Liam Neeson is back on screens in Cold Pursuit, Felicity Jones stars as the iconic Ruth Bader Ginsburg in On the Basis of Sex, and there's also a harrowing exposé for our times in Capernaum.

Cold Pursuit ***

Reviews of Liam Neeson's latest revenge movie Cold Pursuit are likely to be overshadowed by the actor's recent shocking admission while on the promotional trail. 

While it remains to be seen how the ensuing controversy will affect Cold Pursuit's box office pull, and indeed Neeson's career, it may be difficult for viewers to judge the film's merits through the prism of these comments.

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Remade from the 2014 Norwegian thriller Kraftidioten with the same director at the helm, Hans Petter Moland, Cold Pursuit is an entertaining and well paced, if tonally strange, offering. Read our full review here.

On the Basis of Sex ***
Director Mimi Leder's (Pay It Forward) long-overdue return to the big screen is an ode to Ruth Bader Ginsburg's glass ceiling-shattering influence and trailblazing career, but when it comes to giving a perspicacious account of the woman behind the legend, it fails to do her justice. 

The emotionally stirring screenplay, written by Justice Ginsburg's nephew Daniel Stiepleman, predominantly focuses on bullet points from the early years of the pre-Supreme Court RBG, as she navigates her way - with few female classmates - through Harvard Law School in the early 1950s. The latter stages of the film centre on Ginsburg's work as a lawyer in the early 1970s and a landmark sex-discrimination case.

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When it comes to the crunch, the movie's strengths are diminished by cookie-cutter courtroom drama and legal parlance, when instead it should have committed more time to the cultural icon's accomplishments, including her appointment to the highest court in the US in 1993. An acclaimed documentary about Ginsburg, RBG, is among this year's Oscar nominees. Read our full review here. 

Capernaum *****

Zain (Zain Al Rafeea) is the young boy from the slums of Beirut who thinks he might be aged 12; he is not sure as he has no documents. Whatever the case, he ends up carrying far too much responsibility in this magnificent but harrowing Lebanese film.

This utterly gripping work, directed by the Lebanese-American Nadine Labaki, begins with a court scene. Zain is in the dock, currently serving five years in prison for stabbing an individual whose identity is revealed as the movie progresses. In the body of the court are his careworn, troubled parents whom, he declares, he wants to sue for allowing him to be born in the first place.

Capernaum is a sobering film for the times that we are living in and we should all see it, beginning with school pupils. Read our full review here.

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The Kid Who Would Be King ****

In his first film since 2011's acclaimed Attack the Block, writer-director Joe Cornish tweaks an Arthurian legend to suit the modern setting of Brexit-era Britain.

As the 'chosen one' narrative rolls out, it's up to 12-year-old Alex (Louis Serkis, the talented son of Andy Serkis) and his Excalibur Sword to save his hometown from villainous scorcher Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson, interviewed below). Cue inspirational lessons on self-discovery and the importance of camaraderie. 

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There's a spirited charm here reminiscent of Spielberg's '80s kids' adventure flicks. Read our full review here.

Happy Death Day 2U **

If there's one thing that the makers of horror franchises have in common with their characters, it's that they never know when to leave well enough alone. 

The latest exhibit for the prosecution is Happy Death Day 2U; a fourth-rate follow-up to the 2017 slasher-comedy that made a breakout star of Jessica Rothe and took over $125 million on an estimated $4.8 million budget. Rothe is back for this Groundhog Slay sequel. You've no need to join her.

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The original saw snarky student Tree Gelbman (Rothe) dying the same day over and over in a time loop while trying to catch her cherub-masked killer. Waking up the morning after, Tree now discovers she's not done yet, thanks to a fellow student messing with proton lasers and slowing down the centre of time on a molecular level. Or something. Read our full review here.

Instant Family **1/2

Instant Family's earnest look at the trials and tribulations of fostering children feels at times so cloyingly sweet it's verging on being emotionally manipulative, but it certainly gets under your skin.

You'd be hard pressed to emerge from a screening of this movie without wiping a tear or two from your eye.

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Although it's largely a cookie-cutter Hollywood depiction of creating an "instant family", writer-director Sean Anders (Horrible Bosses 2, Daddy's Home) has drawn on his own experience of adoptive parenthood which lends a sense of authenticity to the emotions. Read our full review here.

A Private War ***

The hell of war is etched on Rosamund Pike's face in every scene in documentary maker Matthew Heineman's gripping film about the late war correspondent Marie Colvin. Pike, always a still and studied performer, is transformed into a nervous wreck as the veteran journalist, always on the edge of collapse through the sheer exhaustion of her job and the slow release panic attack of her home life.

Colvin, the daughter of a WWII Marine veteran, was the daring war reporter for The Sunday Times who was finally killed in the crossfire after decades reporting from the world's war zones.

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She interviewed Gaddafi (and other enemies of the people) in 1986 and reported from Chechnya, Kosovo, Fallujah, and numerous other wars. In a famous live broadcast on CNN, Colvin told the bitter truth about the Assad regime in Syria, before the shelling of the western Syrian city of Homs in 2012, which resulted in her death among many innocents. Just weeks ago, a US court found the Syrian government responsible for her assassination. Read our full review here.