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Now showing at Odeon Basingstoke Leisure Park, Churchill Way West,West Ham,Basingstoke,Hampshire RG21 6YR 0871 224 4007

  • Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip
  • Capture The Flag
  • Concussion
  • Dad's Army
  • Deadpool
  • Deadpool (Subtitled)
  • Dirty Grandpa
  • Goosebumps
  • Hotel Transylvania 2
  • How To Be Single
  • Pan
  • Pride And Prejudice And Zombies
  • Spotlight
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  • Ted 16: Dream Opening Night
  • The Good Dinosaur
  • The Revenant
  • Zoolander No 2

Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip 3 stars

Dave has been dating Samantha for several months. Alvin, Simon and Theodore would be delighted except Samantha's teenage son Miles bullies them mercilessly. The chipmunks discover an engagement ring in Dave's bag and realise that their pal is poised to go down on bended knee. This would be a disaster because the trio would have to suffer Miles for the rest of their lives, so they hatch a cunning plan to sabotage the relationship before Dave can produce the ring.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastJosh Green, Jason Lee, Matthew Gray Gubler, Justin Long, Jesse McCartney, Kimberly Williams-Paisley.
  • DirectorWalt Becker.
  • WriterAdam Sztykiel, Randi Mayem Singer.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration92 mins
  • Official site
  • Release12/02/2016

Love is in the air in the fourth instalment of the Alvin And The Chipmunks series... but not for long if the helium-voiced furballs get their way. Walt Becker's ramshackle road movie contrives a flimsy excuse for singing rodents Alvin, Simon and Theodore to want to sabotage the flourishing romance of their surrogate father.

Of course, the mischievous trio learn the error of their ways en route to a sentimental reconciliation that emphasises the importance of family over fame with all the subtlety of a swift kick to the sternum. Randi Mayem Singer and Adam Sztykiel's script trades in recycled humour and repeatedly makes pointless narrative detours to allow Alvin, Simon and Theodore to perform their high energy cover versions.

Thus the chipmunks swing their hips to Gloria Estefan's Conga at the mere mention of Miami and a detour to New Orleans provides the perfect excuse for a toe-tapping rendition of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' disco-flavoured floor filler Uptown 'Munk during Mardi Gras.

Dave (Jason Lee) has been dating Samantha (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) for several months and decides to introduce his sweetheart to his surrogate children. Alvin (voiced by Justin Long), Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler) and Theodore (Jesse McCartney) should be delighted, except Samantha's teenage son Miles (Josh Green) bullies them mercilessly when the parents' backs are turned.

The chipmunks discover an engagement ring and realise that Dave is poised to go down on bended knee to Samantha during a business trip to Miami to promote the album of superstar Ashley Grey (Bella Thorne).

Wedding bells toll disaster - the trio will be stuck with Miles - so the chipmunks hatch a cunning plan to sabotage the proposal. "People look out for themselves. It's what animals do," snarls Miles, who was abandoned at an early age by his no-good father.

He pledges support to Alvin, Simon and Theodore to prevent another man from hurting his mother. The quartet embarks on disaster-prone misadventures from Los Angeles to Miami including a tangle with a tenacious air marshal (Tony Hale).

Meanwhile, the feisty Chipettes - Brittany (Christina Applegate), Eleanor (Kaley Cuoco) and Jeanette (Anna Faris) - begin their stint as judges on TV talent show American Idol.

Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip is cast in the mould of previous films, replete with bouts of chipmunk flatulence and slapstick humour. Hale's relentless air marshal is the butt of most of the jokes, including a face plant into a road sign during one madcap chase.

Lee is reduced to looking exasperated or proud as required. Polished digital effects seamlessly blend the rapping rodents with exaggerated real life, including one scene at a courthouse that comes surprisingly close to genuine heart-tugging emotion.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 14th February 2016
Monday 15th February 2016
Tuesday 16th February 2016
Wednesday 17th February 2016
Thursday 18th February 2016

This film is also showing at:

Capture The Flag 3 stars

Twelve-year-old Mike Goldwing is a gifted kite surfer, whose NASA astronaut father has been training for months to travel to the moon until injury shatters that dream. When multi-billionaire Richard Carson announces his intention to fly to the moon to prove that the Apollo 11 mission was a hoax, Mike unexpectedly finds himself aboard a rocket heading for the moon in the company of his grandfather Frank, best friend Amy and long-suffering lizard sidekick Igor.

  • GenreAdventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Science Fiction
  • CastLorraine Pilkington, Sam Fink, Philippa Alexander.
  • DirectorEnrique Gato.
  • WriterJordi Gasull, Patxi Amezcua.
  • CountrySp
  • Duration94 mins
  • Official site
  • Release29/01/2016

Ever since the landing module of Apollo 11 touched down on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969 and Neil Armstrong took one giant leap for mankind, conspiracy theorists have pointed to an elaborate cover-up. They maintain that the iconic footage was faked at a film studio closer to terra firma, and back up these bold claims with supposed proof of scientific inaccuracies in the grainy recording.

Capture The Flag is a family-friendly computer animation which teases the possibility of the hoax and ultimately debunks it by travelling back to the moon in the company of a NASA veteran and two children. Enrique Gato's Spanish adventure, which has been dubbed into English for UK audiences, has its sentimental heart in the right place and there are numerous heavy-handed verbal references to the importance of family over work or personal gain.

It's all terribly well-intentioned and predictable, shot largely from the perspective of a gung-ho boy, who just wants to make his parents proud. A night time journey over water festooned with ravenous alligators is played for laughs rather than Jaws-style scares, while a half-hearted romantic subplot between two children is addressed with the lightest touch. Kissing? Eurgh! Gross!

Twelve-year-old Mike Goldwing is a gifted kite surfer, who takes to the waves with best friends Amy Gonzalez and Marty Farr to compete in games of capture the flag. Mike and co always fall short but the youngster doesn't let failure get him down.

His father Scott is a NASA astronaut, who has been training for months to travel to the moon until injury shatters that dream. It's a repeat of the Goldwing curse: Scott's father Frank was also an astronaut, who failed to follow in the footsteps of Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

When multi-billionaire Richard Carson announces his intention to fly to the moon to prove that the Apollo 11 mission was a hoax, the President of the United States hurriedly authorises a joint mission between existing and old NASA staff to beat Carson to the Stars And Stripes planted in 1969.

A twist of fate results in Frank heading to the moon with grandson Mike, gal pal Amy and long-suffering lizard sidekick Igor. Meanwhile, back at Mission Control, Mike's mother Samantha frets about her boy's safety and pint-sized gadget wizard Marty overcomes glitches that jeopardise the success of the mission.

Capture The Flag boasts colourful visuals, slapstick humour and chases to entertain young audiences, who dream of their own adventures in the starry firmament. Vocal performances are solid but don't invest the characters with any quirks or additional colour. Carson is a particularly unthreatening chief villain.

Adults, who demand narrative sophistication from their animated fare, may want to abort lift-off before the end credits but Gato's film is a sprightly 94 minutes and doesn't outstay its welcome.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 14th February 2016
Monday 15th February 2016
Tuesday 16th February 2016
Wednesday 17th February 2016
Thursday 18th February 2016

This film is also showing at:

Concussion 3 stars

Nigerian forensic pathologist Dr Bennet Omalu performs the autopsy of NFL legend Mike Webster. Cross-sections of the player's brain reveal that he was suffering from a progressive degenerative brain condition, which Omalu christens chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). His findings challenge NFL studies, which claim there is no evidence of striking players experiencing neck injury or concussion from blows to the head during play.

  • GenreAdaptation, Biography, Drama, Historical/Period
  • CastWill Smith, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin, Albert Brooks.
  • DirectorPeter Landesman.
  • WriterPeter Landesman.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration123 mins
  • Official sitewww.sonypictures.com/movies/concussion/
  • Release12/02/2016

You don't need a medical degree or any of the titles held by Will Smith's crusading medic in Concussion to conclude that a contact sport, which delivers repeated blows to the head, might pose a health risk to competitors. In boxing, when a fighter is blindsided by a punch, they are assessed by the referee, given a standing count and asked if they wish to continue.

In American football, when a player is dazed by a collision with the equivalent g-force of a sledgehammer to the cranium, they shake it off and return to the field of play. This blitzkrieg of bone-crunching tackles continues for up to an hour every Sunday for 17 weeks, with the promise of more pain if a team qualifies for the Super Bowl play-offs.

Professionals with careers that stretch into double digits can look forward to more than 45,000 blows to the head. Writer-director Peter Landesman's film pays glorious tribute to Dr Bennet Omalu, the Nigerian forensic pathologist, who challenged studies by the National Football League (NFL), which concluded that there was no evidence of striking players experiencing neck injury or concussion.

It's a rousing tale of a mild-mannered underdog versus a hulking corporate giant that paints the central character as a saint who never strays from the path of righteous indignation, even when he loses everything. If it weren't based on a true story, Landesman's script would be impossible to swallow.

The film opens in September 2002 in Pittsburgh, where Omalu (Smith) works diligently at the Allegheny Count Coroner's Office under his snarky mentor, Dr Cyril Wecht (Albert Brooks). The death of NFL legend Mike Webster (David Morse) draws a media circus and Omalu coolly performs the autopsy.

Cross-sections of the player's brain reveal that he was suffering from a progressive degenerative brain condition, which Omalu christens chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). His findings challenge the NFL hierarchy spearheaded by boo-hiss executive Christopher Jones (Hill Harper).

The NFL vociferously denounces Omalu's research, even when Dr Julian Bailes (Alec Baldwin), former team physician of the Pittsburgh Steelers, breaks rank to pledge unstinting support. "Bennet Omalu is going to war with the manufacturer of a product that 20 million Americans crave every Sunday the way they crave water," dryly summarises Wecht.

Concussion is blessed with a knockout lead performance from Smith, who nails his character's accent and steely resolve. Unfortunately, his trailblazer is too perfect to be believable or engaging, and a tentative romance between Omalu and his houseguest (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) feels contrived, providing Smith's luminous co-star with various rallying cries for justice.

"If you don't speak for the dead, who will?" she coos. Heroes and villains are sketched in black and white, and dramatic momentum builds to a centrepiece speech that proves one impossibly good man can take on the bullies... and win.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 14th February 2016
Monday 15th February 2016
Tuesday 16th February 2016
Wednesday 17th February 2016
Thursday 18th February 2016

Dad's Army 2 stars

England, 1944. The Second World War is on a knife edge and in the cosy community of Walmington-on-Sea, blustering bank manager George Mainwaring proudly leads the local Home Guard. Colonel Theakes reveals that he intends to sort the military wheat from the chaff and "Walmington feels chaffy." Soon after, Mainwaring learns that a German spy has infiltrated the town and is transmitting secrets back to Berlin.

  • GenreComedy, Historical/Period, War
  • CastCatherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Gambon, Bill Nighy, Daniel Mays, Bill Paterson, Toby Jones, Tom Courtenay, Blake Harrison.
  • DirectorOliver Parker.
  • WriterHamish McColl.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration100 mins
  • Official site
  • Release05/02/2016

How do you improve on the perfection of Jimmy Perry and David Croft's sitcom Dad's Army, which began active service in 1968 and remains a jewel in the crown of the BBC comedy archives? You don't.

If you're director Oliver Parker and screenwriter Hamish McColl, you pepper a flimsy plot that would barely stretch to one TV episode let alone 100 minutes with the show's catchphrases and pray our abiding affection for the characters will compensate for long passages without a discernible punchline.

Original cast members Ian Lavender and Frank Williams are conscripted to cameo roles to heighten the whiff of nostalgia. Limp innuendo-laden banter about sausages barely merits a smirk, pratfalls are predictable and a terrific ensemble cast of gifted comic actors go on patrol without an arsenal of decent one-liners.

From uninspired beginning to muddled end, it's a cultural smash'n'grab that goes through the motions and will ultimately be remembered as a badly missed opportunity.

England, 1944. The Second World War is on a knife edge and in the cosy community of Walmington-on-Sea, blustering bank manager George Mainwaring (Toby Jones) proudly leads the local Home Guard. His hapless rank and file includes Sergeant Wilson (Bill Nighy), Lance Corporal Jones (Tom Courtenay) and Privates Frazer (Bill Paterson), Pike (Blake Harrison), Walker (Daniel Mays) and Godfrey (Michael Gambon), a mild-mannered soul who frequently drifts off into his own world.

The fate of the Home Guard hangs in the balance when Colonel Theakes (Mark Gatiss) reveals that he intends to sort the military wheat from the chaff and "Walmington feels chaffy." Soon after, Mainwaring learns that a German spy has infiltrated the town and is transmitting secrets back to Berlin.

This search for a traitor coincides with the arrival of glamorous magazine writer Rose Winters (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who intends to pen a flattering article about the heroics of the Home Guard. George is smitten and finds Rose most charming and agreeable.

"They said that about the Ripper," coldly retorts Mrs Mainwaring (Felicity Montagu), hard-nosed leader of Walmington-on-Sea's women's auxiliary army, which includes Pike's mother (Sarah Lancashire) and Walker's sweetheart Daphne (Emily Atack).

Dad's Army opens with a limp set piece involving a stand-off between the Home Guard and runaway livestock. "We're supposed to be locking horns with the Hun not Bertie the bull!" despairs one of the men, echoing our mounting frustration.

Jones lightens the darkening mood with a few moments of physical humour, including choking on a slice of cake, while Nighy relies on his usual snorts and tics for merriment. Montagu, Lancashire and co bring a diluted degree of girl power to proceedings that might be dismissed as tokenism without their characters' pivotal involvement in the hare-brained and lacklustre denouement.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 14th February 2016
Monday 15th February 2016
Tuesday 16th February 2016
Wednesday 17th February 2016
Thursday 18th February 2016

This film is also showing at:

Deadpool 4 stars

Former Special Forces operative Wade Wilson discovers he has cancer. He is offered a second chance by The Recruiter, who works for an experimental program known as Weapon X, which promises to induce a regenerative mutation to the cancerous cells. Wade undergoes treatment and is transformed into a mentally unstable hero called Deadpool, who is blessed and cursed with accelerated healing powers, disfigured skin and a politically incorrect sense of humour.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Comedy, Science Fiction
  • CastMorena Baccarin, Gina Carano, Ryan Reynolds, TJ Miller, Ed Skrein.
  • DirectorTim Miller.
  • WriterRhett Reese, Paul Wernick.
  • CountryUS/Can
  • Duration108 mins
  • Official sitewww.fox.co.uk/deadpool
  • Release10/02/2016

Just when it seemed that the Marvel Comics takeover of multiplexes was becoming a homogenous exercise in rapacious cross-branding, along comes Deadpool to deliver a swift kick to the franchise's dangling nether regions. Tim Miller's hyperkinetic origin story is like a newborn puppy that has yet to be house-trained: boundlessly energetic, blissfully oblivious to the rules, and prone to leave a steaming hot mess in a favourite pair of slippers when your guard is down.

"I may be super, but I'm no hero," grins Ryan Reynolds' titular man in figure-hugging red spandex, breaking down the fourth wall to address us directly. He's not joking, for once. In an opening salvo of high-speed automotive carnage that combines gratuitous dismemberment with gleeful irreverence, his masked avenger ricochets bullets through the heads of bad guys and pushes a car cigarette lighter into the mouth of one unfortunate henchman. "Don't swallow," he quips.

The relentless barrage of pop culture references and post-modern in-jokes hinges on Reynolds' ability to charm us and he barrels through every frame with a cocksure swagger that is impossible to resist.

Former Special Forces operative Wade Wilson (Reynolds) is a low-rent assassin for hire, who works out of a bar called Sister Margaret's Home For Wayward Girls run by his wise-cracking buddy Weasel (TJ Miller).

A loner by heart, Wade falls in love with sassy sex club worker Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), who shares his passion for creative love-making. "Happy International Women's Day," she purrs, giving him one eye-watering new experience. The furious bed-hopping ends when Wade discovers he has inoperable cancer.

A recruiter (Jed Rees) from an experimental program known as WeaponX invites Wade to undergo a radical procedure, which aggressively attacks the cancerous cells. Sadistic program director Ajax (Ed Skrein) and henchwoman Angel Dust (Gina Carano) torture and abuse Wade, transforming him into a hideously deformed mutant with the power of self-healing.

Reborn as Deadpool, Wade moves in with a no-nonsense landlady named Al (Leslie Uggams). "She's the Robin to my Batman... except she's old, black and blind," he quips. Aided by two bona fide X-Men - Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) - Wade vows revenge on Ajax and his underlings.

Relentlessly lurid and unapologetically foul-mouthed, Deadpool is a sinful treat. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick's script is crammed to bursting with zinging one-liners and a miasma of filth and toilet humour. Some gags narrowly miss their target, but the duds are invariably followed up in quick succession by sly digs at comic book conventions or self-referential barbs at the expense of Reynolds' good looks.

Director Miller relies too heavily on slow-motion in his action sequences, but when it comes to the machine-gun dialogue, his film doesn't pause for breath.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 14th February 2016
Monday 15th February 2016
Tuesday 16th February 2016
Wednesday 17th February 2016
Thursday 18th February 2016

This film is also showing at:

Deadpool (Subtitled) 4 stars

Former Special Forces operative Wade Wilson discovers he has cancer. He is offered a second chance by The Recruiter, who works for an experimental program known as Weapon X, which promises to induce a regenerative mutation to the cancerous cells. Wade undergoes treatment and is transformed into a mentally unstable hero called Deadpool, who is blessed and cursed with accelerated healing powers, disfigured skin and a politically incorrect sense of humour.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Comedy, Science Fiction
  • CastMorena Baccarin, TJ Miller, Gina Carano, Ed Skrein, Ryan Reynolds.
  • DirectorTim Miller.
  • WriterPaul Wernick, Rhett Reese.
  • CountryUS/Can
  • Duration108 mins
  • Official sitewww.fox.co.uk/deadpool
  • Release10/02/2016

Just when it seemed that the Marvel Comics takeover of multiplexes was becoming a homogenous exercise in rapacious cross-branding, along comes Deadpool to deliver a swift kick to the franchise's dangling nether regions. Tim Miller's hyperkinetic origin story is like a newborn puppy that has yet to be house-trained: boundlessly energetic, blissfully oblivious to the rules, and prone to leave a steaming hot mess in a favourite pair of slippers when your guard is down.

"I may be super, but I'm no hero," grins Ryan Reynolds' titular man in figure-hugging red spandex, breaking down the fourth wall to address us directly. He's not joking, for once. In an opening salvo of high-speed automotive carnage that combines gratuitous dismemberment with gleeful irreverence, his masked avenger ricochets bullets through the heads of bad guys and pushes a car cigarette lighter into the mouth of one unfortunate henchman. "Don't swallow," he quips.

The relentless barrage of pop culture references and post-modern in-jokes hinges on Reynolds' ability to charm us and he barrels through every frame with a cocksure swagger that is impossible to resist.

Former Special Forces operative Wade Wilson (Reynolds) is a low-rent assassin for hire, who works out of a bar called Sister Margaret's Home For Wayward Girls run by his wise-cracking buddy Weasel (TJ Miller).

A loner by heart, Wade falls in love with sassy sex club worker Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), who shares his passion for creative love-making. "Happy International Women's Day," she purrs, giving him one eye-watering new experience. The furious bed-hopping ends when Wade discovers he has inoperable cancer.

A recruiter (Jed Rees) from an experimental program known as WeaponX invites Wade to undergo a radical procedure, which aggressively attacks the cancerous cells. Sadistic program director Ajax (Ed Skrein) and henchwoman Angel Dust (Gina Carano) torture and abuse Wade, transforming him into a hideously deformed mutant with the power of self-healing.

Reborn as Deadpool, Wade moves in with a no-nonsense landlady named Al (Leslie Uggams). "She's the Robin to my Batman... except she's old, black and blind," he quips. Aided by two bona fide X-Men - Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) - Wade vows revenge on Ajax and his underlings.

Relentlessly lurid and unapologetically foul-mouthed, Deadpool is a sinful treat. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick's script is crammed to bursting with zinging one-liners and a miasma of filth and toilet humour. Some gags narrowly miss their target, but the duds are invariably followed up in quick succession by sly digs at comic book conventions or self-referential barbs at the expense of Reynolds' good looks.

Director Miller relies too heavily on slow-motion in his action sequences, but when it comes to the machine-gun dialogue, his film doesn't pause for breath.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 14th February 2016
Wednesday 17th February 2016

Dirty Grandpa 2 stars

Seventy-something man of mystery Dick Kelly buries his wife and emotionally blackmails his grandson Jason into driving him to their summer home in Florida. "It's what she would have wanted," Dick assures Jason, who is a corporate lawyer in the same firm as his father. The two men hit the road and are soon diverted to Daytona Beach, where Jason has a chance to reignite romance with old flame Shadia while perpetually libidinous Dick pursues Shadia's obliging friend, Lenore.

  • GenreComedy, Drama, Romance
  • CastZoey Deutch, Zac Efron, Robert De Niro, Aubrey Plaza.
  • DirectorDan Mazer.
  • WriterJohn Phillips.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration102 mins
  • Official sitewww.dirtygrandpa.movie
  • Release29/01/2016

In the prank TV show Jackass and a subsequent feature film, Johnny Knoxville donned latex to give octogenarians a bad name as politically incorrect grandpa Irving Zisman. Director Dan Mazer and screenwriter John Phillips channel a similar vibe of old men behaving crudely in this raunchy cross-generational road trip that pairs raging bull Robert De Niro and wholesome High School Musical alumnus Zac Efron.

It's a tantalising juxtaposition - wizened, worldly experience and youthful exuberance - and Phillips' expletive-laden script should mine a rich vein of humour by upending expectations about how these characters behave in polite society.

Alas, the drunken fraternity humour that runs rampant is wearisome and occasionally distasteful, including double standards in its treatment of homophobia. De Niro visibly savours his feisty old coot's potty-mouthed outbursts.

For his part, Efron gamely loses his shirt and his trousers, flashing his washboard stomach in a series of humiliations that include a mistaken case of exposure to a minor on a beach.

Seventy-something man of mystery Dick Kelly (De Niro) buries his wife and emotionally blackmails his grandson Jason (Efron) into driving him to their summer home in Florida. "It's what she would have wanted," Dick assures Jason, who is a corporate lawyer in the same firm as his father (Dermot Mulroney) and is poised to walk down the aisle with his controlling fiancee (Julianne Hough).

Jason arrives at his grandfather's home and walks in on the old timer in a state of gleeful undress, enjoying a pornographic film. "You caught me taking a number three," cackles Dick, without a flush of shame.

The two men hit the road and are soon diverted to Daytona Beach, where Jason has a chance to reignite romance with old flame Shadia (Zoey Deutch) while perpetually libidinous Dick pursues Shadia's obliging friend, Lenore (Aubrey Plaza).

"The greatest gift a grandson can give his grandfather is a hot college girl who wants to have unprotected sex with him before he dies," declares Dick but standing in his way are loutish college dudes Cody (Jake Pickering) and Brah (Michael Hudson).

Dirty Grandpa drinks from the same filthy glassware as The Hangover and its bromantic brethren. The two leads throw themselves into the fray with abandon, weathering numerous indignities including a topless dance off in search of cheap laughs.

Amidst the filth, scriptwriter Phillips dispenses pat life lessons about taking charge of your destiny and respecting elders. A running gag involving a drug dealer (Jason Mantzoukas) and two inept police officers (Mo Collins, Henry Zebrowski) runs out of puff while the sight of De Niro repeatedly shoving his thumb up his co-star's bottom as a laddish prank gets a thumbs down on its first airing let alone the fourth or fifth.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 14th February 2016
Monday 15th February 2016
Tuesday 16th February 2016
Wednesday 17th February 2016
Thursday 18th February 2016

This film is also showing at:

Goosebumps 4 stars

Gale Cooper moves from New York to Delaware with her teenage son Zach. Their new next door neighbour is the mysterious Mr Shivers, whose daughter Hannah is also an enigma. Zach and his new friend, socially awkward student Champ, break into Mr Shivers' home and discover he is actually renowned author RL Stine. In the process of uncovering the truth, Zach accidentally unleashes Slappy from Night Of The Living Dummy. The demented mannequin releases monsters from the rest of Stine's books.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Family, Family
  • CastDylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Jack Black, Ryan Lee.
  • DirectorRob Letterman.
  • WriterDarren Lemke.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration103 mins
  • Official sitewww.facebook.com/GoosebumpsUK
  • Release05/02/2016

Comic whirlwind Jack Black ramps up his manic energy to gale force 10 in this fast-paced fantasy adventure based on the series of children's books by RL Stine. Directed with brio by Rob Letterman, Goosebumps is a wicked delight, packed full of spooks and scares that should have adults jumping out of their seats almost as often as little ones.

Explosions of comic book violence, including a slip-sliding tussle between the Abominable Snowman and high school students on an ice rink, are orchestrated with black humour and vim. Darren Lemke's lean script barely pauses for breath between the eye-popping set pieces, but still finds time to flesh out a compelling teenage love story that remains the right side of sickly sweet.

Digital effects are impressive, seamlessly integrated with live action to conjure scenes of large-scale destruction including a runaway ferris wheel and a town under attack from a giant praying mantis.

It's huge fun, especially in 3D when some of the ghoulish things that go bump in the night appear to leap out of the screen. Letterman opens with the calm before the computer-generated storm as Gale Cooper (Amy Ryan) arrives in Delaware with her teenage son Zach (Dylan Minnette) to take up the position of vice-principal at Madison High School.

Their new next-door neighbour is the mysterious Mr Shivers (Black), whose daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush) is also an enigma. Zach and his socially awkward student Champ (Ryan Lee) break into Mr Shivers' home and discover that the truculent father is actually renowned author RL Stine.

In the process of uncovering this startling truth, Zach unlocks one of Stine's books and accidentally unleashes Slappy (voiced by Black) from Night Of The Living Dummy. The demented mannequin subsequently releases monsters from the rest of Stine's back catalogue and the grotesque creations run amok in Madison.

"Why couldn't you have written about unicorns and rainbows?" shrieks Champ.
"Because that doesn't sell 400 million copies," snaps Stine, who realises the only way to defeat Slappy is to pen another bestseller on his typewriter.

Meanwhile, Champ's high school crush Taylor (Halston Sage) and Gale's sister Lorraine (Gillian Bell) are caught up in the mayhem as zombies, a werewolf and assorted monstrosities besiege the high school.

Goosebumps careens wildly between action, comedy and touching drama, with a generous smattering of pithy verbal gags that will go above the heads of children and strike a bullseye with parents. Black leads from the front, plying the wide-eyed lunacy that has served him well, with Minnette as his straight man and foil, whose prime concern is rescuing the people he loves.

Slappy's army of grotesque henchcreatures won't induce nightmares, but might just send a pleasing shiver down young spines. A tricksy treat.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 14th February 2016
Monday 15th February 2016
Tuesday 16th February 2016
Wednesday 17th February 2016
Thursday 18th February 2016

This film is also showing at:

Hotel Transylvania 2 3 stars

The great and the good of the monster world gather at Hotel Transylvania for the wedding of vampire Mavis and her human beau Jonathan. They raise an adorable son called Dennis and consider moving to California to raise the child among other humans. Dracula is devastated - he believes that any heir to the bloodline should be raised in Transylvania, surrounded by other monsters.

  • GenreAnimation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastAndy Samberg, Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi, Kevin James, David Spade.
  • DirectorGenndy Tartakovsky.
  • WriterRobert Smigel, Adam Sandler.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration89 mins
  • Official sitewww.hoteltransylvania2.com
  • Release16/10/2015

If the Twilight film series taught us anything, apart from how long werewolves spend in the gym to maintain their hirsute washboard stomachs, it's that forbidden desire across the vampire-human divide always ends in copious blood-letting and tears.

And if a love child of this unholy union comes mewling into the world, a sequel surely beckons. Once bitten, twice the box office takings. Genndy Tartakovsky's computer-animated family comedy obliges by considering the thorny parenting issues for a slacker dude and his fanged bride, who can't decide if they should raise their first child among monsters or mortals.

You could argue that war-mongering, power-hungry mankind is far more deadly than the ghosts and ghouls that haunt the frames of this lively and colourful romp. However, harsh reality has no place in Tartakovsky's fantastical adventure, with a screenplay penned by Robert Smigel and Adam Sandler that sidesteps the carnivorous natures of some of the cutesy characters.

As one vampire rejoices, "We don't need to kill any more. We have pop tarts," which begs questions about the ingredients of the jam that oozes from the toasted breakfast treats.

The great and the good of the monster world gather at Hotel Transylvania for the wedding of vampire Mavis (voiced by Selena Gomez) and her mortal beau Jonathan (Andy Samberg). Mavis' proud father Dracula (Adam Sandler) welcomes Jonathan's nervous parents, Mike (Nick Offerman) and Linda (Megan Mullally), to his humble home for the nuptials, which pass without a hitch.

Mavis falls pregnant and gives birth to an adorable son called Dennis (Asher Blinkoff) and the couple consider moving to California to raise their child among other humans. Dracula is devastated - he believes that any heir to the bloodline should be raised in Transylvania, surrounded by other monsters.

So he takes little Dennis on a journey to all of his favourite ghoulish haunts, aided by good friends Frankenstein's monster (Kevin James), Griffin The Invisible Man (David Spade), Murray The Mummy (Keegan-Michael Key), Wayne Werewolf (Steve Buscemi) and Blobby the Blob (Jonny Solomon).

As Dennis' fifth birthday approaches, Dracula waits nervously for the boy's first milk fang to sprout, which will be proof that he has vampire blood coursing through his veins. "He a late fanger," insists Dracula. "All he needs is time with his vamp-pa!"

Hotel Transylvania 2 strikes the same jaunty tone as its predecessor, treading a linear narrative path so young audiences remain engaged by little Dennis' rites of passage. Visuals burst with primary colours, even in 3D, and the script exhumes mouldering, corny gags with relish.

Vocal performances are solid if unremarkable, including a fleeting vocal turn from Mel Brooks as Vlad, Dracula's estranged father, who hasn't always been the best role model for his boy. The family that hunts together - safely off screen - stays together.

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How To Be Single 3 stars

Alice and Robin work together in New York City but they are poles apart. While Robin is well versed in the art of seduction, Alice is clueless when it comes to attracting a man so Robin takes her under her wing. In the process, Alice catches the eye of handsome bar man Tom. Meanwhile, Alice's gal pals and fellow lonely hearts, Lucy and Meg, are also unmarried and looking for a soulmate rather than just another one-night stand.

  • GenreComedy, Romance
  • CastAlison Brie, Leslie Mann, Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson.
  • DirectorChristian Ditter.
  • WriterAbby Kohn, Dana Fox, Marc Silverstein.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration110 mins
  • Official sitewww.howtobesinglemovie.com
  • Release19/02/2016

Adapted from the book of the same name by Liz Tuccillo, How To Be Single is a romantic comedy directed by Christian Ditter, about a group of unattached women, who believe they call the shots when it comes to falling in love. Alice (Dakota Johnson) and Robin (Rebel Wilson) work together in New York City but they are poles apart. While Robin is well versed in the art of seduction, Alice is clueless when it comes to attracting a man so Robin takes her under her wing. In the process, Alice catches the eye of handsome bar man Tom (Anders Holm). Meanwhile, Alice's gal pals and fellow lonely hearts, Lucy (Alison Brie) and Meg (Leslie Mann), are also unmarried and looking for a soulmate rather than just another one-night stand. Ken (Jake Lacy) seems to be a good match for Meg, if only she can overcome the exhaustion of working long hours at the hospital.

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Sunday 14th February 2016

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Pan 3 stars

movie title

A mother tearfully abandons her infant on the steps of The Sisters Of Eternal Prudence, Lambeth Home For Boys. Twelve years later as bombs rain down on 1940s London, the child - Peter - is kidnapped by pirates, who spirit him away to Neverland, where he becomes the property of an ageing seadog called Blackbeard. The abducted tyke is put to work in the mines where Peter befriends a rapscallion called Hook and learns he might be the chosen one of ancient prophecy.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Family, Family, Fantasy
  • CastLevi Miller, Hugh Jackman, Jimmy Vee, Adeel Akhtar, Kathy Burke, Rooney Mara, Amanda Seyfried, Nonso Anozie, Garrett Hedlund.
  • DirectorJoe Wright.
  • WriterJason Fuchs.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration111 mins
  • Official sitewww.panmovie.co.uk
  • Release16/10/2015

Like generations of children before me, including transfixed youngsters at the 1904 premiere of JM Barrie's stage play Peter Pan; or, The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, I wholeheartedly believe in fairies. Alas, I don't believe in Pan.

Production designer Aline Bonetto, costume designer Jacqueline Durran and their teams have sprinkled bulging handfuls of fairy dust over Joe Wright's gargantuan production to lovingly recreate wartime London and colour-saturated Neverland.

While this fantasy adventure invites our senses on an awfully big adventure, it lands with a dull thud where it matters most: our hearts. The childlike wonder of Barrie's text has been waylaid en route to the second star to the right, careening between bombastic set pieces without truly understanding the characters and the turmoil that drives them.

In a straight sword fight with Steven Spielberg's flawed 1991 romp Hook, Pan unexpectedly comes off second best. Wright's film opens with a mother (Amanda Seyfried) tearfully abandoning her infant on the steps of The Sisters Of Eternal Prudence, Lambeth Home For Boys with a handwritten note and a pan flute pendant. That's a choking hazard, but no matter.

Twelve years later as bombs rain down on 1940s London, the child - Peter (Levi Miller) - and best friend Nibs (Lewis MacDougall) declare a war of attrition against head nun, Mother Barnabas (Kathy Burke), who is stockpiling rations and forcing the boys to eat gruel.

One fateful night, pirates abseil through the home's skylights, kidnap the slumbering children and spirit them away to Neverland, where they become the property of an ageing seadog called Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman).

The abducted tykes are put to work in the mines where Peter befriends a rapscallion called Hook (Garrett Hedlund) and learns he might be the chosen one of ancient prophecy.

"I don't believe in bedtime stories," boldly declares Peter, who escapes enslavement and gallivants through Neverland in the company of Hook, snivelling sidekick Smiegel (Adeel Akhtar) and feisty tribal princess Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara).

Pan is a visually stunning grand folly, which has been starved of naked human emotion. Australian actor Miller's cor-blimey-guvnor London accent eludes him on a couple of occasions, but he illuminates the screen and sparks a pleasing partnership with Jackman's campy villain.

Their one-on-one scenes, pontificating on destiny and what maketh a man, are the closest screenwriter Jason Fuchs comes to tugging a heartstring. Hedlund seems to be auditioning for the rumoured Indiana Jones reboot with his pratfall-laden heroics that reimagine Hook as a gung-ho good guy.

The haphazard script shoehorns verbal and visual references to Barrie's text, sometimes with groan-worthy results. Thus when Peter wriggles out of Blackbeard's clutches, the pirate barks, "So is the boy lost?" and a minion replies, "Yes sir, he is a lost boy." Wright's film is lost with him.

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Pride And Prejudice And Zombies 3 stars

Mr Bennet teaches his five daughters Elizabeth, Jane, Lydia, Kitty and Mary martial arts so they can take care of themselves in an era of marauding zombies. The girls' mother Mrs Bennet is more concerned with finding them wealthy husbands. The arrival of Mr Bingley in town sends Mrs Bennet into a frenzy of excitement and she dispatches the girls to a ball with instructions to catch his eye. Bingley is smitten with Jane, while Elizabeth meets her match in Bingley's haughty friend, Mr Darcy.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Comedy, Horror, Romance
  • CastLily James, Lena Headey, Douglas Booth, Sam Riley, Jack Huston, Matt Smith.
  • DirectorBurr Steers.
  • WriterBurr Steers.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration108 mins
  • Official sitewww.facebook.com/PPZMovie/
  • Release11/02/2016

If the casual mention of the undead in the title of Burr Steers' horror comedy almost seems like an afterthought, the jarring on-screen presence of the flesh-hungry predators confirms it. Adapted from Seth Grahame-Smith's parody novel, Pride And Prejudice And Zombies puts a gruesome twist on Jane Austen's period drama, transplanting the heaving bosoms and unspoken desire to a bodice-ripping 19th-century Britain where young women are skilled in swordplay as well as needlecraft.

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains," primly declares the film's spunky heroine, Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James), in her opening voiceover. The two narrative strands - repressed desire and gore - are awkward bedfellows.

The film fizzes when Steers and his attractive cast play Austen's vacillations of the heart straight, buoyed by simmering screen chemistry between James and Sam Riley as a suitably brooding Darcy. However, every time reanimated corpses shuffle into view and sink their gnashers into one of the supporting cast, the ensuing bloodbath is a bore.

Mr Bennet (Charles Dance) teaches his five daughters Elizabeth (James), Jane (Bella Heathcote), Lydia (Ellie Bamber), Kitty (Suki Waterhouse) and Mary (Millie Brady) martial arts so they can survive in an era of marauding zombies. The girls' mother Mrs Bennet (Sally Phillips) is more concerned with finding them wealthy husbands.

The arrival of Mr Bingley (Douglas Booth) sends Mrs Bennet into a frenzy of excitement and she dispatches the girls to a ball with instructions to catch his eye. Bingley is smitten with Jane, while Elizabeth meets her match in Bingley's haughty friend, Darcy (Riley).

Bumbling Parson Collins (Matt Smith) also has his beady eye on Elizabeth, but she is resistant to his dubious charms. The girls are crestfallen when Bingley and his entourage abandon leafy Hertfordshire for the safety of London, which is now a walled fortress.

Soon after, roguish soldier Mr Wickham (Jack Huston) arrives in the countryside and begins to poison Elizabeth against Darcy.

Pride And Prejudice And Zombies is a lacklustre genre mash-up. Fight sequences unfold largely in slow motion to accentuate the swish of frocks as blades scythe through zombie flesh, but there's a laughable absence of blood.

During an opening melee in which the Bennet sisters pirouette through a full-scale assault by the undead, there isn't a single rivulet of blood or scrap of flesh on their pristine blades. Die-hard fans of gore will have to seek their thrills elsewhere - Steers keeps most of the violence off screen, opting to shoot from the perspective of zombies as they suffer grisly demises.

Dialogue gleefully distorts Austen's lyrical prose. "You are as unfeeling as the undead!" Elizabeth admonishes Darcy. In some ways, so is Steers' film.

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Spotlight 4 stars

Deputy Managing Editor Ben Bradlee Jr presides over the Boston Globe newsroom and has direct responsibility for the Spotlight team led by Walter "Robby" Robinson. Down in the basement, Robby and his colleagues Michael Rezendes, Sacha Pfeiffer and Matt Carroll are hard at work on a potentially explosive story. Attorney Mitchell Garabedian claims to have documents which prove Cardinal Bernard Law knew about sexual abuse within the diocese and did nothing.

  • GenreBiography, Drama, Historical/Period, Thriller
  • CastRachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Michael Keaton, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci.
  • DirectorTom McCarthy.
  • WriterTom McCarthy, Josh Singer.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration129 mins
  • Official sitewww.spotlightthefilm.com
  • Release29/01/2016

At its best, investigative journalism is a scalpel that slices through fatty rhetoric and cuts readers to the bones of institutions that should be defending our interests. In early 2002, the Spotlight Investigations team of the Boston Globe ran a series of meticulously researched articles, exposing the sexual abuse of minors in the Boston archdiocese.

Coverage of the scandal rippled far beyond the city boundaries and compelled other victims to come forward and share their horrific testimonies, which sent shockwaves through the Roman Catholic Church.

The newspaper was subsequently awarded the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in Journalism for its courageous and comprehensive coverage, which lifted a heavy veil of secrecy stretching back several decades.

Thomas McCarthy's impeccably crafted drama pays tribute to the close-knit team of tenacious editors and reporters, who tirelessly pursued the truth and wrung their blood, sweat and tears into the exposes.

Deputy Managing Editor Ben Bradlee Jr (John Slattery) presides over the Boston Globe newsroom and has direct responsibility for the Spotlight team led by Walter "Robby" Robinson (Michael Keaton).

Down in the basement, Robby and his colleagues Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matt Carroll (Brian d'Arcy) invest thousands of hours following leads and gathering evidence. Their work is valuable but costly and incoming Boston Globe editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) makes clear he is willing to make difficult cuts.

"I'm focused on finding a way to make this paper essential to its readers," he tells Robby. The team is hard at work on a potentially explosive story. Attorney Mitchell Garabedian (Stanley Tucci) claims to have documents which prove Cardinal Bernard Law (Len Cariou) knew about sexual abuse within the diocese and did nothing.

Marty authorises Robby to quietly pursue the story before he is personally summoned to a meeting with the Cardinal.
"I find that this city flourishes when its great institutions work together," purrs the holy man.
"I'm of the opinion that for the paper to best perform its function, it needs to stand alone," boldly retorts Marty.

Battle lines are drawn and Robby pleads with his writers so keep their emotions in check as they are confronted with horrific stories of shattered innocence. "I don't want the Chancery getting wind of this before we know what we have," he implores.

Spotlight is a clinical, precise and riveting dramatisation of a protracted search for the ugly truth in a city in the thrall of the church. The ensemble cast are exemplary with Ruffalo gifted the film's stand-out scene of unfettered indignation that undoubtedly secured him his Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor.

Some of the characters don't feel fully formed, sacrificed perhaps in favour of a forensic pursuit of the facts. Josh Singer and director McCarthy's script crackles with tension and as the printing presses of the Globe begin to roll, we finally relax.

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Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens 4 stars

Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and his sister Leia bear the deep emotional scars of their encounters with the Dark Side of the Force, led by Supreme Leader Snoke and his protege Kylo Ren. A valiant scavenger called Rey, First Order stormtrooper Finn and Resistance X-wing pilot Poe Dameron become embroiled in the battle between good and evil.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction
  • CastCarrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, John Boyega, Lupita Nyong'o, Max von Sydow, Oscar Isaac, Peter Mayhew, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Andy Serkis, Anthony Daniels, Daisy Ridley.
  • DirectorJJ Abrams.
  • WriterJJ Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, Michael Arndt.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration135 mins
  • Official sitewww.starwars.com/films/star-wars-episode-vii-the-force-awakens
  • Release17/12/2015

Give the people what they want, but little else. Director JJ Abrams, who defied the Do Not Resuscitate order on Star Trek and reanimated that wheezing intergalactic saga, atones for George Lucas' cardinal sin of Episode I: The Phantom Menace with a rollicking and unabashedly old-fashioned battle beyond the stars that should shatter box office records rather than fans' sky high dreams.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the sincerest form of flattery of Lucas and his galaxy far, far away that has inspired religious fervour since the heady summer of 1977. Episode VII busily reconstitutes elements from the original trilogy as a giddy 135-minute showdown between the light and dark sides of the Force approximately 30 years after tumultuous events of Return Of The Jedi.

Verbal references and visual nods to earlier chapters abound: the thrum of duelling lightsabres, the beeps of deadpanning droids, the slow and steady countdown to interplanetary doom by hulking superweapon. It's the greatest hits of Star Wars, lovingly and slickly repackaged with an impressive cast of fresh-faced newcomers and wizened old hands, swish digital effects and John Williams' grandiose orchestral score.

The gossamer thin storyline is hand-me-down and some of the plot holes large enough for a four-legged AT-AT combat walker but rejoice, padawan hopefuls, rejoice: the Force is palpable in Episode VII and can only get stronger in subsequent films.

The Rebel Alliance's hard fought victory at the Battle of Endor is a fading memory. The First Order has risen from the ashes of the Galactic Empire, under the yoke of snarling Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) and his unpredictable protege, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).

General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) spearheads the rebellion, which includes fearless X-wing starfighter pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). Outrageous misfortune brings together self-doubting heroes and villains including self-sufficient scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley) from the desert planet Jakku, First Order stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) and a cute rolling BB-8 droid hardwired with killer comic timing.

Their fates conveniently entwine with wisecracking smuggler and scoundrel Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Wookiee sidekick Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), prophetic canteen owner Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong'o), ruthless First Order base leader General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) and the mechanised Morecambe and Wiser: C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2 (Kenny Baker). "The galaxy is counting on us," growls Han.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens panders shamelessly to the intergalactic faithful, striking a delightfully pleasing balance between adrenaline-pumping thrills, laconic humour and soap opera histrionics. Ridley and Boyega make a sizable impact amidst the cacophonous sound and merchandising fury, capturing the vulnerability and anguish of conflicted characters haunted by murky pasts.

Ford has lost none of his bounder's roughly hewn, twinkly eyed charm, delivering droll one-liners with consummate ease. Director Abrams shepherds his handsomely crafted behemoth through every comfortingly predictable turn with aplomb. "Chewie... we're home," grins Han as he is reunited with the ramshackle Millennium Falcon early in the film. And so are we.

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Ted 16: Dream Opening Night 3 stars

Formed in 1984 as a conference where technology, entertainment and design converged, TED has blossomed into a global non-profit movement devoted to spreading ideas that could change the world. This year's conference, hosted by curator Chris Anderson in Vancouver, Canada brings together some of the world's most prominent thinkers, artists and storytellers to share their vision. For the first time, the public is invited to witness the opening night of the event.

  • GenreDocumentary, Shorts, Special
  • Duration120 mins
  • Official site
  • Release16/02/2016 (selected cinemas)

Formed in 1984 as a conference where technology, entertainment and design converged, TED has blossomed into a global non-profit movement devoted to spreading ideas that could change the world. This year's conference, hosted by curator Chris Anderson in Vancouver, Canada brings together some of the world's most prominent thinkers, artists and storytellers to share their vision. For the first time, the public is invited to witness the opening night of the event featuring speeches from 10-yr-old Ishita Katyal, Astro Teller, head of Alphabet/Google's X group, Riccardo Sabatini, TV showrunner Shonda Rhimes, Dan Pallotta and a closing performance from iconic choreographer Bill T Jones.

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Tuesday 16th February 2016

The Good Dinosaur 4 stars

Prehistoric beasts thrive including a family of Apatosaurus comprising patriarch Henry, his wife Ida and three children Buck, Libby and Arlo. A tragic accident robs the siblings of their father and soon after, Arlo falls into a river and is swept far away from his loved ones. Lost in the wilderness, Arlo meets a feral cave boy called Spot, who becomes the dinosaur's protector. Beast and human child embark on a magical adventure to return Arlo to his home in the shadow of the Clawed-Tooth Mountains.

  • GenreAdventure, Animation/Cartoon, Children, Children's, Comedy
  • CastFrances McDormand, Jeffrey Wright, Raymond Ochoa, Jack Bright.
  • DirectorPeter Sohn.
  • WriterMeg LeFauve.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration101 mins
  • Official site
  • Release27/11/2015

Four instalments of monster mashing in Jurassic Park have taught us to be thankful that an asteroid supposedly impacted Earth around 66 million years ago and wiped out the various prehistoric predators. Pixar Animation Studios begs to differ. Director Peter Sohn and his animation wizards conjure an alternate version of events: the ill-fated asteroid bypassed our third rock from the sun, allowing Tyrannosaurus Rex and other hulking beasts to thrive. Consequently, the evolutionary food chain is reversed: dinosaurs learn to talk, build homes, raise dysfunctional families and expand their horizons while humans are an untamed species that roams the wilderness on all fours and communicates in crude howls and growls. It's a cute concept that provides a solid foundation for Sohn's life-affirming tale of friendship and loyalty, inverting the touching central relationship of How To Train Your Dragon with similarly teary-eyed results. At the heart of the film is a family of Apatosaurus comprising patriarch Henry (voiced by Jeffrey Wright), his wife Ida (Frances McDormand) and three children Buck (Marcus Scribner), Libby (Maleah Padilla) and Arlo (Raymond Ochoa). They own a farm and work hard to harvest crops for the bitter winter months. "You got to earn your mark by doing something big for something bigger than yourself," Henry teaches his offspring. A tragic accident robs the siblings of their father and soon after, Arlo tumbles into a raging river and is swept far away from his loved ones. Lost in the wilderness, Arlo meets a feral cave boy called Spot (Jack Bright), who becomes the dinosaur's protector. Beast and human embark on a magical adventure of self-discovery, bound for Arlo's home in the shadow of the Clawed-Tooth Mountains. En route, they fall foul of villainous Velociprators and a scavenging Pterodactyl called Thunderclap (Steve Zahn), and befriend a Tyrannosaurus herder called Butch (Sam Elliott) and his rootin' tootin' children Ramsey (Anna Paquin) and Nash (AJ Buckley). After the heartbreak, hilarity and narrative sophistication of Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur is a step backwards for Pixar. The plot is formulaic and predictable, and the finale is drizzled in emotional syrup. While the script lacks daring and invention, the visuals are truly jaw-dropping and push the boundaries of photo-realistic animation on the big screen. Gentle humour is concentrated in the opening hour, before the obligatory harsh life lessons including one pivotal scene in which Arlo and Spot communicate their loss and loneliness through actions rather than words. The pay-off is an emotional gut punch that has become the studio's trademark. The Good Dinosaur screens with the charming short Sanjay's Super Team directed by Sanjay Patel in which a young Indian boy daydreams about three Hindu gods becoming superheroes.

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The Revenant 4 stars

Hugh Glass guides a team of 19th-century fur trappers and hunters under the command of Captain Andrew Henry. The men come under attack from Native Americans and Glass is mauled by a grizzly bear, which is protecting its cubs. Captain Henry leaves behind two men, Fitzgerald and Bridger, to tend to Glass and his son, Hawk. Fitzgerald decides to expedite matters by killing Hawk and dragging Glass' near lifeless body into a freshly dug grave. The explorer regains consciousness and vows revenge.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Drama, Romance, Western
  • CastLeonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Forrest Goodluck.
  • DirectorAlejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
  • WriterAlejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Mark L Smith.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration156 mins
  • Official sitewww.foxmovies.com/movies/the-revenant
  • Release15/01/2016

If film awards were bestowed for dogged determination and perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, The Revenant would sweep the 2016 Oscars. Mexican auteur Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu chose to shoot his sprawling historical epic in chronological order using natural light.

These bold aesthetic choices limited filming to just a couple of hours each day and when Mother Nature decided to withhold snow from the unforgiving Canadian wilderness, the entire production moved to Argentina at considerable expense.

Actor Tom Hardy was forced to drop out of the comic book adventure Suicide Squad to accommodate the extended filming schedule, the budget ballooned and one crew member famously described the mood on set as "a living hell".

Trials and tribulations behind the scenes haven't tarnished Inarritu's audacious vision because The Revenant is a tour-de-force of technical brio and emotionally cold storytelling. It's not a journey into the heart of darkness for the sentimental or faint of heart. Explosions of violence are graphic and a horrifying bear attack early in the film unfolds in a single, unbroken take that shreds our nerves beyond repair.

Leading man Leonardo DiCaprio puts himself through the wringer for his art. In one stomach-churning scene, the fervent vegetarian eats a wild bison's liver on camera because the role demands it. Such unswerving dedication makes him a deserved frontrunner for the Academy Award.

He plays 19th-century explorer Hugh Glass, who guides a team of fur trappers and hunters under the command of Captain Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson). The men come under attack from Native Americans led by tribal chief Elk Dog (Duane Howard), whose daughter Powaqa (Melaw Nakehk'o) has been kidnapped.

The interlopers flee for their lives and Glass is subsequently injured in a mauling from a grizzly bear, which is protecting its cubs. Henry leaves behind two men, Fitzgerald (Hardy) and Bridger (Will Poulter), to tend to Glass and his son, Hawk (Forrest Goodluck), while the rest of the trappers head for safety.

"Glass is to be cared for... as long as necessary," orders the Captain, "and a proper burial when it's time. He's earned that." Fitzgerald decides to expedite matters by killing Hawk and dragging Glass' near lifeless body into a freshly dug grave.

The explorer regains consciousness some time later and vows to hunt down the men who killed his boy. "I ain't afraid to die," growls Glass. "I done it already."

The Revenant is a gruelling two and a half hours in the company of a filmmaker who refused to compromise. Aided by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity, Birdman), Inarritu conjures a nightmarish and unflinching vision of a grieving father's revenge mission.

DiCaprio is mesmerising, dragging his wounded body across frozen landscapes before locking horns with Hardy's scowling rival in an adrenaline-pumped climax that leaves us gasping for air.

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Zoolander No 2 1 stars

Some of the world's most beautiful musical celebrities are assassinated and their bodies are found with the unmistakable "Blue Steel" look on their face. Sexy Interpol agent Melanie Valentina uses her considerable womanly wiles to recruit Derek Zoolander and Hansel McDonald into the ranks to track down the killers. The male models must infiltrate a very different fashion world where experts like Alexanya Atoz defy the ravages of age with her patented Youth Milk serum.

  • GenreAction, Comedy, Romance
  • CastKristen Wiig, Olivia Munn, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Penelope Cruz, Will Ferrell.
  • DirectorBen Stiller.
  • WriterBen Stiller, Justin Theroux, Nicholas Stoller, John Hamburg.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration102 mins
  • Official sitewww.zoolander.com
  • Release12/02/2016

Oscar Wilde famously quipped, "You can never be overdressed or overeducated." Ben Stiller's sequel is festooned with beautiful people draped in gorgeous fabrics and accessorised with brief appearances from the fashion cognoscenti including American Vogue's editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and designers Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Jacobs, Valentino and Alexander Wang.

Unfortunately, when it comes to intellect and wit, Zoolander No 2 doesn't have a pair of functioning brain cells to rub together. Scripted by a four-man committee comprising Stiller, Justin Theroux, Nicholas Stoller and John Hamburg, this Bond-esque high-stakes globetrotting caper feels like it has been cobbled together from half-baked ideas that failed to pass quality control back in 2001.

Like a model tottering precariously down a catwalk on outlandishly high heels, the film is awkward and ungainly, destined to fall flat on its face at least once before the end credits roll.

Stiller and co-star Owen Wilson gamely throw themselves into the fray as numbskull walking clothes horses, flanked by returning cast member Will Ferrell as the film's bouffant archvillain and new additions Penelope Cruz and Kristen Wiig as femme fatales of law and disorder.

Designer label comic talent of this calibre should glister, but we don't care a stitch about their garish caricatures. In a snappy, tongue-in-cheek opening sequence, which turns out to be a false dawn, gun-toting assassins on motorcycles chase Justin Bieber through the labyrinthine streets of Rome.

"You can't kill us all. We will protect The Chosen One," defiantly declares the pop prince before a hail of bullets tears through his chart-topping body. As he takes his final breath, he adopts the "Blue Steel" facial pout that was once the signature of male model Derek Zoolander (Stiller) and posts a selfie online.

Agent Melanie Valentina (Cruz) from Interpol's Global Fashion Division connects the death of Bieber to similar cases involving Madonna, Usher and Bruce Springsteen. She employs her womanly wiles - honed during an inglorious period as a swimsuit model - to recruit Derek and good friend Hansel (Wilson) into the ranks to unmask the perpetrators.

Evidence leads to fashion doyenne Alexanya Atoz (Wiig) and psychopath Jacobim Mugatu (Ferrell), who is safely behind bars. Meanwhile, Derek orchestrates a belated reunion with his plus-size son (Cyrus Arnold). "We're too different, and it's too late," sobs Derek Jr.

Zoolander No 2 is gormless and charmless, and mustering affection for the lead character is a mission: impossible. Indeed, when a hi-tech smart bomb threatens to obliterate everyone in sight, I can't be alone in wishing the device might detonate early.

Flaccid cameos abound including Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich, Willie Nelson, Katy Perry, Susan Sarandon and Kiefer Sutherland. Every faltering, misguided and soulless frame is liberally doused in the latest celebrity fragrance, eau de desperation, and Stiller's picture reeks.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 14th February 2016
Monday 15th February 2016
Tuesday 16th February 2016
Wednesday 17th February 2016
Thursday 18th February 2016

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