Cinemas: What’s on this week

Film Still Handout from Larry Crowne. Pictured: Tom Hanks as Larry Crowne and Julia Roberts as Mercedes Tainot. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Optimum Releasing. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.
Film Still Handout from Larry Crowne. Pictured: Tom Hanks as Larry Crowne and Julia Roberts as Mercedes Tainot. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Optimum Releasing. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

Your guide to the films on general release now

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (12A)

When a Cybertronian spacecraft crash-lands on the Moon in the early 1960s, the crew of Apollo 11 retrieves an important Autobot artefact and returns it to Earth, unaware that the device will spark a titanic war with the Decepticons more than 40 years later. Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is caught in the eye of the storm, joined by girlfriend Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley). While Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen), Bumblebee and the other Autobots protect the humans, field commanders Major Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and Master Sergeant Epps (Tyrese Gibson) spearhead the final stand against the Decepticons, comprising Megatron (Hugo Weaving) and his menagerie of terrifying predators.

Rating: Four stars

Larry Crowne (12A)

After being made redundant from his job at a superstore, former Navy man Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) decides to broaden his skills base by enrolling for public speaking classes at East Valley Community College. Arriving late on his first day, Larry meets feisty teacher Mercedes Tainot (Roberts), who is stuck in an unfulfilling marriage to her husband, Dean (Bryan Cranston). With encouragement from classmate Talia (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), and next-door neighbours Lamar (Cedric The Entertainer) and B’Ella (Taraji P Henson), Larry musters the courage to ask Mercedes to join him on his haphazard journey of self-discovery.

Rating: Three stars

The Conspirator (12A)

Following the assassination of US president Abraham Lincoln, killer John Wilkes Booth (Toby Kebbell) is hunted down with his co-conspirators including Samuel Arnold (Jeremy Paul Tuttle), George Atzerodt (John Michael Weatherly), David Herold (Marcus Hester) and Lewis Payne (Norman Reedus). Police also arrest Mary Surratt (Robin Wright), who owns the boarding house where the men concocted their plan while her son John (Johnny Simmons), one of the alleged plotters, remains at large. Lawyer Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy) is hired to defend Surratt. As the case unfolds, it becomes clear the odds are stacked against her and she is being used to flush her boy out of hiding.

Rating: Three stars

Bridesmaids (15)

Annie (Kristen Wiig) used to own her own bakery but she has fallen on hard times and now works as a jewellery saleswoman. Best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) reveals she is getting married and asks a clearly delighted Annie to be maid of honour. Without two dimes to rub together, organising a bridal shower to remember will be tricky for Annie, especially since one of the bridesmaids is socialite wife Helen (Rose Byrne), who splashes cash as if it is going out of fashion. Fellow bridesmaids Megan (Melissa McCarthy), Becca (Ellie Kemper) and Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey) witness the fallout as Annie and Helen vie for Lillian’s affections.

Rating: Four stars

Green Lantern (12A)

The Green Lanterns maintain peace and justice in the universe using superpowers granted to them by magical rings When an old adversary called Parallax re-emerges in the Lost Sector, venerated Green Lantern warrior Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison) is fatally wounded in the ensuring melee and his ring chooses United States Air Force test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) as a worthy successor. Hal is blessed with empathy and he slowly comes to terms with his superpowers, spurred on by sweetheart Carol Ferris (Blake Lively). Standing in Hal’s way is eccentric scientist Dr Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard), who is exposed to a drop of Parallax’s otherworldly powers and mutates into a hideous harbinger of doom.

Rating: Three stars

The Beaver (12A)

Businessman Walter Black (Mel Gibson) presides over a toy company that desperately needs one innovative product to revive its ailing fortunes. While the VP (Cherry Jones) holds the business together, Walter self-implodes with depression, making life unbearable for his wife Meredith (Jodie Foster), teenage son Porter (Anton Yelchin) and youngest boy Henry (Riley Thomas Stewart). Eventually, Meredith is forced to kick out her husband, hoping he will get professional help. Following a failed suicide attempt, Walter returns to the homestead with a beaver glove puppet, through which he addresses the family as part of a bizarre form of therapy.

Rating: Four stars

Bad Teacher (15)

Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) is a booze-addled wreck, draining her drippy, rich boyfriend dry until he finally musters the courage to dump her. So she reluctantly returns to her teaching job at a high school run by Principal Wally Snur (John Michael Higgins). Rebuffing the advances of oafish PE master Russell Gettis (Jason Segel), Elizabeth sets her sights on handsome new teacher Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake), who has an expensive watch on his wrist. Unthinkably, Scott resists her flirtations and begins a tender romance with the school’s prim and proper teacher, Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch). Elizabeth is used to getting her own way and she declares war on Amy.

Rating: Three stars

Swinging With The Finkels (15)

Martin Finkel (Martin Freeman) and his wife Sarah (Mandy Moore) are stuck in a rut and clueless about reinvigorating their stagnant marriage. Best friend Peter (Jonathan Silverman) and his wife, Janet (Melissa George), are no use since he’s about to confess to an affair. So fashion designer Sarah turns to her gay assistant, Andrew (Edward Akrout), who suggests she should sleep around. Sarah nervously mentions the idea to Martin, who eventually agrees to get the marriage back on track. Richard (Angus Deayton) and his wife Clementine (Daisy Beaumont) fit the bill.

Rating: Two stars

Kung Fu Panda 2 (PG)

Overweight panda Po (voiced by Black) is living his dream as an all-action bear, honing his skills under the watchful eye of mentor Shifu (Dustin Hoffman). However, he is haunted by fragmented memories, which eventually reveal how his father came to be a goose called Mr Ping (James Wong). It transpires an evil peacock Lord Shen (Gary Oldman) is the cause of Po’s deep emotional wounds. Spurred on by a dire warning about pandas from an elderly soothsayer (Michelle Yeoh), Shen and his army of snarling wolves are on a collision course with Po. Thankfully, Po can always rely on The Furious Five.

Rating: Four stars