If you follow the lead of Jurassic Park's hubristic scientists and splice the creative DNA of Steven Spielberg's 1993 behemoth with the rumbustious 2015 reboot Jurassic World, the resultant hybrid would roar, rampage and ultimately stumble like this muscular fifth instalment.

Directed at a gallop by Spanish filmmaker JA Bayona, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a slick yet soulless greatest hits of monster-munching mayhem, bolted together with overblown set pieces that hark back to earlier episodes.

A cute grandchild in peril, a T-Rex roaring triumphantly over its domain as composer John Williams's familiar theme swells, a reflection of "objects in the mirror are closer than they appear", Jeff Goldblum's chaos mathematician foreshadowing wanton bloodshed with sage words about evolutionary order.

Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly's script takes a velociraptor's claw to character development, meekly sketching a rogue's gallery of computer hackers, palaeobotanists and Machiavellian men in suits before the chomping of human flesh begins in earnest.

There are undeniable thrills and entrails spills, and Bayona choreographs the carnage with flashes of directorial brio, but the jump scares and blood-curdling screams are largely second-hand.

Welcome to Jurassic World and bid farewell, for now at least, to originality.

Rating: Three stars

McQUEEN (15)

Born and raised in the London borough of Stratford, Lee Alexander McQueen was a tortured genius of working class origins, who challenged the fashion establishment with his catwalk shows influenced by death, depravity and violence.

Ian Bonhote and Peter Ettedgui's lavishly designed documentary charts the rise of the openly gay trailblazer from his awkward teenage years, through an enduring friendship with mentor Isabella Blow (she persuaded him to trade under his middle name) and a controversial appointment as lead designer of Parisian fashion house Givenchy.

Archive footage and recollections from mentors - McQueen listened obsessively to Sinead O'Connor confides Red Or Dead's John McKitterick - are intermingled with the designer's personal testimony about his craft and a penchant for shocking his audience.

Key collections and catwalk shows are meticulously dissected including the 1999 ready-to-wear collection which culminated in model Shalom Harlow posing on a revolving platform as two robot arms sprayed her strapless white dress with streaks of yellow, green and black paint.

"If you want to know me, just look at my work," says the designer late in the film.

Bonhote and Ettedgui's documentary respectfully and reverentially honours his wish.

Rating: Four stars


Let's talk about sexagenarians.

Writer-director Bill Holderman's frothy romantic comedy stars Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen as life-long friends, who have forgotten what it means to grow old disgracefully.

One leaf through the pages of E L James's erotic thriller Fifty Shades Of Grey, the chosen text for a monthly book club, and these likeable heroines are enjoying first-date sex on the back seat of a car, slipping Viagra pills into a spouse's beer and inadvertently grabbing the crotch of an adjacent passenger on a commercial flight.

It's hard to believe that one of the characters in the film wouldn't have secretly read the bestseller in that period but Holderman's film, which is co-written by Erin Simms, doesn't tarry on matters of likelihood or logic.

Not when contrivances and coincidences can be piled one atop another to provide the four leading ladies with predictable subplots that ensure they all reach the end credits with willing suitors and a sheen of contentment.

They are far better than Holderman's picture deserves.

Rating: Two stars


Scripted by Jonathan Kasdan and father Lawrence, co-writer of The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi, the second standalone anthology film after Rogue One sketches the formative years of the charismatic scoundrel Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) in comforting, broad strokes.

Ron Howard captains the hulking ship after director duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were tossed into a sarlacc pit over "creative differences" a few months into production.

Behind-the-scenes turmoil hasn't manifested noticeably on screen.

This gung-ho romp of double-crossing criminals is clinical, bookmarked by impressively staged set-pieces laden with pyrotechnics and special effects.

Solo's name is emboldened in the title but he's the least interesting element and Alden Ehrenreich's performance falls short of the smouldering, rascally delights of Harrison Ford.

Instead, London-born actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge shines brightest through the digitally rendered gloom as a rebellious droid, who is hard-wired to demand equal rights for her mechanised kin.

"I've got a good feeling about this," grins Han as he sits in the captain's chair for the first time.

I harboured similar feelings of quiet optimism for Howard's picture but like the mighty Millennium Falcon after she emerges from the Kessel run, my expectations were badly dented.

Rating: Three stars


Hope takes root in the barren wilderness of present-day Afghanistan in Nora Twomey's beguiling drama, which was deservedly nominated as Best Animated Feature at this year's Academy Awards.

Based on the book by Deborah Ellis, The Breadwinner is a beautifully crafted and deeply moving celebration of the fragile human spirit as seen through the tear-filled eyes of a family struggling to make ends meet under a brutal regime that subjugates women.

Twomey's film doesn't shy away from depicting the intimidation and punishment of female characters including one scene of a mother being bludgeoned with a walking stick for daring to leave her house without a male guardian.

Violence is meted out off-screen but we hear and feel every sickening blow and share the victims' sense of injustice that silently rages behind their swollen and bruised lips.

Expressive and vibrant hand-drawn visuals alternate between an earthy palette for battle-scarred reality and an explosion of retina-searing colour for the fantastical fables that family members share to temporarily salve their pain.

Rating: Four stars


Raja Gosnell, director of Beverly Hill Chihuahua, collars a buddy cop movie, which is essentially Miss Congeniality on four legs, with dysfunctional canines replacing the beauty queens.

Show Dogs is a shaggy dog tale of questionable pedigree that will probably delight very young audiences, who might gurgle with glee at the sight of a Rottweiler (voiced by Chris "Ludacris" Bridges) sneakily breaking wind while its unsuspecting owner (Will Arnett) is soaping its rear.

Anyone with an age in double digits will be less enthralled, and grateful that this preposterous undercover sting at one of the world's most prestigious animal shows only wags its tail for 92 minutes.

The script is poor and cocks its leg at plausibility in an opening set piece.

Gosnell's picture is all bark and no bite, slobbering over fleeting moments of touching emotion.

Rating: Two stars


Richard Claus and Karsten Kiilerich's computer-animated adaptation of the children's book series penned by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg doesn't quite hammer a stake through the heart of beloved source material ... but it comes close.

Bolted together with outlandish action sequences and a sense of humour unabashedly aimed at younger audiences, The Little Vampire desiccates a familiar yarn of friendship and acceptance between two boys - one mortal, the other fanged.

Pop culture references will sail over the heads of children, who will be more interested in an udderly ridiculous vampiric cow, which offers dubious comic relief by dive-bombing the film's pitiful archvillain with fresh dung from its back side.

Core messages of tolerance and co-operation are draped over every frame like bouquets of garlic to ward off evil spirits.

Fangs for nothing.

Rating: Two stars


Directed by "one of the guys who killed the dog in John Wick", Deadpool 2 is a rollicking, gleefully irreverent and potty-mouthed sequel, which proves you can have too much of a good thing.

The weight of giddy expectation on David Leitch's slam-bang sequel compels returning screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to chase bigger laughs and outlandish thrills with tongue-in-cheek contributions to the script from leading man Ryan Reynolds.

Consequently, these rumbustious two hours are crammed to bursting with pop culture references, droll one-liners and machine-gun profanities that try a smidgen too hard to push an envelope that had already been licked to absurdity.

For every burst of gags that hits the target with laser-like precision, one punchline veers off course, and a protracted sequence involving the title character waiting for his body parts to regrow is a surreal narrative detour too far, even for a franchise that thrives on the ridiculous.

In a filthy-minded tug of war with the first film, Leitch's sequel comes off a fitfully entertaining second best.

Rating: Three stars


Skilfully adapted by Ian McEwan from his Booker Prize-nominated novella, On Chesil Beach is a heartbreaking portrait of doomed love that generates one sobering emotional crescendo after another, like waves crashing against a forlorn shore.

Three-time Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle are impeccably cast as trembling virginal newlyweds, who are ill-equipped to navigate the minefields of each other's insecurities and sensitively handled intimations of sexual abuse by one parent.

There is a tragic inevitability to the trajectory of the couple's fragile relationship, and a quiet devastation shared by us and the characters as awkwardness, shame and incomprehension press a self-destruct button, inflicting deep wounds that will never heal.

"I am, most terribly sorry..." whispers the young wife as she fumbles for the right words - no, any words - to soothe her spouse.

Dominic Cooke's film elegantly reveals the chinks of pain and regret in each stuttering syllable.

Rating: Four stars


Home is where the heartbreak is in James McTeigue's invasion thriller, which pits a grieving and resourceful mother (Gabrielle Union) against four criminals, who have taken her daughter and son hostage inside her high-tech childhood home.

Stripped bare of extraneous plotting and characterisation, Breaking In swiftly establishes the tense stand-off between intruders and a family in crisis, then delights in turning the tables on the aggressors in sweat-drenched skirmishes.

McTeigue's picture may not be pretty, punctuated by flashes of mild violence, or original, but it is ruthlessly efficient, neatly contained with a 90-minute timeframe before the house's compromised security system automatically alerts police to a burglary in progress.

Ryan Engle's script generates sufficient dramatic momentum to sprint through a brisk running time without pausing for breath once the desperate mother creates her first diversion with firecrackers left over from Fourth of July celebrations.

Breaking In sets out to gently thrill and largely succeeds without breaking the characters' sweat or whitening our knuckles.

Rating: Two stars


John Stevenson's computer-animated sequel to the 2011 family comedy Gnomeo & Juliet is a lacklustre misappropriation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's private detective.

Vocal performances fall flat, including Johnny Depp's plummy take on the titular sleuth, and the script clumsily incorporates characters and phrases from the pages of the books including one throwaway scene in a park with a slobbering bulldog, which Holmes alludes to as the hound of the Baskerville family.

"Emotion is the enemy of logic," opines Holmes. Truly, emotion has nothing to fear here.

James McAvoy and Emily Blunt fail to enliven their feuding sweethearts Gnomeo and Juliet, while Jamie Demetriou's arch-nemesis, Machiavellian pie mascot Moriarty, is starved of tasty one-liners hard-baked with madness and mischief.

Sherlock Gnomes is elementary in the most unflattering sense.

Rating: Two stars


First-time French writer-director Coralie Fargeat seizes the exploitation horror subgenre by its privates and refuses to let go as she puts a feminist slant on the bloodthirsty battle of the sexes between a rape victim (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz) and her attackers, to echo the fiery indignation of the MeToo and Time's Up movements.

Shot on location in Morocco, but set in an unspecified sun-baked wilderness, Revenge gleefully embraces gore-slathered visual excess including one whoop-inducing scene of the heroine forcibly removing a sliver of glass with trembling fingers from her eviscerated foot.

The film wears its 18 certificate as a badge of honour, spattering the camera lens with bodily fluids, occasionally for comic effect like a climactic scene of two characters slip-sliding uncontrollably down tiled corridors coated in glistening crimson.

"Women always have to put up a fight!" rages one attacker.

The aptly titled Revenge serves up that courageous, ballsy retaliation with lashings of stylistic flair.

Rating: Three stars


The real-life hijacking of an Air France flight in June 1976 by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and a subsequent rescue mission led by Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), are terrific raw ingredients for an edge-of-seat geo-political thriller.

Director Jose Padilha would seem to be the perfect choice to mercilessly crank up tension as the fates of terrorists, hostages and commandos collide head-on at Entebbe airport in Uganda.

The award-winning Brazilian film-maker stormed the festival circuit in 2007 with his nerve-jangling debut Elite Squad - a gritty, propulsive portrait of crime, punishment and sweat-drenched machismo set in the crime-riddled favelas of Rio de Janeiro.

Regrettably, the qualities that set Elite Squad apart more than a decade ago are sorely lacking from this crushingly dull modern history lesson penned by Gregory Burke.

The most exciting element of Padilha's underwhelming film is a contemporary performance piece that punctuates all of the turgid to and fro.

Dancers are expressive and expertly choreographed, but the dramatisation that waltzes around them is depressingly flat-footed.

Rating: Two stars

TULLY (15)

Mother doesn't know best - she is teetering on the precipice of a nervous breakdown - in Jason Reitman's beautifully crafted and bittersweet portrait of modern parenthood.

The third collaboration between the Montreal-born director and screenwriter Diablo Cody, who won an Oscar for her exemplary script for Juno, conceals poignant home truths behind trademark snappy dialogue and a mistimed sleight of hand that leaves a satisfying lump in the throat.

There is undeniable pleasure in unravelling the many layers to Reitman's delicately observed film and the flawed yet deeply sympathetic characters, who struggle to articulate their fears to each other and prefer to suffer in anguished silence.

It is not until a 21st-century Mary Poppins (Mackenzie Davis) materialises in the fractured family home, and re-energises an exhausted matriarch (Charlize Theron) with an endless supply of self-help aphorisms, that an emotional dam breaks and the words and tears cascade.

Theron is the picture's steady emotional heartbeat and her raw, unselfconscious portrayal nourishes the supporting cast.

Rating: Four stars


Based on County Durham-born writer Mary Stewart's 1971 children's novel The Little Broomstick, Mary And The Witch's Flower is a charming if slight animated adventure of self-discovery seen through the eyes of an inquisitive, flame-haired girl.

Simplicity is the secret of director Hiromasa Yonebayashi's picture, which eschews narrative sophistication in favour of linear storytelling, broadly sketched characters and a familiar battle between youthful exuberance (good) and world-weary adult cynicism (bad).

Visuals are a handsome amalgamation of hand-drawn and computer animation, conjuring a fantastical world of duelling wands, shape-shifting guardians and a stampede of liberated wild creatures.

Yonebayashi adopts a pedestrian pace to ensure young audiences remain under the spell of the diminutive heroine as she uncovers a clearly telegraphed family secret and marshals the courage to take charge of her destiny.

An absence of on-screen jeopardy ensures children won't be cowering behind their hands in the film's latter stages, but could test the ability of parents to maintain the illusion that they are fully engaged for 103 minutes.

Rating: Three stars


War demands sacrifices: civility, morality, compassion, responsibility and, ultimately, torn flesh and innocent blood.

There are many heartbreaking sacrifices - far more than expected - in Avengers: Infinity War, a blockbuster battle royale choreographed at dizzying speed by directors Joe and Anthony Russo to unite characters from across the sprawling and sinewy Marvel Comics franchises.

The head-on collision of The Avengers with protagonists from Black Panther, Captain America, Doctor Strange, Guardians Of The Galaxy, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Thor promises an eye-popping spectacle.

A small army of special effects wizards conjure some truly jaw-dropping set pieces, razing New York, Edinburgh and otherworldly realms in the process.

The Russos' film would be a physically exhausting assault on the eyes and ears without welcome pauses for snarky humour, pop culture references and an obligatory Stan Lee cameo to the thunderous beat of composer Alan Silvestri's score.

Their method is crude but largely effective.

Rating: Three stars


The subterranean thumping you can hear throughout Will Gluck's family-friendly adventure isn't Beatrix Potter's eponymous floppy-eared creation (voiced by James Corden) and his anthropomorphic clan as they bound excitedly around their warren.

It's the author spinning in her grave as characters are merchandised for quick and easy laughs using the same digital trickery that transplanted the fun-loving Smurfs to the present day.

Peter Rabbit buries the sweet, simple charm of Potter's beautifully illustrated books, which were first published at the turn of the 20th century, and unearths a brash and brazen battle between country and city, laden with pop culture references including a litter of nods to the Oscar-winning 1995 film Babe.

Young audiences won't care about the disparity between Potter's elegant source material and the film's emotionally manipulative script.

To them, what matters is that the four-legged protagonists are undeniably cute and impeccably realised with state-of-the-art computer effects that seamlessly meld technical wizardry and live action.

Rating: Three stars


If Black Panther, directed with swagger by Ryan Coogler, is emblematic of things to come from the Marvel Comics pantheon then roll on 2019 because this frenetically edited odyssey of self-doubt and redemption is the big cat's whiskers.

In some respects, this is identikit film-making: prodigal sons tormented by the loss of powerful fathers, computer-generated characters trading bone-crunching blows in mid-air, a throwaway cameo for comic book maven Stan Lee and additional scenes concealed in end credits.

Genetic flaws aside, Coogler's slinky picture is barnstorming entertainment of the highest pedigree, which sinks its narrative claws into present-day racial tensions, gender inequality and Western imperialism with relish.

Female characters are feisty, intelligent and refuse to sit demurely on the sidelines while engaging-yet-flawed male counterparts have all the fun. As one proud warrior reminds her regal lover: the choice to rule as queen rests in her hands.

A predominantly black cast festooned with Oscar winners and nominees adds lustre to a lean script co-written by Joe Robert Cole, teasing out tender romance and bruising bloodline rivalries stained with tears of regret.

Rating: Four stars


Roll up and rock out for director Michael Gracey's hyperkinetic, foot-stomping musical based on the topsy-turvy life of circus impresario and master of shameless self-promotion Phineas Taylor Barnum (Hugh Jackman).

Razzle smooches dazzle in every breathlessly choreographed, crowd-pleasing frame of this rags-to-riches fairytale set to a wickedly infectious score composed by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who pirouetted away with Oscars for La La Land.

The duo deserved more golden statuettes for their songbook of barnstorming earworms, but sadly missed out at this year's Oscars with their anthem This Is Me.

Unquestionably, the script co-written by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon is light on characterisation and polishes the morally questionable legacy of manipulator PT to a sanitised lustre.

Somehow, despite manifold failings, Gracey's picture is a joy-infused, whoop-inducing blast of pure pleasure that calibrates every swoon of romance and doff of a top hat with masterful precision.

I was gleefully and giddily suckered.

Rating: Four stars


More than 20 years after family-friendly fantasy Jumanji starring Robin Williams rampaged through multiplexes, Jake Kasdan directs an action-packed rumble in the jungle tailored to the short attention spans of digitally minded teenagers.

Five screenwriters pay affectionate tribute to the late actor, respectfully passing the narrative baton to a new set of wise-cracking misfits (Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan) who become trapped inside a video game.

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle is less than the sum of its fitfully entertaining parts.

Johnson and Hart catalyse an amusingly fractious double act while Black has a hoot channelling the sassiness of a classroom queen bee, including one stand-out sequence in which he tutors Gillan in the fine art of flirtation.

Kasdan's film is merrily divorced from realism and relinquishes the childlike innocence of the original for an all-guns-blazing assault on the senses, including ribald humour that will be too saucy for very young children.

Rating: Three stars