November 2017’s Must See Movies

We hope British cinemas are ready for an upturn in trade, because some great movies are coming to them this Autumn.

Justice League

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Faced with a daunting enemy, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) enlists Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) as an ally. Other DC superheroes soon join them, including Jason Momoa who makes a superb and dashing Aquaman, while Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and Flash (Ezra Miller) complete the team. Superman (Henry Cavill) is expected to put in a posthumous appearance. To defeat villainous Steppenwolf they have to find three living “mother boxes”. The dramatic action and effects will probably overshadow the plot, but who cares?

Thor: Ragnarok

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Should be in the cinemas by the last week of October, this Marvel line-up will be giving the Justice League a run for their money. Great actors from earlier episodes return – Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Anthony Hopkin as Odin, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, and Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr.Strange. Their adversary takes the form of a delightfully dark, sinister and chilling Cate Blanchett as “Hela”, in whose soft hands Thor’s mighty hammer simply crumbles. The scenery, costumes and effects all look spectacular.

Good Time

This gritty and energetic urban crime drama from the Safdie brothers finally reaches British cinemas. After a robbery goes wrong, one of the perpetrators is determined to save his captured brother, but everything quickly becomes a helter skelter of wrong turns and mayhem. Leading actor Robert Pattinson hails from The Twilight Saga, but don’t hold that against him, the acting is superb and mature throughout.

Ingrid Goes West

This satire of social media has also taken its time to reach the UK. It’s theme is historically apposite and artfully accomplished, so should have much resonance with a contemporary youthful audience. Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) has a grasp of reality mediated by an obsession with social media, leading her into scrapes that are a complex mix of sinister, embarrassing and darkly funny. Plaza is perfect as the simultaneously sweet and demented protagonist.

Murder on the Orient Express

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This 1934 Agatha Christie whodunit has undergone at least twenty screen adaptations, so inevitably this one invites comparisons with its predecessors. Kenneth Branagh casts himself as Hercule Poirot. His Belgian accent is less than convincing and it’s hard to suspend belief and accept the character as anyone other than Kenneth Branagh, but the film is worth seeing for the cavalcade of celebrities it brings together, with Johnny Depp, Judy Dench, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe and Michelle Pfeifer to name a few.

Lady Bird

Reaching cinemas at the end of the month, this character driven drama is worth it for the great acting of Saoirse Ronan alone. She seems to portray her characters as easily as slipping on a pair of shoes – always believable, full of pathos and in this case a good dash of humour too. Debut director Greta Gerwig perfectly captures the turbulent bond between a mother and teenage daughter and clearly enables the rest of her cast and crew to shine too. Many of the young actors deserve high praise for their realistically idiosyncratic character portrayals. Probably too soft a subject to attract the awards it deserves, but you won’t be bored for a minute.