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Now showing at Odeon Andover Anton Mill Road,Andover,Hampshire SP10 2RW 0871 224 4007

  • Cinderella
  • Far From The Madding Crowd
  • Hitman: Agent 47
  • Hitman: Agent 47 (Subtitled)
  • Inside Out
  • Legend
  • Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
  • Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials 3D
  • Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
  • Minions
  • Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
  • No Escape
  • Pixels
  • Pixels (Subtitled)
  • Sinister 2
  • Straight Outta Compton
  • Strange Magic (Autism Friendly Screening)
  • Suite Francaise
  • The Transporter Refuelled
  • The Visit
  • Two By Two

Cinderella 4 stars

movie title

Ella loses her mother and father, but inherits a vindictive stepmother Lady Tremaine and two brattish stepsisters, Anastasia and Drizella. Treated as a servant by her new family, who cruelly nickname her Cinderella, the plucky heroine catches the eye of dashing Prince Charming, who must pick a bride to ensure the security of the kingdom. So he throws a lavish ball where Ella makes a grand entrance with some magical help from her Fairy Godmother.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Drama, Family, Family, Fantasy, Romance
  • CastDerek Jacobi, Stellan Skarsgard, Richard Madden, Holliday Grainger, Cate Blanchett, Sophie McShera, Lily James, Ben Chaplin, Helena Bonham Carter, Hayley Atwell.
  • DirectorKenneth Branagh.
  • WriterChris Weitz.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration113 mins
  • Official sitemovies.disney.com/cinderella/
  • Release27/03/2015

Slavishly adapted from Disney's classic 1950 animated musical, Kenneth Branagh's live action version of the fairy-tale romance doesn't skimp on the period detail. Sandy Powell's luxurious costumes, Dante Ferretti's opulent set designs and Patrick Doyle's sweeping orchestral score conjure a magical world of unerring love in which even we gasp at the gargantuan splendour of the grand ball where the prince must choose his wife.

While this Cinderella unquestionably dazzles the senses, screenwriter Chris Weitz is shackled to fond memories of the hand-drawn film and consequently, he has almost no room for flourishes of originality.

The plot arc is predetermined, the ugly stepsisters don't hack off their heels or toes to squeeze into a misplaced glass slipper, and Helena Bonham Carter's fairy godmother isn't quite as eccentric as she or we would like as she engineers the film's best set-piece with a flick of her wand.

"I don't go transforming pumpkins for just anyone!" she chirps. No, the special effects wizards do and they accomplish the pivotal sequence with aplomb. Before all of the jiggery-pokery with a pumpkin, four mice and a goose, Ella (Lily James) is consigned to the kitchen by her vindictive stepmother Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett) and brattish stepsisters, Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drizella (Sophie McShera).

Emboldened by the dying words of her mother (Hayley Atwell) - "Have courage and be kind" - Ella tries to rise above the bullying. When the name-calling becomes too frightful, she escapes on horseback and catches the eye of the dashing Prince (Richard Madden), who must pick a bride at the behest of the dying King (Derek Jacobi).

So the Prince throws a lavish ball where Ella makes her grand entrance then disappears as the clock chimes midnight, leaving behind footwear that would surely pose a health and safety risk in any other film. "Find that girl - the forgetful one who loses her shoes!" decrees the Captain of the royal guard (Nonzo Anosie).

Cinderella will enchant a generation of girls, who dream of donning the tiara of a Disney princess. James and Madden are an attractive screen pairing, while Blanchett draws inspiration from Joan Crawford to cast a formidable shadow from beneath the brim of her character's extravagant hats.

"I do love a happy ending, don't you?" gushes one of the characters. Branagh's film certainly does, without a hint of irony. The main feature is preceded by the animated short Frozen Fever, which continues the adventures of sisters Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) as they prepare for a birthday celebration.

Lovable snowman Olaf (Josh Gad) and hunky Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) also return and the script includes a cute reference to the blockbusting film when ice queen Elsa sneezes and chirrups, "A cold never bothered me anyway!" A generation of men, who take to their beds at the first sniffle, would disagree.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 5th September 2015
Sunday 6th September 2015

Far From The Madding Crowd 3 stars

movie title

Bathsheba Everdene turns down a marriage proposal from sheep farmer Gabriel Oak because she does not believe that she needs a husband to possess or tame her. Soon after, Bathsheba inherits her uncle's estate and defies expectation to turn around the ailing farm. Gabriel, who has fallen on hard times, is hired by Bathsheba as the estate's shepherd and he continues to pine for her from afar as Bathsheba entertains amorous advances from wealthy farmer William Boldwood and dashing Sergeant Troy.

  • GenreAdaptation, Classic, Drama, Historical/Period, Romance
  • CastCarey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge, Jessica Barden, Michael Sheen, Juno Temple.
  • DirectorThomas Vinterberg.
  • WriterDavid Nicholls.
  • CountryUS/UK
  • Duration119 mins
  • Official site
  • Release01/05/2015

The 2015 re-release of John Schlesinger's 1967 version of Far From The Madding Crowd provided a timely reminder of the raw emotional power of Thomas Hardy's late 19th-century novel and Julie Christie's luminous portrayal of spirited heroine, Bathsheba Everdene.

Danish director Thomas Vinterberg brings a delicate touch to this handsome new incarnation, which runs 50 minutes shorter than its predecessor and is undernourished as a consequence.

One tragic supporting character, who should shatter our hearts to smithereens, is reduced to a simplistic two-dimensional plot device, and the heroine's vacillations between three potential suitors seem more haphazard than usual in a noticeably rushed final act.

Moreover, one of these paramours has significantly more screen time, so her choice is inevitable. Feelings are tightly buttoned beneath Janet Patterson's splendid costumes and when one of the characters does eventually lose control and commits a fatal "crime of passion" at a Christmas party, we're just as surprised by the outburst as the film's clucky social set.

The film opens in 1870 with Bathsheba (Carey Mulligan) living with her aunt Mrs Hurst on the adjacent property to handsome sheep farmer, Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts).

She rebuffs his heartfelt advances, telling a crestfallen Gabriel, "I don't want a husband. I don't want to be some man's property". Soon after, Bathsheba inherits her uncle's vast estate and defies expectation to turn around the ailing farm, aided by her companion Liddy (Jessica Barden).

Gabriel, who has fallen on hard times, is hired by Bathsheba as the estate's shepherd and continues to pine for her from afar.

Meanwhile, emotionally repressed and wealthy farmer William Boldwood (Michael Sheen) makes his feelings for Bathsheba known, but her head is turned by dashing and reckless Sergeant Troy (Tom Sturridge), whose heart was broken at the altar by servant girl Fanny (Juno Temple).

These three suitors leave Bathsheba in an emotional whirl and when Boldwood offers her financial security as his bride, she turns to brooding Gabriel for advice.
"I need some who's objective, indifferent," Bathsheba tells the shepherd.
"Then I'm afraid you're asking the wrong man," pointedly responds Gabriel.

Anchored by Mulligan's nuanced performance, Far From The Madding Crowd is a visually arresting, but ultimately anaemic portrait of rural desires. Schoenaerts wrestles in vain with a West Country accent, while Sheen and Sturridge have limited screen time to match fond memories of Peter Finch and Terence Stamp in respective roles in the 1967 film.

While Vinterberg's vision, filmed on location in pastoral Dorset, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, lacks emotional heft, it packs a mighty visual punch thanks to cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen.

Rolling landscapes look invitingly wild and untamed, bathed largely in natural light, and the nascent beauty of leading lady Mulligan shines through the artfully composed muck and grime.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 8th September 2015
Thursday 10th September 2015

Hitman: Agent 47 2 stars

movie title

Genetically engineered assassin 47 carries out contracts on high profile targets on behalf of the International Contracts Agency. Known by a barcode tattoo on the back of his neck, 47 is the product of years of research. Unfortunately, a huge corporation fronted by Le Clerq wishes to exploit these abilities for nefarious purposes to create an unstoppable army of obedient trained killers.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Thriller
  • CastZachary Quinto, Ciaran Hinds, Rupert Friend, Thomas Kretschmann, Hannah Ware.
  • DirectorAleksander Bach.
  • WriterSkip Woods, Michael Finch.
  • CountryUS/Ger
  • Duration96 mins
  • Official sitewww.foxmovies.com/movies/hitman-agent-47
  • Release27/08/2015

Based on the hugely successful Hitman videogames, Aleksander Bach's frenetic action thriller hopes to atone for the sins of a drab 2007 film version headlining Timothy Olyphant. Unfortunately, a new lick of paint and some breathlessly choreographed fight sequences can't disguise the same fatal flaw.

Like so many screen adaptations of videogames, Hitman: Agent 47 fails to replicate the adrenaline-pumping visceral thrill of assuming control of an iconic character and nervously guiding them through the digital realm. The agonising sense of responsibility, which draw beads of sweat on a player's brow, are completely lost on an audience sitting comfortably in the dark of an air-conditioned cinema.

Director Bach evidently loves the games and he confidently orchestrates action set pieces, punctuated by slow motion acrobatics and explosions. A prolonged bout of bone-crunching hand-to-hand combat on the tracks of the Berlin underground, and a high speed pursuit around a multi-storey car park, are high points.

Once the bullets have all been discharged, vehicles wrecked and necks snapped, the film offers little in the way of characterisation, plot or emotional nuance. The protagonist is a genetically engineered assassin called Agent 47 (Rupert Friend), who carries out high profile contracts assigned to him by his handler, Diana (Angelababy).

Known by a barcode tattoo on the back of his neck, 47 is the product of years of scientific tinkering, which has imbued him with unrivalled intelligence, speed, stamina and strength... until the next iteration. Diana orders 47 to hunt down and kill Dr Litvenko (Ciaran Hinds), mastermind of the Agent program.

A huge corporation called Syndicate International fronted by Le Clerq (Thomas Kretschmann) is also looking for Litvenko and intends to use his groundbreaking research to create an unstoppable army of obedient trained killers. The only way to flush the scientist out of hiding is by using his daughter Katia (Hannah Ware) as bait.

Unfortunately, she has also vanished off the grid. Agent 47 tracks her down in Berlin where battle ensues between the hit man and her enigmatic protector, John Smith (Zachary Quinto).

The balance of power tips back and forth between 47 and Smith, and Katia must decide who - if anyone - she trusts. "Don't put your faith in me, you'll be disappointed," growls 47.

Hitman: Agent 47 is a tiny improvement on the 2007 film but it's a close call. Friend is suitably lifeless as the gun-toting anti-hero, expertly performing fight choreography including a couple of bruising showdowns with Quinto. Ware is equally bland yet considerably more emotional as the pawn in a game that she unknowingly controls.

Kretschmann doesn't have sufficient screen time to put meat on the bones of his lacklustre villain, who swipes angrily at a touchscreen desk as his masterplan falls apart. Bach's film obligingly follows suit.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 5th September 2015
Sunday 6th September 2015
Monday 7th September 2015
Tuesday 8th September 2015
Wednesday 9th September 2015

Hitman: Agent 47 (Subtitled) 2 stars

movie title

Genetically engineered assassin 47 carries out contracts on high profile targets on behalf of the International Contracts Agency. Known by a barcode tattoo on the back of his neck, 47 is the product of years of research. Unfortunately, a huge corporation fronted by Le Clerq wishes to exploit these abilities for nefarious purposes to create an unstoppable army of obedient trained killers.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Thriller
  • CastRupert Friend, Thomas Kretschmann, Zachary Quinto, Ciaran Hinds, Hannah Ware.
  • DirectorAleksander Bach.
  • WriterSkip Woods, Michael Finch.
  • CountryUS/Ger
  • Duration96 mins
  • Official sitewww.foxmovies.com/movies/hitman-agent-47
  • Release27/08/2015

Based on the hugely successful Hitman videogames, Aleksander Bach's frenetic action thriller hopes to atone for the sins of a drab 2007 film version headlining Timothy Olyphant. Unfortunately, a new lick of paint and some breathlessly choreographed fight sequences can't disguise the same fatal flaw.

Like so many screen adaptations of videogames, Hitman: Agent 47 fails to replicate the adrenaline-pumping visceral thrill of assuming control of an iconic character and nervously guiding them through the digital realm. The agonising sense of responsibility, which draw beads of sweat on a player's brow, are completely lost on an audience sitting comfortably in the dark of an air-conditioned cinema.

Director Bach evidently loves the games and he confidently orchestrates action set pieces, punctuated by slow motion acrobatics and explosions. A prolonged bout of bone-crunching hand-to-hand combat on the tracks of the Berlin underground, and a high speed pursuit around a multi-storey car park, are high points.

Once the bullets have all been discharged, vehicles wrecked and necks snapped, the film offers little in the way of characterisation, plot or emotional nuance. The protagonist is a genetically engineered assassin called Agent 47 (Rupert Friend), who carries out high profile contracts assigned to him by his handler, Diana (Angelababy).

Known by a barcode tattoo on the back of his neck, 47 is the product of years of scientific tinkering, which has imbued him with unrivalled intelligence, speed, stamina and strength... until the next iteration. Diana orders 47 to hunt down and kill Dr Litvenko (Ciaran Hinds), mastermind of the Agent program.

A huge corporation called Syndicate International fronted by Le Clerq (Thomas Kretschmann) is also looking for Litvenko and intends to use his groundbreaking research to create an unstoppable army of obedient trained killers. The only way to flush the scientist out of hiding is by using his daughter Katia (Hannah Ware) as bait.

Unfortunately, she has also vanished off the grid. Agent 47 tracks her down in Berlin where battle ensues between the hit man and her enigmatic protector, John Smith (Zachary Quinto).

The balance of power tips back and forth between 47 and Smith, and Katia must decide who - if anyone - she trusts. "Don't put your faith in me, you'll be disappointed," growls 47.

Hitman: Agent 47 is a tiny improvement on the 2007 film but it's a close call. Friend is suitably lifeless as the gun-toting anti-hero, expertly performing fight choreography including a couple of bruising showdowns with Quinto. Ware is equally bland yet considerably more emotional as the pawn in a game that she unknowingly controls.

Kretschmann doesn't have sufficient screen time to put meat on the bones of his lacklustre villain, who swipes angrily at a touchscreen desk as his masterplan falls apart. Bach's film obligingly follows suit.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 6th September 2015

Inside Out 5 stars

movie title

From the moment baby Riley opens her eyes, her mood is shaped by five coloured emotions - Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust - which bicker behind a large control desk laden with buttons and levers. Joy is the dominant emotion in Headquarters and she safeguards Riley's memories, which are stored as glowing orbs. When Riley turns 11, her parents relocate from Minnesota to San Francisco. Traumatic events such as a first day at a new school nudge Sadness to the fore.

  • GenreAnimation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastDiane Lane, Amy Poehler, Kyle MacLachlan, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling.
  • DirectorPete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen.
  • WriterPete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration102 mins
  • Official sitewww.movies.disney.com/inside-out
  • Release24/07/2015

Despite gargantuan advances in medical science, we still don't fully understand the complexities of the human brain: its ability to process vast quantities of information, solve problems and store memories at speeds that put supercomputers to shame.

Pixar Animation Studios, the wizards who conjured the Toy Story trilogy, contemplate the vagaries of neuropsychology with this visually stunning and emotionally rich comedy, which unfolds predominantly inside the head of a little girl.

This high-brow concept doesn't seem like the most accessible subject matter for a family-oriented computer animation. But directors Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen elegantly tilt their film at the windmills of the mind and deliver a hilarious, heartfelt and ultimately life-affirming adventure that celebrates childhood innocence, family unity and the power of the human spirit to overcome adversity.

Laughter and tears abound, as well as cute visual gags, ensuring parents will be repeatedly dabbing their eyes while children whoop and gurgle with glee at the slapstick and rollicking action sequences.

A mother (voiced by Diane Lane) and father (Kyle MacLachlan) welcome a baby girl called Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) into the world. From the moment she opens her eyes, Riley's mood is shaped by five coloured emotions - golden Joy (Amy Poehler), blue Sadness (Phyllis Smith), purple Fear (Bill Hader), red Anger (Lewis Black) and green Disgust (Mindy Kaling) - which bicker behind a large control desk laden with buttons and levers.

Joy is the dominant emotion in Headquarters and she safeguards Riley's memories, which are stored as glowing orbs, tinged with the colour of the emotion that prevailed at the time. When Riley turns 11, her parents relocate from Minnesota to San Francisco.

Traumatic events such as a first day at a new school nudge Sadness to the fore. Following an altercation, sworn rivals Joy and Sadness are expelled from Headquarters and find themselves stranded in the labyrinth of Riley's long-term memories.

Aided by Riley's imaginary friend Bing Bong (Richard Kind), Joy and Sadness blaze a haphazard trail on the chugging train of thought back to Fear, Anger and Disgust, who have been left in charge of Headquarters, with disastrous consequences.

Inside Out is Pixar's best film since the holy animated trilogy of WALL-E, Up and Toy Story 3. Docter's script, co-written by Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley, glisters with imagination, wit and invention, delivering guffaws with detours into the heads of Riley's parents as they attempt to deal with her pre-teenage rebellion.

Vocal performances are note perfect, led by Poehler's exuberant portrayal of Joy and Smith's sincere embodiment of Sadness, who tugs heartstrings as the film reaches its exquisite conclusion.

The film is preceded by a short: a musical love story entitled Lava between two volcanoes called Uku and Lele, directed by James Ford Murphy. Joy and Sadness shared blissful control of my mind throughout.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 5th September 2015
Sunday 6th September 2015
Monday 7th September 2015
Tuesday 8th September 2015
Wednesday 9th September 2015
Thursday 10th September 2015

Legend 3 stars

Reggie Kray and his identical twin Ronnie own a lucrative club in London, where the rich and famous get a thrill from rubbing shoulders with bad boys and criminals. With guidance from business manager Leslie Payne, the club goes from strength to strength. Reggie struggles to contain his brother's sadistic impulses and when he serves time, an emotionally unstable Ronnie seizes control of the business empire and bullies anyone who openly questions his authority.

  • GenreAdaptation, Biography, Drama, Historical/Period, Romance, Thriller
  • CastChristopher Eccleston, Tara Fitzgerald, Paul Bettany, Emily Browning, Aneurin Barnard, Tom Hardy.
  • DirectorBrian Helgeland.
  • WriterBrian Helgeland.
  • CountryUK/Fr
  • Duration131 mins
  • Official site
  • Release09/09/2015

Tom Hardy plays the Kray twins in this brutal and blackly humorous portrait of the notorious siblings, who terrorised 1950s and 1960s London, based on the book The Profession Of Violence by John Pearson. Reggie and his identical twin Ronnie own a lucrative club in London, where the rich and famous get a thrill from rubbing shoulders with bad boys and criminals. With guidance from business manager Leslie Payne (David Thewlis), the club goes from strength to strength. On the mean streets of the capital, the Krays continue their brutal war with turf rival Charlie Richardson (Paul Bettany), always remaining one step ahead of Detective Superintendent Leonard Read (Christopher Eccleston), who yearns to put them behind bars. Reggie embarks on a giddy romance with 16-year-old Frances Shea (Emily Browning), sister of his driver Frankie (Colin Morgan), despite vociferous protests from her mother (Tara Fitzgerald). The relationship coincides with Ronnie's turbulent affair with Edward Smith (Taron Egerton). Reggie struggles to contain his brother's sadistic impulses and keep Frances on an even emotional keel. When Reggie serves time, an emotionally unstable Ronnie seizes control of the business empire and bullies anyone who openly questions his authority.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 9th September 2015
Thursday 10th September 2015

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials 3 stars

Thomas and the survivors of The Glade search for answers about W.C.K.D. and a mysterious contagion called The Flare from a researcher called Janson. The truth remains elusive, so Thomas and co escape from the research compound and venture into a sun-scorched desert. In this barren wilderness, the teenagers face threats from Mother Nature and hideous creatures fashioned by W.C.K.D.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Family, Science Fiction, Thriller
  • CastDylan O'Brien, Ki Hong Lee, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Patricia Clarkson, Kaya Scodelario, Lili Taylor, Aidan Gillen.
  • DirectorWes Ball.
  • WriterT S Nowlin.
  • CountryUS
  • Official sitewww.themazerunnermovie.co.uk
  • Release10/09/2015

In the 2014 survival thriller The Maze Runner, based on the bestselling novel by James Dashner, a group of teenagers pitted their wits against a diabolical labyrinth laden with traps and hideous denizens called Grievers in the vain hope of finding an exit. Thomas (Dylan O'Brien), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) and Minho (Ki Hong Lee) managed to escape from The Glade and learnt that the maze was a grand experiment created by a corporation called W.C.K.D. under the control of Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson). In the sequel, directed again by Wes Ball, Thomas and the survivors search for answers about W.C.K.D. and a mysterious contagion called The Flare from a researcher called Janson (Aiden Gillen). The truth remains elusive, so Thomas and co escape from the research compound and venture into a sun-scorched desert. In this barren wilderness, the teenagers face threats from Mother Nature and hideous creatures fashioned by W.C.K.D. The third film in the series, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, is set for release in January 2017.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 10th September 2015

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials 3D 3 stars

Thomas and the survivors of The Glade search for answers about W.C.K.D. and a mysterious contagion called The Flare from a researcher called Janson. The truth remains elusive, so Thomas and co escape from the research compound and venture into a sun-scorched desert. In this barren wilderness, the teenagers face threats from Mother Nature and hideous creatures fashioned by W.C.K.D.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Family, Science Fiction, Thriller
  • CastDylan O'Brien, Ki Hong Lee, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Lili Taylor, Patricia Clarkson, Aidan Gillen, Kaya Scodelario.
  • DirectorWes Ball.
  • WriterT S Nowlin.
  • CountryUS
  • Official sitewww.themazerunnermovie.co.uk
  • Release10/09/2015

In the 2014 survival thriller The Maze Runner, based on the bestselling novel by James Dashner, a group of teenagers pitted their wits against a diabolical labyrinth laden with traps and hideous denizens called Grievers in the vain hope of finding an exit. Thomas (Dylan O'Brien), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) and Minho (Ki Hong Lee) managed to escape from The Glade and learnt that the maze was a grand experiment created by a corporation called W.C.K.D. under the control of Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson). In the sequel, directed again by Wes Ball, Thomas and the survivors search for answers about W.C.K.D. and a mysterious contagion called The Flare from a researcher called Janson (Aiden Gillen). The truth remains elusive, so Thomas and co escape from the research compound and venture into a sun-scorched desert. In this barren wilderness, the teenagers face threats from Mother Nature and hideous creatures fashioned by W.C.K.D. The third film in the series, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, is set for release in January 2017.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 10th September 2015

Me And Earl And The Dying Girl 4 stars

movie title

At the behest of his parents, high school student Greg Gaines visits estranged childhood friend Rachel Kushner, who has been diagnosed with leukaemia. "I don't need your stupid pity so please go," she tells him coldly, but Greg persists to placate his meddlesome folks. A faltering friendship takes root, to the delight of Rachel's boozy mother, and Greg agrees to make a film for Rachel with his partner in creative crime, Earl.

  • GenreAdaptation, Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • CastRJ Cyler, Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton.
  • DirectorAlfonso Gomez-Rejon.
  • WriterJesse Andrews.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration105 mins
  • Official sitewww.meandearl.co.uk
  • Release04/09/2015

The good die young and that seems to be the inevitable outcome of Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's beguiling and intensely moving screen adaptation of Jesse Andrews' debut novel. A teenage girl is diagnosed with cancer, classmates offer their heartfelt sympathy and one childhood friend sacrifices his studies to support her through chemotherapy.

There are obvious similarities to The Fault In Our Stars, but while that film had audiences sniffling from the opening frame, Me And Earl And The Dying Girl mines a rich vein of offbeat humour to stem the deluge of salty tears.

"This isn't a touching romantic story," confides Greg Gaines (Thomas Mann), the socially awkward high school student and narrator of Gomez-Rejon's remarkable film. To some extent he's right: there's no boy meets girl cuteness here, no stolen kisses or wish fulfilment about the healing power of nascent love.

But his story is deeply affecting, recounted as a scrapbook of bittersweet vignettes and stop-motion animation, accompanied with self-explanatory onscreen captions like "Day 1 Of Doomed Friendship".

At the behest of his parents (Connie Britton, Nick Offerman), Greg visits estranged childhood friend Rachel Kushner (Olivia Cooke), who has been diagnosed with leukaemia. "I don't need your stupid pity so please go," she tells him coldly, but Greg persists to placate his meddlesome folks.

A faltering friendship takes root, to the delight of Rachel's boozy mother (Molly Shannon). In order to impress his high school crush, Madison (Katherine C Hughes), Greg agrees to make a film for Rachel with his partner in creative crime, Earl (RJ Cyler).

They have been producing charming homages for years including A Sockwork Orange, Senior Citizen Kane and Anatomy Of A Burger. The pressure to deliver a masterpiece weighs heavily on Greg, creating friction with Rachel, who doesn't want to be surrounded by negativity. "You can go back to your life of being invisible, detached and self-hating," she sobs.

Me And Earl And The Dying Girl is a beautifully judged rites of passage drama, that eschews mawkishness and emotional manipulation in favour of a richly detailed portrait of adolescent dreams in crisis. Gomez-Rejon's whimsical visual flourishes are a constant delight, perfectly reflecting Greg's love of classic cinema and his penchant for homemade props.

The film is punctuated by numerous moments of unexpected humour, like when Greg says something thoughtless and insensitive to Rachel, and stares at a poster on her wall of a Hollywood hunk dressed as an iconic comic book superhero. "I'm damned if I'm letting a punk like you waltz in here and stupid the place up," growls the character disapprovingly.

Mann doesn't strike a false note in the tricky lead role, gelling naturally with Cyler and Cooke. "This isn't a sappy love story," Greg emphasises, in case we had forgotten. No it's something far more precious, fragile, haunting and life-affirming than that.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 5th September 2015
Sunday 6th September 2015
Monday 7th September 2015
Tuesday 8th September 2015
Wednesday 9th September 2015
Thursday 10th September 2015

Minions 3 stars

movie title

Since the dawn of time, the Minions have gravitated towards the most despicable master they can find. One Minion named Kevin embarks on an epic quest to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow. Flanked by teenage rebel Stuart and diminutive scaredy-cat Bob, Kevin leaves the Minions' current home in Antarctica bound for 1968 New York City, where he stumbles upon the world's first female super-villain: Scarlet Overkill.

  • GenreAnimation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastChris Renaud, Sandra Bullock, Pierre Coffin, Steve Coogan, Allison Janney, Michael Keaton, Katy Mixon, Jon Hamm.
  • DirectorPierre Coffin, Kyle Balda.
  • WriterBrian Lynch.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration91 mins
  • Official sitewww.minionnation.co.uk
  • Release26/06/2015

You can have too much of a good thing. In small doses, Despicable Me's goggle-eyed hench-creatures are a deranged delight. As unwittingly heroes of their own big screen adventure, these pint-sized "knights in shining denim" lose some of their loopy lustre, hindered by Brian Lynch's flimsy script, which is disappointingly light on storyline and belly laughs.

A dazzling vocal cast of gifted comic actors is repeatedly short-changed. Very young children, who gurgle with glee at the Minions' bonkers vernacular combining Esperanto and gobbledygook, will adore the slapstick, pratfalls and the tiniest member of the Minions clan, Bob, who clutches a well-loved teddy bear called Tim.

Adults will be considerably harder to win over. The lack of a coherent storyline grates as much as the lazy cultural stereotyping of the British as tea-sipping, corgi-riding folk, who frequent pubs called The Pig's Spleen.

Since the dawn of time, Minions have gravitated towards despicable masters including Tyrannosaurus Rex, Count Dracula and Napoleon. Unfortunately, these masters die prematurely - at the hands of the clumsy, yellow hench-creatures - leaving the Minions in a state of deep depression.

One brave soul named Kevin steps forth to find an evil boss for his bald, jaundiced brethren. Flanked by Stuart and scaredy-cat Bob, Kevin leaves the Minions' ice cave retreat bound for 1968 New York City. Cue a President Richard Nixon billboard proclaiming "Finally: a name you can trust". Could the Minions have stumbled upon their arch-villain?

No. The plucky trio learns about a gathering of criminals in Orlando and hitches a ride to the convention with a bank-robbing family led by Walter Nelson (voiced by Michael Keaton) and wife Madge (Allison Janney).

Their daughter Tina (Katy Mixon) points the Minions in the direction of bouffant super-villain Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock). "If I was a minion, that's who I'd want to work for," she swoons. Thus the trio pledges allegiance to Scarlet and her inventor husband Herb (Jon Hamm), who are plotting to steal the Crown Jewels from Queen Elizabeth II (Jennifer Saunders).

While the soundtrack swings its flares to The Kinks and The Who, Kevin, Stuart and Bob careen around London armed with Herb's nifty gadgets: a robo-suit, lava lamp gun and hypno-hat.

Minions has a sprinkling of giggles and doesn't outstay its welcome but there's an unshakable feeling that Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda's film falls short. The groovy time period should be a velvet goldmine of visual gags but the best the film can muster is a nod to The Beatles and a faked moon landing.

The 3D version doesn't exploit the eye-popping format so parents with tykes in tow should save their money for the inevitable raid on the concessions stand. Animation is colourful and pristine, opting for shiny surfaces and sharp angles that reduce the need for meticulous detail and realism. Despicable? Meh.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 5th September 2015
Sunday 6th September 2015
Monday 7th September 2015
Tuesday 8th September 2015

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation 4 stars

movie title

The Impossible Missions Force (IMF) led by agent Ethan Hunt has taken down some of the most deadly criminal networks in the world using guile and state-of-the-art technology. Now the hunters become the hunted. A shadowy band of assassins known as the Syndicate targets IMF for extinction. Hunt reunites with colleagues William Brandt, Benji Dunn and computer hacker Luther Stickell to expose the Syndicate and bring down the organisation using every weapon and turbo-charged vehicle at their disposal.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Thriller
  • CastJeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin, Rebecca Ferguson.
  • DirectorChristopher McQuarrie.
  • WriterChristopher McQuarrie.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration131 mins
  • Official sitewww.missionimpossible.com
  • Release30/07/2015

Call it testosterone-fuelled recklessness, hubris or feeling the need... the need for speed, Tom Cruise certainly puts on a show in the fifth instalment of the Mission: Impossible franchise. He clings to the side of an airplane as it takes flight, slaloms at dizzying speed on a motorcycle and performs death-defying leaps as secret agent Ethan Hunt.

The 53-year-old star performs most of these hair-raising stunts himself, allowing writer-director Christopher McQuarrie to capture every pulse-quickening second in thrilling close-up with minimum digital trickery.

Cruise's commitment to his role puts fellow action stars to shame - unlike the films of Stallone and Schwarzenegger, the script is devoid of wry one-liners to poke fun at his advancing years.

McQuarrie, Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Usual Suspects, bookmarks slam-bang action sequences with intentionally ambiguous exchanges between rival operatives, who acknowledge the futility of their efforts as pawns in the spy game.

Their inevitable deaths will go unnoticed and fresh-faced young agents will step forward, continuing the brutal tug-of-war between political idealism and global terrorism. The film opens with the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) hijacking a shipment of nerve gas from Chechen separatists.

Soon after, CIA Director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) succeeds in shutting down IMF for a total disregard for protocol, which led to the destruction of the Kremlin in the previous film. The hunters become the hunted when a shadowy organisation known as the Syndicate, fronted by Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), targets IMF for extinction.

Hunt covertly reunites with colleagues William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and computer hacker Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) to bring down The Syndicate using every gadget, disguise and turbo-charged vehicle at their disposal.

The operation brings Hunt into close contact with undercover MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) and her slippery handler (Simon McBurney), a sadistic henchman known as the Bone Doctor (Jens Hulten) and the unsuspecting British Prime Minister (Tom Hollander). "This may very well be our last mission," Brandt tells Hunt. "Make it count."

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is slickly bolted together by McQuarrie and editor Eddie Hamilton (Kick-Ass, Kingsman: The Secret Service). Turbo-charged scenes of carnage are punctuated by IMF's existential crisis in a world that regards their methods as "outdated".

Cruise somersaults, punches and tumbles through every frame without breaking sweat, while Pegg, who was pigeon-holed as comic relief in the previous instalment, steps up in a pivotal supporting role.

Ferguson's ice maiden doesn't thaw sufficiently under Cruise's smouldering gaze to kindle on-screen chemistry but her femme fatale snaps several limbs and necks in impressive hand-to-hand combat sequences.

Humour is used sparingly to diffuse tension, leaving us hungry for another explosion of IMF antics to the pulsating rhythm of Lalo Schifrin's iconic theme. On this evidence, Mission: Impossible and its gung-ho leading man won't be self-destructing any time soon.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 5th September 2015
Sunday 6th September 2015
Monday 7th September 2015
Tuesday 8th September 2015
Wednesday 9th September 2015
Thursday 10th September 2015

No Escape 2 stars

Texan businessman Jack Dwyer uproots his wife Annie and daughters Lucy and Beeze to take up a job in Southeast Asia. The assassination of the country's president sparks an uprising and Jack witnesses firsthand the brutality of the mob. He sprints back to the hotel and rounds up Annie and the children just as locals begin beheading foreigners in the street and storming the reception. Staff stand by as international guests are slaughtered in their rooms.

  • GenreAction, Romance, Thriller
  • CastOwen Wilson, Lake Bell, Pierce Brosnan.
  • DirectorJohn Erick Dowdle.
  • WriterDrew Dowdle, John Erick Dowdle.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration103 mins
  • Official sitewww.facebook.com/NoEscapeUK
  • Release04/09/2015

East meets west and, as usual, America emerges as the culturally and morally superior force in John Erick Dowdle's taut thriller set in Southeast Asia. No Escape was shot on location in Thailand but director Dowdle and his younger brother Drew, who co-wrote the script, remain vague about the geography of this violent, protracted chase set during a bloodthirsty coup.

A climactic sequence set on a river, which supposedly meanders across the Vietnamese border, would logically infer Laos or Cambodia as the backdrop to the wanton carnage. Neither nation would want to be connected to the rampant xenophobia on display here so the Dowdles dodge specifics, including the political motivations of their stereotypical characters, and focus instead on propulsive action sequences.

The opening 30 minutes are particularly nerve-racking, cranking up the suspense as a beleaguered American family plays a deadly game of cat and mouse with a machete-wielding rabble in a besieged hotel.

All of that sweat-drenched tension evaporates when flimsy threads of realism are slashed in hysterical fashion to engineer a series of hilariously improbable events that defy logic and the laws of physics.

Texan businessman Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson) uproots his wife Annie (Lake Bell) and daughters Lucy (Sterling Jerins) and Beeze (Claire Geare) to take up a job in far-flung climes. The welcome from some locals is lukewarm, so while Annie and the girls settle into the hotel suite, Jack seeks solace in the bar and attempts to justify his company's presence to fellow traveller Hammond (Pierce Brosnan) and other patrons.

The assassination of the country's president sparks an uprising and Jack witnesses firsthand the brutality of the mob. He sprints back to the hotel and rounds up Annie and the children just as locals begin beheading foreigners in the street and storming the reception. Staff stand by as international guests are slaughtered in their rooms.

"All we got to do is put 10 steps between us and them," Jack tells his terrified family, shepherding them at speed through the mounting devastation, bound for the US embassy. The odds are stacked against the Dwyers and no one, it seems, can be trusted.

No Escape is punctuated by moments of jaw-dropping incredulity, including Brosnan's broad cock-er-nee accent. Wilson and Bell are an appealing on-screen couple and they wring droplets of sympathy for their stricken parents especially when little Beeze shows scant concern for everyone's safety by constantly complaining that she is hungry, wants her teddy or needs the toilet when silence would be golden.

Dowdle orchestrates the fast-paced set pieces with a modicum of flair, stampeding any half-hearted attempts at cultural sensitivity under the feet of his nameless revolutionaries, who intend to repel western capitalism with barbarism and brute force.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 5th September 2015
Sunday 6th September 2015
Monday 7th September 2015
Tuesday 8th September 2015
Wednesday 9th September 2015
Thursday 10th September 2015

Pixels 2 stars

Out of the blue, alien invaders attack Guam military base with energy that has been coded to swarm like the creatures in the arcade game Galaga. It transpires that a time capsule, sent into space by NASA after the 1982 arcade game world championships, has been intercepted by extra-terrestrials and misinterpreted as a declaration of war. In order to halt the alien advance, mankind must beat the aliens at life-or-death versions of classic games including Centipede and Pacman

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Comedy, Family, Family, Romance, Science Fiction
  • CastMichelle Monaghan, Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad.
  • DirectorChris Columbus.
  • WriterTimothy Dowling, Tim Herlihy.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration106 mins
  • Official sitewww.facebook.com/PixelsFilm
  • Release12/08/2015

Like many socially awkward children of my generation, I escaped reality by playing fiendishly addictive games on consoles and computers, including an Atari, Vic 20 and Commodore 64. Asteroids, Battlezone, Centipede, Pacman, Phoenix, Space Invaders and Track & Field were trusted friends.

Pixels is an action comedy, which harks back to this bygone era before smartphones and immersive 4D, when guiding a circular yellow head around a maze with four coloured ghosts in hot pursuit, was the height of hi-tech entertainment.

Based on a short film of the same title by Patrick Jean, Chris Columbus' big budget romp imagines life-size arcade games on the streets of bustling modern cities. Except here, losing a life could mean the end of planet Earth. Scriptwriters Tim Herlihy and Timothy Dowling fail to capitalise on this neat and tantalising premise, crafting an inane story of triumph against adversity that treats female characters as pretty baubles.

In 1982, prepubescent pals Sam Brenner (Anthony Ippolito) and Will Cooper (Jared Riley) attend the arcade game world championships where they befriend conspiracy theory-spouting oddball Ludlow Lamonsoff (Jacob Shinder).

Sam gets through to the final where he loses a showdown on Donkey Kong, against egotistical champion Eddie Plant (Andrew Bambridge). More than 30 years later, Sam (now played by Adam Sandler) installs software for a living, while Will (now played by Kevin James) has become the deeply unpopular President of the United States.

Alien invaders attack Guam military base with energy that has been coded to swarm like the creatures in the arcade game Galaga. It transpires that a time capsule of arcade game footage, sent into space by NASA in 1982, has been intercepted by extra-terrestrials and misinterpreted as a declaration of war.

In order to halt the alien advance, mankind must compete in life-or-death versions of Centipede and Pacman. Sam and Will reunite with Ludlow (now played by Josh Gad) and Eddie (now played by Peter Dinklage) to secure mankind's victory, armed with light cannons fashioned by military weapons specialist Lieutenant Colonel Violet van Patten (Michelle Monaghan). "Let the nerds take over!" she bellows defiantly. Please don't.

Pixels is a nostalgia-drenched bore, hung on the centerpiece recreations of classic games, which result in the destruction of swathes of London and Manhattan. Sandler sucks the dwindling energy out of every frame, unable to muster any enthusiasm for his two-dimensional role.

Monaghan is wasted as the simpering love interest while James goofs and gurns as a highly improbable American leader. Columbus, who directed the first two instalments of the Harry Potter films, fails miserably to conjure the same magic.

He gleefully fills the screen with familiar pixelated characters including Q*bert, Frogger and Mario. Regrettably, it's game over from the opening frames for genuine emotion and narrative sophistication.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 5th September 2015
Sunday 6th September 2015
Monday 7th September 2015
Tuesday 8th September 2015
Wednesday 9th September 2015

Pixels (Subtitled) 2 stars

Out of the blue, alien invaders attack Guam military base with energy that has been coded to swarm like the creatures in the arcade game Galaga. It transpires that a time capsule, sent into space by NASA after the 1982 arcade game world championships, has been intercepted by extra-terrestrials and misinterpreted as a declaration of war. In order to halt the alien advance, mankind must beat the aliens at life-or-death versions of classic games including Centipede and Pacman

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Comedy, Family, Family, Romance, Science Fiction
  • CastMichelle Monaghan, Kevin James, Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad.
  • DirectorChris Columbus.
  • WriterTimothy Dowling, Tim Herlihy.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration106 mins
  • Official sitewww.facebook.com/PixelsFilm
  • Release12/08/2015

Like many socially awkward children of my generation, I escaped reality by playing fiendishly addictive games on consoles and computers, including an Atari, Vic 20 and Commodore 64. Asteroids, Battlezone, Centipede, Pacman, Phoenix, Space Invaders and Track & Field were trusted friends.

Pixels is an action comedy, which harks back to this bygone era before smartphones and immersive 4D, when guiding a circular yellow head around a maze with four coloured ghosts in hot pursuit, was the height of hi-tech entertainment.

Based on a short film of the same title by Patrick Jean, Chris Columbus' big budget romp imagines life-size arcade games on the streets of bustling modern cities. Except here, losing a life could mean the end of planet Earth. Scriptwriters Tim Herlihy and Timothy Dowling fail to capitalise on this neat and tantalising premise, crafting an inane story of triumph against adversity that treats female characters as pretty baubles.

In 1982, prepubescent pals Sam Brenner (Anthony Ippolito) and Will Cooper (Jared Riley) attend the arcade game world championships where they befriend conspiracy theory-spouting oddball Ludlow Lamonsoff (Jacob Shinder).

Sam gets through to the final where he loses a showdown on Donkey Kong, against egotistical champion Eddie Plant (Andrew Bambridge). More than 30 years later, Sam (now played by Adam Sandler) installs software for a living, while Will (now played by Kevin James) has become the deeply unpopular President of the United States.

Alien invaders attack Guam military base with energy that has been coded to swarm like the creatures in the arcade game Galaga. It transpires that a time capsule of arcade game footage, sent into space by NASA in 1982, has been intercepted by extra-terrestrials and misinterpreted as a declaration of war.

In order to halt the alien advance, mankind must compete in life-or-death versions of Centipede and Pacman. Sam and Will reunite with Ludlow (now played by Josh Gad) and Eddie (now played by Peter Dinklage) to secure mankind's victory, armed with light cannons fashioned by military weapons specialist Lieutenant Colonel Violet van Patten (Michelle Monaghan). "Let the nerds take over!" she bellows defiantly. Please don't.

Pixels is a nostalgia-drenched bore, hung on the centerpiece recreations of classic games, which result in the destruction of swathes of London and Manhattan. Sandler sucks the dwindling energy out of every frame, unable to muster any enthusiasm for his two-dimensional role.

Monaghan is wasted as the simpering love interest while James goofs and gurns as a highly improbable American leader. Columbus, who directed the first two instalments of the Harry Potter films, fails miserably to conjure the same magic.

He gleefully fills the screen with familiar pixelated characters including Q*bert, Frogger and Mario. Regrettably, it's game over from the opening frames for genuine emotion and narrative sophistication.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 8th September 2015

Sinister 2 3 stars

movie title

Courtney Collins moves into a farmhouse with her nine-year-old twin sons, Dylan and Zach. They are unaware of the grim history of the house or the presence of the malevolent spirit. Late one night, Dylan sleepwalks and is marked by Pagan deity Bughuul, who intends to possess the boy's body and then kill the rest of the family, documenting the massacre on Super 8 video. When Courtney discovers the horror taking place under her roof, she vows to protect Zach from harm.

  • GenreHorror, Thriller
  • CastJames Ransone, Shannyn Sossamon, Robert Daniel Sloan, Dartanian Sloan.
  • DirectorCiaran Foy.
  • WriterC Robert Cargill, Scott Derrickson.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration97 mins
  • Official site
  • Release21/08/2015

A group of possessed children, a ritual sacrifice, a remote house with a dark cellar, a bogeyman who gets his kicks out of surprise appearances. Boo! This eclectic mix of cliche horror elements fails to blend in Sinister 2, a sequel to Scott Derrickson's 2012 supernatural yarn. The first film shockingly revealed that missing children were murdering their families.

The follow-up relies on jump scares to compensate for a storyline that lacks any new or unexpected insights. The central issue with Sinister 2 is that Bughuul, the demonic creature responsible for the bloodshed, has now lost his air of mystery and thus his punch. He was omnipresent in the tapes, photographs and shadows of the first film.

Once it becomes clear in the sequel that he is only instructing the children, Bughuul is downgraded to a useless token character, who lures but never attacks. It is his squad of possessed, pale-faced moppets who do the killing, the talking and, while they are at it, the feeble scaring.

Unfortunately, observing the deadly process unfold from the perspective of these tormented tykes does not ignite any fear - their manifestation is too polished, fading in and out of thin air too smoothly to cause alarm.

Sinister 2 revolves around ex-Deputy So & So (James Ransone), who discovers the latest house in a long sequence of family massacres orchestrated by Bughuul. Intent on ending the blood-letting, So & So is shocked to find runaway mother Courtney Collins (Shannyn Sossamon) and her twins Dylan and Zach (Robert Daniel Sloan and Dartanian Sloan) inhabiting the creaky farmhouse.

Courtney's violent husband Clint (Lea Coco) becomes embroiled in the madness, Dylan is subjected to increasingly disturbing nightly visitations and the ex-deputy chooses to stumble through any dark, haunted hallway in his vicinity, armed with a torchlight and an array of frightened expressions. Needless to say, characters hear suspicious noises in the dark and decide to check them out en masse.

Every time Sinister 2 is about to lose more momentum than its rocky storyline can afford, we see old footage of seemingly innocent home videos that suddenly take a deadly turn. These recordings are disturbing and the characters' demises are inventive, but they fail to supply an entire film with spine-tingling chills.

Director Ciaran Foy throws bloody rats, children with scythes and burning crucifixes into the mix in a vain attempt to inject a dose of fear. It's no use.

Sinister 2 relies too heavily on Bughuul's predictable jump scares, accompanied by an unsettling yet repetitive soundtrack. Audiences would need to be wearing earplugs and blindfolds not to guess what's coming.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 5th September 2015
Sunday 6th September 2015
Monday 7th September 2015
Tuesday 8th September 2015

Straight Outta Compton 4 stars

movie title

Good friends Dr Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella search for an outlet for their creativity. With gentle persuasion from his buddies, Eazy-E sets up his own label, Ruthless Records, and the group's first release Boyz-n-the-Hood piques the interest of Jerry Heller. He sweet talks Eazy-E into becoming the band's manager. An electrifying live performance leads to a deal with Priority Records but Ice Cube grows increasingly concerned about Eazy-E's close working relationship with Heller and the absence of contracts for the rest of the group.

  • GenreBiography, Drama, Musical
  • CastCorey Hawkins, O'Shea Jackson Jr, Paul Giamatti, Neil Brown Jr, Jason Mitchell, Aldis Hodge.
  • DirectorF Gary Gray.
  • WriterJonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration147 mins
  • Official sitewww.straightouttacomptonthemovie.co.uk
  • Release28/08/2015

Whenever Hollywood immortalises pages from history at 24 frames per second, it's wise to treat each lustrous dramatisation with a pinch of salt. Rigorous factual accuracy is often sacrificed at the altar of artistic licence. In the case of F. Gary Gray's engrossing film, you will need to grab bulging fistfuls of sodium chloride.

Not only are two of the key protagonists of this rags to musical riches biopic listed as executive producers, one of the men - rapper turned actor Ice Cube - is portrayed on screen by his own son. The faint whiff of nepotism is overpowered by heady fumes of whitewash from Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff's script, which neglects to address accusations of misogyny and homophobia levelled at California hip hop collective N.W.A.

Regardless of the rosy tint to director Gray's lens, Straight Outta Compton is a fascinating portrait of youthful exuberance, raw ambition and racial divide that rubs some of that salt into the deep wounds inflicted since the police shooting of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson.

The film opens in 1986 with pals Dr Dre (Corey Hawkins), Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell), Ice Cube (O'Shea Jackson Jr), MC Ren (Aldis Hodge) and DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr) searching for an outlet for their creativity.

Tensions are high between police and black youths - random stop and searches are an unwelcome part of neighbourhood life. "I'm the only gangster round here," snarls one officer. With gentle persuasion from his buddies, Eazy-E sets up his own label, Ruthless Records, and the group's first release Boyz-n-the-Hood piques the interest of Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti).

He sweet talks Eazy-E into becoming the band's manager. "What does N.W.A. stand for? No Whites Allowed?" asks Jerry naively. An electrifying live performance leads to a deal with Priority Records founded by Bryan Turner (Tate Ellington).

Ice Cube grows increasingly concerned about Eazy-E's close working relationship with Heller and the absence of contracts for the rest of the group. He eventually leaves and goes solo, sparking a bitter war of rhymes between the former band mates.

Ice Cube aligns himself with Suge Knight (R Marcus Taylor) and together they establish Death Row Records. Meanwhile, Dr Dre also turns his back on Eazy-E and N.W.A. and channels his energy into working as a producer for other acts including Snoop Dogg (Keith Stanfield) and Tupac Shakur (Marcc Rose).

Straight Outta Compton might run to a holler short of two-and-a-half hours but Gray's film has sufficient swagger to hold our attention. Hawkins, Mitchell and Jackson Jr deliver accomplished performances as the sometimes deluded pioneers of a hip hop revolution.

Musical performances pulse with energy including a stand-off with police at a concert that culminates in a riot. This might not be the whole uncomfortable truth, but what we are allowed to see hits the right notes.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 5th September 2015
Sunday 6th September 2015
Monday 7th September 2015
Tuesday 8th September 2015
Wednesday 9th September 2015
Thursday 10th September 2015

Strange Magic (Autism Friendly Screening) 2 stars

On the eve of her wedding, Princess Marianne discovers her fiance Roland in a clinch with another fairy and correctly surmises he only wants to marry her to ascend the throne. Roland is determined to rule so he ruthlessly exploits a gentle elf called Sunny, who is secretly in love with Marianne's sister Dawn. The jilted groom persuades Sunny to enter the Dark Forest in order to procure a love potion from the Sugar Plum Fairy, who is being held captive by the dastardly Bog King.

  • GenreAnimation/Cartoon, Family, Family, Fantasy, Inclusive, Musical
  • CastKristin Chenoweth, Elijah Kelley, Evan Rachel Wood, Sam Palladio, Alan Cumming.
  • DirectorGary Rydstrom.
  • WriterGary Rydstrom, Irene Mecchi, David Berenbaum.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration99 mins
  • Official sitewww.facebook.com/StrangeMagicMovie
  • Release21/08/2015 (selected cinemas)

If musicals be the food of love, then Hollywood has feasted many times at Shakespeare's table. The feuding Montagues and Capulets of Romeo And Juliet kicked up their heels as the Jets and Sharks of West Side Story, The Taming Of The Shrew smooched as Kiss Me, Kate and The Comedy Of Errors was note perfect as The Boys From Syracuse.

In Strange Magic, A Midsummer Night's Dream provides the loose inspiration for a computer-animated standoff between fairies, who can't help falling in love to Elvis Presley, and self-loathing bog creatures, who have been mistreated to Deep Purple.

Gary Rydstrom's heavy-handed romance might take its initial cue from Shakespeare's forest fantasy but it plunders Disney's 1991 version of Beauty And The Beast for the achingly predictable second act. Even preschoolers will roll their eyes when the king of the fairies pointedly remarks, "Never judge something, or someone, by how it, or he, or she looks."

Spookily, that's also true of Rydstrom's picture. The detailed, photorealistic backgrounds conjured by the animators cast a heady spell. Alas, the same cannot be said of a script - based on an idea by George Lucas - that refuses to delve beneath the shiny surface of the two-dimensional characters.

Princess Marianne (voiced by Evan Rachel Wood) lives in Fairy Kingdom with her flighty younger sister, Dawn (Meredith Anne Bull). The older fairy - and heir to the throne - is poised to marry hunky soldier Roland (Sam Palladio).

Her reverie is shattered when she discovers Roland in a clinch with another fairy and correctly surmises he only wants to marry her to ascend the throne. "He loves the crown and his hair. Not in that order," Marianne coldly informs her father (Alfred Molina).

Roland is determined to rule so he ruthlessly exploits a gentle elf called Sunny (Elijah Kelley), who is secretly in love with Dawn. The jilted groom persuades Sunny to enter the Dark Forest in order to procure a love potion from the Sugar Plum Fairy (Kristin Chenoweth), who is being held captive by the dastardly Bog King (Alan Cumming).

The elf gamely agrees in the misguided belief that the potion will allow him to win Dawn's heart. Roland has other ideas.

Strange Magic fails to deliver either part of its beguiling title. The film's otherworldly designs recall the 1982 Jim Henson fantasy The Dark Crystal and recent computer animation Epic, and someone forgot to sprinkle pixie dust over the clunky dialogue.

Cast belt out musical mash-ups from the past six decades a la Glee, including the title track by ELO, to verbalise trite emotions. There's no subtlety to the songbook: the heroine immunises herself against future heartbreak by warbling I'll Never Fall In Love Again. We know she will because even Shakespeare couldn't resist an occasional happy ending.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 6th September 2015

Suite Francaise 3 stars

movie title

In June 1940, Madame Angellier ignores the spectre of war to collect rent from cash-strapped tenants, aided by her daughter-in-law Lucile. The Germans arrive and commander Bruno von Falk is billeted with the Angelliers. Lucile shares the handsome officer's love for music and she wrestles with her attraction to him. Meanwhile, farmer Benoit Sabarie and his wife Madeleine suffer the presence of billeted German officer Kurt Bonnet, who makes clear his libidinous interest in the wife.

  • GenreDrama, Historical/Period, Romance, War
  • CastMargot Robbie, Ruth Wilson, Michelle Williams, Matthias Schoenaerts, Lambert Wilson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Sam Riley, Harriet Walter.
  • DirectorSaul Dibb.
  • WriterMatt Charman, Saul Dibb.
  • CountryUK/Fr/Can
  • Duration107 mins
  • Official site
  • Release13/03/2015

Heartbreaking truth is more compelling than fiction in Suite Francaise, Saul Dibb's faithful adaptation of the novella Dolce by Irene Nemirovsky. Penned by Nemirovsky, a French Jew, in the early 1940s, Dolce was supposed to be the second instalment of a five-book series documenting life under German occupation and the rise of the Communist resistance.

Shortly after completing the second tome, the author was arrested by the Nazis and sent to Auschwitz, where she died, leaving behind a journal filled with finished work, detailed notes for a third book and provisional titles for the concluding instalments.

More than 50 years later, Nemirovsky's daughter pored through her mother's diary and gave her blessing to the publication of books one and two, Tempete En Juin (Storm In June) and Dolce, as a single volume. Dibb's picture concludes with moving testimony to the author, providing an emotional kick that is sadly lacking from the rest of his handsomely crafted tale of forbidden love in a time of conflict.

Suite Francaise opens with grainy black and white news footage of the German advance in June 1940 then bleeds into full colour as the narrative moves to the bucolic town of Bussy, east of the capital.

Madame Angellier (Kristin Scott Thomas), whose son has enlisted, ignores the spectre of war to collect rent from cash-strapped tenants, aided by her daughter-in-law Lucile (Michelle Williams). On the road, they encounter refugees, who have fled Paris in the futile hope of outrunning Hitler's troops.

Soon after, the Germans arrive and commander Bruno von Falk (Matthias Schoenaerts) is billeted with the Angelliers. "There was a relief in his presence after months of silence," poetically remarks Lucile, who shares the handsome officer's love for music.

While the Viscount (Lambert Wilson) and Viscountess de Montmort (Harriet Walter) curry favour with the occupying force, farmer Benoit Sabarie (Sam Riley) and his wife Madeleine (Ruth Wilson) suffer the presence of billeted German officer Kurt Bonnet (Tom Schilling), who makes clear his libidinous interest in the wife.

Tempers flare at the Sabarie farmhouse while pulses quicken under Madame Angellier's roof as Lucile and Bruno surrender to desire. They keep the affair secret from the fearsome Madame - "She could scare away the plague!" quips Bruno - but they cannot keep their illicit liaisons hidden forever.

Suite Francaise is a well-crafted yet emotionally underpowered portrait of a community torn apart by prejudice and suspicion. Thomas delivers another steely turn as a woman of substance, who refuses to bend to the Germans' might, while on-screen chemistry between Williams and Schoenaerts remains at a gentle simmer.

At the beginning of the film, Dibb orchestrates one decent action sequence - German planes dive-bombing French refugees - then settles into a pedestrian pace, echoed in the languid voiceover narration.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 8th September 2015
Thursday 10th September 2015

The Transporter Refuelled 2 stars

Special Ops mercenary Frank Martin lives in the south of France, where he is paid handsomely to transport classified packages for his customers. Out of the blue, Frank's father visits him on the coast for some long overdue bonding. The mood of reconciliation sours when a femme fatale called Anna sinks her claws into Frank and compels him to take part in a daredevil bank heist with her three beautiful yet deadly sidekicks, Gina, Maria and Qiao. The robbery doesn't unfold as planned.

  • GenreAction, Thriller
  • CastLoan Chabanol, Ed Skrein, Ray Stevenson, Gabriella Wright.
  • DirectorCamille Delamarre.
  • WriterBill Collage, Adam Cooper, Luc Besson.
  • CountryFr/Chi
  • Duration96 mins
  • Official sitewww.thetransporterrefueled.com
  • Release04/09/2015

Clothes might not make the man but Derbyshire-born model-turned-actor Jason Statham has been happily wearing the designer togs of a brooding tough guy since he bossed our attention in Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels. The Transporter franchise, launched in 2002, confirmed him as a muscular if monosyllabic leading man and snagged recurring roles in The Expendables and Fast & Furious series.

Evidently, three increasingly preposterous films as Special Ops mercenary Frank Martin was enough for Statham, because his trademark scowl is nowhere to be seen in this fourth instalment, directed by Camille Delamarre. Instead, London-born Ed Skrein slips into the lead character's tailored suits on the sun-kissed Cote d'Azur.

In an unwelcome nod to his predecessor, Skrein brings no charisma or emotional depth to the testosterone-fuelled party. He flexes his muscles in high-tempo fight sequences and casually tosses out clunky one-liners cobbled together by scriptwriters Adam Cooper, Bill Collage and Luc Besson.

Unintentional sniggers abound, not least when a prostitute launches into her grim history of human trafficking with the words: "I come from an impoverished village..." Delamarre's picture runs empty on gas fumes from the kinetic opening frames.

Russian kingpin Karasov (Rasha Bukvic) and his goons Yuri (Yuri Kolokolnikov) and Imasov (Lenn Kudrjawizki) sweep into the French Riviera in 1995 and seize control of the local working girls. Fifteen years later, one member of the harem, Anna (Loan Chabanol), decides to wreak revenge by bringing down Karasov's empire.

She joins forces with fellow prostitutes Gina (Gabrielle Wright), Maria (Tatiana Pajkovic) and Qiao (Wenxia Yu) and hires Frank Martin (Skrein) as the getaway driver for her suicidal scheme.

Anna ensures Frank's co-operation by kidnapping his old man (Ray Stevenson), who has been poisoned with a toxin that will kill in 12 hours, unless she administers the antidote. The clock is ticking. Anna's plan - to rob the bank where Karasov has squirrelled away his ill-gotten gains - doesn't unfold entirely as planned.

"When I find out who they are, they are going to wish they were someone else," snarls Karasov to his business associate Maissa (Noemie Lenoir).

The Transporter Refuelled delivers souped-up action sequences including a spectacular car chase along the Monaco waterfront. Stunt coordinator Alain Figlarz looks to Jackie Chan for inspiration, choreographing bone-crunching fisticuffs that rely on background props as makeshift weapons.

Skrein looks suitably moody but lacks the imposing physical presence of his predecessor, while Stevenson has a ball in an underwritten supporting role. Female cast slink seductively in front of Delamarre's leering lens.

Their characters are sketched in laughably broad strokes and are treated as disposable sex objects throughout. The man behind the wheel of The Transporter might have changed, but everything else about this glossy reboot is depressingly familiar.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 5th September 2015
Sunday 6th September 2015
Monday 7th September 2015
Tuesday 8th September 2015
Wednesday 9th September 2015
Thursday 10th September 2015

The Visit 3 stars

A single mother packs off her two children, Rebecca and scaredy-cat younger brother Tyler, for a week with her estranged parents in the country. The children are initially charmed by Nana and Pop-Pop, who enjoy a simple life. Then late one night, Rebecca and Tyler hear strange sounds and they venture into the darkness to investigate.

  • GenreDocumentary, Horror, Thriller
  • CastKathryn Hahn, Ed Oxenbould, Peter McRobbie, Deanna Dunagan, Olivia DeJonge.
  • DirectorM Night Shyamalan.
  • WriterM Night Shyamalan.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration94 mins
  • Official sitewww.thevisitmovie.co.uk
  • Release11/09/2015

A single mother packs off her two children, Rebecca (Olivia DeJonge) and scaredy-cat younger brother Tyler (Ed Oxenbould), for a week with her estranged parents in the country. The children are initially charmed by Nana (Deanna Dunagan) and Pop-Pop (Peter McRobbie), who enjoy a simple life. Then late one night, Rebecca and Tyler hear strange sounds and they venture into the darkness to investigate.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 9th September 2015
Thursday 10th September 2015

Two By Two 2 stars

Dave and his inquisitive young son Finny belong to a fluffy land-based species called Nestrians, who are excellent homemakers. They are denied safe passage on Noah's ark and adopt laughable disguises to pose as carnivorous hyena-like Grymps alongside a genuine mother animal called Hazel and her daughter Leah. The roaring flood arrives but Finny and Leah are stranded on dry land with a giant slug called Obesey and his parasitic passenger, Stayput.

  • GenreAdventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy
  • CastAva Connolly, Tara Flynn, Paul Tylak, Patrick FitzSymons, Callum Maloney, Dermot Magennis.
  • DirectorSean McCormack, Toby Genkel.
  • WriterRichie Conroy, Marteinn Thorisson, Mark Hodkinson, Toby Genkel.
  • CountryGer/Bel/Lu
  • Duration87 mins
  • Official sitewww.facebook.com/pages/Ooops-Noah-is-gone/222749614584770
  • Release01/05/2015

The biblical story of Noah, neatly encapsulated in six chapters of the book of Genesis, provides a weak catalyst for this derivative computer-animated adventure, which strives to emulate the Ice Age films but falls woefully short of that franchise's visual sophistication and belly laughs. Co-directors Toby Genkel and Sean McCormack chart a pedestrian course through shallow dramatic waters, bringing together cuddly critters in a race against time to escape an apocalyptic downpour.

Vocal performances are lacklustre, like the visuals, and the absence of jeopardy in the closing frames is palpable. Crucially, Two By Two defies its own flimsy set-up without obvious reason, such as inviting a family of three giraffes into the ark, while only allowing one member of other species to apparently board the gargantuan gopher wood vessel.

Noah is mentioned but never seen - instead a sanctimonious, self-serving lion captains the ship aided by a pair of grouchy gorillas. Any wholesome messages about family unity, teamwork and tolerance buried in the ham-fisted script are submerged beneath a thick glaze of syrupy sentiment as the film reaches its underwhelming conclusion.

Dave (voiced by Dermot Magennis) and his inquisitive young son Finny (Callum Maloney) belong to a fluffy land-based species called Nestrians, who are excellent homemakers. "All the animals of the world have been called to a gathering," Dave explains to his incredulous boy. "There's a flood coming. We'll drown if we don't leave."

On cue, storm clouds gather and the heavens open, ushering the two Nestrians on their exhausting trek for survival. They arrive to discover that "all animals are welcome on Noah's ark... as long as you're on Noah's list."

Alas, Dave and Finny are rejected for travel as well as two bat-like predators called Griffins (Aileen Mythen, Magennis again). The resourceful Nestrians adopt laughable disguises to pose as carnivorous hyena-like Grymps alongside a genuine mother animal called Hazel (Lara Flynn) and her daughter Leah (Ava Connolly).

The roaring flood arrives but Finny and Leah are stranded on dry land with a giant slug called Obesey (Paul Tylak) and his parasitic passenger, Stayput (Patrick Fitzsymons). As the youngsters head for higher ground, Dave and Hazel desperately attempt to turn around the ark.

Fittingly, Two By Two is a damp squib. Elements of the vastly superior Finding Nemo are flung into the bland mix, offset by the feeble villainy of The Griffins, whose attempts to eat Finny and Leah are pathetic. The closest the film comes to a joke is one passenger announcement aboard the ark: "Our approximate sailing time is 40 days and 40 nights. We are expecting some choppy seas and light drizzle."

Thankfully Genkel and McCormack's film only lasts 87 minutes, but that still feels like a slog.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 5th September 2015
Sunday 6th September 2015