Film reviews: Rampart | Red Dog | Black Gold | One For The Money

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Siobhan Synnot casts her eye on the rest of this week’s cinema releases

Rampart (15)

Rating: ***

Woody Harrelson stars as a bad cop who keeps getting worse, with a federal investigation, family alienation and video of him beating up a suspect all helping to speed up his implosion. Oren Moverman’s storytelling is hazy and sometimes hysterical but Harrelson is magnificent.

On selected release from Friday

Red Dog (PG)

Rating; ***

The rough and ready denizens of an outback mining town unite in caring for a local dog, who in turn saves lives, arranges love affairs and repels space invaders with bursts of canine flatulence. A stray Kelpie, Red Dog is everyone’s mate but nobody’s property until he settles down with an American bus driver (Josh Lucas). Earnestly and affectionately presented as an inspiring story of loyalty and community, Red Dog will feel familiar to those who have seen Hachi or can’t shake off Greyfriars Bobby. The humans are a pretty generic, but the dog is a charmer.

On general release from Friday

Black Gold (12A)

Rating: **

Antonio Banderas and Mark Strong are rival Arab rulers in a family saga about oil that is pure soap. Banderas is prone to western corruption, while Strong is stiffly traditional and his son (Tahar Rahim) has his intelligence telegraphed by a pair of glasses before being married off to Banderas’s genetically improbable daughter, Freida Pinto. The production values don’t stint on gloss and camels, but like the black gold that underpins all the desert feuds, Jean-Jacques Annaud’s script is definitely crude.

On selected release from Friday

One For The Money (12A)

Rating: **

Is there no stopping Katherine Heigl? Please. This time the patron saint of charmless romcoms is a bounty hunter on the trail of a bail-jumping cop (Jason O’Mara) who also happens to have acted caddishly after removing Heigl’s virginity years earlier. A punishingly dim collision of high concept and low standards.

On general release from Friday