New Films

CUBE (15)

Director: Vincenzo Natali

Starring: Maurice Dean Wint, David Hewlett, Nicole de Boer

This Canadian science-fiction thriller takes an ingenious idea - a group of strangers trapped within a gigantic booby-trapped cube try to figure out their escape route and the meaning of their existence - but reduces the intellectual possibilities to the condescending level of a GCSE study guide.

West End: ABC Panton Street, Odeon Kensington, Odeon Swiss Cottage, Plaza

DEEP RISING (15)

Director: Stephen Sommer

Starring: Treat Williams, Famke Janssen, Jason Flemyng, Anthony Heald

Ramshackle B-movie-style thriller about a cruise liner attacked by a mysterious and savage underwater monster. Treat Williams copes manfully with the abysmal dialogue, and our own Jason Flemyng gets to fire automatic weapons at big slimy beasts, which is not the sort of thing that an English actor gets to do every day of the week.

West End: Odeon West End

SECRET DEFENSE (PG)

Director: Jacques Rivette

Starring: Sandrine Bonnaire, Jerzy Radziwilowicz, Gregoire Colin (subtitles)

The first 90 minutes of Rivette's icy, elegant new film are brilliant and hypnotic: Sylvie (the transfixing Sandrine Bonnaire) is a scientist whose brother sneaks into her laboratory to steal her gun and reveal some devastating news - he knows who killed their father. Sylvie tries to prevent him from taking action, but is snagged by the friction between her indecision, and her inclination for revenge. Rivette's camera doesn't miss a thing - the film's most impressive sequence comes when it simply follows Sylvie on a train journey, recording every detail in an attempt to amplify her feelings of awkwardness. The downside of the director's watchfulness is that any exposition which surfaces during the action feels clumsy; dialogue which is needed to clarify motivation or relationships is mechanical.

West End: Renoir

THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY (15)

Director: Peter & Bobby Farrelly

Starring: Cameron Diaz, Ben Stiller, Matt Dillon, Lee Evans, Chris Elliott

There's Something About Mary is the new comedy from the pathologically tasteless writer-director team of Peter and Bobby Farrelly. But it's not the movie's steady trickle of off-colour gags that is outrageous so much as the fact that most of them have already been revealed months in advance by the picture's trailer.

Ben Stiller is heartbreaking as the nerdy Ted, who ruins his big Prom Night date with the local beauty, Mary (Cameron Diaz), when he has an ugly accident with his zipper. Flash forward 13 years, and Ted's life is in limbo because he can't get over his former near-date.

West End: ABC Tottenham Court Road, Clapham Picture House, Elephant & Castle Coronet, Hammersmith Virgin, Notting Hill Coronet, Odeon Camden Town, Odeon Kensington, Odeon Leicester Square, Odeon Marble Arch, Odeon Swiss Cottage, Ritzy Cinema, Screen on Baker Street, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Chelsea, Virgin Fulham Road

WOO (15)

Director: Daisy VS Mayer

Starring: Jada Pinkett Smith, Tommy Davidson, Duane Martin

Jada Pinkett Smith and executive producer John Singleton (who directed Boyz N the Hood) are only two of the talents wasted in this witless comedy. What plot there is revolves around the love life of a woman named Woo (Pinkett Smith), and the efforts of various suitors to bed her. The jokes and skits will prompt only embarrassed silences, but, more despairingly, the film evidently couldn't care less about its characters.

West End: Ritzy Cinema, Virgin Trocadero

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