BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
The Wolf of Wall Street ★★★★★
Based on the memoirs of Jordan Belfort, the eponymous Wall Street broker jailed for securities fraud and other crimes, this is a terrific black comedy drama directed by Martin Scorsese and starring in the title role his current favourite actor Leonardo DiCaprio. The story charts Belfort’s rise from naive trainee to crooked Wall Street mogul where he and like-minded villains cheerfully fleece their investors. Theirs is a life of wild debauchery – booze, drugs, high-priced hookers, yachts and more money than they could spend, until, that is, the FBI starts investigating their business. Along the way Belfort acquires two wives (Cristin Milioti and Margot Robbie) and cheats on both. This is a film made with wit and gusto, rich language (variations on the word f*** are used 569 times) and fine acting from such as Jonah Hill, Rob Reiner, Jean Dujardin and Joanna Lumley. But the standout performances are a cameo by Matthew McConaughey and DiCaprio’s portrait of an appalling but charismatic Belfort.
John Carter ★★★
Forget the sniffy crits and bad box-office figures, this mega-budget yarn is a veritable entertainment extravaganza, as our American Civil War hero is transplanted to a distant world ravaged by conflict.
Al Pacino tones it down as a cop out of his depth, Robin Williams abandons the twinkly-eyed charm offensive as the suspected killer, and the result is terrific.
Martin Scorsese ditches the gangsters for this multi-Oscar-winning family movie about an orphaned boy living in a Paris railway station in the 1930s.
Donnie Darko ★★★★
10.45pm-12.55am Horror Channel
Surreal, stylish and strange, this stunning psychological fantasy is far more than just a cult smash. Let’s just say, bunnies will never look so cute again.