Mia Goth and Anya Taylor-Joy in a scene from the movie Emma.
Mia Goth and Anya Taylor-Joy in a scene from the movie Emma. Supplied

What's on the big screen this week

IF YOU like a bit of period drama, then you'll love the beautifully-filmed Emma.

An adaption of the Jane Austen classic, the comedy follows a well meaning but selfish young woman who meddles in the love lives of her friends.

Rising star Anya Taylor-Joy, in the title role, is joined by screen veterans Bill Nighy, Miranda Hart and Rupert Graves. 

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Also out this week is director Clint Eastwood's acclaimed biopic Richard Jewell, which follows the saga of a security guard who was wrongly implicated in the bombing of the 1996 Olympics. 

For the kids there's the live action/CGI film Sonic the Hedgehog, based on the bestselling video game franchise from the 1990s. Jim Carrey adds some star power as the film's villain Dr Robotnik. 

Here are this week's highlights of the big screen and why you should see them:


Emma (PG)

Handsome, clever, and rich, Emma Woodhouse is a restless queen bee without rivals in her sleepy little town. She must adventure through misguided matches and romantic missteps to find the love that has been there all along.

Why you should see it: This faithful adaptation of the Jane Austen classic is smart and well balanced, showing off the talents of rising star Anya Taylor-Joy. Read the interview with Bill Nighy.


Richard Jewell (M)

American security guard, Richard Jewell, heroically saves thousands of lives from an exploding bomb at the 1996 Olympics, but is unjustly vilified by journalists and the press who falsely report that he was a terrorist.

Why you should see it: Director Clint Eastwood gives  self-serving journalists and complacent FBI agents a proper shellacking in this compelling biographical drama.


Sonic the Hedgehog (PG)

Sonic and his newfound human friend Tom join forces to try and stop the villainous Dr Robotnik from capturing Sonic and using his immense powers for world domination.

Why you should see it: Jim Carrey is back in fine comedic form as the villain in this new take on the popular video game character.


Fantasy Island (M)

The enigmatic Mr Roarke makes the secret dreams of his lucky guests come true at a luxurious but remote tropical resort. But when the fantasies turn into nightmares, the guests must solve the island's mystery to escape with their lives.

Why you should see it: Horror filmmaking giant Blumhouse Productions is keeping its cards close to its chest in regards to this film. Perhaps it has something to do with a major plot twist?


A Guide to Second Date Sex (MA 15+)

Laura and Ryan have been totally destroyed by previous relationships. In the hope of getting it right this time, they go out on a second date having no idea on what they are supposed to do.

Why you should see it: The entire first act is excruciating to watch. but stars George MacKay and Alexandra Roach are rewarded for their gallant efforts by a second act in which their natural screen chemistry to shine through.




Birds of Prey (MA 15+)

After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.

Why you should see it: Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn was the best thing about Suicide Squad and Warner Bros has rightly given the supervillain her own bright and bonkers film. Read the interview with Rosie Perez.


Parasite (MA 15+)

Ki-taek and his family, all unemployed, take peculiar interest in the wealthy and glamorous Parks, as they ingratiate themselves into their lives and get entangled in an unexpected incident.

Why you should see it: Find out why this darkly funny South Korean crime drama has earned so much critical acclaim. There are some twists you definitely won't see coming.


H is for Happiness (PG)

A 12-year-old girl with boundless optimism and a unique view of the world, is inspired by the strange new boy at school and sets out to mend her broken family - whatever it takes.

Why you should see it: This family film embraces its quirks and is bubbling with the optimism of its leading character.


The Lighthouse (MA 15+)

Two lighthouse keepers try to maintain their sanity whilst living on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.

Why you should see it: Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattison try their best, but they can't save this heavy art house horror film. Read the review.


Midway (M)

This war drama centres on the heroic feats of the Battle of Midway, a clash between the American fleet and the Imperial Japanese Navy which marked a pivotal turning point in the Pacific Theatre during WWII.

Why you should see it: While it has some great aerial fight scenes, this battle epic is more board game than game changer. Read the review.


A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood (PG)

After a jaded magazine writer is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his scepticism, learning about empathy, kindness, and decency from America's most beloved neighbour.

Why you should see it: Who would have thought a daggy kids show host could teach his audience so much about the human condition? Read the review.


Bombshell (M)

A group of women take on Fox News head Roger Ailes and the toxic atmosphere he presided over at the network.

Why you should see it: One of Bombshell's strengths is the way it embraces complex allegiances - these are powerful women who aren't accustomed to thinking of themselves as "victims". Read the review.


Bad Boys for Life (MA 15+)

Marcus Burnett is now a police inspector and Mike Lowery is in a midlife crisis. They unite again when an Albanian mercenary, whose brother they killed, promises them an important bonus.

Why you should see it: Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are back for one more shoot-em-up adventure on the mean streets of Miami. Even after 17 years, there's still some life in this '90s partnership. Read the review.


Dolittle (PG)

After losing his wife, the eccentric Dr. John Dolittle hermits himself away behind the high walls of Dolittle Manor with only his menagerie of exotic animals for company. But when the young queen falls gravely ill, a reluctant Dolittle is forced to set sail on an epic adventure to a mythical island in search of a cure.

Why you should see it: This family adventure film is entertaining enough thanks to a great voice cast, but they're let down by a mess of a script and an underwhelming leading man. Read the interview with stars John Cena and Craig Robinson.


1917 (MA 15+)

Two young British soldiers, during the First World War, are given an impossible mission: deliver a message, deep in enemy territory, that will stop their own men, and Blake's own brother, from walking straight into a deadly trap.

Why you should see it: This deeply personal, highly subjective depiction of war is grounded by strong, naturalistic performances. Read the review.