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Film & Cinema

A Cure for Wellness stars Dane DeHaan. Picture: Fox

The plot is cobbled together and there’s an excess of eels in this style-over-substance (but not particularly stylish) thriller

Oscar nominated Mahershala Ali and Alex Hibbert in Barry Jenkins's film Moonlight. Picture: David Bornfriend/Altitude

Barry Jenkins’ film shows life at its toughest and its most real, making it a worthy Oscar contender.

Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc in The Founder. Picture: StudioCanal/McFadden

His mesmerizing central performance enlivens John Lee Hancock’s tasty biopic of the businessman whose ambition was a key ingredient in the birth of a McDonald’s.

Keanu Reeves is still at the centre, enforcing the tone of deadpan absurdism, in John Wick 2 Picture: Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros.

The reunion of Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne almost two decades on from The Matrix is about the only surprise in bone-crunching follow-up.

London
Moonlight. Picture: David Bornfriend

Moonlight shows life at its toughest and its most real, making it a more than worthy Oscar contender

Hacksaw Ridge, the Mel Gibson directed movie based on the true story of soldier Desmond Doss

Hacksaw Ridge is a must see film that tells the extraordinary true story of a solider who volunteered for service in the American army after being horrified by the atrocities of Pearl Harbour.

Japan
Denzel Washington plays Troy Maxson and Viola Davis plays Rose Maxson in Fences. Picture: Paramount

He directs and stars in the interpretation of August Wilson’s play, made magnificent by both his and Viola Davis’ acting.

The dynamic duo, crime fighting in multi-coloured bricks in The Lego Batman Movie Picture: Warner Bros

Like most send-ups a lot of the humour is about the predictability of the genre, subverting its clichés and making you feel clever.

Young British actor Joe Alwyn in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Picture: Mary Cybulski/TriStar

Oscar-winning director Ang Lee wartime drama seen through the eyes of a teenage soldier who becomes a hero to his entire country.

America
Peter Simonischek in Maren Ade's Toni Erdmann. Picture: Sony Pictures Classics

Writer-director Maren Ade’s film is the red hot favourite to win the Best Foreign Language Oscar but is it evidence of a willfully out of touch elite?

Europe
21st Century Women. Picture: Entertainment One

20th Century Women is so truthful it’s as though you lived it yourself, but all this truth is delivered at a pretty slow pace

Lion starring Dev Patel. Picture: A Long Way Home Productions

Fact is often stranger than fiction and none more so than in this compelling story of a man who traces his way back to his birth mother in a remote Indian village using his memory and Google maps.

Denzel Washington plays Troy Maxson and Viola Davis plays Rose Maxson in Fences. Picture:David Lee/Paramount Pictures.

Denzel Washington’s interpretation of August Wilson’s play is made magnificent by his and Viola Davis’ acting

Ruth Negga as Mildred and Joel Edgerton as Richard in Jeff Nichols’ Loving. Picture: Universal

True life story of interracial couple Richard and Mildred’s courtroom battle of against bigotry and bureaucracy focuses on the little things in life and is as understated as its protagonists.

Hacksaw Ridge is out in cinemas on January 23.

Recommended film of the week: Hacksaw Ridge (15).

Andrew Garfield as Desmond T. Doss in Mel Gibson's Hawksaw Ridge. Picture: Lionsgate/Mark Rogers

Mel Gibson has done a very effective job on real-life tale of soldier without a gun Desmond Doss, but it is also his most sappy and corny film.

army
Ewen Bremner as 'Spud', Ewan McGregor as Renton, Jonny Lee Miller as Sick Boy and Robert Carlyle as Begbie in T2 Trainspotting. Picture: Sony/Jaap Buitendijk

Danny Boyle who induced that intoxicating rush of blood to the head with Trainspotting rounds up the gang again 20 years on.

Edinburgh
Rachel Weisz as Deborah Lipstadt in Denial, filmed in JW3 main hall. Picture: Laurie Sparham / Bleecker Street

Rachel Weisz stars in this true story as Deborah Lipstadt, who took to the stand to prove that the Holocaust happened

Timothy Spall as David Irving in Denial, Mick Jackson's drama based on a real-life courtroom battle. Picture: eOne/Laurie Sparham

The Oscar-winning actress stars in this true story as Deborah Lipstadt, involved in libel battle with British “historian” David Irving.

Creatures great and small pursue glittering dreams of musical stardom in Garth Jennings's colour-saturated comedy Sing. Picture: Universal

Creatures great and small pursue glittering dreams of musical stardom in Garth Jennings and Christophe Lourdelet’s colour-saturated comedy.

Matthew McConaughey plays koala Buster Moon in Sing. Picture: Universal

A bunch of animated gorillas, pigs, mice, sheep, giraffes, elephants, bears and porcupines regurgitate the last five decades of popular music

T2 Trainspotting, Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller. Picture: Jaap Buitendijk

Nobody had to do this, unless it was worth doing. It wasn’t, but it is well made and fitfully entertaining

Edinburgh
Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy in Pablo Larrain’s first English language feature Jackie. Picture: eOne

Pablo Larrain’s film about First Lady in the aftermath of JFK’s assassination is an exploration of the intensity and shock of grief.

America
Nicole Kidman and David Wenham as Sue and John Brierley, and Sunny Pawar as Young Saroo in Lion. Picture: Entertainment Film

One man’s extraordinary true-life odyssey - to locate the mother and brother he lost at the age of five - provides the inspiration for Garth Davis’ life-affirming drama.

India
James McAvoy as Kevin in M Night Shyamalan's thriller Split. Picture: Universal

Three’s company, 23’s an intimidating crowd in writer-director M Night Shyamalan’s thriller.

Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy in Jackie. Picture Entertainment One

This is Jackie before the O, and right after the FK; America’s premier first lady in mourning, at a loss, cast adrift, trying to hastily erect a myth around her late husband

America
The vampire clans are at war in Underworld: Blood Wars.

Recommended film of the week: Underworld: Blood Wars (15)

Split starring James McAvoy. Picture: Universal Pictures

A man with multiple personalities abducts three teenage girls and subjects them to a gruesome fate – they are going to be acted at beyond endurance

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in 'La La Land'.

Set in contemporary Los Angeles, but with timely touches of Golden Age Hollywood and clever cinematic flourishes, ‘La La Land’ is a loveable musical for the modern day.

Los Angeles
Ryan Gosling as Sebastian Wilder and Emma Stone as Mia Dolan in La la Land. Picture Lionsgate

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling steal the show with strong screen presence in a film too much fun for an Oscar.

Los Angeles
Casey Affleck as Lee Chandler in Manchester By The Sea. Picture: Studio Canal/Claire Folger

Two hours of ice cold with Casey Affleck is supposed to be raw and real but just feels staged and bogus.

Manchester
Ben Affleck as Joe Coughlin in Live By Night, which he also directed. Picture: Warner Bros.

Ben Affleck directs and stars in prohibition era crime drama where everybody wears greats suits from a novel by Dennis Lehane.

Florida
La La Land, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Picture: Dale Robinette

Stone and Gosling steal the show with strong screen presence in a film that’s too much fun to win an Oscar

Los Angeles
Young Scottish actor Lewis MacDougall stars in A Monster Calls. Picture: Focus Features

Adapted by Patrick Ness from his award-winning novel, its a tender coming of age story that will strike a chord with anyone who has lost a loved one.

James Franco and Bryan Cranston in 'Why Him?'

Within the first two minutes of ‘Why Him?’ James Franco (‘Spring Breakers’) is preparing to get his genitalia out in anticipation of ‘Netflix and chill’ time with his university student girlfriend, Stephanie.

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