If you’ve missed sitting in a darkened theatre sipping a cooldrink and munching on popcorn, waiting in anticipation for an action epic, cute cartoon or chilling horror to play out before you, we’ve got good news: SA cinemas are open. Here’s what’s on offer.
The Suicide Squad
This movie is partly a sequel and partly a reboot of 2016’s much-derided Suicide Squad, based on the DC Comics series about a team of D-list villains who are recruited into a black ops team and sent on high-risk secret missions in exchange for reduced prison sentences.
The first film “tried to bend the concept to fit the standard superhero mould, keen to find the goodness in its bad guys and with precious little sense of humour about the whole thing”, according to Empire magazine’s Olly Richards.
This new movie ignores the convoluted events of the previous film and writer-director James Gunn, who also directed the Guardians of the Galaxy films, has delivered a fast-paced action comedy, which will hopefully satisfy fans of the absurdly violent comic book.
Some of the cast of the previous film return, including Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller. They’re joined by Idris Elba as Bloodsport, John Cena as The Peacemaker and Sylvester Stallone as the voice of King Shark.
Age restriction: 16LV
Fast & Furious 9
Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and the rest of the gang are back for another high-octane, physics-defying adventure. Dom (Diesel) and Letty (Rodriguez) are living a quiet life off the grid until their friends Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) show up to tell them that their old ally Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell) had captured their enemy Cipher (Charlize Theron) but his plane crashed.
When the team investigate, Dom makes a shocking discovery: his long-lost (and until now never-mentioned) brother, Jakob (John Cena), is somehow involved. And as if that was not surprising enough, a long-dead member of the crew has recovered enough to join the action.
Age restriction: 13LV
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
The third film in the series based on the cases investigated by real-life paranormal investigators Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) also uses a real case as its inspiration, but it’s not another haunted-house setting.
In 1981 Arne Johnson (Ruairi O’Connor) is on trial for murdering his landlord (Ronnie Gene Blevins), but claims that he was possessed. Ed and Lorraine, who were present during the exorcism of David (Julian Hilliard), the eight-year-old brother of Arne’s girlfriend, Debbie (Sarah Catherine Hook), believe the demon hopped from David into Arne.
With Ed recovering from a heart attack, Lorraine must take the lead in the investigation, which points to a witch’s curse.
Age restriction: 16HV
Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
This action-comedy sequel follows 2017’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard, in which a washed-up bodyguard, Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds), had to protect an assassin, Darius Kincaid (Samuel L Jackson), on his way to testify at the International Criminal Court.
This time Michael is forced to help Darius’ wife, con artist Sonia Kincaid (Selma Hayek), to find her husband when he’s abducted by mobsters. After locating Darius, the trio is caught up in Interpol’s attempts to stop Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Papadopoulos (Antonio Banderas), who plans to destroy the European power grid as the EU plans more sanctions against his country.
Age restriction: 16DLSV
Following the same recipe that turned Pirates of the Caribbean into a mega franchise, Disney has used another of its theme-park rides as inspiration for a film.
In the early 20th century English scientist Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) and her bumbling brother, MacGregor (comedian Jack Whitehall), travel to the Amazon Rainforest hoping to find the location of a legendary tree that has almost miraculous healing properties. She enlists the services of riverboat skipper Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson), who offers cheap cruises on his ramshackle vessel to make ends meet.
But as they set off into the thick jungle, the dangers start to pile up. Will they find the tree and make it out alive?
Age restriction: 10-12PG V
This coming-of-age story from Pixar Studios is set on the Italian Riviera in the '50s and focuses on a young sea monster, Luca (voiced by Room’s Jacob Tremblay), who’s curious about the human world but scared to venture above the ocean’s surface because of his mother’s warnings.
He meets Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer from Shazam!), a teen sea monster who lives on land and shows Luca that they look like humans when they dry off.
When Luca’s parents learn that he’s been venturing into the human world and they decide to send him to live in the deep sea with his uncle, the two boys run away to live in the coastal town of Portorosso.
They befriend a misfit girl, Giulia (Emma Berman), who enrols them in a triathlon so they can make enough money to buy a scooter. Meanwhile, Luca’s parents have ventured to the surface to try to find him.
Age restriction: PG V
The notorious master of the twist, director M Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, The Village), is back with another horror film.
A family on holiday can’t believe their luck when they find a secluded and unspoilt beach. But Prisca (Vicky Krieps from Phantom Thread) and husband Guy (Y Tu Mamá También’s Gael García Bernal) are just settling down on their beach towels when their kids come running towards them screaming.
They’ve found a corpse, but what’s even more disconcerting is that six-year-old Trent now looks like a teenager (Hereditary’s Alex Wolff) and 11-year-old Maddox is nearly an adult (Thomasin McKenzie from Jojo Rabbit).
The family realise they’re aging rapidly and try to leave the beach, but it’s not going to be easy.
Age restriction: 16HPV
Space Jam: A New Legacy
Basketball star LeBron James takes over from the legendary Michael Jordan in this sequel to the 1996 movie which also combines live action with the beloved Looney Tunes animated characters, including Daffy Duck and Porky Pig.
While visiting Warner Bros. Studios, LeBron’s son Dom (Cedric Joe) get trapped in a digital world by the company’s rogue Artificial Intelligence (Don Cheadle).
The AI tells LeBron he’ll only release Dom if the basketball star assembles a team to beat the AI’s digital creations, forcing the star to enter the digital world where he encounters Bugs Bunny (voiced by Jeff Bergman), who tells him the other Looney Tunes have been scattered in various realms.
LeBron has no choice but to set off with the 2D traditionally animated bunny to find the others like him so they can take on their 3D digital adversaries and get LeBron and Dom home.
Age restriction: PG LV
A: All ages D: Drugs H: Horror L: Language N: Nudity P: Prejudice PG: Parental guidance S: Sex V: Violence
Sources: reelviews.net, rottentomatoes.com, numetro.co.za, sterkinekor.com, theguardian.com, imdb.com, slantmagazine.com, Wikipedia.org, empireonline.com, fpb.org.za