Three movies worth watching this weekend (+trailers)

By Chris Schulz

Michelle Williams has won a Best Actress Golden Globe for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe, and this weekend New Zealand finally gets to see what all the fuss is about.

Williams puts on her best blonde wig, white dress and American accent for My Week With Marilyn, which follows Hollywood's hottest screen siren during a visit to the UK while filming the 1957 film The Prince and the Showgirl.

The film is about Monroe but the accolades have all been for Williams. The awards - see them all here - say it all and reviews have been stellar, with TimeOut reviewer Francesca Rudkin calling her performance "dazzling".

"This is no epic biopic but rather a breathy and saucy snapshot into the professional and personal life of Monroe," Rudkin said.

"Still, the film needed to get Monroe right and Williams nails her with a performance that makes the film seem more substantial than what it really is; a gentle and amusing period piece set in the film industry."

She gave the film four stars out of five. Read her full review here.

The movie came out in the UK and US in November last year.

It may have taken a while, but it sounds like My Week With Marilyn was worth the wait.

Check out the trailer for My Week With Marilyn:

Beset by production problems, rumoured budget blow outs and release date delays, it's almost a miracle John Carter hasn't turned into the all-out disaster it could and probably have been.

The Mars-based Disney film, based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' 11-book series, has an approval rating of around 50 per cent on review aggregate sites Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes - far better than other recent big budget blockbusters Project X, Safe House and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

"Against the odds, John Carter is itself pretty amazing - an epic pulp saga that slowly rises to the level of its best imitations and wins you over by degrees," said Boston Globe reviewer Ty Burr.

"John Carter manages to be a ridiculous amount of fun, even if you are immune to the charms of Taylor Kitsch running around in what amounts to a stylish loincloth," agreed Miami Herald's Connie Ogle.

If you're looking for a brainless big screen action adventure to enjoy over a bucket of popcorn this weekend, John Carter could be just the ticket.

Check out the trailer for John Carter:

This week's big New Zealand release is Brother Number One, a documentary that charts Olympic rower Rob Hamill to Cambodia as he attempts to seek justic for his late brother Kerry.

Kerry died in a Cambodian death camp when Rob was just 14, killed after spending two months being tortured at the Khmer Rouge slaughterhouse Tuol Sleng (also known as S-21) as part of Pol Pot's genocidal machine in 1979.

Rob travelled to Cambodia to testify at the war crimes tribunal set up by the Cambodian Government and confront Kang Kek Iew, aka Comrade Duch, who ruled the prison where Kerry died.

TimeOut review Peter Calder gave the film five stars, calling it a "powerful film".

"Despite its grim subject, the film is actually never gratuitously horrifying. Hamill's unpretentious blend of salt-of-the-earth honesty and emotional vulnerability adds up an inspiring figure - a man who wrestles with the urges for revenge and closure," he said.

Read Calder's full review here.

Check out the trailer for Brother Number One:

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