MOVIE QUIZ

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this? Shiv­ers is RL Stine, cre­ator of Goose­bumps, him­self. How post­mod­ern. It sounds like a cash-in, but the premise proves a neat way to re­visit Goose­bumps’ great­est hits. Fans of the books will get on just fine. Oth­ers may be con­fused. PG cert, gen re­lease, 103 min

NEW RE­LEASE

GRIMSBY See re­view, page 10

HOW TO BE SIN­GLE

There’s so much to cher­ish and laugh at in How to Be Sin­gle. Look at Wil­son chew­ing her quips to mush and spread­ing funny sex about the place. There’s no­body bet­ter than Brie at quizzing the world with a lop­sided brow. John­son is cool as Christ­mas. What a shame the pic­ture is such a big stink­ing liar. Af­ter a feisty start, the New York­ers are cast back to the sex­ual pol­i­tics of the Mughal Em­pire. Be­ing sin­gle is shame­ful! 15A cert, gen re­lease, 110 min

JEM AND THE HOLO­GRAMS

Sorry? This is an adap­ta­tion of what now? Slightly younger, more fe­male ad­vis­ers tell me that the source TV se­ries, though barely no­ticed here, ran nois­ily in the US through­out Ron­ald Rea­gan’s se­cond term. You may as well re­lease a film based on the in­struc­tion man­ual for an Am­strad Z80. We have ended up with a satire of mod­ern YouTube fame that is not only tooth­less, but gum­less. For no­body. PG cert, gen re­lease, 118 min

JOY

The rise, fall and rise again of Joy Mangano (Lawrence), the real-life Long Is­land typhoon who cre­ated the Mir­a­cle Mop. Rus­sell’s lat­est feels like a work in progress. Joy is a good deal more au­then­tic than the er­satz Amer­i­can Hus­tle. It is less sen­ti­men­tal than the com­pro­mised Sil­ver Lin­ings Play­book. I look for­ward greatly to see­ing Joy when it fi­nally de­cides what it wants to be. Un­til then, we can savour the con­sis­tently ex­cel­lent per­for­mances. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 123 min

NEW RE­LEASE

KING JACK See re­view, page 10 OD­DBALL AND THE PEN­GUINS

A ranger and his daugh­ter care for en­dan­gered pen­guins. Typ­i­cally scary phrases like “en­vi­ron­men­tal-themed drama” and “based on a true story”, may per­tain, but fear not, lecture-dodgers. Hand­some cin­e­matog­ra­phy and the movie’s

Don­ald Clarke

What will be hap­pen­ing at the Dolby Theatre on Hol­ly­wood Boule­vard in the early hours of Mon­day morn­ing? Who is the only one of this year’s act­ing nom­i­nees to play a char­ac­ter who is not based on a real per­son? Who is the only French per­former to have won best ac­tor? Tom Hanks and Spencer Tracy are, to date, the only men to have achieved what feat at the Os­cars? big-hearted per­for­mances com­pen­sate for oc­ca­sion­ally bud­getary con­straints. The film has al­ready taken more than $10 mil­lion in its na­tive Aus­tralia. It’s not ex­actly this year’s Babe, but it is a lovely, old-fash­ioned fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment. G cert, gen re­lease, 95 min

POINT BREAK

Even back in the day, Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 ac­tioner– in which Keanu Reeves’s quar­ter­back-turned-FBI agent­turned ex­pert long-boarder in­ves­ti­gated Pa­trick Swayze’s cham­pion surfer-turned-zen mas­ter-turned-bank rob­ber – was plenty pre­pos­ter­ous. But dumb can be fun, right? Sadly, this re­make or re­boot or what­ever they’re call­ing it is rather short on fun. The ac­tors are dull, the jokes lame, and it just lacks that Bigelow oomph! 12A cert, gen re­lease, 113 min

NEW RE­LEASE

THE PRO­PA­GANDA GAME

See re­view, page 9

RAMS

Two es­tranged brothers tend neigh­bour­ing sheep farms in an in­hos­pitable cor­ner of Ice­land. Here is a most un­usual comic drama that plays some very clever games with tone. For much of its du­ra­tion, Rams (win­ner of Un Cer­tain Re­gard at Cannes) deals in the sort of dry quirk we have come to ex­pect from Nordic cinema. As events progress, how­ever, the pic­ture im­per­cep­ti­bly soft­ens into some­thing much more poignant. Club, lim re­lease, 93 min

THE REVENANT

A trap­per (DiCaprio) Iden­tify the Ir­ish pro­fes­sional (above) with his Os­car. pur­sues the men who aban­doned him af­ter be­ing at­tacked by a bear in the bleak 1820s Amer­i­can fron­tier. Short on di­a­logue, thin on char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion, The Revenant looks to be test­ing just how much chilly, vis­cera-soaked mis­ery the au­di­ence can han­dle. It would be un­fair to call the film “one-note”. Let’s set­tle for “one-chord” and ac­knowl­edge that it’s a chord well worth en­dur­ing. Bleakly beau­ti­ful, clev­erly edited, full of majesty, The Revenant is one of a kind. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 157 min

RIDE ALONG 2 Cube and Hart – gruff cop and his po­ten­tial brother-in-law – re­turn to fight some crime or other in Mi­ami. This se­quel to the ter­mi­nally wit­less orig­i­nal dis­plays scarcely be­liev­able lev­els of de­cline. You could make a bet­ter movie by re­peat­edly throw­ing a cam­era into a lake. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 101 min

ROOM A psy­chopath im­pris­ons a young woman (Lar­son, tran­scen­dent) and her son (Trem­blay, equally good) in his gar­den shed. Abra­ham­son’s Os­car-show­ered adap­ta­tion of Emma Donoghue’s novel sounds like a grim af­fair, but the sen­si­tiv­ity of di­rec­tion, writ­ing and per­for­mances ul­ti­mately lifts the spir­its. The film acts as an in­ci­sive, pen­e­trat­ing study of the pres­sures that all par­ents feel: guilt, in­ad­e­quacy, panic. Room de­serves ev­ery syl­la­ble of its ac­claim. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 117 min

NEW RE­LEASE

THE SE­CRET IN THEIR EYES

See re­view, page 9

SPOT­LIGHT Grip­ping, nec­es­sar­ily com­plex ex­am­i­na­tion of the Bos­ton Globe’s in­ves­ti­ga­tions into child sex­ual abuse by the Catholic clergy. Im­pec­ca­bly acted, the film gets at the in­sid­i­ous na­ture of the con­spir­acy to sup­press dis­sent. More than any­thing, Spot­light is a gen­u­flec­tion be­fore the tra­di­tions of in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ism. As such, it bears favourable com­par­i­son with the un­avoid­able All the Pres­i­dent’s Men. Both press home the slow, steady rigour of the pro­fes­sion and the need to think hard be­fore fil­ing. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 118 min STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAK­ENS

A young out­sider from a re­mote world sees her life change when she en­coun­ters a wan­der­ing droid with an im­por­tant mes­sage from rebel forces. Sound fa­mil­iar? Abrams has re­turned to the rhythms of the first film with ma­jor suc­cess. The sev­enth Star Wars flick fea­tures spir­ited turns from new he­roes Ri­d­ley and Boyega. It can’t hope to es­cape its her­itage, so it doesn’t re­ally try. Fast, funny, ex­cit­ing, well acted, but ul­ti­mately lit­tle more than vari­a­tions on a theme. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 135 min

STRANGER­LAND

A cou­ple (Kid­man and Fi­ennes) search for their kids in the Aus­tralian out­back. The themed ges­ture to­ward such An­tipodean clas­sics as Walk­a­bout and Pic­nic at Hang­ing Rock. Un­hap­pily, Far­rant’s hand­some drama lacks the enigma of th­ese pic­tures, and equally re­fuses to con­geal into a sus­pense­ful thriller. Kid­man re­turns to the messed-up mourn­ing that she mined so well in Birth and Rab­bit Hole. Nicely shot, but in­sub­stan­tial. 15A cert, lim

Ter­rific heist thriller star­ring a de­pressed Ejio­for as a hood in hock to the Russo-Jewish Mafia (or “Kosher Nos­tra”) in At­lanta. The film is not long on plot or char­ac­ter: Ejio­for and his team must rob a box of com­puter discs (how quaint) from an im­preg­nable build­ing. But the ac­tors are all great, and Hill­coat or­gan­ises the ac­tion with ruth­less en­thu­si­asm. Winslet is par­tic­u­larly good as a lac­quered crime boss with no moral com­pass. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 115 min

TRUMBO

Biopic of screen­writer Dal­ton Trumbo,who en­dured the black­list to tri­umph with Spar­ta­cus and Ex­o­dus. At its worst, Trumbo plays to the same pa­tro­n­is­ing rules as the sort of low-rent ca­ble biopic that asks us to be­lieve Matthew Perry might be Clark Gable. At its best, it sug­gests the silly fizz of Hol­ly­wood as rein­ter­preted in Who Framed Roger Rab­bit. Cranston is strong in the lead, Mir­ren way over the top as Hedda Hop­per. 15A cert, lim re­lease, 124 min

NEW RE­LEASE

THE TRUTH COM­MIS­SIONER

See re­view, page 10

ZOOLANDER 2

We’re told that the fash­ion world – shud­der – loved 2001’s Zoolander, which de­picted the fash­ion world as shal­low, idi­otic dirt­bags. Thus, inevitably, this be­lated se­quel sees “name” de­sign­ers and Anna Win­tour pop up as mon­strous ver­sions of them­selves so that we might some­how be con­vinced that they’re not, in real life, so mon­strous af­ter all. Dirt­bags aside, there’s plenty of silly jokes and clang­ing celebrity cameos to pass the time. Su­san Boyle! Kiefer Suther­land! Billy Zane! So so. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 102 min

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