List Film

Vue Finchley Road

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O2 Centre, 255 Finchley Road, London, NW3 6LU

American Sniper

American Sniper
  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 134 min
  • Directed by: Clint Eastwood
  • Cast: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Jake McDorman

Eastwood, noted for his kinship with the common soldier, is the ideal director for this true-life drama based on the autobiography of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle (Cooper). Cooper continues to be impressive but the film unravels when it shows Kyle's home life, failing to engage with either marital or wider political issues.

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Mon 26 Jan
Tue 27 Jan
Wed 28 Jan
Thu 29 Jan

Annie

Annie
  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 118 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Will Gluck
  • Cast: Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhané Wallis, Rose Byrne

Annie (Wallis) leads a group of multi-racial foster kids in Harlem; when grumpy magnate Will Stacks (Foxx) saves her from being run over, he's persuaded to become her guardian. Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) has real screen presence, but it's largely forgettable.

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Mon 26 Jan
Tue 27 Jan
Wed 28 Jan
Thu 29 Jan

Birdman

Birdman
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 119 min
  • Directed by: Alejandro González Iñárritu
  • Cast: Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts, Amy Ryan

Riggan Thompson (Keaton) played Birdman, a popular Hollywood superhero, but that was a while ago and he's having trouble getting the second art of his career started. A stellar cast (Norton, Watts, Stone) and fluid script prop up an award-worthy turn from Keaton, all mesmerisingly photographed by Lubezki. Highly imaginative.

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Mon 26 Jan
Tue 27 Jan
Wed 28 Jan
Thu 29 Jan

Ex Machina

Ex Machina
  • 4 stars
  • 2015
  • UK/US
  • 108 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Alex Garland
  • Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander

Ambitious young coder Caleb (Gleeson) wins a competition to take part in a research experiment at the hmoe of his CEO (Isaac) – where he meets the experiment itself, robot Ava (Vikander). The ensuing battle of the sexes is played out through dramatic, witty and provocative discussion, making for smart, accessible and relevant sci-fi.

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Mon 26 Jan
Tue 27 Jan
Wed 28 Jan
Thu 29 Jan

Exodus: Gods and Kings

Exodus: Gods and Kings
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US/UK/Spain
  • 142 min
  • Directed by: Ridley Scott
  • Cast: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, John Turturro, Aaron Paul, Ben Mendelsohn, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley

The defiant leader Moses rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.

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Wed 28 Jan

Foxcatcher

Foxcatcher
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 130 min
  • Directed by: Bennett Miller
  • Cast: Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo

Mark Schultz (Tatum) is a gold-medal-winning Olympic wrestler who exists in the shadow of his more successful older brother Dave (Ruffalo); then eccentric billionaire John du Pont (Carell) offers to become Mark's sponsor. Based on a true story, it's an ominous study of psychological torment, with career-best performances from Tatum and the compellingly creepy Carell.

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Mon 26 Jan
Tue 27 Jan
Wed 28 Jan
Thu 29 Jan

The Gambler

The Gambler
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 111 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Rupert Wyatt
  • Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Jessica Lange, Brie Larson, John Goodman

Jim (Wahlberg) is a literature professor with a gambling addiction, whose debts get him the attention of threatening bookie Frank (Goodman). Effective remake of James Toback's 1974 original with an exceptional turn from Wahlberg, although the female roles (including Lange as Jim's icy mother) are underdeveloped.

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Mon 26 Jan
Tue 27 Jan
Wed 28 Jan
Thu 29 Jan

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • US/New Zealand
  • 144 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Peter Jackson
  • Written by: Fran Walsh (screenplay), Philippa Boyens (screenplay), Peter Jackson (screenplay), Guillermo del Toro (screenplay), J. R. R. Tolkien (novel)
  • Cast: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Graham McTavish, Ken Stott, Hugo Weaving, James Nesbitt, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Billy Connolly, Evangeline Lilly, Christopher Lee, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood

Smaug's on the rampage, Thorin is consumed with greed and war breaks out. The final instalment of Jackson's Middle-earth adventures features moments of spirited action and some terrific performances, but like the other Hobbit films it pales in comparison to the episodes of the previous trilogy.

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Mon 26 Jan
Tue 27 Jan
Wed 28 Jan

The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • UK/USA
  • 113 min
  • Directed by: Morten Tyldum
  • Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode

Historical drama about Alan Turing (Cumberbatch), father of modern computer science; how he and a team of codebreakers figured out how to beat the German Enigma machine during WWII, and his tragically early death. Triumphant slice of British heritage drama, with great emotional force and a touching performance from Cumberbatch.

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Mon 26 Jan
Tue 27 Jan
Wed 28 Jan
Thu 29 Jan

Into the Woods

Into the Woods
  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 124 min
  • Directed by: Rob Marshall
  • Cast: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski, Johnny Depp

Disney's long-in-the-making adaptation of Sondheim and Lapine's musical, in which a clutch of fairytale characters help a baker (Corden) and his wife (Blunt) lift a curse which prevents them from having a baby. Despite some great moments, the story drags; if you're a fan it's likely to please, but it won't win anyone else over.

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Mon 26 Jan
Tue 27 Jan
Wed 28 Jan
Thu 29 Jan

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Kingsman: The Secret Service
  • 2015
  • UK
  • Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
  • Cast: Colin Firth, Samuel L Jackson, Mark Strong, Taron Egerton, Michael Caine

A veteran secret agent takes a young upstart under his wing.

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Wed 28 Jan
Thu 29 Jan
Fri 30 Jan
Sat 31 Jan
Sun 1 Feb
Mon 2 Feb
Tue 3 Feb
Wed 4 Feb

Mortdecai

Mortdecai
  • 1 star
  • 2015
  • US
  • 106 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: David Koepp
  • Written by: Kyril Bonfiglioli (novel)
  • Cast: Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Olivia Munn, Jeff Goldblum, Paul Bettany, Aubrey Plaza, Oliver Platt, Ulrich Thomsen

Devious bounder Charlie Mortdecai (Depp), together with faithful Cockney manservant Jock (Bettany), becomes embroiled in a kooky con involving art forgery. This thoroughly unamusing spoof of a 60s caper flick features projectile vomiting and boob jokes instead of comedy.

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Mon 26 Jan
Tue 27 Jan
Wed 28 Jan
Thu 29 Jan

A Most Violent Year

A Most Violent Year
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 125 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: JC Chandor
  • Cast: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola, Albert Brooks

New York City, 1981: Abel (Isaac) is a businessman who's married into dirty money, but who's determined to remain legit even as his rivals are circling. Deliberately confounding the clichés of crime movies, Chandor controls the film with real poise. Isaac is compelling and intriguing, but Chastain steals the show as his swaggering, confident wife.

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Mon 26 Jan
Tue 27 Jan
Wed 28 Jan
Thu 29 Jan

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

Taken 3

Taken 3
  • 2 stars
  • 2015
  • US
  • Directed by: Olivier Megaton
  • Written by: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
  • Cast: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Forest Whitaker

Bryan Mills (Neeson), ex-CIA operative, arrives at his apartment to find his ex-wife (Janssen) dead and himself framed for the crime. The third instalment of this increasingly creaky franchise feels as dozy as a pensioner in the midday sun; the fights and pile-ups are fine, but the characters are almost an afterthought.

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Mon 26 Jan
Tue 27 Jan
Wed 28 Jan
Thu 29 Jan

Testament of Youth

Testament of Youth
  • 3 stars
  • 2015
  • UK
  • 129 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: James Kent
  • Cast: Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Taron Egerton

Vera (Vikander) is a wilful and intelligent English girl; when her friend Victor (Morgan), fiancé Roland (Harington) and brother Edward (Egerton) go off to fight in WW I, she follows them to be a nurse. Sparing and respectful adaptation of Brittain's 1933 memoir; tasteful rather than innovative, it still packs a punch.

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Mon 26 Jan
Tue 27 Jan
Wed 28 Jan
Thu 29 Jan

Whiplash

Whiplash
  • 5 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 106 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Damien Chazelle
  • Cast: Miles Teller, JK Simmons, Melissa Benoist

Andrew (Teller) is an aspiring jazz drummer at Shaffer Conservatory, who falls under the influence of terrifying conductor/instructor Terence Fletcher (Simmons). Teller thrives as the obsessively determined Andrew, and lifelong supporting actor Simmons emerges with formidable authority as the psychotically particular Fletcher. Riveting, audaciously edited and voraciously performed.

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Mon 26 Jan
Tue 27 Jan
Wed 28 Jan
Thu 29 Jan

Wild

Wild
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • USA
  • 115 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallée
  • Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Thomas Sadoski

After the death of her free-spirited mother (Dern), a young woman (Witherspoon) decides to hike 1,100 miles along part of the Pacific Crest Trail, despite being almost comically unprepared. In this assured adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's memoir, Witherspoon is outstanding, giving her best performance since Walk the Line.

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Mon 26 Jan
Tue 27 Jan
Wed 28 Jan
Thu 29 Jan

The Woman in Black: Angel of Death

The Woman in Black: Angel of Death
  • 2 stars
  • 2015
  • UK
  • 98 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Tom Harper
  • Cast: Helen McCrory, Jeremy Irvine, Adrian Rawlins, Oaklee Pendergast, Ned Dennehy

A group of children evacuated from the Blitz are placed in the dreaded Eel Marsh House, along with their teacher Eve (Fox), whereupon the titular spectre awakens and starts picking them off. A suspense-free, tedious sequel to the atmospheric 2012 movie, with cheap jump scares and a cliché-ridden screenplay.

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Wed 28 Jan

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