We've rounded up some of the best things to do in Edinburgh this weekend, so there's no excuse to let your downtime go to waste. Whether theatre is your bag, you're mad for music or you'd rather stroll around an art exhibition, you'll find it all in our list, plus much, much more.
If you're looking for things to do in Edinburgh beyond this weekend, take a look at our events calendar.
Things to do in Edinburgh this weekend
Films showing this weekend
Never take pity on a film critic. Instead, let it suffice to say that I look forward to you seeing 'Hereditary' and then joining me in having several sleepless nights peering into dark corners and gnawing your fingernails off. A harrowing story of unthinkable family tragedy that veers into the realm of the supernatural, 'Hereditary' takes its place as a new generation's 'The Exorcist' — for some, it will spin heads even more savagely. As with so much inspired horror, from 'Rosemary's Baby' to 2014's psychologically acute 'The Babadook', the movie gets its breath and a palpable sense of unraveling identity from a fearless female performance, this time by Toni Collette, the revered Australian actor capable of sustained fits of mania. (To watch her in 'The Sixth Sense' or 'Velvet Goldmine' is to only get a taste of how deep she goes here.) Collette plays Annie, an artist who constructs uncannily realistic dioramas: miniature rooms that embody the film's theme of a larger, malevolent entity playing with human toys. We zoom into those rooms, where Annie is keeping it together after the recent death of her by-all-accounts severe mother. Dressed in funeral blacks are her husband, Steve (Gabriel Byrne), her oldest child, Peter (Alex Wolff), a teenage stoner, and distracted young Charlie (the awesomely concentrated Milly Shapiro, a Tony winner for 'Matilda: The Musical'). Something is wrong with Charlie. Every head cock, tongue cluck and eerie stare into the middle distance will hav
A cooler-than-thou band of criminals, a smoothly executed grand heist, flawless costumes. Expanding on the handsome attributes of the Ocean’s franchise with a radiant cast and sufficient NYC groove, ‘Hunger Games’ director Gary Ross’s ‘Ocean’s 8’ gives glossy multiplex entertainment a good name. Fully loaded with Anne Hathaway’s (often underutilised) comedic chops – her cunning movie-star character is the film’s secret weapon – and various high-profile cameos (Heidi Klum, Anna Wintour, Kim Kardashian, you name it), it packs in ample carats of glitz beyond its diamonds and sequinned designer gowns.Sandra Bullock plays Debbie Ocean, an ex-con proudly filling the shoes of her brother Danny (George Clooney, here only in spirit). She masterminds a complex scheme to steal a majestic Cartier necklace at New York’s elite fundraiser the Met Gala. Among her recruits are former associate Lou (an impeccably-suited Cate Blanchett) and the eccentric fashion designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), who’s yearning to resurrect her waning career by dressing the impishly seductive Daphne Kluger (Hathaway) for the exclusive event. Also in the squad are Mindy Kaling’s jewellery connoisseur, Sarah Paulson’s Vogue insider, Awkwafina’s sly con and the ultra-charismatic hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna, like you’ve never seen before.)‘Ocean’s 8’ sticks to the formula, though Ross never quite matches the breezy vigour of the Soderbergh-directed trilogy, but the jokes land and there’s a satisfying twist to
If you wanted to know how it feels to be the only foreign inmate in a Bangkok prison, then ‘A Prayer Before Dawn’ is about as close as you could get – without walking into a Thai police station with your pockets full of heroin. As heroin addict and Thai boxer Billy Moore – upon whose memoir this film is based – Brit up-and-comer Joe Cole (‘Peaky Blinders’) is the audience’s suffering avatar. He’s hurled into the heat, the overcrowding, the ever-simmering threat of violence, all represented by real ex-convicts, many of whom are covered from head to toe in fearsome tattoos. Director Jean-Stephane Sauvaire has an unblinking documentarian’s eye, presenting extremity without sinking into exploitation. He films in long, painful takes, whether it’s Billy being pummelled in the ring, getting his next hit, or just trying to navigate his way along the serrated edge of Bangkok prison culture – a stranger in the strangest, deadliest of lands, who neither speaks the language or knows the customs. It is tough viewing, though not as tough as it must have been for Cole to recreate Billy’s delirious, drug-induced decline and eventual redemption. It is not merely an almost recklessly selfless performance, but also a surprisingly sensitive one, cracking Moore’s carapace to reveal the vulnerability beneath – of a lonely, unloved and desperately weak man whose only lifeline is the sport he loves. Light on dialogue and heavy on expression both physical and emotive, he keeps you watching even if
Superheroes may save the world, but parenthood requires skills far more advanced than extendable limbs. Brad Bird’s 'Incredibles 2' – Pixar’s most spirited sequel since 'Toy Story 3' – lovingly expresses this certainty through a bighearted familial portrait wrapped in ’60s-inspired design. But the film’s disarming appeal lies in its simpler moments of domesticity, in which the members of the all-superhero Parr family lift each other up and fight for relevance in a world of indifference. Still underground with criminalised superpowers and a destroyed home, Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), and their children, Violet, Dash and the explosive baby Jack-Jack, quietly live in a dingy motel. Their luck turns when a pair of wealthy siblings – the naive Winston and brainy inventor Evelyn (Bob Odenkirk and Catherine Keener) – offer them a chance to restore the Supers’ reputation. While the sensible Elastigirl serves as the fearless face of the mission, Mr. Incredible hilariously Mr. Moms his way through the kids’ homework, boy troubles and newly emerging superpowers. When the state-of-the-art villain Screenslaver disturbs the picture, the entire crew, including the previous film’s charismatic ice maker Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), joins the good fight. 'Incredibles 2' comes supercharged with timely, sophisticated themes around societal apathy and gender parity. While slightly overplotted in its finale, the sleek sequel still glows with grown-up wit, with cr
Two people – a man and his teen daughter – adopting a simpler life in the backwoods of America may sound like the beginnings of a Bon Iver concept album, but in the hands of co-writer/director Debra Granik (‘Winter’s Bone’), it forms the crux of a smart, heartfelt examination of outsiderdom in a society that doesn’t just prize conformity, but demands it. For a small story, it tackles some pretty big themes, gauging America’s reactionary social climate through the eyes of father Will (Ben Foster) and his daughter Tom (Thomasin McKenzie), living outdoors in the misty Oregon rainforest. Like a Ray Mears family outing spun wildly out of control, the pair forage for food, nursing fuel supplies and essentials scrapped together with money Will makes selling painkilling meds to fellow veterans. As the title implies, the duo are ever-wary of betraying their presence to the authorities. It’s a hardscrabble rural existence that’ll be semi-familiar to anyone who’s seen Granik’s Ozarks-set drama ‘Winter’s Bone’, although here there’s an element of choice and, initially, an air of quiet satisfaction at sticking it to The Man. Of course, it doesn’t last: they’re soon sucked back into the system and processed by social workers whose uncomprehending kindnesses only rub salt in the wounds. Unlike Sean Penn’s ‘Into the Wild’, which also explores the quiet radicalism of disappearing off the grid, there’s no big emotional swells here. ‘Leave No Trace’ is a more hushed, contemplative movie. Gra
You don’t have to be a fan of Whitney Houston’s music to love director Kevin Macdonald’s ('Touching The Void') sharp-edged, revelatory and seriously emotional documentary about her life. Even if the very mention of ‘I Will Always Love You’ brings you out in hives, you’ll find yourself re-evaluating your feelings for this still oddly underappreciated talent. Her journey from childhood prodigy – this big-eyed girl, nicknamed ‘Nippy’, lighting up the early part of the film like a firework – to superstar mirrors Amy Winehouse’s in ‘Amy’. But strip away the tabloid tales and excess, and both have one thing in common: a childlike love of music and lungs like bellows. The power of Houston’s music is only amplified on the big screen – heck, even ‘I Will Always Love You’ sounds good here. Of course, you don’t get far into Houston’s life without stumbling on her self-destructive streak. Macdonald doesn’t shy away from the drugs, booze and erratic behaviour that blighted her later years. There’s footage of rooms strewn with drug paraphernalia and painfully candid scenes of her and husband Bobby Brown leading each other to darker and darker places. But the most harrowing revelation of all comes during two of Macdonald’s many interviews with friends, family and associates. It’s a piece of digging that adds investigative weight to the film and a hard-hitting coda to his exploration of the fragile psychology of stardom.
This fun, pacy addition to the dino disaster franchise doesn’t do much that’s particularly new – though what it does, it does with a fair whack of panache. That’s largely thanks to gifted Spanish director JA Bayona, who brings to bear the macabre touches that made ‘The Orphanage’ such a spooky treat. Short of bringing Mr DNA back as a flesh-craving zombie, ‘Fallen Kingdom’ is as close as the ‘Jurassic’ movies are going to come to a horror film and it gels nicely with a franchise that’s always had a gleefully sadistic streak. It’s at its most fun when things (limbs, mainly) are going bump in the dark in a third act that pays homage to classic horror films. Kicking off where ‘Jurassic World’ left off, we find cloning corporation InGen picking up the pieces after the catastrophic collapse of its dinosaur park. Not only is Isla Nubla now overrun with prehistoric critters, the island’s dormant volcano is erupting – seriously, were there no islands without volcanos? – and about to make them all extinct again. Cue dino rights activist Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard, swapping the heels for boots this time) and wisecracking raptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to help with the seemingly suicidal rescue mission and share some feisty chemistry. Jeff Goldblum’s Dr Ian Malcolm returns with doomy warnings about where all this Dino Lives Matter fervour will lead. There’s more than an echo of ‘Jurassic Park: Lost World’ in all this, right down to the gnarly and extremely edible m
Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur loves grappling with nature. On ‘Everest’, the self-confessed danger junkie climbed to 24,000ft to scout for locations, then took Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin most of the way up to shoot it. Now the former yacht racer takes on the ocean for his most white-knuckle ride yet. It’s no surprise that ‘Adrift’, based on a true story and shot over a series of gruelling 14-hour days at sea, is so thoroughly in thrall to the elements – water, specifically. In 1983, Tami Oldham and her fiancé Richard Sharp set sail from Tahiti to San Diego, only to run smack into a category four hurricane which all but destroyed their yacht. Kormákur’s account begins in the struggle for survival that ensued, before flipping back with flashbacks of the burgeoning romance between Tami (Shailene Woodley) and Richard (Sam Claflin). For a while, it’s as flat as the water – these actors are warm and watchable, but it’s hardly one of cinema’s great love stories – although Kormákur’s shots of the great expanse of ocean do provide a breathtaking backdrop. Things quickly pick up when it gets bumpy. As the storm hits, its rumbling booms at stomach-churning levels from the cinema speakers. To adopt the old cliché, the ocean isn’t just a character in this film – it’s the best one. Kormákur’s films pit humans against the elements, but his real interest often seems to lie with the latter. Hopefully he’ll get a script that serves both sides next time.
At his best, Paul Schrader is untouchable when it comes to capturing men (and it is almost always men) pinned between the ruinous modern world and a higher, quasi-spiritual calling. He did this, iconically, with his original screenplay for Martin Scorsese’s 'Taxi Driver' and as a director himself in 2002’s 'Auto Focus', an unsettling descent into porn and career dislocation. Schrader is back on familiar ground with 'First Reformed', the meditative story of an upstate New York pastor (a subtle Ethan Hawke) racked by guilt at his own shortcomings and soon to embrace desperate measures. The filmmaker’s return to a somber Robert Bresson-like mode will work like catnip on his superfans, especially after Schrader’s exploitative 2013 Lindsay Lohan disaster ‘The Canyons’ (little more than dirty-old-man cinema) and two terrible Nicolas Cage movies. In fact, ‘First Reformed’ plays so much like old-school Schrader, you might confuse it for the work of a dutiful grad student: Once again, we get a tortured Travis Bickle voiceover (Hawke’s Ernst Toller keeps a journal from which, in between hitting the sauce, he reads passages like ‘I know there is no hope’); here, too, is a troubled woman who needs saving (Amanda Seyfried, playing a character named Mary), and Toller’s own memories of his soldier son, killed in Iraq. The plot takes a timely turn toward homegrown terrorism, and even as cinematographer Alexander Dynan amasses ominous clouds, the film’s break from head-bound matters is a t
Hollywood’s visions of the future tend to make hellscapes of major cities. Joining the Detroit of ‘RoboCop’ and the NYC of ‘Escape from New York’ is Hotel Artemis’s Los Angeles, where the citizens of 2028 riot for water rights and criminals are everywhere. The film’s title refers to a secret emergency room for wounded gangsters over which Jodie Foster’s alcoholic, haunted Nurse presides, with the help of Dave Bautista’s heavy. One night, the patients are joined by LA’s Wolf King (Jeff Goldblum, at the nastier end of his spectrum), the crime boss who owns the hospital, and an injured cop (Jenny Slate) who has a tie to the Nurse’s shady past. It’s an atmospheric setup, with the faded ‘Hotel Artemis’ offering a nicely seedy backdrop for a cast of good-looking, increasingly antagonistic eccentrics. Offering the closest thing to a moral compass in this den of thieves is the cool and charismatic Sterling K Brown as a badly hurt bank robber. The problem is that screenwriter-turned-director Drew Pearce (‘Iron Man 3’) doesn’t get the build-up-to-payoff ratio right: Before any real conflict takes place, a lot of time is spent establishing characters and situations that don’t really matter. As with its fellow underworld action-thriller ‘John Wick’, an elaborate mythology informs these people’s interactions; but while that Keanu Reeves franchise was explosive, the action here is underwhelming. Still, at a tight 90 minutes, Pearce deserves credit for packing the screen with interesting