List Film

Empire Basildon

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Festival Leisure Park, Basildon, Essex, SS14 3WB

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 81 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Miguel Arteta
  • Cast: Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Ed Oxenbould

After an especially bad day, eleven-year-old Alexander (Oxenbould) wishes that the rest of his family would have one: the next day, they do. Loosely based on a 1972 kid's book, this highly entertaining and pleasingly edgy family comedy features witty performances from all but especially Oxenbould, and Garner as his overworked mum.

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Fri 31 Oct
Sat 1 Nov
Sun 2 Nov
Mon 3 Nov
Tue 4 Nov
Wed 5 Nov
Thu 6 Nov

Annabelle

Annabelle
  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 98 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: John R Leonetti
  • Cast: Ward Horton, Annabelle Wallis, Alfre Woodard

When cultists invade the home of expectant parents Mia (Wallis) and John (Horton), the soul of one of them enters a doll named Annabelle that John has given to Mia. This spin-off from 2013's The Conjuring over-relies on the doll's supposedly terrifying presence, but it's better than it deserves to be, with some frightening set-pieces.

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Fri 31 Oct
Sat 1 Nov
Sun 2 Nov
Mon 3 Nov
Tue 4 Nov
Wed 5 Nov
Thu 6 Nov

The Babadook

The Babadook
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • Australia
  • 93 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Jennifer Kent
  • Written by: Jennifer Kent
  • Cast: Essie Davis, Daniel Henshall, Tiffany Lyndall-Knight

Widowed single mother Amelia (Davis) struggles to discipline her son Samuel (Wiseman); when he becomes obsessed with a pop-up book character called The Babadook, things get nasty. Genuinely upsetting and at times terrifying tale of loneliness, loss and depression, executed with impressive style by debut director Kent.

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Fri 31 Oct
Sat 1 Nov
Sun 2 Nov
Mon 3 Nov
Tue 4 Nov
Wed 5 Nov
Thu 6 Nov

The Best of Me

The Best of Me
  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 117 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Michael Hoffman
  • Cast: James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan, Liana Liberato

Dawson (Marsden), an insanely handsome, inexplicably single oil rig worker who's also got hidden depths (he reads Stephen Hawking), has pined for his high-school girlfriend (Monaghan) for 21 years. Then they meet. An even-more-listless-than-usual Nicholas Sparks adaptation with the button-pushing ability of a blind man and an ending of industrial-strength stupidity.

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Fri 31 Oct
Sat 1 Nov
Sun 2 Nov
Mon 3 Nov
Tue 4 Nov
Wed 5 Nov
Thu 6 Nov

The Book of Life

The Book of Life
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 95 min
  • U
  • Directed by: Jorge R Gutierrez
  • Cast: Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Diego Luna, Ron Perlman

Manolo (Luna) and best friend Joaquin (Tatum) are both in love with feisty Maria (Saldana), but it all goes El Sur when squabbling gods La Muerte (del Castillo) and Xibalba (Perlman) make a wager over who'll win her. Lively, colourful animation exploring dark themes, with great gags, superb voice work, and a delightful soundtrack.

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Fri 31 Oct
Sat 1 Nov
Sun 2 Nov
Mon 3 Nov
Tue 4 Nov
Wed 5 Nov
Thu 6 Nov

The Boxtrolls

The Boxtrolls
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 97 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Graham Annable, Anthony Stacchi
  • Cast: Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Ben Kingsley, Elle Fanning, Toni Collette, Jared Harris, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan

Eggs (Hempstead-Wright) lives underground with a family of Boxtrolls, marginalised creatures who make their home from rubbish. But then the trolls are hunted by a group of exterminators, led by the grotesque Snatcher (Kingsley). Adventurous, intense and sometimes disturbing animated movie, with plenty to keep adults occupied; whether kids will respond is another question.

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Fri 31 Oct
Sat 1 Nov
Sun 2 Nov
Mon 3 Nov
Tue 4 Nov
Wed 5 Nov
Thu 6 Nov

Dolphin Tale 2

Dolphin Tale 2
  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 107 min
  • U
  • Directed by: Charles Martin Smith
  • Cast: Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble

Winter, the bottlenose dolphin with the prosthetic tail, needs a friend, and teenager Sawyer (Gamble), kindly mom Lorraine (Judd) and moody doctor Clay (Connick Jr) have to find one. An overqualified cast are wasted in this colourless true-life story, set firmly in the cinematic tradition of tiresome animal-related do-gooding.

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Fri 31 Oct
Sat 1 Nov
Sun 2 Nov
Mon 3 Nov
Tue 4 Nov
Wed 5 Nov
Thu 6 Nov

Dracula Untold

Dracula Untold
  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 92 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Gary Shore
  • Cast: Luke Evans, Charles Dance, Sarah Gadon

In this Dracula origin story, Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (Evans), is a warrior and a family man, who sells his soul to protect his people from the Turkish hordes. There's good work from Evans and Gadon and a show-stopping performance from Dance (under layers of prosthetics), but overall it's po-faced and humourless.

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Fri 31 Oct
Sat 1 Nov
Sun 2 Nov
Tue 4 Nov
Wed 5 Nov
Thu 6 Nov

The Equalizer

The Equalizer
  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 131 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
  • Cast: Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz

Obsessive-compulsive loner McCall (Washington) befriends Teri (Moretz), a teenage Russian prostitute; when her pimp hospitalises her, he decides to even things up a bit. Nominally derived from the 80s Edward Woodward TV series, it's really just a relentless, brutal, unsubtle thriller, with Washington an effective killing machine and Fuqua expertly cranking up the tension.

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Fri 31 Oct
Sat 1 Nov
Sun 2 Nov
Mon 3 Nov
Tue 4 Nov
Wed 5 Nov
Thu 6 Nov

Fury

Fury
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US/UK
  • 134 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: David Ayer
  • Cast: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, Jon Bernthal, Jason Issacs, Scott Eastwood

The tale of a Sherman tank crew, led by Sgt Don 'Wardaddy' Collier (Pitt), in the final weeks of WW II. Grim and intense (heads and limbs blown off, bodies crushed under tanks) but in one of his finest performances, Pitt shows the humanity beneath the gung-ho façade; Lerman is also impressive as the rookie.

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Fri 31 Oct
Sat 1 Nov
Sun 2 Nov
Mon 3 Nov
Tue 4 Nov
Wed 5 Nov
Thu 6 Nov

Grace of Monaco

Grace of Monaco
  • 3 stars
  • 2013
  • Belgium, Italy, France, Monaco, US
  • 103 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Olivier Dahan
  • Cast: Nicole Kidman, Tim Roth, Frank Langella, Parker Posey

The tale of the transformation of Hollywood star Grace Kelly (Kidman) into a princess of Monaco, and her ensuing clashes with Hitchcock (Griffiths) and de Gaulle (Penvern). Possibly thanks to executive meddling during the edit, it's a confused and flyweight piece with little emotional depth.

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Wed 5 Nov

Horns

Horns
  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • US/Canada
  • 123 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Alexandre Aja
  • Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Heather Graham

When Ig (Radcliffe)'s girlfriend Merrin (Temple) is murdered, suspicion falls on him; but then he sprouts horns and people begin to confess their secrets to him. Unfortunately Aja neglects the more interesting crisis-of-faith theme and overstuffs the narrative, so despite nice work from Radcliffe (and Graham, great fun as an evil waitress) it lacks hiss or bite.

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Fri 31 Oct
Sat 1 Nov
Sun 2 Nov
Mon 3 Nov
Tue 4 Nov
Wed 5 Nov
Thu 6 Nov

Interstellar

Interstellar
  • 2014
  • US/UK
  • 169 min
  • Directed by: Christopher Nolan
  • Cast: Jessica Chastain, Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway

Star-studded epic sci-fi adventure from The Dark Knight director Nolan.

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Fri 7 Nov

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner
  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 113 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Wes Ball
  • Cast: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Patricia Clarkson

Thomas (O'Brien) is just one of a group of teenagers who find themselves battling against a giant, intricate maze. The latest teen-dystopian-blockbuster adaptation features a great young cast and isn't afraid to kill off main characters where necessary. Interesting if inconsistent entertainment.

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Fri 31 Oct
Sat 1 Nov
Sun 2 Nov
Mon 3 Nov
Tue 4 Nov
Wed 5 Nov
Thu 6 Nov

Mr Turner

Mr Turner
  • 5 stars
  • 2014
  • UK
  • 150 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Mike Leigh
  • Cast: Timothy Spall, Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson

Portrait of the last 25 years of the life of painter Joseph Mallord William Turner (Spall). A work of great beauty, wit and poignancy, presenting the artist as unapologetically gruff but sympathetic and spectacularly eccentric. Leigh's latest demonstrates a command of his craft to rival that of his subject.

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Fri 31 Oct
Sat 1 Nov
Sun 2 Nov
Mon 3 Nov
Tue 4 Nov
Wed 5 Nov
Thu 6 Nov

Muppets Most Wanted

Muppets Most Wanted
  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 112 min
  • U
  • Directed by: James Bobin
  • Cast: Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey

A world tour goes awry when the Muppets find themselves accidentally caught up in a jewel heist.

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Sat 1 Nov
Sun 2 Nov

National Theatre Live: Frankenstein

National Theatre Live: Frankenstein
  • 2011
  • UK
  • 15
  • Directed by: Danny Boyle
  • Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Jonny Lee Miller

Mary Shelley's classic gothic tale realised by Danny Boyle in his return to theatre. The roles of Dr Frankenstein and the Creature are alternated between Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller.

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Mon 3 Nov

Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger

Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger
  • 1 star
  • 2012
  • UK
  • 105 min
  • U
  • Directed by: Debbie Isitt
  • Written by: Debbie Isitt
  • Cast: David Tennant, Jessica Hynes, Marc Wootton, Pam Ferris

Tennant takes over starring duties from Martin Freeman in this sequel to the 2009 British festive hit.

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Sat 1 Nov
Sun 2 Nov

The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman

The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman
  • 2 stars
  • 2013
  • Romania/US
  • 108 min
  • Directed by: Fredrik Bond
  • Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen

While travelling abroad, a guy falls for a Romanian beauty whose unreachable heart has its origins in her violent, charismatic ex.

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Fri 31 Oct
Sat 1 Nov
Sun 2 Nov
Mon 3 Nov
Tue 4 Nov
Wed 5 Nov
Thu 6 Nov

Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 117 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Dan Gilroy
  • Written by: Dan Gilroy
  • Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton

Lou (Gyllenhaal) is a young man in LA who finds work as a freelance cameraman, feeding grisly news footage to the sensationalistic networks. A characterful satire of the cynicism, manipulation and inhumanity prevalent in TV news, with showstopping work from Gyllenhaal as the motor-mouthed protagonist.

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Fri 31 Oct
Sat 1 Nov
Sun 2 Nov
Mon 3 Nov
Tue 4 Nov
Wed 5 Nov
Thu 6 Nov

Northern Soul

Northern Soul
  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • UK
  • 99 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Elaine Constantine
  • Written by: Elaine Constantine
  • Cast: Eliot James Langridge, Josh Whitehouse, Antonia Thomas, Steve Coogan

In 1974 Lancashire, John (Langridge) meets Matt (Whitehouse) and becomes hooked on Northern Soul, the high-energy soul and funk that northern English clubbers loved to dance to. Constantine's debut feature is simplistic and the story is underdeveloped, but she knows the scene and the all-important dancefloor scenes hum with energy.

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Mon 3 Nov

Royal Opera House: I due Foscari

Royal Opera House: I due Foscari
  • 2014
  • UK
  • Directed by: Thaddeus Strassberger

Live screening of Verdi's tragedy, starring Plácido Domingo.

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Sun 2 Nov

Serena

Serena
  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • US/France
  • 109 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Susanne Bier
  • Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Toby Jones

1930s America: Newlyweds Serena (Lawrence) and George (Cooper) are equal partners in his logging company, but then tragedy strikes. Strong female characters are to be welcomed, but we shouldn't need to be loudly and frequently reminded how strong they are. Despite the stars' chemistry and an accomplished director, it collapses under its own weight.

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Fri 31 Oct
Sat 1 Nov
Sun 2 Nov
Mon 3 Nov
Tue 4 Nov
Wed 5 Nov
Thu 6 Nov

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 101 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Jonathan Liebesman
  • Cast: Megan Fox, Alan Ritchson, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Noel Fisher, Will Arnett, Danny Woodburn, William Fichtner, Johnny Knoxville, Tony Shalhoub

Visually distinctive reboot of the franchise chronicling the adventures of four late-adolescent, martial-arts-trained, pizza-addicted chelonians and their intrepid reporter pal (Fox). The CGI-enhanced turtles are an improvement on their cinematic predecessors, Fox is commendably committed and Arnett is enjoyable as her smitten cameraman. Like its heroes' favourite food, exciting and loaded with cheese.

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Fri 31 Oct
Sat 1 Nov
Sun 2 Nov
Mon 3 Nov
Tue 4 Nov
Wed 5 Nov
Thu 6 Nov

This is Where I Leave You

This is Where I Leave You
  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 103 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Shawn Levy
  • Cast: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda

When Judd (Bateman)'s father dies, he goes home to to sit Shiva with mother Hilary (Fonda), sister Wendy (Fey) and brother Phillip (Driver). Though some of the family dynamics ring true, the strokes are so broad that comedy and drama are equally dulled; in comparison to something like Jason Reitman's Young Adult, it's all too safe and predictable.

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Mon 3 Nov
Tue 4 Nov
Wed 5 Nov
Thu 6 Nov

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