Summer is here (even if the weather disagrees) and that means blockbuster movies are heading your way! Let’s see what’s on offer this month…
FILM OF THE MONTH: ME BEFORE YOU – 4 stars (out 3rd Jun) – Credit: Warner Bros
Jojo Moyes’ best-selling book gets the big screen treatment in director Thea Sharrock’s affecting ode to Moyes self-penned script. After an accident leaves Will Traynor (Sam Claflin) paralysed from the neck down, his family hire 20-something Lou Clark (Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clark) to care for him. What follows is the most romantic movie of the year, with sensational lead performances from both Claflin and Clark, who positively sparkle with chemistry. This heartfelt medley of love, laughter and tears also features strong support from Charles Dance, Janet McTeer and Jenna Coleman with a sensational soundtrack that will score your summer.
WARCRAFT: THE BEGINNING – 3 stars (out now) – Credit: Universal
The highly anticipated film adaptation of Blizzard Entertainment’s global phenomenon World of Warcraft finally arrives in cinemas. It has a few problems but ultimately, Warcraft: The Beginning is a great summer blockbuster with plenty of spectacle. The peaceful realm of Azeroth finds itself standing on the brink of war as its civilization faces marauding Orc warriors looking to conquer and colonize their planet. The king of Azeroth (Dominic Cooper) and his most trusted soldier Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel) lead the fight against them along with wizards and plenty of magic. Warcraft really succeeds in showing the conflict from both sides; focusing on two soldiers and their plights to save their families, people and homeland. Heavy on the CGI but forgetful fun nonetheless, Moon and Source Code director Duncan Jones steps up to the big leagues with mixed results.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS – 3 stars (out now) – Credit: Paramount
Those heroes in a half-shell are back for more Turtle-powered fun. With Shredder (Brian Tee) now in a dangerous partnership with the powerful inter-dimensional being named Kraang (voiced by Brad Garrett), the world is once again under threat. Cue the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles into action, along with their allies April O’Neil (Megan Fox), Vernon Fenwick (Will Arnett) and newcomer Casey Jones (Arrow star Stephen Amell). Full of cracking action, lots of humour and some very impressive special effects, this second Turtles adventure is a complete joy to watch. Throw in acting talent like Laura Linney and Tyler Perry along with comedy crime-duo Gary Anthony Williams and WWE star Sheamus as Bebop and Rocksteady, and you have a very fun blockbuster that does the Turtles legacy justice.
RACE – 3 stars – (out 3rd Jun) – Credit: Altitude
The inspirational true story of Jesse Owens comes to the big screen with a great leading turn from Stephan James. Owens quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history propels him onto the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where the world is watching his feats – including Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party. Jason Sudeikis steals his scenes as Jesse Owens trainer Larry Snyder and there are strong supporting turns from Jeremy Irons, Barnaby Metschurat and William Hurt.
ELVIS & NIXON – 3 stars (out 24th Jun) – Credit: eOne
The remarkable true-life meeting between two of the biggest and most culturally diverse icons of Americana makes for a fascinating film. Before Richard Nixon started recording all of his Oval Office meetings, Elvis Presley (Michael Shannon) himself rocked up to the gates of the White House asking to speak with the President (Kevin Spacey) about a matter of grave importance. With his administration (Colin Hanks and Evan Peters) thinking that this could be a sensational PR win, they set up the meeting. What follows is a fact-based assumption of what that meeting could have been like. Shannon does a great job as The King but it’s Spacey who really impresses as President Nixon. Elvis was looking to be deputised as an undercover narcotics agent, he brought a gun to the meeting as a gift and he felt that The Beatles were partly responsible for the troubles of America’s youth. All of this lends itself to a must-see comedy-drama, for a meeting that would forever be immortalized as the most requested photograph in US National Archives history.
THE CONJURING 2 – 3 stars (out 13th Jun) – Credit: Warner Bros
The first Conjuring movie was a box-office behemoth that was a perfect throwback to classic 70s haunted horror. This follow-up takes place in 1977 and uses the infamous Enfield haunting as its basis. After having worked a particularly nasty case (The Amityville murders), Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) and her husband Ed (Patrick Wilson) decide to step back from investigating cases. That is until the Church sends them to North London to interview a distressed single mother whose family are being terrorised by a malevolent spirit. The usual scares are present and there are some really frightening visuals on-show, but the film does drag in places too. If you don’t like horror, fear not – it’s worth the admission price alone for Patrick Wilson doing a pitch-perfect impersonation of Elvis!
THE NICE GUYS – 4 stars – (out 3rd Jun) – Credit: Icon
Shane Black delivers a hugely entertaining slice of retro-fun in this 70s-set private detective story. When a famous adult-movie star turns up dead, Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and enforcer Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) must become unlikely allies to uncover the truth behind the murder. The sun-kissed streets of 1970s Los Angeles are perfect for this pulp private-eye tale to take place, with sensational leading turns from both Crowe and Gosling. Both are on charismatic and magnetic form with an incredible supporting turn from young actress Angourie Rice as Gosling’s street-smart kid. There’s plenty of humour, it looks glossy and the story keeps you guessing throughout.