Bumblebee (PG)



Action (2018)
114mins US

Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Angela Bassett, Justin Theroux, Dylan O'Brien, John Cena
Director: Travis Knight
Writer(s): Christina Hodson
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Plucky teenager Charlie Watson salvages a yellow Volkswagen Beetle from the scrapyard of her California hometown. She is stunned to discover that the ageing motor is a shape-shifting robot called Bumblebee, which has sought refuge on Earth. Charlie agrees to keep Bumblebee's secret and the girl bonds with the machine. A covert government agency called Sector 7 is hunting down machines like Bumblebee and agent Jack Burns is soon on Charlie's trail.

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LondonNet Film Review
Bumblebee (PG)

The robots in disguise receive a welcome and sweetly sentimental reboot in the sixth instalment of the Transformers franchise. Travis Knight, Oscar nominee for the exquisite stop-motion animation Kubo And The Two Strings, replaces Michael Bay in the director's chair for a family-friendly origin story cast in the mould of The Iron Giant. Bumblebee unfolds before events of the original Transformers and services a softly beating heart beneath gleaming metal through the touching friendship of the titular Autobot and a grief-stricken girl played by Pitch Perfect alumnus Hailee Steinfeld...

Bumblebee. Copyright: 2018 Paramount Pictures/Hasbro. Caption: Hailee Steinfeld as Charlie in Bumblebee, directed by Travis Knight. Photo: Jaimie Trueblood. All Rights Reserved.The 22-year-old actress delivers a beautifully calibrated and sincere performance, capturing the awkwardness of a teenager, who hears her pain echoed in the songs of The Smiths. Production designers go to town with late 1980s period detail - amusingly, the Decepticons are credited as architects of the World Wide Web - to a soundtrack that bops to the catchy melodies of A-Ha, Rick Astley, Tears For Fears and Steve Winwood. Spectacular action sequences punctuate the heart-tugging narrative but director Knight wisely doesn't attempt to out-muscle Bay, whose penchant for special effects-laden destruction in slow-motion left previous tours of duty feeling bloated.

A bruising showdown against the dastardly Decepticons on planet Cybertron forces Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) to sound the Autobot retreat. He dispatches energetic recruit B-127 (Dylan O'Brien) to Earth to establish a base of operations. B-127 crash-lands in California and makes a hasty escape from armed forces commanded by Jack Burns (John Cena). During a subsequent skirmish with Decepticon warrior Blitzwing (David Sobolov), B-127 loses his vocal processor unit and his core memory is damaged. He transforms into a yellow Volkswagen Beetle shortly before his circuits shut down. Plucky teenager Charlie Watson (Steinfeld) salvages the car from her local scrapyard and in the safety of her garage, she is stunned to discover the weather-beaten Beetle is a shape-shifting robot. She christens him Bumblebee and agrees to keep her mechanised pal safe, aided by smitten neighbour Memo (Jorge Lendeborg). Meanwhile, Decepticon hunters Shatter (Angela Bassett) and Dropkick (Justin Theroux) trace B-127 to Earth and make first contact with Dr Powell (John Ortiz) from covert government agency Sector 7. They convince the gullible scientist that Autobots are mankind's enemies and the only way to eliminate the threat is to allow them access to Earth's network of satellites. "They literally call themselves Decepticons... that doesn't raise any red flags?" warns Jack.

Bumblebee is delightfully lean - it's the only film in the series to clock in under two hours - and balances aftershocks from the fall of Cybertron with Charlie's growing pains. Steinfeld tenderly conveys the depth of her heroine's affection for her childlike robo-companion, who serves to protect the feeble human race and is one of the cutest weapons in the Transformers armoury. Fleeting scenes of Decepticons executing humans, who explode as colourless goo, shouldn't disturb young audiences. Every war has casualties and for once in this fantastical universe, compelling character development and heartfelt emotion aren't among the fallen.

- Jo Planter

Bumblebee. Copyright: 2018 Paramount Pictures/Hasbro. Caption: Hailee Steinfeld as Charlie in Bumblebee, directed by Travis Knight. Photo: Jaimie Trueblood. All Rights Reserved.


London Cinemas

From Friday 15th March
To Thursday 21st March

Not showing at any
London cinemas this week.


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Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

Listed in alphabetical order by city/place name followed by cinema name.

From Friday 15th March
To Thursday 21st March

Not showing at any
UK cinemas this week.
From Friday 22nd March
To Thursday 28th March

- Aberdeen, Cineworld Aberdeen - Queens Link
- Aberdeen, Cineworld Aberdeen - Union Square
- Aldershot, Cineworld Aldershot
- Andover, Odeon Andover
- Ashford, Cineworld Ashford
- Ashton-under-Lyne, Cineworld Ashton-under-Lyne
- Aylesbury, Odeon Aylesbury
- Ayr, Odeon Ayr
- Banbury, Odeon Banbury
- Barnstaple, Central Cinema
- Basildon, Cineworld Basildon
- Basingstoke, Odeon Basingstoke
- Bath, Odeon Bath
- Bedford, Cineworld Bedford
- Birmingham, Cineworld Birmingham
- Birmingham, Cineworld Birmingham NEC
- Birmingham, Empire Birmingham Great Park
- Birmingham, Odeon Birmingham Broadway Plaza
- Birmingham, Odeon Birmingham New Street
- Bishop's Stortford, Empire Bishop's Stortford
- Blackpool, Odeon Blackpool
- Boldon Colliery, Cineworld Boldon Tyne And Wear
- Bolton, Cineworld Bolton
- Bootle, Odeon Liverpool Switch Island
- Bournemouth, Odeon Bournemouth BH2
- Bracknell, Cineworld Bracknell
- Bracknell, Odeon Bracknell
- Bracknell, South Hill Park Arts Centre
- Bradford, Cineworld Bradford
- Bradford, Odeon Leeds-Bradford
- Braintree, Cineworld Braintree
- Bridgend, Odeon Bridgend
- Brighton, Cineworld Brighton
- Brighton, Odeon Brighton
- Bristol, Cineworld Bristol
- Bristol, Cineworld Yate
- Bristol, Odeon Bristol
- Bromborough, Odeon Bromborough
- Burton-on-Trent, Cineworld Burton Upon Trent
- Bury St Edmunds, Cineworld Bury St Edmunds
- Canterbury, Odeon Canterbury
- Cardiff, Cineworld Cardiff
- Cardiff, Odeon Cardiff
- Castleford, Cineworld Castleford
- Catterick Garrison, Empire Catterick Garrison
- Chatham, Odeon Chatham
- Chelmsford, Odeon Chelmsford
- Cheltenham, Cineworld Cheltenham
- Chester, Cineworld Broughton
- Chesterfield, Cineworld Chesterfield
- Chichester, Cineworld Chichester
- Clydebank, Empire Clydebank
- Colchester, Odeon Colchester
- Coventry, Odeon Coventry
- Crawley, Cineworld Crawley
- Crewe, Odeon Crewe
- Darlington, Odeon Darlington
- Derby, Odeon Derby
- Didcot, Cineworld Didcot
- Dorchester, Odeon Dorchester
- Dover, Cineworld Dover
- Dudley, Odeon Dudley Merry Hill
- Dundee, Cineworld Dundee
- Dundee, Odeon Dundee
- Dunfermline, Odeon Dunfermline
- Eastbourne, Cineworld Eastbourne
- East Didsbury, Cineworld Didsbury
- East Kilbride, Odeon East Kilbride
- Edinburgh, Cineworld Edinburgh
- Edinburgh, Odeon Edinburgh Fort Kinnaird
- Edinburgh, Odeon Edinburgh Wester Hailes
- Ely, Cineworld Ely
- Epsom, Odeon Epsom
- Exeter, Odeon Exeter
- Falkirk, Cineworld Falkirk
- Falmouth, Phoenix Cinema
- Fareham, Cineworld Whiteley
- Gateshead, Odeon Metrocentre
- Glasgow, Cineworld Glasgow - Parkhead
- Glasgow, Cineworld Glasgow - Renfrew Street
- Glasgow, Cineworld Glasgow - Silverburn
- Glasgow, Odeon Glasgow Springfield Quay
- Gloucester, Cineworld Gloucester Quays
- Guildford, Odeon Guildford
- Harlow, Cineworld Harlow - Harvey Centre
- Harlow, Cineworld Harlow - Queensgate
- Harrogate, Odeon Harrogate
- Hastings, Odeon Hastings
- Hatfield, Odeon Hatfield
- Haverhill, Cineworld Haverhill
- Hemel Hempstead, Cineworld Hemel Hempstead
- Hereford, Odeon Hereford
- High Wycombe, Cineworld High Wycombe
- High Wycombe, Empire High Wycombe
- Hinckley, Cineworld Hinckley
- Huddersfield, Odeon Huddersfield
- Hull, Cineworld Hull
- Hull, Odeon Hull
- Huntingdon, Cineworld Huntingdon
- Ipswich, Cineworld Ipswich
- Ipswich, Empire Ipswich
- Jersey, Cineworld Jersey
- Kettering, Odeon Kettering
- Kilmarnock, Odeon Kilmarnock
- Leeds, Cineworld Leeds
- Leicester, Odeon Leicester
- Leigh, Cineworld Leigh
- Lifford, Eclipse Cinemas Lifford
- Lincoln, Odeon Lincoln
- Liverpool, Cineworld Speke
- Liverpool, Odeon Liverpool ONE
- Llandudno, Cineworld Llandudno
- Llanelli, Odeon Llanelli
- Loughborough, Cineworld Loughborough
- Loughborough, Odeon Loughborough
- Luton, Cineworld Luton
- Maidenhead, Odeon Maidenhead
- Maidstone, Odeon Maidstone
- Manchester, Odeon Manchester Great Northern
- Manchester, Odeon Trafford Centre
- Mansfield, Odeon Mansfield
- Middlesbrough, Cineworld Middlesbrough
- Milton Keynes, Cineworld Milton Keynes
- Milton Keynes, Odeon Milton Keynes Stadium
- Newark, Odeon Newark
- Newcastle upon Tyne, Cineworld Newcastle Upon Tyne
- Newport, Cineworld Isle Of Wight
- Newport, Cineworld Newport Friars Walk
- Newport, Cineworld Newport Spytty Road
- Northampton, Cineworld Northampton
- Northwich, Odeon Northwich
- Norwich, Odeon Norwich
- Nottingham, Cineworld Nottingham
- Nuneaton, Odeon Nuneaton
- Oldham, Odeon Oldham
- Orpington, Odeon Orpington
- Oxford, Odeon Oxford George Street
- Perth, Perth Playhouse
- Poole, Cineworld Poole
- Portsmouth, Odeon Port Solent
- Preston, Odeon Preston
- Redruth, Regal Film Centre
- Renfrew, Odeon Braehead
- Rochdale, Odeon Rochdale
- Rochester, Cineworld Rochester
- Rugby, Cineworld Rugby
- Ruislip, Cineworld South Ruislip
- Runcorn, Cineworld Runcorn
- Salisbury, Odeon Salisbury
- Seaham, Cineworld Dalton Park
- Sheffield, Cineworld Sheffield
- Sheffield, Odeon Sheffield
- Shrewsbury, Cineworld Shrewsbury
- Slough, Empire Slough
- Solihull, Cineworld Solihull
- Southampton, Odeon Southampton
- Southend-on-Sea, Odeon Southend
- Stafford, Odeon Luxe Stafford
- Stevenage, Cineworld Stevenage
- St Helens, Cineworld St Helens
- St. Neots, Cineworld St Neots
- Stoke-on-Trent, Cineworld Stoke-on-Trent
- Stoke-on-Trent, Odeon Stoke
- Sunderland, Empire Sunderland
- Sutton Coldfield, Empire Sutton Coldfield
- Swadlincote, Odeon Swadlincote
- Swansea, Odeon Swansea
- Swindon, Cineworld Swindon Regent Circus
- Swindon, Cineworld Swindon Shaw Ridge
- Swindon, Empire Swindon Greenbridge
- Tamworth, Odeon Tamworth
- Taunton, Odeon Taunton
- Telford, Cineworld Telford
- Telford, Odeon Telford
- Trowbridge, Odeon Trowbridge
- Tunbridge Wells, Odeon Tunbridge Wells
- Wakefield, Cineworld Wakefield
- Wallsend, Odeon Silverlink
- Warrington, Odeon Warrington
- Watford, Cineworld Watford
- Wembley, Cineworld Wembley
- West Bromwich, Odeon West Bromwich
- Weston-super-Mare, Cineworld Weston-Super-Mare
- Weston-super-Mare, Odeon Weston-Super-Mare
- Weymouth, Cineworld Weymouth
- Wigan, Empire Wigan
- Witney, Cineworld Witney
- Wolverhampton, Cineworld Wolverhampton
- Worcester, Odeon Worcester
- Wrexham, Odeon Wrexham
- Yeovil, Cineworld Yeovil


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