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Dir: Aaron Sorkin (15 140 mins)

A dazzlingly verbose script propels writer Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut. No stranger to dialogue after penning The West Wing, The Social Network and Steve Jobs, Sorkin finds a perfect actor to channel his complex, meaty scripts in Jessica Chastain. She plays Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier who, following an accident, sets her sights on the world of high-stakes poker and ends up miring herself in Russian crime syndicates, drugs, and the FBI. Based on fact, her quite staggering story leaves her very much in the moral greys, but Sorkin and Chastain make sure we root for her. When finally sued by the US government for her financially suspect dealings, she is represented by scenery chewing lawyer Idris Elba, whilst also facing criticism from her aloof psychotherapist dad played by an excellent Kevin Costner. It’s a dense film with lots to say but well-wrangled by Chastain and Sorkin, a game worth being dealt in for.

Opens December 26

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