Film reviews: J Edgar | Haywire | The Sitter | Underworld: Awakening

  • by Siobhan Synnot

A look at the rest of this week’s cinema releases

J Edgar (15)

Rating: ***

Casting Leonardo DiCaprio as a lingerie fan and FBI megalomaniac offers the intriguing possibility of watching a Hollywood star suffocate under ageing latex. And like DiCaprio’s make-up, Clint Eastwood’s biopic tries to cover too much. Career landmarks such as Hoover’s hunt for the Lindbergh baby’s kidnapper, or the hounding of Martin Luther King, are thinly sketched, while Eastwood’s reluctance to wade into deep psychological waters also makes this film as closeted and unreliable as J Edgar himself, who apparently owes his puritanical, racist personality to his mother (Judi Dench), who told him she’d rather have a dead son than one who was gay.

Early on, Hoover takes Naomi Watts on a date, rhapsodises about the possibilities of fingerprinting and shows off his filing system. Unsurprisingly, she prefers to become his secretary, not his wife. Later, his other significant other is a handsome young agent called Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer), but the nature of their companionship dare not speak its name. Brokeback Bureau? Alas, more like J Edgar Snoozer.

• On general release from Friday

Haywire (15)

Rating: ***

Former mixed martial arts champ Gina Carano shows off the fighting skills of Mrs Bourne Identity but the acting range of Mr Turnip in Steven Soderbergh’s underwhelming spy flick. Nice to see Ewan McGregor and Michael Fassbender are still getting work.

• On general release from Wednesday

The Sitter (15)

Rating: **

Jonah Hill reluctantly takes a babysitting job to give his single mother a night off, despite ranking somewhere between Sean Penn and Danny Dyer on the list of people you’d leave home alone with your children. Mediocre laughs ensue.

• On general release from Friday

Underworld: Awakening (15)

Rating: **

Yet more vampire vs werewolf battles from the fang franchise that is even more boring than Twilight. Strictly for completists.

• On general release from Friday




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