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Film & Cinema

Bryan Cranston in Trumbo. Picture: Bleecker Street

Bryan Cranston is in enjoyable form in this easy critique of a shameful period in Hollywood history, says Michael Joyce.

Robert De Niro and Zac Efron in Dirty Grandpa

Whether or not you’ll genuinely enjoy Dirty Grandpa depends greatly on your tolerance of penis jokes, offensive humour and cringeworthy scenes.

The 33. Picture: Warner Bros. Pictures

This retelling of the 2010 Chilean mining disaster can only engage in very basic disaster movie terms, laments Michael Joyce.

Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel in Youth. Picture: Gianni Fiorito

Michael Caine is majestic in this somewhat half-formed ponderance on old age, writes Michael Joyce.

Rachel McAdams in Spotlight. Picture: Seacia Pavao

The best performances are the subtlest in this true newspaper story about exposing Catholic Church corruption, says Michael Joyce.

The Assassin. Picture: Studio Canal

Michael Joyce enjoys this perplexing but well-scaled martial arts film.

Our Brand Is Crisis. Picture: Warner Bros. Pictures

This look at the evils of political PR ends up replicating its subject, rather than exposing it, writes Michael Joyce.

Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling in The Big Short. Picture: Jaap Buitendijk/Parmount Pictures

Adam McKay’s examination of the US housing market crash is smart, entertaining and doesn’t pull its punches, says Michael Joyce.

Room. Picture: George Kraychyk

Michael Joyce falls for the measured approach of this low key portrait of suburban mid west horror.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass in The Revanant

Realistically brutal, relentless and beautifully filmed The Revenant is everything you would expect from a potential Oscar winner.

America
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His resolve previously weakened in awarding Birdman four stars but our reviewer isn’t letting director Gonzalez Inarritu off the hook this time.

The Hateful Eight. Picture: The Weinstein Company

Quentin Tarantino’s latest is packed full of entertainment and tension – the only problem is that we’ve seen it all before, writes Michael Joyce.

Partisan. Picture: Courtesy of BFI Film Festival 2015

This tale of a cult leader draws from many real life equivalents, but loses steam in the process, writes Michael Joyce.

A War, review: ‘Moving and subtle’

Sunday, January 10, 2016
A War. Picture: Nordisk Film Distribution

This unusual perspective on the war in Afghanistan is handled with care by director Tobias Lindholm, says Michael Joyce.

Creed. Picture: Warner Bros. Pictures

Sylvester Stallone is happy to play second fiddle in this well-considered reboot of the Rocky series.

Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl

Eddie Redmayne’s turn as Lili Elbe, who underwent the first ever gender re-alignment surgery, is too polite to generate intensity, says Michael Joyce.

Will Ferrell and Linda Cardellini in Daddy's Home. Picture: Paramount Pictures/Patti Peret

There are plenty of laughs in this family comedy send-up, but its basic humour ultimately lacks substance, says Michael Joyce.

In the Heart of the Sea. Picture: Warner Bros. Pictures

This true story of the whaling disaster that inspired Moby Dick is too clearly a star vehicle for Chris Hemsworth, says Michael Joyce.

Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Picture: Lucasfilm 2015

J. J. Abrams’ reboot of the iconic series will sate the fans’ desires, but ultimately plays it safe, says Michael Joyce.

The Forbidden Room. Picture: Kino Lorber, Inc.

Guy Maddin’s rambling, dream-like phantasmagoria is guelling and precious, but there is some satisfaction to be had here, writes Michael Joyce.

A still from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Pictured: Rey (Daisy Ridley). Picture: PA Photo/ucasfilm Ltd.

It’s four stars out of five for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Hector

This straight talking story about a life on the margins is full of depth, but might not changes hearts and minds, says Michael Joyce.

The Peanuts Movie. Picture: 20th Century Fox

It may use CGI, but by maintaining the air of its ‘50s bubble, the Peanuts movie is a faithful resizing of the TV show, says Michael Joyce.

The Honourable Rebel. Picture: THR The Film Limited

This biopic of Elizabeth Montagu unwittingly captures the self-absorbed delusions of aritocracy, says Michael Joyce.

Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie in The Night Before. Picture: Sarah Shatz/Columbia Pictures

This is a Christmas comedy that delivers lots of ho ho ho, but precious little in the way of good cheer, writes Michael Joyce.

Sunset Song. Picture: Iris Productions

He’s often seen as an unfairly neglected director, but in Sunset Song, director Terence Davies shows his work could still do with some polish, says Michael Joyce.

Victor Frankenstein (12A)

Friday, December 4, 2015
Victor Frankenstein (12A)

In her 1818 novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley paints a vivid portrait of a wretched monster, whose “unearthly ugliness rendered it almost too horrible for human eyes”.

Johnny Depp in Black Mass. Picture: Warner Bros. Pictures

Johnny Depp looks revitalised in this rather glamorised vision of a Goodfellas-esque Mafia story, says Michael Joyce.

Bridge of Spies now showing at The Light

Classy, gripping and potentially Oscar winning Bridge of Spies (now showing at the Light Cinema in Wisbech) is not only an entertaining watch, it is also a history lesson.

UN Court
Cate Blanchett in Carol. Picture: Wilson Webb/Studio Canal

This adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s autobiographical novel has all the signs of Academy-baiting, but Carol’s small moments, acting and score make for a perfect fit, says Michael Joyce.

Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance and Billy Magnusson in Bridge of Spie. Picture: Jaap Buitendijk/DreamWorks

Another safe offering from Stephen Spielberg is saved by the performances of its two leading stars, says Michael Joyce.

Bridge of Spies (12A)

Thursday, November 26, 2015
Film pix 26/11/15

Director Steven Spielberg reunites with actor Tom Hanks for an incredible true story of courage and daring that proves one man can make a difference.

Germany
The Lady in the Van - Dame Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings

What would you do if a tattered old van complete with tramp-like woman pulled up in front of your home?

Aomi Muyock and Karl Glusman in Gaspar Noe's Love. Picture: Alchemy

This explicit 3D sex film shows all the signs of a very bad movie, but gets better as it goes on, says Michael Joyce.

Spectre - Daniel Craig

Explosive from start to finish the new James Bond offering - Spectre (now showing at The Light in Wisbech) - certainly leaves you shaken and also stirred.

Rome

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