New On Screen: July 2023

This month, Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence returns with a new comedic role, while Jackie Chan, John Cena and Matt Damon pack a punch in action-packed flicks.

By Yong Shu Chiang        10 July 2023

No Hard Feelings

Out in cinemas 27 July (Available at Shaw Theatres)

Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Andrew Barth Feldman, Laura Benanti

Maddie (Lawrence) is a 30-something caught between a rock and a hard place. An Uber driver whose car gets repossessed, she faces bankruptcy and the impending seizure of her home. To stave that off, she signs up for an unusual job: the parents of a shy 19-year-old, Percy (Feldman), want her to help him become a man. In return, she gets a car. However, the task is not made easy by Percy’s inexperience and social awkwardness, while Maddie has a habit of attracting chaos and life-threatening situations as she tries to seduce her client.

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Jennifer Lawrence: She’s got a funny feeling

One of the youngest winners of the Best Actress Oscar, the Hollywood A-lister returns with a bawdy movie that showcases the full range of her comedic talents.

Anyone who has seen a Jennifer Lawrence interview, or her appearances at the Academy Awards, will know that she can be funny – like, really funny.

However, the impression you might get from the 32-year-old’s movies, in which her performances have garnered her many accolades, including her Best Actress Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook in 2012, is that Lawrence leans more toward dramatic parts.

In her breakout role, in 2010’s Winter’s Bone, she played a teenager thrust into the role of caring for her family when her father goes missing. 

Lawrence was also praised for portraying the heroine Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games (2012), a role she reprised for the film’s sequels, and played the mutant Mystique in a number of X-Men movies from 2011 to 2019, when she appeared in Dark Phoenix.

From a relative unknown to winning the Oscar, Lawrence would continue to pick up accolades, getting more Oscar nominations and Golden Globe wins for her performances in American Hustle (2014) and Joy (2016).

At 25, she became the youngest actor ever to be nominated for four Oscars.

Her more recent roles have continued to show off her dramatic range. She had the lead role in 2017’s psychological horror film, Mother!, and also in Red Sparrow (2018), where she played a Russian ballerina recruited as a spy.

After playing an astronomer opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Don’t Look Up (2021) and a soldier forced to return home after a traumatic injury on active duty in Causeway (2022), Lawrence can next be seen in No Hard Feelings

In it, she plays a woman forced by circumstances to help a nervous young man come of age. 

It promises to live up to film critic Peter Travers’ assessment of Lawrence’s talents: that she can be “rude, dirty, funny, foulmouthed, sloppy, sexy, vibrant, and vulnerable, sometimes all in the same scene, even in the same breath.”

Hidden Strike

Out in cinemas now (Available at Shaw Theatres)

Stars: Jackie Chan, John Cena, Pilou Asbaek

Two former special forces veterans find themselves in the Middle East, and in the middle of an explosive conflict over oil, in the not-too-distant future. Out in the barren landscape, surrounded by armed factions, the veterans Luo Feng (Chan) and Chris Van Horne (Cena) are an odd couple as they bicker while finding ingenious ways to outwit and outmanoeuvre their adversaries in tandem. As they fight to survive, they also need to escort a group of civilians on a dangerous route – the “Highway of Death” – to freedom.


Out in cinemas 20 July (Available at Shaw Theatres)

Stars: Cillian Murphy, Matt Damon, Emily Blunt

At the height of the Second World War, not long after the events of Pearl Harbour, the United States accelerates its nuclear weapons programme with the belief that it could help end the war. One key figure in the programme is physicist Robert Oppenheimer (Murphy), who is the scientific director of the Los Alamos Laboratory where the research and design of nuclear bombs would take place. With Nazi Germany also pursuing an atom bomb, Oppenheimer and his team face a race against time, with the fate of the world resting on their shoulders. 

Shadow Detective 2

Out now, Disney+

Stars: Lee Sungmin, Jin Goo, Gyeong Sujin

A veteran policeman nearing retirement is blackmailed by an unknown caller to walk down memory lane. Kim (Lee) is a detective who gets wrongly accused of murder after he starts getting mysterious phone calls from someone describing himself as an old “friend”. The caller then suggests a “game”, telling Kim to review his past cases for something he might have done wrong. In the second season of this thrilling series, Kim and his young colleague Guk (Jin) have to track down the blackmailer before more lives are lost.


Out now, Netflix

Stars: George Michael, Andrew Ridgeley

George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, known as Wham!, were one of the 1980s’ most quintessential acts. Michael first cut his teeth in the entertainment industry with his best mate from high school, Ridgeley, and went on to become an irrepressible musical icon before his career ended with his tragic death in 2016. This documentary charts the meteoric rise of the duo and the sudden break-up of the partnership in 1986, after a string of global hits including Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Careless Whisper and Last Christmas.  

The Beanie Bubble

Out 28 July, Apple TV+

Stars: Zach Galifianakis, Elizabeth Banks, Sarah Snook

For the uninitiated, Beanie Babies are just another line of stuffed soft toys. For those who lived through the 1990s, they were just about the biggest Internet-driven fad and collectibles that consumers could not get enough of. For the man behind these cute, understuffed toys, Ty Warren (Galifianakis), they created a market bubble that made him a billionaire. This fictional retelling of the success story that was the Beanie Babies highlights the American Dream and the darker side of a stuffed toy empire, filled not with pellets but with greed and betrayal.

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