Grimsby review, plus the rest of this week's biggest cinema releases

 
James Luxford
Sacha Baron Cohen as Nobby in Grimsby

Grimsby (15)
Dir. Louis Leterrier

★☆☆☆☆

Ten years after shocking the world with Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen returns as Nobby, a slow-witted Grimsbarian who discovers he’s the long lost brother of a secret agent (Mark Strong), and as such must help save the world from a sinister plot. Occasional sparks of humour and some impressive first-person point-of-view action sequences can't cover up a puerile onslaught of homophobic gags, and Grimsby ends up milking most of its laughs from ridiculing the working class culture it claims to defend. With its reliance on shock and a terribly misjudged lead character, Grimsby marks a low-point for a comic actor whose intelligent lampooning of prejudice now seems an increasingly distant memory.

Secret In Their Eyes (15)
Dir. Billy Ray

★★★☆☆

Based on the Oscar-winning – and far superior – 2009 Argentinian film, Secret In Their Eyes pitches Chiwetel Ejiofor as a tortured former detective obsessed with solving the 13-year-old murder of his partner's (Julia Roberts) daughter. A serviceable thriller ensues, although the film’s exposition-heavy direction drags down the few great scenes Ejiofor, Roberts and the underused Nicole Kidman can manage. The final act is just compelling enough to endure the plodding hour or so that precedes it, but Secret In Their Eyes pales in comparison to its Argentinian predecessor and will be best enjoyed with your expectations lowered.

The Forest (15)
Dir. Jason Zada

★☆☆☆☆

Game of Thrones actor Natalie Dormer stars as a young woman who travels to Japan to find her twin, who went missing after rather unwisely strolling into a spooky forest infamous for its many unexplained suicides. The only mystery here, however, ends up being the film’s complete lack of scares. Instead it falls back on sporadic scenes of gore and violence to compensate for a dearth of originality, with the talented lead putting her all into making the lethargic horror plot seem urgent. Throw in a charmless cast of bland support characters and an unsatisfying finale, and you've got a woodland misadventure that's shocking only in the sense of how much it misses the mark.

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