New DVDs

This weeks DVD releases reviewed.

This weeks DVD releases reviewed.

Directed by Matteo Garrone.
Starring Tony Servillo, Gianfelice Imparato, Marco Macor
18 cert

Gritty, powerful, harrowing and charged with documentary-style urgency, this riveting film, a prize winner at Cannes last year, is unflinching in confronting the power and ruthlessness of the Camorra, the notorious Neapolitan equivalent of the Mafia. The movie pulsates with dramatic energy as it graphically depicts an amoral environment awash with money but where life is cheap or worthless. MD

Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.
Starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Richard Jenkins
15 cert


The Coens revert to zany screwball comedy, gleefully lampooning portentous political thrillers. Pitt is delightfully goofy as a dim-witted Washington, DC gym employee who finds a computer disc containing the tell-all memoir of a pompous ex-CIA agent (Malkovich). The boisterous comedy has the air of a thoroughly entertaining house party where the company is consistently engaging as one moves from one room to another. MD

Directed by Philippe Claudel.
Starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Elsa Zylberstein
15 cert

Philippe Claudel's admirably assured directing debut is a thought-provoking drama of unexpected tenderness as it observes a convicted murdereress attempting to adjust to the outside world after 15 years in prison. Scott Thomas gives the performance of her career to date in the pivotal role. MD

Directed by Marianna Palka.
Starring Jason Ritter, Marianna Palka, Eric Edelstein, Mark Webber,Tom Arnold
18 cert

In Palka's quite intriguing "anti- romantic comedy", she plays a troubled loner, with Ritter as the video store clerk who falls for her. The consequences are as quirky as we have come to expect from US indies, yet unexpectedly affecting. MD

Directed by Fred Wolf.
Starring Anna Faris, Colin Hanks, Emma Stone, Kat Dennings, Dana Goodman, Rumer Willis, Beverly D'Angelo
12 cert

The reliably sparky Faris plays a Playboy Bunny who, after being evicted from Hugh Heffner's mansion for being too old, winds up as mentor to a group of misfits in a sorority house. The unconvincing mixed messages – the Playboy ethos is both good and bad, apparently – further sour an already dodgy enterprise. DC

Directed by David Mamet.
Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alice Braga, Emily Mortimer, Tim Allen, Joe Mantegna, Ricky Jay
15 cert

Ejiofor transcends his material as the owner of a financially strapped LA jiu-jitsu academy who is tempted to enter the competitive arena against his principles. He is such a font of wisdom and sage nuggets that one expects Confucius to get a screenplay credit. MD

Directed by Jon Avnet.
Starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, 50 Cent, Carla Gugino, John Leguizamo, Brian Dennehy
15 cert

Hardened NYPD detectives Turk (De Niro) and Rooster (Pacino) chase after a serial killer. From its premise to its production values, from its characterisations to the central twist on which the whole sorry film pviots, the film is a shamefacedly cheap affair, so drooping with cliche that it would never have briefly sloped into theatres were it not for the geezer stars.

Directed by Tony Leondis.
Voices of John Cusack, Eddie Izzard, Molly Shannon, John Cleese, Steve Buscemi, Jay Leno
PG cert

In a laboured computer-animated spin on Frankenstein, set in the kingdom of Malaria, an arrogant inventor's downtrodden, hunchbacked assistant aspires to winning the country's annual evil scientist award. The movie aspires to the dark look and humour of a Tim Burton picture, but it's sorely lacking in wit or visual imagination.

Directed by Pierre Morel.
Starring Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Holly Valance
15 cert

Neeson, a most unlikely former CIA man, travels to Europe to free his daughter from swarthy east European sex traffickers. Endlessly preposterous, casually racist and chaotically muddled, the film somehow managed to become a smash on both sides of the Atlantic. What would Oskar Schindler have thought?