Belfast Telegraph

American Honey: Gritty portrait of vulnerable youth

By Damon Smith

Eighteen-year-old Star (Sasha Lane) has been left to care for two young siblings, while her mother implodes on drugs.

During a sortie to a supermarket, Star encounters a group of fun-loving teenagers led by Jake (Shia LaBeouf), who claims to be the manager of a door-to-door magazine subscription business.

Determined to escape the groping hands of her abusive stepfather, Star hits the road with Jake and the other kids, including misfit Pagan (Arielle Holmes) and blond prankster Corey (McCaul Lombardi).

As they arrive at a motel, Star encounters the business' iron-fisted boss, Krystal (Riley Keough), who won't tolerate failure.

American Honey is a mesmerising, naturalistic portrait of disenfranchised youth, which has been semi-improvised by writer-director Andrea Arnold and her cast.

Inferno: Chase thriller fails to ignite

Harvard University professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes in a hospital in Florence with a gunshot wound to the head and a fractured memory.

Kind medic Dr Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) tends to him and, when bullets fly in the hospital corridors, she helps Langdon escape to her nearby apartment.

A thumbprint-encoded vial in Langdon's pocket reveals the first clue of a globe-trotting treasure hunt involving Dante's Inferno and a plague engineered by crazed scientist Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster) to solve the overpopulation crisis. Based on Dan Brown's pulpy page turner, Inferno is a preposterous, high-octane chase thriller that throws up various double-crosses and red herrings before the truth about the characters' conundrum-laden quest is revealed in a montage of flashbacks.

Belfast Telegraph


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