Hong Kong film releases

Reviews, trailers, cinema listings and Hong Kong film releases
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The biggest films in cinemas now

2
Aquaman
Film, Action and adventure

Aquaman

Jason Momoa’s surf-bro superhero is a welcome addition to the genre, but his movie is waterlogged.

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4
Film, Science fiction

Mortal Engines

This Peter Jackson–produced YA epic is a steampunk-styled fantasy that's too loud to hold a coherent thought.

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5
Widows
Film, Thrillers

Widows

After such imposing movies as ‘Hunger’, ‘Shame’ and ‘12 Years a Slave’ – those titles are punishing enough – you’d be forgiven for assuming British director Steve McQueen had a mean streak, if not toward his audiences, then his actors. Now comes ‘Widows’, which also has its fair share of suffering, mainly on the haunted face of Viola Davis. But McQueen has discovered something new. Should we call it fun? Let’s not get carried away. Still, ‘Widows’, a supercharged Chicago-set caper of consummate skill, zooms along in a way that feels peppier than usual, McQueen brewing the action and ominous municipal intrigue like he was trying to outdo ‘The Fugitive’. He comes frighteningly close. Three women dominate the film, delivering it to a poise that ‘Ocean’s 8’, a high-collared pretender, can only dream of. They’re all the recent widows of a freshly deceased gang of high-stakes criminals, men who barely get any screen time. In their absence, Veronica (Davis) floats around her white-walled penthouse like a ghost, Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) gets her thrift store sold from under her, and Alice, an abused blonde trophy wife (Elizabeth Debicki, running away with the movie via skittish fragility and, later, pure moxie), is urged by her own mother to become an escort. As if economic freefall and grief weren’t enough, their husbands’ unfinished business shows up on their doorsteps, thuggishly demanding payment or else. To watch them coalesce into a hard-nosed crew of heisters is the year’s

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6
©Disney
Film, Family and kids

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

There’s a reason why ‘The Nutcracker’ is almost always performed as a ballet. More Terry Gilliam than Walt Disney, ETA Hoffmann’s original fairytale is a dark story about a young girl, a dashing nutcracker soldier, some transformative magic and a greedy Mouse King. So, in choosing this for their next Christmas extravaganza, the Mouse House has set itself quite a challenge – and it’s one that just doesn’t come off. All the elements are there: the production design and special effects really do make everything magical, Mackenzie Foy is the right mix of thoughtful and doughty as the heroine, and a cast boasting Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and Richard E Grant is hardly short of chops. But the story is a tangled mess. A young girl, Clara (Foy), mourning her dead mother, must unlock a mechanical egg to find the last Christmas gift she left behind. Before she can do so, she must attend a Christmas ball hosted by her godfather (Freeman), who might just have the key she needs. But to find it, she must venture down a dark passageway, through a fallen hollow tree and into a snowy landscape. So far, so Narnia. But then it all goes a bit haywire, with characters introduced only to disappear and plot points left unexplained. Some of the dialogue is astonishingly clunky, too. Knightley, especially, has to deliver some real howlers as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Try as they might, the other actors seem to lose heart amid a blizzard of shoddy lines. On the upside, Jack Whiteha

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7
Photo: Reiner Bajo
Film, Action and adventure

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Lisbeth Salander, your #MeToo moment has arrived: If ever there was a perfect time for the avenging hacker of Stieg Larsson’s ‘Millennium’ series to make a rebooted comeback, it’s now. So call it a spectacular failure to read the room that the new action-tooled ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ strips its hero of everything that made her spiky and singular. It’s not that the movie doesn’t have a terrific lead (‘The Crown’s Claire Foy, who knows from mining subtle shades of rebellion) or a sleek visual template, established by David Fincher in 2011 with his Rooney Mara-led ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’. Problematically, ‘Spider’s Web’ sees nothing to celebrate in Salander but a bland video-game avatar, someone who speeds across icy ponds on her Ducati, flees explosions in slo-mo and barely gets it on (one listless same-sex sleepover with a club kid hardly counts). Foy wasn’t made to frown at laptops; what little psychology there is in Lisbeth has been scaled back to nothing. Worse, she’s up against one of those generic madman-steals-a-nuke-app scenarios that went out with Roger Moore. When Salander’s nemesis shows up – such meager pleasures shouldn’t be spoiled – she’s another woman, clad fully in red like a supervillain. Did it have to end with a color-coded catfight? Uruguayan director Fede Álvarez has the stylish ‘Don’t Breathe’ under his belt, but his pivot to the big leagues is inauspicious, dumbing everything down and wasting his shot.

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8
Distinction
Film, Drama

Distinction

Award-winning director Jevons Au examines the Hong Kong education system.

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9
Bohemian Rhapsody
Photo: Nick Delany
Film, Drama

Bohemian Rhapsody

This tune-filled but tame Queen biopic may well rock you but it’s unlikely to shock you.

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Upcoming film releases in Hong Kong

2
Deadpool 2
Film, Action and adventure

Deadpool 2

Josh Brolin joins the fray as Cable, taking on Ryan Reynolds’s wisecracking eponymous assassin.

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3
A Wrinkle in Time
Film, Science fiction

A Wrinkle in Time

This take on Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 sci-fi classic has an alive mind but you’ll wish it would stop telling you once in a while.

Time Out says
4
Film, Horror

Hereditary

Never take pity on a film critic. Instead, let it suffice to say that we look forward to you seeing Hereditary and then joining us in having several sleepless nights peering into dark corners and gnawing your fingernails off. 

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