Also Out In Cinemas: April 2015

HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2

John Cusack sits out this sequel, sparked when Rob Corddrys Lou is fatally shot in the crotch. The gang hits the hot tub to go back and stop the murder but accidentally zoom into the future, where they find Lous alive... or is he? There are clever moments a very funny Chevy Chase cameo and witty What if? end credits but it otherwise clobbers with crudeness, like the game show where losers endure forced anal sex. Where the original benefitted from 80s nostalgia and Cusacks charm, this just feels like shoddy sketch comedy. The funniest thing about it is that it exists. Director: Steve Pink Starring: Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Adam Scott, Gillian Jacobs Theatrical release: 10 April 2015 Ken McIntyre

DRONE

It was just point and click says a former drone operator (or Drone Warrior, as bulletins billed him) in this deeply disturbing expos of US drone warfare and the trivialisation of killing. While civilians and civil liberties activists describe seeing innocent families wiped out through misapplied strikes, military whistle-blowers tell of desensitised button-pushers, confined to their hatches for 12 hours at a time until theyre in psychic tailspin. Advocates may call it a surgically precise form of battle but its clear that remote-controlled killing comes with quite a price. Director: Tonje Hessen Schei Theatrical release: 10 April 2015 Ali Catterall

BROKEN HORSES

When classical violinist Jacob Heckum (Anton Yelchin) returns from New York to his family home on the US-Mexico border after 15 years away, he discovers his brothers in thrall to local drug lord Julius Hench. Has Jacob lost him forever? Or is haemoglobin really thicker than H20? A real 80s throwback of a soapy melodrama, Broken Horses is the kind of straight-to-video affair that would have once starred Dennis Hopper in the Hench role (here, its Vincent DOnofrio, phoning it in), with a blaring score covering a multitude of sins shonky editing, bad scripting et al. Director: Vidhu Vinod Chopra Starring: Anton Yelchin, Sean Patrick Flanery, Vincent D'Onofrio Theatrical release: 10 April 2015 Ali Catterall

BYPASS

After impressing six years ago with his directorial debut Better Things, Duane Hopkins returns to exploring alienated pockets of British society in this great-looking if near-impenetrable follow-up. Rising star George Mackay shines as Tim, a drug-running petty criminal who struggles to endure as pressures pile up, all while suffering from an illness that worsens with every puke. Hopkins offers visual flourishes and a poetic lens, but the taciturn narrative is often incomprehensible and never really feels like it gets under the lesioned skin of its lead character. Director: Duane Hopkins Starring: George Mackay, Donald Sumpter, Benjamin Dilloway, Charlotte Spencer Theatrical release: 10 April 2015 Matt Looker

PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2

What to do with a comedy character who doesnt merit the sequel the studios commissioned? Send him to Las Vegas, baby! Despite the different setting the plot is the same as before, with a fancy hotel in place of a mall and the stickler security-guards romantic interest dropped in favour of bonding with his daughter (Raini Rodriguez). Kevin James remains an endearing comic lead and has the occasional slapstick gag that makes the most of his physical dexterity, but the script (which he co-wrote) is too lifeless and the jokes too flat for this rehash to pass as satisfactory. Director: Andy Fickman Starring: Kevin James, Raini Rodriguez Theatrical release: 10 April 2015 Stephen Puddicombe

LAST KNIGHTS

Honour, loyalty, sacrifice and lots of other medieval guff bubble away in this lacklustre armour saga, set in an unspecified fog-shrouded land in no discernible time period. Clive Owen stars as Raiden, a commander who seeks revenge after hes forced to execute his own master, Lord Bartok (Morgan Freeman). Like Game Of Thrones without the intrigue, shagging or dragons, its a succession of stabbings, beheadings, impalings and dodgy CGI, directed by Kazuaki Kiriya. The fights are well-choreographed but the dialogue is patchy, the twists ho-hum and the tension non-existent. Director: Kazuaki Kiriya Starring: Clive Owen, Morgan Freeman, Aksel Hennie Theatrical release: 10 April 2015 James Mottram

JAUJA

An Argentinian western, in which Viggo Mortensen plays Gunnar, a Danish captain sent to a Patagonian outpost to oversee a spot of colonial genocide. Gunnar takes his 15-year-old daughter with him, only for her to fall in love with a soldier and abscond, leaving dad to quietly unravel. With its slim narrative nodding to The Searchers, this is mainstream fare by writer/director Lisandro Alonsos usual standards, yet consists of long, static takes, few words and a dreamlike tone thats rational compared to the ambiguous coda. Those attuned to its rhythms will find it exquisite. Director: Lisandro Alono Starring: Viggo Mortensen Theatrical release: 10 April 2015 Jamie Graham

STONES FOR THE RAMPART: BATTLE FOR WARSAW

Robert Glinskis WW2 drama offers an unexpected if ultimately not unusual spin on the anti-Nazi resistance genre, revolving around the true-life exploits of Szare Szeregi, a group of Polish scouts forced by circumstance to become paramilitaries. Its initially hard to tell the young soldiers apart, yet once focus shifts to a mission to rescue a captured comrade from the Gestapo Stones becomes a more recognisable tale of fraternal loyalty and patriotic courage, distinguished by its procedural detail. A well-mounted and very watchable film. Director: Robert Glinski Starring: Tomasz Zietek, Marcel Sabat, Kamil Szeptycki Theatrical release: 17 April 2015 Simon Kinnear

THE LAST FIVE YEARS

Sandwiched between Into The Woods and Pitch Perfect 2, Anna Kendrick sings her heart out (again) in a bittersweet romantic drama charting the half-decade love affair between struggling actress Cathy and ascendant author Jamie (Jeremy Jordan). Her songs play out backwards, from the end of the relationship, while his run from the beginning, the leads carrying the film with charm, chemistry and catchy tunes. Be warned, though: if you hate the thought of two people singing Broadway tunes at each other for 90-odd minutes, steer clear. Director: Richard Lagravenese Starring: Anna Kendrick, Jeremy Jordan Theatrical release: 17 April 2015 Matt Maytum

TIN

A star lead cant quite ease an awkward stage-to-screen shift for this makeover of a touring theatre production. Jenny Agutter makes brisk work of an opera-troupe singer whose 1895 visit to a Cornish town coincides with trouble at tmines, trouble involving issues of faith, fiscal corruption and oppressive patriarchy. Helen Bendells mouse-that-roars Nel emerges as our heroine, but her story is stifled first by jowly chats about banking, then by lurches into melodrama. Maybe it projected well on stage, but here the results range from under-powered to ludicrously over-baked. Director: Bill Scott Starring: Jenny Agutter, Dudley Sutton, Ben Luxon, Ben Dyson, Helen Bendell, Jason Squibb Theatrical release: 17 April 2015 Kevin Harley