We Are What We Are, The Book Thief, Non-Stop: this week's new films

We Are What We Are | The Book Thief | Non-Stop | Ride Along | As The Palaces Burn | Unforgiven | Funny Face
We Are What We Are
We Are What We Are

We Are What We Are (18)
(Jim Mickle, 2013, US) Bill Sage, Ambyr Childers, Julia Garner. 103 mins

The story of an archaic backwoods family with very good reasons for their insularity, this spends such a long time laying out its twisted domestic set-up, it's almost as if it's in denial about being a horror movie (remade from a Mexican original). It's a wise decision. If you don't know the family's Big Secret already, it would be a shame to spoil it; let's just say it pulls the story into real shock and gore territory.

The Book Thief (12A)
(Brian Percival, 2013, US/Ger) Sophie Nélisse, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson. 131 mins

A smart but syrupy wartime tale that traverses well-trodden territory – from The Reader to Life Is Beautiful – as a young girl is adopted by goodly Germans, who then harbour a Jewish refugee. Literary wisdom and Nazi intolerance battle for youthful souls.

Non-Stop (NC)
(Jaume Collet-Serra, 2014, US/Fr) Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong'o. 106 mins

Neeson seems rather taken with his Taken persona. Here, he's an action-ready air marshal charged with foiling an unknown in-flight killer/hijacker, who's making it look like he's the villain. The action is more thumbs texting than bullets flying, for the most part.

Ride Along (12A)
(Tim Story, 2014, US) Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Tika Sumpter. 100 mins

This mismatched buddy cop comedy has been a huge hit in the US, despite being so by-the-book it's almost criminal. Thus, a macho, rule-bending cop (Cube) agrees to take his screeching prospective brother-in-law (Hart) out on duty. Etcetera. The personalities of the leads are just about all you've got.

As The Palaces Burn (15)
(Don Argott, 2014, US/Col/Ind/Isr/Ven) 121 mins

Metal goes on trial in this rockumentary, via the strange case of little-known (but apparently globally huge) US band Lamb Of God, whose lead singer found himself facing manslaughter charges following a fatal stage-diving incident in the Czech Republic.

Bafta Shorts 2014 (15)
(Various, 2013, UK) Tom Cullen, Mackenzie Crook, Maxine Peak. 124 mins

Feature-length programme of eight nominees from this year's awards, including live-action winner Room 8, animation winner Sleeping With The Fishes and space sci-fi Orbit Ever After.

Unforgiven (15)
(Lee Sang-il) Ken Watanabe, Akira Emoto, Kôichi Satô. 135 mins

Clint Eastwood's latter-day western translated, perfectly acceptably, to 1880s Japan. Consider it payback for all Hollywood's Kurosawa-plundering.

Funny Face (U)
(Stanley Donen, 1957, US) Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Kay Thompson. 103 mins

Reissue for the breezy musical romcom/fashion satire, with Hepburn's reluctant model leading snapper Astaire a merry dance around Paris.

Shaadi Ke Side Effects (12A)
(Saket Chaudary, 2014, Ind) Farhan Akhtar, Vir Das, Vidya Balan. 142 mins

Sequel to hit romcom Pyaar Ke Side Effects, with different actors playing the lead couple, now coping with parenthood.

Siva Senai (12A)
(N Ratha, 2013, Ind) Sujith, Dharsiya, Anushya. 124 mins

UK-set Tamil action movie.

Out from Friday

300: Rise Of An Empire

300: Rise Of An Empire
Photograph: Allstar

Steel yourselves for another dose of effects-heavy mythological violence, as Eva Green and Lena Headey take up the fight.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson opens up another star-filled microcosm of eccentricity.

Wake In Fright

Infamous 1970s outback oddity, offering a warped view of Australian masculinity.

Escape From Planet Earth

Animated alien antics with voices from Brendan Fraser, Ricky Gervais and Sarah Jessica Parker.


Who can you trust in this twisty corporate thriller – Harrison Ford or Gary Oldman?


Trigger-happy mayhem when a gringo walks into a Mexican town with a big bag of cash.

The Stag

Comic mayhem on a stag weekend in the Irish wilderness.

Rome, Open City

Reissue of Rossellini's 1945 classic.

Total Siyyappa (Total Chaos)

Hindi romcom.

Coming soon

In two weeks… Scarlett Johansson stars in Scots sci-fi Under The Skin… Terry Gilliam posits The Zero Theorem

In three weeks... Kate Winslet stars in Labor Day… Pierce Brosnan goes A Long Way Down

In a month… Backing singers take the lead in 20 Feet From Stardom… Superhero season kicks off with Captain America: The Winter Soldier