A roundup of the latest film releases.
Safety Not Guaranteed (15)
* * *
In this low-key charmer, a bunch of jaded magazine writers chase up a classified ad requesting someone to go back in time with him (“Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed”). One of them (Aubrey Plaza) strikes up a friendship with twitchy paranoid Kenneth (Mark Duplass) who placed the ad and claims he has started to build his own time machine. At first she’s sceptical and he is just a quirky news story, but gradually she starts to wonder if he might be on to something. It’s a tale about faith, which seems quite appropriate at this time of year. Like Kenneth, its odd, relaxed style is surprisingly endearing, and Plaza is worth watching out for in future.
Cameo, Edinburgh, Wednesday until 31 December; Cineworld, Glasgow, Wednesday until 3 January
Chasing Ice (12A)
* * *
Another beautiful eco-horror story, this time capturing the damage wrought on glaciers by global warming. James Balog is a nature photographer with two duff knee joints who nevertheless pushes himself up mountains obsessively to track the recession of ancient ice. When we eventually see the result of his time-lapse chronicle, it is striking and sobering. A closing credits song by Scarlett Johansson and Joshua Bell feels odd and completely avoidable.
Filmhouse, Edinburgh, Thursday until 31 December
* * *
As a quick hamburger amongst the five-course meals currently stocked in cinemas this Christmas, Grabbers isn’t a bad bit of junkfood, a horror comedy about hungry squiddy aliens who land in a remote Irish outpost and attack the locals – unless they are drunk. What to do? Repair to the local pub for a shut-in to try to survive the night. A bit hit and miss, but Richard Coyle leads a game cast.
On selected release from Wednesday