It’s time to roll out a brand-new collection of exciting film releases, and there’s plenty to get worked up about this week, from an epic new adventure with Optimus Prime and the Autobots, to the life of an influential French musician, to even the origins of a favourite crunchy snack…

Movie of the Week


Streaming + On-Demand



Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (2023, dir. Steven Caple Jr.)

CAST: Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, Luna Lauren Vélez, Tobe Nwigwe, Dean Scott Vazquez, Peter Cullen, Pete Davidson, Liza Koshy, Cristo Fernández, John DiMaggio, Ron Perlman, Michelle Yeoh, David Sobolov, Tongayi Chirisa, Peter Dinklage, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Colman Domingo

CREW: Steven Caple Jr. (director), Joby Harold, Erich Hoeber, Jon Hoeber, Darnell Metayer and Josh Peters (writers), Michael Bay, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Don Murphy and Mark Vahradian (producers), Jongnic Bontemps (composer), Enrique Chediak (cinematographer), William Goldenberg, Stuart Levy and Brett M. Reed (editors)

PLOT: In 1994, ex-military electronics expert Noah (Ramos) and museum researcher Elena (Fishback) are swept up into a global adventure with the Autobots, led by Optimus Prime (Cullen). They come into conflict with three separate factions of Transformers, including the Maximals, the Predacons and the Terrorcons, whom they must soon unite with to defeat the world-devouring Transformer Unicron (Domingo)…


1) Optimus Prime and the rest of the Transformers make their long-awaited return to the big screen in a brand-new epic adventure

2) Former franchise director Michael Bay is sitting out this one out (thank goodness), but is still on-board as a producer under new filmmaker Steven Caple Jr., who previously made Creed II

3) The plot this time is based loosely on the popular Beast Wars spin-off franchise, with animal-based Transformers including the gorilla-like Optimus Primal factoring heavily into the plot

4) The human cast is lead by Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback, while among the voice cast is Ron Perlman, Peter Dinklage, and Oscar-winner Michelle Yeoh

5) There’s all the effects-heavy action you’ve come to expect in a Transformers film, but with a clearer sense of directorial vision here there’s also some room to actually care about all the robot-on-robot action

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is showing in cinemas from Thursday 8th June 2023



Chevalier (2023, dir. Stephen Williams)

CAST: Kelvin Harrison Jr., Samara Weaving, Lucy Boynton, Marton Csokas, Alex Fitzalan, Minnie Driver, Ronke Adekoluejo, Sian Clifford, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Jim Hugh, Ben Bradshaw, Alec Newman, Martin Matejcik, Sam Barlien, Jessica Boone, Tereza Mátlová, Joseph Prowen

CREW: Stephen Williams (director), Stefani Robinson (writer, producer), Cornelia Burleigh, Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe, Dianne McGunigle and Zahra Phillips (producers), Kris Bowers (composer), Jess Hall (cinematographer), John Axelrad (editor)

PLOT: In 18th century France, Joseph Bologne (Harrison Jr.), the illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner, rises to notoriety within social circles as a well-renowned violinist, composer and fencer, which soon catches the attention of Marie Antoinette (Boynton) and her royal court…


1) The untold story of legendary composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges is a gripping history lesson as well as a complex character study

2) Kelvin Harrison Jr. delivers a captivating lead performance as the multi-faceted historical figure, who overcame prejudice and status to win the hearts and minds of Marie Antoinette’s royal court

3) Harrison Jr. made a serious commitment to the part, practising the violin six hours a day for a whopping five months before shooting

4) The script is written by Stefani Robinson, renowned for her work on the hit TV series Atlanta, while its director Stephen Williams also has a long history in television, having done episodes of Westworld, The Walking Dead, and Prime Suspect

5) It dives into a figure whose life and noble achievements have until now been sadly swept under the rug, whether it’s due to societal racism or white snobbery (probably both, honestly)

Chevalier is showing in cinemas from Friday 9th June 2023

War Pony (2023, dirs. Gina Gammell and Riley Keough)

CAST: Jojo Bapteise Whiting, LaDainian Crazy Thunder, Jesse Schmockel, Sprague Hollander, Wilma Colhof, Iona Red Bear, Woodrow Lone Elk, Ta-Yamni Long Black Cat, Jeremy Corbin Cottier, Ashley Shelton

CREW: Gina Gammell and Riley Keough (directors, writers, producers), Franklin Sioux Bob and Bill Reddy (writers), Val Abel, Sacha Ben Harroche, Bear Damen, Salim El Arja, Bert Hamelinck, Michael Manasseri, Sergey Shtern, Elaine Thomas, Willi White and Ryan Zacarias (producers), Christopher Stracey and Mato Wayuhi (composers), David Gallego (cinematographer), Affonso Gonçalves and Eduardo Serrano (editors)

PLOT: On the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, populated by Oglala Lakota tribes, 23-year-old Bill (Bapteise Whiting) is determined to make a living through a series of ill-fated schemes. Meanwhile, 12-year-old Matho (Crazy Thunder) craves attention from his neglectful father, but a series of destructive decisions leads to both young men facing the harsh consequences of adult life…


1) Mad Max: Fury Road actor Riley Keough makes her feature directorial debut, alongside Gina Gammell, with this powerfully mature coming-of-age drama

2) Keough and Gammell developed the feature across a number of years, after they were introduced when the former was filming Andrea Arnold’s American Honey

3) Joining them as co-writers are two other first-timers, Franklin Sioux Bob and Bill Reddy, whose own experiences were used as heavy inspiration for the main interlocking plots

4) Its two young leads, Jojo Bapteise Whiting and LaDainian Crazy Thunder, have no prior acting credits, but you won’t be able to tell given how naturally and professionally they perform

5) The first-time filmmakers collaborated with actual residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation to ensure they created an authentic and realistic depiction of the Oglala Lakota tribespeople

War Pony is showing in cinemas from Friday 9th June 2023

Medusa Deluxe (2023, dir. Thomas Hardiman)

CAST: Clare Perkins, Anita-Joy Uwajeh, Kayla Meikle, Kae Alexander, Harriet Webb, Darrell D’Silva, Luke Pasqualino, Heider Ali, Lilit Lesser, Nicholas Karimi, Debris Stevenson, John Alan Roberts

CREW: Thomas Hardiman (director, writer), Michael Elliott, Lee Groombridge and Louise Palmkvist Hansen (producers), Robbie Ryan (cinematographer), Fouad Gaber (editor)

PLOT: In the cutthroat world of hairdressing, a regional competition is thrown into chaos when the presumed frontrunner has been gruesomely murdered. It is left to the ambitious competitors to play detective and discover which one among them may be the culprit…


1) Murder has never looked so stylish in this darkly comedic murder-mystery that takes aim at the highly competitive world of hairdressing

2) It is the feature debut of writer-director Thomas Hardiman, who leads a sassy, nearly all-female cast which includes EastEnders stand-out Clare Perkins

3) The film takes after Birdman, 1917 and Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope in that it’s shot by cinematographer Robbie Ryan and edited by Fouad Gaber to look like a single continuous take

4) Its blend of societal satire and murder-mystery elements make it a surprising double-feature option next to last year’s Bodies Bodies Bodies

5) Both sinister and grimly funny, this is a gripping tale of egotistical ambition in an industry where everyone is literally on a razor’s edge

Medusa Deluxe is showing in cinemas from Friday 9th June 2023 (and will be streaming exclusively on MUBI from Friday 4th August 2023)

Love Without Walls (2023, dir. Jane Gull)

CAST: Niall McNamee, Shana Swash, Paul Barber, Sheila Reid, Adam Deacon, Omar Lyefook, Theo Ogundipe, Joan Hodges, Amy Molloy, Lily Catalifo, Lou Macari, Clare Perkins, Ricci Harnett, Steve Meo

CREW: Jane Gull (director, writer), Karen Newman (producer), Susanne Salavati (cinematographer), Benjamin Gerstein and Aideen Johnston (editors)

PLOT: Paul (McNamee) and Sophie (Swash) are a young married couple who, due to being unable to pay the rent for their London flat, are suddenly made homeless. Over the course of a summer, their struggles increase as they turn to friends and family for help, and are soon left to wander the streets of London in search of odd jobs and temporary shelters, which they try to balance out with a sense of positivity…


1) The makers of indie hit My Feral Heart, including writer-director Jane Gull, return with an emotional tale of love in the darkest of moments

2) Actor and singer-songwriter Niall McNamee contributes some heart-breaking original songs to the soundtrack, as well as acting opposite co-lead Shana Swash

3) A core theme of the film is homelessness, a growing epidemic in the UK that is a direct result of both the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing cost of living crisis

4) Look out for a major supporting role by BAFTA-winner Adam Deacon, whom audiences may recognise from the Kidulthood film series and its spoof Anuvahood (which has a sequel coming out later this year)

5) The film is drowning in uncomfortable societal truths, but there is a beating heart to it that will leave you in a pool of tears

Love Without Walls is showing in cinemas from Friday 9th June 2023






Flamin’ Hot (2023, dir. Eva Longoria)

CAST: Jesse Garcia, Annie Gonzalez, Emilio Rivera, Dennis Haysbert, Tony Shalhoub, Matt Walsh, Pepe Serna, Bobby Soto, Jimmy Gonzales, Brice Gonzales

CREW: Eva Longoria (director), Linda Yvette Chávez and Lewis Colick (writers), DeVon Franklin (producer), Marcelo Zarvos (composer), Federico Cantini (cinematographer), Kayla Emter and Liza D. Espinas (editors)

PLOT: In the early 1990s, Mexican-American labourer Richard Montañez (Garcia) works as a janitor for Frito-Lay, the company behind popular snack Cheetos. One day, he is inspired by the flavours of his Mexican heritage and community to create a spicier flavour of Cheetos, later known as Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, and sets out to bring it to the attention of the company, in a move that would go on to disrupt the snack market and the entire food industry…


1) It’s one of America’s favourite snacks, but this crowd-pleasing movie shows how the origins of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos came from the most unlikely of places

2) Former Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria makes her directorial debut with a film that feels worthy of the actor’s majestic aura

3) The role of Richard Montañez, whose rags-to-riches story ranks among the most surprising in history, is played by actor Jesse Garcia in a breakthrough film performance

4) It follows in the recent tradition of biopics about popular items including Air and Tetris, and seeks a similarly pleasing effect with audiences

5) For Cheetos, it may just make you more than a little hungry for the spicy snacks itself!

Flamin’ Hot is streaming exclusively on Disney+ from Friday 9th June 2023

Simulant (2023, dir. April Mullen)

CAST: Robbie Amell, Jordana Brewster, Simu Liu, Sam Worthington, Alicia Sanz, Mayko Nguyen, Masa Lizdek, Christine L. Nguyen, Emmanuel Kabongo, Samantha Helt

CREW: April Mullen (director), Ryan Christopher Churchill (writer), Tim Doiron and James van der Woerd (producers), Martin Macphail, Tristan Tarr and Dean Rode (composers), Russ De Jong (cinematographer), Orlee Buium (editor)

PLOT: In the near future, Faye (Brewster) attempts to bring back her recently deceased husband Evan (Amell) via an artificially intelligent “Simulant”, an android that is genetically designed to replicate a human. However, when the Simulant Evan illegally enlists global hacker Casey (Liu) to remove all restrictions on his thoughts and capabilities, so that he can woo Faye on his own terms, he draws the attention of government agent Kessler (Worthington), who is on a mission to eliminate an AI uprising…


1) AI is making trouble at the movies (again) in this slick sci-fi thriller that feels as though it’s been ripped from today’s headlines

2) Its starry cast includes Code 8’s Robbie Amell, Fast & Furious veteran Jordana Brewster, Marvel hero Simu Liu and Avatar lead Sam Worthington

3) The plot combines thought-provoking themes about artificial intelligence with a futuristic action plot which gets more and more unpredictable

4) It falls right into the same category as other classic films about AI lifeforms such as Blade Runner, Ex Machina and Upgrade

5) Whatever your stance on AI in its current form, there’s no denying the timely impact that this tense thriller carries

Simulant is streaming exclusively on Sky Cinema from Friday 9th June 2023




Hairspray (1988, dir. John Waters)

CAST: Ricki Lake, Divine, Debbie Harry, Sonny Bono, Jerry Stiller, Leslie Ann Powers, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Michael St. Gerard, Clayton Prince, Cyrkle Milbourne, Ruth Brown, Shawn Thompson, Mink Stole, Joann Havrilla, Doug Roberts, Alan J. Wendl, Toussaint McCall, John Waters, Josh Charles, Jason Downs, Holter Graham, Dan Griffith, Regina Hammond, Bridget Kimsey, Frankie Maldon, Brooke Stacy Mills, John Orofino, Kim Webb, Debra Wirth, Ric Ocasek, Pia Zadora

CREW: John Waters (director, writer), Rachel Talalay (producer), Kenny Vance (composer), David Insley (cinematographer), Janice Hampton and Charles Roggero (editors)

PLOT: In 1962 Baltimore, “pleasantly plump” teen Tracy Turnblad (Lake) dreams of becoming a dancer on her favourite TV programme The Corny Collins Show. After she successfully auditions to be on the show, Tracy discovers that it is deeply rooted in racial segregation, and sets out to use her newfound fame to campaign for equality…


1) John Waters’ hugely accessible comedy – in fact, it’s the only accessible movie in Waters’ deranged filmmaking career – returns to cinemas in time for its 35th anniversary

2) Although not an immediate smash hit at the box office, a successful run on home video in the early 90s propelled it to cult film status

3) It would, of course, go on to inspire the hugely popular Broadway musical of the same name, which got its own movie adaptation in 2007 starring the likes of John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and Zac Efron

4) Legendary drag queen Divine, a regular player in Waters’ films, plays the memorable role of the main character’s mother, but sadly it would turn out to be her final performance as she died three weeks after its release

5) There’s still plenty to laugh and dance along to with this film, with themes of racial inequality and body positivity still resonating nearly four decades later

Hairspray is showing in cinemas from Friday 9th June 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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