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What's On

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Now showing at Empire Basildon Festival Way, Festival Leisure Park,Basildon,Essex SS14 3WB 0871 471 4714

  • Alice Through The Looking Glass
  • Central Intelligence
  • Eddie The Eagle
  • Elvis & Nixon
  • Gods Of Egypt
  • Independence Day: Resurgence
  • Independence Day: Resurgence 3D
  • Independence Day: Resurgence: An IMAX 3D Experience
  • Me Before You
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows
  • The Boss
  • The Conjuring 2
  • The Importance Of Being Earnest: Encore Screening
  • The Jungle Book
  • The Nice Guys
  • The Secret Life Of Pets
  • The Secret Life Of Pets 3D
  • Warcraft: The Beginning
  • X-Men: Apocalypse

Alice Through The Looking Glass 3 stars

Alice takes a tumble through a mirror and plummets into Wonderland where she reunites with the White Queen, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Absolem the Caterpillar, The Dormouse and the White Rabbit. They reveal that the Mad Hatter is in an emotional funk because he's convinced that his family did not perish in the Jabberwocky's inferno. To set the Hatter's mind at rest, Alice agrees to steal a device called the Chronosphere from its guardian, Time.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Family, Family, Fantasy
  • CastJohnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Sacha Baron Cohen, Rhys Ifans.
  • DirectorJames Bobin.
  • WriterLinda Woolverton.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration113 mins
  • Official sitemovies.disney.co.uk/alice-through-the-looking-glass
  • Release27/05/2016

Released in 2010, Tim Burton's descent down the rabbit hole of Alice In Wonderland was a triumph of eye-popping style and weirdness over substance. Audiences didn't care about flimsy narrative and his quixotic journey of self-discovery became the second highest grossing film that year behind Toy Story 3, with box office takings in excess of one billion US dollars. Curiouser and curiouser... That's more than one billion compelling reasons for a sequel and, lo and behold, James Bobin replaces Burton at the helm for the madcap time-travelling adventure, Alice Through The Looking Glass. Screenwriter Linda Woolverton, who adapted the first film, largely abandons Lewis Carroll's 1871 novel, introducing an eccentric new character - Time - in order to facilitate some trippy excursions through the past and present and reveal how the decapitation-happy Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) came to be cursed with an oversized noggin. Like its predecessor, the sequel spares no expense with the visuals, inducing eye strain, motion sickness and perhaps even the odd headache in 3D and IMAX. The paucity of characterisation is even more pronounced in this second helping, tethering much of the nonsense to Johnny Depp's wide-eyed theatrics as the Mad Hatter. Alice (Mia Wasikowska) has successfully buckled her swash as captain of her father's ship, The Wonder, but when she returns to dry land, the plucky heroine learns that her mother (Lindsay Duncan) has sold the deed to her embittered former suitor, Hamish Ascot (Leo Bill). Defiant in the face of adversity, Alice takes a tumble through a mirror and plummets into Wonderland where she reunites with the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), Tweedledee and Tweedledum (Matt Lucas), Absolem the Caterpillar (voiced by Alan Rickman), The Dormouse (Barbara Windsor) and the White Rabbit (Michael Sheen). They reveal that the Mad Hatter (Depp) is in an emotional funk because he's convinced that his family, including his milliner father Zanik (Rhys Ifans), did not perish in the Jabberwocky's inferno. To set the Hatter's mind at rest, Alice agrees to steal a device called the Chronosphere from its guardian, Time (Sacha Baron Cohen). "Do try not to break the past, present or future," advises The Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry) as Alice slides back and forth through time to learn the startling truth. Alice Through The Looking Glass is a topsy-turvy jaunt too far for Lewis Carroll's iconic characters. Wasikowska reprises her role as the spirited adventurer who believes that "the only way to achieve the impossible, is to believe it is possible". Depp, Cohen and Bonham Carter compete to see who can scene-steal with the greatest abandon. Bobin's film feels considerably longer than 113 minutes. If only the Chronosphere was real and we could fast forward through the sentimental goo of the final section.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 29th June 2016
Thursday 30th June 2016

This film is also showing at:

Central Intelligence 3 stars

Calvin Joyner is a humble accountant, who married his sweetheart. Their high school reunion beckons and Calvin is reluctant to attend because he doesn't feel he has delivered on the promise of his formative years. Out of the blue, old classmate Robbie Weirdich gets in touch and the two men bond over a couple of drinks. It transpires that Robbie is a CIA agent, who may or may not be in possession of missile launch codes that are poised to be sold to a mysterious buyer.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Comedy
  • CastAaron Paul, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Amy Ryan, Danielle Nicolet.
  • DirectorRawson Marshall Thurber.
  • WriterDavid Stassen, Ike Barinholtz, Rawson Marshall Thurber.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration108 mins
  • Official sitewww.centralintelligencemovie.co.uk
  • Release01/07/2016

Underscored with a heartfelt anti-bullying message, Central Intelligence is a surprisingly sweet and goofy mismatched buddy comedy that might lack the quick-wittedness promised by its title but has good will in abundance. Surprisingly, Dwayne Johnson is gifted the lion's share of the haphazard script's one-liners and physical pratfalls. The wrestling superstar turned hulking action hero embraces his character's eccentricities with gusto, casting the typically hyperactive Kevin Hart as a relative straight man rather than the usual catalyst of on-screen tomfoolery. Winning chemistry between the two leads galvanises Rawson Marshall Thurber's picture when gags fall flat or the plot's various bluffs and double-bluffs nudge the whole enterprise alarmingly close to preposterousness. Gossamer thin romantic subplots are threaded very loosely around the subterfuge and outlandish spy games, culminating in a surprise final reel cameo that guarantees winning smiles all round as the end credits roll. Calvin Joyner (Hart) was the golden boy of his high school in 1996, winning countless awards for his sporting prowess. He proudly assumed the nickname Golden Jet and delighted classmates with his signature move: a backflip from a standing position. In sharp contrast, overweight misfit Robbie Weirdicht (Johnson) was bullied mercilessly by classmates and suffered the humiliation of being flung naked into the school gymnasium during an end of term student rally hosted by Principal Kent (Phil Reeves). Twenty years later, Calvin is a humble accountant, who has married his sweetheart, Maggie (Danielle Nicolet). Their high school reunion beckons and Calvin is reluctant to attend because he doesn't feel he has delivered on the promise of his formative years. Out of the blue, Robbie reconnects with Calvin via social media and the two men bond over a couple of drinks. It transpires that Robbie is a CIA agent, who may or may not be in possession of missile launch codes that are poised to be sold to a mysterious buyer (Thomas Kretschmann). Rival CIA agent Pamela Harris (Amy Ryan) and her colleagues Mitchell (Tim Griffin) and Cooper (Timothy John Smith) recruit Calvin because they believe Robbie is a terrorist known as the Black Badger. Torn between past and present, Calvin must deduce if he can trust Robbie or if he is being used as a pawn in a deadly conspiracy. At a sprightly 108 minutes, Central Intelligence doesn't outstay its welcome, keeping us guessing about Robbie's true motives until the explosive final frames. Thurber's script, co-written by Ike Barinholtz and David Stassen, punctuates the fractious banter with slow motion action sequences including a hilariously overblown chase around an open-plan office. Oscar nominee Ryan keeps a straight face as madness swirls around her, as a single-minded career woman trapped in a world of misbehaving men. The boundless, puppy dog energy of the film and its eager-to-please double-act ultimately proves irresistible.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 29th June 2016
Thursday 30th June 2016

This film is also showing at:

Eddie The Eagle 3 stars

Since he was a boy, Eddie Edwards has driven his father Terry to distraction with his burning dream to compete in the Olympics. He discovers a loophole in the rulebook that would allow him to become Britain's only representative in the ski jump. Aided and abetted by his mother Janette, Eddie heads to Germany to a ski jumping training centre run by hard-drinking former ski jumper Bronson Peary. The veteran takes pity on Eddie and helps the newcomer to master the basics so he can compete.

  • GenreBiography, Comedy, Drama, Family
  • CastHugh Jackman, Taron Egerton, Keith Allen, Jo Hartley, Iris Berben, Tom Costello Jr.
  • DirectorDexter Fletcher.
  • WriterSean Macaulay, Simon Kelton.
  • CountryUS/UK/Ger
  • Duration106 mins
  • Official sitewww.foxmovies.com/movies/eddie-the-eagle
  • Release01/04/2016

When Baron Pierre de Coubertin kindled interest in the modern Olympic movement at the end of the 19th century, he proposed a series of ideals to epitomise the spirit of the sporting contest. "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well," he professed. That mantra of fearless yet honest participation was perfectly exemplified by Cheltenham-born athlete Eddie Edwards, who became a media sensation in 1988 when he represented Great Britain in the ski jump in Calgary. His remarkable story of triumph against gravity, which swelled the patriotic hearts of a nation, provides the creative spark for Dexter Fletcher's silver medal-winning comedy drama. Screenwriters Sean Macaulay and Simon Kelton don't let the truth get in the way of telling a good yarn, slaloming between historical fact and humorous artistic licence to ensure their film remains giddily airborne. Fletcher's light touch behind the lens concentrates on the camaraderie between a remarkable underdog and his fictional trainer, who defied the snooty naysayers to prove that anything is possible when you take a leap of faith. Since he was a boy, Eddie (Taron Egerton) has driven his father Terry (Keith Allen) to distraction with a burning dream to compete in the Olympics. The young man struggles to find a sport that suits him, so he switches attention to the Winter Olympics and discovers a loophole in the rulebook that would allow him to become Britain's first representative in the ski jump since 1929. Aided and abetted by his mother Janette (Jo Hartley), Eddie heads to Germany to a ski jumping training centre run by hard-drinking former competitor Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), who was booted off the US team by legendary coach Warren Sharp (Christopher Walken). Bronson takes pity on Eddie and helps the newcomer to master the basics. However, Dustin Target (Tim McInnerny), chairman of the British Olympic Committee, refuses to let Eddie compete on a technicality and adds a qualifying standard of 61m to the rulebook at the last minute. With time running out before the Calgary games, Eddie hits the European ski jumping tour with Bronson, determined to soar to break records rather than bones in his quest for Olympic qualification. Eddie The Eagle is an unabashedly crowd-pleasing delight for all ages. Egerton brings a sweetness and steely resolve to his plucky fish out of water, who defiantly tells a crowded news conference: "I did not come here as a novelty act... and I will not be going home as one." Jackman offers robust support, rabble-rousing from the sidelines as effects sequences allow his younger co-star to take flight. In real life, Edwards never climbed atop the Olympic winner's podium, but this charming film is champion.

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Wednesday 29th June 2016

Elvis & Nixon 3 stars

On December 21, 1970, chart-topping singer Elvis Presley arrives unannounced at the gates of the White House in full regalia with a rambling correspondence for US President Richard Nixon. In the hand-written letter, the singer requests that he be granted the special status of Federal Agent At Large for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs in order to use his influence to dissuade America's youth from experimenting with illegal substances. Nixon agrees to an audience with the superstar.

  • GenreComedy, Drama, Historical/Period, Romance
  • CastMichael Shannon, Colin Hanks, Alex Pettyfer, Johnny Knoxville, Kevin Spacey.
  • DirectorLiza Johnson.
  • WriterHanala Sagal, Joey Sagal, Cary Elwes.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration86 mins
  • Official site
  • Release24/06/2016

On December 21, 1970, chart-topping singer Elvis Presley arrived unannounced at the gates of the White House in full regalia with a rambling correspondence for US President Richard Nixon. In the hand-written letter, the singer requested that he be granted the special status of Federal Agent At Large for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs in order to use his influence to dissuade America's youth from experimenting with illegal substances and engaging in other counterculture behaviour. There was no such position within the administration, but Nixon agreed to an audience with the musical superstar. This meeting of suspicious minds remained secret for over a year and the US National Archive now receives more requests for copies of the black and white photograph of Nixon and Presley standing side-by-side in the Oval Office than the Constitution of the United States or the Bill of Rights. There are no audio records of the men's conversation. Director Liza Johnson elicits compelling performances from Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey for her amusing and outlandish dramatisation of this head-on collision of pop royalty and political hubris. Elvis & Nixon evokes the period with bling-laden style and scriptwriters Joey Sagal, Hanala Sagal and Cary Elwes revel in the preposterousness of the brief encounter. The film opens in the plush confines of Graceland where Elvis (Shannon) is horrified by the anarchy he sees unfolding on his television screen. Determined to halt his country's descent into depravity, Elvis compels his good friend Jerry Schilling (Alex Pettyfer) to join him on a madcap odyssey to Washington D.C. Sonny West (Johnny Knoxville), another trusted member of the entourage, joins the party and the trio are granted admission to the White House by Chief of Staff Harry Robbins Haldeman (Tate Donovan). Special advisor Egil Krogh (Colin Hanks) and the President's Deputy Assistant, Dwight Chapin (Evan Peters), carefully stage-manage proceedings with Nixon (Spacey). The President's initial disdain for the singer's letter is evident. "I wrote it on the plane," confesses Elvis. "I could tell," retorts Nixon dryly. This frostiness gradually melts as the President discovers that his jumpsuit-clad visitor empathises about the insidious influence of the media and shares his withering opinion of The Beatles. Elvis & Nixon provides the lead duo with plentiful opportunities for scenery-chewing, not least when the singer first enters the Oval Office and ransacks the President's private supply of soft drinks and candy. Verbal references to events that reverberate today jar, as if they have been shoehorned into dialogue at the last minute, like when Nixon casually remarks, "This whole thing with the Iraqis and the Syrians will go away in a couple of weeks." Shannon and Spacey relish their on-screen verbal duels and they add lustre to a film that might otherwise have been consigned straight to home formats.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 29th June 2016
Thursday 30th June 2016

Gods Of Egypt 2 stars

King Osiris is poised to crown his son Horus the new king of Egypt but jealous brother Set intervenes, killing the monarch and seizing the throne. He decrees that when mortals die, they will now have to pay with riches in order to pass into the afterlife. Set intends to kill his nephew but Horus' lover Hathor pleads for mercy and the new king rips out the rightful heir's eyes. Mortal thief Bek and his slave girl sweetheart Zaya join forces to overthrow Set by stealing back Horus' peepers.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Historical/Period
  • CastGerard Butler, Brenton Thwaites, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Chadwick Boseman, Geoffrey Rush, Courtney Eaton, Elodie Yung.
  • DirectorAlex Proyas.
  • WriterMatt Sazama, Burk Sharpless.
  • CountryUS/Austral
  • Duration127 mins
  • Official sitewww.godsofegypt.movie
  • Release17/06/2016

Swords, sandals and silliness are in abundance in Alex Proyas' lumbering fantasy adventure, set in a sprawling ancient Egypt in which shape-shifting gods live side by side with awestruck mortals. According to a laconic voiceover, the deities are easily identifiable because they are taller and have "gold running through their veins". Alas, there is no gold - fool's or otherwise - running through Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless' uneven script, which is heavy on the muscle-flexing and sibling rivalry and light on everything that matters: coherent plotting, characterisation, dramatic momentum or emotional depth. The tone is wildly uneven, careening between bombastic computer-generated spectacle, bickering romance and mismatched buddy comedy. Even the digital trickery can't find its groove. A chariot sequence is hilariously shoddy in its execution, special effects don't gel with live action elements and director Proyas insists on choreographing every bruising fight sequence with swirling camerawork and excessive slow motion. Clash Of The Titans and The Neverending Story are nostalgic reference points and an overblown tomb-raiding sequence nods to Indiana Jones when an acrobatic thief spies creepy crawlies on the floor and deadpans, "Where do you find that many scorpions?" Like so many elements in Proyas' film, they are digitally rendered and unconvincing. Benevolent King Osiris (Bryan Brown) is poised to crown his self-doubting son, Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), the new ruler of Egypt in front of an adoring throng, including his wife Isis (Rachael Blake) and Horus' lover, Hathor (Elodie Yung), the goddess of love. At the last minute, Osiris' jealous brother Set (Gerard Butler) gate-crashes the ceremony, murders the old king and seizes the throne. "Behold the fate of those who stand in my way!" bellows Set, who demands that gods and mortals bow before him. Horus attempts to avenge his father, but Set is too powerful and rips out his nephew's eyes. Humble pickpocket Bek (Brenton Thwaites) and slave girl sweetheart Zaya (Courtney Eaton) set forth to overthrow Set by stealing back Horus' peepers. The plan goes tragically awry and Bek enters into a dangerous pact with Horus to complete his mission, aided by the rightful king's grandfather, Ra (Geoffrey Rush), who shoots fiery bolts harnessed from the sun from his watchtower in the heavens. Gods Of Egypt is a morass of oiled pecs, male posturing and tiresome showdowns between exiled heroes and otherworldly creatures. Butler chews scenery with a roaring Scottish accent like a man who hasn't eaten for months, while Coster-Waldau and Thwaites are bland and possess no palpable screen chemistry. During one of their awkward verbal jousts, Thwaites questions if his hunky co-star is being funny. "You think I put any effort into trying to amuse you?" responds Coster-Waldau. Gods Of Egypt certainly doesn't muster any effort to entertain us.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 29th June 2016
Thursday 30th June 2016

This film is also showing at:

Independence Day: Resurgence 2 stars

It has been 20 years since US President Thomas J Whitmore issued his rallying cry to repel alien invaders. Following the devastating showdown, the United Nations establishes a new early warning program named Earth Space Defense (ESD), which should alert us to future incursions by hostile extra-terrestrials. We are painfully unaware that the aliens from the initial attack sent a distress signal to the rest of their battalion before their defeat and more powerful aliens are poised to storm the planet.

  • GenreAction, Science Fiction, Thriller
  • CastBill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Maika Monroe, James Vanderbilt, Liam Hemsworth, William Fichtner, Travis Tope.
  • DirectorRoland Emmerich.
  • WriterNicolas Wright, James A Woods, Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration120 mins
  • Official sitewww.foxmovies.com/movies/independence-day-resurgence
  • Release23/06/2016

During the calm before the digital effects storm in Independence Day: Resurgence, Jeff Goldblum's quixotic scientist stares slack-jawed at an approaching alien mothership and gasps, "That's definitely bigger than the last one". Those words encapsulate the bombastic sequel to Roland Emmerich's 1996 sci-fi blockbuster, which famously blew up The White House as a symbol of extra-terrestrial hostility. Second time around, the German director isn't content with razing iconic buildings in Washington D.C. He deposits the whole of Dubai including the spearlike Burj Khalifa skyscraper on top of London, flattening landmarks with whooping abandon, then proceeds to pulverise America's eastern coast. Restraint isn't in the film's limited vocabulary and repeatedly, Emmerich and his army of special effects wizards conjure wanton destruction on a grand scale. With the benefit of this state-of-the-art trickery, eye-popping 3D and immersive sound, Independence Day: Resurgence should be a pulse-quickening thrill ride. So it comes as a crushing disappointment that the second film lacks the roughly hewn excitement and charm of its predecessor. Critically, the five scriptwriters have neglected to provide us with characters to care about before they unleash otherworldly hell upon the third rock from the sun. It has been 20 years since US President Thomas J Whitmore (Bill Pullman) issued his rallying cry to the entrenched human race. In the aftermath, survivors salvaged the remains of fallen alien technology to create hybrid weapons systems. We also initiated the Earth Space Defense (ESD) under the direction of David Levinson (Goldblum) as an early warning system against future incursions by hostile extra-terrestrials. On the eve of the July 4 celebrations, a hulking otherworldly destroyer enters our atmosphere in response to a distress call from the fallen fleet. Current US President Elizabeth Lanford (Sela Ward) commands elite pilots to take to the skies, including Dylan Hiller (Jessie Usher), orphaned pals Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth) and Charlie Miller (Travis Tope), whose parents perished during the failed first invasion and Chinese golden girl Rain (Angelababy). "It's the fourth of July," bellows Dylan as he spearheads the rebellion, "so show 'em some fireworks!" On the ground, Levinson searches for a scientific miracle aided by Whitmore's plucky daughter Patricia (Maika Monroe), French psychiatrist Dr Catherine Marceaux (Charlotte Gainsbourg), African warlord Dikembe Umbutu (Deobia Oparei) and Area 51 boffin Dr Brakish Okun (Brent Spiner), who suffers from the human-alien residual psychic condition. Independence Day: Resurgence lazily embraces disaster movie cliches including one mawkish subplot involving Levinson's father (Judd Hirsch), a school bus of stricken children and a dog. Performances struggle to make an impact above the din of pyrotechnics and a rumbustious orchestral score. Pivotal characters, who are clearly marked for death, serve their perfunctory purpose, blatantly teeing up a third instalment that will hopefully take another 20 years before it sees the flickering light of a cinema screen.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 29th June 2016
Thursday 30th June 2016

This film is also showing at:

Independence Day: Resurgence 3D 2 stars

It has been 20 years since US President Thomas J Whitmore issued his rallying cry to repel alien invaders. Following the devastating showdown, the United Nations establishes a new early warning program named Earth Space Defense (ESD), which should alert us to future incursions by hostile extra-terrestrials. We are painfully unaware that the aliens from the initial attack sent a distress signal to the rest of their battalion before their defeat and more powerful aliens are poised to storm the planet.

  • GenreAction, Science Fiction, Thriller
  • CastBill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Maika Monroe, Liam Hemsworth, William Fichtner, Travis Tope.
  • DirectorRoland Emmerich.
  • WriterNicolas Wright, James Vanderbilt, James A Woods, Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration120 mins
  • Official sitewww.foxmovies.com/movies/independence-day-resurgence
  • Release23/06/2016

During the calm before the digital effects storm in Independence Day: Resurgence, Jeff Goldblum's quixotic scientist stares slack-jawed at an approaching alien mothership and gasps, "That's definitely bigger than the last one". Those words encapsulate the bombastic sequel to Roland Emmerich's 1996 sci-fi blockbuster, which famously blew up The White House as a symbol of extra-terrestrial hostility. Second time around, the German director isn't content with razing iconic buildings in Washington D.C. He deposits the whole of Dubai including the spearlike Burj Khalifa skyscraper on top of London, flattening landmarks with whooping abandon, then proceeds to pulverise America's eastern coast. Restraint isn't in the film's limited vocabulary and repeatedly, Emmerich and his army of special effects wizards conjure wanton destruction on a grand scale. With the benefit of this state-of-the-art trickery, eye-popping 3D and immersive sound, Independence Day: Resurgence should be a pulse-quickening thrill ride. So it comes as a crushing disappointment that the second film lacks the roughly hewn excitement and charm of its predecessor. Critically, the five scriptwriters have neglected to provide us with characters to care about before they unleash otherworldly hell upon the third rock from the sun. It has been 20 years since US President Thomas J Whitmore (Bill Pullman) issued his rallying cry to the entrenched human race. In the aftermath, survivors salvaged the remains of fallen alien technology to create hybrid weapons systems. We also initiated the Earth Space Defense (ESD) under the direction of David Levinson (Goldblum) as an early warning system against future incursions by hostile extra-terrestrials. On the eve of the July 4 celebrations, a hulking otherworldly destroyer enters our atmosphere in response to a distress call from the fallen fleet. Current US President Elizabeth Lanford (Sela Ward) commands elite pilots to take to the skies, including Dylan Hiller (Jessie Usher), orphaned pals Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth) and Charlie Miller (Travis Tope), whose parents perished during the failed first invasion and Chinese golden girl Rain (Angelababy). "It's the fourth of July," bellows Dylan as he spearheads the rebellion, "so show 'em some fireworks!" On the ground, Levinson searches for a scientific miracle aided by Whitmore's plucky daughter Patricia (Maika Monroe), French psychiatrist Dr Catherine Marceaux (Charlotte Gainsbourg), African warlord Dikembe Umbutu (Deobia Oparei) and Area 51 boffin Dr Brakish Okun (Brent Spiner), who suffers from the human-alien residual psychic condition. Independence Day: Resurgence lazily embraces disaster movie cliches including one mawkish subplot involving Levinson's father (Judd Hirsch), a school bus of stricken children and a dog. Performances struggle to make an impact above the din of pyrotechnics and a rumbustious orchestral score. Pivotal characters, who are clearly marked for death, serve their perfunctory purpose, blatantly teeing up a third instalment that will hopefully take another 20 years before it sees the flickering light of a cinema screen.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 29th June 2016
Thursday 30th June 2016

This film is also showing at:

Independence Day: Resurgence: An IMAX 3D Experience 2 stars

It has been 20 years since US President Thomas J Whitmore issued his rallying cry to repel alien invaders. Following the devastating showdown, the United Nations establishes a new early warning program named Earth Space Defense (ESD), which should alert us to future incursions by hostile extra-terrestrials. We are painfully unaware that the aliens from the initial attack sent a distress signal to the rest of their battalion before their defeat and more powerful aliens are poised to storm the planet.

  • GenreAction, Science Fiction, Thriller
  • CastBill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Maika Monroe, Liam Hemsworth, William Fichtner, Travis Tope.
  • DirectorRoland Emmerich.
  • WriterNicolas Wright, James Vanderbilt, James A Woods, Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration120 mins
  • Official sitewww.foxmovies.com/movies/independence-day-resurgence
  • Release23/06/2016

During the calm before the digital effects storm in Independence Day: Resurgence, Jeff Goldblum's quixotic scientist stares slack-jawed at an approaching alien mothership and gasps, "That's definitely bigger than the last one". Those words encapsulate the bombastic sequel to Roland Emmerich's 1996 sci-fi blockbuster, which famously blew up The White House as a symbol of extra-terrestrial hostility. Second time around, the German director isn't content with razing iconic buildings in Washington D.C. He deposits the whole of Dubai including the spearlike Burj Khalifa skyscraper on top of London, flattening landmarks with whooping abandon, then proceeds to pulverise America's eastern coast. Restraint isn't in the film's limited vocabulary and repeatedly, Emmerich and his army of special effects wizards conjure wanton destruction on a grand scale. With the benefit of this state-of-the-art trickery, eye-popping 3D and immersive sound, Independence Day: Resurgence should be a pulse-quickening thrill ride. So it comes as a crushing disappointment that the second film lacks the roughly hewn excitement and charm of its predecessor. Critically, the five scriptwriters have neglected to provide us with characters to care about before they unleash otherworldly hell upon the third rock from the sun. It has been 20 years since US President Thomas J Whitmore (Bill Pullman) issued his rallying cry to the entrenched human race. In the aftermath, survivors salvaged the remains of fallen alien technology to create hybrid weapons systems. We also initiated the Earth Space Defense (ESD) under the direction of David Levinson (Goldblum) as an early warning system against future incursions by hostile extra-terrestrials. On the eve of the July 4 celebrations, a hulking otherworldly destroyer enters our atmosphere in response to a distress call from the fallen fleet. Current US President Elizabeth Lanford (Sela Ward) commands elite pilots to take to the skies, including Dylan Hiller (Jessie Usher), orphaned pals Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth) and Charlie Miller (Travis Tope), whose parents perished during the failed first invasion and Chinese golden girl Rain (Angelababy). "It's the fourth of July," bellows Dylan as he spearheads the rebellion, "so show 'em some fireworks!" On the ground, Levinson searches for a scientific miracle aided by Whitmore's plucky daughter Patricia (Maika Monroe), French psychiatrist Dr Catherine Marceaux (Charlotte Gainsbourg), African warlord Dikembe Umbutu (Deobia Oparei) and Area 51 boffin Dr Brakish Okun (Brent Spiner), who suffers from the human-alien residual psychic condition. Independence Day: Resurgence lazily embraces disaster movie cliches including one mawkish subplot involving Levinson's father (Judd Hirsch), a school bus of stricken children and a dog. Performances struggle to make an impact above the din of pyrotechnics and a rumbustious orchestral score. Pivotal characters, who are clearly marked for death, serve their perfunctory purpose, blatantly teeing up a third instalment that will hopefully take another 20 years before it sees the flickering light of a cinema screen.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 29th June 2016
Thursday 30th June 2016

This film is also showing at:

Me Before You 3 stars

William Traynor is a London playboy who harks from privileged stock. Fate deals him a cruel blow and William is left paralysed. He returns to his ancestral home and relinquishes his lust for life. In order to raise his spirits, Will's parents advertise for a carer and companion for their son and former tea shop waitress Louisa Clark answers the call. She buoys Will's spirits with a series of excursions. Friendship between the pair threatens to blossom into romance but Louisa already has a boyfriend.

  • GenreAdaptation, Drama, Romance
  • CastEmilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Charles Dance, Vanessa Kirby.
  • DirectorThea Sharrock.
  • WriterJojo Moyes.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration110 mins
  • Official sitewww.mebeforeyoumovie.com
  • Release03/06/2016

Adapted from the bestselling novel by Jojo Moyes, Me Before You is a tear-stained romance about two lost souls, who find each other when they least expect it. The trajectory of this improbable love affair will be achingly familiar to anyone who has sobbed through The Fault In Our Eyes, Paper Towns and The Choice, and director Thea Sharrock clearly telegraphs each shameless tug of the heartstring. Moyes' screenplay adaptation omits some of the meatier content from her novel, like the heart-breaking reason her heroine is reluctant to leave home and explore the world. However, the crass depiction of class, which initially divides the characters, is still intact. Thus, the rich are carefree, fabulously attired and enjoy classical music and opera, while the working class are happily enslaved to denim and wouldn't know Brahms from Bartok. William Traynor (Sam Claflin) is a handsome high-flyer in London, who harks from privileged stock. His parents, Steven (Charles Dance) and Camilla (Janet McTeer), own a country pile including a crumbling castle and he jets off on expensive extreme sports holidays with his pretty girlfriend, Alicia (Vanessa Kirby). Fate deals William a cruel blow and he is left paralysed. He returns to his ancestral home and relinquishes his lust for life. In order to raise his spirits, the Traynors advertise for a companion for their son and misfit Louisa Clark (Emilia Clarke), who has just lost her job as a waitress at The Buttered Bun Cafe, answers the call. She lives in the nearby village with her unemployed father Bernard (Brendan Coyle), mother Josie (Samantha Spiro), sister Katrina (Jenna Coleman) and the rest of her extended family While hunky male nurse Nathan (Stephen Peacocke) tends to Will's physical needs, Louisa attempts to buoy his spirits with a series of excursions to the races and a classical music concert. An unlikely friendship threatens to blossom into romance, but Louisa already has a fitness-obsessed boyfriend, Patrick (Matthew Lewis). "You only get one life, Clark, and it's your responsibility to live it to the fullest," Will counsels Louisa, encouraging her to expand her horizons beyond the village and, indeed, Patrick. Me Before You glides serenely along its linear narrative. Fans of the book should snuffle through a couple of tissues as relationships unravel and good-looking cast members cry perfect tears in close-up. The morally complex issue of assisted suicide is broached in the most inoffensive and simplistic terms, offering one brief voice of dissent - "It's no better than murder!" - who is noticeably absent for the rest of the film. Despite the manifold failings of the script, luminous lead actors Clarke and Claflin kindle palpable sparks of on-screen chemistry that compel us to root for them, even when common sense tells us the relationship is destined to end in heartbreak.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows 3 stars

Turtle brothers Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello attempt to save New York City from an alien invasion masterminded by Krang from Dimension X. The turtles' rat mentor Splinter stands by their side, as well as plucky Channel 6 news reporter April O'Neil. Meanwhile, Splinter has joined forces with evil scientist Dr Baxter Stockman to create genetic mutants of his own. The results are a rhinoceros called Rocksteady and a warthog called Bebop.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastWill Arnett, Megan Fox, Stephen Amell.
  • DirectorDave Green.
  • WriterAndre Nemec, Josh Appelbaum.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration112 mins
  • Official sitewww.teenagemutantninjaturtlesmovie.com
  • Release30/05/2016

The wisecracking heroes in a half shell face the terrifying prospect of an alien invasion in the sequel to the 2014 live action adventure, inspired by the popular comic books and Nickelodeon TV series. Dave Green supplants Jonathan Liebesman in the director's chair for this big-budget instalment and he follows the lead of his predecessor by blitzkrieging the screen with eye-popping special effects and outlandish stunts. The bloodless violence of the first film has been toned down - Shredder's razor-sharp claws are retracted - and the central characters continue to cheat death with casual aplomb. Thus, the turtles make a connecting flight back to New York by jumping out of one airplane without parachutes and tumble onto the fuselage of a second craft, which is cruising at a lower altitude. Screenwriters Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec shoehorn familiar faces, including Casey Jones, Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady, into the chaotic mix to increase the probability of wide-scale destruction. Turtle brothers Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), Raphael (Alan Ritchson), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher) and Donatello (Jeremy Howard) live in the sewers with their rat mentor Splinter (Danny Woodburn, voiced by Tony Shalhoub). Mikey wishes they could live above ground with the people of New York. "We will never fit in. We live in the shadows, we're ninjas," chides one of his reptilian brothers. Their arch-nemesis, Shredder (Brian Tee), escapes from police custody with the help of a teleportation portal developed by evil scientist Dr Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry). The portal inadvertently propels Shredder into the clutches of an alien from Dimension X called Krang (Brad Garrett), who intends to invade earth. The extra-terrestrial mastermind enlists Shredder's help to locate two further pieces of a more powerful teleportation system, which are hidden in the American Museum of Natural History and a rainforest in Brazil. While Shredder carries out the alien's bidding with the help of two mutant sidekicks - a rhinoceros called Rocksteady (Stephen Farrelly) and a warthog called Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) - Bureau Chief of Organised Crime, Rebecca Vincent (Laura Linney), attempts to recapture the escaped criminal. Her efforts come to naught, so it's left to the acrobatic turtles to avert disaster, aided by Channel 6 news reporter April O'Neil (Megan Fox) and a vigilante called Casey Jones (Stephen Amell). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows possesses the same crude turtle power as the first film. The lead characters still look creepy, courtesy of motion-capture performances, but there's more emotion in a script that forces the somersaulting quartet to consider their place in a world that views them as monsters. Catchphrases are duly recycled and the simplistic narrative neatly avoids mortally wounding anyone, who could conceivably be resurrected for more pictures in the series.

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The Boss 3 stars

Businesswoman Michelle Darnell becomes America's 47th richest woman until her dubious ethics result in a five-year prison sentence for insider trading. She emerges without any friends to greet her. In desperation, Michelle takes up temporary residence on a temperamental sofa bed belonging to her former personal assistant, Claire. From this low-rent headquarters, Michelle doggedly resolves to rebuild her empire by creating a flourishing chocolate brownie business from Claire's moreish secret recipe.

  • GenreComedy, Drama, Romance
  • CastPeter Dinklage, Kristen Bell, Melissa McCarthy, Tyler Labine, Ella Anderson, Kathy Bates.
  • DirectorBen Falcone.
  • WriterBen Falcone, Melissa McCarthy.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration99 mins
  • Official site
  • Release10/06/2016

What a difference two years makes. In the summer of 2014, actress Melissa McCarthy and husband Ben Falcone ended her winning streak of hilarious big-screen comedies with the misfiring road movie Tammy, which they co-wrote and he directed. Love and marriage didn't come together in a script packed with belly laughs. Unperturbed by Tammy's critical mauling, McCarthy and Falcone rekindle their unholy alliance in front of and behind the camera for this brash comedy about an egocentric businesswoman, who is forced to rebuild her life after a stint behind bars. The Boss improves on its predecessor in one crucial respect: it is sporadically funny and the ebullient leading lady strains every sinew in her single-minded quest to milk laughs from pratfalls. A throwaway visual gag of a mouthguard is silly enough to induce snorts of derision, while a scene of sisterly bonding over what to wear to a first date showcases McCarthy's gift for physical humour (at the expense of her co-star's blushes). However, husband and wife haven't learnt from past transgressions. They haven't invested enough time in fully realising the characters, some gags lack punchlines, and in the closing act, they risk a hostile takeover from mawkish sentiment. Michelle Darnell (McCarthy) was raised at the Blessed Sisters Of Mercy orphanage, where efforts to find the youngster a loving, adopted family ended in crushing disappointment. Emboldened by her humiliating ordeal, Michelle becomes America's 47th richest woman until her dubious ethics result in a five-year prison sentence for insider trading. She emerges without any friends to greet her. Her bodyguard Tito (Cedric Yarbrough) has abandoned her and long-suffering personal assistant Claire Rawlings (Kristen Bell) has a young daughter Rachel (Ella Anderson) to nurture. In desperation, Michelle turns up unannounced on Claire's doorstep and takes up temporary residence on a temperamental sofa bed. From this low-rent headquarters, Michelle doggedly resolves to rebuild her empire by creating a flourishing chocolate brownie business from Claire's moreish secret recipe. Moderate success brings the shamed business mogul back into contact with her aggrieved rival, Renault (Peter Dinklage), and former mentor Ida Marquette (Kathy Bates). Meanwhile, single mother Claire nervously prepares for a date with nice guy Mike (Tyler Labine). The Boss is a pleasant, fleeting diversion that fulfils the most basic requirement of a comedy: it makes you laugh. McCarthy barrels through every frame with gusto and Bell dutifully plays the straight woman caught in the eye of the tornado. True, some of the giggles are inelegant and hard won but it's a vast improvement over the tumbleweed of Tammy. Effort exceeds reward throughout Falcone's film, but on the few occasions the script, performances and direction align, it is genuinely funny and sweet.

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The Conjuring 2 3 stars

Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine have gone into self-imposed exile to recover - emotionally and spiritually - from their first brush with malevolent spirits. They are compelled to return to active duty by terrified single mother Peggy Hodgson, who claims that her house in north London is in the grip of a dark, invisible force. The Warrens travel to England and meet Peggy and her four daughters, who are clearly spooked by events in their home.

  • GenreHistorical/Period, Horror, Thriller
  • CastPatrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Madison Wolfe, Simon McBurney, Frances O'Connor.
  • DirectorJames Wan.
  • WriterChad Hayes, Carey Hayes, James Wan, David Johnson.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration134 mins
  • Official sitewww.theconjuring2.com
  • Release13/06/2016

Fact and outlandish fiction are repeatedly smudged in James Wan's stylish sequel to his 2013 supernatural horror, which dramatised one of the real-life cases of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Like its predecessor, The Conjuring 2 juxtaposes archive photographs and the Warrens' taped interviews over the end credits to convince us that the spooky shenanigans orchestrated on screen are anchored in unsettling reality. Only the gullible would submit wholeheartedly to the film's gargantuan suspensions of belief. Subtlety often eludes Wan, like a blast on the soundtrack of London Calling by The Clash when the storyline moves to the capital, and he's rather fond of shooting impending doom from the point of view of an evil spirit creeping up on its victim. Artistic flourishes aside, the sequel draws inspiration from the notorious case of the Enfield poltergeist, which sent shivers down the spines of north Londoners in the late 1970s. To this day, the veracity of the haunting is shrouded in mystery. However, the four screenwriters of The Conjuring 2 are content to use one family's terror as a foundation for the usual array of horror tropes: creaking floorboards, a child speaking in tongues, inverted crosses, and ghostly figures emerging from the darkness. In 1976, Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga) visit the Amityville house where Ronald DeFeo Jr was convicted of killing six members of his family. "This is as close to Hell as I ever want to get," sobs Lorraine after she enters a trance to relive the tragic night. The Warrens go into self-imposed exile to devote more time to their teenage daughter, Judy (Sterling Jerins). The church compels the Warrens to return to active service to investigate claims from a terrified single mother, Peggy Hodgson (Frances O'Connor), that her house in Enfield is in the grip of a dark force. Ed and Lorraine travel to rain-swept England to interview Peggy and her four children, Margaret (Lauren Esposito), Janet (Madison Wolfe), Billy (Benjamin Haigh) and Johnny (Patrick McAuley). When youngest daughter Janet exhibits signs of demonic possession, Ed and Lorraine battle with the lingering phantom of an old man (Bob Adrian) for the Hodgsons' souls. The Conjuring 2 feels overlong and lacks the tight emotional bond of the first film's besieged family. Wilson and Farmiga ease back into familiar roles while youngster Wolfe is impressive, including one unsettling scene of her character shuddering with fear beneath bedsheets as a spirit hovers above her. The script dissipates tension with occasional flecks of deadpan humour, like when two police constables witness a chair moving on its own around the Hodgson home and a WPC remarks, "This is a bit beyond us." It's certainly not beyond audiences, who enjoy gentle jump-out-of-their-seat scares as they nervously bite nails in the dark of a cinema.

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The Importance Of Being Earnest: Encore Screening 3 stars

David Suchet purses his lips and heaves his bosom as the indomitable Lady Bracknell in this recording of a live performance of Oscar Wilde's razor-sharp satire on Victorian manners on the stage of the Vaudeville Theatre in London's West End. Subtitled A Trivial Comedy For Serious People, the story centres on bachelor best friends Algernon Moncrieff and John Worthing, who adopt different identities as they swan between dual lives in the city and country. The elaborate ruse has unforeseen consequences.

  • GenreComedy, Drama, Romance, Special
  • CastDavid Suchet, Michael Benz, Philip Cumbus, Emily Barber, Imogen Doel.
  • DirectorAdrian Noble.
  • WriterOscar Wilde.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration149 mins
  • Official sitewww.importanceofearnest.com

David Suchet purses his lips and heaves his bosom as the indomitable Lady Bracknell in this recording of a live performance of Oscar Wilde's razor-sharp satire on Victorian manners on the stage of the Vaudeville Theatre in London's West End. Subtitled A Trivial Comedy For Serious People, the story centres on bachelor best friends Algernon Moncrieff (Philip Cumbus) and John Worthing (Michael Benz) who adopt different identities as they swan between dual lives in the city and country. The ruse becomes hilariously complicated when the men court Cecily Cardew (Imogen Doel) and Gwendolen Fairfax (Emily Barber) respectively. One little white lies stacks upon another as Algernon and John attempt to win the hearts of the women, while fending off questions from Gwendolen's formidable mother, Lady Bracknell. Directed by Adrian Noble, the performance is enhanced with additional backstage footage and cast interviews, which are exclusive to this cinema event.

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The Jungle Book 3 stars

A young boy called Mowgli is raised by wolves Akela and Raksha. The boy's presence in the jungle is an affront to Shere Khan, the Bengal tiger, who resolves to kill Mowgli. Thus the man cub must leave his wolf parents and embark on a perilous journey of self-discovery in the company of Bagheera the black panther and Baloo the bear. En route, Mowgli has a crushing encounter with Kaa the python and is sweet-talked by the deceptively dangerous King Louie.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Drama, Family, Family
  • CastIdris Elba, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken, Lupita Nyong'o, Giancarlo Esposito, Sir Ben Kingsley, Neel Sethi.
  • DirectorJon Favreau.
  • WriterJustin Marks.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration106 mins
  • Official sitewww.disney.co.uk
  • Release15/04/2016

The bare necessities of a contented life will come to you by going on safari with Jon Favreau's technically dazzling romp through the stories of Rudyard Kipling. Not since James Cameron's Avatar has a 3D digital world been conjured with such depth and precision. Shot in downtown Los Angeles and beautifully rendered as untamed wilderness on computer hard drives, this immersive Jungle Book retains the wide-eyed charm of the 1967 Disney animation including three songs and comic relief from a rascally bear named Baloo, voiced to droll perfection by Bill Murray. "You have never been a more endangered species than you are now," the hirsute honey thief informs an Indian porcupine (Garry Shandling) during one amusing altercation. Vibrant colour radiates off the screen and gooey sentimentality oozes like sap during the rousing final act, but scriptwriter Justin Marks isn't afraid to hack into darker territory. Shere Khan the Bengal tiger evokes a heartbreaking scene from The Lion King in his relentless, blood-crazed pursuit of Mowgli, and the animated version's jazziest interlude - I Wan'na Be Like You with jungle VIP King Louie and his swingin' band of monkeysicians - is repurposed as a terrifying chase. Man cub Mowgli (Neel Sethi) is raised by wolves Akela (Giancarlo Esposito) and Raksha (Lupita Nyong'o) as a brother to other pups. A terrible drought necessitates an uneasy truce between predators and prey around the watering hole, and other denizens of the jungle finally get to see Mowgli close-up. The boy is an affront to Shere Khan (Idris Elba), who lost an eye to a fiery torch wielded by Mowgli's father. "A man cub becomes man, and man is forbidden!" snarls the big cat, who demands the child be handed over to him for slaughter. Akela and Raksha refuse but Mowgli acknowledges his presence jeopardises the lupine clan. So he embarks on a perilous journey back to civilisation in the company of his protector, Bagheera the black panther (Sir Ben Kingsley). En route, Mowgli gathers honey for greedy Baloo (Murray) and is pressurised into sharing the secret of "the red flower" - fire - with menacing Gigantopithecus, King Louie (Christopher Walken). The Jungle Book flexes its digital muscles in every impeccably crafted frame, festooning the screen with a menagerie of anthropomorphised critters that are just as realistic as the shipwrecked tiger in Life Of Pi. Sethi is a tad wooden in comparison but it must be difficult for a 12-year-old newcomer to find an emotional core when the rest of the cast and lush backgrounds only spring to life in post-production. Vocal performances are strong, replete with disorienting use of Scarlett Johansson's seductive whisper in surround sound during Mowgli's crushing encounter with python Kaa. Trust in me: Favreau's film is a majestic walk on the wild side.

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The Nice Guys 4 stars

Jackson Healy is a hired heavy in 1977 Los Angeles, who beats up perverts and stalkers with his knuckleduster. A young woman called Amelia Kuttner pays him to scare off low-rent private detective Holland March, who has been asking for her around town. The first meeting of these two men ends in bloodshed and broken bones, but Jackson and Holland reluctantly agree to work together when Amelia subsequently vanishes without trace.

Good things come to those who wait. Every decade, filmmaker Shane Black unspools a deliciously off-kilter buddy action comedy that plays fast and loose with the conventions of the genre. In 1996, he penned The Long Kiss Goodnight starring Geena Davis and Samuel L Jackson, which metamorphosed a picture-perfect suburban mom into a finely honed killing machine. In 2005, he repeated the feat and also sat in the director's chair for the potty-mouthed murder mystery Kiss Kiss Bang Bang headlining Robert Downey Jr and Val Kilmer. Now, Black strikes it lucky for a third time with the unlikely comic pairing of Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys, a hare-brained missing person's caper set in sexually liberated 1977 Los Angeles. The script delivers big, throaty laughs from the cynical opening - "Marriage is buying a house with someone you hate!" - and adroitly juggles physical and verbal humour, inflicting injuries and indignities on his leading men for our sport and entertainment. It's a groovy kind of bromantic love and Crowe and Gosling relish the to and fro of the snappy dialogue as they gleefully contend with the fashions of the era. Jackson Healy (Crowe) is a hired heavy, who beats up perverts and stalkers with his knuckleduster. A young woman called Amelia Kuttner (Margaret Qualley) pays him to scare off low-rent private detective Holland March (Gosling), who has been asking for her around town. The first meeting of these two men ends in bloodshed and broken bones, but Jackson and Holland reluctantly agree to work together when Amelia subsequently vanishes without trace. "Why don't you invite him in?" asks Holland's precocious daughter Holly (Angourie Rice) when Jackson turns up at their door. "No animals in the house, sweetheart," retorts the investigator, bearing the physical scars of their previous encounter. The breadcrumb trail of evidence leads to Amelia's fearsome mother, Judith Kuttner (Kim Basinger), who works for the United States Department of Justice and pleads with Jackson and Holland to locate and protect her child. Unfortunately, a hitman called John Boy (Matt Bomer) is also on the trail of Amelia, and Holland also needs to solve the perplexing mystery of porn actress Misty Mountains (Murielle Telio), who was apparently seen alive two days after she died in a car accident. The Nice Guys doesn't quite soar to the dizzy heights of Black's previous escapades, but he comes close, retaining an enviable ability to conjure jaw-dropping one-liners out of nowhere. Like when the central duo is detained by a police officer who is simply following the rulebook. "You know who else was just following orders? Hitler!" counters Jackson. The central plot is a morass of crosses, double crosses, bluffs and coincidences that intrigues and bamboozles, untangling itself in the closing frames with aplomb.

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The Secret Life Of Pets 3 stars

Katie shares her Manhattan apartment with a terrier named Max, who relishes the close relationship with his owner. This special bond is threatened when Katie brings home a mongrel named Duke, who she has saved from a grim fate at the local dog pound. The two pooches are forced to put their rivalry to one side when a gang of abandoned pets led by a white rabbit named Snowball launches an intense campaign of revenge against contended owners and their pets.

  • GenreAnimation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastLake Bell, Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Tara Strong, Louis CK, Albert Brooks, Kevin Hart.
  • DirectorChris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney.
  • WriterKen Daurio, Brian Lynch, Cinco Paul.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration91 mins
  • Official sitewww.thesecretlifeofpets.co.uk
  • Release24/06/2016

Creatures great and small wreak havoc on the streets of New York City in Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney's colourful computer-animated romp. Employing a similar framework to Toy Story, The Secret Life Of Pets imagines what our four-legged, feathered and finned friends get up to when our backs are turned, suggesting that the fun begins when we go to work or school. A Jack Russell terrier and an affection starved mongrel replace Woody and Buzz Lightyear as the feuding central characters, whose rivalry mellows into mutual affection when they are separated from their owner. Screenwriters Ken Daurio, Brian Lynch and Cinco Paul have great fun in early scenes, revealing how a dachshund uses his owner's food mixer as a back massager or one tiny dog performs acrobatic leaps to water a hanging basket with a cock of its leg. The central concept isn't original but there's an infectious charm to every shiny frame of Renaud and Cheney's well-groomed picture, which mercilessly exploits our affection for the critters that share our homes. Katie (voiced by Ellie Kemper) lives in her Manhattan apartment with a mischievous terrier named Max (Louis CK). "Our love is stronger than words or shoes," explains Max, referring to his penchant for chewing his owner's footwear when he was a puppy in training. He is good friends with other domesticated animals and birds including a pampered Eskimo dog named Gidget (Jenny Slate), who is head over fluffy tail in love with Max, and a sardonic house cat named Chloe (Lake Bell), who nurtures a healthy disdain for anything that doesn't enrich her selfish existence. "Dog people do weird, inexplicable things," she purrs, "like they get dogs instead of cats." Max's bond with Katie is threatened when his owner brings home a lolloping mongrel named Duke (Eric Stonestreet), who she has saved from the pound. Intense rivalry spills out onto the city streets where Max and Duke fall foul of a Sphynx cat called Ozone (Steve Coogan) and are mistaken for strays by animal control officers. The snarling enemies are rescued by a maniacal white rabbit named Snowball (Kevin Hart), who pressgangs them into service in his army of unwanted animals, who live in the sewers. The Secret Life Of Pets is the brainchild of the makers of Despicable Me and Minions, and retains a similar visual style and family-friendly sense of humour. Behavioural tics of each breed are mercilessly exploited for slapstick laughs and co-directors Renaud and Cheney maintain a brisk trot to ensure young audiences don't go for walkies in the middle of the film. The main feature is accompanied by a cute animated short entitled Mower Minions in which the gibberish-spouting sidekicks tend the lawn of elderly neighbours. Alas, the diminutive do-gooders are yellow fingers and thumbs, propagating plentiful guffaws and giggles.

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The Secret Life Of Pets 3D 3 stars

Katie shares her Manhattan apartment with a terrier named Max, who relishes the close relationship with his owner. This special bond is threatened when Katie brings home a mongrel named Duke, who she has saved from a grim fate at the local dog pound. The two pooches are forced to put their rivalry to one side when a gang of abandoned pets led by a white rabbit named Snowball launches an intense campaign of revenge against contended owners and their pets.

  • GenreAnimation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastTara Strong, Lake Bell, Jenny Slate, Louis CK, Ellie Kemper, Albert Brooks, Kevin Hart.
  • DirectorChris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney.
  • WriterCinco Paul, Ken Daurio, Brian Lynch.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration91 mins
  • Official sitewww.thesecretlifeofpets.co.uk
  • Release24/06/2016

Creatures great and small wreak havoc on the streets of New York City in Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney's colourful computer-animated romp. Employing a similar framework to Toy Story, The Secret Life Of Pets imagines what our four-legged, feathered and finned friends get up to when our backs are turned, suggesting that the fun begins when we go to work or school. A Jack Russell terrier and an affection starved mongrel replace Woody and Buzz Lightyear as the feuding central characters, whose rivalry mellows into mutual affection when they are separated from their owner. Screenwriters Ken Daurio, Brian Lynch and Cinco Paul have great fun in early scenes, revealing how a dachshund uses his owner's food mixer as a back massager or one tiny dog performs acrobatic leaps to water a hanging basket with a cock of its leg. The central concept isn't original but there's an infectious charm to every shiny frame of Renaud and Cheney's well-groomed picture, which mercilessly exploits our affection for the critters that share our homes. Katie (voiced by Ellie Kemper) lives in her Manhattan apartment with a mischievous terrier named Max (Louis CK). "Our love is stronger than words or shoes," explains Max, referring to his penchant for chewing his owner's footwear when he was a puppy in training. He is good friends with other domesticated animals and birds including a pampered Eskimo dog named Gidget (Jenny Slate), who is head over fluffy tail in love with Max, and a sardonic house cat named Chloe (Lake Bell), who nurtures a healthy disdain for anything that doesn't enrich her selfish existence. "Dog people do weird, inexplicable things," she purrs, "like they get dogs instead of cats." Max's bond with Katie is threatened when his owner brings home a lolloping mongrel named Duke (Eric Stonestreet), who she has saved from the pound. Intense rivalry spills out onto the city streets where Max and Duke fall foul of a Sphynx cat called Ozone (Steve Coogan) and are mistaken for strays by animal control officers. The snarling enemies are rescued by a maniacal white rabbit named Snowball (Kevin Hart), who pressgangs them into service in his army of unwanted animals, who live in the sewers. The Secret Life Of Pets is the brainchild of the makers of Despicable Me and Minions, and retains a similar visual style and family-friendly sense of humour. Behavioural tics of each breed are mercilessly exploited for slapstick laughs and co-directors Renaud and Cheney maintain a brisk trot to ensure young audiences don't go for walkies in the middle of the film. The main feature is accompanied by a cute animated short entitled Mower Minions in which the gibberish-spouting sidekicks tend the lawn of elderly neighbours. Alas, the diminutive do-gooders are yellow fingers and thumbs, propagating plentiful guffaws and giggles.

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Wednesday 29th June 2016
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Warcraft: The Beginning 2 stars

Peace in the magical realm of Azeroth is shattered when a portal opens to the dying world of Draenor. Orc chieftain Durotan leads his endangered clan, including his wife Draka and son Thrall, through the portal in search for a new place to call home. Unfortunately, the presence of orcs in Azeroth poses a threat to the human population led by King Llane Wrynn and his wife Lady Taria. Battle lines are drawn and half-human half-orc Garona Halforcen is torn between the two factions.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Fantasy
  • CastPaula Patton, Toby Kebbell, Travis Fimmel, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper.
  • DirectorDuncan Jones.
  • WriterDuncan Jones, Charles Leavitt.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration123 mins
  • Official sitewww.warcraft-movie.co.uk
  • Release30/05/2016

The power of the human imagination is limitless. I fondly recall happy hours as a child immersed in Dungeons & Dragons role-playing games with my friends: the pressures of homework or bullying at school melted away as we embarked on valiant quests to slay fierce beasts, rescue damsels in distress and cast magical spells to defeat powerful adversaries. In the digital age, there's no need to huddle in a room with pens and paper, throwing numbered die to decide the fates of plucky adventurers. Complex online role playing games bring together strangers from around the globe in real time to play out protracted battles in vast virtual realms. The subscription-based Warcraft series is among the most popular, spawning an entire franchise that has now given birth to this muscular, special effects-heavy blockbuster directed by Duncan Jones. Spectacle trumps characterisation and coherent plotting in every digitally altered frame of Warcraft: The Beginning, which casually begs, borrows and steals from Avatar, The Lord Of The Rings and numerous fantasy adventures to plunge us head-first into a war between humans and hulking beasts called orcs. Peace in the kingdom of Azeroth is shattered when a portal opens to the dying world of Draenor. Orc chieftain Gul'dan (Daniel Wu), who has been consumed by a dark magic called The Fell, gatecrashes Azeroth with his warmongering clans and begins to slaughter everyone who stands in his way. One tribal chief, Durotan (Toby Kebbell), does not share Gul'dan's bloodlust and prepares to stage a coup that could endanger his wife Draka (Anna Galvin) and infant son Thrall. Meanwhile, King Llane Wrynn (Dominic Cooper) and his wife Lady Taria (Ruth Negga), who preside over Azeroth, summon the kingdom's guardian, a sorcerer called Medivh (Ben Foster), who dwells in an enchanted tower with his trusty manservant Blackhand (Clancy Brown). The magician pledges to stand beside the King's men in battle, including noble swordsman Sir Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel) and his son Callan (Burkely Duffield), and a trainee mage called Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer). During their first clash with the orcs, The King's soldiers capture a half-human half-orc slave called Garona Halforcen (Paula Patton). She turns out to be a valuable ally in a titanic battle for the control of Azeroth. Despite all of the adrenaline-fuelled action sequences and frenetic editing, Warcraft: The Beginning is a bore. The script makes no allowances to newcomers to this world of magic and mayhem, providing only the flimsiest back stories for two-dimensional characters. Motion-capture performances bring to life these otherworldly denizens with considerable technological sound and fury. Behind all of the CGI, there's very little to make the heart beat faster or minds race. Intentional humour is in perilously short supply and three romantic subplots lack on-screen sizzle, undermining the emotional impact of climatic scenes that clearly set up a sequel.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 29th June 2016
Thursday 30th June 2016

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X-Men: Apocalypse 3 stars

The very first mutant, En Sabah Nur, aka Apocalypse, reawakens after thousands of years. He is disgusted by the pitiful state of mankind and resolves to clean the evolutionary slate by creating a new world order with the help of his four horsemen of the apocalypse: Angel, Psylocke, Storm and Magneto. Professor X and Raven are determined to protect mankind at all costs and they assemble a team of young X-Men to avert armageddon.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction
  • CastOlivia Munn, Jennifer Lawrence, Sophie Turner, Evan Peters, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, James McAvoy, Oscar Isaac.
  • DirectorBryan Singer.
  • WriterSimon Kinberg.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration144 mins
  • Official sitewww.xmenmovies.com
  • Release18/05/2016

Too many kooks spoil the broth of director Bryan Singer's fourth tour of duty with the Marvel Comics mutants, which began in 2000 with X-Men. Simon Kinberg's messy script bursts at the seams with tortured characters and subplots vying for our attention, bloating the running time to close to two and a half hours. It's a physical ordeal for us, but too little time for X-Men: Apocalypse to do justice to a menagerie of gifted misfits on both sides of a conflict that reduces several capital cities to rubble. There is dramatic fat that could be trimmed: a blood-spattered interlude involving a face from the past - codenamed Weapon X - is superfluous and the final showdown is played out simultaneously in the real world and inside the connected minds of telepaths. The arch-villain is omnipotent - he slaughters an entire factory of workmen with a casual swipe of his hand - and could conceivably destroy mankind without breaking computer-generated sweat. Instead, this otherworldly tyrant chooses to waste precious time recruiting less powerful mutants to do his bidding and consequently undermines his nefarious plan to wipe clean the evolutionary slate. Ten years have passed since the cataclysmic events of X-Men: Days Of Future Past, which saw Logan (Hugh Jackman) travel back in time to 1973 to make contact with the young Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and neutralise the Sentinel program of killer robots. It's now the early 1980s and the very first mutant, En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac), reawakens after thousands of years of inactivity. He is disgusted by the pitiful state of mankind and resolves to create a new world order with the help of his four devoted horsemen of the apocalypse: Angel (Ben Hardy), Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Storm (Alexandra Shipp) and Magneto. Professor X and Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) vow to protect mankind and they assemble a team of young X-Men to avert armageddon including Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Quicksilver (Evan Peters), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), Havok (Lucas Till) and his younger brother Cyclops (Tye Sheridan). X-Men: Apocalypse doesn't settle long enough on one narrative thread to generate dramatic momentum or suspense. Turner and Sheridan make the biggest impact, capturing the inner turmoil of teenagers unable to control their unique and potentially devastating powers. Apart from one rallying cry, Lawrence is surplus to requirements, while McAvoy stares teary-eyed into the camera as his romantic subplot with CIA agent Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) is resuscitated. Special effects have improved in superhuman leaps since Singer's first foray into this universe. He blitzkriegs the screen with eye-popping digital trickery, guaranteeing a relentless assault on the eyes - especially in 3D - which is just as likely to induce a headache as awe and wonder.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 29th June 2016
Thursday 30th June 2016

This film is also showing at: