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Winnersh, Loddon Bridge, Reading Road, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 5HG

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 28 Nov
Sat 29 Nov
Sun 30 Nov
Mon 1 Dec
Tue 2 Dec
Wed 3 Dec
Thu 4 Dec

The Drop

The Drop
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 105 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Michaël R Roskam
  • Cast: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini

Bob (Hardy) is the loyal bartender of Cousin Marv's, a Brooklyn dive ostensibly run by Marv himself (Gandolfini), but really a money drop for Chechen gangsters. Adapted by Lehane from his own story, it starts as a Runyonesque slow-burner but slowly tightens into a tough thriller with excellent work from Hardy and Gandolfini.

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Fri 28 Nov
Sat 29 Nov
Sun 30 Nov
Mon 1 Dec
Tue 2 Dec
Wed 3 Dec
Thu 4 Dec

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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Fri 28 Nov
Sat 29 Nov
Sun 30 Nov
Mon 1 Dec
Tue 2 Dec
Wed 3 Dec
Thu 4 Dec

The Homesman

The Homesman
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US/France
  • 122 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Tommy Lee Jones
  • Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank, Grace Gummer

When Mary Cuddy (Swank) needs help escorting three madwomen from frontier Nebraska to Iowa, her only help is from rascally claim jumper George Briggs (Jones). A sombre, frequently horrific depiction of the pioneer experience, enlivened with flashes of sardonic humour and a few meaty cameos; Swank is heartbreaking and Jones keeps the western alive.

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Fri 28 Nov
Sat 29 Nov
Sun 30 Nov
Mon 1 Dec
Tue 2 Dec
Wed 3 Dec
Thu 4 Dec

Horrible Bosses 2

Horrible Bosses 2
  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 108 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Sean Anders
  • Cast: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Christoph Waltz, Chris Pine, Jamie Foxx

When Nick (Bateman), Dale (Day) and Kurt (Sudeikis) are conned by an unscrupulous tycoon (Waltz), they plot to kidnap his unctuous son (Pine). Limp sequel to the so-so original, with even the outtakes barely raising a smile.

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Fri 28 Nov
Sat 29 Nov
Sun 30 Nov
Mon 1 Dec
Tue 2 Dec
Wed 3 Dec
Thu 4 Dec

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 125 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Francis Lawrence
  • Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore

Carving the final book in the Hunger Games series into two movies pays off, giving rhythm to a story that might otherwise have felt rushed. Action and politics are confidently balanced, Sutherland is deliciously vile as ever, Hutcherson is finally given something interesting to do and while Lawrence is rightly the star, the older actors are a pleasure.

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Fri 28 Nov
Sat 29 Nov
Sun 30 Nov
Mon 1 Dec
Tue 2 Dec
Wed 3 Dec
Thu 4 Dec

I Am Ali

I Am Ali
  • 2014
  • UK/US
  • 111 min
  • Directed by: Clare Lewins
  • Written by: Clare Lewins

The life story of Muhammad Ali, told through access to 'audio journals', interviews and testimonials from family and friends.

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Fri 28 Nov

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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Fri 28 Nov
Sat 29 Nov
Sun 30 Nov
Mon 1 Dec
Tue 2 Dec
Wed 3 Dec
Thu 4 Dec

Interstellar

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

Cooper (McConaughey) is a pilot-turned-farmer who's recruited for an intergalactic mission to find humanity a new home. Despite awe and nail-biting tension, there's too much clunky exposition and cinematic clichés, and although Nolan's intentions to make a singular and cerebral film are admirable, it all gets a bit silly.

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Fri 28 Nov
Sat 29 Nov
Sun 30 Nov
Mon 1 Dec
Tue 2 Dec
Wed 3 Dec
Thu 4 Dec

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner
  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 113 min
  • 12A
  • 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 28 Nov
Sat 29 Nov
Sun 30 Nov
Mon 1 Dec
Tue 2 Dec
Wed 3 Dec
Thu 4 Dec

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 28 Nov
Sat 29 Nov
Sun 30 Nov
Mon 1 Dec
Tue 2 Dec
Wed 3 Dec
Thu 4 Dec

Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey?!

Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey?!
  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • UK
  • 109 min
  • U
  • Directed by: Debbie Isitt
  • Written by: Debbie Isitt
  • Cast: Adam Garcia, Catherine Tate, Celia Imrie

The third film in the series sees the kids from St Bernardette's helping teacher Mr Shepherd (Clunes) recover from a donkey-inflicted bout of amnesia. The Christmas story is crossed with the formulaic dance movie, with results that may prove testing to short attention spans. Unnecessarily long and annoyingly repetitive.

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Fri 28 Nov
Sat 29 Nov
Sun 30 Nov
Mon 1 Dec
Tue 2 Dec
Wed 3 Dec
Thu 4 Dec

No Good Deed

No Good Deed
  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 84 min
  • Directed by: Sam Miller
  • Cast: Taraji P Henson, Idris Elba, Leslie Bibb

Terri (Henson) is a young mother who finds herself and her children terrorised by escaped convict Colin (Elba) as a storm rages outside her isolated home near Atlanta. Dull, clichéd thriller which wastes good actors on amateurishly drawn characters.

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Fri 28 Nov
Sat 29 Nov
Sun 30 Nov
Mon 1 Dec
Tue 2 Dec
Wed 3 Dec
Thu 4 Dec

Paddington

Paddington
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • UK
  • 95 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Paul King
  • Cast: Ben Whishaw (voice), Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins

The story of an illegal immigrant from Peru and his efforts to be integrated into British society. He's a bear, by the way. Whishaw imbues the CGI Paddington with immense charm, the rest of the cast are excellent and the exuberant direction and smart, knowing script make for a genuine delight.

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Fri 28 Nov
Sat 29 Nov
Sun 30 Nov
Mon 1 Dec
Tue 2 Dec
Wed 3 Dec
Thu 4 Dec

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 28 Nov
Sat 29 Nov
Sun 30 Nov
Mon 1 Dec
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Thu 4 Dec

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