Christmas ‘crackers’ on view in our cinemas

A quick look at some films that might catch your eye on the run up to Christmas

Most people prefer to snuggle up on the sofa in the run-up to Christmas as they feast their eyes on the film fare provided by the TV networks, but if you feel like venturing outwards to the multiplexes, some of the following films might grab your attention…

Tinkerbell and the Legend of Neverbeast

This epic Disney feature from Steve Lotter showcases the friendship between a fairy faun and the eponymous monster that Tinkerbell has to save from the Scout Fairies (they believe he’s more dangerous than he is). Ideal family fare.

Gone Girl

Ben Affleck’s wife Rosamund Pike goes missing on their fifth wedding anniversary. Did he have something to do with it? His claims of a blissful marriage dissemble slowly but surely in the film of the book everyone seems to be talking about these days. With more twists and turns than the road to Cahirciveen, this is another nervy nail-biter from the great David Fincher.

Get on Up

A biopic of the soul singer James Brown which falls into the tradition of similar recent ones about Ray Charles and Johnny Cash. It tells the story of a man born on the wrong side of the tracks whose passion for music proved his ticket to fame and fortune as he sang his way from prison to prosperity against the backdrop of racism and his own personal demons.

The Homesman

If you thought Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven was tough, think again. This Tommy Lee Jones/Hilary Swank feature set in Nebraska in the 1850s is as gritty as the Wild West gets. Jones also directs and part-writes the story of three mentally-ill women being driven across the US for treatment by the determinedly upright Swank, with a more rough-and-ready Jones riding shotgun. 

No Good Deed

A mother is lonely, her husband having gone away for the weekend. A man comes to her door and asks can he use her phone because he’s had an accident in his truck. She lets him in, not realising he’s a vicious criminal. Cue every jaded set-piece from the “baddie in the house” genre that spawned a thousand thrillers. Idris Elba is the ex-con, Taraji Henson the overly-trusting wife. To paraphrase the inimitable Sam Goldwyn: “We need some new clichés.” Not for the faint-hearted.

Black Sea

Jude Law plays an unemployed submarine captain here. He assembles a ragtag of shady crew members to go in search of gold in a sunken sub so he can get back at his former employers. Strictly B-grade nautical nonsense.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1

The phenomenon of splitting up popular books into sequels (or trilogies) is becoming all too common. Here we have yet another example of such greedy merchandising. Could they not have fitted it all into one movie? It follows the rebellion of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and her friends Gale, Finnick and Beetee in the infamous underground community of District 13, which is under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore). The film also stars Donald Sutherland and Philip Seymour Hoffman in his swansong role.


A team of indefatigable explorers travel to outer space through a wormhole in this dystopian would-be epic. They’re looking for a potentially habitable planet that will sustain humanity because Earth has been destroyed by drought and famine. What will they find out there – Enda Kenny looking for water charges? Go figure.