Released 1st January:
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (15) Running time: 119 minutes
Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Writers: Nicolas Giacobone, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Cast:Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts and Zach Galifianakis
BIRDMAN (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor (Michael Keaton) – famous for portraying an iconic superhero – as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself.
The Theory of Everything (12A) Running time: 123 minutes
Director: James Marsh, Writers: Anthony McCarten, Jane Hawking
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior
Starring Eddie Redmayne (“Les Misérables”) and Felicity Jones (“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”), this is the extraordinary story of one of the world’s greatest living minds, the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. Once a healthy, active young man, Hawking received an earth-shattering diagnosis at 21 years of age. With Jane fighting tirelessly by his side, Stephen embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now has precious little of – time. Together, they defy impossible odds, breaking new ground in medicine and science, and achieving more than they could ever have dreamed. The film is based on the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, by Jane Hawking, and is directed by Academy Award winner James Marsh (“Man on Wire”).
The Woman in Black: Angel of Death (15) Runing time: 98 minutes
Director: Tom Harper, Writer: Jon Croker
Cast: Jeremy Irvine, Phoebe Fox, Helen McCrory and Leanne Best.
As bombs rain down on London during the Blitz of World War II, a group of school children are evacuated with Eve, their young and beautiful schoolteacher, to the safety of the English countryside. Taken to an old and empty estate, cut-off by a causeway from the mainland, they are left at Eel Marsh House.
One by one the children begin acting strangely and Eve, with the help of local military commander Harry, discovers that the group has awoken a dark force even more terrifying and evil than the city’s air raids. Eve must now confront her own demons to save the children and survive the Woman in Black.
Released 2nd January:
Dying of the Light (18) Running time: 94 minutes
Director: Paul Schrader, Writer: Paul Schrader
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Anton Yelchin, Alexander Karim
Veteran CIA agent Evan Lake has been ordered to retire. But when his protégé uncovers evidence that Lake’s nemesis, the terrorist Banir, has resurfaced, Lake goes rogue, embarking on a perilous, intercontinental mission to eliminate his sworn enemy.
Enemy (15) Running time: 90 minutes
Director: Denis Villeneuve, Writers: Jose Saramago, Javier Gullon
Cast:Jake Gyllenhaal, Melanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon and Isabella Rossellini
ENEMY tells the story of a university lecturer named Adam (Gyllenhaal) who is nearing the end of a relationship with his girlfriend Mary (Laurent). One night, while watching a film, Adam spots a minor actor who looks just like him. Consumed by the desire to meet his double, Adam tracks down Anthony, an actor living with his pregnant wife Helen (Gadon) and engages him in a complex and dangerous struggle. The film is a haunting and provocative psychosexual thriller about duality and identity, where in the end only one man will survive.
Released 8th January:
Taken 3 (12A) Running time: 109 minutes
Director: Olivier Megaton, Writers: Luc Besson, Robert Marc Kamen
Cast: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace, Jonny Weston, Forest Whitaker, Dougray Scott
Liam Neeson returns as ex-covert operative Bryan Mills, whose reconciliation with his ex-wife is tragically cut short when she is brutally murdered. Consumed with rage, and framed for the crime, he goes on the run to evade the relentless pursuit of the CIA, FBI and the police. For one last time, Mills must use his “particular set of skills,” to track down the real killers, exact his unique brand of justice, and protect the only thing that matters to him now – his daughter.
Released 9th January:
Foxcatcher (15) Running time: 134 minutes
Director: Bennett Miller, Writers: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
Cast: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave
Based on true events, FOXCATCHER tells the dark and fascinating story of the unlikely and ultimately tragic relationship between an eccentric multimillionaire and two champion wrestlers.
When Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) is invited by wealthy heir John du Pont (Steve Carell) to move on to the du Pont estate to train a team for the 1988 Seoul Olympics Schultz jumps at the opportunity, hoping to finally step out of the shadow of his revered brother, Dave (Mark Ruffalo).
Flattered by the attention and entranced by du Pont’s majestic world, Mark comes to see his benefactor as a father figure and grows increasingly dependent on him for approval. Though initially supportive, du Pont’s mercurial personality turns and his erratic behaviour and cruel psychological game-play begin to erode the athlete’s already shaky self-esteem. Meanwhile du Pont becomes fixated on Dave, who exudes the confidence both he and Mark lack, knowing that these are things even his money cannot buy. Fuelled by du Pont’s increasing paranoia and alienation from the brothers, the trio is propelled towards a tragedy no one could have foreseen.
Directed by Academy Award® nominee Bennett Miller (Capote, Moneyball) FOXCATCHER is a psychological thriller and a story of brotherly love, misguided loyalty and the corruption and emotional bankruptcy that can accompany great power and wealth.
Into the Woods (PG) Running time: 124 minutes
Director: Rob Marshall, Writers: James Lapine, Stephen Sondheim
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, James Corden
Into the Woods is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them.
Released 16th January:
American Sniper (15) Running time: 134 minutes
Director: Clint Eastwood, Writers: Jason Hall, Chris Kyle
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes, Max Charles, Kyle Gallner
U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and, as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname “Legend.” However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. He is also facing a different kind of battle on the home front: striving to be a good husband and father from halfway around the world.
Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Chris serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, personifying the spirit of the SEAL creed to “leave no one behind.” But upon returning to his wife, Taya Renae Kyle (Sienna Miller), and kids, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.
Whiplash (15) Running time: 107 minutes
Director: Damien Chazelle, Writer: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser
Andrew Neyman is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher, an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man’s life. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability—and his sanity.
Released 23rd January:
Ex Machina (15) Running time: 108 minutes
Director: Alex Garland, Writer: Alex Garland
Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac
EX MACHINA is an intense psychological thriller in which Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), a 24 year old coder at the world’s largest internet company, wins a competition to spend a week at a retreat belonging to the company’s reclusive CEO, Nathan (Oscar Isaac). But when Caleb arrives he finds that he will have to participate in a fascinating experiment with the world’s first true artificial intelligence, housed in the body of a beautiful robot woman, Ava (Alicia Vikander). Truths, emotions and motives are blurred as the relationship between Caleb, Ava and Nathan intensifies.
The Gambler (15) Running time: 111 minutes
Director: Rupert Wyatt, Writer: William Monahan
Cast:Mark Wahlberg, Jessica Lange, Brie Larson, John Goodman, Sonya Walger, Michael K. Williams
Jim Bennett (Academy Award®-nominee Mark Wahlberg) is a risk taker. Both an English professor and a high-stakes gambler, Bennett bets it all when he borrows from a gangster (Michael Kenneth Williams) and offers his own life as collateral. Always one step ahead, Bennett pits his creditor against the operator of a gambling ring (Alvin Ing) and leaves his dysfunctional relationship with his wealthy mother (Academy Award®-winner Jessica Lange) in his wake. He plays both sides, immersing himself in an illicit, underground world while garnering the attention of Frank (John Goodman), a loan shark with a paternal interest in Bennett’s future. As his relationship with a student (Brie Larson) deepens, Bennett must take the ultimate risk for a second chance…
Mortdecai (12A) Running time: 106 minutes
Director: David Koepp, Writers: Eric Aronson, Kyril Bonfigioli
Cast: Olivia Munn, Ewan McGregor, Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Aubrey Plaza, Paul Bettany, Jeff Goldblum
Juggling some angry Russians, the British Mi5, his impossibly leggy wife and an international terrorist, debonair art dealer and part time rogue Charlie Mortdecai (Johnny Depp) must traverse the globe armed only with his good looks and special charm in a race to recover a stolen painting rumoured to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold.
A Most Violent Year (15) Running time: 125 minutes
Director: J.C. Chandor, Writer: J.C. Chandor
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Allesandro Nivola, Albert Brooks
A crime drama set in New York City during the winter of 1981, statistically one of the most violent years in the city’s history, and centered on a the lives of an immigrant and his family trying to expand their business and capitalize on opportunities as the rampant violence, decay, and corruption of the day drag them in and threaten to destroy all they have built.
Released 29th January:
Kingsman: The Secret Service (15) Running time: 129 minutes
Director: Matthew Vaughn, Writers: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn, Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons
Cast:Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Michael Caine and Samuel L. Jackson
Based upon the acclaimed comic book and directed by Matthew Vaughn, Kingsman: The Secret Service tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.
Released 30th January:
Big Hero 6 (PG) Running time: 106 minutes
Directors: Don Hall, Chris Williams, Writers: Jordan Roberts, Daniel Gerson, Robert L. Baird
Cast: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung, Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller
From Walt Disney Animation Studios, the team behind “Frozen” and “Wreck-It Ralph,” comes “Big Hero 6,” an action-packed comedy-adventure about the special bond that develops between Baymax, a plus-sized inflatable robot, and prodigy Hiro Hamada. When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he turns to Baymax and his close friends adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred. Determined to uncover the mystery, Hiro transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called “Big Hero 6.”
Inherent Vice (15) Running time: 148 minutes
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson, Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Jena Malone, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Josh Brolin, Joaquin Phoenix, Benicio Del Toro, Joanna Newsom
When private eye Doc Sportello’s (Joaquin Phoenix) ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend whom she just happens to be in love with, and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in a loony bin…well, easy for her to say.
It’s the tail end of the psychedelic `60s and paranoia is running the day and Doc knows that “love” is another of those words going around at the moment, like “trip” or “groovy,” that’s being way too overused—except this one usually leads to trouble.
With a cast of characters that includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, LAPD Detectives, a tenor sax player working undercover, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists… Part surf noir, part psychedelic romp—all Thomas Pynchon.
“Inherent Vice,” is the seventh feature from Paul Thomas Anderson and the first ever film adaption of a Thomas Pynchon novel.
Son of a Gun (15) Running time: 108 minutes
Director: Julius Avery, Writers: Julius Avery, John Collee
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Brenton Thwaites, Alicia Vikander
Locked up for a minor crime, 19 year old JR quickly learns the harsh realities of prison life. Protection, if you can get it, is paramount. JR soon finds himself under the watchful eye of Australia’s most notorious criminal, Brendan Lynch. But protection comes at a price. Lynch and his crew have plans for their young protegee. Upon release, JR must help secure Lynch’s freedom, staging a daring prison break. As a reward, he’s invited to join the crew as they plan a gold heist that promises to deliver millions. However, as things start to go wrong, a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues. JR finds himself unsure of whom he can trust and on a collision course with his former mentor.
Trash (15) Running time: 114 minutes
Director: Stephen Daldry, Writers: Felipe Braga, Richard Curtis
Cast: Rooney Mara, Martin Sheen, Wagner Moura, Rickson Tevez, Luis Eduardo, Gabriel Weinstein
When two trash-picking boys from Rio’s slums find a wallet in amongst the daily detritus of their local dump, little do they imagine that their lives are about to change forever. But when the local police show up, offering a handsome reward for the wallet’s return, the boys, Rafael (RICKSON TEVEZ) and Gardo (LUIS EDUARDO), realise that what they’ve found must be important. Teaming up with their friend Rato (GABRIEL WEINSTEIN), the trio begins an extraordinary adventure as they try to hang onto the wallet, evade the police, and uncover the secrets it contains.
Along the way, the boys will have to figure out friend from foe, as they piece together the story of the wallet’s owner José angelo (WAGNER MOURA) and realise they can’t trust the police, led by the dangerous Frederico (SELTON MELLO). But a pair of American missionaries working in their favela – the disillusioned Father Julliard (MARTIN SHEEN) and his young assistant Olivia (ROONEY MARA) – might just have the power to knock on the right doors.
The Turning (15) Running time: 180 minutes
Directors: Various, Writers: Tim Winton (short stories), adapted by various writers
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Rose Byrne, Miranda Otto, Callan Mulvey
The Turning is a unique cinema event. Seventeen talented Australian directors from diverse artistic disciplines each create a chapter of the hauntingly beautiful novel by multi award-winning author Tim Winton. The linking and overlapping stories explore the extraordinary turning points in ordinary people’s lives in a stunning portrait of a small coastal community. As characters face second thoughts and regret, relationships irretrievably alter, resolves are made or broken, and lives change direction forever. This watershed film reinterprets and re-imagines the work for the screen.