Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (15) | ★★☆☆☆
Dir: Burr Steers
Rarely has a film been more self-explanatory than this horror comedy which re-imagines Jane Austen's classic in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, with both the Bennet sisters (including Lily James's Elizabeth) and Mr Darcy (Sam Riley) now highly trained to fend off the invading hoards. A strong cast (including Matt Smith and Jack Huston) are clearly having a lot of fun, with James revelling in her new found action heroism. But the joke can't last forever: it slowly becomes clear that the different genres, while good for novelty value, just isn’t sustainable for two hours.
A Bigger Splash (15) | ★★★★☆
Dir: Luca Guadagnino
This sun-drenched comedy-thriller was one of the highlights of last year's Venice Film Festival. Tilda Swinton plays Marianne, a global rock star whose quiet life on an Italian island with her lover (Matthias Schoenaerts) is shattered by the arrival of Harry (Ralph Fiennes), Marianne's record producer ex, and his newly discovered daughter (Dakota Johnson). It’s a study of jealousy and desire, led by a manic, singing, nude Fiennes. Luca Guadagnino’s comedy comes with a dark streak, with his characters desperately trying to evade their past and Harry in the centre picking old wounds. From the moment the guests arrive, you know it will all end in tears, and that's what makes it so captivating.
Concussion (12A) | ★★★☆☆
Dir: Peter Landesman
An impeccably timed post-Super Bowl release sees Will Smith play Dr Bennet Omalu, the forensic pathologist who discovers CTE, a type of brain damage suffered by American football players. Far from celebrated, the breakthrough makes him a multi-billion dollar enemy to the NFL. But Peter Landesman’s film is a little black and white: all those in the employ of “Big Sport” are corrupt, intimidating borderline racists. Smith, on the other hand, walks among them bathed in the light of righteousness. As with every other Smith “awards movie”, the character is too wholesome, begging for shades of grey; it would benefit from taking a few risks.