The Great Gatsby, Beware Of Mr Baker, Fast And Furious 6: This Week's New Films

Leonardo Dicaprio Still

No one's disputing that Luhrmann can put on a show, but can he tell a story? In a way, F Scott Fitzgerald's 1920s parable is a perfect fit: a study of surfaces and seduction and the hollowness of the wealthy.

The Great Gatsby (12A)
(Baz Luhrmann, 2013, US) Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Elizabeth Debicki. 143 mins

The hedonism and vulgarity are ravishing to behold and the hand-tinted-photo aesthetic is gorgeous. When the fireworks die down, however, that artificiality works against the romantic tragedy, and the characters are too flat to really stir any great emotions. Maybe that's the point.

Beware Of Mr Baker (15)
(Jay Bulger, 2012, US) 92 mins

When it comes to great rock bio-doc material, Ginger Baker doesn't disappoint on any front: prodigious talent, eventful career (Cream, Blind Faith and Fela Kuti among the high points), fiery personality, addiction, extravagance, bankruptcy, er, polo. And he's still alive to remember it all. The irascible drummer reminisces unsentimentally on his lifelong inability to commit to band, partner or country of residence, though there are plenty who challenge his version of events, including his children, former wives, and musicians such as Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Charlie Watts.

Fast & Furious 6 (12A)
(Justin Lin, 2013, US) Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker. 130 mins

After the unexpected triumph of Fast Five, here comes another globally accessible guilty pleasure rolling off the production line. Johnson's agent reassembles the gang with an offer they can't refuse, and the wacky races begin again, with all the muscle cars, macho smackdowns and preposterous high-speed set-pieces you'd expect. No sign of the wheels coming off the franchise just yet, they're already planning part eight.

The Stoker (15)
(Alexey Balabanov, 2010, Rus) Mikhail Skryabin, Yuriy Matveev, 87 mins

A retired ethnic Siberian officer stokes St Petersburg's furnaces and asks no questions of his mob accomplices, until he's asked to dispose of a familiar body. This agreeably eccentric thriller lays out the amoral landscape of modern Russia (something of a Balabanov speciality), but hints at deeper historical injustices, too. It's a distinctive, stylised piece, with blunt violence, scant dialogue, gallows humour and lashings of ironic Russian folk-rock.

The Liability (15)
(Craig Viveiros, 2012, UK) Tim Roth, Jack O'Connell, Peter Mullan. 82 mins

A wayward young yob gets a day's work experience driving around a weary hitman (Roth) in this comical crime thriller, but the mentor-apprentice relationship doesn't run all that smoothly. It's not your standard genre piece, but you'd expect better given the calibre of the actors involved.

Rangeelay (12A)
(Navaniat Singh, 2013, Ind) Jimmy Shergill, Neha Dhupia, 129 mins

Punjabi comedy centring on Shergill's romance with a woman whose scooter he repossesses.

Out from Friday


Beyoncé and Christoph Waltz are among the voices in this animated adventure.

Out from Wed

The Hangover Part III

The Wolfpack get caught up again.

Out from Thu

Something In The Air

Assayas reminisces on the aftermath of May 1968.

The Moth Diaries

Lily Cole brings vampirism, jealousy and gothic dread to a girls' boarding school.

Benjamin Britten: Peace And Conflict

John Hurt narrates a docudrama about the composer.

My Neighbour Totoro/Grave Of The Fireflies

Reissue for two Japanese classics.

The King Of Marvin Gardens

Jack Nicholson and Bruce Dern lead a 1972 New Hollywood classic.

Coming soon

In two weeks ... Neil Jordan's vampire fest Byzantium … Robert De Niro smartens up for The Big Wedding

In three weeks ... Shane Meadows's Stone Roses tribute Made Of Stone … Michael Douglas does Liberace in Behind The Candelabra

In a month ... Can Henry Cavill cut it as the Man Of Steel? … Joss Whedon updates Much Ado About Nothing

Powered by article was written by Steve Rose, for The Guardian on Saturday 18th May 2013 06.00 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010