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Cinema
Glassland (15A) *****
Kerry director Gerard Barrett's just-as-special follow-up to his 2013 debut Pilgrim Hill is a masterful study of addiction, family and resilience.
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Jack Reynor is the son trying to save his alcoholic mother (Toni Collette) from herself - from the damp to the daily chaos and surprising moments of humour and tenderness, immersion in this world is absolute.
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The performances are superb, and you'll be doing well if another film moves you more this year. Harry Guerin
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Child 44 (16) **1/2
The Tom Rob Smith bestseller arrives starring Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman, but this Soviet era thriller should have been brought to the small screen rather than the big one - it needed six hours, not two.
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The film tries to shoe-horn massive story chunks into the running time, with the result that complexity and tension are lost as plot developments pile up like parts on a tractor assembly line because the conveyor belt is set at the wrong speed.
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Red missed, if you will. Harry Guerin
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A Little Chaos **
Alan Rickman takes the helm as director and the throne as King Louis XIV in this muddled romantic drama set just as the Sun King declares the creation of the Gardens of Versailles in the 1680s.
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Winslet plays Sabine De Barra, a maverick landscape gardener who lands a plum role in the design of the King's new playground. She charms her way into the King's inner circle and impresses enigmatic head designer (Matthias Schoenaerts with her simple earthy ways.
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It's nice to look at but far too allegorical for its own good and strains under portentous dialogue that badly needs pruning. Alan Corr
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The Salvation (15a) ****
In the Wild West of the 1870s, Danish immigrant Jon (Mads Mikkelsen) arrives at a railway station to meet his wife and son who are coming to live with him. Tragedy strikes shortly afterwards, as mother and son are viciously murdered. Thus begins Jon's bid to chase down the killers. But a local misunderstanding and the presence of an evil blackmailer, Colonel Delarue frustrate Jon's quest and endanger his life. Superb. Paddy Kehoe
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Cobain: Montage of Heck (16) ****
One of rock's great Christ-figures gets his own creation myth laid bare in this remarkable documentary by Brett Morgan. It's a compelling and disturbing watch.
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Morgan has excavated hours of audio, video and written archive to paint a portrait of a happy child who was left traumatised by family disarray before submerging himself into a drug limbo and cleansing himself with the power of punk rock.
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No rock star has inspired such devotion and pure belief since Cobain and just like Nirvana's music, Montage of Heck is both very powerful and very sad. Alan Corr
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John Wick (16) ****
When John Wick's wife dies she leaves him a puppy as a parting gift, but when the puppy is killed by a gang of Russian mobsters, all hell breaks loose. A retired criminal, Wick soon finds himself back in the dark underworld he fought hard to escape with one mission in mind - revenge.
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This may not be a movie that will win awards or change your views on world politics, but it is thoroughly entertaining. Plus, Keanu Reeves is doing what he does best, at his best. Bring on the sequel. Suzanne Keane
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Good Kill (15A) ***
Good Kill - starring Ethan Hawke in top form as tormented drone pilot Major Tom Egan - is an inspired movie that should be seen for its thought-provoking take on US military involvement abroad.
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It also stars Bruce Greenwood as the disillusioned Lt Colonel Johns, and January Jones is the wife enduring marriage to a man who is more absent than he was when he used to fly F-16s. Compelling stuff. Paddy Kehoe
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The DUFF (15A) ***
For those who, like me, had never heard the term 'DUFF' before, it stands for the designated ugly fat friend and is usually applied to the least physically attractive member of a friend group. Delightful, huh?
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This film centres on Bianca, a DUFF hoping to shed her DUFF status, who enlists the help of football captain Wesley in exchange for grinds.
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It sounds like your run-of-the-mill high school drama but it's actually genuinely funny, has a lovely message and the two leads bring depth to their characters. Sinead Brennan
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Fast and Furious 7 (12A) ***
With the sad demise in 2013 of charismatic star Paul Walker, the latest instalment in the hugely successful gear-grinding franchise comes well-oiled with added poignancy.
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With a plot involving Jason Statham gunning for the gang, some really very evil Somalian terrorists, and a piece of high surveillance tech, F&F is blissfully undemanding fare.
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It ends with a nice tribute montage of the fallen Walker, making this a surprisingly moving, full-throttle addition to the F&F canon. After 14 years, there's juice in the old franchise yet. Alan Corr
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The Water Diviner (15A) ***
Russell Crowe has gone behind the lens to make his feature directorial debut. It shouldn't be a one-off - he does more things right than wrong with The Water Diviner.
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The film is inspired by a real-life Australian father who travelled to Gallipoli after World War I to search for the remains of his sons.
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While there's too much action and it's too sweet in places, the performances are strong and the film never feels like a vanity project. Harry Guerin
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