Going into this Bank Holiday weekend, you can expect plenty of rich new movie options to choose from, whether it’s a hilarious satire of horror movie tropes, or some popular Sundance audience favourites, or even a classic Disney fairy tale…

Movie of the Week


Streaming + On-Demand



The Blackening (2023, dir. Tim Story)

CAST: Grace Byers, Jermaine Fowler, Melvin Gregg, X Mayo, Dewayne Perkins, Antoinette Robertson, Sinqua Walls, Jay Pharaoh, Yvonne Orji, Diedrich Bader, James Preston Rogers

CREW: Tim Story (director, producer), Tracy Oliver (writer, producer), Dewayne Perkins (writer), Sharla Sumpter Bridgett, Marcei A. Brown, Jason Clark and E. Brian Dobbins (producers), Dexter Story (composer), Todd A. Dos Reis (cinematographer), Peter S. Elliot (editor)

PLOT: A group of Black friends head to a remote cabin for the weekend, where they soon find themselves trapped by a killer with a hidden agenda, forcing the friends to rely on their knowledge of horror movie tropes – and the roles that Black people play in them – in order to survive…


  1. The horror genre is sent up in a smart and unique way that calls into question a number of racial stereotypes within society and cinema
  2. Tim Story directs from a cleverly meta script co-written by comedian Dewayne Perkins, who not only has a role in the film but also adapts the Comedy Central sketch of the same name that he also wrote
  3. A hilarious ensemble cast of Black actors gives the story a serious jolt of energy, from Empire’s Grace Byers to SNL veteran Jay Pharaoh
  4. It brings about a new era of horror parody after the Scary Movie franchise fizzled out, but it also remembers to tell its own story with its own characters like the best spoof movies should
  5. With surprising twists and deeply thoughtful commentary, this is a horror-comedy that’s not to be messed with

The Blackening is showing in cinemas from Wednesday 23rd August 2023



Theater Camp (2023, dirs. Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman)

CAST: Molly Gordon, Ben Platt, Noah Galvin, Jimmy Tatro, Patti Harrison, Nathan Lee Graham, Ayo Edebiri, Owen Thiele, Caroline Aaron, Amy Sedaris, Alan Kim, Kyndra Sanchez, Alexander Bello, Luke Islam, Bailee Bonick, Donovan Colan, Vivienne Sachs, Quinn Titcomb, Jack Sobolewski, Madisen Lora

CREW: Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman (directors, writers, producers), Noah Galvin and Ben Platt (writers, producers), Jessica Elbaum, Samie Kim Falvey, Erik Feig, Will Ferrell, Julia Hammer, Ryan Heller and Maria Zuckerman (producers), James McAlister and Mark Sonnenblick (composers), Nate Hurtsellers (cinematographer), Jon Philpot (editor)

PLOT: As the eccentric staff of AdirondACTS, a rundown theater camp in upstate New York, prepares to welcome its newest young attendants for the summer, its founder Joan (Sedaris) suddenly falls into a coma, leaving her clueless son Troy (Tatro) in charge. In order to give the campers the best possible experience, Troy collaborates with the teachers, including lifelong best friends Amos (Platt) and Rebecca-Diane (Gordon), to come up with a solution…


  1. Anyone who loved studying Drama at school will find plenty to enjoy in this funny and uplifting mockumentary
  2. Co-director Molly Gordon, best known for roles in Booksmart and Shiva Baby, adapts the short film of the same name as well as taking on a major role in the movie
  3. Gordon acts opposite lively character actors Ben Platt (also a co-writer), Jimmy Tatro, and The Bear breakout Ayo Edebiri
  4. Plenty of wacky scenarios dominate the packed structure, which takes loving aim at the heavily theatrical lifestyles of those in the theatre world
  5. It all builds to a hugely crowd-pleasing climax that encompasses all the charm and wonders of the stage

Theater Camp is showing in cinemas from Friday 25th August 2023

Scrapper (2023, dir. Charlotte Regan)

CAST: Lola Campbell, Harris Dickinson, Alin Uzun, Cary Crankson, Carys Bowkett, Freya Bell, Laura Aikman, Ayokunle Oyesanwo, Ayobami Oyesanwo, Ayooluwa Oyesanwo, Olivia Brady

CREW: Charlotte Regan (director, writer), Theo Barrowclough (producer), Patrick Jonsson (composer), Molly Manning Walker (cinematographer), Matteo Bini and Billy Sneddon (editors)

PLOT: 12-year-old Georgie (Campbell) has been living a carefree life alone in a council flat since her mother’s death. One day, her absent father Jason (Dickinson) suddenly turns up, forcing Georgie to confront reality…


  1. Filled with charm and unexpected joy, this lively new feature puts a fresh new spin on the British social drama
  2. Debut writer-director Charlotte Regan avoids easy melodrama by injecting a playful and eccentric vision into the plot
  3. Newcomer Lola Campbell more than holds her own opposite her on-screen father Harris Dickinson, the star of last year’s Oscar contender Triangle of Sadness
  4. The film scored plenty of critical and audience acclaim after its debut at Sundance earlier this year, and also lit up last month’s London edition as well
  5. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re in the mood for a light-hearted take on some heavy subject matter

Scrapper is showing in cinemas from Friday 25th August 2023

The Dive (2023, dir. Maximilian Erlenwein)

CAST: Louisa Krause, Sophie Lowe

CREW: Maximilian Erlenwein (director, writer), Joachim Hedén (writer), Jonas Katzenstein and Maximilian Leo (producers), Volker Bertelmann and Raffael Seyfried (composers), Frank Griebe (cinematographer), Philipp Thomas (editor)

PLOT: May (Krause) and Drew (Lowe) are sisters who one day go sea diving at a beautiful, secluded location. However, a sudden landslide traps May under a rock 28 metres below the surface, forcing Drew to do everything within her power to save her…


  1. In the tradition of last year’s hit Fall comes a film that asks, “What if that, but deep underwater instead?”
  2. German filmmaker Maximilian Erlenwein directs and writes this tense English-language survival thriller
  3. It is predominantly a two-hander between actors Louisa Krause and Sophie Lowe, and both hold your attention at all times on-screen
  4. Composer Volker Bertelmann, who recently won an Oscar for his work on All Quiet on the Western Front, is on hand to co-write the score
  5. The film perfectly builds suspense and pressure as the clock ticks and the oxygen continues to run out

The Dive is showing in cinemas from Friday 25th August 2023

Mob Land (2023, dir. Nicholas Maggio)

CAST: Shiloh Fernandez, Stephen Dorff, Ashley Benson, Kevin Dillon, John Travolta, Timothy V. Murphy, Emily Tremaine, Robert Miano, Jesse Sharp, Tia DiMartino

CREW: Nicholas Maggio (director, writer), Bernie Gewissler and Corey Large (producers), David Gerald Steinberg (composer), Nick Matthews (cinematographer), Bryan Gaynor (editor)

PLOT: In a small Southern town, desperate family man Shelby (Fernandez) and his reckless brother-in-law Trey (Dillon) rob a drug dealer who’s linked to the mafia. Soon, Shelby is confronted by the mob’s vengeful enforcer Clayton Minor (Dorff), as well as local sheriff Bodie Davis (Travolta)…


  1. This southern-fried crime thriller holds its head up high as it dishes out some hard-hitting vengeance
  2. Screen legend John Travolta shines in a major supporting role, and is part of an impressive ensemble that also includes Stephen Dorff, Shiloh Fernandez, and Entourage star Kevin Dillon
  3. It is an impressive feature debut for first-time filmmaker Nicholas Maggio, who apparently wrote the first draft of the script in just 4 days
  4. It was also a quick shoot, lasting only 11 days which is incredibly speedy when compared to a standard production timeframe
  5. You’ll be endlessly thrilled and always unnerved by this grim and dark look at a crime-ridden corner of the world

Mob Land is showing in cinemas from Friday 25th August 2023

The Innocent (2022, dir. Louis Garrel)

CAST: Louis Garrel, Noémie Merlant, Roschdy Zem, Anouk Grinberg, Jean-Claude Pautot, Yanisse Kebbab

CREW: Louis Garrel (director, writer), Tanguy Viel (writer), Anne-Dominique Toussaint (producer), Grégoire Hetzel (composer), Julien Poupard (cinematographer), Pierre Deschamps (editor)

PLOT: Abel (Garrel) is a widowed aquarium employee who is dismayed to find that his mother Sylvie (Grinberg), a prison theater director, has suddenly married one of her pupils, ex-con Michel (Zem). Along with co-worker Clémence (Merlant), Abel sets out to prove his suspicions that Michel is up to no good, and ends up getting involved in his latest heist scheme…


  1. Acclaimed French actor Louis Garrel sits in the director’s chair for this unpredictable French caper
  2. Garrel also co-writes and co-stars in the film, alongside character actors Roschdy Zem and Anouk Grinberg
  3. Portrait of a Lady on Fire and Tár star Noémie Merlant, who also features in the film, won the Supporting Actress trophy at the César Awards (France’s answer to the Oscars)
  4. The story is partly inspired by Garrel’s own life, specifically his mother also overseeing theater workshops in prisons and getting involved with inmates
  5. You’ll be laughing at the screwball dynamics, but also thrilled by its intriguing criminal plot

The Innocent is showing in cinemas from Friday 25th August 2023

Afire (2023, dir. Christian Petzold)

CAST: Thomas Schubert, Paula Beer, Langston Uibel, Enno Trebs, Matthias Brandt, Esther Ash, Jennipher Antoni, Jonas Dassler, Marieke Zwart

CREW: Christian Petzold (director, writer), Anton Kaiser, Florian Koerner von Gustorf and Michael Weber (producers), Hans Fromm (cinematographer), Bettina Böhler (editor)

PLOT: Leon (Schubert) and his best friend Felix (Uibel) head to a holiday home near the Baltic Sea, only to find it is already occupied by the easy-going Nadja (Beer) who enjoys hooking up with local lifeguard David (Trebs). Soon, the four of them are forced to stay at the house when the forest surrounding them catches fire, causing plenty of emotions to spill out…


  1. German filmmaker Christian Petzold, previously of the magical realist drama Undine, tells an intimate new tale about uneasy friendships and hidden feelings
  2. Petzold reunites with his Undine star Paula Beer, who shines once more as a character whose sunny exterior soon reveals something deeper
  3. The film is said to be the middle chapter of an unofficial trilogy inspired by the elements (Undine being about water, this one being about fire etc)
  4. Sexual tensions run hot thanks to the inescapable chemistry shared between the actors, making it a rather steamy affair for all involved
  5. With this film, Petzold confirms himself to a serious European filmmaking talent to keep an eye on

Afire is showing in cinemas from Friday 25th August 2023

The Red Shoes: Next Step (2023, dirs. Jesse Ahern and Joanne Samuel)

CAST: Juliet Doherty, Lauren Esposito, Joel Burke, Carolyn Bock, Primrose Kern, Mietta White, Ashleigh Ross, Nicholas Andrianakos, Laura New, Daniele Clements, Kathy Luu, Adam Hedditch

CREW: Jesse Ahern (director, producer), Joanne Samuel (director), John Banas, Zachary Layner and Peter McLeod (writers), Tanya Esposito (producer), Dominic Cabusi and Bronte Maree O’Neill (composers), Kent Marcus (cinematographer), Inder Aney and Daniel Sievert (editors)

PLOT: Sam (Doherty), a talented young dancer, finds her world beginning to spiral out of control after a life-changing event, causing her to confront her emotions as she reignites her passion for dance…


  1. The new dance feature from Australia is a wondrous delight that will make younger audiences leap with joy
  2. Despite the title, the film is not considered a direct sequel to the classic ballet film by directors Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, nor to the original fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen
  3. US-Australian actor and ballet dancer Juliet Doherty takes on the lead role, which requires a considerable amount of physical performance to convey her character’s emotions
  4. Fellow dancers such as Joel Burke, Carolyn Bock and Primrose Kern round out the rest of the cast
  5. It’s a dance movie that’s bound to stand out in a market where such a film is a genuine rarity nowadays

The Red Shoes: Next Step is showing in cinemas from Friday 25th August 2023



You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah (2023, dir. Sammi Cohen)

CAST: Sunny Sandler, Samantha Lorraine, Adam Sandler, Idina Menzel, Jackie Sandler, Sadie Sandler, Dylan Hoffman, Sarah Sherman, Dan Bulla, Ido Mosseri, Jackie Hoffman, Luis Guzmán

CREW: Sammi Cohen (director), Alison Peck (writer), Tim Herlihy, Elysa Koplovitz Dutton, Leslie Morgenstein and Adam Sandler (producers), Este Haim and Amanda Yamate (composers), Ben Hardwicke (cinematographer), Jamie Keeney and Brian Robinson (editors)

PLOT: Stacy (S. Sandler) and her best friend Lydia (Lorraine) have been dreaming for years of having a pair of epic bat mitzvahs, but soon middle school drama and romance gets in the way of their friendship and their rite of passage…


  1. It’s a Sandler family affair in Happy Madison’s latest collaboration with Netflix, which is a coming-of-age delight
  2. Adam Sandler and real-life wife Jackie Sandler lend some meaningful support, allowing daughter Sunny Sandler to take a leading role along with Samantha Lorraine
  3. It is based on the YA novel by Fiona Rosenbloom, which similarly makes the Jewish tradition of the bat mitzvah accessible for young people of all faiths
  4. Teen drama rules the roost, but you can also expect some of that classic Happy Madison humour to show up every now and then
  5. It’s the latest in a surprisingly strong year for Sandler and Netflix, who saw success earlier this year with Murder Mystery 2 and The Out-Laws, and still has animated musical Leo and sci-fi drama Spaceman yet to come

You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Friday 25th August 2023

Vacation Friends 2 (2023, dir. Clay Tarver)

CAST: Lil Rel Howery, Yvonne Orji, Meredith Hagner, John Cena, Steve Buscemi, Ronny Chieng, Jamie Hector, Carlos Santos, Julee Cerda, Julianne Arrieta, Arnold Y. Kim, Kevin Yamada

CREW: Clay Tarver (director, writer), John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein, Tim Mullen and Tom Mullen (writers), Stuart M. Besser and Todd Garner (producers), Mark Mothersbaugh (composer), Tim Suhrstedt (cinematographer), Tim Roche (editor)

PLOT: Newly married couple Marcus (Howery) and Emily (Orji) land an all-expenses paid trip to a Caribbean resort, and they invite their uninhibited best friends Ron (Cena) and Kyla (Hagner) – who are also now married and with a baby – along for the trip. However, Kyla’s incarcerated father Reese (Buscemi) is released from prison and shows up at the worst possible moment for both couples, forcing them to contend with their new situation while still enjoying their perfect trip…


  1. The sequel to the hit raunchy comedy introduces bigger stakes, and more luscious holiday backdrops
  2. The lively ensemble cast returns for more hijinks, and are joined by new additions including Steve Buscemi and Ronny Chieng
  3. Director and co-writer Clay Tarver is also back, as are writing duo John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein who had success earlier this year with Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves
  4. On top of the hilarious comedy and surprisingly heartfelt friendships, it’ll make you want to really relax in the Caribbean sun as the characters often do here
  5. It’s a late summer laugh riot that preserves what little of the summer there is left

Vacation Friends 2 is streaming exclusively on Disney+ from Friday 25th August 2023

Mother, May I? (2023, dir. Laurence Vannicelli)

CAST: Kyle Gallner, Holland Roden, Chris Mulkey, Michael Giannone, Daphne Gaines

CREW: Laurence Vannicelli (director, writer), Bogdan George Apetri, Daniel Brandt, Cole Eckerle, Dane Eckerle, Daisy Long and Holland Roden (producers), Marc Riordan (composer), Craig Harmer (cinematographer), Keola Racela (editor)

PLOT: After his mother passes away, Emmett (Gallner) finds that his fiancé Anya (Roden) is starting to act more and more like her, which forces him to confront his darkest fears in order to get to the bottom of this bewildering possession…


  1. You’ll be chilled to the bone by this trippy psychological horror with a severe Oedipus complex
  2. It’s a striking debut feature from writer-director Laurence Vannicelli, who previously co-wrote the tongue-in-cheek comedy-horror Porno
  3. Kyle Gallner, previously seen in last year’s hit horror Smile, delivers a compelling performance next to a spooky turn by Holland Roden (who’s also a producer on the film)
  4. The remote setting is made to feel even more eerie thanks to some creepy cinematography and clever editing tricks
  5. It all leads to an unexpected climax where you’ll hardly want to look at your own mother in the same way again!

Mother, May I? is available to rent/buy on digital platforms from Monday 21st August 2023



Training Day (2001, dir. Antoine Fuqua)

CAST: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn, Eva Mendes, Cliff Curtis, Raymond Cruz, Noel Gugliemi, Dr. Dre, Peter Greene, Nick Chinlund, Jaime P. Gomez, Snoop Dogg, Macy Gray, Charlotte Ayanna, Harris Yulin, Tom Berenger, Raymond J. Barry, Samantha Esteban, Seidy López, Rudy Perez, Cle Shaheed Sloan, Abel Soto, Denzel Whitaker

CREW: Antoine Fuqua (director), David Ayer (writer), Bobby Newmyer and Jeffrey Silver (producers), Mark Mancina (composer), Mauro Fiore (cinematographer), Conrad Buff (editor)

PLOT: Rookie cop Jake Hoyt (Hawke) is assigned to highly respected narcotics officer Detective Alonzo Harris (Washington) for a one-day evaluation to determine if he is ready for a promotion. Over their day together, Jake witnesses Alonzo’s unethical methods for clearing the crime-ridden streets of Los Angeles, leading to stark revelations about the decorated officer…


  1. Antoine Fuqua’s legendary crime thriller is back in cinemas with an all-new 4K restoration
  2. Denzel Washington towers over the screen in his Oscar-winning performance as the crooked cop Alonzo Harris, along with an equally excellent Ethan Hawke who also scored a nomination for his powerful work here
  3. Both Fuqua and writer David Ayer (who would later become a filmmaker in his own right) saw their careers skyrocket as a result of this film’s success
  4. To make the film look as authentic as possible, Fuqua shot on location in some of Los Angeles’ most notorious neighbourhoods, a decision that only adds to the gritty realism of the film
  5. Washington would continue to collaborate with Fuqua on a number of other projects after this one, including the Equalizer trilogy (the third of which is due out next week)

Training Day is showing in cinemas from Friday 25th August 2023

Cinderella (1950, dirs. Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson and Hamilton Luske)

CAST: Ilene Woods, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton, Rhoda Williams, Lucille Bliss, James MacDonald, Luis VanRooten, Don Barclay, William Edward Phipps, June Foray, Betty Lou Gerson

CREW: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson and Hamilton Luske (directors), Kenneth Anderson, Homer Brightman, Winston Hibler, William Peed, Erdman Penner, Harry Reeves, Joe Rinaldi and Ted Sears (writers), Walt Disney (producer), Paul J. Smith and Oliver Wallace (composers), Donald Halliday (editor)

PLOT: Cinderella (Woods) is subject to cruel treatment by her evil stepmother Lady Tremaine (Audley) and equally wicked step-sisters Drizella (Williams) and Anastasia (Bliss). When she is forbidden from attending the Royal Ball, where the handsome Prince Charming (Phipps) is looking for a bride, Cinderella is distraught – but the arrival of her Fairy Godmother (Felton) brings about a magical night where she may win the affection of the Prince after all…


  1. Disney continues to celebrate its 100th anniversary with an all-new 4K restoration of their classic take on the timeless fairy tale
  2. The touched-up new addition makes the sparkling hand-drawn animation look just as squeaky-clean as it did when it was first released more than 70 years ago
  3. It’s a story that everyone knows, but done in such an endearing and pleasing way that will make anyone of any age feel like a kid again
  4. The company remade the film in 2015, under the direction of Kenneth Branagh and featuring a star-making turn by Lily James as the titular protagonist, which is considered one of the very best of Disney’s live-action remakes
  5. Its place in Disney history is permanent, especially since the castle is the one that appears in the Disney logo and is the most iconic location at every single Disneyland all across the world

Cinderella is showing in cinemas from Friday 25th August 2023

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

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