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Now showing at Cineworld Weymouth New Bond Street,Weymouth,Dorset DT4 8LY 0871 200 2000

  • Boyhood
  • Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
  • Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes 3D
  • Earth To Echo
  • Edge Of Tomorrow
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy 3D
  • Hercules
  • Hercules 3D
  • How To Train Your Dragon 2
  • Maleficent
  • Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
  • Pudsey The Dog: The Movie
  • Rio 2
  • Rio 2 3D
  • The Fault In Our Stars
  • The House Of Magic
  • The House Of Magic 3D
  • The Purge: Anarchy
  • Transformers: Age Of Extinction
  • Transformers: Age Of Extinction 3D

Boyhood 3 stars

movie title

Drama about a boy's coming of age, shot over 12 years with the same crew and cast. When we first meet Mason Jr, he's preparing to move house with his mother Olivia and precocious older sister, Samantha. Errant father Mason Sr takes the children ten-pin bowling and dispense pithy words of wisdom. As Mason Jr blossoms into a sullen and awkward teenager, Olivia ricochets from a bad marriage to a drunk professor to a bad marriage to one of her students.

  • GenreDrama, Romance
  • CastPatricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater.
  • DirectorRichard Linklater.
  • WriterRichard Linklater.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration166 mins
  • Official sitewww.boyhoodmovie.tumblr.com
  • Release11/07/2014

In 2002, filmmaker Richard Linklater had a dream. The celebrated Texan director of Dazed And Confused and Before Sunrise, whose mother and father separated when he was seven, wanted to make a drama that realistically captured the bonds between parent and child. He announced his intention to create a close-knit family of cast and crew, who would reunite every year to shoot new scenes that accurately reflected the physical and emotional changes of the young stars.

Seven-year-old Ellar Coltrane was cast in the lead role and Linklater chose his then eight-year-old daughter Lorelei to portray the central character's older sister. The result is a directorial doozy of dazzling ambition and scope that falls short in terms of pacing and compelling narrative arcs.

From a technical perspective, Boyhood is a staggering achievement - a testament to Linklater's determination that could have fallen apart at any point in the past 12 years. From the fragments of each annual get-together, the writer-director has fashioned a naturalistic slideshow of the awkward transition from childhood to adulthood that will doubtless garner an Oscar nomination and a deluge of critical plaudits.

When we first meet Mason Jr (Ellar Coltrane), he's preparing to move house with his mother Olivia (Patricia Arquette) and precocious older sister, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater), who keeps him awake with her rendition of Britney's Oops!... I Did It Again.

Errant father Mason Sr (Ethan Hawke) takes the children ten-pin bowling and the boy pleads for the introduction of safeguards to keep his ball out of the gutter. "You don't want bumpers - life doesn't give you bumpers," his old man counsels.

Major pop culture and political events including the publication of Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince and Obama's presidential campaign allow us to date each chapter as Mason Jr blossoms into a sullen and awkward teenager.

En route, Olivia ricochets from a bad marriage to a drunk professor (Marco Perella) to a bad marriage to one of her students (Brad Hawkins), with occasional appearances from Mason Sr to dispense pithy words of wisdom.

By the very nature of its creation, Boyhood unfolds in fits and spurts, some more interesting than others. Coltrane starts the film as a cheeky cherub, who is slightly wooden in front of camera, but he grows in confidence and stature.

Arquette has surprisingly scant screen time considering she is primary care giver and the final edit runs close to three hours, while Hawke could almost have walked off the set of Before Midnight, given his character's penchant for rambling introspection.

It's easy to be blinded by the glorious gimmick that initiated Boyhood but if you judge Linklater's film purely on what made it to the screen, it's a fascinating yet flawed experiment.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014
Thursday 31st July 2014

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes 4 stars

movie title

Simian flu has ravaged the globe, killing almost the entire human race. In San Francisco, one-time military man Dreyfus, who lost his entire family to the virus, leads the human survivors. The truce between humans and apes is tested to breaking point when a diplomatic mission led by Malcolm, his wife Ellie and teenage son Alexander enters the forest to request access to the O'Shaughnessy Dam, which provides the city with its electricity.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Drama, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller
  • CastKeri Russell, Gary Oldman, Andy Serkis, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jason Clarke, Toby Kebbell.
  • DirectorMatt Reeves.
  • WriterMark Bomback, Amanda Silver, Rick Jaffa.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration130 mins
  • Official sitewww.dawnofapes.com
  • Release17/07/2014

Blending state-of-the-art special effects with an intelligent script, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes conjures two hours of animal magic that looks set to be crowned king of the blockbuster swingers. Tim Burton's abortive Planet Of The Apes is now a distant memory thanks to the 2011 revamp Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and this superior sequel, which pushes the art of motion-capture performance to new limits.

Andy Serkis' exemplary work as Caesar, the super-intelligent chimpanzee who leads the ape uprising, is the film's emotional heartbeat. His ability to convey the character's rage, despair and passion through movement and subtle gesture is breathtaking.

Toby Kebbell is also compelling as Caesar's war-mongering rival, who believes the key to his species' survival is the extermination of humans. Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver's script elegantly draws parallels between the feuding primates, juxtaposing tender scenes of parenting with bruising skirmishes that create divisions on both sides.

Ten winters have passed since simian flu ravaged the globe. In the absence of law and order, basic resources such as water, food and electricity are dangerously depleted. One-time military man Dreyfus (Gary Oldman), who lost his entire family to the virus, leads survivors of the ALZ-113 virus in San Francisco.

He dispatches a team led by family man Malcolm (Jason Clarke) to access the O'Shaughnessy Dam, which provides the city with electricity. In the forest that envelops the dam, the scouting party encounters apes led by Caesar, including his ambitious second-in-command Koba (Kebbell), impetuous son Blue Eyes (Nick Thurston) and Bornean orangutan Maurice (Karin Konoval).

Malcolm's trigger-happy compatriot Carver (Kirk Acevedo) shoots one of the apes and the humans are banished to their stronghold. Once Dreyfus learns about the neighbouring ape community, he asks Malcolm and co to refrain from telling the other survivors.

"They're talking apes with big-ass spears!" shrieks Carver. Malcolm realises that he must earn Caesar's trust to gain access to the dam so he prepares to return to the forest with wife Ellie (Keri Russell) and teenage son Alexander (Kodi Smith-McPhee).

"If you're not back in three days, we're going to go out there and kill every last one of them," warns Dreyfus.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is a slick thrill ride with brains as well as brawn. The grim mood, which permeates the first half, leads to all-guns-blazing war and director Reeves orchestrates these brutal sequences with elan.

Digital effects are jaw-dropping, giving birth to a realistic army of blood-thirsty apes who cram every chaotic, blood-spattered frame. The film's strong anti-gun message comes through loud and clear, but the appetite for destruction overpowers diplomacy.

"I always think ape better than humans," laments Caesar as his dream of lasting peace founders. "I see now how like them we are."

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014
Thursday 31st July 2014

This film is also showing at:

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes 3D 4 stars

movie title

Simian flu has ravaged the globe, killing almost the entire human race. In San Francisco, one-time military man Dreyfus, who lost his entire family to the virus, leads the human survivors. The truce between humans and apes is tested to breaking point when a diplomatic mission led by Malcolm, his wife Ellie and teenage son Alexander enters the forest to request access to the O'Shaughnessy Dam, which provides the city with its electricity.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Drama, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller
  • CastAndy Serkis, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jason Clarke, Toby Kebbell.
  • DirectorMatt Reeves.
  • WriterRick Jaffa, Mark Bomback, Amanda Silver.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration130 mins
  • Official sitewww.dawnofapes.com
  • Release17/07/2014

Blending state-of-the-art special effects with an intelligent script, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes conjures two hours of animal magic that looks set to be crowned king of the blockbuster swingers. Tim Burton's abortive Planet Of The Apes is now a distant memory thanks to the 2011 revamp Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and this superior sequel, which pushes the art of motion-capture performance to new limits.

Andy Serkis' exemplary work as Caesar, the super-intelligent chimpanzee who leads the ape uprising, is the film's emotional heartbeat. His ability to convey the character's rage, despair and passion through movement and subtle gesture is breathtaking.

Toby Kebbell is also compelling as Caesar's war-mongering rival, who believes the key to his species' survival is the extermination of humans. Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver's script elegantly draws parallels between the feuding primates, juxtaposing tender scenes of parenting with bruising skirmishes that create divisions on both sides.

Ten winters have passed since simian flu ravaged the globe. In the absence of law and order, basic resources such as water, food and electricity are dangerously depleted. One-time military man Dreyfus (Gary Oldman), who lost his entire family to the virus, leads survivors of the ALZ-113 virus in San Francisco.

He dispatches a team led by family man Malcolm (Jason Clarke) to access the O'Shaughnessy Dam, which provides the city with electricity. In the forest that envelops the dam, the scouting party encounters apes led by Caesar, including his ambitious second-in-command Koba (Kebbell), impetuous son Blue Eyes (Nick Thurston) and Bornean orangutan Maurice (Karin Konoval).

Malcolm's trigger-happy compatriot Carver (Kirk Acevedo) shoots one of the apes and the humans are banished to their stronghold. Once Dreyfus learns about the neighbouring ape community, he asks Malcolm and co to refrain from telling the other survivors.

"They're talking apes with big-ass spears!" shrieks Carver. Malcolm realises that he must earn Caesar's trust to gain access to the dam so he prepares to return to the forest with wife Ellie (Keri Russell) and teenage son Alexander (Kodi Smith-McPhee).

"If you're not back in three days, we're going to go out there and kill every last one of them," warns Dreyfus.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is a slick thrill ride with brains as well as brawn. The grim mood, which permeates the first half, leads to all-guns-blazing war and director Reeves orchestrates these brutal sequences with elan.

Digital effects are jaw-dropping, giving birth to a realistic army of blood-thirsty apes who cram every chaotic, blood-spattered frame. The film's strong anti-gun message comes through loud and clear, but the appetite for destruction overpowers diplomacy.

"I always think ape better than humans," laments Caesar as his dream of lasting peace founders. "I see now how like them we are."

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014
Thursday 31st July 2014

This film is also showing at:

Earth To Echo 3 stars

movie title

Best friends Alex, Munch and Tuck are devastated when a highway construction project tears apart their community of Clark County, Nevada, forcing the lads and their families to relocate to different parts of the country. On their last day together, they follow strange signals on their mobile phones into the desert and uncover a friendly alien robot, who has become stranded on Earth. The boys nickname the robot Echo and pledge to help their otherworldly friend return home.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Drama, Family, Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction
  • CastReese Hartwig, Astro, Teo Halm, Ella Wahlestedt.
  • DirectorDave Green.
  • WriterHenry Gayden.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration91 mins
  • Official sitewww.callhimecho.com
  • Release25/07/2014

In 1982, ET phoned home and now another stranded extra-terrestrial requires assistance from pint-sized heroes to safely return to the stars in Dave Green's fantastical family-oriented adventure. Earth To Echo begs obvious similarities to Steven Spielberg's classic coming-of-age story and the 1987 fantasy *Batteries Not Included.

Green's special effects-laden picture lacks the emotional wallop of the former and the unabashed charm of the latter, but does tread a familiar path through fresh eyes by employing the found footage format a la Paranormal Activity.

Characters address an omnipresent video camera, verbalising their excitement and fear as a night-time bicycle ride into the desert becomes a rescue mission of galactic proportions. "I'm Reginald. I'm a bit of an acquired taste... that's what my mom says," confesses one of the boys in his endearingly nervous introduction.

Like all examples of the genre, the lens invariably points in the right direction, regardless of realism, to capture important conversations and push forward the storyline.

"What you're about to see is what happened to me and my friends one year ago," explains Tuck (Brian "Astro" Bradley). In fragmented footage, we meet Tuck's best friends Alex (Teo Halm) and Reginald aka Munch (Reese Hartwig) after they learn that a highway construction project is going to tear apart their community of Clark County, Nevada.

The lads will have to relocate to different parts of the country, signalling the end of their balmy childhood. On their last night together, the boys follow strange signals on their mobile phones into the desert. "I never understood why people like the outdoors," wheezes Munch.

They uncover a friendly robot, who has become stranded on Earth, and the boys pledge to help their otherworldly friend locate the missing parts of his spaceship so he can return home.

Plucky classmate Emma (Ella Wahlestedt) joins the trio as they evade shady government officials led by Dr Lawrence Masden (Jason Gray-Stanford), who are also hunting Echo. "He just wants to go home!" pleads one of the children. "That will not happen," sneers Masden, "that thing is far too valuable."

Earth To Echo is a state-of-the-art ode to ET and its imitators that ups the technical ante for a generation that prefers to swipe at tablets and smart phones rather than go outside and play. Green employs special effects at key junctures, but, for the most part, he's reliant on the young cast to carry his film.

Halm, Bradley and Hartwig are appealing without being too winsomely cute, and there are some genuinely touching scenes of the boys choking back emotion as the enormity of the situation, and the risks, become clear.

The titular robot's personality is encapsulated in a few beeps and trills that should, if nothing else, remind audiences to keep their mobile devices switched off for the duration.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014
Thursday 31st July 2014

Edge Of Tomorrow 4 stars

movie title

An alien race called the Mimics have overrun Europe and the United Defense Force (UDF) is preparing to storm the continent from multiple angles. General Brigham press-gangs Major William Cage into active service. He is ill prepared for conflict and perishes in the throes of annihilating an alien. Exposure to the creature's luminous blood miraculously allows Cage to reset time and relive the ill-fated day, dying again and again as he attempts to identify a weakness in the Mimics' defences.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Science Fiction, Thriller, War
  • CastEmily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Tom Cruise, Brendan Gleeson, Jonas Armstrong.
  • DirectorDoug Liman.
  • WriterJohn-Henry Butterworth, Jez Butterworth, Christopher McQuarrie.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration113 mins
  • Official sitewww.edgeoftomorrowmovie.co.uk
  • Release30/05/2014

In 2005, extra-terrestrials tangled with Tom Cruise in War Of The Worlds and came off second best. The otherworldly invaders haven't learnt their lesson because they are back as a hive-like race called the Mimics in Edge Of Tomorrow and, once again, the fate of mankind rests in the sweaty palms of a certain Hollywood superstar.

Only this time, Cruise is a military PR man, who has never seen a day of combat and will resort to anything, even blackmail, to avoid conflict. The transformation of this image-obsessed weasel into a battle-ready soldier is one of the many pleasures of Doug Liman's entertaining, futuristic opus.

Based on the novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Edge Of Tomorrow shrouds its smart central conceit with adrenaline-pumping action sequences including a pivotal battle on blood-soaked beaches reminiscent of the Normandy landings.

The carnage transplants to a European capital for an equally explosive finale with echoes of the concluding chapter of The Matrix as human survivors stage a suicidal last stand with depleted weaponry against a whirling armada of alien killing machines. "We are not equipped for what's out there!" bleats Cruise. And the Oscar for understatement goes to...

Cruise plays Major William Cage, who arrives at the headquarters of the United Defense Force (UDF) in London close to Trafalgar Square. The Mimics have overrun Europe and the UDF is preparing to storm the continent from multiple angles.

General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson) orders Cage to the front line to capture this glorious moment on film for generations to come. Cage refuses so he is press-ganged into active duty under Master Sergeant Farell (Bill Paxton).

A subsequent skirmish on the beaches of France is a bloodbath and Cage perishes in the throes of annihilating an alien. Exposure to the creature's luminous blue blood miraculously allows Cage to reset time and relive the ill-fated day, dying again and again as he attempts to identify a weakness in the Mimics' defences.

In the process, Cage forges an alliance with Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), who is known affectionately as Full Metal Bitch to the troops.

Scripted by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) and siblings Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, Edge Of Tomorrow establishes its Groundhog Day-style premise and cleverly engineers ways to keep us enthralled as Cage repeats fatal mistakes.

Cruise initially plays against type and slowly teases out his character's likable qualities amidst a miasma of eye-popping digital effects. Blunt embraces Rita's ballsiness with gusto and she gleefully takes a gun to her leading man's noggin on countless occasions to ensure his demise resets the clock on mankind's hard-fought retaliation.

A belated frisson of sexual tension between the two leads is unnecessary but thankfully the film avoids the mires of mawkish sentimentality in the nick of time.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 31st July 2014

Guardians Of The Galaxy 3 stars

Abducted from his parents as a child and raised by thieves, gung-ho American pilot Peter Quill is content to gallivant around the far reaches of space. He steals an orb, which is sought by Ronan and his army of Sakaarans, and evades capture by aligning himself with a motley crew of rebels comprising green-skinned assassin Gamora, genetically engineered raccoon Rocket, his tree-like sidekick Groot and vengeance-seeking warrior Drax the Destroyer, whose entire family was slaughtered by Ronan.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Science Fiction
  • CastBradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Zoe Saldana, Lee Pace, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin.
  • DirectorJames Gunn.
  • WriterJames Gunn, Nicole Perlman.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration128 mins
  • Official sitewww.marvel.com/guardians
  • Release31/07/2014

The Marvel Comics big screen universe continues to expand at a frightening pace in this big budget fantasy directed by James Gunn. Abducted from his parents as a child and raised by thieves, gung-ho American pilot Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is content to gallivant around the far reaches of space, entertaining as many otherworldly lovelies as his stamina will allow. He steals an orb, which is sought by Ronan (Lee Pace) and his army of Sakaarans, and evades capture by aligning himself with a motley crew of rebels comprising green-skinned assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), genetically engineered raccoon Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), his tree-like sidekick Groot (Vin Diesel) and vengeance-seeking warrior Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), whose entire family was slaughtered by Ronan. When Peter subsequently learns that the orb is an ancient artefact, which arch-villain Thanos (voiced by Josh Brolin) needs to wreak havoc upon the universe, he must rally the troops to repel assaults from Ronan and his underlings including fearsome intergalactic hunter Korath (Djimon Hounsou), and prevent the orb from falling into the wrong hands.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 31st July 2014

This film is also showing at:

Guardians Of The Galaxy 3D 3 stars

Abducted from his parents as a child and raised by thieves, gung-ho American pilot Peter Quill is content to gallivant around the far reaches of space. He steals an orb, which is sought by Ronan and his army of Sakaarans, and evades capture by aligning himself with a motley crew of rebels comprising green-skinned assassin Gamora, genetically engineered raccoon Rocket, his tree-like sidekick Groot and vengeance-seeking warrior Drax the Destroyer, whose entire family was slaughtered by Ronan.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Science Fiction
  • CastZoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Lee Pace, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, Josh Brolin.
  • DirectorJames Gunn.
  • WriterNicole Perlman, James Gunn.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration128 mins
  • Official sitewww.marvel.com/guardians
  • Release31/07/2014

The Marvel Comics big screen universe continues to expand at a frightening pace in this big budget fantasy directed by James Gunn. Abducted from his parents as a child and raised by thieves, gung-ho American pilot Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is content to gallivant around the far reaches of space, entertaining as many otherworldly lovelies as his stamina will allow. He steals an orb, which is sought by Ronan (Lee Pace) and his army of Sakaarans, and evades capture by aligning himself with a motley crew of rebels comprising green-skinned assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), genetically engineered raccoon Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), his tree-like sidekick Groot (Vin Diesel) and vengeance-seeking warrior Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), whose entire family was slaughtered by Ronan. When Peter subsequently learns that the orb is an ancient artefact, which arch-villain Thanos (voiced by Josh Brolin) needs to wreak havoc upon the universe, he must rally the troops to repel assaults from Ronan and his underlings including fearsome intergalactic hunter Korath (Djimon Hounsou), and prevent the orb from falling into the wrong hands.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 31st July 2014

This film is also showing at:

Hercules 3 stars

movie title

Greek demigod Hercules completes his 12 mythical labours, which include slaying a hydra, capturing the Cretan Bull and defeating hellhound Cerberus, which guards the entrance to the underworld. The deposed King of Thrace hires Hercules and his band of mercenaries to train his army and bring to an end a bitter civil war. Unimaginable villains test Hercules's mythical power and he rages against his fate to be blessed with the strength of a God but endure the suffering of a mortal.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Romance
  • CastDwayne Johnson, Joseph Fiennes, Aksel Hennie, Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, John Hurt, Peter Mullan.
  • DirectorBrett Ratner.
  • WriterEvan Spiliotopoulos, Ryan Condal.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration98 mins
  • Official sitewww.herculesmovie.co.uk
  • Release25/07/2014

Classical Greek mythology gets a campy, testosterone-pumped rewrite in Brett Ratner's swaggering swords 'n' sandals romp. Based on the comic book series Hercules: The Thracian Wars by Steve Moore, this laboured re-imaging of the demi-God son of Zeus boasts slow-motion action sequences reminiscent of 300, albeit with reduced on-screen bloodshed to secure a 12A certificate.

Parents should exercise caution. These ancient civilisations are predisposed to outbursts of bad language that escape the wrath of Olympus, and when the film's lone female warrior is verbally dissed by a compatriot, she lowers the tone by sniping, "If only your manhood was as long as your tongue."

The minds of screenwriters Ryan J Condal and Evan Spiliotopoulos remain in the gutter when it comes to the two-dimensional women that festoon the screen. These wenches swoon helplessly in Hercules' presence or encourage his valour with the promise of personal services.

Cristiano Ronaldo's girlfriend, Russian model Irina Shayk, makes fleeting appearances in flashbacks as Hercules' wife, who casually drops her robes for a gratuitous flash of her pert derriere. "You think you know the truth about [Hercules]? You know nothing..." growls the narrator as he transports us back to a time when power was seized with swords rather than diplomacy.

Hercules (Johnson) has completed his 12 labours, which included slaying a hydra and defeating the mighty Nemean Lion, and now this muscle-bound man of myth roams the land as a mercenary for hire.

His band of travelling companions includes soothsayer Amphiaraus (Ian McShane), warrior Autolycus (Rufus Sewell), mute orphan Tydeus (Aksel Hennie), Amazonian archer Atalanta (Ingrid Bolso Berdal) and silver-tongued storyteller Iolaus (Reece Ritchie), who is also Hercules' cousin.

Lord Cotys (John Hurt), the ailing King of Thrace, promises Hercules and his company their weight in gold if they can train his farm hands to become an army and bring to an end a bitter civil war with rebel leader Rhesus (Tobias Santelmann).

The king's daughter Eugenia (Rebecca Ferguson) is wary of Hercules, so too is Cotys' loyal general Sitacles (Peter Mullan), but he cannot fail to be impressed as the king's weakling subjects are transformed into a well-drilled fighting machine.

Directed with destruction-oriented bombast by Ratner (Rush Hour), Hercules is undecided whether to take itself seriously or descend into tongue-wedged pantomime. Certainly, Sewell and McShane seem to be having a ball and Johnson trots out a couple of droll one-liners.

The set pieces are orchestrated at full pelt with a generous three-figure body count but once the screaming ends, deficiencies in the script are exposed. When the truth about Hercules' tragic past is revealed, Johnson's wail of anguish in close-up epitomises the film's heavy-handed approach to matters of the heart: more volume, less palpable emotion.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014
Thursday 31st July 2014

This film is also showing at:

Hercules 3D 3 stars

movie title

Greek demigod Hercules completes his 12 mythical labours, which include slaying a hydra, capturing the Cretan Bull and defeating hellhound Cerberus, which guards the entrance to the underworld. The deposed King of Thrace hires Hercules and his band of mercenaries to train his army and bring to an end a bitter civil war. Unimaginable villains test Hercules's mythical power and he rages against his fate to be blessed with the strength of a God but endure the suffering of a mortal.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Romance
  • CastDwayne Johnson, Joseph Fiennes, Aksel Hennie, Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, John Hurt, Peter Mullan.
  • DirectorBrett Ratner.
  • WriterEvan Spiliotopoulos, Ryan Condal.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration98 mins
  • Official sitewww.herculesmovie.co.uk
  • Release25/07/2014

Classical Greek mythology gets a campy, testosterone-pumped rewrite in Brett Ratner's swaggering swords 'n' sandals romp. Based on the comic book series Hercules: The Thracian Wars by Steve Moore, this laboured re-imaging of the demi-God son of Zeus boasts slow-motion action sequences reminiscent of 300, albeit with reduced on-screen bloodshed to secure a 12A certificate.

Parents should exercise caution. These ancient civilisations are predisposed to outbursts of bad language that escape the wrath of Olympus, and when the film's lone female warrior is verbally dissed by a compatriot, she lowers the tone by sniping, "If only your manhood was as long as your tongue."

The minds of screenwriters Ryan J Condal and Evan Spiliotopoulos remain in the gutter when it comes to the two-dimensional women that festoon the screen. These wenches swoon helplessly in Hercules' presence or encourage his valour with the promise of personal services.

Cristiano Ronaldo's girlfriend, Russian model Irina Shayk, makes fleeting appearances in flashbacks as Hercules' wife, who casually drops her robes for a gratuitous flash of her pert derriere. "You think you know the truth about [Hercules]? You know nothing..." growls the narrator as he transports us back to a time when power was seized with swords rather than diplomacy.

Hercules (Johnson) has completed his 12 labours, which included slaying a hydra and defeating the mighty Nemean Lion, and now this muscle-bound man of myth roams the land as a mercenary for hire.

His band of travelling companions includes soothsayer Amphiaraus (Ian McShane), warrior Autolycus (Rufus Sewell), mute orphan Tydeus (Aksel Hennie), Amazonian archer Atalanta (Ingrid Bolso Berdal) and silver-tongued storyteller Iolaus (Reece Ritchie), who is also Hercules' cousin.

Lord Cotys (John Hurt), the ailing King of Thrace, promises Hercules and his company their weight in gold if they can train his farm hands to become an army and bring to an end a bitter civil war with rebel leader Rhesus (Tobias Santelmann).

The king's daughter Eugenia (Rebecca Ferguson) is wary of Hercules, so too is Cotys' loyal general Sitacles (Peter Mullan), but he cannot fail to be impressed as the king's weakling subjects are transformed into a well-drilled fighting machine.

Directed with destruction-oriented bombast by Ratner (Rush Hour), Hercules is undecided whether to take itself seriously or descend into tongue-wedged pantomime. Certainly, Sewell and McShane seem to be having a ball and Johnson trots out a couple of droll one-liners.

The set pieces are orchestrated at full pelt with a generous three-figure body count but once the screaming ends, deficiencies in the script are exposed. When the truth about Hercules' tragic past is revealed, Johnson's wail of anguish in close-up epitomises the film's heavy-handed approach to matters of the heart: more volume, less palpable emotion.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014
Thursday 31st July 2014

This film is also showing at:

How To Train Your Dragon 2 4 stars

movie title

During one of his regular sorties with Toothless, Hiccup stumbles upon a lost world full of rescued dragons and a valiant dragon rider named Valka, who turns out to be Hiccup's long lost mother. A tearful family reunion with Hiccup's father Stoick is cut short when diabolical dragon hunter Drago Bludvist storms the lost world and takes control of all of the majestic creatures using a gargantuan Alpha dragon called a Bewilderbeast.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Animation/Cartoon, Family, Family
  • CastKristen Wiig, America Ferrera, Jay Baruchel, Djimon Hounsou, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler.
  • DirectorDean DeBlois.
  • WriterDean DeBlois.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration102 mins
  • Official sitewww.howtotrainyourdragon.co.uk
  • Release27/06/2014 (Scotland); 11/07/2014 (nationwide)

Based on the book by Cressida Cowell, the 2010 computer-animated adventure How To Train Your Dragon soared tantalisingly close to perfection. Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois' brilliantly executed story of one boy's remarkable friendship with a supposedly fearsome dragon was deeply touching, distinguished by richly detailed visuals and an intelligent script.

The sequel, directed solely by DeBlois, expands the narrative arcs of the characters, testing their mettle in the aftermath of tragedy and conflict. Boys cross the rubicon to manhood, parents make selfless sacrifices to protect their brood and evil poisons an innocent heart.

As a wise woman in the film proclaims, "Good dragons under the control of bad people do bad things". Five years have passed since Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) befriended Toothless and the inhabitants of the village of Berk now live in harmony with the dragons.

Hiccup's father Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler) continues to preside over the people. He hopes Hiccup will accept his destiny as the next tribal chief but the boy prefers to soar through the clouds astride his trusty Night Fury.

During a regular sortie with Toothless, Hiccup stumbles upon a lost world of rescued dragons and a valiant rider named Valka (Cate Blanchett), who turns out to be a long-lost face from the past. "It's not everyday you find out your mother is some kind of crazy, feral, vigilante dragon lady!" whoops Hiccup.

A tearful family reunion with Stoick is cut short by diabolical dragon hunter Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou), who storms this lost world and takes control of the majestic fire-breathing creatures using a gargantuan Alpha dragon. World domination beckons and all that stands in Drago's way are Hiccup, Toothless and the boy's plucky friends Astrid (America Ferrara), Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Snotlout (Jonah Hill) and the twins Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig) and Tuffnut (TJ Miller).

In almost every aspect, How To Train Your Dragon 2 matches its polished predecessor... except one. The addition of Oscar winner Blanchett to the vocal fold is a calamitous misjudgement. From the outset, the Australian actress is engaged in a futile tug-of-war with her Scottish accent that initially roams the British Isles and eventually strays across the entire Commonwealth.

Her verbal strangulations are horribly distracting and undermine some of the film's most emotionally charged moments of reconciliation and remembrance.

For his part, writer-director DeBlois charts a breathless course between drama, action and comedy, the latter delivered with scenery-chewing gusto by Craig Ferguson as Stoick's best friend Gobber the Belch. "[Valka's] meatballs could kill more beasts than a battle axe. I still got a few knocking around in here!" he grimaces, pointing to his belly.

Flying sequences deliver a vertiginous thrill, especially in 3D, including a couple of death-defying battles that slalom and swoop at dizzying speed. Blanchett aside, lightning nearly strikes twice.

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Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014
Thursday 31st July 2014

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Maleficent 4 stars

movie title

Stefan tricks his friend, the powerful fairy Maleficent, and steals her wings in order to secure the throne. Maleficent waits patiently with shape-shifter sidekick Diaval to wreak revenge. That time comes when the queen gives birth to a beautiful daughter, Aurora, and Maleficent journeys to the castle to place a curse on the infant: on her 16th birthday, Aurora will prick her finger on the needle of a spinning wheel and fall into an eternal slumber. Only true love's kiss will break the spell.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Family, Family, Fantasy, Romance
  • CastAngelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Brenton Thwaites, Sam Riley, Lesley Manville, Juno Temple, Imelda Staunton, Kenneth Cranham.
  • DirectorRobert Stromberg.
  • WriterJohn Lee Hancock, Linda Woolverton.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration97 mins
  • Official sitemovies.disney.com/maleficent
  • Release28/05/2014

Disney's empowerment of female protagonists, which snowballed in the delightful Frozen, continues apace in Robert Stromberg's fantastical live-action fairytale. Inspired by the studio's 1959 animation Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent is a visually stunning fantasy, which re-imagines the Brothers Grimm through the mascara-ed eyes of the eponymous villainess, who curses a fair princess to 100 years of slumber.

Screenwriter Linda Woolverton casts a heady spell by embellishing the familiar yarn with neat flourishes. "Let us tell an old story anew and see how well you know it..." teasingly purrs the narrator in the film's opening frames.

Lines between good and evil become blurred in Angelina Jolie's delicious portrayal of the vengeful fairy queen, whose belief in the power of "true love's kiss" is corrupted by the betrayal of the man she loves.

Sporting a hefty pair of horns, Jolie slinks through every frame, rolling menacing lines of dialogue around her mouth like candy and accentuating thinly veiled threats with an arched eyebrow. Naughty has seldom looked and sounded so nice.

Her nemesis is King Henry (Kenneth Cranham), a greedy monarch, who yearns to expand his kingdom by conquering the forest realm where Maleficent holds sway. In the ensuing battle, the king is badly wounded and pledges his crown to any man who can defeat the "winged elf".

Lowly underling Stefan (Sharlto Copley), who befriended Maleficent in childhood, tricks the fairy and steals her wings, thereby securing the throne. Following his coronation, King Stefan is poisoned by power and greed. In the forest, Maleficent bides her time with her shape-shifter henchman Diaval (Sam Riley).

When the queen gives birth to a daughter, Maleficent journeys to the castle to curse the infant Aurora: on her 16th birthday, the princess will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and fall into eternal slumber. Only true love's kiss can break the enchantment.

King Stefan entrusts the babe to bickering fairies Knotgrass (Imelda Staunton), Flittle (Lesley Manville) and Thistletwit (Juno Temple), who raise Aurora in a secluded woodland cottage. The princess blossoms into a caring young woman (now played by Elle Fanning) and Maleficent wonders if this innocent could unite the feuding kingdoms and earn her happy ever after in the arms of dashing prince Phillip (Brenton Thwaites).

Maleficent is anchored by Jolie's tour-de-force theatrics. She casts a stylish shadow over every frame and her twisted maternal bond with infant Aurora ("It's so ugly, you could almost feel sorry for it!") mellows into something genuinely moving and heartfelt.

Fanning is sweetness and youthful exuberance personified while Staunton, Manville and Temple provide the broad comic relief. Digital effects are impressively harnessed by director Stromberg to realise the forest and its magical denizens and allow the title character to take flight over her domain. Like the film, she soars.

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Wednesday 30th July 2014

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Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie 2 stars

movie title

Agnes Brown proudly runs a fruit and vegetable stall in Moore Street Market, continuing a tradition that has been passed down in her family for generations. She hopes to pass the stall to daughter Cathy but a dastardly developer intervenes with plans to bulldoze the market. Aided by Cathy as well as next-door neighbour Winnie and her family, Agnes resolves to take on the Irish establishment and give it a good spanking.

  • GenreComedy, Drama
  • CastRobert Bathurst, Brendan O'Carroll, Nick Nevern, Jennifer Gibney, Eilish O'Carroll, Sorcha Cusack.
  • DirectorBen Kellett.
  • WriterBrendan O'Carroll.
  • CountryUK/Ire
  • Duration94 mins
  • Official sitewww.facebook.com/MBBDMovie
  • Release27/06/2014

First conceived for Irish radio and then as a series of books, the misadventures of feisty Dublin matriarch Agnes Brown transitioned seamlessly from stage to small screen in 2011 with the birth of the BBC sitcom Mrs Brown's Boys. Creator Brendan O'Carroll cast relatives and friends in supporting roles, ensuring the programme was a true family affair.

Critics may have been unkind but the series gained an ardent following. The 2013 festive special topped ratings on Christmas Day, trumping Doctor Who. Now, Agnes and her dysfunctional kin stampede the big screen under the direction of Ben Kellett. Lord help anyone who gets in her way!

Agnes proudly runs a fruit and vegetable stall in Moore Street Market, which has been passed down through the family for generations. The foul-mouthed harridan hopes her daughter Cathy (Jennifer Gibney) will take up the mantle but a dastardly developer, PR Irwin (Dermot Crowley), intervenes with plans to bulldoze the site.

"They won't take me without a fight, whoever they are," Agnes tells Fat Annie (June Rodgers). Unfortunately, Agnes has a 3.8 million Euro tax bill to settle stretching back to her grandmother's time. Aided by Cathy, her sons Mark (Pat Shields), Rory (Rory Cowan) and Dermot (Paddy Houlihan), and next-door neighbour Winnie (Eilish O'Carroll), Agnes resolves to take on the Irish establishment and give it a good spanking.

Dermot's best friend Buster Brady (Danny O'Carroll), bumbling lawyer Tom Crews (Simon Delaney) and a well-to-do barrister called Maydo Archer (Robert Bathurst), who is prone to stress-related Tourette syndrome, pledge their support to Agnes's seemingly hopeless cause.

Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie opens with a fire safety announcement from the eponymous matriarch "in case we have to ejaculate de building". This sets the crude tone for the next 94 minutes. Punchlines are depressingly predictable and the absence of a laughter track from a live studio audience exposes the script's dearth of gags and imagination.

O'Carroll evidently subscribes to the mantra: if it isn't funny on the page, add some profanities. While Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino would probably doff their baseball caps to this slurry of gratuitous expletives, repeated uses of cuss words for desperate laughs becomes wearying.

Aside from the large-scale musical numbers that bookmark the haphazard narrative and a pointlessly protracted chase sequence, the film has no obvious cinematic ambitions.

A hare-brained subplot involving Mr Wang (Brendan O'Carroll again), Chinese owner of a school devoted to training blind ninjas, embraces hideous stereotypes that the malformed character might himself describe as "a rittle bit lacist".

Like its small screen counterpart, Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie doesn't edit out gaffes and revels in moments when the cast corpse one another. If only we were so easily amused.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 29th July 2014

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Pudsey The Dog: The Movie 1 stars

movie title

Stray dog Pudsey crosses paths with siblings Molly, George and Tommy, who are poised to move from London "to some stupid cottage without WiFi" with their mother Gail. The eponymous mutt stows away in the family's removal trailer and is discovered when they arrive at their new home in the sleepy village of Chuffington. While Gail placates scheming landlord Mr Thorne, who hates dogs, Pudsey befriends horses Nelly and Edward and a pig called Ken, who thinks he's a chicken.

  • GenreAdventure, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastJohn Sessions, Olivia Colman, David Walliams, Jessica Hynes, Izzy Meikle-Small.
  • DirectorNick Moore.
  • WriterPaul Rose.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration87 mins
  • Official sitewww.vertigofilms.com/film/pudsey.php
  • Release14/07/2014 (Scotland); 18/07/2014 (UK)

The sound of a pig repeatedly evacuating its bowels reverberates throughout Nick Moore's ham-fisted attempt to transform Britain's Got Talent's performing pooch into a modern-day Lassie. The porker's muck is an apt critique for Paul Rose's shambolic script that trades in toilet humour and misjudged innuendo. Some of the performances also beggar belief including John Sessions as the pantomime villain in tweeds.

He suffers the humiliation of a toe-curling flashback in which he plays a mother, father and infant in the same scene. Hopefully, Sessions was paid well for this half-hearted attempt at career suicide.

Elsewhere, David Walliams delivers a lifeless vocal performance as the four-legged hero, who hopes to travel the world and visit the Empire Sausage Building and Sausage Henge. The film handily omits to mention that if Pudsey realises his dream of scampering along The Great Sausage Wall, he could potentially end up on a local menu.

Closer to home, stray dog Pudsey (voiced by Walliams) crosses paths with siblings Molly (Izzy Meikle-Small), George (Spike White) and Tommy (Malachy Knights), who are poised to move from London "to some stupid cottage without WiFi" with their mother Gail (Jessica Hynes).

The eponymous mutt stows away in the family's removal trailer and is discovered when they arrive at their new home in the sleepy village of Chuffington. While Gail placates scheming landlord Mr Thorne (Sessions), who hates dogs, Pudsey befriends horses Nelly (Olivia Colman) and Edward (Peter Serafinowicz) and a pig called Ken (Dan Farrell), who thinks he's a chicken.

Pudsey The Dog: The Movie is a poor showcase of the eponymous cross breed. Viewers of Simon Cowell's talent search will be well versed in Pudsey's ability to perform acrobatic feats with guidance from trainer Ashleigh Butler.

On the big screen, he dances and twirls on hind legs, casts the occasional mournful glance at the camera and appears to converse with farmyard co-stars courtesy of digital trickery a la Babe.

Hynes and the younger cast are poorly served and parallel romantic subplots for Gail and Molly involving a handsome farmer (Luke Neal) and a teenage farmhand (Luke Tittensor) are sickly and unconvincing.

"Things are getting better," promises the chorus of one of the bubblegum pop songs that punctuate the soundtrack. Only when the end credits roll and we can leave. The ramshackle plot is interrupted by pointless diversions including the central character's incarceration in a secret dog prison that inspires a ludicrous Great Escape.

Amidst the pratfalls and a lame running gag about a giant pie, there are faint glimmers of heart-warming emotion including a timely mention of the Women's Land Army. However, good intentions are undermined by slapdash character development. If Pudsey The Dog: The Movie were an animal, we'd put it down humanely after 10 minutes.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014
Thursday 31st July 2014

Rio 2 3 stars

movie title

Neurotic blue macaw Blu and Jewel are settled with their owners Linda and Tulio in Rio. The birds raise three children but Jewel worries the brood is too domesticated. So she insists that the entire family answers the call of the wild and heads to the Amazon. In this lush paradise, the city birds discover a flock of thriving blue macaws led by Jewel's father Eduardo and her charming old flame, Robert.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family, Romance
  • CastLeslie Mann, Jamie Foxx, Rodrigo Santoro, Anne Hathaway, Will.i.am, Jemaine Clement, Jesse Eisenberg, George Lopez, Jane Lynch, Kristin Chenoweth, Andy Garcia, Bruno Mars.
  • DirectorCarlos Saldanha.
  • WriterDon Rhymer, Carlos Saldanha.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration101 mins
  • Official sitewww.riomovies.com
  • Release04/04/2014

Intoxicating samba rhythms and the exuberance of Brazilian carnival get toes tapping in Carlos Saldanha's assured and undemanding sequel, which transports the feathered protagonists away from Rio de Janeiro for a rollicking rumble in the Amazonian jungle. As with the original film, Rio 2 promotes a serious ecological message: the wanton destruction of the rainforest and its impact on native wildlife.

This cri de coeur is woven by Saldanha and co-writer Don Rhymer into a familiar yarn about love overcoming adversity, a story that sees one neurotic city bird stripped of his home comforts and fluttering back to nature in order to please his family.

"Happy wife, happy life," counsels a Toucan called Rafael (George Lopez). He is one of the wacky computer-animated critters, who festoon the colour-saturated screen and guarantee hordes of happy children.

Little ones will gurgle with glee at the slapstick including a hungry anteater called Charlie, whose lasso-like tongue is always on the prowl for tasty snacks. Adults meanwhile can savour the dry humour of musical interludes including a ballad between a toxic tree frog and a cockatoo entitled Poisonous Love which includes the delightful boast, "If you play ping pong, I'll play ping ponger".

Neurotic blue macaw Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) are at the centre of the action once again. The birds have settled with owners Linda (Leslie Mann) and Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro) in Rio and have three children, Carla (Rachel Crow), Bia (Amandla Stenberg) and Tiago (Pierce Gagnon).

Jewel fears the brood is too domesticated so when Tulio and Linda uncover evidence of thriving blue macaws in the Amazon, the mother insists her entire family answers the call of the wild.

In the lush paradise, the city birds are reunited with Jewel's long-lost father Eduardo (Andy Garcia) and her tuneful childhood pal, Roberto (Bruno Mars). Jewel is thrilled - "We found our family. This changes everything!" - but Blu struggles to acclimatize to his new surroundings.

Meanwhile, deranged cockatoo Nigel (Jemaine Clement) and love-sick amphibian sidekick Gabi (Kristin Chenoweth) hatch a diabolical scheme to exact revenge on the unsuspecting macaws. I'll be pooping on your party promptly," cackles the flightless villain to himself.

Rio 2 is a predictable fish-out-of-water adventure that forces Blu to ditch his sat nav and lead the flock in a battle against illegal loggers, who are tearing down the jungle. The enduring love between the hero and his passionate wife invariably trumps mankind's voracious greed.

Comic relief from Clement, Chenoweth and the supporting cast is gentle and inoffensive and the soundtrack shimmies to upbeat numbers from Hathaway, Mars and an infectious opening refrain from Janelle Monae entitled "What Is Love?". Even if some gags induce groans rather than giggles, the rhythm is gonna get you.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014
Thursday 31st July 2014

Rio 2 3D 3 stars

movie title

Neurotic blue macaw Blu and Jewel are settled with their owners Linda and Tulio in Rio. The birds raise three children but Jewel worries the brood is too domesticated. So she insists that the entire family answers the call of the wild and heads to the Amazon. In this lush paradise, the city birds discover a flock of thriving blue macaws led by Jewel's father Eduardo and her charming old flame, Robert.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family, Romance
  • CastLeslie Mann, Kristin Chenoweth, Jamie Foxx, Rodrigo Santoro, Anne Hathaway, Will.i.am, Andy Garcia, Bruno Mars, Jemaine Clement, Jesse Eisenberg, George Lopez, Jane Lynch.
  • DirectorCarlos Saldanha.
  • WriterDon Rhymer, Carlos Saldanha.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration101 mins
  • Official sitewww.riomovies.com
  • Release04/04/2014

Intoxicating samba rhythms and the exuberance of Brazilian carnival get toes tapping in Carlos Saldanha's assured and undemanding sequel, which transports the feathered protagonists away from Rio de Janeiro for a rollicking rumble in the Amazonian jungle. As with the original film, Rio 2 promotes a serious ecological message: the wanton destruction of the rainforest and its impact on native wildlife.

This cri de coeur is woven by Saldanha and co-writer Don Rhymer into a familiar yarn about love overcoming adversity, a story that sees one neurotic city bird stripped of his home comforts and fluttering back to nature in order to please his family.

"Happy wife, happy life," counsels a Toucan called Rafael (George Lopez). He is one of the wacky computer-animated critters, who festoon the colour-saturated screen and guarantee hordes of happy children.

Little ones will gurgle with glee at the slapstick including a hungry anteater called Charlie, whose lasso-like tongue is always on the prowl for tasty snacks. Adults meanwhile can savour the dry humour of musical interludes including a ballad between a toxic tree frog and a cockatoo entitled Poisonous Love which includes the delightful boast, "If you play ping pong, I'll play ping ponger".

Neurotic blue macaw Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) are at the centre of the action once again. The birds have settled with owners Linda (Leslie Mann) and Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro) in Rio and have three children, Carla (Rachel Crow), Bia (Amandla Stenberg) and Tiago (Pierce Gagnon).

Jewel fears the brood is too domesticated so when Tulio and Linda uncover evidence of thriving blue macaws in the Amazon, the mother insists her entire family answers the call of the wild.

In the lush paradise, the city birds are reunited with Jewel's long-lost father Eduardo (Andy Garcia) and her tuneful childhood pal, Roberto (Bruno Mars). Jewel is thrilled - "We found our family. This changes everything!" - but Blu struggles to acclimatize to his new surroundings.

Meanwhile, deranged cockatoo Nigel (Jemaine Clement) and love-sick amphibian sidekick Gabi (Kristin Chenoweth) hatch a diabolical scheme to exact revenge on the unsuspecting macaws. I'll be pooping on your party promptly," cackles the flightless villain to himself.

Rio 2 is a predictable fish-out-of-water adventure that forces Blu to ditch his sat nav and lead the flock in a battle against illegal loggers, who are tearing down the jungle. The enduring love between the hero and his passionate wife invariably trumps mankind's voracious greed.

Comic relief from Clement, Chenoweth and the supporting cast is gentle and inoffensive and the soundtrack shimmies to upbeat numbers from Hathaway, Mars and an infectious opening refrain from Janelle Monae entitled "What Is Love?". Even if some gags induce groans rather than giggles, the rhythm is gonna get you.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014
Thursday 31st July 2014

The Fault In Our Stars 4 stars

movie title

Sixteen-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster was diagnosed with cancer at an early age. An experimental drug trial has halted the spread of the cancer and Hazel reluctantly attends a cancer patients' support group at the behest of her mother Frannie and father Michael. During one of these sessions, Grace meets acerbic survivor Gus. The spark of attraction between the teenagers is instant and they become close friends, united by a shared disdain for convention.

  • GenreAdaptation, Drama, Romance, Teenage
  • CastNat Wolff, Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Willem Dafoe, Sam Trammell, Laura Dern.
  • DirectorJosh Boone.
  • WriterScott Neustadter, Michael H Weber.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration126 mins
  • Official sitewww.thefaultinourstarsmovie.com
  • Release19/06/2014

Only a frozen heart could be unmoved as E.T. bids farewell to Elliot, Bambi cries forlornly in the forest for his fallen mother or Carl falls in love with Ellie in the opening sequence to Pixar's Up. The Fault In Our Stars will offer a stern test to the waterproof mascara of every teenager who fell in love with John Green's bestselling novel.

Josh Boone's polished adaptation deftly plucks heartstrings to the point that a trickle of saltwater tears threatens to become an unstoppable torrent. One tissue simply doesn't suffice as scriptwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H Weber navigate the tricky topic of terminal illness with wry humour and sensitivity.

The film is blessed with a tour-de-force central performance from Shailene Woodley as a young cancer patient, who experiences the exquisite agony of first love just when it seems she has given up on life. The 22-year-old Californian actress doesn't hit a single false emotional note as her protagonist wrestles with guilt and mortality, catalysing smouldering screen chemistry with co-star Ansel Elgort.

Woodley plays 16-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster, who was diagnosed with cancer at an early age and almost slipped away in hospital. An experimental drug trial has halted the spread of the disease but Hazel is resigned to her grim fate.

"Depression's not a side effect of cancer," she explains in voiceover, "it's a side effect of dying, which is what's happening to me." The teenager reluctantly attends a cancer patients' support group at the behest of her mom (Laura Dern).

During one session, Grace meets acerbic survivor Gus (Elgort), who lost his leg to halt the spread of his cancer. He is attending the meeting to support best friend Isaac (Nat Wolff). Grace and Gus's shared disdain for convention kindles friendship.

As the relationship intensifies, Hazel attempts to keep Gus at arm's length, warning that she "is a grenade", destined to obliterate everyone around her. "It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you," he counters tenderly.

The Fault In Our Stars is a beautifully sketched portrait of adolescence, anchored by emotionally raw performances from the talented cast. Dern impresses as a parent braced for the anguish of burying her child, while Willem Dafoe injects spikiness to the role of Hazel's favourite author, who doesn't welcome fans with open arms.

Director Boone makes a couple of missteps, including a crudely engineered scene at Anne Frank's House in Amsterdam that feels wholly inappropriate. However, once our tear ducts start leaking, we forgive him and the script an occasional faux pas.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 29th July 2014

The House Of Magic 3 stars

movie title

Ginger tabby cat Thunder is abandoned by his owners at the roadside. He seeks refuge in a ramshackle mansion owned by a retired magician called Lawrence, who performed under the moniker The Illustrious Lorenzo. The old man is subsequently involved in a traffic accident and recuperates in hospital. Lawrence's scheming nephew Daniel hatches a scheme to dispatch his uncle to a retirement home and sell the house for vast profit.

Curiosity almost kills the cat in The House Of Magic. Set largely within the confines of an ageing conjurer's home, Jeremy Degruson and Ben Stassen's undemanding computer-animated fantasy centres on a discarded feline, whose pluck and determination overcome adversity. The film doesn't overstay its welcome at a brisk 85 minutes and boasts flashes of visual brio.

That inventiveness is shoe-horned into lively opening sequences, which cut back and forth between a traditional third-person perspective and the four-legged hero's point of view as he clambers up a tree or cowers beneath oncoming traffic.

There's a quickening of the pulse, especially in 3D, as the camera replicates the tentative scamper of the cat along a branch as the animal prepares to leap the divide to an open window. Sadly, Degruson and Stassen lose the will to push visual boundaries as the story unfolds and the grand finale, involving a snivelling villain and a wrecking ball, is an anti-climax.

Ginger tabby cat Thunder (voiced by Murray Blue) is abandoned by his owners at the roadside. "You must have done something wrong because they chucked you like a cheap burrito," growls a passing dog (Joey Carmen).

The heavens open and Thunder seeks refuge from the downpour in a ramshackle mansion owned by a retired magician called Lawrence, who performed under the moniker The Illustrious Lorenzo.

The magician's two performing animals, Jack the rabbit (George Babbit) and Maggie the mouse (Shanelle Gray), view Thunder as a threat and they attempt to shoo the pussy back into the storm. Once their moggie-loving master catches sight of Thunder, he welcomes the homeless kitty to his new home.

Lawrence is subsequently involved in a traffic accident and recuperates in hospital. The old man's scheming nephew Daniel (Grant George) hatches a scheme to dispatch his uncle to Rhode Island Senior Retirement Home and sell the house for vast profit.

Luckily, Daniel is allergic to cats, and the magician's other animals and fantastical mechanised creations, including doves Carlo (Babbit again) and Carla (Kathleen Browers), sabotage viewings of the house and attack potential buyers. "As long as I'm here, you're all safe," naively purrs Thunder.

With its bright colours and linear narrative, The House Of Magic should engage younger audiences. Parents should be prepared for tears and screams before bedtime though when a snarling Doberman, which is chasing Thunder through undergrowth, appears to burst out of the screen and snaps its hungry jaws.

Older children will have to amuse themselves because the animation lacks the sophistication of Pixar, while the script operates on a single unchallenging level.

Solid vocal performances complement the archetypal characters, with fleeting comic relief from Carmen's pooch, who boldly claims to be "the Marlon Brando of Chihuahuas".

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014
Thursday 31st July 2014

The House Of Magic 3D 3 stars

movie title

Ginger tabby cat Thunder is abandoned by his owners at the roadside. He seeks refuge in a ramshackle mansion owned by a retired magician called Lawrence, who performed under the moniker The Illustrious Lorenzo. The old man is subsequently involved in a traffic accident and recuperates in hospital. Lawrence's scheming nephew Daniel hatches a scheme to dispatch his uncle to a retirement home and sell the house for vast profit.

Curiosity almost kills the cat in The House Of Magic. Set largely within the confines of an ageing conjurer's home, Jeremy Degruson and Ben Stassen's undemanding computer-animated fantasy centres on a discarded feline, whose pluck and determination overcome adversity. The film doesn't overstay its welcome at a brisk 85 minutes and boasts flashes of visual brio.

That inventiveness is shoe-horned into lively opening sequences, which cut back and forth between a traditional third-person perspective and the four-legged hero's point of view as he clambers up a tree or cowers beneath oncoming traffic.

There's a quickening of the pulse, especially in 3D, as the camera replicates the tentative scamper of the cat along a branch as the animal prepares to leap the divide to an open window. Sadly, Degruson and Stassen lose the will to push visual boundaries as the story unfolds and the grand finale, involving a snivelling villain and a wrecking ball, is an anti-climax.

Ginger tabby cat Thunder (voiced by Murray Blue) is abandoned by his owners at the roadside. "You must have done something wrong because they chucked you like a cheap burrito," growls a passing dog (Joey Carmen).

The heavens open and Thunder seeks refuge from the downpour in a ramshackle mansion owned by a retired magician called Lawrence, who performed under the moniker The Illustrious Lorenzo.

The magician's two performing animals, Jack the rabbit (George Babbit) and Maggie the mouse (Shanelle Gray), view Thunder as a threat and they attempt to shoo the pussy back into the storm. Once their moggie-loving master catches sight of Thunder, he welcomes the homeless kitty to his new home.

Lawrence is subsequently involved in a traffic accident and recuperates in hospital. The old man's scheming nephew Daniel (Grant George) hatches a scheme to dispatch his uncle to Rhode Island Senior Retirement Home and sell the house for vast profit.

Luckily, Daniel is allergic to cats, and the magician's other animals and fantastical mechanised creations, including doves Carlo (Babbit again) and Carla (Kathleen Browers), sabotage viewings of the house and attack potential buyers. "As long as I'm here, you're all safe," naively purrs Thunder.

With its bright colours and linear narrative, The House Of Magic should engage younger audiences. Parents should be prepared for tears and screams before bedtime though when a snarling Doberman, which is chasing Thunder through undergrowth, appears to burst out of the screen and snaps its hungry jaws.

Older children will have to amuse themselves because the animation lacks the sophistication of Pixar, while the script operates on a single unchallenging level.

Solid vocal performances complement the archetypal characters, with fleeting comic relief from Carmen's pooch, who boldly claims to be "the Marlon Brando of Chihuahuas".

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014
Thursday 31st July 2014

The Purge: Anarchy 3 stars

movie title

Diner waitress Eva Sanchez fails to secure a pay rise to pay for drugs for her terminally ill father. She returns to her apartment crestfallen and forlornly prepares dinner for the old man and her daughter Cali ahead of the start of the annual Purge. Meanwhile, on the other side of the city, a grief-stricken father called Sergeant prepares to slay the drunk driver responsible for killing his young son. A siren sounds announcing the start of the Purge and Sergeant takes to the streets in his armour-plated car.

  • GenreAction, Horror, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller
  • CastFrank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Kiele Sanchez, Zach Gilford, Zoe Soul.
  • DirectorJames DeMonaco.
  • WriterJames DeMonaco.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration103 mins
  • Official sitewww.thepurgeanarchy.co.uk
  • Release25/07/2014

Set in a dystopian future America, which has legalised murder for one night of the year, James DeMonaco's home invasion thriller milked every drop of gut-wrenching tension from its fiendishly simple premise. At the box office, which is Hollywood's trusted barometer of success, the film took almost 30 times its modest three-million dollar budget.

For the inevitable sequel, written and directed once again by DeMonaco, the action moves forward 12 months onto the streets of Los Angeles, where the divide between rich and poor, hunter and hunted is even more pronounced.

The elderly and sick sell themselves to the upper class families as human sacrifices on Purge night in exchange for a paltry fee for their loved ones and an underground anti-Purge movement has declared war on the New Founding Fathers of America. March 21, 2023, 4.34pm.

The denizens of LA slowly make their way home, preparing to batten down the hatches. Diner waitress Eva Sanchez (Carmen Ejogo) fails to secure a pay rise to pay for drugs for her terminally ill father (John Beasley).

She returns to her apartment crestfallen and forlornly prepares dinner for the old man and her daughter Cali (Zoe Soul). Meanwhile, on the other side of the city, a grief-stricken father called Sergeant (Frank Grillo) prepares to slay the drunk driver responsible for killing his young son.

A siren sounds announcing the start of the Purge at 7pm and Sergeant takes to the streets in his armour-plated car, bound for the driver's home with an arsenal of weapons in the boot. En route, he crosses paths with a stricken Eva and Cali, and a bickering couple, Shane (Zach Gilford) and Liz (Kiele Sanchez), whose car has broken down.

Against his better judgement, Sergeant allows these four terrified strangers to seek refuge in the car. "He's out here voluntarily," loudly whispers one of the group. "That means he's out here to do something nasty."

Like its predecessor, The Purge: Anarchy trades in nail-biting suspense rather than gratuitous gore. The anticipation of a senseless kill - any time, any place - is more important than the actual dismemberment.

In the absence of obvious star names in the cast, DeMonaco relishes the luxury of being able to slice and dice his characters at will, heightening our sense of unease since there's no guarantee any of them will make it to 7am unscathed.

The underlying social commentary about the class and wealth divide is poorly developed and strains credibility on a wider canvas. However, as an unabashed adrenaline rush, DeMonaco's sequel comes close to replicating the nail-biting thrills and blood spills of the original.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014
Thursday 31st July 2014

Transformers: Age Of Extinction 2 stars

movie title

The alliance between humans and the robots has been broken and an elite CIA unit named Cemetery Wind now hunts the Transformers without mercy. Struggling inventor Cade Yeager and his family stumble upon Optimus Prime and help the Autobot leader to regain his strength. They head into the desert to reunite Bumblebee, Crosshairs, Drift and Hound. Together, the rebels must prevent fellow inventor Joshua Joyce from creating his own Transformer army led by the mighty Galvatron.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Romance, Science Fiction
  • CastJack Reynor, Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, TJ Miller, Li Bingbing, Kelsey Grammer, Stanley Tucci.
  • DirectorMichael Bay.
  • WriterEhren Kruger.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration165 mins
  • Official sitewww.thetransformersmovie.co.uk
  • Release10/07/2014

If Michael Bay, director of Transformers: Age Of Extinction, were immortalised on-screen as a "robot in disguise", his mechanised alter-ego might be Maximus Kaboom. For two decades, the Californian film-maker has been elevating wanton destruction to a blockbusting art form.

In Armageddon, he pitted Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck against a gigantic asteroid on a collision course with earth and orchestrated destruction to the sonic booms of Aerosmith's I Don't Want To Miss A Thing.

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor provided Bay with a turbulent backdrop to his 2001 war opus. Since 2007, he has been ensconced in the Transformers fold, bringing bombast to live-action adventures of the bestselling Hasbro toys.

This fourth instalment is crammed with Bay's usual visual excesses and motifs, including gleaming cars and a pouting female protagonist in hilariously short denim shorts. Five years have passed since the Battle Of Chicago, which provided the pyrotechnic-laden climax to Transformers: Dark Of The Moon.

The alliance between humans and robots lies in tatters and an elite CIA unit named Cemetery Wind under the control of Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer) hunts Transformers without mercy. On a family ranch, struggling inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) discovers that a rusty truck he has just purchased is battle-scarred Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen).

Agents from Cemetery Wind descend on the homestead and Optimus protects Cade, his daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz), her secret boyfriend Shane (Jack Reynor) and Cade's mechanic sidekick Lucas (TJ Miller) in the ensuing gun fight.

The humans join forces with Optimus to reunite the Autobots - Bumblebee, Crosshairs (John DiMaggio), Drift (Ken Watanabe) and Hound (John Goodman) - and the rebellion plots a swift response to inventor Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci), who has created his own Transformer army led by the mighty Galvatron (Frank Welker).

Transformers: Age Of Extinction opens with Cade and Lucas scouring an abandoned cinema for scrap metal. "Sequels and remakes - bunch of crap!" growls the grizzled owner as he surveys memorabilia from bygone blockbusters that litter the tumble-down building.

Never has a truer word been spoken in one of Bay's exercises in hyperkinetic style over substance. Screenwriter Ehren Kruger repeatedly defies logic to contrive outlandish scenarios for pyrotechnics and carnage, including an alien spaceship that sucks up metal then drops magnetically charged cars and boats onto terra firma.

Wahlberg punches and leaps through gaping plot holes, trotting out the concerned father routine as younger members of cast perform gravity-defying gymnastics to emerge from clouds of razor-sharp shrapnel without a graze or smudged lip-gloss.

Action sequences are visual vomit: an incomprehensible spew of glistening metal and explosions that hurt the eyes especially in the large-scale IMAX format. "The war will be over soon," barks Grammer's Machiavellian politician during a momentary lull. The buttock-numbing 165-minute running time says otherwise.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014
Thursday 31st July 2014

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Transformers: Age Of Extinction 3D 2 stars

movie title

The alliance between humans and the robots has been broken and an elite CIA unit named Cemetery Wind now hunts the Transformers without mercy. Struggling inventor Cade Yeager and his family stumble upon Optimus Prime and help the Autobot leader to regain his strength. They head into the desert to reunite Bumblebee, Crosshairs, Drift and Hound. Together, the rebels must prevent fellow inventor Joshua Joyce from creating his own Transformer army led by the mighty Galvatron.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Romance, Science Fiction
  • CastNicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Mark Wahlberg, TJ Miller, Li Bingbing, Kelsey Grammer, Stanley Tucci.
  • DirectorMichael Bay.
  • WriterEhren Kruger.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration164 mins
  • Official sitewww.thetransformersmovie.co.uk
  • Release10/07/2014

If Michael Bay, director of Transformers: Age Of Extinction, were immortalised on-screen as a "robot in disguise", his mechanised alter-ego might be Maximus Kaboom. For two decades, the Californian film-maker has been elevating wanton destruction to a blockbusting art form.

In Armageddon, he pitted Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck against a gigantic asteroid on a collision course with earth and orchestrated destruction to the sonic booms of Aerosmith's I Don't Want To Miss A Thing.

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor provided Bay with a turbulent backdrop to his 2001 war opus. Since 2007, he has been ensconced in the Transformers fold, bringing bombast to live-action adventures of the bestselling Hasbro toys.

This fourth instalment is crammed with Bay's usual visual excesses and motifs, including gleaming cars and a pouting female protagonist in hilariously short denim shorts. Five years have passed since the Battle Of Chicago, which provided the pyrotechnic-laden climax to Transformers: Dark Of The Moon.

The alliance between humans and robots lies in tatters and an elite CIA unit named Cemetery Wind under the control of Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer) hunts Transformers without mercy. On a family ranch, struggling inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) discovers that a rusty truck he has just purchased is battle-scarred Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen).

Agents from Cemetery Wind descend on the homestead and Optimus protects Cade, his daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz), her secret boyfriend Shane (Jack Reynor) and Cade's mechanic sidekick Lucas (TJ Miller) in the ensuing gun fight.

The humans join forces with Optimus to reunite the Autobots - Bumblebee, Crosshairs (John DiMaggio), Drift (Ken Watanabe) and Hound (John Goodman) - and the rebellion plots a swift response to inventor Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci), who has created his own Transformer army led by the mighty Galvatron (Frank Welker).

Transformers: Age Of Extinction opens with Cade and Lucas scouring an abandoned cinema for scrap metal. "Sequels and remakes - bunch of crap!" growls the grizzled owner as he surveys memorabilia from bygone blockbusters that litter the tumble-down building.

Never has a truer word been spoken in one of Bay's exercises in hyperkinetic style over substance. Screenwriter Ehren Kruger repeatedly defies logic to contrive outlandish scenarios for pyrotechnics and carnage, including an alien spaceship that sucks up metal then drops magnetically charged cars and boats onto terra firma.

Wahlberg punches and leaps through gaping plot holes, trotting out the concerned father routine as younger members of cast perform gravity-defying gymnastics to emerge from clouds of razor-sharp shrapnel without a graze or smudged lip-gloss.

Action sequences are visual vomit: an incomprehensible spew of glistening metal and explosions that hurt the eyes especially in the large-scale IMAX format. "The war will be over soon," barks Grammer's Machiavellian politician during a momentary lull. The buttock-numbing 165-minute running time says otherwise.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 29th July 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014
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