School’s out, not quite for summer. However as usual, an abundance of movies are in cinemas for all ages to enjoy from a friendly mixed up snowman, to an origin story of a diabolical comic book villain alongside a persuasive Australian true story and quick-witted teen explorer coming to life. There’s also a young adult ghost story, space walks with a Hollywood golden boy, high tea at Downton, flightless birds in an amusing sequel and so much more. Grab that large coffee or combo or deluxe choc-top, here’s my holiday silver screen briefing.
Rated G, 97 min *suitable all ages
Voices by Chloe Bennett, Sarah Paulson, Eddie Izzard
Accident prone yeti with magical powers must return to family before being found out by human counterparts. Animated distraction for toddlers only.
DORA & THE LOST CITY OF GOLD
Rated PG, 102 min *suitable from age 8
Isabela Moner, Madeline Madden, Eva Longoria
Vibrant teen Dora the Explorer brings her backpack to the big screen in a mini Indiana Jones style adventure filmed in Australia. Terrific action, funny moments, family must-see.
ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2
Rated G, 97 min *suitable from age 5
Voices by Leslie Jones, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage
Surprisingly entertaining sequel to unlikely hit based on a phone game. Forget plot, just a series of skits linked by birds and pigs working together, or something?
Rated PG, 122 min *suitable from age 13
Maggie Smith, Joanne Froggatt, Michelle Dockery
Fans of the television series can catch up with old friends in this big screen spin-off. A visit by the King and Queen to the beautiful Downton residence has wonderful effect.
Rated M, 123 min *suitable from age 15
Brad Pitt, Ruth Negga, Tommy Lee Jones
Brilliant, calculated space drama follows jaded astronaut into the far galaxy in search of his father, presumed dead, while also preventing solar flares ruining life on earth.
Rated G, 87 min *suitable all ages
Voices by Ice -T, Kelly Clarkson, Emma Roberts
Junior animated musical comedy about life for a bunch of disregarded, unusual fluoro dolls bonding together in order to prove who you are is what matters most.
Rated MA, 90 min *positively ONLY suitable from age 17
Jacob Tremblay, Molly Gordon, Will Forte
Three irresponsible adolescents take a day off school to attend a wild party while mistakenly carrying accidently stolen drugs along for the journey.
RIDE LIKE A GIRL
Rated PG, 98 min *suitable from age 13
Teresa Palmer, Mick Molloy, Sam Neill
Inspirational, timely Melbourne Cup true story of first ever female jockey Michelle Payne winning the race that stops the nation. Cliche’s flow along nicely, no Australian classic.
SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK
Rated M, 108 min *suitable from age 15
Zoe Margaret Colletti, Kathleen Pollard, Gill Bellows
Moderate teen horror following a girl with horrendous secrets manifesting into reality while fellow kids around town also face their inner fears. Film based on popular novel.
SHOWING FROM OCT 10:
Rated MA, 122 min *positively ONLY suitable from age 17
Joaquin Phoenix, Robert DeNiro, Lauren Yaffe
Origins of notorious Batman villain becoming the obscure maniacal extreme criminal of Gotham City through dark passages of violence, inner turmoil in response to rejection. NOT a superhero adventure.
Shane A. Bassett