The New Movies You Can Watch at Australian Cinemas From June 9

Head to the flicks to see the latest entry in the 'Jurassic' franchise, or the new masterpiece by Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi.
Sarah Ward
Published on June 09, 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.



When Jurassic World Dominion was being written, three words must've come up often. No, they're not Neill, Dern, Goldblum. Those beloved actors reunite here, the trio appearing in the same Jurassic Park flick for the first time since the 1993 original, but the crucial terms are actually "but with dinosaurs". Returning Jurassic World writer/director Colin Trevorrow mightn't have uttered that phrase aloud; however, when Dominion stalks into a dingy underground cantina populated by people and prehistoric creatures, Star Wars but with dinosaurs instantly springs to mind. The same proves true when the third entry in this Jurassic Park sequel trilogy also includes high-stakes flights in a rundown aircraft that's piloted by a no-nonsense maverick. These nods aren't only confined to a galaxy far, far away — a realm that Trevorrow was meant to join as a filmmaker after the first Jurassic World, only to be replaced on Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker — and, yes, they just keep on coming.

There's the speedy chase that zooms through alleys in Malta, giving the Bond franchise more than a few nods — but with dinosaurs, naturally. There's the plot about a kidnapped daughter, with Taken but with dinosaurs becoming a reality as well. That Trevorrow, co-scribe Emily Carmichael (Pacific Rim Uprising) and his usual writing collaborator Derek Connolly (Safety Not Guaranteed) have seen other big-name flicks is never in doubt. Indeed, too much of Dominion feels like an attempt to actively make viewers wish they were watching those other movies. Bourne but with dinosaurs rears its head via a rooftop chase involving, yes, dinos. Also, two different Stanley Kubrick masterpieces get cribbed so blatantly that royalties must be due, including when an ancient critter busts through a door as Jack Nicholson once did, and the exact same shot — but with dinosaurs — hits the screen.

What do Star Wars, Bond, Bourne and The Shining have to do with the broader Jurassic Park film saga, which started when Steven Spielberg adapted Michael Crichton's book into a box-office behemoth? That's a fantastic question. The answer: zip, zero and zilch, other than padding out Dominion as much as possible, as riffs on Indiana Jones, The Birds, Alien, Mad Max: Fury Road, Austin Powers, the Fast and Furious movies, cloning thrillers, disaster epics and more also do. In nearly every scene, and often at the frame-by-frame level, another feature is channelled so overtly that it borders on parody. And, that's on top of the fact that recycling its own history is just Dominion 101. There's no theme park, but when it's mentioned that dinosaurs are being placed in a sanctuary, everyone watching knows that the film's human characters will get stranded in that spot, trying not to be eaten by a Tyrannosaurus rex and the like.

From all of the above, a loose narrative emerges — an overstuffed and convoluted one, too. A few years on from 2018's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, people are endeavouring to co-exist with dinosaurs. Unsurprisingly, it's going terribly. Run by Mark Zuckerberg-esque entrepreneur Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott, WeCrashed), tech company BioSyn owns that safe dino space in the Italian Dolomites, although palaeobotanist Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern, Marriage Story) and palaeontologist Alan Grant (Sam Neill, Rams) also tie the firm to giant dino-locusts wreaking existence-threatening havoc. Plus, ex-Jurassic World velociraptor whisperer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt, The Tomorrow War) and his boss-turned-girlfriend Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard, Rocketman) head BioSyn's way when the adopted Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) — who links back to the first Jurassic Park thanks to Forbidden Kingdom's ridiculous storyline — is snatched. Oh, and mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum, Search Party) works there, as does cloning whiz Henry Wu (BD Wong, Mr Robot).

Read our full review.



With apologies to Bonnie Tyler, cinema isn't holding out for a hero — and hasn't been for some time. The singer's 80s-era Footloose-soundtrack hit basically describes the state of mainstream movies today, filled as screens now are with strong, fast, sure and larger-than-life figures racing on thunder and rising on heat. But what does heroism truly mean beyond the spandex of pop-culture's biggest current force? Who do we hold up as role models, and as feel-good champions of kind and selfless deeds? How do those tales of IRL heroism ebb, flow and spread, too? Pondering this far beyond the caped-crusader realm is Asghar Farhadi, a two-time Oscar-winner thanks to A Separation and The Salesman. As is the acclaimed Iranian filmmaker's gambit, his latest movie is intricately complicated, as are its views on human nature and Iranian society.

As Farhadi has adored since 2003's Dancing in the Dust — and in everything from 2009's exceptional About Elly to his 2018 Spanish-language feature Everybody Knows as well — A Hero is steeped in the usual and the everyday. The 2021 Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix-winner may start with a sight that's the absolute opposite thanks to necropolis Naqsh-e Rostam near the Iranian city of Shiraz, an imposingly grand site that includes the tombs of ancient Persian rulers Xerxes and Darius, but the writer/director's main concerns are as routine, recognisable and relatable as films get. One such obsession: domestic disharmony, aka the cracks that fracture the ties of blood, love and friendship. A Hero sprawls further thematically, wondering if genuine altruism — that is, really and wholeheartedly acting in someone else's interest, even at a cost to oneself — can ever actually exist. But it charts that path because of the frayed and thorny relationships it surveys, and the everyman caught within them.

When A Hero begins, calligrapher and sign painter Rahim Soltani (Amir Jadidi, Cold Sweat) is no one's saviour, victor or ideal. While he definitely isn't a villain, he's just been given a two-day pass from an Iranian debtor's prison, where he's incarcerated over a family financial feud. Owing 150,000,000 tomans to his ex-wife's brother-in-law, he's stuck serving out his sentence unless he can settle it or his creditor, copy shop owner Bahram (Mohsen Tanabandeh, Capital), agrees to forgive him. The latter is unlikely, so with his girlfriend Farkhondeh (debutant Sahar Goldust), Rahim hatches a repayment plan. She has stumbled across a handbag filled with 17 gold coins, and together they hope to sell it, then use the proceeds to secure his freedom — except, when they attempt to cash in, they're told that their haul won't reach anywhere the sum they need.

Instead, with a mixture of guilt and resignation — and at Farkhondeh's suggestion — Rahim decides to track down the coins' rightful owner. Cue signs plastered around the streets, then an immensely thankful phone call. Cue also the prison's higher-ups discovering Rahim's efforts, and wanting to cash in themselves by eagerly whipping up publicity around their model inmate's considerate choice. The media lap it up, as do the locals. Rahim's young son Siavash (newcomer Saleh Karimaei), a quiet boy with a stutter that's been cared for by his aunt Malileh (fellow first-timer Maryam Shahdaei), gets drawn into the chaos. A charity that fundraises to resolve prisoners' debts takes up the cause, too. Still, the stern and stubborn Bahram remains skeptical, especially as more fame and attention comes Rahim's way. Also, the kind of heroism that's fuelled via news reports and furthered by social media is fickle above all else, especially when competing information comes to light.

Read our full review.



To write notable things, does someone need to live a notable life? No, but sometimes they do anyway. To truly capture the bone-chilling, soul-crushing, gut-wrenching atrocities of war, does someone need to experience it for themselves? In the case of Siegfried Sassoon, his anti-combat verse could've only sprung from someone who had been there, deep in the trenches of the Western Front during World War I, and witnessed its harrowing horrors. If you only know one thing about the Military Cross-winner and poet going into Benediction, you're likely already aware that he's famed for his biting work about his time in uniform. There's obviously more to his story and his life, though, as there is to the film that tells his tale. But British writer/director Terence Davies (Sunset Song) never forgets the traumatic ordeal, and the response to it, that frequently follows his subject's name as effortlessly as breathing. Indeed, being unable to ever banish it from one's memory, including Sassoon's own, is a crucial part of this precisely crafted, immensely affecting and deeply resonant movie.

If you only know two things about Sassoon before seeing Benediction, you may have also heard of the war hero-turned-conscientious objector's connection to fellow poet Wilfred Owen. Author of Anthem for Damned Youth, he fought in the same fray but didn't make it back. That too earns Davies' attention, with Jack Lowden (Slow Horses) as Sassoon and Matthew Tennyson (Making Noise Quietly) as his fellow wordsmith, soldier and patient at Craiglockhart War Hospital — both for shell shock. Benediction doesn't solely devote its frames to this chapter in its central figure's existence, either, but the film also knows that it couldn't be more pivotal in explaining who Sassoon was, and why, and how war forever changed him. The two writers were friends, and also shared a mutual infatuation. They were particularly inspired during their times at Craiglockhart as well. In fact, Sassoon mentored the younger Owen, and championed his work after he was killed in 1918, exactly one week before before Armistice Day.

Perhaps you know three things about Sassoon prior to Benediction. If so, you might be aware of Sassoon's passionate relationships with men, too. Plenty of the film bounces between his affairs with actor and singer Ivor Novello (Jeremy Irvine, Treadstone), socialite Stephen Tennant (Calam Lynch, Bridgerton) and theatre star Glen Byam Shaw (Tom Blyth, Billy the Kid), all at a time in Britain when homosexuality was outlawed. There's a fated air to each romantic coupling in Davies' retelling, whether or not you know to begin with that Sassoon eventually (and unhappily) married the younger Hester Gatty (Kate Phillips, Downton Abbey). His desperate yearning to hold onto someone, and something, echoes with post-war melancholy as well. That said, that sorrow isn't just a product of grappling with a life-changing ordeal, but also of a world where everything Sassoon wants and needs is a battle — even if there's a giddy air to illegal dalliances among London's well-to-do.

Benediction caters for viewers who resemble Jon Snow going in, naturally, although Davies doesn't helm any ordinary biopic. No stranger to creating on-screen poetry with his lyrical films — or to biopics about poets, after tackling Emily Dickinson in his last feature A Quiet Passion — the filmmaker steps through Sassoon's tale like he's composing evocative lines himself. Davies has always been a deeply stirring talent; see: his 1988 debut Distant Voices, Still Lives, 2011's romance The Deep Blue Sea and 2016's Sunset Song, for instance. Here, he shows how it's possible to sift through the ins and outs of someone's story, compiling all the essential pieces in the process, yet never merely reducing it down to the utmost basics. Some biopics can resemble Wikipedia entries re-enacted for the screen, even if done so with flair, but Benediction is the polar opposite.

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 March 3, March 10, March 17, March 24 and March 31; April 7, April 14, April 21 and April 28; and May 5, May 12, May 19 and May 26; and June 2.

You can also read our full reviews of a heap of recent movies, such as The Batman, Blind Ambition, Bergman Island, Wash My Soul in the River's Flow, The Souvenir: Part IIDog, Anonymous Club, X, River, Nowhere Special, RRRMorbius, The Duke, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, 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 and Mothering Sunday.

Published on June 09, 2022 by Sarah Ward
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x