Cinema Reviews: Teenager, in emotionally charged drama

The Hate U Give.
The Hate U Give.

THE HATE U GIVE (12A)

Taking its title from the cautionary message inked into rapper Tupac Shakur's THUG LIFE tattoo, George Tillman Jr's emotionally charged drama rages against racial division and police violence in 21st-century America.

The Hate U Give is sensitively adapted for the screen by Audrey Wells from the young adult novel by Angie Thomas, which chronicles the anguished rites of passage of a teenager, who finds her voice in the most desperate and tragic circumstances. Wells' script confidently walks a tightrope between tear-stained cries from the heart and boisterous humour as it sketches the dynamics between members of a family living in a predominantly black neighbourhood, which has been in the chokehold of gang warfare and drugs for years. Tillman Jr's film ripples with indignation and despair, but there is an undercurrent of hope that courses through every frame.

HUNTER KILLER (12A)

When mankind stands forlornly on the brink of annihilation, Paisley-born action hero Gerard Butler proudly steps forward to shepherd every man, woman and child back from the abyss.

In the underwater thriller Hunter Killer, a rogue Russian admiral prepares to push the button on a third world war and Butler sails to our rescue as a renegade submarine captain, who repeatedly risks a court martial to perform outlandish manoeuvres hundreds of feet beneath the waves. Butler is steadfast as chaos unfolds around him and Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist makes one of his final appearances before his death from lung cancer as a stoic Russian submarine captain. Arne Schmidt and Jamie Moss's script torpedoes subtlety and springs a few plot holes but largely keeps its head above water for two undemanding hours.