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Empire Bishop's Stortford

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Anchor Street, Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, CM23 3BP

Assassin's Creed

Assassin's Creed
  • 2016
  • France/US
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Justin Kurzel
  • Cast: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Michael K. Williams, Ariane Labed, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson

Callum Lynch (Fassbender) is a convicted murderer who wakes up in a research facility to find that his ancestor was a 15th century Spanish assassin and he's to travel in time and wage war against the Knights Templar. The set pieces are spectacular but the flip-flopping between past and present messes up the rhythm, and it's all a bit pedestrian.

Fri 20 Jan
Sat 21 Jan
Sun 22 Jan
Mon 23 Jan
Tue 24 Jan
Wed 25 Jan
Thu 26 Jan

Ballerina

Ballerina
  • 2016
  • France / Canada
  • 89 min
  • U
  • Directed by: Eric Summer / Éric Warin
  • Cast: Voices of Dane DeHaan, Elle Fanning, Maddie Ziegler

Orphaned Félicie (Fanning) strives to reach her dream of performing ballet at the Grand Opera House, with the help of mentor Odette (Jepsen). A ballet version of The Karate Kid, it looks nice but the soundtrack is a mish-mash and the story is formulaic and lacks comic zing.

Sat 21 Jan
Sun 22 Jan

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
  • 2016
  • UK/US
  • 12A
  • Directed by: David Yates
  • Written by: J.K. Rowling
  • Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston

Newt Scamander (Redmayne), a socially-challenged animal whisperer of sorts, has to gather up the fantastic beasts which have escaped from his briefcase and are roaming 1920s New York. A suitably magical spin-off, with Rowling's screenplay skilfully balancing dark and light, and director Yates maintaining a thrilling pace and exciting spectacle.

Fri 20 Jan
Sat 21 Jan
Sun 22 Jan
Mon 23 Jan
Tue 24 Jan
Wed 25 Jan

Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge
  • 2016
  • US
  • Directed by: Mel Gibson
  • Cast: Andrew Garfield, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Vince Vaughn

The true story of WWII US Army medic Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector.

Thu 26 Jan

The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book
  • 2016
  • US
  • 106 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Jon Favreau
  • Written by: Justin Marks (screenplay), Rudyard Kipling
  • Cast: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken

You know the story: boy (Sethi) left in woods, adopted by wolves (Nyong'o and Esposito), mentored by panther (Kingsley), befriended by bear (Murray), hunted by tiger (Elba, terrifying). Favreau and his team successfully retool the story with stunning CGI, and a script with heart, soul and spirit. A feelgood delight.

Sat 21 Jan
Sun 22 Jan

La La Land

La La Land
  • 2016
  • US
  • 126 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Damien Chazelle
  • Cast: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, J.K. Simmons

In Los Angeles, aspiring actress Mia (Stone) falls for jazz musician Sebastian (Gosling). Audaciously inventive homage to classic movie musicals, technically wonderful and joyously emotional, with Gosling as a goofy idealistic charmer and Stone showing the versatility, vulnerability and talent of a young Shirley MacLaine. Irresistible.

Fri 20 Jan
Sat 21 Jan
Sun 22 Jan
Mon 23 Jan
Subtitled
Tue 24 Jan
Wed 25 Jan
Thu 26 Jan

Live by Night

Live By Night
  • 2017
  • 128 min
  • Directed by: Ben Affleck
  • Cast: Ben Affleck, Scott Eastwood, Zoe Saldana

Joe Coughlin (Affleck) is a mobster and WW1 veteran who aims to avenge the death of his lover. Lavish production values and fine performances aside, Affleck the actor doesn't quite get under his character's skin and this isn't up to the standard of his previous directorial work.

Fri 20 Jan
Mon 23 Jan
Tue 24 Jan
Wed 25 Jan
Thu 26 Jan

The Look of Silence

The Look of Silence
  • 2014
  • 99 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Joshua Oppenheimer

Documentary about Indonesian death squads, from the perspective of optometrist Adi, whose brother was killed by a squad in 1965. Oppenheimer follows Adi's quest for the truth and conveys not just his courage in the face of death threats but his hopes for the future. Terrifying, tense and essential.

Fri 20 Jan
Mon 23 Jan
Tue 24 Jan
Wed 25 Jan

Manchester by the Sea

Manchester By The Sea
  • 2016
  • US
  • 135 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Kenneth Lonergan
  • Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Lucas Hedges, Kyle Chandler, Gretchen Mol

Lee (Affleck) is a carefree small-town guy who, when his brother dies, is given the job of raising his nephew (Hedges). A masterful blend of high drama, quirky characterisations and incidental detail, with a soulful, heartbreaking turn by Affleck at its core.

Fri 20 Jan
Sat 21 Jan
Sun 22 Jan
Mon 23 Jan
Tue 24 Jan
Wed 25 Jan
Thu 26 Jan

Moana

Moana
  • 2016
  • US
  • 103 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker
  • Cast: Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Temuera Morrison, Nicole Scherzinger, Rachel House, Jemaine Clement, Alan Tudyk

Moana (Carvalho) is a plucky Polynesian girl who revives the voyaging tradition of her island tribe, with the help of buffoonish demigod Maui (Johnson, exuberantly sending himself up.) The unabashed positivity is pure Disney but Bush's zingy screenplay satirises the studio's princess obsession and there's a refreshing lack of a love interest. A spirited, vividly realised and genuinely rousing adventure.

Fri 20 Jan
Sat 21 Jan
Sun 22 Jan
Mon 23 Jan
Tue 24 Jan
Wed 25 Jan

Sing

Sing
  • 2016
  • US
  • 108 min
  • Directed by: Garth Jennings
  • Written by: Garth Jennings
  • Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Tori Kelly, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, Scarlett Johansson

A koala named Buster Moon hosts the world's greatest singing competition in the hope of restoring his theatre to its former glory.

Sat 21 Jan
Sun 22 Jan
Fri 27 Jan
Sat 28 Jan
Sun 29 Jan
Mon 30 Jan
Tue 31 Jan
Wed 1 Feb
Thu 2 Feb

Split

Split
  • 2016
  • US
  • 117 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
  • Cast: James McAvoy, Jessica Sula, Haley Lu Richardson, Anya Taylor-Joy

Kevin (McAvoy) suffers from dissociative identity disorder; when he kidnaps three teenage girls, best pals Marcia (Sula) and Claire (Richardson) and troubled loner Casey (Taylor-Joy), multi-personality strangeness ensues. With superb work from McAvoy and Taylor-Joy, this is easily Shyamalan's most compelling and intelligent movie in years.

Fri 20 Jan
Sat 21 Jan
Sun 22 Jan
Mon 23 Jan
Tue 24 Jan
Wed 25 Jan
Thu 26 Jan

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • 2016
  • US
  • 133 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Gareth Edwards
  • Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Jonathan Aris

Troublemaker Jyn Erso (Jones) and Rebel intelligence officer Cassian Andor (Luna) lead a rag crew across the galaxy to make contact with Death Star chief engineer Galen (Mikkelsen), Jyn's dad. This is Star Wars from the trenches, with sensational battle scenes and great performances from Jones and Luna.

Fri 20 Jan
Sat 21 Jan
Sun 22 Jan
Mon 23 Jan
Tue 24 Jan
Wed 25 Jan
Thu 26 Jan

Storks

Storks
  • 2016
  • US
  • 89 min
  • U
  • Directed by: Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland
  • Written by: Nicholas Stoller
  • Cast: Andy Samberg, Katie Crown, Kelsey Grammer, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell, Danny Trejo, Stephen Kramer Glickman

Storks used to deliver babies, but now they run an Amazon-style delivery service; then ambitious stork Junior (Samberg) and colleague Tulip (Crown) have to deliver an actual baby. Colourful animation and some amusing voice work can't fix the gigantic plot holes, which will leave both parents and kids scratching their heads.

Sat 21 Jan
Sun 22 Jan

A Street Cat Named Bob

A Street Cat Named Bob
  • 2016
  • UK
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode
  • Cast: Luke Treadaway, Ruta Gedmintas, Joanne Froggatt, Anthony Head

James (Treadaway) is a homeless heroin addict who gets onto a support programme, which offers him a flat on condition he stick to the rules. Enter the titular cat, which forces James to care for something else. Based on a true story; Treadaway is very watchable, and Bob the cat is (largely) played by himself. Gritty and heartwarming.

Wed 25 Jan

xXx: Return of Xander Cage

xXx: Return of Xander Cage
  • 2017
  • US
  • 107 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: DJ Caruso
  • Cast: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, Tony Jaa, Nina Dobrev, Toni Collette, Samuel L. Jackson

Reboot of the extreme sports action movie franchise.

Fri 20 Jan
Sat 21 Jan
Sun 22 Jan
Mon 23 Jan
Tue 24 Jan
Wed 25 Jan
Thu 26 Jan

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