LONG SHOT (15)
A childhood crush blossoms into seemingly impossible romance in director Jonathan Levine's crowd-pleasing comedy of burning political ambitions and shameless media intrusion.
Penned by Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah, Long Shot slinks through corridors of power in Washington DC in the company of an odd couple - a glamorous political heavyweight (Charlize Theron) and a slovenly journalist (Seth Rogen) - whose undeniable sexual chemistry threatens to derail a bid for the White House.
Lead actors turn up the on-screen heat from a gentle simmer to boiling point over the course of two entertaining hours, which slickly revives Roxette's booming power ballad It Must Have Been Love as the perfect soundtrack to fluttering hearts.
The script promotes a manifesto of satirical sideswipes and heartfelt emotion, aiming barbs at Donald Trump, Rupert Murdoch and Justin Trudeau in between eye-catching set-pieces including a modern update of the hair gel scene from There's Something About Mary.
Levine's film gets my vote.
THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA (15)
Nineteenth-century Mexican folklore provides hoary inspiration for a dusty sixth chapter in The Conjuring horror franchise.
Screenwriters Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis unpick a gossamer-thin narrative thread to connect this creaky instalment to the rest of the series.
The parish priest from Annabelle, who attempted to exorcise the possessed doll, relates the grim history of the titular spectre before vanishing completely from a lacklustre battle between good and phantasmagorical evil.
A ramshackle script exhumes jump scares from a long tradition of haunted house thrillers in which characters ignore common sense and venture into darkened rooms, where a staccato burst of strings on the soundtrack heralds the emergence of something unspeakable from the choking blackness.
Hardened horror fans won't flinch or break a sweat.