Busy month, here are the contenders:
Zootropolis: In a world of anthropomorphic animals Judy Hopps dreams of becoming the first rabit police office. A fun movie with some great jokes and a good message.
The Jungle Book: Real life, or to be more precise animation rendered to look real adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s jungle book. I wasn’t that keen to see this but found it surprisingly enjoyable.
Sing Street: John Carney’s story of a teenager who starts a band in 1980’s Dublin to impress a girl. It does nothing particularly original but is funny and charming.
Our Kind of Traitor: Adaptation of a John le Carré. Ewan McGregor and Damian Lewis over act and Naomie Harris is criminally underused, at least Stellan Skarsgård has a fun with the part. Not the greatest le Carré but worth seeing.
Everybody Wants Some!!: Richard Linklater describes his 1980 set collage movie as a spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused. Not his greatest film but still fun and funny.
Florence Foster Jenkins: Stephen Frears tells the true and often absurd story of the New York socialite with a desire to be opera singer, unaware that she had a terrible singing voice. Surprisingly warm and funny. Meryl Streep is as good as you would expect, Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg are the real stars.
Green Room: A punk band get caught up in events that don’t concern them and end up trapped in the green room of the title after a gig. Jeremy Saulnier’s follow-up to Blue Ruin is violent, bloody and visceral. I’m sure many viewers will hate it. I loved it.
X-Men Apocalypse: The third and weakest instalment of the X Men reboot/prequels, but what did you expect? ” At Least We Can All Agree The Third One Is Always The Worst”
Whisky Tango Foxtrot: Tina Fey stars as a war correspondent based on the book The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Kim Barker, based on her own experience. Enjoyable and interesting, Fey and Margot Robbie are both excellent but the film doesn’t have anything new to say about war or how it is reported. Would made a good companion piece with last month’s Louder than Bombs.
A Hologram for the King: There are two things you can be assured of with Tom Tykwer, his films are always interesting and no one can agree how to pronounce his name. Based on Dave Eggers novel of the same name about a washed-up salesman pitching a new technology to the King of Saudi Arabia. A slightly confused narrative but interesting and shot with great flair.
The Nice Guys: Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling play a mismatched pair of deceives in 1970’s LA. The movie is a snarky and funny as you would expect from Shane Black.
Money Monster: Director Jodie Foster keeps the pace up in this timely thriller and enjoyable. A little preachy at time but well acted by George Clooney, Jack O’Connell and particularly Julia Roberts.
Warcraft: The Beginning: Based on the popular game. It looks good, the acting isn’t terrible but the script is. Some enjoyable moments but on the whole, no better than OK.
And movie of the month is: Sing Street narrowly edges out Green Room. I loved them both but am more looking forward to a second viewing of Sing Street.