Hostel: Part II (18) 93min (3 Stars) Further exercises in extreme horror from Tarantino acolyte Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel). This time three young Americans studying in Rome set off for a weekend trip with a beautiful model from one of their art classes. Their exotic destination turns out to be a grisly playground for the fantasies of the sick and privileged from around the world who secretly travel there to savour the unsayable. As writer and director Roth ups the ante here with some truly shocking slasher gore and grotesque pornography. It’s difficult to see the point of the whole exercise but in terms of pushing the generic envelope Roth deserves considerable attention. Selected release from Fri 29 Jun.
Shrek the Third (U) 92min (2 Stars) Fairly sluggish and tired-feeling third installment of this blockbuster phenomenon animated feature series. This time the green ogre (voiced again by Mike Myers) faces both parental and royal responsibility when his wife, Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz), finds out that she is pregnant as her father, King Harold (John Cleese), lies dying. The shock of these revelations leads Shrek on a journey, with his loyal companions Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) to seek out another heir to the throne - an awkward young boy named Artie Pendragon (Justin Timberlake). It all feels a bit formulaic now, but at least there are enough fart, vomit and poo jokes to keep under-educated children entertained for the wearying running time. General release from Fri 29 Jun.
The Golden Door (12A) 120min (4 Stars) On a steamship journey from his Sicilian village, widower Salvatore Mancuso (Vincenzo Amato) encounters a ravishing, mystery-shrouded Englishwoman, Lucy (Charlotte Gainsbourg). An unexpected love story unfolds all the way to the halls of Ellis Island, where both Salvatore and Lucy will stop at nothing to make it through the golden door to the United States of their imagination. Thrilling, magical and rather soulful romantic drama. See interview, page 38. Cameo, Edinburgh from Fri 29 Jun.