This week’s movie releases

Ron Howard's Rush recreates the race between James Hunt and Niki Lauda for the 1976 F1 crown

McLaren's James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Ferrari's Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) fight it out on the track in Rush.
McLaren's James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Ferrari's Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) fight it out on the track in Rush.

Billing itself as a story of suave British urbanity against machine-like Austrian efficiency, Ron Howard’s Rush recreates the epic contest between James Hunt and Niki Lauda for the 1976 Formula 1 World Championship. Chris Hemsworth (Thor) plays the British McLaren driver while Spanish-German star Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds) plays the Viennese ace whose efforts to keep his Ferrari out in front earned him a brush with death. Olivia Wilde and Alexandra Maria Lara are the women in their lives, while the script is by true-life-tale specialist Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Queen).

A curmudgeonly old hand and a cool new recruit are thrown together at a secret agency responsible for protecting the planet from freakish creatures invisible to regular humans. No, it’s not Men in Black 4 — not yet, anyway — but R.I.P.D., which swaps the aliens for ghosts and Smith and Jones for Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges. The latter plays a former Wild West marshal teamed with Reynolds’ recently deceased Boston cop at the Rest in Peace Department to round up lost souls who refuse to move to the other side.

Hoping to garner some Social Network-style acclaim, biopic Jobs stars Ashton Kutcher as the late visionary and Apple boss Steve Jobs, tracking his life from his 1970s student days to the launch of the iPod in 2001.

Released three years ago in the UK, West Is West is the cunningly titled sequel to East Is East, the 1999 culture-clash comedy drama about a mixed-race family growing up in 1970s Salford. It’s set six years on as Pakistani patriarch Om Puri takes his troubled youngest son Sajid back to his homeland to meet his family, much to the disapproval of his English wife Ella (Linda Bassett).

Another contender for title of the week, So Undercover features pop princess Miley Cyrus as a private investigator hired by the FBI to, like, totally infiltrate a posh college sorority to protect a senator’s daughter.

Kitchen nightmare

The secret restaurant phenomenon — eateries in backrooms, private homes and other unadvertised locales that you have to be in the know to find — has sprung up to fill the pages of trendy travel supplements the world over in recent years. But illicit foodie thrills become the stuff of nightmares in Spanish director Óscar Rojo’s Omnívoros, about a food critic investigating the covert dining scene who stumbles across a clandestine chophouse hiding a terrible mystery.

More Spanish terror in Para Elisa as student Ana Turpin becomes the plaything of a distinctly unhinged woman when she answers an ad for a nanny.

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