Friday, April 14, 2023
HomeTrendingWhat films are out this week: From Joyland to Cocaine Bear

What films are out this week: From Joyland to Cocaine Bear

This week’s releases are a marvellous medley of engaging tales (Pictures: Chris Harris/Netflix/Pat Redmond/Universal/All In Caps Productions)

If you’re tired of sequels, prequels and Marvel films, well, have we a selection of new releases for you.

A psychological thriller? Check. Political corruption? Check. A bear on cocaine?


Plus the first Pakistani-directed film to make the Oscars shortlist in Joyland, the love story between an unhappily married man and a trans singer, and Broker, starring Parasite’s Song Kang-ho.

And not a superhero costume in sight. So get set for a week of dazzling and diverse films ready and waiting for your delectation.

The Strays

Ashley Madekwe as Neve in The Strays (Picture: Chris Harris/Netflix)

The influence of Oscar-winning film-maker Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) looms large over this otherwise distinctively British thriller.

Neve (Ashley Madekwe, above) has a seemingly perfect life. As well as micro-managing her loving family, she’s the deputy head of a posh private school in an affluent suburb, populated by what her husband (Justin Salinger) calls ‘the white flight’ (Neve herself is mixed race). But Neve’s perfectly curated existence begins to unravel with the arrival of two figures from her past.

The Strays is a striking debut by film-maker Nathaniel Martello-White. But if the opening is kind of rocky, the mystery still draws you in. One of those ones you think you can predict, but you can’t. By the time rising star Bukky Bakray enters, you’ll be riveted.

15. Out Friday on Netflix


Ali Junejo and Alina Khan in Joyland (Picture: All In Caps Productions)

The first Pakistani-directed film to make the Oscars shortlist and the first to win at Cannes Film Festival, Joyland is a trailblazer, even before you learn it’s a transgender love story – of sorts. Really, though, it’s the story of a family. Our anti-hero is Haider (Ali Junejo), a weak, secretly gay house husband, who finally lands an unexpected job in an erotic revue – as a backing dancer to a trans singer called ‘Biba’.

Haider becomes obsessed with Biba (Alina Khan) and the film brilliantly bottles the confusion and complexity of his combustible desire. Meantime, Haider’s wife (Rasti Farooq), now forced to stay at home with Haider’s chauvinistic father, is battling her own frustrations. What could’ve been a sensational-sounding melodrama is realised with terrific subtlety, depth and quietness by the director Saim Sadiq.

15. Out Friday in cinemas

Cocaine Bear

Keri Russell as Sari in Cocaine Bear (Picture: Pat Redmond/Universal)

Gory dark comedy inspired by the 1985 true story of a bear who went on a coke-fuelled rampage after scoffing a drug runner’s stash. Directed by Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect) and co-starring Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson Jr and a big (CGI) bear.

15. Out Friday in cinemas.


Song Kang-ho in Broker (Picture: Supplied)

Directed by acclaimed Japanese film-maker Hirokazu Kore-eda, this South Korean story casts Parasite star Song Kang-ho (who won best actor at Cannes for this) as a debt-ridden shop owner in a drama centred on selling an abandoned baby.

12A. Out Friday in cinemas.

The Independent

Brian Cox and Jodie Turner-Smith in The Independent (Picture: Matt Infante)

Succession’s Brian Cox and Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen & Slim) are journalists on a mission to expose corruption at the top level of US politics in this tale of presidential campaigning skulduggery.

Out Friday on Sky Cinema.

What’s Love Got To Do With It? review: A fun, big-hearted blend of culture

MORE : Cocaine Bear writer admits creating ‘hilarious’ scene showing kids aged 12 taking drugs was best bit: ‘It was a delight’

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments