Welcome back for an all-new week of heroic movie releases, including the tense opener to Marvel’s Phase Five, a mental illness tearjerker, and the charming tale of an anthropomorphic shell…

MOVIE OF THE WEEK: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (dir. Peyton Reed)

CAST: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathryn Newton, Jonathan Majors, David Dastmalchian, Randall Park, Gregg Turkington, Bill Murray, William Jackson Harper, Katy O’Brien

CREW: Peyton Reed (director), Jeff Loveness (writer), Stephen Broussard and Kevin Feige (producers), Christophe Beck (composer), Bill Pope (cinematographer), Adam Gerstel and Laura Jennings (editors)

PLOT: Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Rudd), the former criminal turned universe-saving Avenger, is sucked into the Quantum Realm with his partner Hope Van Dyne/Wasp (Lilly), her parents Hank Pym (Douglas) and Janet Van Dyne (Pfeiffer), and his teen daughter Cassie (Newton). There, they discover an entire universe filled with strange creatures and dangerous threats – including the sinister Kang the Conqueror (Majors), who forces Scott and his friends to help him on a consequential mission…


1) After an uneven Phase Four, the Marvel Cinematic Universe launches Phase Five with a gripping and nail-biting sci-fi adventure right off the bat

2) Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly return once more as the shrinking heroes in their most dangerous and least light-hearted outing yet

3) The Quantum Realm, previously teased in other Marvel movies, is explored in much more detail here for the first time, introducing audiences to a strange new corner of the MCU

4) Get ready to be chilled endlessly by Jonathan Majors’ main antagonist Kang the Conqueror, who here makes his formal debut as the new Thanos-level baddie, after popping up in the first season finale of Loki as a multiverse variant

5) Expect the MCU as you know it to be shaken considerably after the events of this film, which will undoubtedly cause headaches for multiple Avengers over the next set of films and Disney+ shows

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is showing in cinemas from Friday 17th February 2023



The Son (dir. Florian Zeller)

CAST: Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Vanessa Kirby, Zen McGrath, Hugh Quarshie, Anthony Hopkins, George Cobell

CREW: Florian Zeller (director, writer, producer), Christopher Hampton (writer), Iain Canning, Karl Hartman, Joanna Laurie, Emile Sherman and Christophe Spadone (producers), Hans Zimmer (composer), Ben Smithard (cinematographer), Yorgos Lamprinos (editor)

PLOT: Peter (Jackman) is a successful businessman living with his new wife Beth (Kirby) and their infant son. However, when Peter’s ex-wife Kate (Dern) informs him that their teenage son Nicholas (McGrath) has started displaying some concerning behavioural patterns, Peter attempts to find out what might be going on with him – only to find that his problems are more complex than he thought…


1) After finding awards success with The Father, director Florian Zeller reunites with his Oscar-winning co-writer Christopher Hampton for another adaptation of one of his own plays

2) Hugh Jackman delivers a powerhouse lead performance, as do Laura Dern and Vanessa Kirby in supporting roles – there’s even room for a small but memorable cameo from Anthony Hopkins, whom Zeller directed to his second Oscar in The Father

3) The film deals with mental illness within today’s youth, which will surely open a ton of conversations among audience members

4) Expect plenty of moments where you’ll be reaching for the tissues, because there’s more than enough emotion to go around

5) It features an ending scene that will prove whether you have a heart of stone or not, on account of how much of a mess it will leave you in!

The Son is showing in cinemas from Friday 17th February 2023

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (dir. Dean Fleischer Camp)

CAST: Jenny Slate, Dean Fleischer Camp, Isabella Rossellini, Rosa Salazar, Thomas Mann, Lesley Stahl, Shari Finkelstein, Sarah Thyre, Andy Richter, Nathan Fielder, Jessi Klein, Peter Bonerz, Jamie Leonhart, Jesse Cillio

CREW: Dean Fleischer Camp (director, writer, producer, editor), Jenny Slate (writer, producer), Nick Paley (writer, editor), Andrew Goldman, Elisabeth Holm, Caroline Kaplan, Terry Leonard and Paul Mezey (producers), Disasterpeace (composer), Eric Adkins and Bianca Cline (cinematographers)

PLOT: When struggling filmmaker Dean (Fleischer Camp) moves into an Airbnb, he discovers a young one-inch tall shell named Marcel (Slate) taking care of his ailing grandmother Connie (Rossellini). Recognising that Marcel is desperate to reunite with his family members, who were taken away by the house’s previous owners, Dean begins filming Marcel in short videos that soon go viral, bringing them an unexpected newfound fame which could help the young shell find his family once and for all…


1) The adorable stop-motion shell, who became an unexpected YouTube sensation, stars in his very own movie that will enchant everyone who sees it

2) Jenny Slate voices the titular shell, and co-writes the script with director Dean Fleischer Camp (who also features in the film as a fictional version of himself)

3) Combining live-action footage with intricate stop-motion animation, it’s a visual treat as it combines both filmmaking methods for an immersive experience

4) There’s a ton of heart to the story, so much so that you may even find yourself tearing up from some of its rather mature themes

5) It’s won over tons of critics and awards bodies, and to date has a near-perfect Rotten Tomatoes score of 99%, which is higher than some of this year’s top Oscar contenders

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is showing in cinemas from Friday 17th February 2023

Sharper (dir. Benjamin Caron)

CAST: Julianne Moore, Sebastian Stan, Justice Smith, Briana Middleton, John Lithgow

CREW: Benjamin Caron (director), Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka (writers, producers), Erik Feig, Bart Freundlich, Julianne Moore and Jessica Switch (producers), Clint Mansell (composer), Charlotte Bruus Christensen (cinematographer), Yan Miles (editor)

PLOT: When a con artist infiltrates their way into Manhattan’s wealthy elite, suspicions become overwhelming, revealing that nothing is as it seems…


1) The lives of the wealthy are once again in the spotlight, as they form a significant focus of this intriguing drama

2) A fancy cast that includes Sebastian Stan, John Lithgow, Justice Smith and Oscar-winner Julianne Moore adds a real sense of richness to the mysterious story

3) Benjamin Caron, the film’s director, is responsible for memorable episodes of recent shows like Sherlock, The Crown and Andor

4) Very little is known about the actual plot (hence the vague plot description above), so chances are you’ll be going in relatively blind!

5) The film kicks off a strong year for Apple, which also has films by Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, Matthew Vaughn and other high-profile filmmakers on the cards throughout 2023

Sharper is streaming exclusively on Apple TV+, and will be showing in select cinemas, from Friday 17th February 2023

The Inspection (dir. Elegance Bratton)

CAST: Jeremy Pope, Raúl Castillo, Bokeem Woodbine, Gabrielle Union, McCaul Lombardi, Aaron Dominguez, Nicholas Logan, Eman Esfandi, Andrew Kai, Aubrey Joseph

CREW: Elegance Bratton (director, writer), Effie Brown and Chester Algernal Gordon (producers), Animal Collective (composer), Lachlan Milne (cinematographer), Oriana Soddu (editor)

PLOT: Ellis (Pope), a young gay Black man, decides to join the Marines after he is rejected by his mother Inez (Union), and is left with few other options in life. As he does whatever it takes to succeed in a system that is specifically designed to cast him aside, Ellis faces discrimination and gruelling routines, but also finds a sense of courage and support on a journey that will change his life…


1) Described as Moonlight crossed with Full Metal Jacket, this is a powerful character drama that shows the real strength of the human soul when faced with significant oppression

2) Writer-director Elegance Bratton based his narrative feature debut on his own devastating experiences, which included growing up surrounded by homophobia and suffering harsh boot camp training for the Marines

3) Jeremy Pope, who previously won over hearts and souls in Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood and Pose, gives an outstanding lead performance that cannot be overlooked

4) Bokeem Woodbine gives the legendary R. Lee Ermey a run for his money as one of modern cinema’s most monstrous drill sergeants, while Gabrielle Union plays very against type as the protagonist’s homophobic mother

5) It can be a harrowing account of discrimination, but there is also genuine hope shining through which ends up making all the difference

The Inspection is showing in cinemas from Friday 17th February 2023

Nostalgia (dir. Mario Martone)

CAST: Pierfrancesco Favino, Francesco Di Leva, Tommaso Ragno, Aurora Quattrocchi, Sofia Essaïdi, Nello Mascia, Emanuele Palumbo, Artem Tkachuk, Salvatore Striano, Virginia Apicella, Daniela Ioia

CREW: Mario Martone (director, writer), Ippolita Di Majo (writer), Roberto Sessa (producer), Paolo Carnera (cinematographer), Jacopo Quadri (editor)

PLOT: Felice (Favino) returns to his hometown in Naples for the first time in 40 years, to care for his ill mother Teresa (Quattrocchi). There, he rediscovers the town’s charm which had been buried in his memories, along with a dark past that threatens to be unearthed…


1) Italy’s official (but ultimately unsuccessful) Oscar submission for this year’s International Feature Film award is a tender reflective drama about the places and people we leave behind us

2) Esteemed Italian actor Pierfrancesco Favino commands the screen in a more grounded and considerate performance than he often tends to give

3) The beautiful Naples backdrops will make anyone want to put it down as one of their bucket list destinations

4) Even though it won’t be winning the Oscar, it’s already a winner in its home country after picking up four Silver Ribbon awards (the oldest in Italy’s film industry), including for director Mario Martone and lead actor

5) It presents the titular concept of nostalgia as a fanciful, but sometimes dangerous, trait that can lead to both good and bad things

Nostalgia is showing in cinemas, and will be available to rent on Curzon Home Cinema, from Friday 17th February 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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