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Now showing at BFI Southbank Belvedere Road,South Bank,London,London SE1 8XT 020 7928 3232

  • A Bigger Splash
  • Across The Water
  • Amy
  • Artemis 81-(TV)
  • Cabaret
  • Cartel Land
  • Chau, Beyond The Lines + A Girl in The River: The Price of Forgiveness
  • Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of The Shoah + Body Team 12 + Last Day of Freedom
  • Cube
  • Django Unchained
  • Ed Wood
  • Innocence Of Memories
  • Numero Deux
  • Nuts In May
  • Remember The Night
  • Slow Motion
  • Spring In A Small Town
  • Tangled
  • Taxi Tehran
  • The Great McGinty
  • The Lady Eve
  • The Palm Beach Story
  • The Power and The Glory
  • Tout Va Bien
  • Wreck-It Ralph

A Bigger Splash 3 stars

Crime drama.

  • GenreDrama
  • CastMatthias Schoenaerts, Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton.
  • DirectorLuca Guadagnino.
  • WriterDavid Kajganich, Alain Page.
  • CountryIta/Fr
  • Duration120 mins
  • Official site

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 11th February 2016

This film is also showing at:

Across The Water 3 stars

Drama.

  • GenreDrama, Film
  • CastLiam Neeson.
  • DirectorPaul Seed.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration45 mins
  • Official site

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 11th February 2016

Amy 3 stars

movie title

Asif Kapadia's controversial documentary about the life and times of singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse featuring contributions from her friends and family. The film details Winehouse's battle with drug and alcohol addiction as well as mental health issues, and charts events leading up to her death from alcohol poisoning at the age of just 27.

  • GenreBiography, Documentary, Musical
  • CastAmy Winehouse.
  • DirectorAsif Kapadia.
  • WriterAsif Kapadia.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration127 mins
  • Official site
  • Release03/07/2015

With her distinctive beehive hairdo, thick eyeliner and deep, soulful vocal delivery, Amy Winehouse became a defiantly outspoken icon for a generation. Born and raised in Southgate, north London, she drew inspiration from the music of Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan and Tony Bennett, and exorcised personal demons through her songwriting, encapsulating experiences of heartache, abandonment and despair in her emotionally raw lyrics.

"My destructive side has grown a mile wide/And I question myself again," she laments prophetically in the song What Is It About Men on her debut album, Frank. Scarred by the separation of her parents, Winehouse concealed an eating disorder from those closest to her and repeatedly sought personal oblivion in a heady cocktail of alcohol and drugs.

Her death in July 2011, at the same age as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain, sparked a period of national soul-searching. Asif Kapadia's deeply moving documentary charts the turbulent life of the songbird, including contributions from many of her friends and family, and some of the people who worked with her and were touched by her fragility and candour.

Unfolding largely in chronological order, Amy begins with home video footage of a good friend's 14th birthday and meticulously charts her rise to celebrity, incorporating performances, interviews, rare photographs and reminiscences of the people who knew her well.

"If I really thought I was famous, I'd top myself," Winehouse tells one journalist early in the film, her words casting a shadow over subsequent scenes of triumph as Frank leaves critics reaching for superlatives and she storms America with the follow-up Back To Black, earning five Grammy awards including Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year.

The film doesn't pull punches with its depiction of her battles with drug and alcohol addiction, posing difficult questions about the culpability of the media and some of her inner circle in her tragic downfall.

Through Kapadia's lens, her father Mitchell shoulders some of that blame, firstly by advising Winehouse not to go into rehab - "I felt that's Amy's responsibility to get herself well," he offers by way of an explanation - and then by gatecrashing her recuperation on St Lucia with a reality TV crew in tow to bolster his media profile.

Her husband Blake Fielder-Civil is depicted as a similarly destructive influence, including footage of them together in the flat when she first tries crack cocaine. "I tried to sabotage myself and she tried to sabotage herself. Maybe that was our natures," he confesses.

Relationships with Alex Clare and Reg Traviss, which book-ended her roller coaster marriage, warrant only brief mentions but Kapadia would need considerably longer than 127 minutes to delve into every personal tie.

As it is, his elegantly composed memento mori leaves us with a deep sense of sadness and anger as we watch the singer totter towards oblivion, seemingly with no one to shepherd her away from the edge.

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Tuesday 9th February 2016

Artemis 81-(TV) stars

Drama.

  • GenreDrama, Film, Science Fiction, Thriller
  • CastSting, Daniel Day Lewis.
  • DirectorAlastair Reid.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration185 mins
  • Official site

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Sunday 7th February 2016

Cabaret 4 stars

Multi-Oscar-winning musical set during the Weimar Republic about an aspiring film actress called Sally Bowles, who falls madly in love with a British writer. The soundtrack includes the songs "Tomorrow Belongs To Me", "If You Could See Her", "Maybe This Time" and "Tiller Girls", as well as the title track.

  • GenreClassic, Musical
  • CastLiza Minnelli, Michael York, Joel Grey, Helmut Griem.
  • DirectorBob Fosse.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration123 mins
  • Official site
  • Release21/06/2002 (London NFT only)

The BFI celebrates the 30th anniversary of Fosse's musical spectacular with a limited UK re-release. Cabaret is the movie version of the rousing Kander & Ebb musical, about an aspiring film actress called Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli), who falls madly in love with a British writer (Michael York). The soundtrack includes the songs "Tomorrow Belongs To Me", "If You Could See Her", "Maybe This Time" and "Tiller Girls", as well as the title track. Cabaret was deservedly nominated for 10 Academy Awards in 1973, and eventually went home with eight trophies including Best Actress In A Leading Role (Minnelli), Best Actor In A Supporting Role (Joel Grey), Best Director (Bob Fosse), Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Art/Set Decoration, Best Original Song and Best Sound. A classic.

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Thursday 11th February 2016

Cartel Land 3 stars

movie title

In the Mexican state of Michoacan, the Knights Templar drug cartel holds sway. On the Mexican side of the border, small-town physician Dr Jose Mireles leads an uprising of concerned citizens called the Autodefensas. Meanwhile, a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon led by veteran Tim "Nailer" Foley patrols the 52-mile desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley. This documentary follows these two vigilante groups as they dare to oppose the cartel.

  • GenreAction, Documentary, Drama, War
  • DirectorMatthew Heineman.
  • WriterMatthew Heineman.
  • CountryMex/US
  • Duration100 mins
  • Official site
  • Release04/09/2015 (selected cinemas)

Kathryn Bigelow, Oscar-winning director of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, is an executive producer of this feted documentary by Matthew Heineman, which journeys into the heart of darkness in the Mexican state of Michoacan, where the Knights Templar drug cartel holds sway. The dealers control the region with violence and intimidation, running narcotics across the border into America. However, the Knights Templar face unlikely threats to expansion. On the Mexican side of the border, small-town physician Dr Jose Mireles leads an uprising of concerned citizens called the Autodefensas, who wants to drive the cartel out of their neighbourhood. Meanwhile, a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon led by veteran Tim "Nailer" Foley patrols the 52-mile desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley in order to stop the Knights Templar from conveying drugs onto American soil. Heineman's film is granted unprecedented access to these two vigilante groups as they dare to oppose the cartel.

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Tuesday 9th February 2016

Chau, Beyond The Lines + A Girl in The River: The Price of Forgiveness 3 stars

Short documentaries.

  • GenreDocumentary, Shorts
  • DirectorCourtney Marsh, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.
  • CountryUS/Pak
  • Duration73 mins
  • Official site

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Sunday 7th February 2016

Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of The Shoah + Body Team 12 + Last Day of Freedom 3 stars

Short documentaries.

  • GenreDocumentary, Shorts
  • DirectorDee Hibbert-Jones, Nomi Talisman, David Darg, Adam Benzine.
  • CountryCan/US/Lib
  • Duration85 mins
  • Official site

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Sunday 7th February 2016

Cube 3 stars

Seven people wake to find themselves imprisoned in a booby-trapped maze of rooms, with no obvious way out.

  • GenreHorror
  • CastNicole de Boer, Nicky Guadagni, David Hewlett, Andrew Miller, Wayne Robson.
  • DirectorVincenzo Natali.
  • CountryCan
  • Duration92 mins
  • Official site
  • Release25/09/1998 (selected cinemas)

Seven people wake to find themselves trapped in a series of coloured chambers (some of which are booby-trapped) inside a giant cube. None of them remember how they got there, nor does anyone have the faintest idea of how to escape or what they have done to deserve such a cruel fate... Director Vincenzo Natali, who made the film on a miniscule budget, has clearly invested a lot of time and effort in the look of his film, creating a nightmare world of cubes within cubes and fiendish traps designed to slice and dice the unwary (like the poor soul in the opening credits who is literally cubed by a giant cheese grater-type device). Unfortunately, the same care and attention hasn't been taken with the script which makes no effort to flesh out the main characters (and as for some of the dialogue...). Nor does it explain the existence of the cube (top secret government experiment, psychopath's playpen, who knows?) content to leave that to the viewer's imagination. Mulder and Scully should get on the case straight away.

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Saturday 6th February 2016

Django Unchained 4 stars

movie title

German bounty hunter Dr King Schultz releases a slave called Django from his shackles. Django is valuable because he the only man who can identify the murderous Brittle brothers. Having been granted his freedom, Django agrees to help Schultz kill the siblings. The slave subsequently learns that his beloved wife Broomhilda has fallen into the clutches of a slippery plantation owner, Calvin Candie, and Schultz pledges his allegiance for a daredevil rescue mission.

  • GenreAction, Drama, Historical/Period, Romance, Western
  • CastLeonardo DiCaprio, Don Johnson, Jonah Hill, James Russo, Robert Carradine, Bruce Dern, Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Samuel L Jackson, Amber Tamblyn, Zoe Bell, Christoph Waltz.
  • DirectorQuentin Tarantino.
  • WriterQuentin Tarantino.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration165 mins
  • Official sitewww.unchainedmovie.com
  • Release18/01/2013

Revenge is a dish best served cold and Quentin Tarantino turns the temperature gauge to subzero in this blood-soaked western inspired by Sergio Corbucci's 1966 thriller Django starring Franco Nero. Set in 1858, Django Unchained energises a simple tale of redemption with the writer-director's characteristic flair behind the lens and on the page.

A superfluous interlude with poorly prepared Ku Klux Klan members, who can barely see out of hoods made by one of their wives, is hysterical. "If all I had to do was cut a hole in a bag, I coulda cut it better than this!" sneers one of the posse. Tarantino guns down political correctness at every turn, not least with the creation of a black slave, played with fire and brimstone-spouting fury by Samuel L Jackson, who is even more racist than his white masters.

It's little wonder that fellow film-maker Spike Lee, who has taken Tarantino to task for his love of the n-word in the past, has courted controversy by publicly stating his intention to boycott Django Unchained because it is disrespectful to his ancestors. How Lee intends to accurately judge a piece of art without actually viewing remains a mystery.

The bullets start flying "somewhere in Texas" when two slave merchants, the Speck brothers, meet a German dentist called Dr King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) on the road one night. It turns out that the flamboyant European is also a bounty hunter and Schultz kills the Specks in order to release slave Django (Jamie Foxx) from his shackles.

Django is valuable because he the only man who can identify the murderous Brittle brothers. Having been granted his freedom, Django agrees to help Schultz kill the siblings. "Kill white folks and get paid for it, what's not to like?" he quips. Django subsequently learns that his beloved wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) has fallen into the clutches of a slippery plantation owner, Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), and Schultz pledges his allegiance on a suicidal rescue mission.

Django Unchained boasts some bravura sequences including slow-motion gun fights and snappy flashbacks. However, you can have too much of a good thing. Tarantino's vision runs to a buttock-numbing 165 minutes and hollers - unheard - for a judicious editor to prune the extraneous guff.

He could happily lose swathes of the final act, including scenes when the director plies a laughable accent as a bumbling Australian slave driver. Foxx is tightly wound as a vengeful husband, playing the straight man to larger-than-life performances from Waltz, DiCaprio and Jackson.

The love story with Washington has some surprisingly tender moments but whenever it seems Tarantino might be going soft, his characters unleash a blitzkrieg of expletives and cock their pistols. The body count, like the running time, is unapologetically excessive.

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    Tuesday 9th February 2016

    Ed Wood 4 stars

    Drama.

    • GenreAdaptation, Biography, Drama, Horror
    • CastJohnny Depp, Martin Landau, Patricia Arquette, Sarah Jessica Parker.
    • DirectorTim Burton.
    • WriterScott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski.
    • CountryUS
    • Duration124 mins
    • Official site

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    Monday 8th February 2016

    Innocence Of Memories 3 stars

    In 2008, Turkish Nobel Prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk published the tragic love story The Museum Of Innocence, which chronicles the passionate affair of wealthy man Kemal and pretty shop assistant Fusus. Four years later, he opened a real museum with the same name, filled with artefacts that trace the same fictional love affair. This documentary travels to Istanbul to meet Pamuk and tour the museum, exploring the life of the author and the history of the bustling city.

    • GenreDocumentary, Indie
    • CastPandora Colin, Mehmet Ergen.
    • DirectorGrant Gee.
    • WriterOrhan Pamuk, Grant Gee.
    • CountryUK
    • Duration97 mins
    • Official site
    • Release29/01/2016 (selected cinemas)

    In 2008, Turkish Nobel Prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk published the tragic love story The Museum Of Innocence, which chronicles the passionate affair of wealthy man Kemal and pretty shop assistant Fusus. Four years later, he opened a real museum with the same name, filled with artefacts that trace the same fictional love affair. Documentary filmmaker Grant Gee travels to Istanbul to meet Pamuk and tour the museum, exploring the life of the author and the history of the bustling city from a new perspective.

    Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

    Saturday 6th February 2016
    Sunday 7th February 2016
    Monday 8th February 2016
    Tuesday 9th February 2016
    Wednesday 10th February 2016
    Thursday 11th February 2016

    This film is also showing at:

    Numero Deux 3 stars

    Drama.

    • GenreDrama, Film
    • DirectorJean-Luc Goddard.
    • CountryFr
    • Duration88 mins
    • Official site

    Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

    Sunday 7th February 2016
    Wednesday 10th February 2016

    Nuts In May stars

    Drama.

    • GenreDrama, Film
    • CastAlison Steadman, Roger Sloman, Anthony O'Donnell.
    • DirectorMike Leigh.
    • CountryUK
    • Duration210 mins
    • Official site

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    Monday 8th February 2016

    Remember The Night 3 stars

    An unlikely romance forms between a District Attorney and a shop lifter, when he takes her home to meet his family on Christmas, after taking pity on her.

    • GenreComedy, Drama, Romance
    • CastBarbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi.
    • DirectorMitchell Leisen.
    • CountryUS
    • Duration94 mins
    • Official site

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    Sunday 7th February 2016
    Wednesday 10th February 2016

    Slow Motion 3 stars

    Drama.

    • GenreDrama
    • CastIsabelle Huppert.
    • DirectorJean-Luc Godard.
    • CountrySwitz/Fr
    • Duration87 mins
    • Official site

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    Thursday 11th February 2016

    Spring In A Small Town 4 stars

    During the Chinese depression of 1946, Liyan and his loyal wife Yuwen retire to what remains of their decimated community. He is confined to the house and she dutifully tends to his every need, as well as looking after his energetic young sister Xiu. Springtime arrives early in the village when Liyan's childhood pal Zhang Zhichen comes for a visit. Now a doctor, Zhichen helps Liyan to rediscover his spark and brings happiness back into Yuwen's menial existence.

    • GenreClassic, Drama, World
    • CastWei Wei, Cui Chaoming, Li Wei, Shi Yu.
    • DirectorFu Mei.
    • WriterLi Tianji.
    • CountryChi
    • Duration98 mins
    • Official site
    • Release20/06/2014 (selected cinemas)

    A welcome release of Fei Mu's celebrated 1948 drama. During the Chinese depression of 1946, Liyan (Shi Yu) and his loyal wife Yuwen (Wei Wei) retire to what remains of their decimated community. He is confined to the house and she dutifully tends to his every need, as well as looking after his energetic young sister Xiu (Zhang Hongmei). Springtime arrives early in the village when Liyan's childhood pal Zhang Zhichen (Li Wei) comes for a visit. Now a doctor, Zhichen helps Liyan to rediscover his spark and brings happiness back into Yuwen's menial existence.

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    Monday 8th February 2016

    Tangled 4 stars

    movie title

    Once upon a time... princess Rapunzel is abducted from the castle by the scheming Mother Gothel, who covets the girl's magical hair. The golden locks shimmer with the secret of eternal youth but must never be cut, else the hair will lose its power and turn brown. Gothel confines the girl to a tower and convinces the child that she must never leave the high-rise fortress, for fear that she will fall victim to the evils of man.

    • GenreAdventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance
    • CastMandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Ron Perlman.
    • DirectorByron Howard, Nathan Greno.
    • WriterDan Fogelman.
    • CountryUS
    • Duration100 mins
    • Official sitewww.disney.co.uk/tangled/
    • Release28/01/2011

    Blondes certainly have more fun in Disney's glorious animated reworking of the Rapunzel fairytale that marries a hilarious script with dazzling and colourful visuals. The traditional recipe of rousing love ballads and a boo-hiss villain is stirred to perfection by directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, who draw heavily from The Little Mermaid as their plucky heroine abandons her tower and explores a world that was previously out of reach.

    Crucially, screenwriter Dan Fogelman manages to appeal to both children and adults, peppering his fantasy world with cuddly critters and underscoring the tomfoolery with a romance that tugs the heartstrings without ever becoming cloying. The 3D format isn't too obtrusive, employed most effectively in a wonderful sequence involving hundreds of fire lanterns, the camera swirling through the sky as the flickering flames dance before our eyes.

    Once upon a time... princess Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore) is abducted from the castle by the scheming Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy), who covets the girl's magical hair. The golden locks shimmer with the secret of eternal youth but must never be cut - or else the hair will lose its power and turn brown.

    Gothel confines the girl to a tower and convinces the child that she must never leave the high-rise fortress for fear that she will fall victim to the evils of man. "Skip the drama, stay with mama!" she trills in the song Mother Knows Best. As years pass, Rapunzel longs to explore the world below but must be content with a cheeky chameleon called Pascal as her solitary friend. Then as Rapunzel celebrates her 18th birthday, swaggering outlaw Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) happens upon the tower in the secluded clearing and climbs into Rapunzel's bedroom.

    At first, the young woman is wary of the intruder but he eventually convinces the fair maiden to disobey Gothel and travel to the castle to witness the annual display of fire lanterns. "A little rebellion - it's all part of growing up, he grins. Once Gothel discovers her prize asset has escaped her clutches, she gives chase, aided by a pair of dim-witted thugs. Meanwhile, a tenacious sniffer horse from the palace called Maximus is on Flynn's trail, determined to bring the thief to justice.

    Tangled is a delight, carrying us along on Rapunzel and Flynn's haphazard adventure, which includes a rousing song and dance number, I've Got A Dream, in The Snuggly Duckling tavern with the drunken and tattooed regulars. Vocal performances are almost as lively as the animation and Pascal and Maximus shamelessly scene-steal from the human characters, to whoops and giggles from younger viewers.

    Obvious holes in the film's logic - how does Rapunzel wash and condition that much hair so it is lustrous and knot-free? - are nimbly side-stepped. Alan Menken and Glenn Slater's soundtrack hits all the right notes, ensuring that we leave the cinema with a smile and a joyful tear in the eye.

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    Sunday 7th February 2016

    Taxi Tehran 3 stars

    Celebrated Iranian director Jafar Panahi defies a 20-year ban on making films to craft this portrait of his capital city by getting behind the wheel of a taxi and posing as a driver. Nameless men, women and children hail his vehicle and Panahi engages the passengers in animated conversation, teasing out their views on modern Iranian society, politics, culture and the world at large.

    • GenreDrama, World
    • CastJafar Panahi.
    • DirectorJafar Panahi.
    • WriterJafar Panahi.
    • CountryIran
    • Duration82 mins
    • Official sitewww.kinolorber.com/film.php?id=2101
    • Release30/10/2015 (selected cinemas)

    Celebrated Iranian director Jafar Panahi has clashed repeatedly with his government over the content and tone of his films, and in March 2010, he was arrested and sentenced to a six-year jail sentence. Crucially, he was also banned from writing or making any films. Panahi has defied this dictate and Taxi Tehran is his latest offering, a portrait of the Iranian capital melding documentary and drama in which the filmmaker gets behind the wheel of a taxi and drives around the city. Nameless men, women and children hail his vehicle and Panahi engages the passengers in animated conversation, teasing out their views on modern Iranian society, politics, culture and the world at large.

    Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

    Saturday 6th February 2016
    Sunday 7th February 2016

    The Great McGinty 3 stars

    Comedy.

    • GenreComedy, Film
    • DirectorPreston Sturges.
    • CountryUS
    • Official site

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    Tuesday 9th February 2016

    The Lady Eve 4 stars

    Comedy.

    • GenreClassic, Comedy, Drama
    • CastHenry Fonda, Barbara Stanwyck.
    • DirectorPreston Sturges.
    • CountryUS
    • Duration94 mins
    • Official site

    Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

    Saturday 6th February 2016
    Sunday 7th February 2016
    Monday 8th February 2016
    Tuesday 9th February 2016
    Wednesday 10th February 2016

    The Palm Beach Story 3 stars

    Comedy.

    • GenreComedy
    • CastClaudette Colbert Rudy Vallee.
    • DirectorPreston Sturges.
    • CountryUS
    • Duration88 mins
    • Official site

    Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

    Saturday 6th February 2016
    Sunday 7th February 2016
    Tuesday 9th February 2016
    Wednesday 10th February 2016
    Thursday 11th February 2016

    The Power and The Glory 3 stars

    Drama.

    • GenreDrama
    • CastColleen Moore, Spencer Tracy, Ralph Morgan.
    • DirectorWilliam K. Howard.
    • WriterPreston Sturges.
    • CountryUS
    • Duration76 mins
    • Official site

    Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

    Saturday 6th February 2016

    Tout Va Bien 3 stars

    Drama.

    • GenreDrama
    • CastYves Montand, Jane Fonda.
    • DirectorJean-Luc Godard/Jean-Pierre Gori.
    • CountryFr
    • Official site

    Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

    Saturday 6th February 2016
    Sunday 7th February 2016

    Wreck-It Ralph 4 stars

    movie title

    Wreck-It Ralph is the bad guy in a game called Fix-It Felix Jr, which has stood the test of time in an arcade. However, after years of destruction, Ralph yearns to be the hero for once. So with a heavy heart, Ralph breaks protocol to seek adventure in a the Sugar Rush racing game. In this candy-coloured kingdom, Ralph befriends diminutive misfit Vanellope von Schweetz and helps the sassy tyke to beat her rivals to the chequered flag.

    • GenreAction, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family, Romance, Science Fiction
    • CastJack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Sarah Silverman, John C Reilly, Alan Tudyk.
    • DirectorRich Moore.
    • WriterPhil Johnston, Jennifer Lee.
    • CountryUS
    • Duration108 mins
    • Official sitewww.disney.co.uk/wreck-it-ralph
    • Release08/02/2013

    Video games based on films allow audiences to put themselves in the thick of the action from their favourite Hollywood blockbusters and animated features. It's a marriage made in merchandising heaven. So it's somewhat surprising that films based on video games malfunction so badly. Cinematic versions of Street Fighter and Super Mario Bros were disastrous and only the long-running Resident Evil series seems to have sustained appeal with fan boys and girls.

    Rich Moore's feel-great computer animation is a glorious exception to the rule, using a fictitious coin-operated arcade game as a backdrop to one pixellated character's uplifting journey of self-discovery.

    Blessed with a smart script and energetic vocal performances, Wreck-It Ralph is 108 minutes of pure, unadulterated joy. Candy-coloured visuals burst with colour and detail, and the 3D version makes excellent use of the eye-popping format in stomach-churning action sequences that careen up and down undulating race tracks at dizzying speed.

    Wreck-It Ralph (voiced John C Reilly) is the bad guy in a game called Fix-It Felix Jr, which has stood the test of time in an arcade. However, after years of destruction, Ralph yearns to be the hero for once. Felix (Jack McBrayer) and the other residents of Ralph's computerised world are unsympathetic and shun him.

    So with a heavy heart, Ralph breaks protocol to seek adventure in a futuristic first-person shooting game called Hero's Duty, serving under the command of ballsy space trooper Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch). But Ralph escapes the game and unwittingly transports an alien Cy-Bug from Hero's Duty into the neighbouring Sugar Rush racing game.

    While the creature lays eggs and prepares to overrun the realm of King Candy (Alan Tudyk) and his subjects, Ralph befriends diminutive misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), who is ostracised by the other racers because she has a glitch in her coding which causes her to flicker.

    Ralph makes a shocking discovery about Vanellope's past and he realises that to cure her, he must help the sassy tyke beat her rivals to the chequered flag in her modified go-kart.

    Wreck-It Ralph is a smashing treat. Phil Johnston and Jennifer Lee's script balances uproarious laughter with tears without shamelessly manipulating our emotions. Kids will squeal with glee at the turbo-charged action sequences; grown men, meanwhile, will shed silent tears into their popcorn.

    Before the main feature, we're treated to John Kahrs's stunning black-and-white short, Paperman, which has been deservedly nominated for an Oscar later this month. Blending hand-drawn and computer animation, this perfectly formed gem chronicles a Brief Encounter-style love affair in 1940s New York using a paper aeroplane as the simple yet ingenious dramatic device to bring two passing strangers together.

    In seven unforgettable minutes, Kahrs takes us on a rollercoaster of emotion that leaves us unabashedly grinning from ear to ear.

    Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

    Sunday 7th February 2016