Film reviews: Stoker | Broken City | Safe Haven

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Siobhan Synnot reviews the week’s new releases

Stoker (18)

* * * *

Park Chan-wook’s woozy gothic melodrama may disappoint fan boys who were hoping for something closer to Bram Stoker (like his vampire flick Thirst) or his transgressive international hit Oldboy, but it is an intriguing guilty pleasure. Mia Wasikowska is mourning the death of her father with her chilly mother (Nicole Kidman), when his brother Charlie (Matthew Goode) rolls up to introduce himself and pay an extended visit. Fundamentally this is an exercise in genre and overripe style, but if only one in 20 American horror films were this well made.

On selected release from Friday

Broken City (15)

* * *

Mark Wahlberg stars as a disgraced cop hired by a sleazy New York mayor (Russell Crowe) to find out if his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is having an affair. It’s an old-fashioned story of corruption and double-crosses, and even though it reminds you of any number of other, better pulpy variations on this theme, it’s pretty watchable and at least Crowe doesn’t get to sing.

On general release fro Friday

Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters (15)

* *

After Snow White And The Huntsman, Red Riding Hood and Mirror, Mirror, another fairytale gets a makeover. This time it’s Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) who are all grown up and keen to wreak revenge on witches for their childhood gingerbread house trauma (Hansel is now diabetic). There’s the occasional reasonable joke, a very game Arterton in leather trousers, and enough gore to make even a Grimm brother shudder.

On general release from Wednesday

Safe Haven (12A)

* *

Nicholas Sparks delivers the usual schmaltz-by-the-sea, this time with Julianne Hough escaping an abusive marriage by starting a new life in a sweet little North Carolina town where the hottest man (Josh Duchamel) is also a widower, and therefore available. Sudsily romantic, sometimes unintentionally hilarious, and bound to be a hit.

On general release from Friday