Leonardo DiCaprio plays an ageing actor in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays an ageing actor in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. ANDREW COOPER

What's on the big screen this week

QUENTIN Tarantino is surprisingly subtle in his new film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

The director, whose films are known for smart writing and graphic violence, shows a softer side in his passionately retro love letter to Hollywood.

Aussie it girl Margot Robbie stars opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt in the film, set in 1969 Los Angeles.

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Also out this week is the sequel to 2017's hit family film A Dog's Purpose. Joining returning star Dennis Quaid in A Dog's Journey is a fresh-faced young cast including Skins star Kathryn Prescott and K-pop singer Henry Lau.

Based on W. Bruce Cameron's novel of the same name, it's guaranteed to be a tearjerker for dog lovers. 

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

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (MA 15+)

In 1969 Los Angeles, TV star Rick Dalton and his long-time stunt double Cliff Booth make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore.

Why you should see it: Director Quentin Tarantino shows surprising subtlety in this piece of cinematic nostalgia. Read the review.

 

A Dog's Journey (PG)

Bailey is living the good life on the farm of Ethan and Hannah. As Bailey's soul prepares to leave this life for a new one, he promises Ethan to find CJ and protect her at any cost.

Why you should see it: This film about a reincarnated dog is overly-sentimental at times, but most cinema-goers will struggle to resist its sickly-sweet charms. Read the interview with Kathryn Prescott and Henry Lau.

Continuing:

 

Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan (MA 15+)

In August 1966, in a Vietnamese rubber plantation called Long Tan, 108 young and inexperienced Australian and New Zealand soldiers are fighting for their lives against 2500 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers.

Why you should see it: A talented Aussie cast helps to bring this incredible true story of heroism to life on the big screen. Read the review.

 

Palm Beach (M)

Lifelong friends reunite for a party at Sydney's Palm Beach.

Why you should see it: The drama doesn't quite live up to its stunning location in this unrelatable subtropical version of The Big Chill from husband-and-wife duo Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward. Read the review.

 

Late Night (M)

A late-night talk show host suspects that she may soon be losing her long-running show.

Why you should see it: This comedy double act takes a while to hit its stride, but it eventually does with a great show of the power and value of diversity. Read the review.

 

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (M)

Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity.

Why you should see it: This spin-off of the popular street car action franchise rests Toretto and his crew, with muscle men Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham teaming up to bring down Idris Elba's baddie. Read the review.

 

The Public (M)

An act of civil disobedience turns into a standoff with police when homeless people in Cincinnati take over the public library to seek shelter from the bitter cold.

Why you should see it: Emilio Estevez's passion project is an old-fashioned crowd pleaser. Read the review.

 

The Keeper (M)

This period drama tells the love story between a young English woman and a German POW, who together overcome prejudice, public hostility, and personal tragedy.

Why you should see it: This story of a prisoner-of-war who overcame extreme public hostility to play for Manchester City after World War II feels a little staid but manages a win. Read the review.
 

Diego Maradona (M)

Constructed from more than 500 hours of never-before-seen footage, this documentary centres on the career of celebrated football player Diego Armando Maradona, who played for S.S.C. Napoli in the 1980s.

Why you should see it: The rise and fall of football genius Maradona makes for a compelling on-screen saga. Read the review.

 

The Lion King (PG)


After the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery.

Why you should see it: In trying to not mess with people's precious childhood memories, The Lion King remake falls into its own trap. Read the review.



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