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Now showing at Cineworld Chelsea 279,Kings Road,Chelsea,London,London SW3 5EW 0871 200 2000

  • A Most Wanted Man
  • Before I Go To Sleep
  • Planes 2: Fire & Rescue
  • The Riot Club
  • Wish I Was Here

A Most Wanted Man 4 stars

movie title

German intelligence operative Gunther Bachmann hopes to identify and break up terrorist cells by extracting information from the local Muslim community. He believes but cannot prove that philanthropist Dr Abdullah is channelling funds to one such cell. The surveillance operation on Abdullah becomes complicated when Chechen refugee Issa Karpov enters Hamburg illegally and is identified as a terrorist by Russian intelligence.

  • GenreAdaptation, Drama, Thriller
  • CastRachel McAdams, Robin Wright, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Willem Dafoe, Daniel Bruhl, Nina Hoss, Homayoun Ershadi, Grigory Dobrygin.
  • DirectorAnton Corbijn.
  • WriterAndrew Bovell.
  • CountryUK/US/Ger
  • Duration121 mins
  • Official sitewww.amostwantedmanmovie.com
  • Release12/09/2014

Great actors don't just play a role, they become the role, vanishing beneath the skin of a character so every word and gesture appears organic. Philip Seymour Hoffman was one such rare talent. On stage and screen, his emotional range and versatility were breath-taking including a bravura embodiment of Truman Capote that won him the triple whammy of BAFTA, Golden Globe and Academy Award.

He was heart-breaking as a boom-mike operator in Boogie Nights, whose crush on a porn star ends in humiliating rejection, hilarious as a maverick CIA agent in Charlie Wilson's War and monstrous as a charismatic cult leader in The Master. Each physically and emotionally demanding role fitted him like a glove.

A Most Wanted Man is distinguished by Hoffman's final performance in a leading role and it's a typically understated yet riveting portrayal of a German intelligence agent, who lives on his nerves and occasional swigs of whisky or puffs of a cigarette.

Based on the 2008 novel of the same name by John Le Carre, Anton Corbijn's slow-burning espionage thriller steadily cranks up the tension, building to a nerve-jangling finale that has us holding our breaths.

Chechen refugee Issa Karpov (Grigory Dobrygin) enters Hamburg illegally and seeks refuge with a kind Turkish woman (Derya Alabora) and her son (Tamer Yigit). They put Issa in touch with immigration lawyer Annabel Richter (Rachel McAdams) and Tommy Brue (Willem Dafoe), who is head of the private bank used by Issa's sadistic father to store his ill-gotten coffers.

German intelligence operative Gunther Bachmann (Hoffman) and his team comprising right-hand woman Irna Frey (Nina Hoss) and juniors Maximillian (Daniel Bruhl) and Niki (Vicky Kreps) identify Issa as an escaped militant jihadist.

They choose not to arrest him but use Issa as bait to snag Muslim academic and philanthropist Dr Faisal Abdullah (Homayoun Ershadi), who is suspected of channelling funds to terrorist Islamic organisations. Gunther and his team exert pressure on Richter and Brue to coerce Issa into donating his father's money to Abdullah.

However, the plan doesn't unfold smoothly and Gunther's operation faces intense scrutiny from high-ranking CIA operative Martha Sullivan (Robin Wright), whose view of humanity is summed up when she observes, "Every good man has a little bit of bad, doesn't he?"

Like the 2011 film adaptation of Le Carre's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, A Most Wanted Man delights in the minutiae of the spy game. Expertly choreographed scenes of surveillance are punctuated by verbal fireworks and threats of violence.

Corbijn refuses to be rushed - even when he is orchestrating a chase by train and car, which is as close as the film comes to a conventional action sequence. Hoffman's nuanced, world-weary performance is complemented by a uniformly excellent international cast. It's a splendid swansong.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 19th September 2014
Saturday 20th September 2014
Sunday 21st September 2014
Monday 22nd September 2014
Tuesday 23rd September 2014
Wednesday 24th September 2014
Thursday 25th September 2014

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Before I Go To Sleep 4 stars

movie title

Following an accident, 47-year-old wife Christine Lucas suffers from anterograde amnesia. She wakes each morning without any memory or who she is or how she came to be sleeping in a strange bed next to a man she does not know. Consumed by fear, Christine races into the bathroom where a series of photographs on the wall begin to fill in the blanks, letting her know that the man is her husband Ben and they have shared many happy years together.

  • GenreAdaptation, Drama, Romance, Thriller
  • CastColin Firth, Mark Strong, Nicole Kidman, Anne-Marie Duff.
  • DirectorRowan Joffe.
  • WriterRowan Joffe.
  • CountryUS/UK/Fr/S
  • Duration92 mins
  • Official site
  • Release05/09/2014

There has been a rich harvest of taut thrillers in 2014 including the independent American features Blue Ruin and Cold In July and gritty British films Locke and Starred Up. With David Fincher's adaptation of Gone Girl looming on the horizon, this is undoubtedly a year when audiences will catch themselves returning to filthy habits and furiously biting their nails in the dark of an unbearably tense cinema. Before I Go To Sleep is guaranteed to jangle nerves and drop a few jaws as summer mellows into autumn. Based on SJ Watson's best-selling novel, this ingenious thriller places us in exactly the same hellish predicament as the heroine, who wakes up each morning without any memory of the past, including her own identity. Through the eyes of this terrified wife, we absorb scraps of information from supposedly reliable sources and try to piece together the truth, unsure if writer-director Rowan Joffe is leading us a merry, sadistic dance. Following a car accident, 47-year-old Christine Lucas (Nicole Kidman) is diagnosed with anterograde amnesia. Each morning, she wakes in a strange bed next to a man she does not know and creeps into the adjacent bathroom where a series of photographs on the wall begin to fill in the blanks, letting her know that the man is her husband Ben (Colin Firth) and they have shared many happy years together. "You store up information for a day, wake up, and it's all gone," explains Ben, whose love for his wife holds strong. He leaves for work and Christine continues to learn about her past from information in the house. Then she receives a mysterious telephone call from someone called Dr Nash (Mark Strong), who instructs her to look in the wardrobe. "We've been keeping a video diary. I'm not sure Ben knows," confides the medic. The subsequent footage casts doubt on the facts that underpin Christine's fragile existence. "Don't trust anyone!" whispers Christine to herself in the video diary, tears glistening in her eyes. As Christine reconnects with Claire (Anne-Marie Duff), who is supposedly her best friend, contradictory testimonies drive her to the brink of insanity. Before I Go To Sleep drips-feeds us fragmented flashbacks, clouding our judgement of characters as they orbit Christine, purportedly out of love. Kidman captures the fragility of a woman at the mercy of her condition, who knows she must stare into the abyss before sleep robs her of a day's detective work. Firth and Strong offer sterling support and Joffe cranks up the tension masterfully with each hairpin twist. The guessing game of who to trust is part of the film's diabolical appeal and the script engineers some wonderful bluffs until a gasp-inducing big reveal that should have audiences teetering precariously on the edge of their seats.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 19th September 2014
Saturday 20th September 2014
Sunday 21st September 2014
Monday 22nd September 2014
Tuesday 23rd September 2014
Wednesday 24th September 2014
Thursday 25th September 2014

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Planes 2: Fire & Rescue 3 stars

movie title

During a flight with his mentor Skipper, Dusty Crophopper suffers a malfunction and learns that his gearbox is failing. Unfortunately, the model of his gearbox is now out of production, so Dusty must limit his revs or risk a fatal crash. Forced to abandon his racing dreams, Dusty agrees to fly to Piston Peak National Park to train become the town's new fire-fighting plane.

  • GenreAdventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastDane Cook, Teri Hatcher, Stacy Keach, Julie Bowen, Hal Holbrook, Ed Harris, John Michael Higgins.
  • DirectorRoberts Gannaway.
  • WriterJeffrey M Howard.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration83 mins
  • Official sitemovies.disney.com/planes/
  • Release01/08/2014 (Scotland); 08/08/2014 (UK)

If the first Planes film, a spin-off from Pixar's Cars, appeared to be propelled by merchandising opportunities rather than creative necessity, this action-packed sequel attempts to stand on its own landing gear with a stirring tale of heroism and self-sacrifice.

As the title suggests, Planes 2: Fire & Rescue immerses us in the daredevil world of fire-fighting, honouring the men and women - and aircraft - who "fly in when others are flying out". It's a touching sentiment and screenwriter Jeffrey M Howard engineers some moving exchanges between the characters, some of whom are a splutter away from the scrap heap.

Director Bobs Gannaway employs the 3D format to striking effect in aerial sequences and the animation of raging infernos is impressively realistic. However, there's an inescapable feeling that this gung-ho adventure should have taken a flight path directly to the home formats rather than the big screen.

Soaring over Propwash Junction with his mentor Skipper (voiced Stacy Keach), Dusty Crophopper (Dane Cook) suffers a malfunction. Back at the hanger, trusted mechanic Dottie (Teri Hatcher) diagnoses a failing gearbox. "From now on, you have to keep down your torque to less than 80 percent," she instructs Dusty, putting an end to his illustrious racing career.

Dusty angrily defies Dottie and careens into the town's airport, causing a small fire. The incident casts doubt on the ability of veteran fire and rescue truck Mayday (Hal Holbrook) to service the airport's needs. So Dusty agrees to abandon his racing dreams in order to earn his certificate as the town's fire-fighting plane.

The plucky crop duster heads to Piston Peak National Park to train under helicopter Blade Ranger (Ed Harris), who was once a TV star, and his team including scooper Lil' Dipper (Julie Bowen), helicopter Windlifter (Wes Studi) and ex-military transport plane Cabbie (Dale Dye).

As Dusty masters the art of airborne fire-fighting, he also learns valuable lessons about friendship and endurance. As Blade reminds him, "If you give up today, think of all the lives you can't save tomorrow."

Planes 2: Fire & Rescue is geared towards younger viewers, hammering home the importance of team work and the valuable contribution of emergency services.

There is a handful of verbal and visual gags to engage older audiences: a front cover of industry magazine Cariety; a bar patron drunkenly confiding, "She left me for a hybrid. I didn't hear it coming!" A spoof of the long-running motorcycle police series CHiPs includes a cameo for Erik Estrada as Blade Ranger's partner on air patrol.

On the whole, though, Gannaway's sequel lacks the sophistication and emotional richness of yesteryear's Frozen or recent Pixar fare. Animation is crisp and colourful and the vocal performances are similarly warm so audiences feel a toasty glow before the first plumes of smoke from the computer-generated blazes.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 20th September 2014
Sunday 21st September 2014

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The Riot Club 4 stars

Alistair Ryle arrives at Oxford, hoping to emulate his older brother, a former president of an elite dining club at Oxford University. Given his lineage, Alistair is almost certain to catch the eye of Riot Club president James Leighton-Masters. However, it is dashing classmate Miles Richards from more humble stock, who steals Alistair's thunder and arouses the homosexual yearnings of influential club member Hugo Fraser-Tyrwhitt.

  • GenreAdaptation, Drama, Romance, Thriller
  • CastDouglas Booth, Natalie Dormer, Sam Claflin, Freddie Fox, Sam Reid, Jessica Brown Findlay, Ben Schnetzer, Gordon Brown, Olly Alexander, Max Irons, Tom Hollander, Matthew Beard, Holliday Grainger, Jack Farthing.
  • DirectorLone Scherfig.
  • WriterLaura Wade.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration107 mins
  • Official sitewww.facebook.com/TheRiotClubUK
  • Release19/09/2014

The class war degenerates into foul-mouthed tirades and stomach-churning violence in Laura Wade's robust adaptation of her own coruscating stage play. Posh originated at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 2010 and was revived two years later in the West End, painting a vivid portrait of a fictional dining clique akin to the Bullingdon Club at Oxford University, which once included David Cameron, George Osborne and Boris Johnson in its notorious ranks. Lone Scherfig's film, retitled The Riot Club, packs a similar emotional wallop to its stage-bound predecessor, detonating pent-up testosterone and tempers with horrifying repercussions. Wade has fleshed out key protagonists and excised some scenes entirely to reduce the running time by 40 minutes. There seems to be a greater emphasis on the fledgling romance between the most likable male character and a down-to-earth northern lass (Holliday Grainger), who is dazzled by the dreaming spires and gushes, "Being at Oxford is like being invited to 100 parties all at once - and I want to go to all of them." The Riot Club is not a party most of us would wish to attend. But that's the point. Alistair Ryle (Sam Claflin) arrives at Oxford, hoping to emulate his older brother, a former president of the titular fraternity. This hush-hush 10-strong dining club honours the memory of its libidinous 18th century founder by boozing to excess at an annual dinner, trashing the venue and paying for the damages out of their trust funds. Given his lineage, Alistair is almost certain to catch the eye of Riot Club president James Leighton-Masters (Freddie Fox). However, it is dashing classmate Miles Richards (Max Irons) from more humble stock, who steals Alistair's thunder and arouses the homosexual yearnings of influential club member Hugo Fraser-Tyrwhitt (Sam Reid). Alistair and Miles pass initiation and are inducted into the ranks alongside Harry Villiers (Douglas Booth), Guy Bellingfield (Matthew Beard), Toby Maitland (Olly Alexander), Dimitri Mitropoulos (Ben Schnetzer) and George Balfour (Jack Farthing). The students head to a country pub run by Chris (Gordon Brown) and his daughter Rachel (Jessica Brown Findlay), who have no idea of the devastation about to be wrought. The Riot Club is a sobering attack on a culture of inherited privilege and power in Britain. Scherfig's film dissects how our egalitarian society is founded on secret handshakes in wood-panelled rooms far from the madding electorate, and you can almost see the venom streaking down the camera lens when one inebriated club member sneers, "I am sick to death of poor people!" The Danish filmmaker, who previously helmed the Oscar nominated coming of age story An Education, doesn't spare the morally repugnant characters any blushes. A climactic showdown is just as jaw-dropping in lurid cinematic close-up as it was from the safe distance of the theatre's upper circle.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 19th September 2014
Saturday 20th September 2014
Sunday 21st September 2014
Monday 22nd September 2014
Tuesday 23rd September 2014
Wednesday 24th September 2014
Thursday 25th September 2014

This film is also showing at:

Wish I Was Here 3 stars

Proud Jewish patriarch Gabe Bloom has seen his two sons Aidan and Noah gravitate away from their faith. Aidan is now a struggling actor with a long-suffering wife Sarah, who pays the bills from her unedifying job with the Los Angeles Water Department. Their children Grace and Tucker attend a private school and Gabe pays the tuition fees. When Gabe is diagnosed with cancer, Aidan realises he will have to home school Grace and Tucker because they cannot afford the school fees.

  • GenreComedy, Drama, Indie, Romance
  • CastZach Braff, Pierce Gagnon, Joey King, Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin.
  • DirectorZach Braff.
  • WriterAdam J Braff, Zach Braff.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration107 mins
  • Official sitewww.wishiwasheremovie.com
  • Release19/09/2014 (selected cinemas)

For his second directorial feature after the critically adored 2004 comedy drama Garden State, Scrubs actor Zach Braff turned to the fundraising website Kickstarter to raise the two million dollars for this similarly intimate ensemble piece. Wish I Was Here revolves around proud Jewish patriarch Gabe Bloom (Mandy Patinkin), who has seen his two sons Aidan (Braff) and Noah (Josh Gad) gravitate away from their faith and fall short of their potential. Aidan is now a struggling actor, who clings onto his dreams of fame and fortune, while his long-suffering wife Sarah (Kate Hudson) pays the bills from her unedifying job with the Los Angeles Water Department. Their children Grace (Joey King) and Tucker (Pierce Gagnon) attend a private school and Gabe has paid the tuition fees, hopeful that the next generation will appreciate the Jewish culture and its traditions. When Gabe is diagnosed with cancer, Aidan realises he will have to home school Grace and Tucker because they cannot afford the school fees. As he embraces his new found responsibility as font of wisdom, the struggling actor learns afresh the joys of being a husband and parent.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 19th September 2014
Saturday 20th September 2014
Sunday 21st September 2014
Monday 22nd September 2014
Tuesday 23rd September 2014
Wednesday 24th September 2014
Thursday 25th September 2014

This film is also showing at:

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