What's good at the movies this weekend?

Last updated 08:23 22/08/2014

LUCY: Scarlett Johansson is terrific in the lead.

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At the movies this weekend, Scarlett Johansson expands her brain power, a centenarian goes on an awfully big adventure and Nick Cave celebrates his 20,000th day on Earth.

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LUCY (R16, 89mins, ★★★1/2)

Luc Besson's film is predicated on that hoary old urban myth that we only use 10 per cent of our brain. It's nonsense, but nonsense has a way of leading to hugely entertaining films, and ifLucy nf is a shining example of this.There's a great difference between a silly film, and a stupid film. ifLucy nf is undeniably silly, but it is no way stupid. It might be based on a myth, but it stays completely true to its own loopy internal logic. Highlander, The Matrix and Altered States are all outrageously silly films too, but none of them are stupid. Lucy references them all, throws in a dash of Blade Runner and 2001: A Space Odyssey, and filters the results into a non-stop, deftly executed and briskly played series of set pieces. Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman star. GT

20,000 DAYS ON EARTH (M, 97mins, ★★1/2)

Films about musicians have yielded some indelible moments, and some cringe inducing drivel over the years. And 20,000 Days on Earth, much like its star Nick Cave, has got the bases covered. The film purports to be a portrait of the artist as he spends his  his 20,000th day on the planet. By film-reviewer maths, that makes him 54 and a bit, and midway through the sessions that would eventually take shape as the 2013 album Push The Sky Away. In reality 20,000 Days is a scripted and over-produced film, shot over a period of weeks or months. There is no fly-on-the-wall immediacy or off-the-cuff revelations here. A good idea, irritatingly executed, with barely enough honesty or insight to justify its existence. GT


Based on Jonas Jonasson's much-loved 2009 novel of the same name, this Swedish film combines the whimsy of Amelie, Forrest Gump's blending of the historical with the fantastical (rather than a box of chocolates, life to Karlsson ''is what it is and does what it does''), the black-comedy menace of Jo Nesbo's Headhunters and Jackpot and the Scandinavian deadpan delivery of O'Horten or Kitchen Stories. Yes, we've had plenty of pensioners-behaving-badly movies recently, but writer-director Felix Herngren's story refreshingly isn't even remotely interested in sexual innuendo or romance, but rather a boy's own adventure of the highest order. JC

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