NASA HEROES: Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monáe in a scene from the movie Hidden Figures.
NASA HEROES: Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monáe in a scene from the movie Hidden Figures. Hopper Stone

What's on the big screen this week

THIS week's new releases offer plenty of variety for movie buffs, as the highly anticipated Hidden Figures is joined at the box office by The Great Wall, Silence and Trespass Against Us.

Here are this week's highlights of the big screen and why you should see them:

The Great Wall

MATT Damon stars in this film which tells the story of an elite force fighting an invasion of monstrous creatures on the world's most iconic structure.

Why you should see it: This is the first English-language production for director Yimou Zhang and is the largest film ever shot entirely in China.

Hidden Figures

HUMAN COMPUTERS: A scene from the film Hidden Figures.
HUMAN COMPUTERS: A scene from the film Hidden Figures.

AS THE United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in US history.

Why you should see it: Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as "human computers”, the film follows these women as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history's greatest minds, tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return. Read the review.

Silence

Liam Neeson in a scene from the movie Silence.
Liam Neeson in a scene from the movie Silence. Kerry Brown

TWO missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson).

Why you should see it: If you can stomach the harrowing torture scenes, director Martin Scorsese will give you an insight into the way faith behaves when it's subjected to the ugly extremes of human behaviour. Read the review.

Trespass Against Us

Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson in the Adam Smith film Trespass Against Us.
Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson in the Adam Smith film Trespass Against Us.

A MAN looks to find a way to escape the criminal ways of his outlaw family.

Why you should see it: Do you ever need an excuse to watch Michael Fassbender?

CONTINUING:

Manchester by the Sea (M)

An uncle is forced to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy's father dies in this Oscar contender.

Why you should see it: Thankfully Australian audiences won't miss out on Kenneth Lonergan's latest piece of melancholy cinema. Casey Affleck's grounded but powerful performance deserves to pick up the Best Actor Oscar. Read the review.

Gold (M)

Matthew McConaughey in a scene from the movie Gold.
Matthew McConaughey in a scene from the movie Gold. Lewis Jacobs

Kenny Wells, a prospector desperate for a lucky break, teams up with a similarly eager geologist and sets off on a journey to find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia.

Why you should see it: Gold boasts an impressively performance by Matthew McConaughey, but it's pretty much the only glittering nugget in a film that's silver at best. Read the review.

Patriots Day (M)

Mark Wahlberg in a scene from the movie Patriots Day.
Mark Wahlberg in a scene from the movie Patriots Day.

An account of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis's actions in the events leading up to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists behind it.

Why you should see it: Director Peter Berg's latest offering is, surprisingly, a solidly crafted tribute to the heroes of a real-life tragedy. Read the review.

Split (M)

TERROR: James McAvoy in a scene from the movie Split.
TERROR: James McAvoy in a scene from the movie Split. Universal Pictures

Kevin is a man with at least 23 different personalities. While he has lived a relatively stable life and managed to hold down a job thanks to his psychologist, things begin to unravel when one of his alters takes control and kidnaps three teenage girls.

Why you should see it: James McAvoy's performance, which is essentially six characters rolled into one, is nothing short of impressive. Written, directed and self-financed by M Night Shyamalan, Split is a tense, well-paced psychological thriller which proves Shyamalan is back in top form. Read the interview.

Live By Night (MA 15+)

Ben Affleck in a scene from the movie Live By Night.
Ben Affleck in a scene from the movie Live By Night. Claire Folger

A group of Boston-bred gangsters set up shop in balmy Florida during the Prohibition era, facing off against the competition and the Ku Klux Klan

Why you should see it: Ben Affleck directs, produces and stars in this visually stylish period crime drama that doesn't quite deliver the full package.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (MA 15+)

Milla Jovovich in a scene from the movie Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.
Milla Jovovich in a scene from the movie Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Ilze Kitshoff

Following the events of "Resident Evil: Retribution”, Project Alice is forced to race against time as the villainous Red Queen attempts to destroy the final remnants of humanity.

Why you should see it: This final instalment is one for the fans, who have followed this video game adaptation from the beginning. Don't go without seeing at least one of the previous films first.

Lion (PG)

Nicole Kidman and Sunny Pawar in a scene from the movie Lion.
Nicole Kidman and Sunny Pawar in a scene from the movie Lion. Mark Rogers

A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometres from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.

Why you should see it: Aussie director Garth Davis's feature film debut recounts the real-life experiences of Saroo Brierly with beautiful visuals, sensitivity and a tremendous cast. Five-year-old Indian actor Sunny Pawar nearly steals the film from Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. Read the interview.

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage (M)

Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, Rory McCann, and Vin Diesel in a scene from the movie xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.
Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, Rory McCann, and Vin Diesel in a scene from the movie xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. George Kraychyk

Vin Diesel's Xander Cage is left for dead after an incident, though he secretly returns to action for a new, tough assignment with his handler Augustus Gibbons.

Why you should see it: Xander Cage fans will be happy to see his return to the big screen. If you enjoy delightfully trashy action flicks of the late '90s and early 2000s then you should enjoy this too. Aussie export Ruby Rose also stars.



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