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Cinema
Slow West (15A) ****
Fans of Westerns' reward for 2015 is the trippy and touching Slow West, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance earlier this year and a great example of the small story, done well.
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Michael Fassbender plays the worn-out gun-for-hire who agrees to become the guide for a young Scottish naif (Kodi Smit-McPhee) searching for his love in Colorado.
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This story of an odd couple out in the middle of nowhere mixes humour, pathos and the bizarre to create a quest where you're unsure about what's going to happen. Recommended. Harry Guerin
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Minions ***
The yellow numbskulls from Despicable Me get their own spin-off movie and while it’s no ground-breaking Pixar wonderment, Minions will enthral the kids and raise a few wry smiles for the grown-ups.
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Our hapless peons fall under the spell of the world's first female villainess Scarlett Overkill and she's played with lip-smacking gusto and a cut glass English accent by Sandra Bullock.
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From there, we are taken on a jape through the streets of old swinging London town and straight into franchise and toy spin-off heaven for the film studio. Will you be getting a cuddly Kevin, Stuart or Bob this Christmas? Alan Corr
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Mr Holmes (PG) ***1/2
Oscar winner Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters) reunites with Ian McKellen to take on the world's greatest detective in a case that's very close to home.
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Based on Mitch Cullen's 2005 novel A Slight Trick of the Mind, Jeffrey Hatcher's screenplay sees Sherlock (McKellen) as a 93-year-old raking over his last case.
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Mr Holmes won't keep you guessing throughout but the performances are great and the movie reminds us that regret is one of life's most dangerous pollutants. Laura Delaney
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Entourage (15A) ***
Released four years after the TV show ended, Entourage takes up the plot just a few weeks later. Movie star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), just split from his wife, is having a party on board a boat, and along come Eric (Kevin Connolly), Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) and Johnny (Kevin Dillon).
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If you're a fan of the show you shouldn't be disappointed, but the film rarely rises above the mediocre. As ever, there's much to admire in the performance of Jeremy Piven, who returns as the comically aggressive Ari Gold. John Byrne
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Let Us Prey (18) ****
Director Brian O'Malley and fellow Dubliner Liam Cunningham bring the best out in each other in this well-worked horror set in a Scottish police station (it was mostly shot in Galway) over one night.
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Pollyanna McIntosh is the rookie cop who has a baptism of fire, brimstone, blood and guts when a mysterious stranger (Cunningham) becomes a guest in the holding cells.
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Anyone who loves the genre greats should make time for this movie. Give the Devil his due. Harry Guerin
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Queen & Country (15A) ****
John Boorman's follow-up to the autobiographical Hope and Glory has been a long, long time coming, but, from performances to the feelings it reawakens within, the wait has been worth it.
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Queen & Country finds his alter-ego Bill Rohan (Callum Turner) learning plenty of lessons about life and love while doing his National Service.
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The humour is matched by the poignancy - if Queen & Country really is Boorman's last film, it's a lovely swansong. Harry Guerin (Showing exclusively at Light House Cinema, Dublin)
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Jurassic World (12A) ****1/2
Magical and mythical with scream-out-loud moments, Jurassic World has much of what made Jurassic Park the phenomenon that it became.
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The film begins with John Hammond's dream realised with over 20,000 daily visitors to the park. The day-to-day running falls to Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard). However when a new, genetically modified hybrid dinosaur goes rogue, she calls in dinosaur expert Owen (Chris Pratt).
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This is one of those brilliant experiences that unites audiences in popcorn-chomping fear and delight. Taragh Loughrey Grant
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Insidious: Chapter 3 (15A) ***
Having terrorised the Lambert family with a double whammy of demonic possession, there was nowhere else for James Wan and Leigh Whannell's horror franchise to go but back to the start.
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Whannell's behind the camera this time and he delivers a deft little prequel with a whole new family to petrify. Quinn Brenner is a teenage girl who calls out to her dead mother but instead attracts a demon.
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Lin Shaye as kooky psychic Elise Rainer is back and this really is her movie. This should serve as a good ending to a horror franchise that's starting to look like death warmed up. Alan Corr
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Spy (15A) ****
Melissa McCarthy plays the desk-bound CIA agent who is finally called into action in this potty-mouthed send-up of Bond, Bourne and the boys.
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While some of the action scenes are a bit too close to the serious end of the espionage genre, Spy's wicked sense of humour, McCarthy's gung-ho attitude to making herself the butt of the jokes and the comic timing of all involved make it the most enjoyable comedy of the year to date.
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If you're someone who likes your gags snarky, you'll get your fill here. Harry Guerin
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Danny Collins (15A) ***
Feeling the birthday blues, crooner Danny's (Al Pacino) manager presents him with an undelivered letter written to him by John Lennon from 1971, which tells him to be 'true to his art'.
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There's something endearing about Pacino's vulnerability here, playing a man with unfulfilled potential, who has lost sight of what really matters, due to the pitfalls of fame.
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Danny Collins may not be a classic but it reminds us that life is short. You live and learn, but in the end staying true to yourself is all that really matters. Laura Delaney
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