A Quiet Place: Day One ★★★★☆

Directed by Michael Sarnoski. Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Joseph Quinn, Alex Wolf, Djimon Hounsou, Eliane Umuhire. 15A cert, gen release, 99 min

Taut, impressively dark prequel to John Krasinski’s alien-invasion horror. Nyong’o stars as a young woman facing up to a terminal diagnosis in a shabby hospice. When the alien invasion hits Manhattan, she, with nothing left to lose, walks north while everyone else heads downtown for maritime evacuation. It’s a brave piece of writing that adds poignancy, but one wonders whether that bleak hook may put off the potential audience for a mid-summer diversion. The set pieces are well handled. Nyong’o allows no mawkishness into her portrayal of a women already acquainted with mortal anxiety. Full review DC

A Greyhound of a Girl ★★★☆☆

Directed by Enzo D’Alò. Voices of Brendan Gleeson, Sharon Horgan, Mia O’Connor, Charlene McKenna, Rosaleen Linehan. PG cert, gen release, 89 min

Likable animation from a 2011 Roddy Doyle book. Mary (voiced by O’Connor) is the only girl in a house of Bohs supporting males, including two brothers and dad (Gleeson). She frequently clashes with her harried mother (Horgan), but adores her rebellious granny (Linehan). D’Alò leans into Doyle’s reliable ear for the vernacular. Hand-drawn, monochrome dream sequences form an intriguing subplot around the sighthound of the title. Despite some unwelcome and unnecessary musical montages, this is a pleasing feature that makes weighty themes of death and memory feel fun and feather-light. Full review TB

Kinds of Kindness ★★★☆☆

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. Starring Emma Stone, Jesse Plemons, Willem Dafoe, Margaret Qualley, Hong Chau, Joe Alwyn, Mamoudou Athie. 18 cert, gen release, 164 min

After mainstream success with Poor Things and The Favourite, Lanthimos returns to his weird routs with a trilogy of messy, disordered, unsettling tales, each starring the same core cast. For much of the first episode, the package does what you want it to do. Familiar Lanthimosian themes of control and submission are played out in an environment at home to endless forms of surreal cruelty. The longer it goes on, however (and, boy, does it go on), the harder it becomes to keep a handle on the narrative sprawl. Leaves you with little more to show for your patience other than a pounding headache. Full review DC

Eternal You ★★★★☆

Directed by Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck. Limited release, 87 min

“If you had the chance to talk someone that died, who you love, would you take it?” asks Christi Angel in this apprehensive portrait of dead-raising digital capitalism. Angel is one of several users of Project December, an AI application that creates digital avatars of lost loved ones. The film sticks to talking heads for an unexpectedly profound reckoning with our increasingly queasy relationship with the virtual world. Who will own this data? And for how much? As MIT’s Sherry Turkle sagely observes: “There is no other path for human beings; we are being offered something that diminishes us.” Full review TB

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