PREVIEW: SURVIVING CHRISTMAS WITH THE RELATIVES (15)
SIBLING rivalry flares during three chaotic days over the festive period in writer-director James Dearden’s comedy drama.
Miranda (Gemma Whelan, pictured) and her husband Dan (Julian Ovenden) are trying to forge a better life for their children away from the hustle and bustle of the city. They are renovating the ramshackle country house owned by Miranda’s late parents, which has always hosted the family’s Christmas get-togethers.
Honouring this tradition, Miranda and Dan welcome Miranda’s sister Lyla (Joely Richardson), a fading Hollywood star in the dying throes of a bad marriage to her alcoholic agent, Trent (Michael Landes). The sisters clash, reopening old wounds in the company of other relatives including uncle John (James Fox) and aunt Peggy (Patricia Hodge).
Meanwhile, Miranda and Dan’s son Harry (Jonas Moore) wrestles with drug addiction and the growing emotional distance from his loved ones.
ROBIN HOOD (12A) ★★★★★
THE Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn) issues a draft notice to Lord Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton, pictured) to fight in the Crusades in Arabia. During four gruelling years away from his sweetheart Marian (Eve Hewson), Robin is battle-hardened by his experiences under Commander Guy Gisbourne (Paul Anderson).
Robin witnesses brutality perpetrated by the English against enemy prisoners and defies his comrades to protect a Moor called John (Jamie Foxx), whose son is tortured.
Robin returns to Nottingham in disgrace and learns that the Sheriff has falsely reported his death and seized his assets. A grief-stricken Marian is now in the arms of community leader Will Tillman (Jamie Dornan). Heartbroken and enraged by the hand that fate has dealt him, Robin trains with John to overthrow the Sheriff, whose war taxes have impacted the poorest in society.
THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB (15) ★★★★★
COMPUTER scientist Frans Balder (Stephen Merchant) hires hacker Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy, pictured) to gain illegal access to the servers of the National Security Agency (NSA) and steal his Fire Fall application. Lisbeth’s actions attract the attention of NSA agent Edwin Needham (Lakeith Stanfield), who travels to Sweden to retrieve the stolen software and bring the hacker to justice.
The theft is complicated when masked assailants storm Lisbeth’s hi-tech lair and leave her for dead.
The bruised heroine re-establishes contact with journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Sverrir Gudnason) who exploits personal connections to the deputy director of Swedish National Security, to identify the attackers. Lisbeth follows a trail of evidence and realises that Balder’s autistic son (Christopher Convery) is the key to cracking the case.