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Empire Newcastle Upon Tyne

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The Gate, Newgate Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 5TG

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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Sat 25 Oct
Sun 26 Oct
Mon 27 Oct
Tue 28 Oct
Wed 29 Oct
Thu 30 Oct

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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Sat 25 Oct
Sun 26 Oct
Mon 27 Oct
Tue 28 Oct
Wed 29 Oct
Thu 30 Oct

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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Sat 25 Oct
Sun 26 Oct
Mon 27 Oct
Tue 28 Oct
Wed 29 Oct
Thu 30 Oct

Belle

Belle
  • 4 stars
  • 2013
  • UK
  • 104 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Amma Asante
  • Written by: Misan Sagay
  • Cast: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson

The mixed-race, illegitimate daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral goes to live with her uncle, amid a frosty reception from the English aristocracy. Inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle.

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Wed 29 Oct

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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Sat 25 Oct
Sun 26 Oct
Mon 27 Oct
Tue 28 Oct

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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Sat 25 Oct
Sun 26 Oct
Mon 27 Oct
Tue 28 Oct
Wed 29 Oct
Thu 30 Oct

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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Sat 25 Oct
Sun 26 Oct
Mon 27 Oct
Tue 28 Oct
Wed 29 Oct
Thu 30 Oct

The Crucible

The Crucible
  • 2014
  • 195 min
  • Directed by: Yal Farber
  • Cast: Richard Armitage

Arthur Miller's classic drama based on the infamous witch trials in America.

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Thu 4 Dec
Sun 7 Dec

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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Sat 25 Oct
Sun 26 Oct
Mon 27 Oct
Tue 28 Oct
Wed 29 Oct
Thu 30 Oct

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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Sat 25 Oct
Sun 26 Oct
Mon 27 Oct
Tue 28 Oct

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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Sat 25 Oct
Sun 26 Oct
Mon 27 Oct
Tue 28 Oct
Wed 29 Oct
Thu 30 Oct

Gone Girl

Gone Girl
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 145 min
  • 18
  • Directed by: David Fincher
  • Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike

Nick (Affleck) comes home on his fifth wedding anniversary to find his wife Amy (Pike) gone, and a series of revelations cast him in the worst possible light. Fincher directs with cool proficiency and a sense of brutal fun; Affleck is perfect, and Pike gives a bravura, breakout performance.

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Sat 25 Oct
Sun 26 Oct
Mon 27 Oct
Tue 28 Oct
Wed 29 Oct
Thu 30 Oct

Horns

Horns
  • 2013
  • US/Canada
  • 123 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Alexandre Aja
  • Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Heather Graham

Horns begin to sprout from a man's head after his girlfriend is mysteriously murdered. Based on the novel by Joe Hill.

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Wed 29 Oct
Thu 30 Oct

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
Sat 8 Nov
Sun 9 Nov
Mon 10 Nov
Tue 11 Nov
Wed 12 Nov
Thu 13 Nov

The Judge

The Judge
  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 142 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: David Dobkin
  • Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga

When hotshot defence lawyer Hank Palmer (Downey Jr) goes home to small-town Indiana for his mother's funeral, he finds himself defending his crotchety dad (Duvall), the town judge, on a murder charge. A corny, shamelessly manipulative and overlong blend of Grisham-style thriller and old-fashioned tale of family reconciliation, it's still able mainstream entertainment.

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Sat 25 Oct
Sun 26 Oct
Mon 27 Oct
Tue 28 Oct
Wed 29 Oct
Thu 30 Oct

Let's Be Cops

Let's Be Cops
  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 104 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Luke Greenfield
  • Written by: Luke Greenfield, Nicholas Thomas
  • Cast: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr, Rob Riggle

Ryan (Johnson) and Justin (Wayans) are two loser flatmates who decide to pretend to be LAPD officers, only to fall foul of psychopathic criminal Mossi (D'Arcy). Some good ideas and the leads' comic chemistry are let down by uncertain writing, misguided directorial choices and sloppy editing, but it's amiable enough.

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Sat 25 Oct
Sun 26 Oct
Mon 27 Oct
Tue 28 Oct

Love, Rosie

Love, Rosie
  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 102 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Christian Ditter
  • Cast: Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, Tamsin Egerton, Suki Waterhouse, Jaime Winstone, Art Parkinson

When Alex's family move to Dublin to America, he and his best friend Rosie are separated. Can their friendship survive the distance? Based on the novel by Cecelia Ahern.

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Sat 25 Oct
Sun 26 Oct
Mon 27 Oct
Tue 28 Oct
Wed 29 Oct
Thu 30 Oct

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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Sat 25 Oct
Sun 26 Oct
Mon 27 Oct
Tue 28 Oct
Wed 29 Oct
Thu 30 Oct

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 25 Oct
Sun 26 Oct

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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Thu 30 Oct
Mon 3 Nov

National Theatre Live: JOHN

National Theatre Live: JOHN
  • 2014
  • UK

DV8 Physical Theatre perform their new production, conceived and written by Lloyd Newson, based on stories of love and sex told by a real-life man named John.

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Tue 9 Dec

National Theatre Live: Treasure Island

National Theatre Live: Treasure Island
  • 2014
  • UK

The National Theatre present their adaption of Robert Louis Stevenson's tale of murder, money and mutiny.

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Thu 22 Jan

Nativity!

Nativity!
  • 3 stars
  • 2009
  • UK
  • 105 min
  • U
  • Directed by: Debbie Isitt
  • Written by: Debbie Isitt
  • Cast: Martin Freeman, Ashley Jensen, Jason Watkins, Marc Wootton, Alan Carr

Surprisingly enjoyable British family drama about one school's attempt to put on the best nativity play in Britain by getting the media involved. Freeman and Wootton as the two primary school teachers at the eye of the storm are excellent.

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Sat 25 Oct
Sun 26 Oct

Royal Opera House: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Royal Opera House cinema
  • 2014
  • UK
  • Directed by: Christopher Wheeldon

The Royal Ballet presents Christopher Wheeldon's entrancing ballet. All all the zany characters are there, including the White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter and, of course, the questionably affected Alice herself.

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Tue 16 Dec
Sun 28 Dec

Royal Opera House: Andrea Chenier

Royal Opera House: Andrea Chenier
  • 2015
  • UK
  • Directed by: David McVicar

Live screening of David McVicar's new production of the French Revolution drama. Starring Jonas Kaufmann and Eva-Maria Westbroek conducted by Antonio Pappano.

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Thu 29 Jan
Sun 1 Feb

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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Mon 27 Oct
Sun 2 Nov

Royal Opera House: L'elisir d'amore

Royal Opera House cinema
  • 2014
  • UK
  • Directed by: Laurent Pelly

Laurent Pelly directs Gaetano Donizetti's opera in which a 1950s Italian village provides the backdrop to a spirited tale of love's twists and turns.

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Wed 26 Nov
Sun 30 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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Sat 25 Oct
Sun 26 Oct
Mon 27 Oct
Tue 28 Oct
Wed 29 Oct
Thu 30 Oct

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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Sat 25 Oct
Sun 26 Oct
Mon 27 Oct
Tue 28 Oct
Wed 29 Oct
Thu 30 Oct

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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Sat 25 Oct
Sun 26 Oct
Mon 27 Oct
Tue 28 Oct
Wed 29 Oct
Thu 30 Oct

What We Did on Our Holiday

What We Did on Our Holiday
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • UK
  • 95 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkin
  • Written by: Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkin
  • Cast: Rosamund Pike, David Tennant, Billy Connolly, Celia Imrie, Ben Miller, Emilia Jones, Annette Crosbie

Doug (Tennant) and Abi (Pike) have separated, but when they go north for the birthday of Doug's father (Connolly), they instruct their kids (Jones, Smalldridge and Turnbull) to keep quiet about the separation. Charming and hilarious: Tennant and Pike are excellent, and despite the kids' scene-stealing improvisation it feels tightly scripted, exploring adult themes without mawkishness.

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Sat 25 Oct
Sun 26 Oct
Mon 27 Oct
Tue 28 Oct
Wed 29 Oct
Thu 30 Oct

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