Of course, this is a romcom, and since the duo are opposites, they eventually attract, teaching each other valuable life lessons. Louisa gains a sense of adventure while Will learns to adjust to his condition a bit more. It’s not all by-the-book romance, though: the film’s most interesting scenes deal with Will’s life in a wheelchair rather than true love. His embarrassment when Louisa asks a group of men to help push him out of some mud is painfully relatable. The surprise scene-stealer here is Harry Potter-alum Matthew Lewis (little Neville Longbottom) who plays Louisa’s personal trainer boyfriend and the perfect parody of an exercise-obsessed narcissistic millennial. Claflin does his best

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Croatian film festival guide
Film

Croatian film festival guide

Almost every major city and region in Croatia holds a film festival of some kind. Our film experts put together their guide to the best film festivals in Croatia.

The best films in cinemas now

A Bigger Splash
Film

A Bigger Splash

Ralph Fiennes follows his devilishly comic performance in 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' with an equally hilarious turn in this Italian set, mostly English-language playful and highly strung melodrama from Luca Guadagnino ('I Am Love'). The film is a remake of the 1969 French film ‘La Piscine’ and it's an endearingly loopy, occasionally half-cooked but always ambitious film about middle-aged characters touched by fame and success, who live in a bubble so decadent that they might get away with murder if they tried. 'I Am Love' star Tilda Swinton reteams with Guadagnino as Marianne, a Bowie-like rock star who's recovering from a throat op – meaning Swinton spends most of the film silent or whispering, lending her a vulnerability we’ve rarely seen until now. Marianne is spending the summer in a villa on an Italian island with her younger boyfriend Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts, moody and hard to read) when her ex Harry (Fiennes) turns up out of the blue with his newly discovered 22-year-old daughter, Penelope (Dakota Johnson) in tow. He calls Penelope a 'lovely bit' and soon Marianne is warning him that people might get the wrong idea. Fiennes's Harry, a music biz veteran, is a nightmare guest to rival Ben Kingsley's Don in 'Sexy Beast'. You can't take your eyes off this livewire, full of energy, stories and confidence. He dominates every second of the day, and Fiennes has a film-stealing scene as he dances open-shirted in the villa's living room lip-synching to the Stones' 'Emotiona

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Finding Dory
Film

Finding Dory

While 'Finding Dory' is crammed with the kind of visual pleasures we’ve come to expect from Pixar, the story doesn’t always reach the heights of invention upon which the animation giant has built its reputation. The film lacks the psychological probing of 'Inside Out', the existential ponderings of 'Wall-E', the gentle, stoic sadness of 'Up'. But it’s still a moving sequel to 2003’s 'Finding Nemo', following the adventures of Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres), the adorably ditzy amnesiac tang fish, as she hunts for the Californian family she suddenly remembers losing. There’s a neat symmetry here: In 'Finding Nemo', a father, Marlin (Albert Brooks) looked for his lost son (Alexander Gould); now a grown-up daughter searches for her parents. The switch, though, has a resultant lack of urgency: there’s more dramatic tension when a child goes missing than when a parent is suddenly remembered by their adult offspring. Dory rediscovers her childhood home in a corner of the California Marine Life Institute, a place for oceanic study presided over by the disembodied, omniscient voice of Sigourney Weaver, playing herself (think of those museum-guide gadgets narrated by celebrities). Weaver brings a wonderfully surreal note that'll sail over the heads of younger viewers – she’s a welcome presence in a film that has less-than-the-usual number of gags pitched at older viewers. In keeping with the film’s subtle celebration of difference, Dory grew up in a place where damaged aquatic life i

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Me Before You
Film

Me Before You

This adaptation of Jojo Moyes’ bestseller ‘Me Before You’ might have the structure of a chocolate-and-tissues weepy, but it’s a romcom with brains. The movie manages to shift sensitively from laugh-out-loud moments to tear-jerking scenes, discussing euthanasia on the way. It’s not perfect, but the novel’s five million readers have nothing to worry about: it’s totally loyal to the book (unsurprisingly since Moyes wrote the script). Emilia Clarke (Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen from ‘Game of Thrones’) plays naïve, unambitious Louisa, who takes a job caring for quadriplegic millionaire Will (Sam Claflin). It turns out Will was a former action man before a motorbike accident left him paralysed from the neck down. Unable to live the life he wants, he’s depressed, angry and ready to die. Of course, this is a romcom, and since the duo are opposites, they eventually attract, teaching each other valuable life lessons. Louisa gains a sense of adventure while Will learns to adjust to his condition a bit more. It’s not all by-the-book romance, though: the film’s most interesting scenes deal with Will’s life in a wheelchair rather than true love. His embarrassment when Louisa asks a group of men to help push him out of some mud is painfully relatable. The surprise scene-stealer here is Harry Potter-alum Matthew Lewis (little Neville Longbottom) who plays Louisa’s personal trainer boyfriend and the perfect parody of an exercise-obsessed narcissistic millennial. Claflin does his best

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
The BFG
Film

The BFG

A little orphan girl is snatched from her bed late at night by a big-hearted vegetarian giant and whisked off to an unwelcoming land of over-sized cannibals in Roald Dahl's much-cherished 1982 book 'The BFG'. For this movie version, aimed squarely at small kids who love the book, Steven Spielberg, working with the late 'ET' writer Melissa Mathison, runs with the lean meat of Dahl's tale.  Mark Rylance is the benevolent giant who pours dreams and nightmares into the ears of sleeping humans and who joins forces with the Queen (Penelope Wilton) to put a stop to the threat of flesh-eating giants. Spielberg makes surprisingly few embellishments to Dahl's story, yet he tones down some of the more vicious bone-crunching and is more interested in the wonder of dreams than the terror of nightmares. This is a faithful, charming (if a tiny bit sluggish) version that mixes live action with the same motion-capture technique that Spielberg used for 'The Adventures of Tintin' in 2011. There are a handful of heart-stopping moments, not least when Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) is snatched from her bed by those enormous fingers coming through the window. But there are points, too, when you can see the technology working, which might leave you wondering if digital invention can ever really match the imaginative leaps inspired by the printed word. Still, the giant that Spielberg has created with actor Mark Rylance is testament to how fast this technology is moving: he's a fleshy marvel, full of pers

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars

Films showing now in Croatia

Now You See Me 2
Film

Now You See Me 2

Having secured the public’s adulation with their Robin Hood-style illusions, the magicians resurface for a comeback performance in the hope of exposing the unethical practices of a tech magnate.

Finding Dory
Film

Finding Dory

While 'Finding Dory' is crammed with the kind of visual pleasures we’ve come to expect from Pixar, the story doesn’t always reach the heights of invention upon which the animation giant has built its reputation. The film lacks the psychological probing of 'Inside Out', the existential ponderings of 'Wall-E', the gentle, stoic sadness of 'Up'. But it’s still a moving sequel to 2003’s 'Finding Nemo', following the adventures of Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres), the adorably ditzy amnesiac tang fish, as she hunts for the Californian family she suddenly remembers losing. There’s a neat symmetry here: In 'Finding Nemo', a father, Marlin (Albert Brooks) looked for his lost son (Alexander Gould); now a grown-up daughter searches for her parents. The switch, though, has a resultant lack of urgency: there’s more dramatic tension when a child goes missing than when a parent is suddenly remembered by their adult offspring. Dory rediscovers her childhood home in a corner of the California Marine Life Institute, a place for oceanic study presided over by the disembodied, omniscient voice of Sigourney Weaver, playing herself (think of those museum-guide gadgets narrated by celebrities). Weaver brings a wonderfully surreal note that'll sail over the heads of younger viewers – she’s a welcome presence in a film that has less-than-the-usual number of gags pitched at older viewers. In keeping with the film’s subtle celebration of difference, Dory grew up in a place where damaged aquatic life i

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Warcraft
Film

Warcraft

The role-playing video game ‘World of Warcraft’ was a clunky Frankenstein thing, cobbled together from the most obvious parts of countless fantasy franchises. So a certain level of respect is due to ‘Moon’ director Duncan Jones for attempting to inject new life – and a hint of relevance – into this tired, so-last-decade concern. Sadly, his best intentions aren’t enough: like its ten-foot anti-heroes the orcs, ‘Warcraft’ is noisy, lumbering and not terribly bright. Much of the problem lies with the cast – Travis Fimmel is a walking charisma void as strapping warrior Anduin, a sort of Aragorn without the personal charm (Aragormless?). He’s the land of Azeroth’s best hope against those murderous, dimension-hopping orcs, and he’s backed by a plucky band of equally forgettable white dudes with bad hair: Dominic Cooper as well-meaning dullard King Llayne, Ben Schnetzer from ‘Pride’ as trainee wizard Khadgar and Ben Foster, totally misused as the magical Guardian. Their snaggle-toothed orc foes have a touch more personality: despite being buried under layers of CGI, Toby Kebbell gives real warmth to Durotan, the chieftain for whom randomly massacring humans doesn’t always guarantee a good time. He also embodies Jones’s most interesting and tricky conceit – that newcomers to your land might not all be there to wreck the place (though, the film implies, most of them probably are). The total absence of originality here is notable, but it needn’t have been a problem: with a tighter plot

Time Out says
  • 2 out of 5 stars
The Conjuring 2
Film

The Conjuring 2

Do you believe in ghosts? The answer could seriously affect your enjoyment of this old-school supernatural sequel. If it’s yes, you’re in for a fun night at the movies: a smart, convincingly creepy account of a ‘real-life’ haunting. If it’s a no, you may find this a far less comfortable experience: a story of the exploitation – abuse even– of four young children by a group of shameless hucksters, portrayed here as heroes. ‘The Conjuring 2’ knows which side its bread is buttered on. There’s barely a scintilla of doubt in this reworked chronicle of the Enfield haunting case that gripped London in the late 1970s. When Peggy Hodgson (Frances O’Connor) and her four children begin experiencing strange phenomena in their suburban home – rattlings, clatterings and old-man apparitions – they call on Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga), self-styled paranormal experts from across the pond. Even they, at first, experience a moment’s pause, but then youngest daughter Janet (Madison Wolfe) starts speaking in growls, things start flying around the living room and before you can say ‘Hollywood overkill’ Lorraine’s whipping out her Bible and yelling at the spirits to leave the poor mites alone. After ‘Insidious’ and ‘The Conjuring’, director James Wan has his method down. The scares are effective and the camerawork is superb, all lurking long shots and short sharp shocks. Wan is fully aware of the austerity-era parallels in his story, and the period detail is surprisingly a

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
A Bigger Splash
Film

A Bigger Splash

Ralph Fiennes follows his devilishly comic performance in 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' with an equally hilarious turn in this Italian set, mostly English-language playful and highly strung melodrama from Luca Guadagnino ('I Am Love'). The film is a remake of the 1969 French film ‘La Piscine’ and it's an endearingly loopy, occasionally half-cooked but always ambitious film about middle-aged characters touched by fame and success, who live in a bubble so decadent that they might get away with murder if they tried. 'I Am Love' star Tilda Swinton reteams with Guadagnino as Marianne, a Bowie-like rock star who's recovering from a throat op – meaning Swinton spends most of the film silent or whispering, lending her a vulnerability we’ve rarely seen until now. Marianne is spending the summer in a villa on an Italian island with her younger boyfriend Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts, moody and hard to read) when her ex Harry (Fiennes) turns up out of the blue with his newly discovered 22-year-old daughter, Penelope (Dakota Johnson) in tow. He calls Penelope a 'lovely bit' and soon Marianne is warning him that people might get the wrong idea. Fiennes's Harry, a music biz veteran, is a nightmare guest to rival Ben Kingsley's Don in 'Sexy Beast'. You can't take your eyes off this livewire, full of energy, stories and confidence. He dominates every second of the day, and Fiennes has a film-stealing scene as he dances open-shirted in the villa's living room lip-synching to the Stones' 'Emotiona

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Film

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Sea turtles can live for more than 150 years. Ninja turtles? God help us. With any luck, whatever steroids this lot are taking to make them look freakishly pumped-up (like giant cucumbers dressed as extras from ‘Mad Max’) will shave a few years off. Anything to save us from more ear-splittingly relentless, unmistakably cheap-looking movies like this.  'TMNT: Out of the Shadows' is the second film in the rebooted franchise about the heroes in a half shell. This time around the turtles are sneaking out of their secret sewer to take on arch nemesis Shredder (Brian Tee), who has broken out of prison to take down the planet in an insulting-even-to-kids plot that involves DNA, black holes, portholes to another dimension and blob villain Krang. Forget cowabunga, this is cowadunga. Still, the Oscar for Most Shamefully Contrived Scene goes to the scriptwriters for managing to get franchise eye-candy Megan Fox into a sexy schoolgirl kilt, which, any shorter, would land the film with an 18 rating. 

Time Out says
  • 1 out of 5 stars