Best of the box office

Al Gore in Greenland as seen in An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power. Photo: Paramount Pictures and Participa
Al Gore in Greenland as seen in An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power. Photo: Paramount Pictures and Participa

AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER

(100 minutes) PG

It's been a little over a decade since the release of Al Gore's famous lecture-documentary, which made us all rethink our habits of consumption. Greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, while not rising as fast as previously, continue at a steady rate. An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power - which like its predecessor is more agitprop than objective journalism, doesn't have to strain too hard to make the subject look impressive; Gore as not just a passionate speaker but an expert negotiator, especially in the climax filmed at the 2015 Paris climate talks. JW
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Selected release

ANNABELLE: CREATION

(109 minutes) M

Backtracking to the 1950s to explore the origins of the possessed doll of the title, Annabelle: Creation casts Anthony La Paglia and Miranda Otto as the dollmaker and his wife who are mourning their daughter when they open their home in rural California to a nun (Stephanie Sigman) and the orphaned girls in her care. There's a fairytale appeal to the setting, and a degree of flair to the filmmaking, when director David Sandberg emulates James Wan's use of extended tracking shots in the Conjuring films, but there's little ferocity in the horror. JW
General release

ATOMIC BLONDE

(115 minutes) MA

Director David Leitch's Atomic Blonde, based on the graphic novel The Coldest City, injects some serious glamour into a big Hollywood movie. This is a film where glamour is the whole point, albeit glamour of a paradoxical, hard-boiled kind. Charlize Theron plays Lorraine, the blonde of the title, MI6 operative Lorraine Broughton, who arrives in West Berlin at the end of the Cold War on a mission that has something to do with stolen microfilm and a fellow agent (James McAvoy) gone rogue. In between this film and Mad Max: Fury Road, Theron has become one of the main action stars of world cinema. JW
General release

BABY DRIVER

(113 minutes) MA 15+

Baby Driver is almost a musical. Cars do wheelies to drum solos from bands I haven't heard from since Bonzo Bonham was alive. The Baby of the title - played by baby-faced Ansel Elgort - never does anything without an appropriate track. Kevin Spacey, known only as Doc, is a criminal mastermind in a suit. He uses a different team for each job, except for Baby, over whom he has some curious power. PB
General release

THE BIG SICK

(120 minutes) M

For a film that bills itself as a romantic comedy, The Big Sick runs a major risk in having one of the central characters (Emily, played by Zoe Kazan) absent for a central stretch of narrative. But it solves the problem neatly by shifting our attention onto Kumail Nanjiani's relationship with Emily's parents, played by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano - meaning Emily remains present in spirit, since it's evident she gets her skittishness from her mother and her wry humour from her father. After a slow start, the film gradually accumulates funny and surprising details. JW
General release

NEW THE CIRCLE

(109 minutes) M

The Circle is adapted from a novel by Dave Eggers, who edits magazines, publishes other people's work, writes comic strips, founds philanthropic organisations and dabbles in screenplays. Broadly, the film falls into the growing category of new tech paranoia - the mobile phone is a Trojan horse, enslaving our intelligence. Tom Hanks plays Eamon Bailey, whose weekly stage-show for staff at tech company The Big Circle is so good Steve Jobs would have been envious. Hanks makes Bailey a cuddly new messiah and Emma Watson (Mae), newly employed at The Circle, swallows his message, becoming the first person in the world to wear a tiny new camera, putting her life online to millions of followers to comment upon. PB
Selected release

DUNKIRK
|(107 minutes) PG

From the outset, we're thrown into the thick of the action in Dunkirk, with minimal exposition supplied by Kenneth Branagh as a dour commander. Simultaneously, we follow the day-long voyage of a fishing boat captained by a civilian, and finally, there's a Spitfire pilot, whose time in the air is measured in minutes rather than hours, with his fuel fast running out. The enemy go unseen, though their presence is constantly felt - and, more importantly, heard, in jarring explosions and bursts of gunfire. JW
General release

NEW LOGAN LUCKY

(118 minutes) M

It's good to have Steven Soderbergh back. Logan Lucky is another Soderbergh heist movie, a "redneck" variant on his Ocean's Eleven series, a resemblance cheekily and typically made explicit in the dialogue. The chief thieves here are North Carolina brothers Jimmy and Clyde Logan, played by Channing Tatum and Adam Driver, the latter a war veteran with a missing limb. Having lived their lives on the fringe of the law, the pair decide to test themselves by pulling off a daring heist during a NASCAR race and Soderbergh's mastery of crowd-pleasing formulas allows him to get away with various kinds of fooling around. Still, there are moments when the fault lines become all too visible. JW
General release

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

(133 minutes) M

Tom Holland becomes the third Spider-Man in modern movies, after Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Here, Spider-Man teams up with Tony Stark (Robert Downey jnr) as an apprentice member of The Avengers. To be accurate, Holland did that last year when he made his debut as the new Spidey in Captain America: Civil War, but that was a warm-up. Peter Parker is still a kid here in high school. Stark has built him a very powerful suit full of gizmos, but he's not allowed to use them. PB
General release

THE TRIP TO SPAIN

(111 minutes) M

Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan are two of the funniest men in Britain - everybody says so. But watching them eat their way through the north of England and Italy in the first two movies (The Trip and The Trip to Italy) has its limits. With Spain, the thrill is gone. PB
Selected release

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

(140 minutes) M

The reboot in 2011 of Planet of the Apes showed it was still possible to make an action movie that was big and loud but not stupid. In the new film, the level of skill in the creation of these characters means we never question their reality. The heart of the movie is Caesar, more humane than any human, wiser than any ape and more merciful than his enemies have a right to expect. Here he battles with one of the more destructive human emotions, even though he's not human - a desire for revenge. Director Matt Reeves tells a big story here that's satisfying in many ways. PB
General release

This story Best of the box office first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.