Movies out today: Surviving Somali pirates, ghosts and sticky-fingered teens

Four new films hit South African cinemas today and it's a fairly appealing lot all around. Let's kick off with the Pick of the Week, shall we?


Captain Phillips:
Sure to be earning Tom Hanks yet another Oscar nomination in the coming months is this real-life survival thriller. Hanks plays merchant ship captain Richard Phillips, who, in 2009, attempted to resist hijacking of his vessel by Somali pirates. Paul (Bourne Supremacy, United 93) Greengrass directs. Trailer Tuesday profile.

Kervyn at The Movies.co.za has sky-high praise for Captain Phillips. Evidently it's one of those rare "complete package" movie experiences - intense, intelligent, expertly shot and exceptionally well-acted. Internationally, critics have agreed. The film has earned an aggregated review score of 94% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.


Insidious: Chapter 2:
Fresh from the success of The Conjuring, director James Wan brings us the inevitable sequel to his 2011 sleeper smash hit. Starring Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne, this supernatural thriller kicks off exactly where its predecessor ended, with the Lambert family trying to rid themselves of the sinister "Dark Bride" entity that has attached itself to them.

Insidious: Chapter 2 apparently adopts an old school approach to frights, concentrating more on atmosphere than special effects and gore. It's still compelling but is more silly than consistently scary, suffering from clunky performances and scripting. 38% Fresh.


The Bling Ring:
Finally opening in South Africa is this black comedy from writer-director Sofia Coppola. Based on real life events, The Bling Ring centres on a group of shallow, commodity-obsessed California teens who start stealing from celebrities. With Emma Watson, Israel Broussard and Katie Chang.

Reviews have been mixed for The Bling Ring, with critics complaining that the satirical film is as superficial as its leads. On the positive side, it is beautifully shot, the morality judgement is left up to the audience and Emma Watson is evidently superb. 60% Fresh



As Jy Sing:
Filling your local content quotient for the week is this feel-good Afrikaans language musical. South African singing stars like Bobby van Jaarsveld, Bok van Blerk, Robbie Wessels and Karlien van Jaarsveld star in this tale of a music teacher who lives for his young singing group, despite their outcast status at their sports-mad high school. Then one day the teens are forced to stand up for what they believe in; what makes their lives worth living.


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