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Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist, of Dragon Tattoo and John Wick, dies aged 56

2 hours ago

The actor, who appeared as Mikael Blomkvist in the Swedish adaptations of the Stieg Larsson novels, has died of lung cancer

Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist has died at the age of 56. He had been battling lung cancer.

The Stockholm-born actor was best known for his role as Mikael Blomkvist in the original Swedish Dragon Tattoo trilogy, which included The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.

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- Jake Nevins

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Transformers: The Last Knight wreaks metallic mayhem at UK box office

17 hours ago

Fifth instalment of the rampaging-robots franchise topples Wonder Woman, while Diane Keaton lights up Hampstead in a kooky romance

Transformers: The Last Knight, the latest in a seemingly endless series of sequels and brand exploitations this summer, had no problem shoving Wonder Woman off the top spot after a three-week stay, nabbing first place with £4.64m, including £734,000 in previews. That’s almost as much as the weekend box office for the rest of the top 10 put together.

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- Charles Gant

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Baby Driver review – Edgar Wright puts pedal to the metal for wildly enjoyable heist caper

18 hours ago

This high-revving thrill ride about a music-obsessed teenage getaway driver is a terrifically stylish piece of work with a banging soundtrack

In 2011 a resident of Oakland, Michigan, caused a sensation by bringing a lawsuit against Nicolas Winding Refn’s film Drive for not having enough actual pedal-to-the-metal driving in it. That same person could hardly do the same to Edgar Wright, director of this outrageously enjoyable petrolhead heist caper, unless it would be for not showing a supercool adult chauffeur atop a Pamper-wearing infant with a steering wheel between its tiny shoulder blades roaring up the M25.

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- Peter Bradshaw

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The Little Hours review – foul-mouthed nuns run riot in flimsy but fun comedy

22 hours ago

Aubrey Plaza heads up a cast of skilled comic actors in a sex farce that has amusing moments scattered throughout but risks feeling like an extended SNL skit

Rather like 2011’s Your Highness, the initial gimmick proudly, even boastfully, revealed in The Little Hours is based on the notion that medieval characters can be just as puerile as their contemporary counterparts. Within seconds of the titles ending, 14th-century nuns are swearing, shouting, vandalizing and attacking any local man naive enough to look their way. But the test here – and it’s one that Danny McBride’s misjudged comic fantasy failed at – is whether the film can sustain itself beyond mere shock value.

Related: The Big Sick review – Kumail Nanjiani's real-life romcom is a humane delight

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- Benjamin Lee

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Baby Driver: can a bad title sink a film?

26 June 2017 10:00 PM, PDT

Will Edgar Wright’s decision to make his latest film sound like a slapstick childcare comedy affect its impact – or make no difference?

There is a lot going on in Baby Driver, a caffeinated splicing of crime thriller and jukebox musical. Once you clunk-click into the central conceit – audacious heists, hard-boiled badinage and breakneck car chases all wittily synced and choreographed to its central character’s eclectic iPod playlist – it is an intoxicating, heightened huff of pure cinema. But if you don’t read advance reviews (especially ones heavy on terms like “diegetic music”), your first exposure to writer-director Edgar Wright’s latest movie will probably be its title.

Baby Driver ... is it an impressively rushed sequel to Alec Baldwin’s animated semi-hit The Boss Baby from two months back? Baby Driver – even if it does make perfect sense in context (Ansel Elgort, as gifted wheelman Baby, operates in a »

- Graeme Virtue

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Johnny Depp's dogs: Australia's deputy Pm threatens actor with 'perjury' investigation

26 June 2017 7:15 PM, PDT

Barnaby Joyce says government will examine whether it can take further legal action after saga of dogs Pistol and Boo

Australia’s deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce, has said the government will examine whether Johnny Depp committed “perjury” by smuggling dogs into the country while knowing it was illegal.

The saga of Pistol and Boo, the Yorkshire terriers who infamously landed the then Hollywood couple in strife in 2015, took another twist with allegations by Depp’s former managers that he was “fully aware that he was illegally bringing his dogs to Australia”.

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- Joshua Robertson

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Despicable Me 3 review – aspartame-rush animation that is starting to run out of steam

26 June 2017 9:00 AM, PDT

The third helping of the blockbuster Despicable Me series featuring Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig makes all the right moves – but to incrementally less successful effect

The Despicable Me series has shown there is life outside Pixar and Disney, both commercially and artistically, in the blockbuster animation world, with its sentimental-querulous figurehead Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) and fondness for idiosyncratic grotesques. So here we are at number three – not counting, of course, the prequel-spinoff Minions, in which Gru’s babbling army of small yellow helpers took centre stage. While all the elements that brought the first two Despicable Mes inordinate popularity are present and correct, it might perhaps be churlish to suggest that the charm is beginning to wear off – just a tiny bit.

On the face of it, this third film simply extends the sentimental undertow of its predecessors. Having acquired children (in DM1) and a wife (Lucy, »

- Andrew Pulver

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How we made Rita, Sue and Bob Too

26 June 2017 8:52 AM, PDT

George Costigan: ‘I watched the premiere with my wife on one side of me – and my mother on the other’

Rita, Sue and Bob Too really happened. Andrea Dunbar, who wrote the play and the screenplay, had an affair with a married man, having sex with him in his car, along with her friend Eileen. I commissioned the play as a follow-up to her 1980 drama The Arbor. Andrea was the most talented and original young writer I’d ever come across.

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- Phil Hoad

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Don't get cocky, kid: why Star Wars' Han Solo movie needs a safe pair of hands

26 June 2017 7:55 AM, PDT

Lucasfilm’s controversial decision to fire the maverick directors of The Lego Movie and replace them with industry veteran Ron Howard may turn out to be the best thing Star Wars fans could wish for

We have no specific term, in film criticism, for the auteur producer. The French came up with the auteur concept, later amplified by the American critic Andrew Sarris, in the 1940s to specifically describe directors who maintained artistic control of their own films – in contrast to the general practices within the Hollywood studio system of the time. The term implicitly hints that a movie’s artistic credibility suffers when the director is sidelined: it becomes bland and impotent, like a soufflé that has failed to rise. But what happens when the producer of a movie is as artistically determined and laudable in endeavour, if not more so, than the person in charge of the cameras? »

- Ben Child

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War for the Planet of the Apes review – it's simians v humans in another absorbing episode

26 June 2017 6:00 AM, PDT

The third of the Planet of the Apes ‘reboot series’ is just as good as its predecessors: a bold, sweeping adventure told with confidence and intensity

A bit of graffiti is briefly glimpsed in this film: Ape-ocalypse Now. The comparison isn’t entirely off. There is a shaven-headed military renegade leader who’s had a terrible moment of clarity about the human condition, and whose command is about to be terminated with extreme prejudice. But in fact this latest exciting and impressive episode in the Apes franchise – directed and co-written by Matt Reeves – is closer in many ways to old-school war movies and Pow dramas like The Great Escape or Bridge on the River Kwai, and the rangy, dystopian-future pictures of the 60s and 70s such as, of course, the original Planet of the Apes.

The continuingly absorbing Apes franchise delivers its stories with conviction and intensity; it is utterly »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Baby Driver: have we lost Edgar Wright to Hollywood?

26 June 2017 1:59 AM, PDT

The director of proudly British films such as Hot Fuzz has made an all-American car movie. Why are British film-makers in thrall to the Us film industry?

Related: Edgar Wright: the ultimate fanboy film director

Orson Welles once described Hollywood as “the biggest electric train set any boy ever had”. For Edgar Wright, it’s more of a Scalextric. His new Baby Driver is an American car movie in the classical tradition, meaning diners, old soul, firearms and untalkative dudes in shades coolly wrenching muscle cars around the city grid. After the proudly British comedies such as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, this is fresh territory for Wright, but for us it’s a familiar story.

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- Steve Rose

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