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Empire Sunderland

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Sunniside Leisure, 4 Lambton Street, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, SR1 1TP

Absolutely Anything

Absolutely Anything
  • 2015
  • UK
  • 85 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Terry Jones
  • Cast: Simon Pegg, Kate Beckinsale, Robin Williams, Terry Jones, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin

A council of aliens (Cleese, Idle, Palin, Gilliam, Jones) mean to destroy Earth, but first have to bestow absolute power on one Earthling, in this case singleton teacher Neil (Pegg). Tragically laugh-free effort by the director of Life of Brian; surely this knob gag of a film can't be the last Python movie collaboration.

Mon 31 Aug
Tue 1 Sep
Wed 2 Sep
Thu 3 Sep

The Bad Education Movie

The Bad Education Movie
  • 2015
  • UK
  • 90 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Elliot Hegarty
  • Cast: Jack Whitehall, Mathew Horne, Sarah Solemani, Harry Enfield

In this big-screen adaptation of the sitcom, disastrous teacher Alfie Wickers (Whitehall) takes his suspiciously small class on a school trip to Cornwall. A confusing and offensive mess, likely to appeal only to Whitehall completists interested in seeing prosthetic recreations of his balls on multiple occasions.

Mon 31 Aug
Tue 1 Sep
Wed 2 Sep
Thu 3 Sep

Building Jerusalem

Building Jerusalem
  • 2015
  • 90 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: James Erskine

Documentary charting England's 2003 Rugby World Cup campaign. The film features interviews with players including Jonny Wilkinson, Clive Woodward, Martin Johnson and Matt Dawson, with never-before-seen behind the scenes and match footage.

Tue 1 Sep

Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four
  • 2015
  • US
  • 106 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Josh Trank
  • Cast: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell

This adaptation of the classic comic book delivers yet another story about how a team of superheroes develop their freakish abilities, but it's humourless, drab and filled with self-important speeches about saving the world. Tim Story's 2005 and 2007 Fantastic Four films may have set the bar low, but Trank barely clears it.

Mon 31 Aug
Tue 1 Sep
Wed 2 Sep
Thu 3 Sep

Hitman: Agent 47

Hitman: Agent 47
  • 2015
  • 96 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Aleksander Bach
  • Cast: Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto

Katia (Ware) is the estranged daughter of a scientist (Hinds) who's credited with the creation of genetically engineered assassins, and now she's being hunted by one, Agent 47 (Friend). Derivative reboot of an already forgettable franchise; Friend is efficient, but Ware lacks authority, the story makes no sense and it's generally charmless, mindless and cursory.

  • IMDb
Mon 31 Aug
Tue 1 Sep
Wed 2 Sep
Thu 3 Sep

Inside Out

Inside Out
  • 2015
  • US
  • 94 min
  • U
  • Directed by: Pete Docter
  • Cast: Kaitlyn Dias, Amy Poehler, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith

Riley (Dias) is an 11 year old girl whose family is moving from Minnesota to San Francisco; her troubled mind is represented as a factory hub commanded by Joy (Poehler), Fear (Hader), Sadness (Smith), Disgust (Kaling) and Anger (Black). Delightful, poignant and hysterically funny coming-of-age story from Pixar.

Mon 31 Aug
Tue 1 Sep
Wed 2 Sep
Thu 3 Sep

A Little Chaos

A Little Chaos
  • 2014
  • UK
  • 116 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Alan Rickman
  • Cast: Kate Winslet, Helen McCrory, Stanley Tucci

Sabine (Winslet), a widowed landscape gardener in 1682 Paris, is commissioned to work on the gardens of Versailles, but her friendship with the head gardener (Schoenaerts) provokes the fury of his scheming wife (McCrory). Crowd-pleasing period drama; what it lacks in historical accuracy it makes up for with fine performances, an engaging story and strong direction from Rickman.

Wed 2 Sep

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
  • 2015
  • US
  • 116 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Guy Ritchie
  • Cast: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Hugh Grant

This stylish rendition of the 60s spy series suffers from a vague and clunky script, but is somewhat redeemed by the skilful casting of Cavill and Hammer. Grant has enormous fun as the shadowy controller Waverly, and there's one incredible set piece you don't want to miss.

Mon 31 Aug
Tue 1 Sep
Wed 2 Sep

Minions

Minions
  • 2015
  • US
  • 91 min
  • U
  • Directed by: Kyle Balda/Pierre Coffin
  • Written by: Brian Lynch
  • Cast: Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin, Sandra Bullock

Prequel to the Despicable Me films, in which the pill-shaped, dungaree-sporting critters attach themselves to villain Scarlett Overkill (Bullock) and go to London to steal the Crown Jewels. The minions are as cute as ever but they seem funnier in support, and Bullock's character is one-dimensional.

Mon 31 Aug
Tue 1 Sep
Wed 2 Sep
Thu 3 Sep

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
  • 2015
  • US
  • 131 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie
  • Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg

Ethan (Cruise) and the gang are on the trail of the nefarious Syndicate when their unit is dissolved by the CIA. With jaw-dropping action, ingenious gadgets and a striking performance from Ferguson as the mysterious Ilsa, this is a a slick, accomplished and hugely entertaining slice of mayhem.

Mon 31 Aug
Tue 1 Sep
Wed 2 Sep
Thu 3 Sep

National Theatre Live: The Beaux' Stratagem

National Theatre Live: The Beaux' Stratagem
  • 2015
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Simon Godwin
  • Written by: George Farquhar

Simon Godwin (Man and Superman) directs George Farquhar's wild comedy of love and cash.

Thu 3 Sep

Paper Towns

Paper Towns
  • 2015
  • US
  • 109 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Jake Schreier
  • Written by: John Green, Scott Neustadter, Michael H Weber
  • Cast: Cara Delevingne, Nat Wolff, Cara Buono

Q (Wolff) and friends go on a trip to find Q's childhood friend and ultimate crush Margo (Delevingne), who has disappeared. This adaptation of John Green's novel tries to pick apart the cliché of the manic pixie dream girl but a fantastic supporting cast and indie pop soundtrack aren't enough to save it.

Mon 31 Aug
Tue 1 Sep
Wed 2 Sep
Thu 3 Sep

Pixels

Pixels
  • 2015
  • 106 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Chris Columbus
  • Cast: Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, Adam Sandler, Michelle Monaghan, Kevin James

When aliens challenge Earth to a series of giant video game contests, disgruntled middle-aged gamer Sam (Sandler) is called on by former childhood friend Will (James), now US President, to step up. Lazy, self-satisfied exercise in 80s nostalgia, with honourable mentions for Gad, Cox and Dinklage in a scene-stealing turn as an arrogant Donkey Kong expert.

Mon 31 Aug
Tue 1 Sep
Wed 2 Sep
Thu 3 Sep

Sinister 2

Sinister 2
  • 2015
  • US
  • 97 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Ciarán Foy
  • Cast: Shannyn Sossamon, James Ransone, Nicholas King

A young mother and her son move into a house haunted by a monster with a posse of snuff-film-addicted ghost children, which works out about as well as you'd expect. Lacklustre sequel which gives far too much screen time to its monster and which is less scary than irritating.

Mon 31 Aug
Tue 1 Sep
Wed 2 Sep
Thu 3 Sep

Southpaw

Southpaw
  • 2015
  • US
  • 124 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
  • Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Naomie Harris, Forest Whitaker, Rita Ora, 50 Cent

Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Billy Hope, a once successful boxer trying to get his life back on track and his daughter out of child protection services.

Mon 31 Aug
Tue 1 Sep
Wed 2 Sep
Thu 3 Sep

Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton
  • 2015
  • US
  • 146 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: F Gary Gray
  • Cast: Jason Mitchell, Corey Hawkins, O'Shea Jackson Jr

Biopic of rap group NWA, focusing on the recording of their debut album, their subsequent fallings-out and eventual disintegration. Mitchell is excellent as Eazy-E and despite some second-half problem, it's punchy, provocative and packed with attitude, worthy of comparison with the similarly themed Boyz n the Hood and 8 Mile.

Mon 31 Aug
Tue 1 Sep
Wed 2 Sep
Thu 3 Sep

Strange Magic

Strange Magic
  • 2015
  • US
  • 99 min
  • U
  • Directed by: Gary Rydstrom
  • Cast: Evan Rachel Wood, Alan Cumming, Kristin Chenoweth, Maya Rudolph, Sam Palladio, Alfred Molina, Elijah Kelley, Bob Einstein, Peter Stormare, Meredith Anne Bull

When fairy Marianne (Wood) calls off her wedding, her suitor (Palladio) enlists the help of the Sugar Plum Fairy (Chenoweth), who's been captured by the Bog King (Cumming). An indigestible mess: kids' animation meets jukebox musical, with a tendency to define its female characters by their relationships with men.

Mon 31 Aug
Tue 1 Sep
Wed 2 Sep
Thu 3 Sep

Vacation

Vacation
  • 2015
  • US
  • 99 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: John Francis Daley/Jonathan M Goldstein
  • Written by: John Francis Daley Jonathan M. Goldstein
  • Cast: Ed Helms, Chris Hemsworth, Charlie Day

Rusty Griswold (Helms), the now-grown son of the repeatedly-vacationing Griswold clan, is determined to show his family a good time. Broad but refreshing reboot of the franchise, with plenty of solid laughs, especially from Applegate as Rusty's wife Debbie, although there's too much reliance on crude language.

Mon 31 Aug
Tue 1 Sep
Wed 2 Sep
Thu 3 Sep

We Are Your Friends

We Are Your Friends
  • 2015
  • UK/France/US
  • 96 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Max Joseph
  • Cast: Zac Efron, Emily Ratajkowski, Jon Bernthal, Wes Bentley

Cole (Efron) is an aspiring DJ from the San Fernando Valley, looking for inspiration in all the wrong places. Despite a corny narrative and some odd directorial decisions, it's a charmingly sincere exploration of youthful possibilities with a discernible and growing ambiance of discontent.

  • IMDb
Mon 31 Aug
Tue 1 Sep
Wed 2 Sep
Thu 3 Sep

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