Check out what's showing at cinemas across the region this month...

Released Fri 10 December
Starring Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zelger, Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, Rita Monero 
Directed by Steven Spielberg

Releasing a remake of a classic movie is always a gamble, particularly one as widely revered as West Side Story. 
The 1961 film adaptation of the 1957 stage musical is considered to be one of Hollywood’s greatest-ever motion pictures, so this 2021 offering had better make sure it’s wearing its very finest dancing shoes.
And with no less a luminary than Steven Spielberg helming the project, there’s every chance it will be doing exactly that. 
The legendary score by Bernstein & Sondheim features a host of unforgettable numbers, including Somewhere, Tonight, America, Maria, Gee Officer Krupke!, I Feel Pretty, One Hand and Something’s Coming.

Released Fri 3 December
Starring Aml Ameen, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Claire Skinner, Aja Naomi King, Tamara Lawrence, Leigh-Anne Pinnock
Directed by Aml Ameen
Where would we be without a romantic comedy for Christmas? 
This new entry from writer, director and star Aml Ameen finds US-based British author Melvin heading for home to celebrate Christmas with his eccentric British-Caribbean family. And he’s taking his American fiancée with him, too. 
But the course of true love never runs smooth - particularly when you come from a family like Melvin’s... 
A British cinema first - a Christmas romcom led by an all-Black cast - Boxing Day unashamedly borrows from Richard Curtis’ movies - although Ameen has very sensibly stopped short of describing his film as a Black version of Love Actually. 

LAMB - CERT 15 (107 mins) 
Released Fri 3 December
Starring Noomi Rapace, Hilmir Snær Guðnason, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, Ingvar Sigurdsson, Ester Bibi
Directed by Valdimar Jóhannsson
If ever there was a film to remind us that we mess with Mother Nature at our peril, Lamb is surely it. Disquieting in the extreme, it focuses on María and Ingvar, a childless farming couple in rural Iceland who discover that one of their sheep has given birth to a lamb. But this lamb is no ordinary lamb, and María and Ingvar decide to bring it up in a far from ordinary way...  
Lamb is a sparse but absorbing horror-fantasy that comes complete with a clever  twist. It certainly won’t be to everybody’s taste - María and Ingvar don’t even speak for the first 10 minutes - but give it a few years and the movie will almost certainly have attracted a loyal cult following.

Released Fri 17 December 
Starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau                     
Directed by Jon Watts

Having been exposed as Spider-Man at the end of 2019’s Far From Home, teenager Peter Parker asks Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to help restore his secret identity using magic. 
But all does not go according to plan: the Multiverse splits open, and Spider-Man soon finds himself battling against some seriously sinister supervillains from alternate realities...
British actor Tom Holland dons the Spidey spandex for a sixth time to play everybody’s favourite webslinging wall-crawler. He’s joined in the cast by Jamie Foxx and Alfred Molina, returning as Electro and Doctor Octopus respectively. The film is the 27th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Released Fri 10 December
Starring Darby Camp, Jack Whitehall, Izaac Wang, John Cleese, Sienna Guillory, Tony Hale         
Directed by Walt Becker
Temporarily left in the care of her immature uncle (played by Britain’s very own Jack Whitehall), badly bullied middle schooler Emily-Elizabeth Howard is introduced to a small red puppy by a man who runs an animal-rescue tent at a carnival. 
By the following morning, the puppy is a staggering 10 feet tall - and the stage is well and truly set for some seriously outsized adventures...  
Based on the canine character created by cartoonist Norman Bridwell, Clifford The Big Red Dog is a sweet but ultimately unremarkable movie that encourages youngsters to, er, paws fur thought on the subjects of teamwork, the class system and isolation. It isn’t a mutt-see movie by any means, and you wouldn’t be barking mad to miss it, but as pleasant family outings to the cinema go, it’s definitely worth the three stars that most reviews have given it.  

Released Wed 22 December
Starring Keanu Reeves, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Christina Ricci, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff  Directed by Lana Wachowski
Why let a couple of storyline deaths get in the way of popular characters making a welcome return? That certainly seems to be the philosophy adopted by the production team behind this latest entry in the Matrix franchise, with Keanu Reeves’s Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss’s Trinity very much back in the saddle, despite both having met their demise at the end of The Matrix Revolutions. 
It’s 20 years after the events of the last film, and Neo is living a seemingly ordinary life in San Francisco. But then Morpheus offers him the red pill and reopens his mind to the world of the Matrix...

Released Wed 22 December
Starring Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Harris Dickson, Djimon Hounsou, Matthew Goode Directed by Matthew Vaughn
As a collection of history's worst tyrants and criminal masterminds gather together to plot a war that will wipe out millions, one man and his protégé must race against time to stop them... This third instalment in the hugely popular Kingsman film series is a prequel to 2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service and 2017's Kingsman: The Golden Circle. 
The movies are all inspired by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons’ much-loved comic book, The Secret Service.

Released Fri 31 December
Starring Jessica Jade Andres, Rachel Noll James, Benita Robledo, Ryan Caldwell, Emilia Bogdanova, Hunter Smit Directed by Montgomery Markland

When a UCLA professor and a student ingest LSD, they become two of the first Americans ever to go on a psychedelic experience. But their trip soon takes a deadly turn, leaving them facing the very real prospect of being trapped in an endless cycle of sex, drugs and murder...
Based on true events, Malibu Road examines the Central Intelligence Agency’s Operation Midnight Climax initiative. The project formed part of MKUltra, a long-running programme which the CIA coordinated with the intention of finding a mind-control drug that could be weaponised against the forces of Communism.


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