What's on the big screen this week
AMIDST all of the action in Dunkirk and War For the Planet of the Apes, The Big Sick is a refreshingly different offering.
Opening today, the romantic comedy dramatises the real-life courtship of comedian Kumail Nanjiani and his now wife Emily Gordon who, in the film, is put into a medically-induced coma after coming down with a mystery illness.
The medical emergency forces Kumail into close quarters with Emily's parents, played excellently by Ray Romano and Helen Hunt.
Also out this week is Charlize Theron's latest powerhouse performance in Atomic Blonde. If nothing else, the Cold War-thriller supports calls for a female James Bond (first Doctor Who, why not 007?).
Here are this week's highlights of the big screen and why you should see them:
Atomic Blonde (MA 15+)
An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.
Why you should see it: Based on a graphic novel series, Atomic Blonde is visually and stylistically beautiful - and boasts a great soundtrack - but the plot is incoherent at times. Lifting it all is Charlize Theron in a powerhouse performance to rival any 007. Read the review.
The Big Sick (M)
Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gordon fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family's expectations, and his true feelings.
Why you should see it: If you see one rom com this year, then make it this one. Drawing from his real-life courtship with his now wife (and the film's co-writer), Kumail delivers a heartfelt performance and Ray Romano and Helen Hunt (as Emily's parents) are a hoot. Read the review.
War for the Planet of the Apes (M)
In the third chapter of the acclaimed franchise, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.
Why you should see it: The Apes trilogy comes to an epic conclusion with another spectacular performance by Andy Serkis (Caesar). In contrast to the previous two films, this final outing has a Western feel to it with the apes riding horses and shooting guns in snow-covered landscapes. Read the review.
A Monster Calls (PG)
A young boy's vast imagination enables him to see wonder beyond his tough circumstances. When a giant monster arrives at his window, he finds an ally in the face of family tragedy and bullying at school.
Why you should see it: This visual spectacular is based on the hugely popular book by Patrick Ness, and director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible) expertly handles the film's dark themes with his young audience in mind.
Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada, and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in the Second World War.
Why you should see it: Director Christopher Nolan's highly-anticipated war epic lives up to the hype. This action spectacle is full of emotion, thanks to the ensemble cast, while still remaining true to events. Read the review.
Paris Can Wait (PG)
Anne unexpectedly finds herself taking a car trip from Cannes to Paris with a business associate of her husband. What should be a seven-hour drive turns into a carefree two-day adventure replete with diversions involving picturesque sights, fine food and wine, humor, wisdom and romance, reawakening Anne's senses and giving her a new lust for life.
Why you should see it: Diane Lane shines in Paris Can Wait but the overindulgence of French food leaves a bad taste. Read the review.
The Beguiled (M)
At a girls' school in Virginia during the Civil War, where the young women have been sheltered from the outside world, a wounded Union soldier is taken in. Soon, the house is taken over with sexual tension, rivalries, and an unexpected turn of events.
Why you should see it: This is not Sofia Coppola's best work but luckily her talented cast help to salvage this period piece. Read the review.
Baby Driver (MA 15+)
After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a talented young getaway driver must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.
Why you should see it: Director Edgar Wright combines thrilling car chases, a killer soundtrack and wry humour into one entertaining mix in which Ansel Elgort becomes a bonafide leading man. Read the review.