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This Week's New Film Releases: Friday 17 October 2014

15 classification The Judge


Ents24 Rating


Genre: Drama
Director: David Dobkin
Running time: 141 mins

Henry "Hank" Palmer (Robert Downey Jr), a successful hotshot lawyer, returns to his home town of Carlinville, Indiana, for his mother's funeral. He seems to have it all, but is about to be divorced and worries about spending time with his daughter. To his shock he finds that his father, Judge Joseph Palmer (Robert Duvall), is suspected of manslaughter. The once formidable man still has some bite to his bark, but cancer and age has made him frail and he doesn't remember the crime he apparently committed in a drunken stupor after years of sobriety. In between the barbs and resentment Hank and Joseph struggle to reconnect, and Hank has more relationships to mend with his siblings and high school girlfriend (Vera Farmiga).

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12a classification Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


Ents24 Rating


Genre: Action / Adventure / Family
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Running time: 101 mins

Do you remember the cartoon about wise-cracking, pizza-loving teenage mutant superhero ninja turtles? What about the nonsensical and often quite frightening film adaptations? Now Michael Bay has decided he wants another gold-plated leopard and produced this ugly CGI-fest that will probably not cause an upswing in terrapin and turtle sales at petshops. Reporter April O'Neal (comprised of CGI, lipgloss and Megan Fox) is researching the rise of a villainous gang that has been terrorising New York. While trying to capture footage of them, she witnesses some vigilantes foiling their shadowy plans. These turn out to be four mutated turtles who have learnt ninja skills from their rat-master Splinter (comprised of cat fur, pipe cleaners and Tony Shalhoub's voice). They want to save New York, despite looking like Voldemort's pets.

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12a classification Citizen Four


Ents24 Rating


Genre: Documentary
Director: Laura Poitras
Running time: 90 mins

Laura Poitras spent several years making a film about abuses of national security in post-9/11 America. In January 2013, she began receiving encrypted emails from someone identifying himself as “citizen four”. This anonymous source was ready to blow the whistle on the mass-scale covert surveillance programmes run by the NSA and other intelligence agencies. In June 2013, she and reporter Glenn Greenwald flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Edward Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The documentary that resulted from this series of tense encounters is part suspense thriller and part character study, but has the unique aspect of being firmly (sometimes unfortunately) grounded in reality.

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12a classification The Best Of Me


Ents24 Rating


Genre: Romance / Drama
Director: Michael Hoffman
Running time: 118 mins

Best-selling author Nicholas Sparks continues his assault on reality as another of his folksy, syrupy sentimental romances is translated to the big screen. Dawson (perennial second-best love interest James Marsden) and Amanda (Michelle Monaghan) grew up together and had a relationship in high school. Now, twenty years later, they find themselves thrown together again when they meet in their home town for a funeral. The forces that kept their younger selves (played by Liana Liberato and Luke Bracey) apart also conspire once again to make their new lives difficult. As the 'plot' dribbles along be sure to utilise your Sparks Romantic Weepy Bingo Card: Sad death. Magic hour lighting. Blandly attractive white people. Closed-eyes head-touching. Men being noble. Plaid shirts. Sun-dappled woodlands.

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15 classification Palo Alto


Ents24 Rating


Genre: Drama / Teen
Director: Gia Coppola
Running time: 100 mins

Based on a book of short stories by actor James Franco, this coming-of-age drama is peppered with fine performances from star progeny, starting with director Gia Coppola, who is Francis Ford Coppola’s granddaughter. April (Emma Roberts, niece of Julia and daughter of Eric) is mildly popular at her high school and enjoys playing on the soccer team, but she is also shy and sensitive. She frequently babysits for her flirtatious coach, single father Mr B. (Franco). Her classmate Teddy (Jack Kilmer, son of Val) secretly carries a torch for her. But after a drunken night at a party, April grows closer to Mr B. and Teddy finds himself doing mandatory community service thanks to the influence of his livewire friend Fred (Nat Wolff).

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15 classification Northern Soul


Ents24 Rating


Genre: Drama
Director: Elaine Constantine
Running time: 102 mins

This is a story of a youth culture that changed a generation and influenced songwriters, producers, DJs and designers for decades to come. This is the story of Northern Soul. The film tells the tale of two Northern boys whose worlds are changed forever when they discover black American soul music.  Northern Soul was phenomenally popular with British youths in the 1970s, taking the North of the country by storm. Northern Soul the film intends to appeal to those generations of fans while attracting a modern audience who can relate to youth culture from another era. If you were there, you’ll know. If you weren’t there, you’ll wish you had been.

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