Release date:25 November 2015 Certification: 15 Running time: 122 min Director: Scott Cooper Starring:Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Joel Edgerton, Kevin Bacon, Peter Sarsgaard
After over a decade of playing drunken pirates and mad-hatters, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that Johnny Depp is capable of playing a real person. Donning a bald cap and contact lenses which change his eye colour to an impossibly piercing blue, there is still an element of dress up in his latest role as notorious Boston mob boss James Whitey Bulger. Fortunately that doesn’t keep him from delivering his most terrifyingly human performance in many a year.
Release date:12 August 2015 Certification: 12A Running time: 106 min Director:Chris Columbus Starring:Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad
It takes a lot to make a truly terrible film. Usually it is the result of a collective effort involving several factors, be it miscasting, a troubled production, perhaps a poorly written script. It’s not often that you can point the finger of blame at a single entity as the reason for why a movie fails. That is what we’re dealing with here, however. Pixels is a terrible film, and it’s all Adam Sandler’s fault. The premise at least has legs. Extra-terrestrials attack earth using various famous video game characters from the 1980s. Based on a fun little short film from 2010-and ripping off a storyline from a Futurama episode- the plot is undeniably daft, but these earlier efforts prove that there is enjoyment to be had from the idea. Any semblance of jollification is sadly obliterated as soon as Sandler lumbers on screen.
Starring: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames
For almost 20 years Tom Cruise has fronted the Mission: Impossible series, running towards danger at full speed (and with ludicrously high knees) in the role of super spy Ethan Hunt. The franchise’s longevity is almost as surprising as Cruise’s Dorian Grey-like ability to resist the ageing process. While the secrets for his youthful looks will probably remain a mystery forever, the reason for these films’ continued success is clearer; follow the tried and tested formula, while upping the ante each time.
Release date: 24 July 2015 Certification: U Running time: 94 min Directors:Peter Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen Starring: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Diane Lane, Kyle Maclachlan, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Kaitlyn Dias
After five years of admirable failures and lacklustre sequels, Pixar are back at their very best. Inside Out offers a madcap, introspective comedy that is as hilarious as it is downright clever. Based largely in the brain of 11 year old Riley, and told from the perspective of the emotions (Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger) that guide her through her day to day life, it bears the hallmarks of the studio’s finest works. Featuring a charming odd-couple friendship so effective in Toy Story and Monsters Inc., a cast of imaginative characters as wonderful as those found in Finding Nemo and The Incredibles, and packing an emotional gut punch to rival Up and Wall-E, it plays to their strengths in all the right ways.
Release date: 3 July 2015 Certification:15 Running time:115 min Director: Gregory Jacobs Starring: Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Kevin Nash, Andie McDowell.
It was three years ago when Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike became an unlikely critical and commercial success. Focusing on a group of male strippers led by Channing Tatum’s charismatic dancer and Matthew McConaughey’s fast-talking club owner; it was the story of a lost young man (played by Alex Pettyfer) who finds comradeship from an unexpected source. In less skilled hands, it could have been a disaster but Pettyfer’s story, McConaughey’s presence, and Tatum’s impressive moves made the film a hit. This misjudged sequel not only sees Soderbergh trade the directors chair for a role as cinematographer, but also sees Pettyfer and McConaughey fly the coop, leaving Tatum to dance on his own.