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Cinema
Ex Machina ****
Alex Garland's directorial debut is a taut, tense and elegant sci-fi thriller that is utterly compelling from start to finish.
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Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) is a hotshot young coder working for Bluebook, the world's largest internet search engine.
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He wins an internal lottery in the company to spend a week with reclusive and mysterious CEO Nathan (Oscar Isaac). Nathan puts Caleb to work deciphering whether his female robot Ava (Alicia Vikander) is sentient.
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What follows is a stylish, smart thriller that will stay with you long after the cinema. Sarah McIntyre
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The Gambler (15A) ***1/2
Mark Wahlberg plays the literature professor whose all-or-nothing approach to life results in him owing $260,000 to people you really don't want to meet at night. He has seven days to pay them.
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Sure, it's easy to scratch the head and wonder whether Wahlberg has been miscast as a self-loathing academic, but Ted's straight man does some of his best work here.
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If you enjoyed Rounders you'll enjoy this. Harry Guerin
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A Most Violent Year (15A) ****
Inside Llewyn Davis' Oscar Isaac does more great work in this moody thriller about the American Dream, what it takes to make it and the compromises along the way.
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Set during 1981, when crimes in New York reached unprecedented levels, this Sidney Lumet-style slow-burner follows a businessman who has "always done the thing that is most right".
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We see far too many cookie cutter characters in cinema these days, but director JC Chandor's writing and Isaac's performance have given us one of the more fascinating men with feet of clay of recent times. Harry Guerin
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Apples of the Golan
Two Irish film-makers, Keith Walsh and Jill Beardsworth, spent five years among the people of the village of Majdal Shams in the Israeli-occupied, Syrian Golan Heights to make their powerful film. A man introduces himself as the last shepherd on the mountain. “The most beautiful thing in life is freedom,” he says. “Life is freedom. But for us there is no freedom." Paddy Kehoe
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American Sniper (15A) ****
After some years in the directorial doldrums, Clint Eastwood is back on form with this troubling true story of war, male identity and patriotism.
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Bradley Cooper plays Chris Kyle, the US Navy SEAL marksman who had 160 confirmed kills during his four tours of duty in Iraq.
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Cooper is excellent in the lead role - this film will give viewers a lot to think about. Harry Guerin
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Wild 4.5
In director Vallée's movie adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's memoir, Reese Witherspoon takes on the role of the hiking novice, who sets out on the gruelling trek from Mexico to Canada.
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The use of flashback scenes accompanied by Stray's inner monologue gradually reveals something of the life she had before, while the occasional introduction of other hikers along the way, brings the viewer on Cheryl's journey of loss and recovery.
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Witherspoon delivers the most honest performance of her career. Vallée helped Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto to Oscar wins with Dallas Buyer's Club last year, and hopefully 2015 is the year where he takes a gong home for his own mantelpiece.
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Whiplash (15A) ****1/2
One of the films of 2015, Whiplash is a dazzling and breathless exploration of male ego, the creative process and just how far you should push someone to get the best out of them.
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It follows a young drummer (Miles Teller) at America's premier music school who gives his everything to impress a tyrannical teacher (the brilliant JK Simmons).
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Like the piece of music it takes its name from, you can enjoy Whiplash again and again, finding something new to excite you every time. Harry Guerin
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Into the Woods (PG) ***1/2
Take the director of Chicago, an all-star cast, a Broadway hit musical and a whole heap of fairytales and you've got Into the Woods. Meryl Streep is brilliant as always, while Chris Pine is a real scene-stealer.
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I was drawn into the world of Into the Woods from the get-go, but unfortunately the final act brought in a little bit too much reality, ending the film on a more sombre note than expected.
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It's definitely worth the watch - I just wish it had ended on a high. Sinead Brennan
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Foxcatcher (15A) *****
Wealthy heir John du Pont persuades Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) to be his star wrestler. Schultz won a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics, but is by now a forgotten hero. No expense is spared as du Pont grooms him for the ultimate prize, the 1988 Olympics.
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Tragedy comes in the wake of du Pont's obsessive quest in what will be the film of the year for many. Paddy Kehoe
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Taken 3 (12A) **
Liam Neeson - reprising his role as Bryan Mills - is framed and forced to go on the run in this passably entertaining sequel.
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Somehow, the cartoon violence, the exploding cars, the rather clichéd Russian baddies, and the gimmicky technology tend to highlight the absence of the kind of appealing human story that distinguished the first Taken. Pity. Paddy Kehoe
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RTÉ Aertel Digital is an enhanced digital version of the RTÉ Aertel teletext service. It functions in the same way as the analogue service, offering current news, sport and weather updates but is now more agile and easier to use.

RTÉ Aertel Digital is available on Saorview, the new free digital TV service in Ireland.
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