The Matt Damon-starring sci-fi comedy Downsizing is the big film out this week, but if it's action or animation you're after, then The Maze Runner: The Death Cure, 12 Strong and Early Man are also in cinemas.

Downsizing ***
Alexander Payne's amusing, visually compelling sci-fi comedy Downsizing starts off as a cutting social satire about the western world's selfishness and consumerism and widens out to encompass economic inequality, greed and corruption.

If that sounds like an awful lot to fit into two hours and 15 minutes, it is.

The premise is simply delightful. Boffins in Norway have made a scientific breakthrough that means they can shrink humans to five-inch versions of themselves. They posit the technology as the solution to the world's overpopulation and warming climate as tiny humans will have much less of an impact on the earth's resources. Read our full review here.

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The Maze Runner: The Death Cure **
The final part of the Maze Runner trilogy certainly starts well. Thomas (Rob Lowe lookalike Dylan O'Brien) and Newt (Malcolm McDowell lookalike Thomas Brodie-Sangster) engage in a spot of Butch and Sundance-meets-Mad Max as they pull off a daring train heist and rescue a bunch of kids destined to be guinea pigs at the hands of the evil WCKD corporation.

It's a whizz-bang opener that promises much but director Wes Ball could be guilty of overloading his movie with just too much of everything - exposition, action and hardware. Read our full review here.

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12 Strong ***
Feeling more like an escape into cinemas than a release - no press screening over here - 12 Strong sees Chris Hemsworth taking a break from all things Thor to bring a true story from the war in Afghanistan to the big screen.

Based on the Doug Stanton non-fiction bestseller Horse Soldiers12 Strong follows the first US Special Forces team sent to Afghanistan in the wake of September 11. Its mission was to help General Abdul Rashid Dostum of the Northern Alliance liberate the Taliban stronghold of Mazar-i-Sharif. Read our full review here. 

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Early Man ****
Let's face it, for all the talk of optimism, renewed vigour and whatever you're having yourself, January can feel like another Dark Age, with any chink of light a long way off. 

So what better way to leave the cave of your own mind than in the company of Nick Park, the 59-going-on-15 creator of Wallace & Gromit who can make you forget the past twelve months and the eleven to come and live and laugh in the now. Early Man is a chest-beating comedy treat and, as Park himself puts it, "a prehistoric underdog sports movie". Read our full review here.

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The Post ****1/2
Now this is the business. Not only does The Post boast some serious Hollywood royalty – director Steven Spielberg, actors Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep – it also heaves with one of the greatest ensemble casts in cinema history.

It would be more surprising if it wasn't a cracker. But it is.

And although it's based on a true story set in the early 1970s, it also has a strong modern resonance as the behaviour of then US President Richard Nixon isn't too dissimilar to the carry-on of the incumbent. Read our full review here.

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Coco ****
Pixar's latest offering Coco is a breath of fresh air in the animated movie universe.

This intricately detailed, highly imaginative and endlessly enthralling film manages to achieve the seemingly impossible – to make a joyous and hopeful film that has death as a central theme.

Our hero is Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez), a bright, ambitious 12-year-old boy who lives in a bustling home in a small town in Mexico along with his multi-generational family who run a shoe empire built by his great-great-grandmother. Read our full review here.

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The Commuter **1/2
Four months on from telling journalists that, at 65, he was a geriatric for the action genre, the Free Travel-approaching Liam Neeson acquits himself with goer gusto in The Commuter. It's his fourth film with director Jaume Collet-Serra after Unknown, Non-Stop and Run All Night, and while Neeson keeps his side of the beat-em-up bargain, he deserved a better vehicle for his talents than this train-set thriller.

Playing like Rebirth of a SalesmanThe Commuter sees Neeson's insurance hawker arriving at the stop named P45 and then getting an offer he can't refuse from another passenger (Vera Farmiga - underused like Elizabeth McGovern and Sam Neill) on the train back home. Every man, as they say, has his thumbscrew, and Farmiga's mystery woman twists good-o in this movie, a whoisit rather than a whodunit. Read our full review here.

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