Movies to watch this week at the cinema: Spotlight, Youth, Dirty Grandpa, more...

Out on Friday 29 January

Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams investigate a crime. Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel luxuriate in Sorrentinos Apline-set fantasia. Yes, heres this weeks new releases. Click on for our reviews of Spotlight, Youth, Dirty Grandpa, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi, The 33, Innocence Of Memories, Capture The Flag, Backtrack and One And Two. For the best movie reviews, subscribe to Total Film.

SPOTLIGHT

From the director of Adam Sandlers The Cobbler comes the frontrunner for the Best Picture Oscar, an ode to old-fashioned journalism with nary a shred of sentiment or, one histrionic scene aside, sensationalism. Tom McCarthys sobering drama demonstrates disciplined filmmaking built upon scrupulous storytelling, clear-eyed direction and unshowy performances, as befits a true-life tale about journalists who painstakingly piece together a Pulitzer Prize-winning story about systematic child abuse by Catholic priests in Boston. July 2001. Father John Geoghan, now defrocked, is alleged to have molested more than 80 boys. The Boston Globe runs a couple of stories and moves on. Until, that is, incoming editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) has the papers investigative team, Spotlight Walter Robby Robinson (Michael Keaton), Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matt Carroll (Brian dArcy James) dig deeper. The next two hours are spent corralling and corroborating evidence, with paperwork sifted, doors cold-called and notes scribbled. Two attorneys come crucially into play the dogged, dog-eared Mitchell Garabedian (Stanley Tucci), who represents the 86 plaintiffs in the Geoghan case, and the slick Eric Macleish (Billy Crudup), who has sought out-of-court remuneration for many victims. And the petitioning for the release of some smoking-gun documents becomes key. With exception of journalists running between desks to inject urgency, Spotlight resists cinematic clichs and instead trusts in the power of its source material. The case, like viewers eyes, grows ever wider, taking in not just the Catholic Church but legal, political and journalistic institutions (including The Globe this is not a film swollen with self-congratulation), and identifying a psychological dysfunction that spreads beyond Boston and, indeed, America. But it is McCarthys understanding of this particular investigation in this particular city, with its catholic populace and culture of shame and concealment, that makes Spotlight so engrossing. It took Baron, a Jew from Florida, to push for the ugly truth, and McCarthy, a graduate of Boston College who acted in 10 episodes of the similarly onion-layered The Wire, to make a responsible film of a powder-keg phenomenon. Something to note: section editor Ben Bradlee Jr (John Slattery) is the son of Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee, editor of The Washington Post while Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein documented the Watergate scandal. Spotlight isnt of the level of All The Presidents Men, but deserves mention in the same breath. THE VERDICT: A rigorously detailed telling of an important story that never loses sight of the human devastation. Terrific turns from the ensemble cast. Director: Tom McCarthy Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci Theatrical release: 29 January 2016 Jamie Graham

YOUTH

Paolo Sorrentinos first English-language movie, This Must Be The Place (Sean Penn as an ageing Goth-rocker pursuing the Nazi who maltreated his dad), was a bit of a bust. So its good to see that with Youth hes regained the form of his best Italian work (The Consequences Of Love, The Great Beauty, etc). Were in a plush Alpine spa resort where two old friends, retired Brit composer/conductor Fred (Michael Caine) and US movie director Mick (Harvey Keitel) have met up each year to enjoy the treatments, reminisce over their past lives and observe the to-ings and fro-ings of their fellow guests. Who are a highly colourful bunch. For starters, theres an actor (Paul Dano) miffed that all hes remembered for is playing a robot. Then theres Micks bickering five-person screenwriting team; an Indian guru doggedly trying to levitate; a hugely fat Latin American with a vast tattoo of Karl Marx on his back; a starchy middle-aged couple who sit at table day after day without exchanging a single word and in a ripely satirical cameo, Jane Fonda as an acidt-ongued, garishly made-up Hollywood diva who contemptuously rejects the lead role in Micks final film. A royal emissary (Alex Macqueen) shows up intermittently, trying to persuade Fred to perform for Her Maj. and theres Rachel Weisz as Freds daughter, whos married to Micks son but caught in a love triangle with pop star Paloma Faith (playing herself). All sounds a bit inconsequential? Indeed it is and thats its charm. Caine and Keitel make an unexpectedly relishable double act, Caines laconic wit playing off Keitels wiry urgency. Underlying it all is a quiet meditation on growing old, on memory, faded love and regret for lost ideals. But darker implications are offset by the limpid beauty of Luca Bigazzis photography and Sorrentinos clear delight in the infinite vagaries of lived emotions. THE VERDICT: The offbeat teaming of Caine and Keitel anchors this wryly humorous Alpine-set fantasia, rich in beguiling images and suffused with a quiet, sensual melancholy. Director: Paolo Sorrentino Starring: Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano, Jane Fonda Theatrical release: 29 January 2016 Philip Kemp

DIRTY GRANDPA

While Robert De Niro has done plenty of comedy in recent years, most of its been relatively clean-cut. Dirty Grandpa, a title that needs little explanation, sees him lusting after college girls, engaging in racial and homophobic banter, and generally behaving badly. Is it what you want to see from the Taxi Driver star? Not really. But fans of De Niro have long become resigned to his shallow output in the two decades post-Heat. Directed by Dan Mazer (I Give It A Year), Dirty Grandpa is a coming-of-age frat film in which neither protagonist is at college. De Niros septuagenarian Dick Kelly has just lost his wife of 40 years and wants his grandson, Jason (Zac Efron), a preppy lawyer about to get married to Julianne Houghs one-note fiance, to drive him from Atlanta to Florida. Its soon clear hes not grief-stricken but desperate to screw until my dick falls off. Soon enough, theyre in Daytona beach during spring break; while Jason moons over former classmate Shadia (Zoey Deutch), Grandpa Dick, masquerading as a professor, sets his sights on student Lenore (Aubrey Plaza). Before you know it, ol Dicks luring the reluctant Jason into a crack-smoking orgy of hedonism With a script fixated on the male member, you could be forgiven for thinking this was written by a 13-year-old. Except your average teen probably wouldnt include a wretched, sentimental subplot about Dick wanting to make up for being a lousy father and Jason realising he needs to follow his heart (yawn). Result? Beneath all the Cheech and Chong-esque anarchy and Seth Rogen-style knob gags lies a sappy romcom. Talk about playing dirty. THE VERDICT: Another formulaic Hollywood crude-fest trying way too hard to offend. De Niro and Efron are fine and Plaza has a ball, but big laughs are few and far between. Director: Dan Mazer Starring: Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Aubrey Plaza, Julianne Hough, Zoey Deutch Theatrical release: 29 January 2016 James Mottram

THE 33

It was only a matter of time before a movie was made about Chiles 2010 mining disaster, and here it is a real-life tale that owes as much to formula as fact. Antonio Banderas leads the cast as Super Mario Seplveda, keeping up the spirits of his 32 fellow miners trapped underground. Director Patricia Riggen charts the cave-in and ensuing rescue efforts to stirring if conventional effect, abetted by one of the late James Horners final scores. The biggest problem is the distracting lack of non-Chilean casting, with even Gabriel Byrne asked to approximate a South American accent. Director: Patricia Riggen Starring: Naomi Scott, Rodrigo Santoro, Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche, James Brolin Theatrical release: 29 January 2016 Neil Smith

13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI

On 11 September 2012, two US diplomatic compounds were attacked in Benghazi, leading to the death of four Americans. The senseless tragedy was seized by the right wing in the US and used as a political wedge, casting long shadows of blame on the Obama administration and, more pointedly, then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Although no wrong-doing on the part of the administration was ever revealed, it became a hot-button topic in American politics, and to many, it still is. So who better to direct a docudrama of these unfortunate events than Michael Bay, the destruction-crazed popcorn auteur behind the Transformers franchise? The film mainly concerns a group of security officers hired to protect CIA operatives. Theyre ex-military, taking on the dangerous assignment for various reasons: for example, ripped super-soldier Jack Silva (top-billed John Krasinski) is on board because his real-estate business is tanking. Bay makes sure you understand just how much these heroes-for-hire are risking, stacking them up against a pencil-pushing CIA chief (David Constable) who views our steely protags as dim-witted thugs and orders them to stand down when an ambassadors compound is attacked. They defy orders and launch a counter-attack, kicking off the 13-hour battle of the title. Perhaps for the best, Bay largely avoids politics and just concentrates on the actual ambush. The ensuing fire-fight takes up the bulk of the running time; though it can be difficult to figure out who is who everybodys bearded and theres smoke everywhere, all the time Bays penchant for explosion-porn is in full effect here. The script based on Mitchell Zuckoffs 2014 bestseller uses so much narrative shorthand that its impossible to really understand why its all happening, but if youre just in it for the action, 13 Hours delivers the goods THE VERDICT: Michael Bay turns a divisive political issue into a film about machine guns, dirt, blood and gung-ho patriotism. Expect spectacle; insight, not so much. Director: Michael Bay Starring: John Krasinski, James Badge Dale, Pablo Schreiber, David Denman, Dominic Fumusat Theatrical release: 29 January 2016 Ken McIntyre

INNOCENCE OF MEMORIES

In 2012, Turkeys Orhan Pamuk folded fact into fiction when he opened a museum of objects documenting a tale of obsessive love from his novel The Museum Of Innocence. Pop-promo director and docu-maker Grant Gees reflection on book and museum sustains Pamuks between-states thinking, creating a literary travelogue that drifts into hypnotic territory. Lines blur between love/obsession, memory/delusion, time/space. The result veers closer to arty film noir than reportage: a stylised love letter to the city, memory and objects, charged with fading but potent feeling. Director: Grant Gee Starring: Pandora Colin, Mehmet Ergen Theatrical release: 29 January 2016 Kevin Harley

BACKTRACK

Sometimes I think Im invisible! says one of Adrien Brodys patients in a derivative thriller about a tormented shrink whose clients, as that quote suggests, may merely be figments of his guilt-ridden imagination. Hes got good reason to feel that way, having had a hand not just in his daughters death but in a tragic train derailment in his youth. Michael Petronis film is not the train wreck that reveal invites, but it does spend an awfully long time idling in the sidings. That leaves plenty of room to count the Sixth Sense steals, and to query Brodys misguided Australian accent Director: Michael Petroni Starring: Adrien Brody, Sam Neill Theatrical release: 29 January 2016 Neil Smith

CAPTURE THE FLAG

A Mission To The Moon becomes an exercise in family bonding in this hyperactive animation about three generations of wannabe astronauts who join forces to stop a nefarious billionaire exploiting our lunar neighbour. Whoever Captures The Flag planted by the Apollo 11 crew in 1969 will be viewed the victor of this particular space race provided, of course, teen troublemaker Mike can engineer a reconciliation between his father and grandfather in the process. Kids unentranced by such touchy-feely moonshine at least have a playful gekko to tickle them. Adults, though, will be longing for a sea of tranquillity. Director: Enrique Gato Starring: Dani Rovira, Michelle Jenner, Carme Calvell, Javier Balas,Camilo Garca, Toni Mora, Marta Barbar, Fernando Garca Cabrera, Xavier CasanTheatrical release: 29 January 2016 Neil Smith

ONE AND TWO

Quietly compelling and beautifully lensed, this intimate tale of sibling love in spite of an abusive father looks and feels like a 19th-century tragic melodrama, with one major difference: the brother and sister pair have the ability to teleport. Their vanishing act is a simple-but-impressive special effect in an otherwise relatively low-budget production filled with angst-ridden vulnerability from stars Timothe Chalamet and Kiernan Shipka (Mad Mens now-teen Sally Draper). But the sci-fi element confounds rather than enhances; were left with a sense of anticlimax fuelled by loose ends and unexplored potential. Director: Andrew Droz Palermo Starring: Kiernan Shipka, Timothe Chalamet, Elizabeth Reaser Theatrical release: 29 January 2016 Matt Looker