BRITISH-Nigerian actor Daniel Oyelowo is best known for his strong and serious roles in the likes of Selma, Lincoln and A United Kingdom.

Gringo, then, marks something of a genre shift for the actor, who will feature too in new Disney fantasy A Wrinkle of Time later this month.

Harold Soyinka (Oyelowo) is an average businessman but he works for a company that is anything but. Under bosses Elaine Markinson (Charlize Theron) and Richard Rusk (Joel Edgerton), the company has developed the ‘Weed Pill’, a medical marijuana, and send Harold off to Mexico to handle its manufacturing.

All seems fine until Harold, whilst out partying, finds himself kidnapped by a local cartel with a firm grudge against his bosses and the company.

When Richard hires a professional – Mitch (Sharlto Copley) – to rescue Harold, the pair wind up on an outrageous adventure to remember.

Among the supporting cast, Amanda Seyfried and Thandie Newton bring star quality to the action, whilst the film marks the screen-debut of Paris Jackson, daughter of pop-icon Michael.

Gringo is also significant as the first time Joel Edgerton has been directed by his brother Nash, a stunt-artist.

Also out this week is the feature from Annie Hall and Blue Jasmine director Woody Allen. One of five major releases in the past 12 months to feature the word ‘wonder’ in its title, Wonder Wheel takes its name from the famous ride at Coney Island.

The film stars Jim Belushi as a carousel operator in the 1950s and Kate Winslet as his beleaguered, promiscuous wife Ginny. Life at the amusement park gets a shake-up, courtesy of two new arrivals: the couple’s estranged daughter Carolina (Juno Temple) and a lifeguard called Mickey (Justin Timberlake).

In the hands of cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, Wonder Wheel is a gorgeous visual affair. Unfortunately, as with much of Allen’s latest work – the film just isn’t sharp enough to make its mark.

Harder to find this week – but worth seeking out – is Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country, an Australian independent western about an Aboriginal farmhand who goes on the run after shooting a white man in self-defence.

Telling a powerful story, inspired by true stories, the film’s production is indebted to the support of Australia’s film industry and boasts a cast primarily comprised of indigenous Aboriginal Australians.