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The New Movies You Can Watch at Australian Cinemas From October 27

Head to the flicks to see Hollywood's first rom-com by a major studio about two gay men, and Viola Davis step into African history as a ferocious warrior.
By Sarah Ward
October 27, 2022
By Sarah Ward
October 27, 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.



Buy this for a dollar: a history-making gay rom-com that's smart, sweet, self-aware and funny, and also deep knows the genre it slips into, including the heteronormative tropes and cliches that viewers have seen ad nauseam. Actually, Billy Eichner would clearly prefer that audiences purchase tickets for Bros for more that that sum of money, even if he spent five seasons offering it to New Yorkers in Billy on the Street while sprinting along the sidewalk and yelling about pop culture. Thinking about that comedy series comes with the territory here, however, and not just because Eichner brought it back to promote this very movie. Starring and co-written by the Parks and Recreation and The Lion King actor — with Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the Bad Neighbours franchise's Nicholas Stoller directing and co-scripting — Bros both presents and unpacks the public persona that helped make Billy on the Street such a hit: opinionated, forceful and wry, as well as acidic and cranky.

No one person, be it the version of himself that Eichner plays in the series that helped push him to fame or the fictional character he brings to the screen in Bros — or, in-between, his struggling comedian and actor part in three-season sitcom Difficult People, too — is just those five traits, of course. One of Bros' strengths is how it examines why it's easy to lean into that personality, where the sheen of caustic irritability comes from, the neuroses it's covering up and what all that means when it comes to relationships. The movie does so knowingly as well. It's well aware that Eichner's fans are familiar with his on-screen type, and that even newcomers likely are also. Accordingly, when Bros begins, Eichner's in-film alter ego is shouting about pop culture and being adamant, grumpy and cutting about it. In fact, he's on a podcast, where he's relaying his failed attempt to pen a script for exactly the kind of flick he's in.

A mainstream, studio-produced gay romantic comedy that starts out riffing on the difficulties of making a mainstream, studio-produced gay romantic comedy? Yes, that's Bros. ("Am I going to be in the middle of some high-speed chase and all of a sudden fall in love with Ice Cube?", Eichner asks as the feature's protagonist Bobby Lieber.) A film about a gay man known for a biting and droll disposition, starring a gay man similarly known for that type of biting and droll disposition? Yes, that's Bros as well. It's also a movie that makes fun of Hallmark rom-com schmaltz while featuring one of the US network's go-tos — that'd be Sense, Sensibility and Snowmen, A Shoe Addict's Christmas, Christmas in My Heart and The Mistletoe Promise's Luke Macfarlane — and a flick blasting Schitt's Creek some scorn while charting a comparable queer storyline. So, it's a feature that wears its obviousness and its contradictions in tandem, purposefully and proudly.

Eichner's Bobby is 40, just received an LGBTQIA+-community Best Cis Male Gay Man award and has a dream gig setting up America's first national queer history museum. Rom-com logic, which Bros heartily subscribes to, means he has to discover his seeming opposite in a memorable way: a gay dance party where he complains to shirtless probate lawyer Aaron Shepard (Macfarlane) and finds sparks flying. How Stoller and Eichner handle this scene says plenty about the film, and the authentic view of gay romance, dating and sex it's committed to. Neither man — Grindr-swiping, emotionally unavailable, hardly content as they both are — is anything but himself. For Bobby, that means awkwardly flirting, getting furious when Aaron disappears mid-conversation, tracking him down and telling him about it, but also being non-committal and even angry for being attracted to him. For Aaron, it involves continuing to breeze around the party like nothing out of the ordinary has happened; "I'm supposed to fuck him and his husband later," he tells Bobby about two other buff, sweaty guys on the dancefloor as they're chatting.

Read our full review.



Since 2016's Suicide Squad, the DC Extended Universe has tasked Viola Davis with corralling super-powered folks, including villains forced to do the state's bidding (as also seen in The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker) and regular world-saving superheroes (the just-released Black Adam). In The Woman King, however, she's more formidable, powerful and magnificent than any spandex-wearing character she's ever shared a frame with — or ever will in that comic-to-screen realm. Here, she plays the dedicated and determined General Nanisca, leader of the Agojie circa 1823. This is an "inspired by true events" tale, and the all-female warrior troupe was very much real, protecting the now-defunct west African kingdom of Dahomey during its existence in what's now modern-day Benin. Suddenly thinking about a different superhero domain and its own redoubtable women-only army, aka the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Dora Milaje in Wakanda? Yes, Black Panther took inspiration from the Agojie.

If you're thinking about Wonder Woman's Amazons, too, the Agojie obviously pre-dates them as well. Links to two huge franchises in various fashions aren't anywhere near The Woman King's main attraction, of course. Davis and her fellow exceptional cast members, such as Lashana Lynch (No Time to Die), Thuso Mbedu and Sheila Atim (both co-stars in The Underground Railroad); The Old Guard filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood and her grand and kinetic direction, especially in fight scenes; stunningly detailed costumes and production design that's both vibrant and textured; a story that still boasts humour and heart: they all rank far higher among this feature's drawcards. So does the fact that this is a lavish historical epic in the Braveheart and Gladiator mould, but about ass-kicking Black women badged "the bloodiest bitches in Africa". Also, while serving up an empowering vision, The Woman King also openly grapples with many difficulties inherent in Dahomey's IRL history (albeit in a mass consumption-friendly, picking-and-choosing manner).

It's under the cover of night that Nanisca and the stealthy, feline-quick Agojie first show The Woman King's audience exactly what they're capable of, as camped-out male slavers from the rival Oyo Empire are swiftly and brutally dispensed with during a mission to free abducted Dahomean women. From that vivid opening, the female-led The Woman King on- and off-screen lets viewers know what it, Davis, Prince-Bythewood and their collaborators are capable of, too. Potent, ferocious, mighty: they all fit. When it comes to the film's protagonist, she's fierceness personified, yet also always nuanced. In a role that'll likely garner her award nominations at the very least, to go along with past Oscar nods for Doubt, The Help and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom — and her win for Fences — Davis is tremendous in the part, in battle and otherwise, exuding world-weariness, raw strength, and the kind of resilience that's only forged by navigating deep horrors.

After the film's initial rescue gambit, the Agojie are down in number. Abandoned to Dahomey's King Ghezo (John Boyega, Small Axe) because she won't marry men who beat her, headstrong Nawi (Mbedu) becomes a new recruit. As the teen trains to become permanently accepted among them, including by the resolute and mischievous Izogie (Lynch) and Amenza (Atim), Nanisca endeavours to bend the ruler's ear about future battles and policies. The Oyo will keep attacking, and keep trying to trade Dahomey's populace into slavery. A Portuguese-Brazilian aristocrat (Hero Fiennes Tiffin, After Ever Happy) knows that he can profit off the Dahomey-Oyo tensions, and gain slaves to hawk along the way. Also, Dahomey itself isn't above selling Africans into subservience themselves. Nanisca has other concerns, too: getting revenge over a heartbreaking chapter of her past, the pain and sacrifice she still bears as a result, and instilling the Agojie's brand of sisterhood in Nawi.

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 July 7, July 14, July 21 and July 28; August 4, August 11, August 18 and August 25; September 1, September 8, September 15, September 22 and September 29; and October 6, October 13 and October 20.

You can also read our full reviews of a heap of recent movies, such as Thor: Love and Thunder, Compartment No. 6, Sundown, The Gray Man, The Phantom of the Open, The Black Phone, Where the Crawdads Sing, Official Competition, The Forgiven, Full Time, Murder Party, Bullet Train, Nope, The Princess, 6 Festivals, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, Crimes of the Future, Bosch & Rockit, Fire of Love, Beast, Blaze, Hit the Road, Three Thousand Years of Longing, Orphan: First Kill, The Quiet Girl, Flux Gourmet, Bodies Bodies Bodies, Moonage Daydream, Ticket to Paradise, Clean, You Won't Be Alone, See How They Run, Smile, On the Count of Three, The Humans, Don't Worry Darling, Amsterdam, The Stranger, Halloween Ends, The Night of the 12th, Muru, Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon, Black Adam, Barbarian, Decision to Leave and The Good Nurse.

Published on October 27, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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