This week’s movie releases

Tom Hanks faces Somali pirates in Paul Greengrass's Captain Phillips

Film piracy: Tom Hanks (c) in Captain Phillips.
Film piracy: Tom Hanks (c) in Captain Phillips.

In Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass once again attempts what he only half pulled off in 2010’s Green Zone: put the much-imitated, rarely matched, wobbly camera thrills of his Bourne series at the service of the real-life docudrama of his earlier TV work, such as Bloody Sunday. Here, as in this year’s Danish drama A Hijacking, the theme is modern-day piracy on the high seas as Tom Hanks plays the titular merchant mariner at the helm of the Maersk Alabama, a US cargo ship that was boarded by Somali pirates off the coast of Africa in 2009. Based on the memoir of the real Captain Richard Phillips, it zeroes in on the relationship between Hanks and his Somali captor, while also taking a broader view of the issues behind the problem.

Writer Richard Curtis’ Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill were both charming romantic comedies, but it started going wrong when he stepped behind the camera for Love Actually, which stretched credibility to snapping point — a trend 2009’s The Boat that Rocked continued. Perhaps no wonder, then, that Curtis has embraced fantasy full on in his latest effort, About Time. A Groundhog Day-style romcom, it stars Domhnall Gleeson as a young lawyer told by father Bill Nighy on his 21st birthday that the men in the family have the ability to travel around in time, a skill he uses to fine-tune his romance with Rachel McAdams

A star seemingly getting bigger by the day, Benedict Cumberbatch takes on the role of internet activist Julian Assange in thriller The Fifth Estate, director Bill Condon’s dramatization of the rise of the WikiLeaks whistleblowing website. Catalan-German actor Daniel Brühl, recently seen as Niki Lauda in Rush, stars as Assange’s partner Daniel Domscheit-Berg.

The latest animation from DreamWorks, Turbo concerns a young snail (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) whose dream of becoming the fastest gastropod in the world comes true after a freak accident. Paul Giamatti, Michael Peña and Snoop Dogg also lend vocal support.

Liar, liar

Animation of the more grown-up variety this week comes in the form of A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman, an adaptation of the late comedian and David Sherlock’s 1980 book featuring the voices of fellow Pythons Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Michael Palin and Terry Jones, not to mention Cameron Diaz as — who else? — Sigmund Freud.

Spanish comedy drama Todas las mujeres stars Eduard Fernández as a vet confronting all the women who ever meant anything to him in his life, including his lover, mother, psychologist, ex-girlfriend and sister-in-law.

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