Hiccup in a scene from the movie How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.
Hiccup in a scene from the movie How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Supplied

What's on the big screen this week

AFTER last week's Boxing Day movie bonanza, only two major films hit cinemas this week.

On Tuesday, Disney's long-awaited Mary Poppins sequel, Mary Poppins Returns, debuted. 

Starring Emily Blunt in the titular role made famous by Julie Andrews 50 years ago, this new film features an all-new score, star-studded cast and a few big-name cameos.

Hitting cinemas today is the final film in the animated How To Train Your Dragon franchise, The Hidden World

Wrapping up the much-loved coming of age story, this film follows Hiccup as he tries to find a permanent home for his beloved dragons. 

Here are this week's highlights of the big screen and why you should see them:


How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PG)

As Hiccup fulfils his dream of creating a peaceful dragon utopia, Toothless' discovery of an untamed, elusive mate draws the Night Fury away. When danger mounts at home and Hiccup's reign as village chief is tested, both dragon and rider must make impossible decisions to save their kind.

Why you should see it: This final instalment of the animated adventure franchise is surprisingly emotional as favourite characters finally grow up. Read the interview with director Dean DeBlois.


Mary Poppins Returns (G)

In Depression-era London, a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, along with Michael's three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

Why you should see it: Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda are practically perfect in this long-awaited sequel, which stays true to the spirit of the original film. Read the review.



Aquaman (M)

Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis and must step forward to lead his people and to be a hero to the world.

Why you should see it: This Aussie-filmed superhero blockbuster is completely bonkers, but that works in its favour. Read the review.


Holmes & Watson (M)

A humorous take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic mysteries featuring Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.

Why you should see it: The critics may be savaging this film, but if you love Will Ferrell and John C Reilly's brand of slapstick humour then you'll enjoy their take on the famous detective. Read the reviews.


Ralph Breaks the Internet (PG)

Six years after the events of Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph and Vanellope, now friends, discover a wi-fi router in their arcade, leading them into a new adventure.

Why you should see it: This bright and busy sequel is just as good, if not better, than the original film, proving that the best friendships can weather any (virtual) storm. Read the review.


The Favourite (MA 15+)

In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah governs the country in her stead. When a new servant Abigail arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.

Why you should see it: This historical drama is set to blitz awards season thanks to equally strong performances from Emma Stone, Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz. Read the review.


Vice (M)

George W. Bush wins the 2000 election, but it's Cheney who quietly takes charge, wielding his newfound power as vice president to reshape the country and the world - with lasting consequences.

Why you should see it: Christian Bale is almost unrecognisable as Cheney in this chilling reminder of a past US government's transgressions. Read the review.


Bumblebee (PG)

On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie, on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee battle-scarred and broken.

Why you should see it: Just when you thought that you didn't need another Transformers movie, this film injects some much-needed humour and heart into the alien robot franchise.


Colette (M)

This story of a marriage shows the lengths one woman must go to escape her husband's control and claim her voice as an artist.

Why you should see it:  If you like a bit of scandal, a dash of a love story, some quality costuming and a true tale of one woman overcoming the odds, then this will be right up your alley. Read the interview with director Wash Westmoreland.


Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PG)

Spider-Man crosses parallel dimensions and teams up with the Spider-Men of those dimensions to stop a threat to all reality.

Why you should see it: The creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street have delivered an entertaining and fresh take on the Spider-Man franchise with its own unique visual style. Read the interview with star Shameik Moore.

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