List Film

The Rex Cinema

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High Street, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP4 2FG

The Birth of a Nation

The Birth of a Nation
  • 2016
  • US
  • 120 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Nate Parker
  • Cast: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Jackie Earle Haley, Penelope Ann Miller, Gabrielle Union

Nat Turner (Parker) is a slave in early 19th century Virginia, used by his owners to encourage other slaves to submit, but who is plotting an uprising of his own. Despite the controversy surrounding Parker, the film deserves to be seen: angry, dramatic and bittersweet, it's a story that needs telling.

Fri 20 Jan

Chi-Raq

Chi-Raq
  • 2015
  • US
  • 127 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Spike Lee
  • Cast: Teyonah Parris, Samuel L Jackson, Angela Bassett

Lysistrata (Parris) formulates a plan to end gang war in Chicago by persuading her female cohorts to withhold sex from their boyfriends and husbands. Bold and passionate hip-hop musical, exploding with energy, slick rhymes and heady ideas. Lee's contempt for wilful ignorance and political corruption explodes through the characters.

Mon 23 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.

Sun 22 Jan
Mon 23 Jan

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans
  • 2016
  • US/Australia/UK/New Zealand
  • 132 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Derek Cianfrance
  • Cast: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz, Bryan Brown, Jack Thompson

Tom (Fassbender) is a repressed former soldier working as a lighthouse keeper in post-WWI Australia; one day he and his wife Isabel (Vikander) find a live baby and dead man in a rowboat. Weighty stuff, but the laboriously worthy screenplay and overwrought direction make it disappointingly conventional and mawkish where it should be moving.

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.

Sat 21 Jan

Snowden

Snowden
  • 2016
  • US
  • Directed by: Oliver Stone
  • Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Rhys Ifans, Nicolas Cage, Melissa Leo

The story of Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee who in 2013 leaked thousands of classified documents to the Guardian, revealing the scope and reach of the USA's global surveillance program. Smartly dramatised and absorbing drama with fine performances from all, with Gordon-Levitt completely convincing as the earnest, idealistic Snowden.

Thu 19 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.

Sat 21 Jan

A United Kingdom

A United Kingdom
  • 2016
  • US / UK / Czech Republic
  • 111 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Amma Asante
  • Cast: Rosamund Pike, David Oyelowo, Tom Felton, Laura Carmichael

In post-war London, Ruth (Pike) and black law student Seretse (Oyelowo) fall in love; the thing is, he's first in line to the throne of Bechuanaland (today's Botswana). Based on a true story; Pike and Oyelowo bring a warm human touch to this sentimental but well-crafted history lesson.

Tue 24 Jan
Wed 25 Jan
Thu 26 Jan

From the popular to the obscure, The Rex's film programme is varied and highlights its uniqueness: in terms of decor (decadent art deco) and temperament (no popcorn, reasonably priced tickets).

Opened in 1938, the first film shown was Shirley Temple's Heidi, and the venue suffered from the peaks and troughs of cinema's popularity, closing in 1988 before reopening in 2004. For a period during the 1970s, the second room was used as a bingo hall and often the calling of the numbers could be heard at the same time as the film being screened.

The cinema now endevours to show a different film each day and sells out regularly. The ambiance is one of relaxation and comfort – with no cliched cinema food (stale popcorn or flaccid hotdogs) – and encourages visitors to dress up in their Sunday best.

The Rex Cinema: Behind the Scenes

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