Meg 2: The Trench (dir. Ben Wheatley) 2.5 STARS

There are good films, and there are bad films – Meg 2: The Trench is somehow neither, and yet also somehow both. The script is one of the worst I’ve ever come across, and the acting resembles parody, but I just couldn’t stop laughing. At one point, Jason Statham kicks a man straight into the mouth of a Megalodon and yells “See ya later, chum!” I love arthouse cinema as much as the next Varsity writer, but sometimes a silly film about giant sharks entertains me just as much, and the $386.2 million this film has grossed globally proves that I’m not alone. – SA

Passages (dir. Ira Sachs) 3 STARS

An intense, concise portrayal of the collapse of a gay marriage, led by a stunning turn from Franz Rogowski as a filmmaker living in Paris who attempts to leave his husband (Ben Whishaw) for a younger woman (Adèle Exarchopoulos). Despite some beautiful shots and impressive performances all round, neither the film’s script nor its pacing fully allow the viewer to feel for its characters, as director Ira Sachs falls short of the great films of his illustrious inspiration, Rainer Werner Fassbinder. – NBC


Mountain View

The SAG-AFTRA strike from the picket line

Past Lives (dir. Celine Song) 4 STARS

First-time filmmaker Celine Song uncovers a melancholic beauty in the road not taken in this poignant story of two childhood sweethearts from Korea who reunite in New York, twenty-four years after one of them emigrates. Led by quietly thoughtful performances from Greta Lee, Teo Yoo and John Magaro, it’s an extraordinary debut from a cinematic voice brazenly unafraid to let stillnesses sit and silences ring. – IJ

“Brazenly unafraid to let stillnesses sit and silences ring”

Scrapper (dir. Charlotte Regan) 4.5 STARS

Charlotte Regan’s unbelievable feature debut tells the story of 12-year-old Georgie, who lives alone and fends for herself after her mum passes away, only to have her world turned upside down by the arrival of her estranged biological dad. The desaturated colour palettes of traditional kitchen sink dramas are swapped out for bright, bold colours and a light-hearted sense of humour. Regan also experiments with several magical realist elements, but the film is brought back to reality by the subtle and sensitive performances from both Harris Dickinson and astonishing first-timer Lola Campbell. – SA

Theatre Camp (dir. Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman) 3 STARS

ADC kids, here’s one for you – a partially improvised docu-comedy, lifting a lid on all the day-to-day dramas of an American youth theatre camp. Ably helmed by Booksmart’s Molly Gordon (also directing) and Hollywood’s foremost theatre kid, Ben Platt, there’s much fun to be had here, albeit with a half an hour slump in the middle where you’ll realise it’s been a while since you laughed. Those more compelled towards Collateral than Cats, approach with caution – you’re opening yourself up to a world of comedic specificity bordering on the cultic. – IJ