Cinemas: What’s on this week

Undated Film Still Handout from Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. Pictured: Justin Bieber. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Paramount Pictures UK. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.
Undated Film Still Handout from Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. Pictured: Justin Bieber. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Paramount Pictures UK. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

Your guide to the films on general release this week

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never 3D (U)

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never 3D is a life-affirming behind the scenes documentary about the boy wonder’s rise to fame - culminating in his first concert at Madison Square Gardens in New York. If you believe Jon Chu’s film - and let us not forget this is a marketing tool - the singer is well protected from the media glare by a team of people which resembles one big, happy family. So you have a tour bus crammed with bodyguard Kenny Hamilton, vocal coach Jan Smith, stylist Ryan Good, tour general manager Allison Kaye and manager Scooter. Chu structures his film as a diary of the 10 days leading up to the New York concert, during which time Justin’s vocal chords become inflamed. One date on the tour is cancelled, stoking anxiety that the youngster might not be fit to perform, providing the necessary dramatic tension.

Rating: Three stars

Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (PG)

FBI agent Malcolm Turner (Martin Lawrence) clashes with his son Trent (Brandon T Jackson) over the future. While Malcolm hopes the lad will attend Duke University, Trent intends to pursue a music career, providing he can persuade the old man to sign a recording contract. In order to browbeat his father into submission, Trent gatecrashes an undercover police operation and witnesses gangster Chirkoff (Tony Curran) murder an informant. Now that his son is marked for death, Malcolm decides to hide Trent at Georgia Girls’ School for the Arts by posing as Big Momma and her great niece Charmaine. The busty septuagenarian clashes with ballerina Jasmine (Portia Doubleday) and her sidekicks. Meanwhile, Trent falls for talented singer-songwriter Haley (Jessica Lucas) but cannot declare his feelings and blow his improbable cover.

Rating: One star

Paul (15)

Best friends Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Nick Frost) wander dumbstruck around the comic book and popular arts convention, Comic-Con. They meet famous sci-fi author, Adam Shadowchild (Jeffrey Tambor), before embarking on a road trip across America, stopping at locations associated with alien contact including Area 51. En route, Graeme and Clive encounter Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen), a potty-mouthed alien stranded on Earth, who is being hunted by mysterious special agent Zoil (Jason Bateman). The pals agree to help Paul return home, abducting Ruth (Kristen Wiig), the one-eyed daughter of Bible-bashing trailer park owner Father Moses (John Carroll Lynch), along the way. Meanwhile, Zoil recruits two bungling FBI agents, Haggard (Bill Hader) and O’Reilly (Joe Lo Truglio), to apprehend Graeme and Clive.

Rating: Three stars

True Grit (15)

“I was just 14 years of age when a coward by the name of Tom Chaney shot my father down and robbed him of his life,” explains Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) in her opening voiceover. “You must pay for everything in this world, one way and another. There is nothing free, except the grace of God,” she adds. And so Mattie seeks out marshal Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) and hires him to help her track down Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), who has taken up with Lucky Ned Pepper (Barry Pepper) and his gang. A tenacious Texas Ranger called LeBoeuf (Matt Damon), who has been on Chaney’s trail for some time, joins the hunting party.

Rating: Four stars

Never Let Me Go (12A)

The film opens in 1978 at Hailsham boarding school, where classmates Kathy (Izzy Meikle-Small), Tommy (Charlie Rowe) and Ruth (Ella Purnell) follow the dictates of headmistress Miss Emily (Charlotte Rampling). New guardian Miss Lucy (Sally Hawkins) eventually tells her wide-eyed students that they will become adults only briefly and will donate their vital organs, completing their short lives with the third or fourth harvest. As they grow up, Kathy (now played by Carey Mulligan) keeps a watchful eye on Tommy (Andrew Garfield), but her affections are thwarted when Ruth (Keira Knightley) pairs off with the lad. The trio moves to the Cottages in 1985, a residential complex which allows contact with humans. Ruth, Tommy and Kathy’s complex relationship becomes strained, reaching its conclusion in the mid 1990s when Kathy becomes a carer and watches her fellow pupils at Hailsham fulfil their original design.

Rating: Four stars

Gnomeo and Juliet 3D (U)

Gnomeo (James McAvoy) is a blue, living on one side of the drive with mischievous sidekick Benny (Matt Lucas) and his mute best pal, Shroom. Lord Redbrick (Michael Caine), who presides over the garden next door. He is determined to protect feisty daughter Juliet (Emily Blunt) by consigning her to the top of a castle-shaped garden feature, from where she rebuffs the advances of sweet and unassuming Paris (Stephen Merchant). A chance encounter between Gnomeo and Juliet sows the seeds of true love but her bully boy cousin, Tybalt (Jason Statham), would rather mow down a blue than see the two families united.

Rating: Three stars