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The Shallows - Film4

Blake Lively in deep water

A nail-biting battle of wits is in store between Blake Lively and a great white shark. 4/5 stars

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, Lively arrives at a remote Mexican cove, location of her late mother's favourite beach, little realising that it has become the predator's feeding ground.

Their first bloody encounter leaves her stranded on a tiny rock, 200 yards from the beach - and high tide is coming.

Her attacker is between her and the shore but, as Lively's gutsy performance makes clear, her heroine is incredibly resilient and resourceful (handily, she's a medical student) and director Jaume Collet-Serra turns their battle into heart-stoppingly tense cinema.

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.