• Deadpool

    Deadpool

    ★★★½

    Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) agrees to take part in a radical experiment to cure his cancer, which leaves him with special healing powers and a new wise-cracking alter-ego, Deadpool. Directed by Tim Miller, Deadpool is a slightly different (and refreshing) Marvel character, foul-mouthed and violent, often breaking the 4th wall to talk to the audience. Reynolds' commitment to the role is evident, and despite an over-reliance on CGI and quick-cutting action, crucially the script is funny.

  • Spotlight

    Spotlight

    ★★★½

    The 'spotlight' team of investigative journalists from the Boston Globe uncover child abuse by Catholic priests and seek to expose the scandal. Directed by Tom McCarthy, Spotlight is a shocking story based on real events. The direction is simple and performances understated, which allows the story to work its magic. Powerful filmmaking.

  • Everly

    Everly

    ★★★

    Everly (Salma Hayek) turns on her captors and attempts to save her mother and daughter before her boss's hitmen can reach her. Directed by Joe Lynch, Everly is a gory action thriller with some fun set-pieces, but rather let down by some weak dialogue and characterisation. Good to see Hayek going full tilt in a rare leading role.

  • [REC]⁴ Apocalypse

    [REC]⁴ Apocalypse

    ★★★

    TV reporter Angela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) is the sole survivor from the original outbreak and finds herself quarantined on a ship. However the doctors seem to be hiding something... Directed by Jaume Balaguero, REC 4: Apocalypse brings the series to a close with more of a whimper than a bang. It's great to see Vidal return after the side-story of part 3, and it's wise to discard the 'found footage' style, but there's little original here that furthers the plot or offers much in the way of thrills.

  • The Big Short

    The Big Short

    ★★★½

    A dramatic telling of the mortgage crisis in 2005 which caused the financial collapse in the US. A number of bankers foresee what's about to happen and bet against the banks, hoping to capitalize on the impending disaster. Directed by Adam McKay, The Big Short tackles a serious subject in a number of inventive and amusing ways to diffuse all the banking jargon. For all its levity, it remains a shocking story and one which it seems no-one has learnt from.

  • Hyena

    Hyena

    ★★★½

    A corrupt copper (Peter Ferdinando) strikes a deal with an Albanian gang, but gets in too deep when the gang are then targeted by the vice squad. Directed by Gerard Johnson, Hyena is a gritty police thriller full of nasty low life characters, but is nevertheless gripping and boasts a haunting score courtesy of The The.

  • The Revenant

    The Revenant

    ★★★★★

    Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is part of a fur-trading expedition, attacked and pursued by Arikara tribe members, then mauled by a bear and left for dead. Overcoming all the odds, Glass goes after the men who deserted him looking for revenge. Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant is a stunning piece of cinema. The direction and cinematography (by Emmanuel Lubezki), using real locations and natural light is just incredible - you feel every hardship the characters face on their…

  • The Hateful Eight

    The Hateful Eight

    ★★★½

    Bounty Hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) is escorting his prisoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to Red Rock to be hanged. When a blizzard hits, he and his travelling companions take shelter at Minnie's Haberdashery where it becomes clear that not everyone is who they say they are... Directed by Quentin Tarantino, the basic story - once it gets to Minnie's - is a joy to watch, and the cast, especially Walton Goggins and Tim Roth, have a lot of fun with…

  • Room

    Room

    ★★½

    Ma (Brie Larson) and her 5 yr old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) are imprisoned in the Room. Ma has been there for 7 years since Old Nick abducted her, whilst Jack has grown up there, unaware of the wide world outside those four walls. To say any more spoils the story, so best to go in cold if you can. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, and adapted from the bestseller by Emma Donoghue, Room is a moving tale of a loving mother and son - yet despite great performances, especially the young Tremblay - I just didn't connect with it as emotionally as others clearly have.

  • Creed

    Creed

    ★★★★

    Apollo Creed's son Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) wants to follow in his late father's footsteps to become a boxing legend, and persuades Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) to be his trainer. Directed by Ryan Coogler, Creed successfully passes the torch from one boxer to another. Sure, it's a sports movie - with the big fight amusingly staged at Goodison Park - but it's the characters that sell the story; this is Stallone's signature role and he really gets the opportunity to act here, whilst Jordan is equally good as the man trying to step out of his father's shadow.

  • Sparrow

    Sparrow

    ★★★½

    A gang of pickpockets find themselves entranced by Chun Lei (Kelly Lin) and go up against her boss to try and set her free... Directed by Johnnie To, Sparrow is a much lighter crime thriller than we're used to from the director, more playful and laced with a jazz score, a throwback to French new wave cinema.

  • Wild Tales

    Wild Tales

    ★★★½

    Wild Tales is made up of six stories, loosely based around revenge: passengers on a plane realise they have something in common; a waitress comes face to face with the man who ruined her family's life; a road rage incident turns sour; a man protests his parking violation; a wealthy man tries to cover up his son's hit and run accident; a wedding party goes awry when the bride discovers her groom's infidelity. Directed by Damián Szifron, Wild Tales is at turns funny, dark and excruciating to watch. Each story has something different to offer and although the shorts are not linked, thematically the film works.