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DARK RIVER | FILM PREVIEW

DARK RIVER | FILM PREVIEW

**** Dir: Clio Barnard (15, 98 mins) The latest film from writer/director Clio Barnard who brought us the excellent The Selfish Giant is another foray into well-observed British misery. Ruth Wilson stars as Alice, returning home to the farm she grew up on with her brother Joe, played by Adam Stanley. Abused by her father (Sean […]

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LADY BIRD | FILM PREVIEW

LADY BIRD | FILM PREVIEW

**** Dir: Greta Gerwig (15, 94 mins) Indie darling Greta Gerwig, superb in films like Mistress America, Frances Ha and 20th Century Women, goes behind the camera to write and direct this brilliantly observed coming-of-age story. Saoirse Ronan plays Christine, who wants to be known as Lady Bird, a girl about to go away to college […]

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JOURNEYMAN | FILM PREVIEW

JOURNEYMAN | FILM PREVIEW

*** Dir: Paddy Considine (15, 92 mins) Paddy Considine returns to the director’s chair in this boxing drama which, although well-acted, seems rather shallow in comparison to the towering Tyrannosaur, his last outing at the helm. Considine also plays the lead here, ageing boxer Matty Burton, defending his title one last time, but this time […]

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THE SHAPE OF WATER | FILM PREVIEW

THE SHAPE OF WATER | FILM PREVIEW

**** Dir: Guillermo Del Toro (15, 123 mins) Guillermo Del Toro, fantasy director extraordinaire returns with his best work since Pan’s Labyrinth, with this Cold War-era fishy love story. Sally Hawkins plays a mute worker at a secretive government facility who makes contact with a new arrival, an amphibians creature heavily based on The Creature […]

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JOURNEY’S END | FILM PREVIEW

JOURNEY’S END | FILM PREVIEW

**** Dir: Saul Dibb (12A 107 mins) RC Sherriff’s play about the hours of the First World War premiered in 1928 with a young Laurence Olivier in the cast. This fifth film version however escapes stuffy stage confines with a still-claustrophobic but universal and deeply human tale of adversity in the face of overwhelming odds, […]

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WINCHESTER | FILM PREVIEW

WINCHESTER | FILM PREVIEW

*** Dir: Michael and Peter Speirig (12A, 99 mins) The eccentric heiress of the Winchester firearms company believed she was haunted by the souls of those who had been killed by the Winchester repeating rifle. To that end her seven storey house in San Francisco was constantly under construction with rooms, staircases that went nowhere […]

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LAST FLAG FLYING | FILM PREVIEW

LAST FLAG FLYING | FILM PREVIEW

*** Dir: Richard Linklater (15 124 mins) A curiously inert drama from the director of Boyhood, Richard Linklater’s latest is a cousin of sorts to Hal Ashby’s 1973 film The Last Detail, as three former US servicemen reunite and mull over their pasts. Steve Carrell plays Mac, whose son has been killed overseas whilst serving […]

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THE POST | FILM PREVIEW

THE POST | FILM PREVIEW

**** Dir: Steven  Spielberg (12A tbc mins) An awards-baiting line up if ever there was one, this Steven Spielberg drama takes a look at the uncovering of the Pentagon Papers, and teams two Oscar winners for the first time. In 1971, the female editor of The Washington Post Katharine Graham, together with executive editor Ben […]

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DOWNSIZING | FILM PREVIEW

DOWNSIZING | FILM PREVIEW

**** Dir: Alexander Payne (15 135 mins) Getting small has never had such a giant impact. Writer/director Alexander Payne goes very high-concept after a series of excellent dramas – Election, About Schmidt, Sideways, The Descendants, and Nebraska – with this fable about America and masculinity in microcosm. We follow put-upon occupational therapist Paul (Matt Damon), trapped […]

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THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI | FILM PREVIEW

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI | FILM PREVIEW

**** Dir: Martin McDonagh (15 115 mins) Frances McDormand is on superb form as a woman avenging her daughter’s death in this barnstorming neo-western from the skilled wordsmith and director Martin McDonagh. The Irish playwright and director previously brought us the excellent In Bruges and the quizzical Seven Psychopaths, but this is his most assured work […]