Few directors would have the imagination, the guts or the resources to reimagine America's slaving past as a spaghetti western/blaxploitation thriller, but the result is Tarantino's most politically provocative movie, and one of his most entertaining – up to a point.
Django Unchained (18)
(Quentin Tarantino, 2012, US) Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L Jackson, Kerry Washington. 165 mins
Foxx's odyssey from captive slave to mythical avenger, enabled by Waltz's liberal German "dentist", is often an exhilarating ride, though the action is constantly slowed up by Tarantino's love of his own dialogue – if only he'd kept that chained in.
The Sessions (15)
(Ben Lewin, 2012, US) John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H Macy. 93 mins
Severely disabled man seeks first–time sexual experience. It doesn't sound too promising but there are plenty of riches in this open–hearted drama: the performances, the tension–breaking humour and the refreshing frankness about all things physical. Plus a strong spiritual undercurrent that adds unexpected resonances.
(Michael Winterbottom, 2012, UK) Shirley Henderson, John Simm, Shaun Kirk. 90 mins
The fact that it was filmed over five years adds even more credibility to this naturalistic study of an ordinary family split apart by the dad's prison sentence. The passage of time is marked by repeated rituals, children visibly growing up, and some traumatic prison visits.
(David Bruckner, Glenn McQuaid, Radio Silence, Joe Swanberg, Ti West, Adam Wingard, 2012, US) Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughes, Helen Rogers. 113 mins
A stolen videotape premise frames an above–average anthology of found–footage horror from rising indie directors. Expect imaginative lo–fi scares and tales of horny guys getting what they deserve.
The Wee Man (18)
(Ray Burdis, 2013, UK) Martin Compston, John Hannah, Patrick Bergin, Hannah Blamires. 106 mins
Real–life Glasgow criminal Paul Ferris is at the centre of what hopes to be a Scottish Godfather, though the themes of honour, family and violent revenge feel pretty familiar and the execution is far from slick. Still, Compston is always good company.
Ballroom Dancer (TBC)
(Christian Bonke, Andreas Koefoed, 2011, Den) 84 mins
Faded former world ballroom champion Slavik Kryklyvyy attempts his comeback in this absorbingly intimate doc. His perfectionist personality and fractious relationship with his new partner create the sort of confrontational drama you don't find on Strictly.
Monsters Inc 3D (U)
(Pete Docter, 2001, US) Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi. 91 mins
A reissue for what you might now call a golden–age Pixar animation: a warm–up for next year's sequel, but still better than most current family movies.
Out from Friday
The Last Stand
Arnold Schwarzenegger really is back, one-liners, big explosions and all.
Daniel Day-Lewis dons the stovepipe hat for Spielberg's history lesson.
Zero Dark Thirty
Kathryn Bigelow's controversial reconstruction of the hunt for Bin Laden.
The Farrelly brothers recruit half of Hollywood for an all-star sketch movie.
Won't Back Down
Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal take over their failing school.
A cursed tree is the root of rural evil in this British horror.
The King Of Pigs
Two ex-schoolmates revisit their violent past in this grown-up Korean animation.
Hitman Tim Roth gives a teen rookie some high-stakes work experience.
Bond-esque Bollywood action sequel, with Anil Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan.
In two weeks ... Denzel Washington welcomes you aboard his Flight … Sylvester Stallone in killing mood for Bullet To The Head …
In three weeks ... Anthony Hopkins masters the master in Hitchcock … Advertising v dictatorship in Chilean hit No…
In a month ... Bruce Willis and son hit Russia in A Good Day To Die Hard … Judd Apatow brings us up to date with This Is 40 …
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