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The Grand Seduction (12A) ****
Brendan Gleeson is great as Murray, a man obsessed with saving the small community of Tickle Head. He charms a doctor (Taylor Kitsch) to come and stay, so that a fishing plant can be located there and provide employment.
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Like a classic Ealing comedy, The Grand Seduction gently reels you in, just as Murray does with the doctor, and paints a quite tender picture of life in the harsh environment of Newfoundland. In these cynical, selfish times it's refreshing and life-affirming to experience a film with such a warm and generous heart.
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Go see. Enjoy! John Byrne
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Obvious Child (16) ***
Stand-up comedian Donna Stern (Jenny Slate) plays a small New York club to small but appreciative audiences. Her routine is foul-mouthed - what used to be called 'toilet humour' - and stuff about her Jewishness, sexuality and her boyfriends.
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Confident and savvy Donna may appear on stage, but off-stage she is a profoundly insecure young woman. The movie won the Best International Feature award at the Galway Film Fleadh. Paddy Kehoe
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Million Dollar Arm (PG) ***
Down on his luck sports agent JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) stages a not-so-typical recruitment strategy to get talented Indian cricket players to play Major League Baseball. In one last attempt to save his livelihood, JB travels to India to produce a reality show called The Million Dollar Arm, in search of baseball's next great pitcher
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Based on a true story, Million Dollar Arm has an uplifting message that emphasises family and commitment. Its vibrant energy and humour give it a real feel-good factor. Niamh Doherty
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As Above, So Below (15A) ****
If there's one thing harder to find than good laughs in a cinema it's good scares, but this found footage frightener does a very good job. Don't let that uninspiring poster of the upside down Eiffel Tower put you off.
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The set-up sees a gang of tunnel rats swapping day for night in the catacombs below Paris in their quest to find The Philosopher's Stone.
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That's as much as you need to know plot-wise, suffice to say that something that gives you the creeps in the real world will more than likely be doing the same here. Harry Guerin
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Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For **
The none-more-black crime noir makes a much delayed return after a nine-year gap and somehow the graphic novelty has worn off. The requisite fountains of blood spray as tough guys with morals and broads with hearts of gold scramble about in the perpetually monochrome, nocturnal Basin City.
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Eva Green is hypnotising as a femme fatale and Powers Booth radiates sheer badness as a crooked politician, it’s all style over content which is just fine for a high-concept exercise in hackery and cliche. It certainly looks great but there is nothing going on under the surface sheen in Sin City 2. Alan Corr.
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Lucy (15A) ***
Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is caught up in an international drugs ring and accidentally ingests a high-dose of CPH4, causing her cerebral capacity to open up and for her to acquire superhuman powers.
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Lucy is definitely worth a watch. Johansson is especially good, despite not having to push herself too much once her character becomes devoid of all emotions.
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The movie has a nice pace, looks sublime and kicks off with an engaging and what-could-be-superb story. However, things just fall apart once we hit the second act. Suzanne Byrne
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Into The Storm (12A) **
This is exactly what you would expect from your middle-of-the-road disaster movie, and the script really just serves to take the audience from one giant tornado scene to another.
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But even in the most action-packed CGI-fests, you fundamentally need to care about the characters and their missions - and this is where Into The Storm just fails to hit the mark.
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If you're dying to go to the cinema this weekend and fancy soaking up some special effects and utter destruction, then the sheer volume and variety of tornado will blow you away, but the screenplay leaves a lot to be desired. Sinead Brennan
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Deliver Us from Evil (16) ***
Eric Bana plays New York cop Ralph Sarchie who's called to the Bronx Zoo when a mother throws her young child into a moat by a lions' den. That leads to three US soldiers who were caught up in something strange in Iraq, and things begin to get very Linda Blair when Édgar Ramírez, a spirit-chasing, chain-smoking priest, appears.
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There are shades of other horrors, from The Shining to The Exorcist, but I've certainly seen worse films (eg, Avatar) being raved about. The lack of originality is probably the only real drawback - as if that ever mattered in showbiz. John Byrne
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What If (15A) ****
What If is a touching rom-com that should warm the cockles of even the most cynical of hearts. Daniel Radcliffe makes a smooth transition to romantic leading man as Wallace, a medical-school drop-out who meets his perfect match, Chantry (Zoe Kazan), at a party, only to discover she's in a long-term relationship.
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They go on to become best friends, all the while battling their true feelings for one another. What If's charm lies in its spot-on casting of Radcliffe and Kazan, who will have you rooting for them from the word go. SMcI
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The Expendables 3 (12A) ***
After the disappointment of the first sequel, The Expendables 3 shows there's a fair bit of life in the old dogs (of war) yet.
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The cast list here is more elaborate than the plot. Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his team (almost every screen hard man you care to mention) are on the trail of arms dealer Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson).
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While it runs out of bullets in terms of gags, this film is that bit cooler and classier than what we got from the last sequel in 2012. Harry Guerin
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