AT THE CINEMA: A weekly round-up of the latest films

Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) in Disney's new adventure.
Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) in Disney's new adventure.

Grab the popcorn for the newest movies in your local cinema now. 

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (PG):

Towards the conclusion of Marc Forster's fantasy, Winnie-the-Pooh (voiced by Jim Cummings) stares adoringly at a grown-up Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor), who has forgotten the joy of his childhood spent romping around the Hundred Acre Wood.

"It's always a sunny day when Christopher Robin comes to play," coos the honey-guzzling bear.

Alas, that sunshine doesn't always penetrate the rain clouds that linger over this cinematic namesake, which shamelessly milks our affection for beloved characters created by AA Milne and EH Shepard.

Credited to three screenwriters, Christopher Robin relies heavily on the quirks and naive charm of Pooh and his companions, who are convincingly brought to life through digital trickery.

"Doing nothing often leads to the very best of something," philosophises Pooh.

Forster's film does very little and this leads to occasional laughs, teary confessions and a central message about cherishing time spent with loved ones.

Christopher Robin skips forward in time to the late 1940s.

The titular father (McGregor) is a workaholic efficiency manager in the luggage division of Winslow Enterprises run by Old Man Winslow (Oliver Ford Davies) and his slippery son Giles (Mark Gatiss).

Times are tough and Winslow Jr orders Christopher to deliver 20% cuts across his team in time for a board presentation on Monday morning. Christopher cancels a weekend in the country with his neglected wife Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and young daughter Madeline (Bronte Carmichael) to concentrate on balance sheets.

Magically, Pooh materialises in London and convinces Christopher to return to the Hundred Acre Wood to track down Eeyore (Brad Garrett), Piglet (Nick Mohammed), Rabbit (Peter Capaldi), Kanga (Sophie Okonedo), Roo (Sarah Sheen) and Owl (Toby Jones).

Gentle laughs punctuate the soul-searching, like when Christopher picks up Eeyore so they can walk faster and the donkey deadpans, "It's kind of you to kidnap me."

The picture's ponderous middle section meanders rather like the little bear on one of his quests for golden honey. An emotionally manipulative final act, hung on an action set-piece in post-wartime London, is signposted as clearly as the fearsome Heffalumps and Woozles. Released tomorrow.

THE GUARDIANS (15):

Director Xavier Beauvois draws inspiration from the novel by Ernest Perochon to document the experiences of a group of women left behind by their husbands and sons during the First World War.

Hortense Sandrail (Nathalie Baye) presides over her family's farm with an iron fist now her husband Henri (Gilbert Bonneau) is too old and frail to perform gruelling physical labour.

The ageing matriarch is aided by her daughter Solange (Laura Smet), whose husband Clovis (Olivier Rabourdin) is serving his country.

Hortense's two sons, school teacher Constant (Nicolas Giraud) and Georges (Cyril Descours), are also away at war, leaving the women to plough the land, harvest crops and tend to livestock.

The daily toil proves too much, so Hortense hires a 20-year-old orphan called Francine (Iris Bry) to lighten the backbreaking load.

Francine is an excellent worker and she proves invaluable to the Sandrail family while the men repel the advances of the German army.

As the years pass, Francine's role within the household expands and she threatens to steal the heart of Georges when he returns home from the conflict. Released tomorrow.

THE EYES OF ORSON WELLES (12A):

Director, writer and actor Orson Welles seized 1940s Hollywood by the scruff of the neck with his debut feature Citizen Kane.

Film critic-turned-filmmaker Mark Cousins exposes a previously unseen side of Welles in this revealing documentary, which has been granted exclusive access to hundreds of Welles's private paintings and drawings.

Through these works of art, the film reflects the politics and passions of the film-making titan in his own brushstrokes and sketches, drawing parallels between the America of the past and the concerns of the present day under the divisive leadership of President Donald Trump.

Cousins's film is executive produced by Michael Moore. Released tomorrow.

THE MEG (12A):

It's not safe to go back into the water in director Jon Turteltaub's supersized horror thriller, which has been splashing about in development hell for two decades.

Based on Steve Alten's best-selling novel, The Meg imagines the carnage wrought by a 75ft long megalodon shark on an underwater research complex, which has been constructed in delicious proximity to one of China's most popular tourist beaches.

This all-you-can-chomp buffet of swimmers, surfers and sun-worshipping teenagers provides the film with humour. A few crisp one-liners elicit chuckles like when one grief-stricken crew member caterwauls: "That living fossil ate my friend!"   Out now.