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Cinema
The Survivalist (18) ****
It's only February but already there's many a Best Movies of 2016 list taking shape in heads and hearts with The Revenant, Room, Spotlight and The Big Short the standouts so far.
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Making a very strong case for inclusion in that exalted company is Northern Ireland's The Survivalist - a ferocious debut from Enniskillen writer-director Stephen Fingleton.
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With civilisation destroyed, three killers (Martin McCann, Olwen Fouéré and Mia Goth) are locked in a battle of wits on a woodland farm. Your allegiances will shift throughout. Harry Guerin
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Concussion (12A) ****
Will Smith plays Dr Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist who found that American football players were susceptible to developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) as a result of receiving so many knocks to the head. Smith is excellent as the whistleblower and the film shines a light on a story that proves real-life events are often more interesting than fiction.
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Concussion will make you think, make you feel, and make you angry and uplifted simultaneously. The story behind the film is very worthy of discussion. Sinead Brennan
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A Bigger Splash (15A) ***
The Italian island of Pantelleria is the setting for Luca Guadagnino's latest feature, which stars Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton.
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A number of hedonistic music industry people gather by a swimming pool - three adults who have a shared history, one flirty teenage girl who complicates things.
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You feel the film is building towards a killer climax, but then it flags somewhat. Still worth seeing though. Paddy Kehoe
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Zoolander 2 (12A) ***
The world's favourite fashion dummy returns in another idiotic caper. With great cheekbones. The danger with this follow-up to 2001 box office stiff and DVD sleeper hit Zoolander was that it would go the way of long dormant and reactivated Dumb and Dumber - lose the spirit and point of the original.
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However, this return to the selfie-obsessed world of fashion dunce Derek Zoolander has at least some of the dumb comedy and surreal characters of the first film. While things move quickly in couture, Zoolander will never go out of fashion. Alan Corr
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Deadpool (16) ****
So was the eleven-year wait worth it? Let's just say Deadpool is tastier than a Chimichanga! This time around, the hyper-violent, katana-swinging mercenary and his trademark one-liners come back to smash the fourth-wall with an unholy bang.
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First-time director Tim Miller delivers high-adrenaline and sleek action-packed sequences and he has utilised the small budget well. The script's no-holds-barred approach to violence and delicious pop culture references, including an epic gag about Liam Neeson in Taken, give the franchise new life. Laura Delaney
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Dad's Army (PG) **
This big screen return for the plucky but bungling Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard certainly earns its stripes with a great cast including Toby Jones as Captain Mainwaring and Bill Nighy as Sgt Wilson, but a shambolic script, tacked-on catchphrases, and liberties taken render it a wasted exercise.
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Catherine Zeta-Jones sets the sleepy seaside town a-sizzle as a journalist who arrives just as intelligence about a German spy in the area surfaces. This leads to a comedy of errors mainly involving old duffers in tailspins of lust and an ending involving a poorly CGI-ed U-Boat. More Dunkirk than D-Day. Alan Corr
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Point Break (12A) **1/2
The film kicks off with an adrenaline-pumping motorcycle ride that instantly makes you sit up and think you're in for something special, and in terms of visual effects and stunts, you are. Sadly, the cinematography and stunt coordination isn't matched in terms of scripting and storytelling.
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The fatal flaw of Point Break is that it's trying to be smarter than it is and the plot becomes convoluted. Had they kept to a simpler idea and really developed that, it could've been so much stronger. Sinead Brennan
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Goosebumps (PG) ***
With more attempts to get things off the ground than the Wright brothers and a danger of movie nut whiplash from all the yo-yo-ing release dates, the Jack Black-starring Goosebumps looked like it could live up to its title for all the wrong reasons. How wide of the mark can you be?
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February has a fun and (very) fast adaptation of author RL Stine's best-selling children's horror stories. For many a kid this will be a gateway film to new worlds, while for seen-it-all-twice adults it's a reminder not to be jaded. Harry Guerin
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Strangerland (15A) ***
Joseph Fiennes and Nicole Kidman play the married couple who have moved to a remote settlement for murky reasons which become clear as the story proceeds.
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Fiennes runs a pharmacy and Kidman keeps house. However, their sexually precocious 15-year-old daughter Lily (Maddison Brown) is having difficulty settling in. Lily and her kid brother Tom suddenly disappear one night. Disturbing, clever, taut. Paddy Kehoe
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Spotlight (15A) ***1/2
Spotlight is essentially All the President's Men rebooted, with the quarry being the real-life Cardinal Law and his errant Boston clergy rather than Richard Nixon and his associates.
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Instead of the Washington Post, it’s the Boston Globe doing the hunting down. So you get the long strip-lit office, the serious news story simmering away while the mostly male hacks rib each other about poker and golf and attend baseball games.
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Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Stanley Tucci and John Slattery acquit themselves very well in a solid film. Paddy Kehoe
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