While our American readers are celebrating yet another Independence Day holiday, we’ve got our own celebrations lined up with yet another exemplary week at the movies, with new releases such as a Pixar romance, a terrifying horror sequel, and much more!

Movie of the Week


Streaming + On-Demand


Elemental (2023, dir. Peter Sohn)

CAST: Leah Lewis, Mamoudou Athie, Ronnie del Carmen, Shila Ommi, Mason Wertheimer, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Catherine O’Hara, Ronobir Lahiri, Wilma Bonet, Joe Pera, Matt Yang King, Onanovie Ekakitie, Krysta Gonzales, Ava Kai Hauser, Jonathan Adams, Clara Lin Ding, Reagan To

CREW: Peter Sohn (director), John Hoberg, Kat Likkel and Brenda Hsueh (writers), Denise Ream (producer), Thomas Newman (composer), David Juan Bianchi and Jean-Claude Kalache (cinematographers), Stephen Schaffer (editor)

PLOT: In Element City, residents made up of fire, water, air and earth live and work alongside one another. Ember (Lewis), a fiery young woman who stays close to her family in Firetown, soon meets Wade (Athie), a go-with-the-flow water guy, and the two start to fall for each other when they realise how much they have in common, despite their natural mispairing…


1) Pixar’s latest feature is an expansive and romantic tale that explores what would happen if opposites really did attract

2) Director Peter Sohn, who previously directed The Good Dinosaur for the animation studio, draws from his own experiences of being the offspring of immigrants for inspiration for the complex plot

3) Naturally, there is plenty of gorgeous animation to look at, especially as it shows how this world and its element-based residents function together

4) Legendary composer Thomas Newman contributes yet another spellbinding musical score, his fourth overall for Pixar following Finding Nemo, WALL-E and Finding Dory

5) It’s an imaginative, funny, and thoughtful commentary on our greatest prejudices, which a lot of us need a stern reminder of in today’s divisive world

Elemental is showing in cinemas from Friday 7th July 2023



Insidious: The Red Door (2023, dir. Patrick Wilson)

CAST: Patrick Wilson, Ty Simpkins, Rose Byrne, Andrew Astor, Juliana Davies, Lin Shaye, Hiam Abbass, Sinclair Daniel, Peter Dager, Jarquez McClendon

CREW: Patrick Wilson (director), Scott Teems (writer), Jason Blum, Oren Peli, James Wan and Leigh Whannell (producers), Joseph Bishara (composer), cinematographer TBA, editor TBA

PLOT: Ten years after their shared nightmare, the Lamberts – including couple Josh (Wilson) and Renai (Byrne), and their children Dalton (Simpkins), Foster (Astor) and Cali (Davies) – have moved on with their lives. When Josh drops Dalton off at college, their repressed demons are suddenly reawakened, forcing them both to re-enter the Further to rid themselves of their nightmares for good…


1) After two terrifying Lin Shaye-fronted entries, the Insidious franchise returns to check in on the Lambert family, whose hauntings were the main focus of the first two movies

2) Patrick Wilson makes his directorial debut with this film, in addition to reprising his role as Josh Lambert opposite fellow returning actors Rose Byrne and Ty Simpkins

3) The unsettling supernatural world of the Further is revisited once more, with more terrifying demons than ever before

4) The original film’s director James Wan, and its writer Leigh Whannell, are on-board as producers alongside Blumhouse maestro Jason Blum and Paranormal Activity creator Oren Peli

5) It marks a solid return to form for the horror series, after the critical and financial disappointment of the divisive fourth entry Insidious: The Last Key (which isn’t “last” anymore, we suppose!)

Insidious: The Red Door is showing in cinemas from Friday 7th July 2023

Smoking Causes Coughing (2022, dir. Quentin Dupieux)

CAST: Gilles Lellouche, Vincent Lacoste, Anaïs Demoustier, Jean-Pascal Zadi, Oulaya Amamra, David Marsais, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Grégoire Ludig, Doria Tillier, Jérôme Niel, Blanche Gardin, Alain Chabat, Benoît Poelvoorde, Raphaël Quenard, Anthony Sonigo, Julia Faure, Jules Dhios Francisco

CREW: Quentin Dupieux (director, writer, cinematographer, editor), Hugo Sélignac (producer)

PLOT: A team of superheroes known as “Tobacco Force” – comprised of Benzène (Lellouche), Methanol (Lacoste), Nicotine (Demoustier), Mercure (Zadi) and Ammoniaque (Amamra) – is sent on a mandatory week-long retreat to recover and rebuild their team dynamic after an exhausting supervillain battle. However, their downtime is rudely interrupted by the arrival of a new foe who seeks to destroy the world…


1) French auteur Quentin Dupieux is back with another absurdist dark comedy that will have you laughing and feeling confused all at once

2) It pays homage to the likes of Power Rangers while also parodying their cheesy low-budget effects and absurd plots

3) The oft-putting alliance with tobacco-friendly products in character names and their sensibilities is just one of the unexpectedly adult twists on the formula

4) Don’t get too attached to the characters, for they might just find themselves wrestling with a horrific fate (and I’m not just talking about death!)

5) You can expect all the unpredictability and deadpan humour from Dupieux’s other films, including Deerskin and Rubber, the one about a killer tyre (you read that right!)

Smoking Causes Coughing is showing in cinemas from Friday 7th July 2023

The Damned Don’t Cry (2023, dir. Fyzal Boulifa)

CAST: Aïcha Tebbae, Abdellah El Hajjouji, Antoine Reinartz, Moustapha Mokafih

CREW: Fyzal Boulifa (director, writer), Karim Debbagh, Gary Farkas, Clément Lepoutre and Olivier Muller (producers), Nadah El Shazly (composer), Caroline Champetier (cinematographer), François Quiqueré (editor)

PLOT: In Morocco, Fatima-Zahra (Tebbae) and her late-teenage son Selim (El Hajjouji) move to Tangier in the hope of starting a new life together, far away from the scandal she caused from her past as a sex worker. However, their co-dependent relationship is soon tested when new opportunities cause a rift between them…


1) The second feature by British-Moroccan filmmaker Fyzal Boulifa, previously of the acclaimed UK indie Lynn + Lucy, is an intimate portrayal of a close mother-son relationship

2) Co-leads Aïcha Tebbae and Abdellah El Hajjouji wholly convince as a family unit driven to desperation when their secrets are laid bare

3) The Moroccan environment provides some dry and sun-drenched backdrops for all the family drama

4) It doesn’t shy away from exploring deep topics like sexual identity and colonialism, in ways that might make some conservative viewers feel a little uncomfortable

5) Full of thought and empathy for its main characters, this is a family drama that may just leave you thankful for your own kin

The Damned Don’t Cry is showing in cinemas from Friday 7th July 2023 (and will be available to rent exclusively on Curzon Home Cinema)

Name Me Lawand (2023, dir. Edward Lovelace)

CAST: Lawand Hamad Amin

CREW: Edward Lovelace (director, writer, producer), Neil Andrews, Sam Arnold, Marisa Clifford, Fleur Nieddu Lovelace and Beyan Taher (producers), Tom Hodge (composer), Ben Fordesman (cinematographer), Shahnaz Dulaimy, Michael Nollet and David Whittaker (editors)

PLOT: Born deaf in Iraq, five-year-old Lawand departs the country with his family, eventually settling Derby, England where he is enrolled in the Royal School for the Deaf and is taught British Sign Language which he uses to express himself in ways he couldn’t before. However, his happiness is threatened when he and his family is threatened with deportation…


1) Documentarian Edward Lovelace presents the heart-warming and uplifting story of Lawand, the deaf Kurdish boy who found a way to express himself through BSL

2) The film follows four years in Lawand’s life, up to and including the fateful decision regarding his family’s citizenship status

3) It speaks volumes about the power of language, especially for those who cannot immediately express themselves like others can

4) Lawand’s story of migration and seeking asylum in the UK will ring true for anyone who themselves may have made just as perilous a journey across the world from places of genuine hardship

5) You’ll fall in love with the undying spirit of a young boy who defied the odds and found his calling in a world that was against him from birth

Name Me Lawand is showing in cinemas from Friday 7th July 2023

Shabu (2022, dir. Shamira Raphaëla)

CAST: Sharonio Abisoina

CREW: Shamira Raphaëla (director, writer), Willem Baptist and Nienke Korthof (producers), Michael Varekamp (composer), Jurgen Lisse, Jefrim Rothuizen, Gregg Telussa and Rogier Timmermans (cinematographers), Lykle Tuinstra and David Verdurme (editors)

PLOT: Sharonio “Shabu” Abisoina is a fourteen-year-old aspiring rapper who hails from “The Paperclip,” one of the most notorious neighbourhoods in Rotterdam. Forced to work over the summer after crashing his grandmother’s car, Shabu decides to stage a block party to showcase his talents and win over his grandmother…


1) This irresistibly charming film has a plot that sounds like your average indie drama – but, in fact, it’s a documentary!

2) Filmmaker Shamira Raphaëla captures the real-life exploits of the young rapper known as “Shabu” within a tightly compressed non-fiction narrative

3) You’ll get a first-hand look at life in a uniquely shaped apartment complex in one of Rotterdam’s numerous districts, where the main subject lives

4) Shabu’s rap skills are next level, with this film being a pretty strong representation of the talents he has on display

5) It’s a spirited documentary that you won’t be able to resist, with all of its good vibes that should get you through the summer months!

Shabu is showing in cinemas from Friday 7th July 2023



The Out-Laws (2023, dir. Tyler Spindel)

CAST: Adam DeVine, Pierce Brosnan, Ellen Barkin, Nina Dobrev, Michael Rooker, Poorna Jagannathan, Julie Hagerty, Richard Kind, Lil Rel Howery, Blake Anderson, Mo Gallini, Lauren Lapkus, Laci Mosley

CREW: Tyler Spindel (director), Evan Turner and Ben Zazove (writers), Allen Covert, Adam DeVine and Adam Sandler (producers), Rupert Gregson-Williams (composer), Michael Bonvillain (cinematographer), Ian Kezsbom and Phillip Kimsey (editors)

PLOT: Just before he is about to get married to the love of his life Parker (Dobrev), bank manager Owen (DeVine) has his building held up by a pair of infamous thieves known as the Ghost Bandits. After meeting Parker’s parents Billy (Brosnan) and Lily (Barkin) for the first time, Owen becomes more and more convinced that his future in-laws are actually the Ghost Bandits…


1) You’ll be laughing out loud during this hilarious new action-comedy from Adam Sandler’s production company Happy Madison

2) Sandler produces alongside Adam DeVine, who also stars in the lead role alongside acting legends Pierce Brosnan and Ellen Barkin

3) There’s a ton of exciting action to compliment the humour, especially with a former 007 among the cast (how much does this film celebrate that fact? Not only do they reference it in the trailer, but the film’s cinematographer is even a guy with the last name “Bonvillain”!)

4) It’s surely a step-up from director Tyler Spindel’s last film, which was the awful Netflix comedy The Wrong Missy (also, funnily enough, made through Happy Madison)

5) It’ll be an uproarious in-home treat for anyone who wants to be entertained from the comfort of their own sofa this weekend!

The Out-Laws is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Friday 7th July 2023

Wham! (2023, dir. Chris Smith)

CAST: George Michael, Andrew Ridgeley

CREW: Chris Smith (director), John Battsek and Simon Halfon (producers), Gregor Lyon (editor)

PLOT: In the 1980s, singers George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley form the duo known as Wham!, and become an international pop sensation with a long-lasting legacy…


1) Netflix’s new feature documentary explores the monumental career of pop sensation Wham!

2) Archive footage and interviews show members George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley experiencing the height of their fame

3) The feature comes from filmmaker Chris Smith, who has directed a number of documentaries for the streamer including Operation Varsity Blues and Fyre

4) In addition to detailing the origins of some of the duo’s greatest hits like “Careless Whisper” and “Last Christmas”, the film also deals with their struggles with addiction and their legal woes

5) Anyone who was, or still is, a die-hard fan of everything Wham!-related will find this an exhilarating and nostalgic watch

Wham! is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Wednesday 5th July 2023

Robots (2023, dirs. Casper Christensen and Ant Hines)

CAST: Shailene Woodley, Jack Whitehall, Paul Rust, Nick Rutherford, Paul Jurewicz, David Grant Wright, Emanuela Postacchini, Chelsea Edmundson, Jackamoe Buzzell, Samantha Ashley, Richard Lippert, Kate Herman

CREW: Casper Christensen and Ant Hines (directors, writers), Cassian Elwes, Julien Favre, Stephen Hamel, Sascha Krnajac, Thorsten Schumacher, Lars Sylvest and Bernd Wintersperger (producers)

PLOT: In the future, advanced robotic technology has allowed humanity to utilized lifelike androids as servants. Wealthy suburbanites Charles (Whitehall) and Elaine (Woodley) develop robotic clones of themselves to avoid the headaches of dating, but when their two android doubles fall in love and run away together, the real Charles and Elaine must team up to get them back…


1) Advanced technology gets a surprising romntic twist in this amusing sci-fi comedy

2) Jack Whitehall and Shailene Woodley unleash their inner comedy skills in dual role, two of which are loved-up androids who could not be more different than their human counterparts

3) There are plenty of wacky misadventures that’ll get some good chuckles out of the viewer

4) The plot is sure to draw similarities to the infamous Andy Kaufman comedy Heartbeeps, a movie considered to be such a letdown that Kaufman personally apologised for it on national television!

5) You can find plenty of heart and surprising warmth amidst the hijinks, which is more than enough to recommend about it

Robots is streaming exclusively on Prime Video from Friday 7th July 2023

Prisoner’s Daughter (2023, dir. Catherine Hardwicke)

CAST: Kate Beckinsale, Brian Cox, Christopher Convery, Jon Huertas, Ernie Hudson, Tyson Ritter, Angel Parker, Mark Kubr, Chuti Tiu

CREW: Catherine Hardwicke (director), Mark Bacci (writer), Marina Grasic, David Haring and Sam Okun (producers), Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum and Stephen Light (composers), Noah Greenberg (cinematographer), Glen Scantlebury (editor)

PLOT: Max (Cox) is a prison inmate who, after serving a twelve-year sentence, is released on compassionate grounds when he is diagnosed with terminal cancer. He uses his time reconnecting with his estranged adult daughter Maxine (Beckinsale), and his young grandson Ezra (Convery) whom he never knew, but when Maxine’s abusive drug-addicted ex-husband Tyler (Ritter) reappears on the scene, Max’s violent urges start to resurface…


1) Fresh from his Emmy-winning turn as the monstrous media mogul Logan Roy on TV’s Succession, Brian Cox settles into a significantly less antagonistic lead role in this moving family drama

2) Cox stars opposite Kate Beckinsale, who herself gives a tremendous turn where she gets to really flex her underused dramatic skills

3) Director Catherine Hardwicke is best known for modern coming-of-age hits like Thirteen, Lords of Dogtown, and the first Twilight movie

4) It makes a drastic shift later on into thriller territory, but the drama is so compelling that you can’t help but still be invested when it makes that turn

5) Even when you think you know where the film is headed, the powerful performances and compelling filmmaking still leave you on the edge of your seat

Prisoner’s Daughter is streaming exclusively on Prime Video from Tuesday 4th July 2023

Cerebrum (2023, dir. Sebastien Blanc)

CAST: Tobi King Bakare, Steve Oram, Ramona Von Pusch, Chandrika Chevli, Lucia France, Stephanie Lodge, Davide Marangoni

CREW: Sebastien Blanc (director, writer), Alessio Di Naro and Davide Marangoni (producers), Daniel Nolan (composer), Jamie Touche (cinematographer), Samuel Siegel (editor)

PLOT: William (Bakare), a young and insecure man, awakens from a coma in the presence of his controlling father Richard (Oram), and upon returning home to rest up, he finds that his mother Amelia (Von Pusch) seems to be avoiding him. Eager to find out what may be going on with his mother, William discovers the horrifying truth about his past, forcing him to make an impossible decision…


1) Prepare to have your mind bent in all possible directions during this tense and chilling psychological horror

2) It is said to be in the same vein as Get Out, which is an appropriate comparison to make after watching that rather creepy trailer!

3) The film was a hit at last year’s FrightFest, the UK’s biggest horror movie festival held every summer in London’s Leicester Square

4) Steve Oram, of Sightseers fame, delivers an exceptionally chilling turn as a father who may or may not be the source of the terror experienced by Tobi King Bakare’s protagonist

5) Unpredictable right up until the very end, you’ll be chilled to the bone as well as psychologically stimulated by its ability to shock at every turn

Cerebrum is available to rent/buy on most digital platforms from Monday 3rd July 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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