Steven Spielberg directs Tom Hanks in a true story – which is always a good way to pitch a movie. Yes, they’ve taken artistic liberties, but you may be glad they did because a potboiler about an insurance lawyer who negotiates the release of American prisoners during the Cold War doesn’t sound like a total thrill-ride. This is good old-fashioned Hollywood myth-making.
Don’t let the pale, receding hairline fool you – that really is Johnny Depp playing notorious Boston crime lord James “Whitey” Bulger. The kicker here is that his partner in crime was the FBI, who let him have free rein in return for information about the Italian Mob. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Whitey’s brother in a film that doesn’t maximise its potential but still sucks you in.
The computer whizzes at Pixar tackle the Jurassic Age, and with their brand of animation know-how, you’re guaranteed a feast for the eyes. A gentle green dino shepherds a little cave-boy to safety across hostile territory – and there’s not much else to say about the story. It’s the journey that matters.
There’s a lot of awards buzz surrounding this adaptation of a Patricia Highsmith novel that concerns a lesbian love affair in the fusty 1950s. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara are the couple who cause a stir in polite society. It’s ideal fodder for director Todd Haynes, who is a maestro of melodrama.