Cinemas: What’s on this week

Undated Film Still Handout from West Is West. Pictured: Linda Bassett as Ella Khan and Lesley Nicol as Auntie Annie. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.
Undated Film Still Handout from West Is West. Pictured: Linda Bassett as Ella Khan and Lesley Nicol as Auntie Annie. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

Your guide to the latest films on general release.

West Is West (15)

Fifteen-year-old Sajid Khan (Aqib Khan) is bullied mercilessly and just wants to fit in, rebelling against the dictates of his father, George (Om Puri). In order to make Sajid proud of his identity, George drags the lad to Pakistan to stay with his first wife, Basheera (Ila Arun), and their two daughters, while current wife Ella (Linda Bassett) stays home to run the family business, George’s English Chippy, with best friend Annie (Lesley Nicol). Understandably, the teenager resists his father’s attempts to introduce him to the sights, smells and customs of the Punjab. So George entrusts the boy to Sufi wise man, Pir Naseem (Nadim Sawalha), and the mentor helps Sajid to discover his self-worth – and a lifelong friend in plucky goat herder, Zaid (Raj Bhansali). Meanwhile, George attempts to find his older son Maneer (Emil Marwa) a wife and to atone for the sins of the past.

Rating: Three stars

No Strings Attached (15)

Adam (Ashton Kutcher), whose father Alvin (Kevin Kline) is a famous actor, works as a lowly TV producer on a show that is cynically jumping on the High School Musical bandwagon. “It’s about high schoolers, who sing and dance and blog,” he reveals dryly. After disastrous previous encounters, Adam stumbles back into the life of medical student Emma (Natalie Portman), who once told him, “People aren’t meant to be together”. They agree that there would be no harm in no-strings-attached sex as and when the need arises. Adam’s friends Eli (Jake M Johnson) and Wallace (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges) are envious that their buddy has found the perfect woman. Meanwhile, Emma’s housemates – including fellow medical student Patrice (Greta Gerwig) – diagnose imminent heartbreak.

Rating: Four stars

Drive Angry 3D (18)

Milton (Nicolas Cage) is condemned to purgatory, from where he must watch in agony as his beloved daughter falls into the clutches of demonic cult leader Jonah King (Billy Burke), and is murdered for her baby girl. Jonah intends to use the infant as a sacrifice to raise Satan’s army. “First full moon, she’s dead and all Hell’s gonna walk the Earth,” growls Milton, who breaks out of the underworld to stop the cult leader and rescue his granddaughter. Milton heads for a diner where he flirts with sex-starved waitress Norma Jean (Katy Mixon) and then thumbs a lift with her colleague, Piper (Amber Heard), who is trapped in an abusive relationship. Milton helps to rescue the young woman from the beatings and she joins him on a quest to track down Jonah King and rescue the innocent infant.

Rating: Three stars

I Am Number Four (12A)

The film opens with a night-time chase through a jungle in Kenya, culminating in the grisly demise of a boy. “Number Three is dead,” gasps 15-year-old John Smith (Alex Pettyfer), who lives hundreds of miles away with his guardian Henri (Timothy Olyphant). John looks like any other high school student but he is really an alien from the doomed planet Lorien, hiding on Earth from a destructive rival race called the Mogadorians. These aggressive hunters intend to kill the Lorien refugees in a specific order, and since John is Number Four, he is next on their hit-list. When the Mogadorians finally catch up with John and Henri, they escape to the quaint town of Paradise, Ohio, where John befriends students Sam Goode (Callan McAuliffe) and Sarah Hart (Dianna Agron).

Rating: Three stars

The Rite (15)

Undertaker Istvan Kovak (Rutger Hauer) raises his son Michael Kovak (Colin O’Donoghue) to honour the dead, even inviting the boy to watch as he prepares his mother for the casket. Michael decides not to continue the family tradition but enrols instead as a seminary student under Father Matthew (Toby Jones). A crisis of faith leads him to tender his resignation from the course. Father Matthew suggests that Michael could rediscover his faith by studying exorcism at the Vatican. And so Michael heads to Italy where he clashes with course tutor Father Xavier (Ciaran Hinds). Michael is dispatched to learn from unorthodox holy man Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins), who has performed thousands of spiritual cleansings. Contact with a possessed pregnant girl challenges everything that Michael believes in and he seeks sanctuary in the words of Father Lucas.

Rating: Two stars

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. If you believe Jon Chu’s film 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 and one date on the tour is cancelled.

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.

Rating: One star

Paul (15)

Best friends Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Nick Frost) 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. Meanwhile, Zoil recruits two bungling FBI agents, Haggard (Bill Hader) and O’Reilly (Joe Lo Truglio), to apprehend Graeme and Clive.

Rating: Three stars