The New Movies You Can Watch at Australian Cinemas From July 7

Head to the flicks to see Taika Waititi's latest 'Thor' instalment, a strangers-on-a-train romance and Tim Roth taking a wild Acapulco holiday.
Sarah Ward
Published on July 07, 2022

Something delightful has been happening in cinemas in some parts of the country. After numerous periods spent empty during the pandemic, with projectors silent, theatres bare and the smell of popcorn fading, picture palaces in many Australian regions are back in business — including both big chains and smaller independent sites in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

During COVID-19 lockdowns, no one was short on things to watch, of course. In fact, you probably feel like you've streamed every movie ever made, including new releasesStudio Ghibli's animated fare and Nicolas Cage-starring flicks. But, even if you've spent all your time of late glued to your small screen, we're betting you just can't wait to sit in a darkened room and soak up the splendour of the bigger version. Thankfully, plenty of new films are hitting cinemas so that you can do just that — and we've rounded up, watched and reviewed everything on offer this week.



What do you call a movie filled with giant screaming goats, magic weapons vying for attention like romantic rivals, a naked Chris Hemsworth and a phenomenally creepy Christian Bale? Oh, and with no fewer than four Guns N' Roses needle drops, 80s nostalgia in droves, and a case of tonal whiplash as big as the God of Thunder's biceps? You call it Thor: Love and Thunder, and also a mixed bag. The fourth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to focus on the now 29-title saga's favourite space Viking, and the second Thor flick directed by Taika Waititi after Thor: Ragnarok, it welcomely boasts the New Zealand filmmaker's playful and irreverent sense of humour — and the dead-serious days of the series-within-a-series' first two outings, 2011's Thor and 2013's Thor: The Dark World, have definitely been banished. But Love and Thunder is equally mischievous and jumbled. It's chaotic in both fun and messy ways. Out in the cosmos, no one can swim, but movies about galaxy-saving superheroes can tread water.

Thor Odinson (Hemsworth, Spiderhead) has been doing a bit of that himself — not literally, but emotionally and professionally. Narrated in a storybook fashion by rock alien Korg (also Waititi, Lightyear), Love and Thunder first fills in the gaps since the last time the Asgardian deity graced screens in Avengers: Endgame. Ditching his dad bod for his ultra-buff god bod earns a mention. So does biding his time with the Guardians of the Galaxy crew (with Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper and company popping up briefly). Then, a distress call from an old friend gives Thor a new purpose. Fellow warrior Sif (Jaimie Alexander, Last Seen Alive) has been fighting galactic killer Gorr the God Butcher (Bale, Ford v Ferrari), who's on a mission to do exactly what his name promises due to a crisis of faith — which puts not only Thor himself but also New Asgard, the Norwegian village populated by survivors from his home planet, at grave risk.

In MCU movies before Ragnarok, many of which Thor has smouldered and smiled his way through, he would've attacked the problem — this time literally — with enchanted hammer mjolnir. It's been in pieces since the last standalone Thor film. Courtesy of the god's ex, it doesn't stay that way for long. Love and Thunder nabs itself two Thors for the price of one, after Dr Jane Foster (Natalie Portman, Vox Lux) hears mjolnir a-calling following a stage-IV cancer diagnosis. Soon, the astrophysicist is also the Mighty Thor, brandishing the mallet, wearing armour and sporting flowing blonde locks. When the OG Thor finds out, he's overcome with post-breakup awkwardness, but there's still a god killer to stop and also kidnapped kids to rescue. Cue a couple of Thors, plus Korg and New Asgard king Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson, Passing), trying to prevent the worst from happening.

Love and Thunder is a film where those yelling oversized goats pull a boat into the heavens; where Hemsworth is gloriously in the goofiest mode he has, aka the best mode; and where Russell Crowe (Unhinged) plays a tutu-wearing, lightning bolt-flinging Zeus with the worst on-screen accent this side of House of Gucci (Greek instead of Italian, though). The movie is rarely more than a few seconds from a one-liner or a silly throwaway gag, and it loves colour more than a rainbow does — except when it doesn't, including in the desert-set opening that introduces Gorr and his god-slaying necrosword, and when it follows him into an eerie shadow realm. Love and Thunder also adds Bale, an actor forever linked with helping bring superheroes back to the blockbuster realm via Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, to the ranks of terrific caped crusader foes. This Thor flick contains plenty, clearly; however, for everything that works, something else doesn't.

Read our full review.



Handheld camerawork can be a gimmick. It can be distracting, too. When imagery seems restless for no particular reason other than making the audience restless, it drags down entire films. But at its best, roving, jittery and jumpy frames provide one of the clearest windows there is into the souls that inhabit the silver screen in 90-minute blocks or so, and also prove a wonderful way of conveying how they feel in the world. That's how Compartment No. 6's cinematography plays, and it couldn't be a more crucial move; this is a deeply thoughtful movie about two people who are genuinely restless themselves, after all. Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen (The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki) wants what all of the most perceptive filmmakers do — to ensure his viewers feel like they know his characters as well as they know themselves — and in his latest cinematic delight, he knows how to get it.

How Kuosmanen evokes that sense of intimacy and understanding visually is just one of Compartment No. 6's highlights, but it's worthy of a train full of praise. With the helmer's returning director of photography Jani-Petteri Passi behind the lens, the film gets close to Finnish student Laura (Seidi Haarla, Force of Habit) and Russian miner Ljoha (Yuriy Borisov, The Red Ghost). It peers intently but unobtrusively their way, like an attentive lifelong friend. It jostles gently with the locomotive that the movie's central pair meets on, and where they spend the bulk of their time together. It ebbs and flows like it's breathing with them. It rarely ventures far from their faces in such cramped, stark, 90s-era Russian surroundings, lingering with them, carefully observing them, and genuinely spying how they react and cope in big and small moments alike. Pivotally — and at every moment as well — it truly sees its key duo.

With their almost-matching names, Laura and Ljoha meet on a train ride charting the lengthy expanse from Moscow to Murmansk. She's taking the journey to see the Kanozero petroglyphs, ancient rock drawings that date back the 2nd and 3rd millennium BC, and were only discovered in 1997; he's heading up for work. Laura is also meant to be travelling with Irina (Dinara Drukarova, The Bureau), her Russian girlfriend, but the latter opted out suddenly after an intellectual-filled house party where mocking the former for her accent — and claiming she's just a lodger — threw a pall of awkwardness over their relationship. Making the jaunt solo is still sitting uneasily with Laura, though. Calls along the way, answered with busy indifference, don't help. And neither does finding herself sharing compartment number six, obviously, with the tough- and rough-around-the edges Ljoha.

It's been 71 years now since Alfred Hitchcock gave cinema the noir thriller Strangers on a Train. It's been 27 years since Richard Linklater also had two unacquainted folks meeting while riding the rails in Before Sunrise, which started a terrific romance trilogy starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Accordingly, the idea behind Compartment No. 6 is instantly familiar. Here, two strangers meet on a train, a connection sparks and drama ensues. Kuosmanen, who nabbed an award at Cannes for The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki and then earned the 2021 competition Grand Prix, which comes second only to the prestigious Palme d'Or, for this, is clearly working with a well-used setup. But even though this isn't a movie that's big on surprises, it's still a stellar film. It's also a reminder that a feature that's personal and raw, also attuned to all the tiny details of life in its performances, mood and style, and firmly character-driven, can make even the most recognisable narrative feel new.

Read our full review.



In Sundown's holiday porn-style opening scenes, a clearly wealthy British family enjoys the most indulgent kind of Acapulco getaway that anyone possibly can. Beneath the blazing blue Mexican sky, at a resort that visibly costs a pretty penny, Alice Bennett (Charlotte Gainsbourg, The Snowman), her brother Neil (Tim Roth, Bergman Island), and her teenage children Alexa (Albertine Kotting McMillan, A Very British Scandal) and Colin (Samuel Bottomley, Everybody's Talking About Jamie) swim and lounge and sip, with margaritas, massages and moneyed bliss flowing freely. For many, it'd be a dream vacation. For Alice and her kids, it's routine, but they're still enjoying themselves. The look on Neil's passive face says everything, however. It's the picture of apathy — even though, as the film soon shows, he flat-out refuses to be anywhere else.

The last time that a Michel Franco-written and -directed movie reached screens, it came courtesy of the Mexican filmmaker's savage class warfare drama New Order, which didn't hold back in ripping into the vast chasm between the ridiculously rich and everyone else. Sundown is equally as brutal, but it isn't quite Franco's take on The White Lotus or Nine Perfect Strangers, either. Rather, it's primarily a slippery and sinewy character study about a man with everything as well as nothing. Much happens within the feature's brief 82-minute running time. Slowly, enough is unveiled about the Bennett family's background, and why their extravagant jaunt abroad couldn't be a more ordinary event in their lavish lives. Still, that indifferent expression adorning Neil's dial rarely falters, whether grief, violence, trauma, lust, love, wins or losses cast a shadow over or brighten up his poolside and seaside stints knocking back drinks in the sunshine.

For anyone else, the first interruption that comes the Bennetts' way would change this trip forever; indeed, for Alice, Alexa and Colin, it does instantly. Thanks to one sudden phone call, Alice learns that her mother is gravely ill. Via another while the quartet is hightailing it to the airport, she discovers that the worst has occurred. Viewers can be forgiven for initially thinking that Neil is her cruelly uncaring husband in these moments —  Franco doesn't spell out their relationship until later, and Neil doesn't act for a second like someone who might and then does lose his mum. Before boarding the plane home, he shows the faintest glimmer of emotion when he announces that he's forgotten his passport, though. That said, he isn't agitated about delaying his journey back, but about the possibility that his relatives mightn't jet off and leave him alone.

Sundown is often a restrained film, intentionally so. It doles out the reasons behind Neil's behaviour, and even basic explanatory information, as miserly as its protagonist cracks a smile. The movie itself is eventually a tad more forthcoming than Neil, but it remains firmly steeped in Franco's usual mindset: life happens, contentedly and grimly alike, and we're all just weathering it. Neither the highs nor lows appear to bother Neil, who holes up at the first hotel his cab driver takes him to, then starts making excuses and simply ignoring Alice's worried calls and texts. He navigates an affair with the younger Berenice (Iazua Larios, Ricochet) as well, and carries on like he doesn't have a care in the world. His sister returns, frantic and angry, but even then he's nonplussed. The same proves true, too, when a gangland execution bloodies his leisurely days by the beach, and also when violence cuts far closer to home.

Read our full review.


If you're wondering what else is currently screening in Australian cinemas — or has been lately — check out our rundown of new films released in Australia on April 7, April 14, April 21 and April 28; and May 5, May 12, May 19 and May 26; and June 2, June 9June 16, June 23 and June 30.

You can also read our full reviews of a heap of recent movies, such as Fantastic Beasts and the Secrets of Dumbledore, Ambulance, Memoria, The Lost City, Everything Everywhere All At Once, Happening, The Good Boss, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, The Northman, Ithaka, After Yang, Downton Abbey: A New Era, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, Petite Maman, The Drover's Wife The Legend of Molly JohnsonDoctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Firestarter, Operation Mincemeat, To Chiara, This Much I Know to Be True, The Innocents, Top Gun: Maverick, The Bob's Burgers Movie, Ablaze, Hatching, Mothering Sunday, Jurassic World Dominion, A Hero, Benediction, Lightyear, Men, Elvis, Lost Illusions, Nude Tuesday and Ali & Ava.

Published on July 07, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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