Jodie Foster impresses as civil rights lawyer in The Mauritanian

Based on real events The Mauritanian (16s) opens in 2001. Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Tahar Rahim) is arrested in his native Mauritius and “taken away to speak to the Americans”. Fast forward to 2005 when we learned that Slahi is incarcerated in Guantanamo Prison; Although he is suspected of having mastered the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers, he has yet to be charged with a specific crime by the US government.

Enter Nancy Hollander (Jodie Foster), a die-hard civil rights attorney with a reputation for “fighting the government since Vietnam”. Firmly determined to uphold the rule of law, Nancy is largely unaware of Slahi’s guilt or innocence. She takes on Colonel Stuart Couch (Benedict Cumberbatch), a prosecutor with a personal interest in Slahi receiving the death penalty.

Tahar Rahim as Mohamedou Ould Slahi in The Mauretanian. Image: PA Photo / STX Films.

Based on Slahi’s Guantanamo diary and directed by Kevin Macdonald, The Mauretanian is a complex and unorthodox courtroom drama, also because it is at the heart of the story to ensure that the accused party is actually included in the legal process. A gripping story contrasts high-minded principles with the dehumanizing effects of relentless torture, while Macdonald examines the fallacy at the heart of America’s self-proclaimed “war on terror.” It’s a story that could very easily have pontified, but the superb performance ensures that the film is as emotionally as intellectually demanding.

Tahar Rahim is characterized by the brutalized Slahi, who somehow manages to preserve a core of his humanity in the midst of institutionalized humiliation, and who hopes for the instinctive sympathy of Nancy’s assistant Teri (Shailene Woodley). Elsewhere, Benedict Cumberbatch makes a powerful turn as the conflict-ridden Colonel Couch, though it’s Jodie Foster who steals the show as the flippy, bloodless Nancy Hollander, a woman who turns cynicism into an art form. (Amazon Prime)

Tom and Jerry ****

Tom and Jerry: Chloe Grace Moretz enchants us as a disingenuous human foil for the cat-and-mouse gamesTom and Jerry: Chloe Grace Moretz enchants us as a disingenuous human foil for the cat-and-mouse games

Viewers who crave a nostalgic giggle (and who isn’t these days?) Will enjoy it Tom and Jerry (PG), a live-action film starring the cartoon enemies that first appeared in 1940. The plot, not that it matters very much, begins with Kayla (Chloë Grace Moretz) paving her way to hosting the wedding of the year in the swanky New York hotel, only to let her plan be ruined if Jerry – or more precisely Jerome Mouse said – moving into residence and rumors of a rodent infestation arise.

When she hires Tom to get Jerry out of the hotel, Kayla believes the mission is complete. But soon the incorrigible duo makes its inimitable kind of chaos and makes the hotel shudder to the ground. Written by Kevin Costello and directed by Tim Story, Tom and Jerry delivers a carefully drawn version of the popular Hanna & Barbera characters and inserts them into a contemporary live-action scenario with minimal effort.

Tom and Jerry aren’t the only animated characters: we also get the bulldog Spike, a tiger, a small herd of peacocks, and a couple of elephants, all of which, as the viewer can easily imagine, are destined to become the mother of all Donnybrooks at the end of the film. The human actors play their part, of course, with Chloë Grace Moretz in charming form as insincere Kayla and Michael Peña as vicious assistant manager making up tons of Deadpan comedy, but for the most part this film is a rough celebration of Tom and Jerry’s timeless appeal, as they depart from a scene of chaotic comic strip violence with a refreshing disregard for health and safety. (digital publication)

Godzilla vs kong ***

Godzilla vs Kong: the clash of the monster movie titansGodzilla vs Kong: the clash of the monster movie titans

The physics of everything is of course not to be examined too closely, however Godzilla versus Kong (12A) is an old-fashioned adventure that owes considerable debt to The lost world. The primal monster Godzilla, last encountered as an ally of humanity, appears to be a villain when it attacks mainland Florida.

Dr. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) and Dr. Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård) plan to send King Kong back to his ancestral home in the core of the earth, where they hope to develop a source of energy strong enough to let mankind defeat Godzilla in The Dark Apex Cybernetics, led by Walter Simmons (Damián Bechir) has other plans for Kong.

Maybe more than any other film Godzilla versus Kong will be a test of Warner’s decision to deliver his 2021 digital release plan: if a movie needs a big screen this year to maximize its spectacle, this is it.

Even so, the story works flawlessly on the smaller screen: the story plays out very quickly, the CGI is your best bet, and the snail festivals between the ‘Alpha Titans’ are as ridiculously destructive as any Godzilla / Kong enthusiast could hope for Director Adam Wingard delivers dystopian science fiction fantasy on an operatic scale.

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