This Week’s Movie Menu (2nd – 8th October 2023)

The BFI London Film Festival kicks off this week, and you can expect plenty of reviews coming straight from the capital – but beyond that, there are still some shining new releases to check out, from a terrifying new chapter in a demonic franchise, to the rise and fall of the first smartphone, to a time-travelling slasher…

Movie of the Week

 

The Exorcist: Believer (2023, dir. David Gordon Green)

CAST: Leslie Odom Jr., Ann Dowd, Jennifer Nettles, Norbert Leo Butz, Lidya Jewett, Olivia Marcum, Ellen Burstyn, Okwui Okpokwasili, Raphael Sbarge

CREW: David Gordon Green (director, writer), Jason Blum, David Robinson and James G. Robinson (producers), Michael Simmonds (cinematographer), Timothy Alverson (editor)

PLOT: When young friends Angela (Jewett) and Katherine (Marcum) suddenly go missing in the woods, only to reemerge days later with no memory and disturbing new behavioural patterns, Angela’s father Victor (Odom Jr.) seeks help from retired actor Chris MacNeil (Burstyn), who fifty years prior experienced a similar event with her own daughter. As the friends become more and more possessed by mysterious and terrifying forces, MacNeil must assist Victor in finding and banishing the threat…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • As the original horror classic by the late William Friedkin celebrates its 50th anniversary, director David Gordon Green introduces a new chapter in the terrifying supernatural possession drama
  • Green, whose divisive Halloween trilogy concluded last year, leans into many of Friedkin’s effective methods to keep the spirit of the original alive
  • The legendary Ellen Burstyn, who was Oscar-nominated for her turn in the original, reprises her role for the first time in fifty years, alongside new leads Leslie Odom Jr. and Ann Dowd
  • Expect plenty of slow-burn suspense alongside some freakish make-up and visual effects that bring the terror even more to life
  • It is the first part of a new trilogy, set to continue in 2025 with The Exorcist: Deceiver and a yet-unnamed final entry hopefully not too long after

The Exorcist: Believer is showing in cinemas from Friday 6th October 2023

What’s Showing in Cinemas This Week?

 

The Great Escaper (2023, dir. Oliver Parker)

CAST: Michael Caine, Glenda Jackson, John Standing, Danielle Vitalis, Donald Sage Mackie, Ian Conningham, Isabella Domville, Joe Bone, Victor Oshin, Will Fletcher, Laura Marcus

CREW: Oliver Parker (director), William Ivory (writer), Robert Bernstein and Douglas Rae (producers), Craig Armstrong (composer), Christopher Ross (cinematographer), Paul Tothill (editor)

PLOT: In 2014, elderly Bernard Jordan (Caine) makes a daring escape from his care home in Devon, leaving behind his loving wife Irene (Jackson), and sets out on a mission to join his fellow war veterans on the beaches of Normandy to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The inspiring real-life story of OAP Bernard Jordan and his unexpected journey is dramatized in this heart-warming new crowd-pleaser
  • Michael Caine plays Jordan, and gives a powerful performance that shows how, even at 90 years old, he’s still as reliable in front of the camera as he’s always been
  • It is also the final film to star fellow Oscar-winner Glenda Jackson, who sadly passed away earlier this year, but leaves behind one last endearing turn as Jordan’s wife Irene
  • The heroic war-time efforts of Jordan are also commemorated here, though much of the focus remains on his most recent headline-grabbing antics
  • It’s hard to not feel some sharp emotions as the movie salutes the remaining members of the Greatest Generation, and their amazing sacrifices during the most brutal of eras

The Great Escaper is showing in cinemas from Friday 6th October 2023

 

BlackBerry (2023, dir. Matt Johnson)

CAST: Jay Baruchel, Glenn Howerton, Matt Johnson, Rich Sommer, Michael Ironside, Martin Donovan, Michelle Giroux, SungWon Cho, Mark Critch, Saul Rubinek, Cary Elwes, Ben Petrie

CREW: Matt Johnson (director, writer), Matthew Miller (writer, producer), Fraser Ash, Niv Fichman and Kevin Krikst (producers), Jay McCarol (composer), Jared Raab (cinematographer), Curt Lobb (editor)

PLOT: In 1996, friends and business partners Mike Lazaridis (Baruchel) and Douglas Fregin (Johnson) struggle to keep their company Research in Motion afloat, while they work to introduce the world’s first smartphone. When they bring on board cunning businessman Jim Balsillie (Howerton), they acquire the money and experience needed to create the revolutionary BlackBerry device – but years later, the company and the product are threatened by shady business dealings, personal grievances, and rapidly-growing competition, including the new iPhone…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The rise and fall of the world’s first smartphone is the basis for this highly entertaining Canadian corporate drama
  • Jay Baruchel, Glenn Howerton, and the film’s director and co-writer Matt Johnson play the three head figures who revolutionised the mobile device business, long before Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone
  • It has already received near-universal critical acclaim, with some comparing its zippy and highly-strung tone to David Fincher’s The Social Network
  • As with most dramatized versions of real-life stories, be sure to take most of it with a pinch of salt, if the backlash from some of the figures depicted in the movie are to be believed
  • If you ever owned one of those fiddly BlackBerry devices long before the touchscreen changed everything, this will give you some further insight into your old piece of technology

BlackBerry is showing in cinemas from Friday 6th October 2023

 

Golda (2023, dir. Guy Nattiv)

CAST: Helen Mirren, Camille Cottin, Rami Heuberger, Ohad Knoller, Lior Ashkenazi, Dominic Mafham, Ellie Piercy, Ed Stoppard, Rotem Keinan, Dvir Benedek, Emma Davies, Liev Schreiber, Jaime Ray Newman

CREW: Guy Nattiv (director), Nicholas Martin (writer, producer), Jane Hooks and Michael Kuhn (producers), Dascha Dauenhauer (composer), Jasper Wolf (cinematographer), Arik Lahav Leibovich (editor)

PLOT: In 1973, as Israel is drawn into a prolonged and destructive fight against a coalition of Arab states, Prime Minister Golda Meir (Mirren) must navigate her sceptical cabinet, the concerns of US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (Schreiber), and her moral responsibilities in order to determine the correct course of action…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Helen Mirren is near-unrecognisable as the divisive Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, whose controversial actions during the Yom Kippur War are the focus of this taut political thriller
  • Mirren’s casting as Meir, despite not being Jewish, has generated its own controversy as part of a reemerged conversation about Jewish representation in film (see also: the brief backlash surrounding Bradley Cooper’s casting as Leonard Bernstein in the upcoming Maestro)
  • Nonetheless, Mirren leads the film with an impeccable grace, under the direction of Oscar-winning filmmaker Guy Nattiv
  • The film arrives on the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, which would become a decisive moment in Israel’s political and military history
  • It is a tense and heart-wrenching film that looks at some of the most devastating consequences of Golda Meir’s decisions as leader of Israel

Golda is showing in cinemas from Friday 6th October 2023

 

When Evil Lurks (2023, dir. Demián Rugna)

CAST: Ezequiel Rodríguez, Luis Ziembrowski, Demián Salomón, Federico Liss, Silvina Sabater, Desirée Salgueiro, Marcelo Michinaux, Emilio Vodanovich, Virginia Garófalo, Paula Rubinsztein

CREW: Demián Rugna (director, writer), Fernando Díaz (producer), Pablo Fuu (composer), Mariano Suárez (cinematographer), Lionel Cornistein (editor)

PLOT: In a remote village, brothers Pedro (Rodríguez) and Jimmy (Ziembrowski) encounter a bloated body infected by evil. When the brothers decide to get rid of the body, they end up unleashing a demonic presence throughout their community…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This dark and violent horror revels in the chaos of a demon’s wide-reaching evil
  • It is the first Spanish-language production for horror streamer Shudder, made via an international collaboration between Argentina and the United States
  • The script, credited to director Demián Rugna, was awarded a top prize at an influential pitching event hosted by the Sitges Film Festival in Catalonia, Spain
  • You can expect to see plenty of unhinged gore and death as people continuously encounter an unspeakably sadistic presence
  • Having already spooked most critics, audiences are surely in for a thought-provoking time as well as a scary one!

When Evil Lurks is showing in cinemas from Friday 6th October 2023

 

20 Days in Mariupol (2023, dir. Mstyslav Chernov)

CAST: Mstyslav Chernov

CREW: Mstyslav Chernov (director, writer, producer, cinematographer), Michelle Mizner (producer, editor) Raney Aronson-Rath and Derl McCrudden (producers), Jordan Dykstra (composer), Evgeniy Maloletka (cinematographer)

PLOT: Ukrainian filmmaker Mstyslav Chernov and several of his colleagues find themselves trapped in the city of Mariupol as the Russian invasion begins, leading them to document the horrifying atrocities committed during that time…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This harrowing war documentary presents the closest look yet at the devastating war in Ukraine
  • Filmmaker Mstyslav Chernov and several fellow documentarians use their cameras as the ultimate weapon against a heavily robust regime
  • Witness up-close some of the most devastating war imagery to emerge in peacetime, shot over twenty days during the beginning of Russia’s invasion of the country
  • The film has already shocked audiences at film festivals across the world, including at Sundance where it won the Audience Award for World Cinema Documentary
  • It is a raw reminder that this unjust and illegal war, which as of writing has no end in sight, is devastating not just for Ukraine but for the rest of the free world

20 Days in Mariupol is showing in cinemas from Friday 6th October 2023

 

Mind-Set (2023, dir. Mikey Murray)

CAST: Eilis Cahill, Steve Oram, Peter Bankolé, Pauline Lynch, Rhiannon Wyn, Andrew John Tait, Robin Laing, Philip Stevens, Lucy-Jane Quinlan, Julia Deakin, Jason Isaacs

CREW: Mikey Murray (director, writer, producer), Josh Mandel and Darren Scales (producers), Jack Shelbourn (cinematographer), Mat Owen (editor)

PLOT: Lucy (Cahill), a disillusioned office clerk, is stuck in a meandering relationship with her long-term partner Paul (Oram). When she finds herself on the cusp of engaging in an affair with her new co-worker Daniel (Bankolé), she begins to ponder if sex with another person is the answer to her much deeper problems…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • A much more cynical side to long-term romance is explored in this grounded new romantic-comedy
  • The cast is led by American-Irish actor Eilis Cahill, who holds her own opposite Sightseers’ Steve Oram and handsome co-star Peter Bankolé (and watch out for a small role by Jason Isaacs, too!)
  • Shot in crisp black-and-white, filmmaker Mikey Murray captures the mundane situation that most couples past their prime seem to find themselves in
  • Murray’s script feels authentic without feeling too forced, and while certainly not free of drama it does offer some light wit to counteract some of the more surprising moments
  • It’s a comedy that’s reminiscent of 70s-era Woody Allen, which gives it a nice nostalgic charm to its aesthetic

Mind-Set is showing in cinemas from Friday 6th October 2023

 

Ghosts of the Chelsea Hotel (and Other Rock & Roll Stories) (2023, dir. Danny Garcia)

CAST: Richard Barone, William Benton, Victor Colicchio, Dan Courtenay, Skye Ferrante, Harley Flanagan, Susan Kleinsinger, Michael Imperioli, Neon Leon, Man-Laï Liang, Rocker Mike, Howie Pyro, Ruby Lynn Reyner, Marcia Resnick, Cynthia Ross, Rodrigo Salomon, Tim Sullivan, Sherill Tippins, Colleen Weinstein, Dahlia Weinstein, Ned Van Zandt

CREW: Danny Garcia (director, writer, producer), Cesar Mendez and Mike Schnapp (producers), William Benton (composer), Chip Baker (editor)

PLOT: The history and legacy of the famed Chelsea Hotel in New York City, which was the home to numerous creatives over the years, is explored…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Filmmaker Danny Garcia takes a deep dive into New York’s landmark Chelsea Hotel, and its fascinating history as well as its even more fascinating historical residents, which have included Mark Twain, Tennessee Williams, Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Patti Smith and many more
  • Numerous former and current residents, from The Sopranos actor Michael Imperioli to writer Sherill Tippins, share several stories about their experiences within the hotel
  • The building’s rich history, from its nineteenth century construction to its current form under new owners, forms an intriguing section of the documentary
  • There are even some detours into paranormal territory, with stories about a number of ghostly encounters being relayed for the camera!
  • It’s an interesting film about a landmark property, which might even inspire you to seek out the hotel for yourselves

Ghosts of the Chelsea Hotel (and Other Rock & Roll Stories) is showing in cinemas from Friday 6th October 2023

 

Evangelion: 3.0+1.01 Thrice Upon a Time (2021, dirs. Hideaki Anno, Mahiro Maeda, Katsuichi Nakayama and Kazuya Tsurumaki)

CAST (ENGLISH VERSION): Spike Spencer, Tiffany Grant, Amanda Winn-Lee, Allison Keith, John Swasey, Felecia Angelle, Deneen Melody, Mary Faber, Daman Mills, Brett Weaver, Alejandro Saab, Kimberly Yates, Amy Seeley, Michael Ross, Sean Burgos, Bijou Vann, Jaxon Lee, Joe Fria, Jake Eberle, Scott Golden, Rebeka Thomas

CAST (JAPANESE VERSION): Megumi Ogata, Yūko Miyamura, Megumi Hayashibara, Kotono Mitsuishi, Fumihiko Tachiki, Miyuki Sawashiro, Maaya Sakamoto, Yuriko Yamaguchi, Akira Ishida, Tomokazu Seki, Tetsuya Iwanaga, Junko Iwao, Miki Nagasawa, Motomu Kiyokawa, Kōichi Yamadera, Mariya Ise, Takehito Koyasu, Hiro Yuuki, Megumi Hayashibara, Kōki Uchiyama, Akio Otsuka, Anri Katsu, Sayaka Ohara

CREW: Hideaki Anno (director, writer, producer), Mahiro Maeda, Katsuichi Nakayama and Kazuya Tsurumaki (directors), Tomoyuki Ogata (producer), Shirô Sagisu (composer), Tôru Fukushi (cinematographer), Emi Tsujita (editor)

PLOT: Misato (Keith/Mitsuishi) and her anti-NERV group WILLE arrive in Paris, which has turned red from core-ization. The crew of the flagship Wunder land on a containment tower, from which they must restore the city within 720 seconds. However, when a horde of NERV Evas appear, the team must intercept. Meanwhile, Shinji (Spencer/Ogata), Asuka (Grant/Miyamura), and Rei (Winn-Lee/Hayashibara) take a meaningful wander about Japan…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The fourth and final entry in the acclaimed Rebuild of Evangelion anime film series is an action-packed and emotional ride for long-time fans of the franchise
  • As with previous films in the series, it sets out to rewrite the events of popular anime show Neon Genesis Evangelion, with this one in particular offering a definitive and satisfying conclusion
  • It was a huge hit in Japan upon its original release, becoming the highest-grossing film in the series while also pleasing critics with its thoughtful storytelling
  • Series creator Hideaki Anno, a highly respected anime auteur in his own right, returns to direct the closing chapter in his decades-spanning series
  • Even if you’ve never watched a single episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion or seen any of the film spin-offs, there’s still plenty of charm and wonder to capture your imagination

Evangelion: 3.0+1.01 Thrice Upon a Time is showing in cinemas from Friday 6th October 2023

What’s Showing At Home This Week?

 

Fair Play (2023, dir. Chloe Domont)

CAST: Phoebe Dynevor, Alden Ehrenreich, Eddie Marsan, Rich Sommer, Sebastian de Souza, Geraldine Somerville

CREW: Chloe Domont (director, writer), Leopold Hughes, Ben LeClair, Allan Mandelbaum, Tim White and Trevor White (producers), Brian McOmber (composer), Menno Mans (cinematographer), Franklin Peterson (editor)

PLOT: Emily (Dynevor) and Luke (Ehrenreich) are a newly-engaged young couple who work together at a thriving but cutthroat financial firm. When Emily is unexpectedly given a coveted promotion, tensions begin to arise between the couple, threatening their careers, their relationship, and possibly even their future…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The feature debut of filmmaker Chloe Domont is an erotic and unpredictable thriller set in the harsh world of finance
  • Bridgerton’s Phoebe Dynevor and Oppenheimer’s Alden Ehrenreich share sizzling romantic chemistry, as well as plenty of heated moments of tension
  • Supporting turns by the likes of Eddie Marsan and Sebastian de Souza neatly compliment the central couple
  • The film made waves at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, where Netflix quickly snatched up the rights for a hefty $20 million
  • It is an unpredictable and nail-biting ride that explores power dynamics and petty jealousies in relationships

Fair Play is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Friday 6th October 2023

 

Totally Killer (2023, dir. Nahnatchka Khan)

CAST: Kiernan Shipka, Julie Bowen, Olivia Holt, Randall Park, Lochlyn Munro, Charlie Gillespie, Liana Liberato, Kelcey Mawema, Stephi Chin-Salvo, Anna Diaz, Jeremy Monn-Djasgnar, Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson, Ella Choi, Nathaniel Appiah, Jonathan Potts

CREW: Nahnatchka Khan (director), Jen D’Angelo, David Matalon and Sasha Perl-Raver (writers), Jason Blum, Greg Gilreath and Adam Hendricks (producers), Michael Andrews (composer), Judd Overton (cinematographer), Jeremy Cohen (editor)

PLOT: Teenager Jamie (Shipka) ignores the advice of her overprotective mother Pam (Bowen) and heads out on Halloween night – only to come face-to-face with the infamous “Sweet Sixteen Killer”, who has reemerged 35 years after their last killing spree. Whilst escaping from the killer, Jamie somehow finds herself going back in time to the original killings in 1987, where she teams up with her own teenage mother (Holt) to defeat the enemy once and for all, before she is stuck in the past forever…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The slasher movie gets yet another genre mash-up, this time with the classic 80s sci-fi teen comedy
  • Sabrina herself Kiernan Shipka headlines this fun cross between Halloween and Back to the Future
  • Mega horror producer Jason Blum champions this project, with Always Be My Maybe director Nahnatchka Khan bringing her comedic expertise to the plot
  • There are some strong similarities to the cult 2015 slasher The Final Girls, though the differences are enough to have this film stand well enough on its own
  • There are some fun kills and even more fun references to 80s pop culture littered throughout this wild ride

Totally Killer is streaming exclusively on Prime Video from Friday 6th October 2023

 

Pet Sematary: Bloodlines (2023, dir. Lindsey Anderson Beer)

CAST: Jackson White, Forrest Goodluck, Jack Mulhern, Henry Thomas, Natalie Alyn Lind, Isabella Star LaBlanc, Pam Grier, David Duchovny, Samantha Mathis

CREW: Lindsey Anderson Beer (director, writer), Jeff Buhler (writer), Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian (producers), Brandon Roberts (composer), Benjamin Kirk Nielsen (cinematographer), Ken Blackwell and Jan Kovac (editors)

PLOT: In 1969, young Jud Crandell (White) dreams of leaving behind his hometown of Ludlow, Maine for good. However, he soon discovers an ancient evil buried within the town which even his own family might be connected to, which will keep him forever tied to Ludlow…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This prequel to the hit 2019 adaptation of Stephen King’s chilling novel explores a different side to the supernatural curse that dominated the original story
  • Jackson White plays Jud Crandell, the role made famous by Fred Gwynne in the cult 1989 adaptation, and previously portrayed by John Lithgow in 2019’s version
  • The mysterious and horrifying circumstances that led to the chilling events we know about are dug into more than any previous Pet Sematary adaptation
  • Lindsey Anderson Beer, previously known as the writer of the hit Netflix YA comedy Sierra Burgess is a Loser, makes her directorial debut with a script she also co-wrote with the 2019 version’s screenwriter Jeff Buhler
  • There’s enough terrifying reveals and some unsettling resurrections to remind us all that dead is, indeed, better

Pet Sematary: Bloodlines is streaming exclusively on Paramount+ from Saturday 7th October 2023

What’s Returning to Cinemas This Week?

 

The Princess and the Frog (2009, dirs. Ron Clements and John Musker)

CAST: Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Keith David, Michael-Leon Wooley, Jennifer Cody, Jim Cummings, Peter Bartlett, Jenifer Lewis, Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, John Goodman, Ritchie Montgomery, Don Hall, Paul Briggs, Corey Burton, Jerry Kernion, Kevin Michael Richardson, Emeril Lagasse

CREW: Ron Clements and John Musker (directors, writers), Rob Edwards (writer), Peter Del Vecho (producer), Randy Newman (composer), Jeff Draheim (editor)

PLOT: In 1920s New Orleans, Tiana (Rose) is a hard-working waitress who dreams of one day opening her own restaurant. However, her plans are interrupted when a talking frog, who claims to be the handsome but uncouth Prince Naveen (Campos) after being transformed by evil witch doctor Facilier (David), requests a kiss that will break his spell. However, upon kissing Naveen, she finds herself transformed into a frog as well, forcing the two of them on a wild adventure to turn themselves back into humans…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Disney continues to mark its 100th anniversary with the re-release of their beloved animated musical, based on the fairy tale of The Frog Princess
  • It marked a brief return to traditional 2D animation for the studio, which up until that point (and afterwards) had relied heavily on more modern CG animation
  • Directors Ron Clements and John Musker, also known for other classic Disney movies like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Moana, bring plenty of liveliness to the animation, with a soundtrack scored by the legendary Randy Newman
  • Initially dismissed as a box office disappointment, the film has since gained a much more devoted audience along with three Oscar nominations, and has even inspired an upcoming reworking of the classic Splash Mountain ride at Disneyland (replacing the more controversial Song of the South)
  • Filled with fun characters, toe-tapping songs, and some gorgeous animation, this is a Disney musical that you won’t want to forget about

The Princess and the Frog is showing in cinemas from Friday 6th October 2023

That’s about it for this week – be sure to come back next week for a whole new set of movies to work up an appetite for!

Want to see our past menus?

Want to find a specific film?

Search for it in the box below:

American Star (2024, dir. Gonzalo López-Gallego)

An aging hitman travels to Fuerteventura for a final mission…

Dune Part Two (2024, dir. Denis Villeneuve)

Paul Atreides leads the Fremen of the desert planet Arrakis on a defiant mission…

Wicked Little Letters (2024, dir. Thea Sharrock)

In 1920s Littlehampton, a series of vulgar letters rock the community…

Perfect Days (2023, dir. Wim Wenders)

A Tokyo toiler cleaner leads a carefully structured life…

Memory (2023, dir. Michel Franco)

A woman has a surprise encounter with an old high school classmate…

Someone’s Daughter, Someone’s Son (2024, dir. Lorna Tucker)

Filmmaker Lorna Tucker explores the UK’s ongoing homeless crisis…

Bob Marley: One Love (2024, dir. Reinaldo Marcus Green)

Reggae musician Bob Marley rises to prominence throughout the world…

Madame Web (2024, dir. S.J. Clarkson)

A clairvoyant paramedic protects a trio of young women from a mysterious assailant…

The Taste of Things (2023, dir. Trần Anh Hùng)

A gourmet chef is courted by her years-long employer…

The Promised Land (2023, dir. Nikolaj Arcel)

An 18th century Danish officer runs into complications whilst building on uninhabitable land…

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