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Now showing at Cineworld Newport Wales Newport Retail Park, Seven Styles Avenue,Newport,Gwent NP19 4QQ 0871 200 2000

  • Big Hero 6
  • Cinderella
  • Fast & Furious 6 + Fast & Furious 7
  • Fast & Furious 7
  • Focus
  • Get Hard
  • Home
  • Home 3D
  • Maxine Peake As Hamlet
  • Paddington
  • Penguins Of Madagascar
  • Penguins Of Madagascar 3D
  • Royal Opera Live: Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahagonny
  • Run All Night
  • Seventh Son
  • Seventh Son 3D
  • Shaun The Sheep Movie
  • Still Alice
  • The Divergent Series: Insurgent
  • The Divergent Series: Insurgent 3D
  • The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  • The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water
  • The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water 3D
  • Tinker Bell And The Legend Of The NeverBeast
  • Wild Card

Big Hero 6 4 stars

movie title

Fourteen-year-old Hiro Hamada idolises his older brother Tadashi, who is one of the star pupils of Professor Robert Callaghan, head of the robotics program at San Fransokyo University. A fire at the university ends in tragedy and poor Hiro is consumed with grief until his brother's greatest creation, a self-inflating personal healthcare robot called Baymax, helps the teenager to come to terms with his loss.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family, Science Fiction
  • CastRyan Potter, Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung, TJ Miller, Daniel Henney, James Cromwell, Genesis Rodriguez, Damon Wayans Jr.
  • DirectorDon Hall, Chris Williams.
  • WriterRobert L Baird, Daniel Gerson, Jordan Roberts.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration114 mins
  • Official sitemovies.disney.com/big-hero-6/
  • Release30/01/2015

Never underestimate the soothing power of a hug. With one simple squish, you can provide comfort, encouragement or a simple how-do-you-do that transcends a thousand well-chosen words. Big Hero 6 is the cinematic equivalent of a warm hug, embracing the old-fashioned family values of the Walt Disney brand alongside cutting-edge computer technology that audiences now expect to dazzle their senses.

Directors Don Hall and Chris Williams marry dizzying action sequences that look even more spectacular in 3D to an emotionally rich story of a lonely boy's unshakable bond with his self-inflating robot protector, recalling the magical 1999 animated feature The Iron Giant.

The inquisitive automaton Baymax is the stuff that sweet celluloid dreams are made of: tender, loving and unwittingly hilarious. Every child will want their own marshmallow man to snuggle at night and keep them safe from the harsh realities of modern life that weigh heavily on the film's grief-stricken adolescent hero.

"I see no evidence of physical injury," informs the robot as he scans the boy's body.
"It's a different kind of hurt," laments the teenager.

Fourteen-year-old Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter) idolises his older brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney), who is a star pupil of Professor Robert Callaghan (James Cromwell), head of the robotics program at San Fransokyo University.

A fire on campus culminates in tragedy and shell-shocked Hiro is inconsolable until his brother's greatest creation, a personal healthcare robot called Baymax (Scott Adsit), helps the teenager to confront his loss. As the boy discovers Baymax's functionality, he also stumbles upon a secret: the fire might not have been an accident.

Indeed, a greedy entrepreneur called Alistair Krei (Alan Tudyk) might have started the blaze. Aided by Tadashi's loyal friends GoGo (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr), Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) and Fred (TJ Miller) plus an upgraded Baymax, Hiro resolves to discover the truth about the deadly inferno.

Based on an obscure title from the Marvel Comics universe, Big Hero 6 is a rip-roaring opening salvo in a potential new franchise. Directors Hall and Williams orchestrate the requisite thrilling set pieces with brio, including an unconventional dash through the undulating streets of San Fransokyo that knowingly flouts traffic laws.

"There are no red lights in a car chase!" squeals GoGo. The animators and script never lose sight of the central relationship of Hiro and Baymax, sketching that bond in exquisitely deft strokes. Grown men will be choking back tears.

Big Hero 6 is preceded by Patrick Osborne's Oscar nominated short Feast, which charts the relationship between a Boston terrier and his master from puppyhood to middle age in a series of vignettes. It's a pick of the animated litter that leaves an indelible mark on the heart, just like Hall's and Williams' turbo-charged main feature.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th March 2015
Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Thursday 2nd April 2015

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Cinderella 4 stars

movie title

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th March 2015
Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Thursday 2nd April 2015

This film is also showing at:

Fast & Furious 6 + Fast & Furious 7 3 stars

Dominic Toretto, Brian O'Conner and their gang are fugitives from the law after their daredevil antics stealing 100 million dollars from a drug lord. Tenacious federal agent Luke Hobbs and his new partner Riley track down Dominic and Brian and offer the racers a chance to expunge their criminal records in exchange for bringing down British criminal mastermind Owen Shaw. Complicating matters, Owen's right-hand woman is Dominic's old flame, Letty.

  • GenreAction, Romance, Thriller
  • CastDwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Luke Evans, Paul Walker, Jason Statham.
  • DirectorJustin Lin.
  • WriterChris Morgan.
  • CountryUS/Jpn
  • Duration290 mins
  • Official sitewww.thefastandthefurious.com
  • Release03/04/2015

Blockbuster sequels are not judged on directorial verve, ingenious plots or award-winning performances, although they certainly help. The barometer of success for any follow-up is the ker-ching of box office tills. With the exception of The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift, which foolishly traded in the reliable pairing of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker for younger models, takings for successive offerings in the turbo-charged franchise have steadily increased, roaring to an impressive 626 million dollars for Fast & Furious 5.

Director Justin Lin buckles up once again for this testosterone-fuelled burnout, upping the action ante with a runaway armoured tank and a climactic battle inside a gargantuan Russian airplane. Screenwriter Chris Morgan, who has tinkered under the hood with director Lin since the ill-fated third film, relies on a trusted set-up to deliver adrenaline-pumping thrills.

Bigger isn't always better and there are only so many times one of the gung-ho heroes can fly through the air from a moving vehicle to certain death, then emerge from twisted metal with barely a cut, before our excitement down-shifts to neutral.

At the end of Fast & Furious 5, Dominic Toretto (Diesel) learnt that old flame Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) was alive. In a twist worthy of a trashy daytime soap opera, Letty survived the fireball that supposedly killed her but lost her memory and now works as the henchwoman of British criminal mastermind, Owen Shaw (Luke Evans).

Tenacious federal agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and his new partner, Riley (Gina Carano), offer to expunge Dom's and Brian's criminal records in exchange for capturing Shaw. The men reconvene the old team: fast-talking Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), technical wizard Tej (Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges), drift racer Han (Sung Kang) and his speed freak girlfriend Gisele (Gal Gadot).

Engines roar and rubber burns as Dom, Brian and co head to London to put a handbrake on Shaw's plans but their adversary is always one step ahead.

Fast & Furious 6 isn't as satisfying as the previous chapter and the plot springs a puncture in the middle third but Lin puts the pedal to the metal in set pieces. Diesel and Walker can play their roles in their sleep, and the lack of expression on the former's face suggests he might be doing just that, while Carano is a ballsy new addition, enjoying a bruising fistfight with Rodriguez in the crowded tunnels of London Underground.

Evans is ineffectual but the script woefully short-changes him and the big showdown with Diesel that should crackle with tension is an anticlimax. An explosive epilogue introduces a swaggering new arch-nemesis to the fray, who starts as he/she means to go on with a cold-blooded assassination.

The engine is already purring for Fast & Furious 7, directed by James Wan, who helmed the first chapter of the Saw films. Expect to choke on exhaust fumes in July 2014.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 2nd April 2015

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Fast & Furious 7 3 stars

Following the death of corrupt British soldier Owen Shaw, Dominic Toretto, Brian O'Conner and their crew are granted permission to return to America as free men. Brian and Mia look forward to settling down and Dominic comes to terms with the return of Letty from the dead. Owen's older brother Ian seeks revenge for the killing of his sibling and he begins by slaying Han-Seoul-Oh. When the rest of the team learn about Han's death, they come together for one final and potentially lethal mission.

  • GenreAction, Romance, Thriller
  • CastDwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Djimon Hounsou, Lucas Black, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Kurt Russell, Jason Statham.
  • DirectorJames Wan.
  • WriterChris Morgan, Gary Scott Thompson.
  • CountryUS/Jpn
  • Duration137 mins
  • Official sitewww.fastandfurious7.co.uk
  • Release03/04/2015

Paul Walker makes his final film appearance in the seventh instalment of the turbo-charged franchise, directed by James Wan. Following the death of corrupt British soldier Owen Shaw (Luke Shaw) at the end of the last film, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) and their crew are granted permission to return to America as free men. Brian and Mia (Jordana Brewster) look forward to settling down and Dominic comes to terms with the return of Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) from the dead. Owen's older brother Ian (Jason Statham) seeks revenge for the killing of his sibling and he begins by slaying Han-Seoul-Oh (Sung Kang). When the rest of the team learn about Han's death, they come together for one final and potentially lethal mission.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 3rd April 2015

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Focus 3 stars

movie title

Nicky is a seasoned master of misdirection, who can charm even the most cynical targets into falling for his money-making schemes. He becomes romantically entangled with novice con artist Jess but realises that his feelings are clouding his judgement. So Nicky promptly ends terminates the relationship. Three years later, Nicky is in Buenos Aires at a race car circuit for a lucrative ruse. The stakes are high... then Jess reappears and throws the con man off his game.

  • GenreComedy, Drama, Romance, Thriller
  • CastWill Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro, Gerald McRaney, BD Wong.
  • DirectorJohn Requa, Glenn Ficarra.
  • WriterJohn Requa, Glenn Ficarra.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration105 mins
  • Official sitewww.focusmovie.com
  • Release27/02/2015

The con men and women who bluff, distract and double-cross in Glenn Ficarra and John Requa's light-fingered drama, operate by clearly defined rules. They perform hundreds of petty thefts rather than one major heist because there is safety in volume, they refuse to steal from the vulnerable, and they never allow sentiment to cloud their cold-hearted, cash-oriented judgement.

"Love will get you killed in this racket," grizzles one veteran of the hustle. It's surprising then that Ficarra and Requa ignore their character's pithy advice and stake heavily on a fraught romance between their anti-hero, a consummate con man, and his sassy sex-bomb protegee.

The writer-directors' gamble might have paid off if lead actors Will Smith and Margot Robbie were gifted snappier dialogue, and their bedroom scenes were choreographed with passion rather than softly-lit precision to kindle smouldering on-screen chemistry.

As it is, the biggest con in Focus is not the climactic swindle, which strenuously tests the bonds of honour between thieves, but the sizzle of that central relationship, which supposedly pushes both characters to the edge of reason.

Nicky Spurgeon (Smith) is a master of misdirection, who can sweet-talk cynical targets into falling for his money-making schemes. Aided by a large crew of pickpockets and accomplices including right-hand man Horst (Brennan Brown) and technical wizard Farhad (Adrian Martinez), Nicky follows the money.

During carnival season, he operates out of New Orleans and becomes amorously entangled with novice Jess Barrett (Robbie). "You get their focus, take whatever you want," explains Nicky, teaching her the tricks of his shady trade.

After one major sting, Nicky acknowledges his distracting feelings for Jess and he terminates the relationship. Three years later, Nicky is in Buenos Aires at a race car circuit for a scam involving team owners Garriga (Rodrigo Santoro) and McEwen (Robert Taylor).

The stakes are high and Garriga is protected by a straight-shooting bodyguard called Ownes (Gerald McRaney), who thinks sleep is for wimps. "I'll lie down when I get cancer or when I have sex," snarls the heavy. Just as Nicky is poised to initiate his elaborate scheme, Jess reappears and throws the veteran con man into an emotional tailspin.

Focus is a familiar tale of old scoundrels performing new tricks, which lacks the erotic charge of the co-directors' previous film, Crazy, Stupid, Love. Robbie is luminous and makes Smith seem lifeless, confirming her ability to steal a film after eye-catching work opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf Of Wall Street.

Ficarra and Requa engineer a dramatic crescendo at the end of the first hour against the backdrop of an American football game. The second act in Argentina is an anti-climax by comparison that plays its winning hand far too early. In the absence of jeopardy, we lose everything, especially interest.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th March 2015
Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015

This film is also showing at:

Get Hard 1 stars

movie title

Businessman James King is engaged to a beautiful woman, who happens to be the daughter of Mr Hart, president of the firm. James savours the trappings of his millionaire lifestyle until he is wrongfully convicted of tax evasion, which carries a 10-year prison sentence. He has 30 days to prepare for his stint behind bars. James turns for help to one of Mr Hart's employees, Darnell Lewis, who James mistakenly believes must have served time because he is African-American.

  • GenreComedy, Drama
  • CastWill Ferrell, Alison Brie, Kevin Hart, Craig T Nelson.
  • DirectorEtan Cohen.
  • WriterIan Roberts, Jay Martel, Etan Cohen.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration100 mins
  • Official sitewww.gethardmovie.com
  • Release27/03/2015

Etan Cohen's relentlessly homophobic and racist comedy of errors - the biggest being that the film was made - opens with a shot of actor Will Ferrell sobbing uncontrollably. We know exactly how he feels after 10 minutes of Get Hard, which presumably sets out to poke fun at rampant political correctness but completely misses a huge target.

I sincerely doubt that writer-director Cohen, who penned the script to the Ben Stiller-Robert Downey Jr comedy Tropic Thunder, which lampooned racial stereotypes with aplomb, set out to wilfully offend or denigrate.

However, it's difficult to find excuses for a crass and insensitive script that treats male rape as a running joke, reduces most women to sex objects and contrives a painfully laboured sequence at a gay-friendly cafe, where Ferrell's energetic co-star Kevin Hart counsels him to approach any man and ask for oral sex because "that's what they do".

A couple of decent gags, including a jibe at an Australian media mogul, momentarily sweetens an exceedingly bitter pill, but we're left with a very nasty taste in the mouth, even with a generous drizzle of syrupy sentimentality in the film's closing moments.

James King (Ferrell) is a trader at Walthrop Fund Management, who can speculate 28 million US dollars profit in a single day and believes that society reduces to "rich or poor, white or... miscellaneous". His pampered fiancee Alissa (Alison Brie) is the daughter of company chairman Martin Clark (Craig T Nelson), who is poised to make his future son-in-law a partner in the firm.

James savours the trappings of his millionaire lifestyle until he is wrongfully charged with 43 counts of fraud and 30 counts of embezzlement. The company lawyer (Greg Germann) advises James to plead guilty but he refuses and is subsequently handed a 10-year sentence at a maximum security prison.

With 30 days to prepare for a stint behind bars, James turns to Darnell Lewis (Hart), owner of a car wash business, who the shamed trader presumes must have served time because he is African-American. In truth, Darnell is a hard-working family man, who intends to build a better future for his wife (Edwina Findley Dickerson) and daughter (Ariana Neal).

James offers Darnell 30,000 US dollars to toughen him up. "Help me train to not be someone's bitch," grizzles the millionaire. So Darnell passes himself off as a tough-talking mentor using insider information gleaned from his jailbird cousin (Tip "T.I." Harris).

Get Hard limps from one moment of uncomfortable, deathly silence, where there should be laughter, to the next. Ferrell and Hart are a mismatched double-act, riffing obscenities at each other in the hope that something, anything, might warrant a pitying smile.

To quote Hart's despairing on-screen spouse: "This is nuts!" Incarceration would be preferable to having to sit through Cohen's film again.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th March 2015
Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Thursday 2nd April 2015

This film is also showing at:

Home 3 stars

movie title

An extra-terrestrial race called the Boov invades Earth under the command of Captain Smek with a view to claiming the third rock from the sun as their new home. The Boov round up the humans and relocates the entire species. A resourceful teenage girl called Tip, whose mother was abducted, evades capture and goes on the run. She crosses paths with an outcast Boov named Oh, who has been banished by his otherworldly kin. They join forces to save Earth.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction
  • CastJim Parsons, Steve Martin, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Matt Jones.
  • DirectorTim Johnson.
  • WriterTom J Astle, Matt Ember.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration94 mins
  • Official sitewww.meettheboov.com
  • Release20/03/2015

Humans and cute aliens unite to save Earth in Tim Johnson's entertaining but shamelessly contrived computer-animated adventure. The new dog performing old tricks on the DreamWorks block, which previously housed Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How To Train Your Dragon, lacks the belly laughs and heart-breaking emotion of those films, but merrily rehashes elements from all three.

Thus the extra-terrestrial invaders discover they like to wave their hands in the air like they just don't care to our music and the central duo discovers that self-sacrifice is an important part of friendship.

Johnson's film has some solid gags and the colour palette is bright, although there are disappointingly few visual tricks up the animators' sleeves to justify the increased ticket price for the 3D version.

In a neat piece of short-hand, the invaders turn out to be the extra-terrestrial equivalent of mood rings, changing colour to reflect their emotional state: yellow for fear, pink for love, red for anger, blue for sadness and green for dishonesty. It's a merchandiser's dream and every parent's nightmare: children begging for the same stuffed toy in multiple shades.

An extra-terrestrial race called the Boov invades Earth under the command of power-hungry Captain Smek (voiced by Steve Martin) with a view to claiming the third rock from the sun as their new home.

The Boov round up the humans and relocate the entire species to Australia. Back in America, a resourceful 11-year-old girl called Tip (Rihanna), whose mother (Jennifer Lopez) was abducted from their apartment, evades capture and goes on the run with her rotund pet cat.

She encounters a fugitive Boov named Oh (Jim Parsons), who has accidentally sent an email invitation to his "warming of house party" to everyone in the galaxy, including the Boov's sworn enemy, the Gorg. Tip and Oh are poles apart: she is spunky and brave, while he turns tail at the first sign of peril.

"If probability falls below 50%, the Boov give up," explains Oh. Working together, they forge a touching friendship and Tip helps her extra-terrestrial chum to embrace his flaws.

Based on the children's book The True Meaning Of Smekday by Adam Rex, Home ticks all of the boxes, but does so without any obvious verve, originality or sense of urgency. Parsons riffs on his nerdy character in The Big Bang Theory, while Rihanna lends her distinctive Barbadian tones to the plucky, pint-sized heroine.

She also has two songs on the soundtrack including the dance anthem Only Girl (In The World), which provides moments of unnecessary distraction as Tip talks over the top of the music.

At one point during the chase, Oh turns to Tip and screams, "This is not a sustainable friendship model." Johnson makes it work for 94 minutes, but only just.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th March 2015
Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Thursday 2nd April 2015

This film is also showing at:

Home 3D 3 stars

movie title

An extra-terrestrial race called the Boov invades Earth under the command of Captain Smek with a view to claiming the third rock from the sun as their new home. The Boov round up the humans and relocates the entire species. A resourceful teenage girl called Tip, whose mother was abducted, evades capture and goes on the run. She crosses paths with an outcast Boov named Oh, who has been banished by his otherworldly kin. They join forces to save Earth.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction
  • CastJim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Matt Jones.
  • DirectorTim Johnson.
  • WriterTom J Astle, Matt Ember.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration94 mins
  • Official sitewww.meettheboov.com
  • Release20/03/2015

Humans and cute aliens unite to save Earth in Tim Johnson's entertaining but shamelessly contrived computer-animated adventure. The new dog performing old tricks on the DreamWorks block, which previously housed Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How To Train Your Dragon, lacks the belly laughs and heart-breaking emotion of those films, but merrily rehashes elements from all three.

Thus the extra-terrestrial invaders discover they like to wave their hands in the air like they just don't care to our music and the central duo discovers that self-sacrifice is an important part of friendship.

Johnson's film has some solid gags and the colour palette is bright, although there are disappointingly few visual tricks up the animators' sleeves to justify the increased ticket price for the 3D version.

In a neat piece of short-hand, the invaders turn out to be the extra-terrestrial equivalent of mood rings, changing colour to reflect their emotional state: yellow for fear, pink for love, red for anger, blue for sadness and green for dishonesty. It's a merchandiser's dream and every parent's nightmare: children begging for the same stuffed toy in multiple shades.

An extra-terrestrial race called the Boov invades Earth under the command of power-hungry Captain Smek (voiced by Steve Martin) with a view to claiming the third rock from the sun as their new home.

The Boov round up the humans and relocate the entire species to Australia. Back in America, a resourceful 11-year-old girl called Tip (Rihanna), whose mother (Jennifer Lopez) was abducted from their apartment, evades capture and goes on the run with her rotund pet cat.

She encounters a fugitive Boov named Oh (Jim Parsons), who has accidentally sent an email invitation to his "warming of house party" to everyone in the galaxy, including the Boov's sworn enemy, the Gorg. Tip and Oh are poles apart: she is spunky and brave, while he turns tail at the first sign of peril.

"If probability falls below 50%, the Boov give up," explains Oh. Working together, they forge a touching friendship and Tip helps her extra-terrestrial chum to embrace his flaws.

Based on the children's book The True Meaning Of Smekday by Adam Rex, Home ticks all of the boxes, but does so without any obvious verve, originality or sense of urgency. Parsons riffs on his nerdy character in The Big Bang Theory, while Rihanna lends her distinctive Barbadian tones to the plucky, pint-sized heroine.

She also has two songs on the soundtrack including the dance anthem Only Girl (In The World), which provides moments of unnecessary distraction as Tip talks over the top of the music.

At one point during the chase, Oh turns to Tip and screams, "This is not a sustainable friendship model." Johnson makes it work for 94 minutes, but only just.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th March 2015
Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Thursday 2nd April 2015

This film is also showing at:

Maxine Peake As Hamlet 3 stars

Recorded live at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester in autumn 2014, Sarah Frankcom's stripped down, modern dress staging of Shakespeare's blood-smeared tale of loyalty, love, betrayal, murder and madness stars the formidable Maxine Peake as the young Prince of Denmark who exacts a terrifying revenge for the death of his father. His murderous uncle Claudius and mother Gertrude feel the full force of Hamlet's wrath.

  • GenreDrama, Special
  • CastJohn Shrapnel, Barbara Marten, Maxine Peake, Katie West.
  • DirectorSarah Frankcom.
  • WriterWilliam Shakespeare.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration208 mins
  • Official sitewww.royalexchange.co.uk/whats-on-and-tickets/hamlet
  • Release23/03/2015 (selected cinemas)

Recorded live at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester in autumn 2014, Sarah Frankcom's stripped down, modern dress staging of Shakespeare's blood-smeared tale of loyalty, love, betrayal, murder and madness stars the formidable Maxine Peake as the young Prince of Denmark who exacts a terrifying revenge for the death of his father. His murderous uncle Claudius (John Shrapnel) and mother Gertrude (Barbara Marten) feel the full force of Hamlet's wrath, while innocent Ophelia (Katie West) is also sucked into the vortex of hatred from which there is no escape.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 29th March 2015

Paddington 4 stars

movie title

A young Peruvian bear with a passion for the British heads to London in search of a new home. At Paddington train station, he meets a boy called Jonathan Brown and his parents, who offer the lovable creature, christened Paddington, a temporary haven. At large in a strange city, Paddington wreaks havoc in the Brown household. Then an evil museum taxidermist named Millicent glimpses the wondrous bear and realises that he would make the most perfect addition to her collection.

  • GenreAdaptation, Comedy, Drama, Family, Family
  • CastHugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Michael Gambon, Ben Whishaw, Nicole Kidman, Imelda Staunton.
  • DirectorPaul King.
  • WriterPaul King.
  • CountryUK/Fr
  • Duration95 mins
  • Official sitewww.paddington.com
  • Release28/11/2014

More than 50 years after he first appeared in print, author Michael Bond's beloved bear Paddington has finally arrived on the big screen in his first star-packed family adventure. Upcoming director Paul King's film lovingly weaves the traditional tenets of the duffel-coat wearing bear's story into a modern narrative.

Like the books, the film starts in deepest, darkest Peru, where a well-mannered three-foot bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) lives with his elderly Aunt Lucy (Imelda Staunton) and Uncle Pastuzo (Michael Gambon). In their youth, Lucy and Pastuzo were visited by a kindly English explorer who left his red hat with his furry friends.

When their home is threatened, Aunt Lucy packs her nephew off to the safety of London to track down the explorer, who has promised that there will always be a home for them in the capital.

Of course, after sailing the oceans in a boat filled with supplies of his treasured marmalade, the bear finds London isn't actually that friendly. In fact it's pretty miserable what with the drizzly weather and glum commuters pushing and shoving their way out of Paddington station and ignoring his pleas for a home.

"Sorry, we haven't got time for this," cries worrywart Mr Brown (Hugh Bonneville), while his moody daughter Judy (Madeleine Harris) exclaims she's "embarrassed" to be near the small grisly, who has a 'Please look after this bear' sign around his neck.

Luckily, warm-hearted Mrs Brown (Sally Hawkins) and son Jonathan (Samuel Joslin) vow to take the furry chap home for the night. Naming him Paddington after the station where they found him, the Browns introduce their guest to kindly housekeeper Mrs Bird (Julie Walters).

But disaster soon strikes when Paddington tries to freshen up in the bathroom, resulting in a flood, two earwax-stained toothbrushes and a sharp telling off. Determined to find the explorer, Mrs Brown takes Paddington to see her friend Mr Gruber (Jim Broadbent), an antiques dealer who might have clues to his existence.

In doing so, they attract the attention of cranky curtain twitcher Mr Curry (Peter Capaldi) and a slimy associate of villainous taxidermist Millicent (Nicole Kidman) who is hell-bent on "stuffing that bear". With Millicent determined to get her mitts on Paddington to display him in the Natural History Museum, the Browns find themselves on a humdinger of a cat and mouse chase to try and keep their furry friend safe.

As comforting and sweet as Paddington's beloved marmalade, King's delightful adaptation has heaps of heart and enough humour and carefully plotted cameos to ensure everyone more than grins and bears his adaptation.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Thursday 2nd April 2015

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Penguins Of Madagascar 3 stars

movie title

Skipper leads a crack squad of penguins comprising Kowalski, Rico and Private. A grey wolf called Classified, who works for the elite inter-species task force North Wind, recruits the plucky birds to thwart nefarious octopus Dr Octavius Brine. The penguins collaborate with some of the best agents in North Wind including harp seal demolitions expert Short Fuse, snowy owl intelligence analyst Eva and plucky polar bear Corporal to defeat their tentacled adversary.

  • GenreAdventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastChristopher Knights, Chris Miller, Tom McGrath, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Stormare, John Malkovich, Ken Jeong, Conrad Vernon.
  • DirectorEric Darnell, Simon J Smith.
  • WriterMichael Colton, John Aboud, Brandon Sawyer.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration92 mins
  • Official sitewww.madagascar.dreamworks.com
  • Release05/12/2014

Birds of a feather somersault, karate kick and bicker together in Eric Darnell and Simon J Smith's misfiring computer-animated spin-off from the Madagascar films. Frenetic and fast-paced, Penguins Of Madagascar initially sketches the back story of the four plucky Antarctic critters with a beak for adventure through the lens of a documentary film crew, who are keen to observe the flightless birds in their treacherous natural habitat.

The script soon fast-forwards to the conclusion of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and literally blasts the penguins into an outlandish spy caper replete with a menagerie of animal co-stars that should be a merchandiser's dream this Christmas.

The colour-saturated animation is a feast for the eyes and there are a few neat visual gags such as the penguins' novel approach to navigating a zebra crossing undetected. However, the four lead characters, who are boundlessly charming in small doses as sidekicks, grate slightly as heroes of their own half-baked story.

Hopefully the adorable Minions from the Despicable Me series will dodge a similar fate when they graduate to the limelight in a self-titled feature next summer.

Skipper (voiced by Tom McGrath) leads a crack squad comprising Kowalski (Chris Miller), Rico (Conrad Vernon) and Private (Christopher Knights) on a daring mission to break into Fort Knox in search of treasure: a luminous orange snack called Cheezy Dibbles.

From the offset, goofball Private is identified as the black penguin of the operation. "He's sort of our secretary-slash-mascot," observes Skipper. The hunt for Cheezy Dibbles leads the penguins into the clutches of nefarious octopus Dr Octavius Brine (John Malkovich), who intends to take over the world using his mutation serum.

Thankfully, Skipper and co escape and a subsequent chase with hench-octopi along the canals of Venice leads the penguins into the company of a grey wolf called Classified (Benedict Cumberbatch), who works for an elite inter-species task force known as North Wind.

Fellow agents include harp seal demolitions expert Short Fuse (Ken Jeong), snowy owl intelligence analyst Eva (Annet Mahendru) and plucky polar bear Corporal (Peter Stormare). The unlikely heroes join forces to defeat their tentacled arch-nemesis, but this collaboration will amount to nothing unless Skipper allows Private to discover the hero within.

Penguins Of Madagascar exhibits a similar lack of invention as the films which gave birth to Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. Brine's master plan for global domination bears an uncanny resemblance to events in Despicable Me 2 and the underlying message of tolerance and acceptance has been preached countless times before.

"If we've learnt anything on this delightful adventure, it's that looks don't matter. It's what you do that counts," declares Skipper.

A running joke involving celebrity names in one character's dialogue is a cute flourish but certainly not enough for these penguins to defy evolution and effortlessly take flight.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Thursday 2nd April 2015

Penguins Of Madagascar 3D 3 stars

movie title

Skipper leads a crack squad of penguins comprising Kowalski, Rico and Private. A grey wolf called Classified, who works for the elite inter-species task force North Wind, recruits the plucky birds to thwart nefarious octopus Dr Octavius Brine. The penguins collaborate with some of the best agents in North Wind including harp seal demolitions expert Short Fuse, snowy owl intelligence analyst Eva and plucky polar bear Corporal to defeat their tentacled adversary.

  • GenreAdventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastChris Miller, Tom McGrath, Christopher Knights, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Stormare, John Malkovich, Ken Jeong, Conrad Vernon.
  • DirectorEric Darnell, Simon J Smith.
  • WriterMichael Colton, John Aboud, Brandon Sawyer.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration92 mins
  • Official sitewww.madagascar.dreamworks.com
  • Release05/12/2014

Birds of a feather somersault, karate kick and bicker together in Eric Darnell and Simon J Smith's misfiring computer-animated spin-off from the Madagascar films. Frenetic and fast-paced, Penguins Of Madagascar initially sketches the back story of the four plucky Antarctic critters with a beak for adventure through the lens of a documentary film crew, who are keen to observe the flightless birds in their treacherous natural habitat.

The script soon fast-forwards to the conclusion of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and literally blasts the penguins into an outlandish spy caper replete with a menagerie of animal co-stars that should be a merchandiser's dream this Christmas.

The colour-saturated animation is a feast for the eyes and there are a few neat visual gags such as the penguins' novel approach to navigating a zebra crossing undetected. However, the four lead characters, who are boundlessly charming in small doses as sidekicks, grate slightly as heroes of their own half-baked story.

Hopefully the adorable Minions from the Despicable Me series will dodge a similar fate when they graduate to the limelight in a self-titled feature next summer.

Skipper (voiced by Tom McGrath) leads a crack squad comprising Kowalski (Chris Miller), Rico (Conrad Vernon) and Private (Christopher Knights) on a daring mission to break into Fort Knox in search of treasure: a luminous orange snack called Cheezy Dibbles.

From the offset, goofball Private is identified as the black penguin of the operation. "He's sort of our secretary-slash-mascot," observes Skipper. The hunt for Cheezy Dibbles leads the penguins into the clutches of nefarious octopus Dr Octavius Brine (John Malkovich), who intends to take over the world using his mutation serum.

Thankfully, Skipper and co escape and a subsequent chase with hench-octopi along the canals of Venice leads the penguins into the company of a grey wolf called Classified (Benedict Cumberbatch), who works for an elite inter-species task force known as North Wind.

Fellow agents include harp seal demolitions expert Short Fuse (Ken Jeong), snowy owl intelligence analyst Eva (Annet Mahendru) and plucky polar bear Corporal (Peter Stormare). The unlikely heroes join forces to defeat their tentacled arch-nemesis, but this collaboration will amount to nothing unless Skipper allows Private to discover the hero within.

Penguins Of Madagascar exhibits a similar lack of invention as the films which gave birth to Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. Brine's master plan for global domination bears an uncanny resemblance to events in Despicable Me 2 and the underlying message of tolerance and acceptance has been preached countless times before.

"If we've learnt anything on this delightful adventure, it's that looks don't matter. It's what you do that counts," declares Skipper.

A running joke involving celebrity names in one character's dialogue is a cute flourish but certainly not enough for these penguins to defy evolution and effortlessly take flight.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Thursday 2nd April 2015

Royal Opera Live: Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahagonny 3 stars

Broadcast live from the Royal Opera House in London, Mark Wrigglesworth wields the conductor's baton for this performance of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's furiously impassioned operatic satire on consumerism. John Fulljames directs Christine Rice as prostitute Jenny and Kurt Streit as lumberjack Jim, who come undone in a city of gold awash with greed and debauchery.

  • GenreMusical, Special
  • CastAnne Sofie von Otter, Peter Hoare, Sir Willard White.
  • DirectorJohn Fulljames.
  • WriterKurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht.
  • CountryUK
  • Official sitewww.roh.org.uk/cinemas
  • Release24/03/2015 (selected cinemas)

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 1st April 2015

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Run All Night 3 stars

movie title

Hit man Jimmy Conlon is nicknamed The Gravedigger because of his prolific kill rate, some at the behest of his best friend, ruthless mob boss Shawn Maguire. For more than 30 years, Jimmy has managed to stay one step ahead of tenacious Detective Harding but when his estranged son Mike becomes a target for execution, Jimmy faces a stark choice between a crime family that doesn't tolerate mistakes and his own flesh and blood.

  • GenreAction, Drama, Thriller
  • CastEd Harris, Joel Kinnaman, Liam Neeson, Vincent D'Onofrio, Boyd Holbrook, Genesis Rodriguez, Common.
  • DirectorJaume Collet-Serra.
  • WriterBrad Ingelsby.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration114 mins
  • Official sitewww.runallnightmovie.com
  • Release13/03/2015

The sins of two fathers are visited upon their sons in Jaume Collet-Serra's sleek action thriller set on the rain-lashed streets of New York. The Spanish director, who helmed Unknown and Non-Stop, reunites with Liam Neeson for this propulsive genre piece, casting the hulking Irish actor as a booze-sodden hit man, who will stop at nothing to protect his loved ones.

Handily, the role is an amalgamation of Neeson's last two films - A Walk Among The Tombstones and Taken 3 - so he barely breaks sweat as an emotionally scarred anti-hero, who punctuates bruising fisticuffs with pithy mantras: "I wanted a better life for you than the one I chose for myself."

Brad Ingelsby's script lays on the Catholic guilt with a trowel, making clear that for every crime - and there are plenty in Run All Night - there must be swift, brutal punishment.

"I've done terrible things in my life, things for which I can never be forgiven," confesses hit man Jimmy Conlon (Neeson). For more than 30 years, Jimmy has outfoxed tenacious Detective John Harding (Vincent D'Onofrio) and slayed targets at the behest of his best friend, mob boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris).

Alcohol is Jimmy's solace from his manifold transgressions, which have cast him adrift from his son Mike (Joel Kinnaman), who works as a limousine driver and has an expectant wife Gabriela (Genesis Rodriguez) and two daughters. One fateful night, Mike witnesses Shawn's reckless son Danny (Boyd Holbrook) killing an Albanian thug.

Danny takes to heart his father's words - "You've made a mess, it's time someone other than me cleaned it up" - and resolves to silence the only witness. Inevitably, Jimmy becomes embroiled in this deadly game of cat and mouse and he sides with his flesh and blood.

"I'm the only one that cared about you and that all ended one hour ago," barks Shawn, unleashing his mob dogs of war including an assassin called Price (Common) to hunt down Jimmy and his boy.

Run All Night opens with one character on the brink of death then rewinds 16 hours, confidently staging testosterone-fuelled set pieces including a high-speed car chase and a daredevil escape from a burning building.

Collet-Serra energises static scenes with swirling camerawork, enhanced with a high-energy soundtrack courtesy of Dutch dance producer Junkie XL. Screenwriter Ingelsby condenses each strained relationship to one or two scenes of succinct dialogue, including a terrific bout of verbal sparring between Neeson and Harris in a restaurant. Both actors land glancing blows in limited shared screen time.

Swedish actor Kinnaman, last seen encased in Robocop's metallic armour, sports a convincing New York accent as his character takes parenting lessons in a hail of bullets. You learn quickly when there's a gun to your head.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th March 2015
Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Thursday 2nd April 2015

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Seventh Son 2 stars

movie title

Master Gregory is the last remaining knight of a noble order called the Spooks, which defend humanity from evil. When a witch called Mother Malkin escapes confinement, Master Gregory visits the home of Mr and Mrs Ward and offers the parents a small fortune to train their boy Tom - the seventh son of a seventh son - as his new apprentice. The Wards reluctantly agree and Tom begins his tutelage in earnest.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
  • CastDjimon Hounsou, Olivia Williams, Alicia Vikander, Ben Barnes, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Kit Harington.
  • DirectorSergei Bodrov.
  • WriterSteven Knight, Charles Leavitt.
  • CountryUS/UK/Can.
  • Duration102 mins
  • Official siteseventhson.legendary.com
  • Release27/03/2015

There's a simple rule of thumb to deduce if a film starring Oscar winner Jeff Bridges is worth your time, patience and hard-earned lucre. Almost without exception, the quality of the finished feature will be inversely proportional to the extravagance of his character's facial hair and the thickness of the preposterous accent.

In Sergei Bodrov's special effects-laden swords and sorcery romp, Bridges sports a dense shaggy beard to match a dishevelled mane and chews on every single line of dialogue in Charles Leavitt and Steven Knight's script as if he has a toffee stuck between his teeth.

The exaggerated performance and eye-catching appearance are a cheap distraction from a flimsy plot laden with unintentional hilarious dialogue and curious leaps in logic. He plays Master John Gregory, the last remaining knight of a noble and mystical order called the Spooks, who defend humanity by containing the creatures of the dark.

He imprisons a powerful witch called Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore) but the rise of a Blood Moon empowers the diabolical hag, who transforms into a dragon and escapes confinement. Gregory and his current apprentice Billy Bradley (Kit Harington) attempt to contain the witch but their heroic efforts culminate in tragedy.

As Malkin's powers grow, Gregory visits the home of Malcolm and Mam Ward (Timothy Webber, Olivia Williams) and he offers the parents a small fortune to train their boy Tom (Ben Barnes) - the seventh son of a seventh son - as his new apprentice.

The Wards agree and Mam bids farewell to her boy by asking him to wear her pendant. "Everything you need is inside you - don't be afraid to look," she tells Tom cryptically. The young man begins his tutelage in earnest, aided by Gregory's troll-like friend Tusk (John DeSantis).

Meanwhile, Malkin dispatches her niece, Alice (Alicia Vikander), to spy on the Spook and his protege as she gathers together her most trusted allies including her fierce lieutenant Urag (Jason Scott Lee) and blade-wielding warlock Radu (Djimon Hounsou).

Based on The Spook's Apprentice by Joseph Delaney, Seventh Son is a lumbering fantasy adventure that neglects to put the super in supernatural. Barnes is a bland hero, who valiantly keeps a straight face opposite Bridges' incessant mumbling, while Vikander looks radiant in a thankless role as the love interest torn between the forces of light and dark.

Moore, who recently won the Academy Award for Still Alice, slinks through each frame, huskily whispering camp lines like, "I like boys", without a hint of menace.

Russian director Bodrov salves some of the pain with a series of bombastic action sequences replete with flying dragons, wicked witches and an ill-tempered ogre-like creature called a boggart with an acute sense of smell. The monster's on-screen rage must be a violent reaction to the stink of Seventh Son.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th March 2015
Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Thursday 2nd April 2015

This film is also showing at:

Seventh Son 3D 2 stars

movie title

Master Gregory is the last remaining knight of a noble order called the Spooks, which defend humanity from evil. When a witch called Mother Malkin escapes confinement, Master Gregory visits the home of Mr and Mrs Ward and offers the parents a small fortune to train their boy Tom - the seventh son of a seventh son - as his new apprentice. The Wards reluctantly agree and Tom begins his tutelage in earnest.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
  • CastDjimon Hounsou, Olivia Williams, Alicia Vikander, Ben Barnes, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Kit Harington.
  • DirectorSergei Bodrov.
  • WriterSteven Knight, Charles Leavitt.
  • CountryUS/UK/Can.
  • Duration102 mins
  • Official siteseventhson.legendary.com
  • Release27/03/2015

There's a simple rule of thumb to deduce if a film starring Oscar winner Jeff Bridges is worth your time, patience and hard-earned lucre. Almost without exception, the quality of the finished feature will be inversely proportional to the extravagance of his character's facial hair and the thickness of the preposterous accent.

In Sergei Bodrov's special effects-laden swords and sorcery romp, Bridges sports a dense shaggy beard to match a dishevelled mane and chews on every single line of dialogue in Charles Leavitt and Steven Knight's script as if he has a toffee stuck between his teeth.

The exaggerated performance and eye-catching appearance are a cheap distraction from a flimsy plot laden with unintentional hilarious dialogue and curious leaps in logic. He plays Master John Gregory, the last remaining knight of a noble and mystical order called the Spooks, who defend humanity by containing the creatures of the dark.

He imprisons a powerful witch called Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore) but the rise of a Blood Moon empowers the diabolical hag, who transforms into a dragon and escapes confinement. Gregory and his current apprentice Billy Bradley (Kit Harington) attempt to contain the witch but their heroic efforts culminate in tragedy.

As Malkin's powers grow, Gregory visits the home of Malcolm and Mam Ward (Timothy Webber, Olivia Williams) and he offers the parents a small fortune to train their boy Tom (Ben Barnes) - the seventh son of a seventh son - as his new apprentice.

The Wards agree and Mam bids farewell to her boy by asking him to wear her pendant. "Everything you need is inside you - don't be afraid to look," she tells Tom cryptically. The young man begins his tutelage in earnest, aided by Gregory's troll-like friend Tusk (John DeSantis).

Meanwhile, Malkin dispatches her niece, Alice (Alicia Vikander), to spy on the Spook and his protege as she gathers together her most trusted allies including her fierce lieutenant Urag (Jason Scott Lee) and blade-wielding warlock Radu (Djimon Hounsou).

Based on The Spook's Apprentice by Joseph Delaney, Seventh Son is a lumbering fantasy adventure that neglects to put the super in supernatural. Barnes is a bland hero, who valiantly keeps a straight face opposite Bridges' incessant mumbling, while Vikander looks radiant in a thankless role as the love interest torn between the forces of light and dark.

Moore, who recently won the Academy Award for Still Alice, slinks through each frame, huskily whispering camp lines like, "I like boys", without a hint of menace.

Russian director Bodrov salves some of the pain with a series of bombastic action sequences replete with flying dragons, wicked witches and an ill-tempered ogre-like creature called a boggart with an acute sense of smell. The monster's on-screen rage must be a violent reaction to the stink of Seventh Son.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th March 2015
Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Thursday 2nd April 2015

This film is also showing at:

Shaun The Sheep Movie 4 stars

movie title

Shaun and the flock grow tired of the daily routine on Mossy Bottom Farm under the watchful eye of Bitzer the sheepdog. So the herd hoodwinks the Farmer into taking a well deserved day. Unfortunately, the cunning plan goes awry and the Farmer ends up in the Big City suffering from a nasty bout of memory loss. Shaun and his fleecy friends head for the metropolis to bring the Farmer back home but they attract the attentions of a nasty animal containment officer called Trumper.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Animation/Cartoon, Children, Children's, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastJohn Sparkes, Justin Fletcher.
  • DirectorRichard Starzack, Mark Burton.
  • WriterRichard Starzack, Richard Goleszowski, Mark Burton.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration85 mins
  • Official sitewww.shaunthesheep.com
  • Release06/02/2015

Bristol-based Aardman Studios works its stop-motion animated magic on a colourful big screen adventure for the mischievous sheep, who first appeared in Wallace and Gromit's 1995 escapade A Close Shave and has been baad to the bone in a self-titled CBBC series since 2007.

Drawing loving inspiration from other Aardman films including Chicken Run, Shaun The Sheep Movie is a shear delight, melding slapstick and subtler humour to appeal to young fans and their wranglers.

Directors Mark Burton and Richard Starzack shepherd this boisterous romp through various twists and turns at a breathless pace. They litter the screen with wry visual gags, including an airborne cow clearing the roof of the Over The Moon public house.

Stop-motion visuals burst with colour and action sequences are orchestrated with mind-boggling technical precision. As usual, Shaun is at the centre of the madcap action. The flock grows tired of the daily routine on Mossy Bottom Farm under the watchful eye of Bitzer the sheepdog.

So the animals hoodwink the Farmer into taking a well-deserved day off so they can do the same. Unfortunately, this cunning plan goes awry and the Farmer ends up with a nasty bout of memory loss after a high-speed journey to The Big City inside a runaway caravan.

Off the hoof, Shaun and his fleecy friends board the 62 bus from Mossy Bottom to the metropolis, determined to bring their beloved master back home. Unfortunately, they attract the attention of a nasty animal containment officer called Trumper, who doesn't want any farmyard escapees on the lamb on his patch.

Aided by an orphan dog named Slip, the sheep disguise themselves as humans to pull the wool over the eyes of unsuspecting residents of The Big City and track down the Farmer.

In human form, the sheep enjoy haute cuisine at a bistro called Le Chou Brule, while the Farmer discovers a new calling with hair clippers at an upscale boutique. Back at Mossy Bottom, The Naughty Pigs run amok in the farmhouse, oblivious to the hare-brained antics of the other four-legged residents.

Shaun The Sheep Movie will have families flocking in droves to local cinemas. There's nothing woolly about Burton and Starzack's screenplay, which doesn't pause to bleat between set pieces, propelling the narrative forward without sacrificing the characterisation.

There are some lovely interludes here like Shaun's temporary incarceration in an animal shelter, which also houses a psychotic cat from the same litter as Hannibal Lecter and a dog with BARK and BITE tattooed on its knuckles.

As with other Aardman offerings, the animators' imprints are occasionally visible in the expressive clay protagonists, which is part of the film's undeniable charm. Ewe won't be disappointed.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Thursday 2nd April 2015

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Still Alice 3 stars

movie title

Celebrated linguistics professor Alice Howland has a handsome husband John and three grown-up children, Anna, Tom and Lydia, who are forging their own paths through life. Out of the blue, Alice begins to forget words and phrases, and medical tests reveal she has early on-set Alzheimer's disease, inherited from her father. Since the condition could be passed down to her children, Alice advises her brood to be tested, which poses a dilemma for Anna, who is pregnant with twins.

  • GenreAdaptation, Drama, Romance
  • CastJulianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Hunter Parrish, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, Shane McRae.
  • DirectorRichard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland.
  • WriterRichard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration101 mins
  • Official sitewww.sonyclassics.com/stillalice/
  • Release06/03/2015 (selected cinemas)

Memories are twinkling stars in a celestial map linking our past, present and future. Some of these glittering orbs dim naturally over time, such as first experiences from childhood, while others are temporarily obscured by the fog of modern life, like when we forget a friend's birthday, what we dreamt last night, to water the plants or the last place we saw a set of keys.

Alzheimer's is an incurable neurodegenerative disease that slowly robs a patient of the ability to see these stars and chart a safe passage back to the people they love. Names and faces of friends and family fade to black. For those left behind, staring into the unblinking eyes of a close relative who no longer recognises you, is an anguish that defies words.

Julianne Moore delivers an Oscar-winning performance as a forty-something mother faced with an early diagnosis of this cruel disease in Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland's heartfelt drama. Based on the novel by Lisa Genova, Still Alice simply, yet powerfully, conveys the emotional devastation for the central character and the ripple effect for her family.

Celebrated linguistics professor Alice Howland (Moore) leads a charmed life. She has a husband John (Alex Baldwin) and three grown-up children, Anna (Kate Bosworth), Tom (Hunter Parrish) and Lydia (Kristen Stewart), who are forging divergent paths through life.

During a lecture that she has rigorously prepared, Alice inexplicably loses her train of thought. "I knew I shouldn't have had that champagne," she jokes to appreciative giggles from her audience. Alice begins to forget simple vocabulary and seeks guidance from family medic, Dr Benjamin (Stephen Kunken).

He rules out tumours or a stroke but suspects that Alice is exhibiting the early symptoms of Alzheimer's. "It would be rare for someone as young as yourself, but you do fit the criteria," he tells her soberly. Tests confirm the doctor's fears and since the condition can be passed down, Alice calls together her brood.

She advises her children to be tested, which poses a dilemma for Anna and her husband Charlie (Shane McRae), who are expecting twins.

Anchored by Moore's spellbinding work, Still Alice is a modern family portrait that will strike an unsettling chord. Baldwin tugs our heartstrings and Stewart offers strident support as the youngest member of the clan, who moves back home to reconnect with her mother while there is still time.

"I wish I had cancer," Alice tells John. "I wouldn't feel so ashamed. When people have cancer they wear pink ribbons for you and go on long walks and raise money." Still Alice feels no shame or cloying self-pity.

Writer-directors Glatzer and Westmoreland treat characters with sensitivity, touching lightly on the frustrations and blind terror that will become more frequent for Alice and her inner circle as the disease progresses.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th March 2015
Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Thursday 2nd April 2015

This film is also showing at:

The Divergent Series: Insurgent 3 stars

movie title

Tris and Four are on the run with Marcus Eaton and other members of Abnegation. Jeanine Matthews and her cohorts from Erudite plus Dauntless traitor Eric are close behind, determined to crush the rebellion and wipe out the Divergents, who threaten the status quo. The fugitives align themselves with the factionless, who are being led by Four's mother Evelyn. Allegiances are tested as Tris learns shocking secrets about the past that threaten the people she loves and the future of her world.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Family, Romance, Science Fiction
  • CastMiles Teller, Maggie Q, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Ashley Judd, Zoe Kravitz, Ray Stevenson, Jai Courtney, Naomi Watts.
  • DirectorRobert Schwentke.
  • WriterBrian Duffield, Akiva Goldsman, Mark Bomback.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration119 mins
  • Official sitewww.thedivergentseries.com
  • Release19/03/2015

Adapted from Veronica Roth's bestselling trilogy for young adults, Insurgent is a slickly engineered sequel that moves the dystopian narrative along at pace to a startling final revelation. Robert Schwentke's action-packed film crams its visual pyrotechnics into the climactic 40 minutes when Shailene Woodley's heroine Tris must complete a series of tasks to prove that she possesses the qualities of all five factions.

She must test positive for the selflessness of Abnegation, the courage of Dauntless, the honesty of Candor, the intelligence of Erudite and the inner peace of Amity. These trials include a visually stunning race against time to rescue Tris' mother (Ashley Judd) from a burning building that rotates as it ascends to the heavens and fisticuffs between the heroine and her diabolical doppelganger.

Woodley accomplishes these gymnastic feats with aplomb, but it's during the film's quieter moments that she truly excels. In particular, a scene of unburdening facilitated by a truth serum is a tour-de-force of raw, tear-stained emotion that bodes well for the concluding chapter Allegiance.

The finale will be released in two parts a la The Hunger Games. When it comes to milking cash cows, Hollywood prefers them desiccated when the end credits roll.

The second film opens with Tris (Woodley), her lover Four (Theo James), brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and Dauntless traitor Peter (Miles Teller) ensconced in the pacifist enclave of Amity under the jurisdiction of Johanna (Octavia Spencer). Tensions between Tris and Peter spill over just as the gun-toting forces of Erudite led by Eric (Jai Courtney) gate-crash the bucolic idyll.

Peter betrays the fugitives but Tris, Four and Caleb escape and head for the only sanctuary left to them: the realm of the factionless under the control of Four's conniving mother, Evelyn (Naomi Watts).

"If we were to combine forces, we'd be unstoppable," enthuses Evelyn, sensing an opportunity to overthrow Jeanine (Kate Winslet) and her cohorts from Erudite. Allegiances are tested as Tris and Four disagree about the way forward, flanked by their Dauntless brethren including Christina (Zoe Kravitz) and Tori (Maggie Q).

Meanwhile, Jeanine hunts down Divergents to unlock a box that purportedly contains the key to eradicating the misfits once and for all.

Although it lacks the sustained visceral thrills and sense of jeopardy that distinguished the first film, Insurgent confidently lays the groundwork for a fraught journey back to humanity. While Woodley excels in every frame, many of her talented co-stars are underused, particularly Whiplash drummer boy Teller and Elgort.

James continues to brood with his shirt on or off, kindling pleasing sparks of on-screen chemistry with his leading lady. Director Schwentke, who previously captained Jodie Foster in the airborne thriller Flightplan, safely pilots the sequel through a few moments of dramatic turbulence, knowing the best is yet to come.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th March 2015
Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Thursday 2nd April 2015

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The Divergent Series: Insurgent 3D 3 stars

Tris and Four are on the run with Marcus Eaton and other members of Abnegation. Jeanine Matthews and her cohorts from Erudite plus Dauntless traitor Eric are close behind, determined to crush the rebellion and wipe out the Divergents, who threaten the status quo. The fugitives align themselves with the factionless, who are being led by Four's mother Evelyn. Allegiances are tested as Tris learns shocking secrets about the past that threaten the people she loves and the future of her world.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Family, Romance, Science Fiction
  • CastMiles Teller, Maggie Q, Jai Courtney, Naomi Watts, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Ashley Judd, Zoe Kravitz, Ray Stevenson.
  • DirectorRobert Schwentke.
  • WriterBrian Duffield, Akiva Goldsman, Mark Bomback.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration119 mins
  • Official sitewww.thedivergentseries.com
  • Release19/03/2015

Adapted from Veronica Roth's bestselling trilogy for young adults, Insurgent is a slickly engineered sequel that moves the dystopian narrative along at pace to a startling final revelation. Robert Schwentke's action-packed film crams its visual pyrotechnics into the climactic 40 minutes when Shailene Woodley's heroine Tris must complete a series of tasks to prove that she possesses the qualities of all five factions.

She must test positive for the selflessness of Abnegation, the courage of Dauntless, the honesty of Candor, the intelligence of Erudite and the inner peace of Amity. These trials include a visually stunning race against time to rescue Tris' mother (Ashley Judd) from a burning building that rotates as it ascends to the heavens and fisticuffs between the heroine and her diabolical doppelganger.

Woodley accomplishes these gymnastic feats with aplomb, but it's during the film's quieter moments that she truly excels. In particular, a scene of unburdening facilitated by a truth serum is a tour-de-force of raw, tear-stained emotion that bodes well for the concluding chapter Allegiance.

The finale will be released in two parts a la The Hunger Games. When it comes to milking cash cows, Hollywood prefers them desiccated when the end credits roll.

The second film opens with Tris (Woodley), her lover Four (Theo James), brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and Dauntless traitor Peter (Miles Teller) ensconced in the pacifist enclave of Amity under the jurisdiction of Johanna (Octavia Spencer). Tensions between Tris and Peter spill over just as the gun-toting forces of Erudite led by Eric (Jai Courtney) gate-crash the bucolic idyll.

Peter betrays the fugitives but Tris, Four and Caleb escape and head for the only sanctuary left to them: the realm of the factionless under the control of Four's conniving mother, Evelyn (Naomi Watts).

"If we were to combine forces, we'd be unstoppable," enthuses Evelyn, sensing an opportunity to overthrow Jeanine (Kate Winslet) and her cohorts from Erudite. Allegiances are tested as Tris and Four disagree about the way forward, flanked by their Dauntless brethren including Christina (Zoe Kravitz) and Tori (Maggie Q).

Meanwhile, Jeanine hunts down Divergents to unlock a box that purportedly contains the key to eradicating the misfits once and for all.

Although it lacks the sustained visceral thrills and sense of jeopardy that distinguished the first film, Insurgent confidently lays the groundwork for a fraught journey back to humanity. While Woodley excels in every frame, many of her talented co-stars are underused, particularly Whiplash drummer boy Teller and Elgort.

James continues to brood with his shirt on or off, kindling pleasing sparks of on-screen chemistry with his leading lady. Director Schwentke, who previously captained Jodie Foster in the airborne thriller Flightplan, safely pilots the sequel through a few moments of dramatic turbulence, knowing the best is yet to come.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th March 2015
Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Thursday 2nd April 2015

This film is also showing at:

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 4 stars

movie title

Sonny and his business partner Muriel consider expanding into a second hotel to cope with demand, aided by Douglas and Evelyn. The arrival of an American writer called Guy sends Madge into a swoon while Sonny has lots to keep him occupied with his impending nuptials to the beautiful Sunaina. Douglas and Evelyn's romance continues to develop but the course of true love, even in twilight years, never runs smooth.

  • GenreComedy, Drama, Romance
  • CastRichard Gere, Bill Nighy, Dame Maggie Smith, Ronald Pickup, Tamsin Greig, Penelope Wilton, Dev Patel, Tena Desae, Dame Judi Dench, Celia Imrie, Lillete Dubey.
  • DirectorJohn Madden.
  • WriterOl Parker.
  • CountryUS/UK
  • Duration122 mins
  • Official sitewww.facebook.com/marigoldhotel
  • Release26/02/2015

Towards the end of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a secret inspector is asked for an honest assessment of Jaipur's luxury development for residents in their golden years. The inspector concludes that behind the scenes, management of the hotel is shambolic but unerring affection for the staff makes it a four-star destination for "the elderly and beautiful".

The same honest appraisal applies to John Madden's entertaining sequel: Ol Parker's script is haphazard and several plot strands are flimsy but our emotional investment in the characters papers over the cracks.

Audiences who check in to this second chapter will be treated to the same pungent Jaipur backdrops and good-humoured service, with a fresh lick of dramatic paint courtesy of new arrivals, played with easy-going charm by Tamsin Greig and Richard Gere.

The dashing star of American Gigolo and Pretty Woman takes on sex symbol status here, causing groom-to-be Sonny (Dev Patel) to quip, "The man is so handsome, he has me urgently questioning my own sexuality." At 65 years old, Gere evidently still has it.

While the first film was lovingly adapted from Deborah Moggach's novel These Foolish Things, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel tumbles straight out of the scriptwriter Parker's imagination. He struggles to provide each resident with a compelling narrative arc: some are surplus to requirements while others relish the trials and tribulations that test fledgling romances and fractious friendships to breaking point.

Sonny and business partner Muriel (Maggie Smith) travel abroad to seek investment for a second hotel from business chief Ty Burley (David Strathairn) and return to India, mindful that funding is dependent on a review from a secret inspector.
"How was America?" asks Evelyn (Judi Dench), welcoming them home.
"It made death more tempting," retorts Muriel.

English traveller Lavinia (Greig) and American novelist Guy (Gere) arrive soon after and Sonny is convinced that Guy must be the inspector so he ignores Lavinia and lavishes attention on the writer. Guy's arrival sends Madge (Celia Imrie) into a swoon - "Lordy lord, have mercy on my ovaries!" she swoons - while Douglas (Bill Nighy) struggles to communicate his feelings to Evelyn.

Meanwhile, Sonny is pre-occupied with his impending nuptials to Sunaina (Tina Desai) and a simmering rivalry for his fiancee's affections from snake-hipped family friend Kush (Shazad Latif).

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel delivers the same winning formula of laughter and tears, eliciting strong performances from Dench, Nighy and Smith at her acid-tongued, indomitable best.

The course of true love, even in twilight years, never runs smooth and Parker composes variations on a theme of amour, while peppering his script with pithy one-liners. "There is no present like the time," professes one wise soul. Madden's film is certainly a gift: you get everything you expect but nothing more.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th March 2015
Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Thursday 2nd April 2015

This film is also showing at:

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water 3 stars

movie title

SpongeBob continues to work in the Krusty Krab diner, run by the irrepressible Eugene Krabs, where he is custodian of the secret recipe of the Krabby Patty, which is coveted by rival Plankton. Following a fight between the fast food moguls, the recipe vanishes. Bikini Bottom teeters on the brink of apocalypse and everyone blames Plankton. However, SpongeBob senses that dark forces are at play and it transpires that a greedy pirate called Burger Beard has stolen the recipe using a magical book.

  • GenreAdventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastTom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Antonio Banderas, Rodger Bumpass, Clancy Brown.
  • DirectorPaul Tibbitt.
  • WriterJonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration92 mins
  • Official sitewww.squarepantsmovie.co.uk
  • Release27/03/2015

In the pantheon of animated films about absorbent bathroom products dressed in pleasingly geometric undergarments, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie stands tall. The 2004 feature film was a guilty pleasure, retaining all of the madcap charm and childish exuberance of the Nickelodeon cartoon series created by Stephen Hillenburg.

More than a decade later, SpongeBob and the residents of the underwater community of Bikini Bottom hit dry land in this deranged sequel, which splices colourful animation and live action.

Familiarity with the TV incarnation certainly helps because at its worst, Glenn Berger and Jonathan Aibel's script is a psychedelic mess that defies reasoning. For every trippy interlude, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water also delights with its unabashed exuberance and irreverence, cramming in all of the familiar characters plus a flock of seagulls to squawk the infectious theme tune: "Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob SquarePants! Absorbent and yellow and porous is he? SpongeBob SquarePants..."

Parents with a low threshold to boundless good cheer should prepare for a very long 93 minutes. SpongeBob (voiced by Tom Kenny) flips burgers in a diner run by the irrepressible Eugene Krabs (Clancy Brown), where he is custodian of the secret recipe of the Krabby Patty.

Arch rival Plankton (Doug Lawrence) attempts to steal the list of ingredients, but the recipe vanishes into thin air. In the absence of the famed Krabby Patty, Bikini Bottom teeters on the brink of apocalypse. "The sandwich gods are angry at us," screams scuba-diving squirrel Sandy (Carolyn Lawrence).

Everyone blames Plankton but SpongeBob knows he is innocent. It transpires that a greedy pirate called Burger Beard (Antonio Banderas) has stolen the recipe using a magical book, which allows the salty seadog to rewrite history.

Plankton joins forces with his computer wife Karen (Jill Talley) to create a time machine to erase Burger Beard's meddling, but the plan fails. Unable to restore balance from beneath the waves, SpongeBob, loyal starfish pal Patrick (Bill Fagerbakke), Mr Krabs, Sandy and curmudgeonly Squidward Tentacles (Rodger Bumpass) venture onto dry land to defeat the pilfering pirate.

Burger Beard is armed to the teeth, so SpongeBob and co use the magical book to adopt superhero identities to defeat their nemesis.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water doesn't quite match the pure entertainment of the first film but it comes close. However, a protracted sequence involving a time-travelling dolphin called Bubbles (Matt Berry) is perhaps a hallucinogenic trip too far. Banderas appears to be having a ball as the hirsute antagonist, who has always dreamt of running his own burger bar.

Vocal performances are as lively as the animation, accompanied by a jaunty soundtrack including one upbeat song with the lyrics: "It's better when you and me equals we/Working together in harmony."

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th March 2015
Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Thursday 2nd April 2015

This film is also showing at:

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water 3D 3 stars

movie title

SpongeBob continues to work in the Krusty Krab diner, run by the irrepressible Eugene Krabs, where he is custodian of the secret recipe of the Krabby Patty, which is coveted by rival Plankton. Following a fight between the fast food moguls, the recipe vanishes. Bikini Bottom teeters on the brink of apocalypse and everyone blames Plankton. However, SpongeBob senses that dark forces are at play and it transpires that a greedy pirate called Burger Beard has stolen the recipe using a magical book.

  • GenreAdventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastRodger Bumpass, Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Antonio Banderas, Clancy Brown.
  • DirectorPaul Tibbitt.
  • WriterJonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration92 mins
  • Official sitewww.squarepantsmovie.co.uk
  • Release27/03/2015

In the pantheon of animated films about absorbent bathroom products dressed in pleasingly geometric undergarments, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie stands tall. The 2004 feature film was a guilty pleasure, retaining all of the madcap charm and childish exuberance of the Nickelodeon cartoon series created by Stephen Hillenburg.

More than a decade later, SpongeBob and the residents of the underwater community of Bikini Bottom hit dry land in this deranged sequel, which splices colourful animation and live action.

Familiarity with the TV incarnation certainly helps because at its worst, Glenn Berger and Jonathan Aibel's script is a psychedelic mess that defies reasoning. For every trippy interlude, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water also delights with its unabashed exuberance and irreverence, cramming in all of the familiar characters plus a flock of seagulls to squawk the infectious theme tune: "Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob SquarePants! Absorbent and yellow and porous is he? SpongeBob SquarePants..."

Parents with a low threshold to boundless good cheer should prepare for a very long 93 minutes. SpongeBob (voiced by Tom Kenny) flips burgers in a diner run by the irrepressible Eugene Krabs (Clancy Brown), where he is custodian of the secret recipe of the Krabby Patty.

Arch rival Plankton (Doug Lawrence) attempts to steal the list of ingredients, but the recipe vanishes into thin air. In the absence of the famed Krabby Patty, Bikini Bottom teeters on the brink of apocalypse. "The sandwich gods are angry at us," screams scuba-diving squirrel Sandy (Carolyn Lawrence).

Everyone blames Plankton but SpongeBob knows he is innocent. It transpires that a greedy pirate called Burger Beard (Antonio Banderas) has stolen the recipe using a magical book, which allows the salty seadog to rewrite history.

Plankton joins forces with his computer wife Karen (Jill Talley) to create a time machine to erase Burger Beard's meddling, but the plan fails. Unable to restore balance from beneath the waves, SpongeBob, loyal starfish pal Patrick (Bill Fagerbakke), Mr Krabs, Sandy and curmudgeonly Squidward Tentacles (Rodger Bumpass) venture onto dry land to defeat the pilfering pirate.

Burger Beard is armed to the teeth, so SpongeBob and co use the magical book to adopt superhero identities to defeat their nemesis.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water doesn't quite match the pure entertainment of the first film but it comes close. However, a protracted sequence involving a time-travelling dolphin called Bubbles (Matt Berry) is perhaps a hallucinogenic trip too far. Banderas appears to be having a ball as the hirsute antagonist, who has always dreamt of running his own burger bar.

Vocal performances are as lively as the animation, accompanied by a jaunty soundtrack including one upbeat song with the lyrics: "It's better when you and me equals we/Working together in harmony."

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th March 2015
Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Thursday 2nd April 2015

This film is also showing at:

Tinker Bell And The Legend Of The NeverBeast 3 stars

movie title

Animal fairy Fawn has a big heart and often takes pity on wounded creatures that could, when fully grown, pose a threat to the other residents of Pixie Hollow. She befriends a hulking creature called a NeverBeast, which has been roused from hibernation by a passing green-tailed comet. Legend decrees that the NeverBeast will destroy Pixie Hollow but Fawn refuses to believe that the gentle giant would ever hurt the fairies.

Released in 2008, the computer-animated fantasy Tinker Bell was the first Disney film to give a voice to the iconic character from JM Barrie's play Peter Pan, Or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. Aside from a brief appearance from Wendy Darling, the first picture attempted to fly on its own two wings by introducing audiences to the fantastical realm of Pixie Hollow where fairies live in harmony under benevolent Queen Clarion (voiced by Anjelica Huston).

Almost every year since, the spirited sprite has taken flight in a wholesome, family-oriented sequel to enforce strong messages of self-belief, courage and sisterly solidarity. Tinker Bell And The Legend Of The NeverBeast is the sixth and most enjoyable instalment in the series so far, referencing Beauty And The Beast and the fable of Androcles and the lion to teach children - particularly girls - that true beauty comes from within.

Director Steve Loter and his team of animators dilute that message by festooning the screen with pretty, slim, rosy-cheeked and beautifully coiffed protagonists dressed in figure-hugging fairy fashions of every conceivable flattering cut and hue. But it's the thought that counts.

Animal fairy Fawn (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) has a big heart and often takes pity on wounded creatures that could, when fully grown, pose a threat to the other residents of Pixie Hollow including Tinker Bell (Mae Whitman), Silvermist (Lucy Liu), Iridessa (Raven-Symone), Vidia (Pamela Adlon) and Rosetta (Megan Hilty).

Having caused an almighty kerfuffle with a baby hawk and incurred the wrath of fiery scout fairy Nyx (Rosario Dawson) and her second-in-command Fury (Melanie Brown), Fawn reluctantly agrees to follow her head rather than her heart in the future.

Almost immediately, she breaks this promise when she stumbles upon a hulking creature called a NeverBeast, which has been roused from hibernation by a passing green-tailed comet. Hideous and fearsome at first sight, Fawn christens her discovery Gruff and becomes deeply attached to the behemoth.

Subsequently, Pixie Hollow librarian Scribble (Thomas Lennon) uncovers a drawing, which suggests that Gruff will bring about the destruction of Pixie Hollow. The scout fairies prepare for a dawn attack on the NeverBeast.
"What will you do if you find it?" asks Fawn.
"My job," replies Nyx, wielding her spear.

Tinker Bell And The Legend Of The NeverBeast casts a sweet, inoffensive and entertaining spell, juxtaposing gentle laughs from vain, image-obsessed fairy Rosetta with Fawn's assertions that you shouldn't judge a Gruff by his mane ("I know he's not what they say he is!").

Visuals are crisp and colourful and the script accomplishes one simple twist to catalyse a frenetic finale. Vocal performances are solid throughout and director Loter conjures a genuinely moving resolution that should coax a steady trickle of tears down parents' cheeks.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Thursday 2nd April 2015

Wild Card 3 stars

movie title

Security expert Nick Wild is desperate to leave Las Vegas for the tranquil waters around Corsica. His dream is out of reach since he doesn't have the cash to fund his grand expedition. Old squeeze Holly seeks out Nick after she is raped and brutalised by visiting mobster Danny DeMarco and his two heavies at the Golden Nugget hotel and casino. She wants him to wreak revenge on her behalf. Hell hath no fury and Nick struggles to pull free from Holly's self-destructive orbit.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Romance, Thriller
  • CastMilo Ventimiglia, Michael Angarano, Hope Davis, Anne Heche, Jason Statham, Stanley Tucci, Dominik Garcio-Lorido.
  • DirectorSimon West.
  • WriterWilliam Goldman.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration92 mins
  • Official site
  • Release20/03/2015 (selected cinemas)

Jason Statham's winding path to the big screen is certainly unorthodox: market stall holder, member of the British National Diving Squad, fashion model for French Connection, stubbled action man with a heart of gold. Since his eye-catching debut in Guy Ritchie's 1998 calling card Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, the Derbyshire-born actor has carved out a lucrative niche from which he rarely strays. On the surface, Wild Card is a perfect fit. Adapted for the screen by William Goldman from his own novel, Simon West's action thriller is punctuated by bone-crunching brawls that have become Statham's trademark. He disables a trio of thugs with a credit card and a glass ashtray, then slices, dices and eviscerates a larger group of heavies using a knife and spoon from a diner. Fight choreographer Corey Yuen, who worked with Statham on The Transporter franchise, knows how to showcase the leading man at his brutish, muscular best. Unfortunately for the actor's ardent fans, these overblown displays of machismo are a fleeting distraction from the existential soul-searching that clutters Goldman's fragmented script. The journey into the heart of darkness unfolds in Las Vegas, a city of sin described pithily as a "creeping virus that people catch sometimes" by security expert Nick Wild (Statham), who is desperate to leave the Nevada desert for calmer waters around Corsica. Cue incongruous inserts of the actor in sunglasses, white linen trousers and shirt, behind the wheel of a sun-bathed yacht. It's never explained why Nick hankers for the Mediterranean, but his dream is out of reach since he doesn't have the cash to fund his grand expedition. Old squeeze Holly (Dominik Garcia-Lorido) seeks out Nick after she is raped and brutalised by visiting mobster Danny DeMarco (Milo Ventimiglia) and his two heavies at the Golden Nugget hotel and casino. She wants him to wreak revenge on her behalf. "What if he kills me?" growls Nick. "Then I'll be miserable for days," coldly responds Holly. Hell hath no fury and Nick struggles to pull free from Holly's self-destructive orbit, crossing paths with denizens of the strip including hotel owner Baby (Stanley Tucci), blackjack dealer Cassandra (Hope Davis), diner waitress Roxy (Anne Heche) and software millionaire Cyrus Kinnick (Michael Angarano), who will pay Nick handsomely "to kill the fear that lives inside me every day". Wild Card gambles heavily on Statham's ability to convey Nick's inner torment... and loses. Goldman's prosaic dialogue laden with mid-life angst sounds hollow coming from a man who prefers to articulate his character's emotions with his fists. West is heavy-handed in his use of slow-motion during the frenetic fight scenes, but it's understandable that he wants to artificially prolong these fleeting highs. If Las Vegas is indeed a creeping virus, then his ham-fisted film is the antidote.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th March 2015
Saturday 28th March 2015
Sunday 29th March 2015
Monday 30th March 2015
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Thursday 2nd April 2015
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