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Now showing at Brewery Arts Centre 122a,Highgate,Kendal,Cumbria LA9 4HE 01539 725133

  • A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence
  • A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence (Subtitled)
  • Force Majeure (Subtitled)
  • Inside Out
  • Marshland
  • NT Live Encore Screening: The Beaux' Stratagem
  • NT Live: The Beaux' Stratagem
  • Paper Towns
  • Paper Towns (Subtitled)
  • Pixels
  • Straight Outta Compton
  • The Bad Education Movie
  • The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence 4 stars

movie title

A vivid portrait of a group of loosely interconnected characters, who all suffer from various forms of isolation and sadness. These vignettes, shot in a single static take, include the ill-fated attempts of two novelty gifts salesmen to ply their wares to unreceptive customers, a rousing sing-song in a Second World War bar owned by Limping Lotte, and the unwelcome advances of a lusty Flamenco instructor to one of her male students, who doesn't appreciate his teacher man-handling him in public.

  • GenreComedy, Drama, World
  • CastHolger Andersson, Charlotta Larsson, Nils Westblom, Viktor Gyllenberg.
  • DirectorRoy Andersson.
  • WriterRoy Andersson.
  • CountrySwe/Ger/No
  • Duration100 mins
  • Official site
  • Release24/04/2015 (selected cinemas)

Roy Andersson's delicious ensemble comedy was the deserved winner of the coveted Golden Lion at the 2014 Venice Film Festival, painting a vivid portrait of a group of loosely interconnected characters, who all suffer from various forms of isolation and sadness. These vignettes, shot in a single static take, include the ill-fated attempts of two novelty gifts salesmen to ply their wares to unreceptive customers, a rousing sing-song in a Second World War bar owned by Limping Lotte, and the unwelcome advances of a lusty Flamenco instructor to one of her male students, who doesn't appreciate his teacher man-handling him in public.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 2nd September 2015

A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence (Subtitled) 4 stars

movie title

A vivid portrait of a group of loosely interconnected characters, who all suffer from various forms of isolation and sadness. These vignettes, shot in a single static take, include the ill-fated attempts of two novelty gifts salesmen to ply their wares to unreceptive customers, a rousing sing-song in a Second World War bar owned by Limping Lotte, and the unwelcome advances of a lusty Flamenco instructor to one of her male students, who doesn't appreciate his teacher man-handling him in public.

  • GenreComedy, Drama, World
  • CastNils Westblom, Viktor Gyllenberg, Holger Andersson, Charlotta Larsson.
  • DirectorRoy Andersson.
  • WriterRoy Andersson.
  • CountrySwe/Ger/No
  • Duration100 mins
  • Official site
  • Release24/04/2015 (selected cinemas)

Roy Andersson's delicious ensemble comedy was the deserved winner of the coveted Golden Lion at the 2014 Venice Film Festival, painting a vivid portrait of a group of loosely interconnected characters, who all suffer from various forms of isolation and sadness. These vignettes, shot in a single static take, include the ill-fated attempts of two novelty gifts salesmen to ply their wares to unreceptive customers, a rousing sing-song in a Second World War bar owned by Limping Lotte, and the unwelcome advances of a lusty Flamenco instructor to one of her male students, who doesn't appreciate his teacher man-handling him in public.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 2nd September 2015

Force Majeure (Subtitled) 3 stars

movie title

Businessman Tomas, his wife Ebba and their two children, Vera and Harry, head for a luxury resort in the French Alps. On the second day, there is a controlled avalanche and a deluge of fast-moving snow heads straight for the resort while Tomas, Ebba and the kids are enjoying lunch. As the avalanche hits, Ebba instinctively protects Vera and Harry while Tomas panics and runs for cover. This moment of selfishness and cowardice has a profound effect on the family.

  • GenreDrama, Romance, World
  • CastClara Wettergren, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Johannes Kuhnke, Vincent Wettergren.
  • DirectorRuben Ostlund.
  • WriterRuben Ostlund.
  • CountrySwe/Fr/Nor
  • Duration119 mins
  • Official sitewww.magpictures.com/forcemajeure/
  • Release10/04/2015 (selected cinemas)

Ruben Ostlund's compelling drama was selected as Sweden's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film prize at this year's Academy Awards. Businessman Tomas (Johannes Bah Kuhnke), his wife Ebba (Lisa Loven Kongsli) and their two children, Vera (Clara Wettergren) and Harry (Vincent Wettergren), head for a luxury resort in the French Alps. The family's skiing holiday starts calmly with leisurely trips up and down the mountainside. On the second day, there is a controlled avalanche and a deluge of fast-moving snow heads straight for the resort while Tomas, Ebba and the kids are enjoying lunch on a balcony. As the avalanche hits, Ebba instinctively protects Vera and Harry while Tomas panics and runs for cover rather than staying with his family. This moment of selfishness and cowardice has a profound effect on the family and Tomas refuses to accept that he abandoned his brood in their moment of need. When old friend Mats (Kristofer Hivju) and his girlfriend Fanni (Fanni Metelius) arrive at the resort, tensions between Tomas and Ebba boil over as husband and wife hold firm to their contradictory versions of events.

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Wednesday 2nd September 2015

Inside Out 5 stars

movie title

From the moment baby Riley opens her eyes, her mood is shaped by five coloured emotions - Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust - which bicker behind a large control desk laden with buttons and levers. Joy is the dominant emotion in Headquarters and she safeguards Riley's memories, which are stored as glowing orbs. When Riley turns 11, her parents relocate from Minnesota to San Francisco. Traumatic events such as a first day at a new school nudge Sadness to the fore.

  • GenreAnimation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastDiane Lane, Amy Poehler, Kyle MacLachlan, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling.
  • DirectorPete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen.
  • WriterPete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration102 mins
  • Official sitewww.movies.disney.com/inside-out
  • Release24/07/2015

Despite gargantuan advances in medical science, we still don't fully understand the complexities of the human brain: its ability to process vast quantities of information, solve problems and store memories at speeds that put supercomputers to shame.

Pixar Animation Studios, the wizards who conjured the Toy Story trilogy, contemplate the vagaries of neuropsychology with this visually stunning and emotionally rich comedy, which unfolds predominantly inside the head of a little girl.

This high-brow concept doesn't seem like the most accessible subject matter for a family-oriented computer animation. But directors Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen elegantly tilt their film at the windmills of the mind and deliver a hilarious, heartfelt and ultimately life-affirming adventure that celebrates childhood innocence, family unity and the power of the human spirit to overcome adversity.

Laughter and tears abound, as well as cute visual gags, ensuring parents will be repeatedly dabbing their eyes while children whoop and gurgle with glee at the slapstick and rollicking action sequences.

A mother (voiced by Diane Lane) and father (Kyle MacLachlan) welcome a baby girl called Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) into the world. From the moment she opens her eyes, Riley's mood is shaped by five coloured emotions - golden Joy (Amy Poehler), blue Sadness (Phyllis Smith), purple Fear (Bill Hader), red Anger (Lewis Black) and green Disgust (Mindy Kaling) - which bicker behind a large control desk laden with buttons and levers.

Joy is the dominant emotion in Headquarters and she safeguards Riley's memories, which are stored as glowing orbs, tinged with the colour of the emotion that prevailed at the time. When Riley turns 11, her parents relocate from Minnesota to San Francisco.

Traumatic events such as a first day at a new school nudge Sadness to the fore. Following an altercation, sworn rivals Joy and Sadness are expelled from Headquarters and find themselves stranded in the labyrinth of Riley's long-term memories.

Aided by Riley's imaginary friend Bing Bong (Richard Kind), Joy and Sadness blaze a haphazard trail on the chugging train of thought back to Fear, Anger and Disgust, who have been left in charge of Headquarters, with disastrous consequences.

Inside Out is Pixar's best film since the holy animated trilogy of WALL-E, Up and Toy Story 3. Docter's script, co-written by Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley, glisters with imagination, wit and invention, delivering guffaws with detours into the heads of Riley's parents as they attempt to deal with her pre-teenage rebellion.

Vocal performances are note perfect, led by Poehler's exuberant portrayal of Joy and Smith's sincere embodiment of Sadness, who tugs heartstrings as the film reaches its exquisite conclusion.

The film is preceded by a short: a musical love story entitled Lava between two volcanoes called Uku and Lele, directed by James Ford Murphy. Joy and Sadness shared blissful control of my mind throughout.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 2nd September 2015
Thursday 3rd September 2015

This film is also showing at:

Marshland 4 stars

Old-school police detective Juan Robles, who believes violence is a necessary evil to secure confessions, and idealistic partner Pedro Suarez head to a remote, close-knit community to investigate the disappearance of teenage sisters Estrella and Carmen. The cops pursue the case and the finger of suspicion points to a handsome local lad called Quini. However, the truth about the girls' demise is far more complex and disturbing, and begs uncomfortable questions the detectives' pasts.

  • GenreAction, Drama, Thriller, World
  • CastNerea Barros, Javier Gutierrez, Raul Arevalo.
  • DirectorAlberto Rodriguez.
  • WriterRafael Cobos, Alberto Rodriguez.
  • CountrySp
  • Duration104 mins
  • Official sitewww.filmfactoryentertainment.com/ficha.php?id=111
  • Release07/08/2015 (selected cinemas)

Alberto Rodriguez directs and co-writes this gripping Spanish thriller set during the social and political upheaval of the post-Franco era. Old-school police detective Juan Robles (Javier Gutierrez), who believes violence is a necessary evil to secure confessions, and idealistic partner Pedro Suarez (Raul Arevalo) leave behind Madrid for a remote, close-knit community in order to investigate the disappearance of teenage sisters Estrella and Carmen. The girls' parents, Rodrigo (Antonio de la Torre) and Rocio (Nerea Barros), seem unwilling to help, even after the girls' mutilated bodies are discovered on marshland close to the Guadalquivir River. The cops pursue the case and the finger of suspicion points to a handsome local lad called Quini (Jesus Castro). However, the truth about the girls' demise is far more complex and disturbing, and begs uncomfortable questions about past misdeeds for the two detectives at the centre of the case.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 3rd September 2015

NT Live Encore Screening: The Beaux' Stratagem 3 stars

Two penniless bounders hope to marry for money in this revival of George Farquhar's biting restoration comedy, which was recorded live on the stage of the National Theatre in London. Aimwell and Archer have fallen on hard times in London. So they travel around the country posing as master and servant respectively in the hopes of wooing rich ladies to secure their financial future.

  • GenreComedy, Romance, Special
  • CastSamuel Barnett, Esh Alladi, Pippa Bennett-Warner.
  • DirectorSimon Godwin.
  • WriterGeorge Farquhar.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration180 mins
  • Official sitentlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk

Two penniless bounders hope to marry for money in this revival of George Farquhar's biting restoration comedy, which was recorded live on the stage of the National Theatre in London. Aimwell (Samuel Barnett) and Archer (Geoffrey Streatfeild) have fallen on hard times in London. So they travel around the country posing as master and servant respectively in the hopes of wooing rich ladies to secure their financial future. The chancers take lodgings at an inn, run by shady landlord Will Boniface (Lloyd Hutchinson) and quickly learn that their primary target should be wealthy widow Lady Bountiful (Jane Booker), who has a beautiful daughter called Dorinda (Pippa Bennett-Warner). The widow also has a son Mr Sullen (Richard Henders), whose wife (Susannah Fielding) clearly yearns for more excitement than the town of Lichfield can offer. So Aimwell and Archer resolve to seduce Dorinda and Mrs Sullen but the two women are more than a match for the penny-grabbing paramours. Directed by Simon Godwin.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 3rd September 2015

NT Live: The Beaux' Stratagem 3 stars

Two penniless bounders hope to marry for money in this revival of George Farquhar's biting restoration comedy, which is broadcast live to cinemas from the stage of the National Theatre in London. Aimwell and Archer have fallen on hard times in London. So they travel around the country posing as master and servant respectively in the hopes of wooing rich ladies to secure their financial future.

  • GenreComedy, Romance, Special
  • CastSamuel Barnett, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Esh Alladi, Susannah Fielding, Geoffrey Streatfeild.
  • DirectorSimon Godwin.
  • WriterGeorge Farquhar.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration180 mins
  • Official sitentlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk
  • Release03/09/2015 (selected cinemas)

Two penniless bounders hope to marry for money in this revival of George Farquhar's biting restoration comedy, which is broadcast live to cinemas from the stage of the National Theatre in London. Aimwell (Samuel Barnett) and Archer (Geoffrey Streatfeild) have fallen on hard times in London. So they travel around the country posing as master and servant respectively in the hopes of wooing rich ladies to secure their financial future. The chancers take lodgings at an inn, run by shady landlord Will Boniface (Lloyd Hutchinson) and quickly learn that their primary target should be wealthy widow Lady Bountiful (Jane Booker), who has a beautiful daughter called Dorinda (Pippa Bennett-Warner). The widow also has a son Mr Sullen (Richard Henders), whose wife (Susannah Fielding) clearly yearns for more excitement than the town of Lichfield can offer. So Aimwell and Archer resolve to seduce Dorinda and Mrs Sullen but the two women are more than a match for the penny-grabbing paramours. Directed by Simon Godwin.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 3rd September 2015

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Paper Towns 3 stars

movie title

Florida high school student Quentin Jacobsen has been madly in love with his neighbour Margo Roth Spiegelman since she moved into the house across the street. He has never mustered the courage to declare his true feelings, to the chagrin of Quentin's best friends Ben and Radar. Out of the blue, Margo vanishes without trace. Quentin knows that Margo likes to leave secret markers when she goes walkabout, so he follows a treasure hunt of cryptic clues to track her down.

  • GenreAdaptation, Drama, Film, Romance, Teenage
  • CastNat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Austin Abrams, Justice Smith.
  • DirectorJake Schreier.
  • WriterScott Neustadter, Michael H Weber.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration116 mins
  • Official sitewww.papertownsmovie.com
  • Release17/08/2015

Buoyed by the success of superior teen weepie The Fault In Our Stars, based on the book by John Green, scriptwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber attempt to recreate the magic with this faithful adaptation of Green's bittersweet third novel.

Paper Towns deals with similar themes of alienation and sexual awakening from the perspective of peer pressured teenagers, whose existence hinges on finding a date for the end of year prom.

Director Jake Schreier sensitively and earnestly navigates these turbulent waters, eliciting solid performances from a young cast including leading man Nat Wolff, who played blind best friend Isaac in The Fault In Our Stars.

In the absence of a dramatic hook like terminal illness, Schreier's film sometimes lacks momentum and is missing a big emotional crescendo. However, there's a refreshing refusal to succumb to sentimentality when the going gets tough and the script doesn't polish the characters' rough edges in order to tie up loose plot strands in a neat bow.

Every childhood is tainted with confusion and disappointment, and this coming-of-age saga is no different. The film's unassuming hero is Florida high school student Quentin Jacobsen (Wolff), who has been madly in love with neighbour Margo Roth Spiegelman (Cara Delevingne) since she moved into the house across the street.

He has never mustered the courage to declare his true feelings, to the chagrin of best friends Ben (Austin Abrams) and Radar (Justice Smith), who are also poorly equipped to communicate effectively with the opposite sex.

Ben is a hormone-addled mess around blonde classmate Lacey (Halston Sage), while Radar has a girlfriend called Angela (Jaz Sinclair), who he fears will dump him for someone better. Out of the blue, Margo knocks on Quentin's bedroom window and asks him to help her wreak revenge on her cheating jock boyfriend (Griffin Freeman).

The covert night-time mission is a success but the next morning, Margo does not turn up for class. She vanishes without trace and her parents assume she has run away again. Quentin knows that Margo leaves secret markers when she goes walkabout, so he follows a treasure hunt of cryptic clues to track her down.

Paper Towns refers to fictional locations, which cartographers intentionally add to maps to prevent their hard work being plagiarised. Many of the underlying themes of Schreier's film feel second-hand - paper angst if you will - but the script treats characters and their predicaments with cool, genuine affection.

Delevingne is a puckish, cynical foil to Wolff's naivete, and Abrams and Smith banter effectively as the comic relief. Young hearts run free throughout to a soundtrack of indie pop and rock including Vampire Weekend and Twin Shadow. On this count, these teenagers are too hip to be square.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 2nd September 2015
Thursday 3rd September 2015

This film is also showing at:

Paper Towns (Subtitled) 3 stars

movie title

Florida high school student Quentin Jacobsen has been madly in love with his neighbour Margo Roth Spiegelman since she moved into the house across the street. He has never mustered the courage to declare his true feelings, to the chagrin of Quentin's best friends Ben and Radar. Out of the blue, Margo vanishes without trace. Quentin knows that Margo likes to leave secret markers when she goes walkabout, so he follows a treasure hunt of cryptic clues to track her down.

  • GenreAdaptation, Drama, Romance, Teenage
  • CastAustin Abrams, Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Justice Smith.
  • DirectorJake Schreier.
  • WriterScott Neustadter, Michael H Weber.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration116 mins
  • Official sitewww.papertownsmovie.com
  • Release17/08/2015

Buoyed by the success of superior teen weepie The Fault In Our Stars, based on the book by John Green, scriptwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber attempt to recreate the magic with this faithful adaptation of Green's bittersweet third novel.

Paper Towns deals with similar themes of alienation and sexual awakening from the perspective of peer pressured teenagers, whose existence hinges on finding a date for the end of year prom.

Director Jake Schreier sensitively and earnestly navigates these turbulent waters, eliciting solid performances from a young cast including leading man Nat Wolff, who played blind best friend Isaac in The Fault In Our Stars.

In the absence of a dramatic hook like terminal illness, Schreier's film sometimes lacks momentum and is missing a big emotional crescendo. However, there's a refreshing refusal to succumb to sentimentality when the going gets tough and the script doesn't polish the characters' rough edges in order to tie up loose plot strands in a neat bow.

Every childhood is tainted with confusion and disappointment, and this coming-of-age saga is no different. The film's unassuming hero is Florida high school student Quentin Jacobsen (Wolff), who has been madly in love with neighbour Margo Roth Spiegelman (Cara Delevingne) since she moved into the house across the street.

He has never mustered the courage to declare his true feelings, to the chagrin of best friends Ben (Austin Abrams) and Radar (Justice Smith), who are also poorly equipped to communicate effectively with the opposite sex.

Ben is a hormone-addled mess around blonde classmate Lacey (Halston Sage), while Radar has a girlfriend called Angela (Jaz Sinclair), who he fears will dump him for someone better. Out of the blue, Margo knocks on Quentin's bedroom window and asks him to help her wreak revenge on her cheating jock boyfriend (Griffin Freeman).

The covert night-time mission is a success but the next morning, Margo does not turn up for class. She vanishes without trace and her parents assume she has run away again. Quentin knows that Margo leaves secret markers when she goes walkabout, so he follows a treasure hunt of cryptic clues to track her down.

Paper Towns refers to fictional locations, which cartographers intentionally add to maps to prevent their hard work being plagiarised. Many of the underlying themes of Schreier's film feel second-hand - paper angst if you will - but the script treats characters and their predicaments with cool, genuine affection.

Delevingne is a puckish, cynical foil to Wolff's naivete, and Abrams and Smith banter effectively as the comic relief. Young hearts run free throughout to a soundtrack of indie pop and rock including Vampire Weekend and Twin Shadow. On this count, these teenagers are too hip to be square.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 3rd September 2015

Pixels 2 stars

Out of the blue, alien invaders attack Guam military base with energy that has been coded to swarm like the creatures in the arcade game Galaga. It transpires that a time capsule, sent into space by NASA after the 1982 arcade game world championships, has been intercepted by extra-terrestrials and misinterpreted as a declaration of war. In order to halt the alien advance, mankind must beat the aliens at life-or-death versions of classic games including Centipede and Pacman

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Comedy, Family, Family, Romance, Science Fiction
  • CastMichelle Monaghan, Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad.
  • DirectorChris Columbus.
  • WriterTimothy Dowling, Tim Herlihy.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration106 mins
  • Official sitewww.facebook.com/PixelsFilm
  • Release12/08/2015

Like many socially awkward children of my generation, I escaped reality by playing fiendishly addictive games on consoles and computers, including an Atari, Vic 20 and Commodore 64. Asteroids, Battlezone, Centipede, Pacman, Phoenix, Space Invaders and Track & Field were trusted friends.

Pixels is an action comedy, which harks back to this bygone era before smartphones and immersive 4D, when guiding a circular yellow head around a maze with four coloured ghosts in hot pursuit, was the height of hi-tech entertainment.

Based on a short film of the same title by Patrick Jean, Chris Columbus' big budget romp imagines life-size arcade games on the streets of bustling modern cities. Except here, losing a life could mean the end of planet Earth. Scriptwriters Tim Herlihy and Timothy Dowling fail to capitalise on this neat and tantalising premise, crafting an inane story of triumph against adversity that treats female characters as pretty baubles.

In 1982, prepubescent pals Sam Brenner (Anthony Ippolito) and Will Cooper (Jared Riley) attend the arcade game world championships where they befriend conspiracy theory-spouting oddball Ludlow Lamonsoff (Jacob Shinder).

Sam gets through to the final where he loses a showdown on Donkey Kong, against egotistical champion Eddie Plant (Andrew Bambridge). More than 30 years later, Sam (now played by Adam Sandler) installs software for a living, while Will (now played by Kevin James) has become the deeply unpopular President of the United States.

Alien invaders attack Guam military base with energy that has been coded to swarm like the creatures in the arcade game Galaga. It transpires that a time capsule of arcade game footage, sent into space by NASA in 1982, has been intercepted by extra-terrestrials and misinterpreted as a declaration of war.

In order to halt the alien advance, mankind must compete in life-or-death versions of Centipede and Pacman. Sam and Will reunite with Ludlow (now played by Josh Gad) and Eddie (now played by Peter Dinklage) to secure mankind's victory, armed with light cannons fashioned by military weapons specialist Lieutenant Colonel Violet van Patten (Michelle Monaghan). "Let the nerds take over!" she bellows defiantly. Please don't.

Pixels is a nostalgia-drenched bore, hung on the centerpiece recreations of classic games, which result in the destruction of swathes of London and Manhattan. Sandler sucks the dwindling energy out of every frame, unable to muster any enthusiasm for his two-dimensional role.

Monaghan is wasted as the simpering love interest while James goofs and gurns as a highly improbable American leader. Columbus, who directed the first two instalments of the Harry Potter films, fails miserably to conjure the same magic.

He gleefully fills the screen with familiar pixelated characters including Q*bert, Frogger and Mario. Regrettably, it's game over from the opening frames for genuine emotion and narrative sophistication.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 2nd September 2015
Thursday 3rd September 2015

This film is also showing at:

Straight Outta Compton 4 stars

movie title

Good friends Dr Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella search for an outlet for their creativity. With gentle persuasion from his buddies, Eazy-E sets up his own label, Ruthless Records, and the group's first release Boyz-n-the-Hood piques the interest of Jerry Heller. He sweet talks Eazy-E into becoming the band's manager. An electrifying live performance leads to a deal with Priority Records but Ice Cube grows increasingly concerned about Eazy-E's close working relationship with Heller and the absence of contracts for the rest of the group.

  • GenreBiography, Drama, Musical
  • CastCorey Hawkins, O'Shea Jackson Jr, Paul Giamatti, Neil Brown Jr, Jason Mitchell, Aldis Hodge.
  • DirectorF Gary Gray.
  • WriterJonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration147 mins
  • Official sitewww.straightouttacomptonthemovie.co.uk
  • Release28/08/2015

Whenever Hollywood immortalises pages from history at 24 frames per second, it's wise to treat each lustrous dramatisation with a pinch of salt. Rigorous factual accuracy is often sacrificed at the altar of artistic licence. In the case of F. Gary Gray's engrossing film, you will need to grab bulging fistfuls of sodium chloride.

Not only are two of the key protagonists of this rags to musical riches biopic listed as executive producers, one of the men - rapper turned actor Ice Cube - is portrayed on screen by his own son. The faint whiff of nepotism is overpowered by heady fumes of whitewash from Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff's script, which neglects to address accusations of misogyny and homophobia levelled at California hip hop collective N.W.A.

Regardless of the rosy tint to director Gray's lens, Straight Outta Compton is a fascinating portrait of youthful exuberance, raw ambition and racial divide that rubs some of that salt into the deep wounds inflicted since the police shooting of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson.

The film opens in 1986 with pals Dr Dre (Corey Hawkins), Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell), Ice Cube (O'Shea Jackson Jr), MC Ren (Aldis Hodge) and DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr) searching for an outlet for their creativity.

Tensions are high between police and black youths - random stop and searches are an unwelcome part of neighbourhood life. "I'm the only gangster round here," snarls one officer. With gentle persuasion from his buddies, Eazy-E sets up his own label, Ruthless Records, and the group's first release Boyz-n-the-Hood piques the interest of Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti).

He sweet talks Eazy-E into becoming the band's manager. "What does N.W.A. stand for? No Whites Allowed?" asks Jerry naively. An electrifying live performance leads to a deal with Priority Records founded by Bryan Turner (Tate Ellington).

Ice Cube grows increasingly concerned about Eazy-E's close working relationship with Heller and the absence of contracts for the rest of the group. He eventually leaves and goes solo, sparking a bitter war of rhymes between the former band mates.

Ice Cube aligns himself with Suge Knight (R Marcus Taylor) and together they establish Death Row Records. Meanwhile, Dr Dre also turns his back on Eazy-E and N.W.A. and channels his energy into working as a producer for other acts including Snoop Dogg (Keith Stanfield) and Tupac Shakur (Marcc Rose).

Straight Outta Compton might run to a holler short of two-and-a-half hours but Gray's film has sufficient swagger to hold our attention. Hawkins, Mitchell and Jackson Jr deliver accomplished performances as the sometimes deluded pioneers of a hip hop revolution.

Musical performances pulse with energy including a stand-off with police at a concert that culminates in a riot. This might not be the whole uncomfortable truth, but what we are allowed to see hits the right notes.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 2nd September 2015
Thursday 3rd September 2015

This film is also showing at:

The Bad Education Movie 3 stars

Frightfully posh yet inept history teacher Alfie Wickers takes his class of misfits on a trip to Cornwall despite vociferous protests from parents. Far from Abbey Grove School in Watford, Hertfordshire, Alfie and his socially awkward pupils rankle the locals including farmer Pasco and reunite with Alfie's old school chum Atticus Hoye. Police are eventually called in to restore peace and Alfie must consider if he is truly fit to be shaping impressionable and occasionally febrile minds.

  • GenreComedy, Drama, Romance
  • CastJeremy Irvine, Iain Glen, Talulah Riley, Mathew Horne, Joanna Scanlan, Jack Whitehall, Harry Enfield.
  • DirectorElliot Hegarty.
  • WriterFreddy Syborn, Jack Whitehall.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration91 mins
  • Official site
  • Release21/08/2015

Written by and starring Jack Whitehall, Bad Education was a popular BBC Three sitcom chronicling the trials and tribulations of a frightfully posh yet inept history teacher called Alfie Wickers at the fictional Abbey Grove School in Watford, Hertfordshire. Over the course of three series, Alfie tried in vain to win the affection of biology teacher Rosie Gulliver (Sarah Solemani) and pull the wool over the eyes of the school's headmaster, Fraser (Mathew Horne). For this big screen misadventure directed by Elliot Hegarty, Alfie takes his class of misfits on a trip to Cornwall despite vociferous protests from parents. Far from Abbey Grove School, Alfie and his socially awkward pupils rankle the locals including farmer Pasco (Iain Glen) and reunite with Alfie's old school chum Atticus Hoye (Jeremy Irvine). Police are eventually called in to restore peace and Alfie must consider if he is truly fit to be shaping impressionable and occasionally febrile minds.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 2nd September 2015
Thursday 3rd September 2015

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The Man From U.N.C.L.E. 2 stars

Victoria Vinciguerra is the beautiful mastermind of a criminal organisation, which hopes to destabilise the fragile global peace. American agent Napoleon Solo reluctantly works alongside Ukrainian rival Illya Kuryakin to thwart Victoria's nefarious plan. The two men join forces with Gaby Teller, whose father is a German scientist with the key to infiltrating the criminal network. With the clock ticking down to worldwide catastrophe, tensions between Solo and Kuryakin undermine the mission.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Comedy, Romance
  • CastHenry Cavill, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Armie Hammer.
  • DirectorGuy Ritchie.
  • WriterGuy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration116 mins
  • Official sitewww.manfromuncle.com
  • Release14/08/2015

More than 50 years after the achingly cool TV series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. exploited Cold War paranoia for rollicking entertainment, director Guy Ritchie continues to explore fractious male dynamics in this globe-trotting spy caper.

The unlikely pairing of suave American agent Napoleon Solo and tightly coiled Ukrainian rival Illya Kuryakin during the Cold War remains unchanged in Ritchie's script, co-written by Lionel Wigram. While the original pairing of Robert Vaughn and David McCallum lent swagger and smouldering sex appeal to the politically divided operatives, Ritchie's good-looking men from U.N.C.L.E. - Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill - radiate impeccably tailored style over substance and sizzle.

James Bond could arch an eyebrow and exude more charisma than either leading man manages here as they attempt to wrench a nuclear warhead from the clutches of a criminal network.

The film is having a laugh to suggest that these strapping and chiselled agents, both over six feet tall, could conduct covert surveillance without drawing attention. Ritchie evidently agrees and stokes homoerotic embers with a thinly veiled declaration of sexual preference that will prick up the ears of gay audiences as the men attempt to simultaneously pick two locks on a door and evade capture.

These throwaway moments, including an appearance by Pussy Galore's helicopter from Goldfinger, are symbolic of a film that has the right ingredients but no clear sense how to blend everything smoothly.

Victoria Vinciguerra (Elizabeth Debicki) is the beautiful mastermind of a criminal organisation, which hopes to destabilise global peace using a warhead armed by nuclear scientist Udo Teller (Christian Berkel). CIA handler Sanders (Jared Harris) instructs his debonair agent Napoleon Solo (Cavill) to join forces with KGB counterpart Illya Kuryakin (Hammer) to thwart Victoria's nefarious plan.

The two men bicker and brood, give each other pet names ("Red Peril" and "Cowboy"), and dangle Udo's car mechanic daughter Gaby (Alicia Vikander) as bait to flush the scientist out of hiding. En route, the agents clash with Gaby's sadistic uncle (Sylvester Groth) and forge an alliance with an unflappable British agent, Alexander Waverly (Hugh Grant).

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. lovingly evokes the textures, polish and poise of an era that rebelled against post-war drabness, with fine contributions from production designer Oliver Scholl and costume designer Joanna Johnston.

The soundtrack jives to jazzy beats, matched by Ritchie's measured direction, which thankfully avoids some of his usual showboating. If looks were everything, the film would twist and shout in snazzy kaleidoscopic split screens.

However, characters are poorly developed and on-screen chemistry between the leading men and a shamefully underused Vikander is tepid. "For a special agent, you're not having a very special day," Waverly quips to Kuryakin after one chase sequence. On this handsomely crafted yet bland evidence, nor is Ritchie.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 2nd September 2015
Thursday 3rd September 2015

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