22 Jump Street (MA15+, 112 mins ★★★) Read Jake Wilson's full review
The gifted team who brought us The Lego Movie, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, share a nerdy, neat-freak sensibility that tends to focus on form at the expense of content. 22 Jump Street is not only premised on the notion of characters leading "double lives", it's obsessed with doubling in general: with the ways two things can be both different and the same, like a movie and its sequel. Or like the hunky Jenko (Channing Tatum) and the chunky Schmidt (Jonah Hill), who serve as halves of a single personality – a theme usefully spelt out in an opening lecture on the concept of yin and yang. Double meanings are similarly the basis for most of the film's verbal humour.
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Trailer: 22 Jump Street
After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt and Jenko when they go deep undercover at a local college.
Blended (PG, 117 mins, ★★) Read Philippa Hawker's full review
Bland on the one hand, tacky on the other, Blended lives up to its name in more ways than one. It reunites Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, who were a winning combination in 1998's The Wedding Singer (also directed by Blended's Frank Coraci) and 50 First Dates. Sixteen years on, their relationship has been adjusted to reflect the passage of time. Now they are single parents who go on a disastrous blind date, then end up unwittingly sharing a holiday (and a suite) at an expensive South African resort with a program devoted to blended families. Any potential in that set-up is soon frittered away in sluggish, protracted, predictable gags that play over the course of almost two hours.
Gabrielle (M, 103 mins, ★★★☆) Read Paul Byrnes' full review
Gabrielle is a French-Canadian film about a 22-year-old woman who wants what everyone wants – a sense of independence, somewhere to live and someone to love. The difficulty is that she has Williams syndrome, lives in a group home with other intellectually impaired adults, and is diabetic. The syndrome makes her highly gregarious, very verbal and musical, but doing things such as making a piece of toast can unnerve her. Quebecois director Louise Archambault, making her second feature, takes a documentary approach, unfolding the life of her characters with great delicacy and care. The film does not even mention that Gabrielle has Williams syndrome, nor try to explain it. Nor do we know which of the actors has an intellectual disability and which do not.
Good Vibrations (MA15+, 103 mins, ★★☆) Read Jake Wilson's full review
Can there be such a thing as punk nostalgia? Lisa Barros D'Sa and Glenn Leyburn's Good Vibrations, shot in cosy near-sepia tones by cinematographer Ivan McCullough, certainly takes an upbeat look back at some tough times. Set in Belfast at the height of the Troubles, it's a story about how music can bring people together even as society falls apart. It's also a tribute to fans, one universally recognisable type of male fan in particular: scruffy, obsessive, and well advanced into middle age, with the wild eyes and peaceful grin of a man who has stumbled on the secret of happiness. Endearingly played by Richard Dormer, the fan in question is Terri Hooley, a real-life Belfast identity known as the founder of the Good Vibrations record store and label. In his plaid shirt and schoolteacher's jumper, he looks totally out of place at his first punk gig; his glory is that he just doesn't care.
The Face of Love (M, 92 mins, ★★☆) Read Philippa Hawker's full review
In The Face Of Love Annette Bening plays Nikki, a widow of five years who is still mourning the death of her drowned husband. Then one day she catches sight of a man who is his double. She engineers a meeting, and begins a relationship with him. Ed Harris plays the late husband – who is seen several times in flashbacks, in Nikki's vivid memories – as well as his doppelganger, an artist called Tom. There are echoes of Vertigo (and of Francois Ozon's Under The Sand) in this tale of rediscovered love and obsession, in which ambiguity is a necessary element. But co-writer and director Arie Posin doesn't seem sure if he's making a thriller, a melodrama or a romantic drama, and signposts these different possibilities in a somewhat bland and obvious fashion.