ALSO SHOW­ING

Llanelli Star - - Film Reviews -

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.

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