Top 3 Films of the Week

Blockbuster Of The Week

A Christmas Carol (PG)

Russell Maliphant as Marley (voiced by Andy Serkis) and Michael Nunn as Scrooge (Simon Russell Beale) in A Christmas Carol, directed by David Morris and Jacqui Morris. Copyright: Frith Street Films. All Rights Reserved.

A Victorian family settles down in front of a cardboard stage for a paper theatre performance of A Christmas Carol. Through the eyes of one of the children, the homemade production magically comes to life as a visually arresting dance drama featuring the voices of Simon Russell Beale, Martin Freeman, Carey Mulligan, Daniel Kaluuya, Andy Serkis, Sian Phillips and Leslie Caron.

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Drama Of The Week

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (15)

Chadwick Boseman as Levee, Colman Domingo as Cutler, Viola Davis as Ma Rainey, Michael Potts as Slow Drag and Glynn Turman as Toledo in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, directed by George C Wolfe. Photo: David Lee. Copyright: 2020 Netflix. All Rights Reserved.

In 1927 Chicago, four musicians – trombonist Cutler, trumpeter Levee, bassist Slow Drag and pianist Toledo – arrive at a recording studio to prepare for a session with formidable singer Ma Rainey. Before Ma arrives, Levee tells the other members of the band that he intends to branch out on his own. As the heat rises inside the studio, Levee’s ambition puts him on a collision path with Ma.

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Critic's Choice Of The Week

County Lines (15)

Conrad Khan as Tyler in County Lines, directed by Henry Blake. Copyright: BFI Distribution. All Rights Reserved.

Struggling single mother mum Toni works night shifts to make ends meet, leaving her 14-year-old son Tyler to bear the responsibility for getting his younger sister Aliyah to school and feeding her before bed. Tyler is bullied mercilessly and feels alienated from everyone until a stranger, Simon, steps in to save him from a beating. For the first time in years, someone lavishes Tyler with kindness and the teenager gravitates towards Simon. The older man grooms Tyler to become a drug mule.

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Also Released This Week...

CBeebies Christmas Show: Hansel And Gretel (U)

Filmed live at The Festival Theatre in Edinburgh, the festive production from the CBeebies team is a fun-filled adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale about two siblings, who overcome obstacles in a deep, dark forest to find their way back to their family.

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Crock Of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan (18)

An intimate and revealing portrait of Shane MacGowan, lead singer of Irish punk band The Pogues, which combines previously unseen archive footage and interviews with close friends and family members.

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Falling (15)

John lives in California with his long-term partner Eric and their adopted daughter, far removed from the bigotry of John's ageing father Willis on the family's isolated farm. Unfortunately, Willis' mental faculties are in sharp decline and the old man can no longer take care of himself.

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Host (15)

Haley organises a Zoom video call with five friends: Caroline, Emma, Jemma, Radina and Teddy. The first five minutes are filled with light-hearted banter and pleasantries. Then Haley invites her pal Seylan into the chat room to conduct an online seance.

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Lost At Christmas (12A)

Rob intends to propose to his girlfriend to kickstart a magical Christmas but his plans fall apart in spectacular style. Jen is similarly heartbroken as snow falls on Fort William. On Christmas Eve, Rob and Jenny team up to get home for the holidays.

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Mario Puzo's The Godfather Coda: The Death Of Michael Corleone (15)

As New York prepares to welcome the 1980s, ageing crime boss Michael Corleone is determined to find a successor to his sprawling empire. He identifies fiery-tempered nephew Vincent - the illegitimate son of his late brother Sonny - as an heir, who can help him achieve business legitimacy.

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Muscle (18)

Newcastle-based call centre worker Simon is trapped in a dead-end job that has steadily sucked the life and ambition out of him. He attempts to stop the rot by signing up at a local gym where intimidating personal trainer Terry offers his services.

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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (12A)

Clark Griswold is determined to have a perfect holiday season with his long-suffering wife Ellen, their children Audrey and Russ and both sets of grandparents. Bickering between the generations fails to dampen Clark's festive spirit.

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One Way To Moscow (15)

Devoted police officer Viktor Schuler is sent undercover to Schauspielhaus Zurich to perform surveillance on the theatre scene and identify left-wing radicals in the artistic community. Instead of remaining impartial, Viktor falls in love with one of his targets, actress Odile Lehmann.

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The Prom (12A)

Indiana high school student Emma Nolan wants to attend prom with her girlfriend Alyssa. Headmaster Tom Hawkins is supportive but Mrs Greene, the powerful head of the PTA, bans Emma from attending. Four New York City stage stars travel to Indiana to advocate for equality and inclusivity.

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Total Recall (15)

Construction worker Douglas Quaid is plagued by strange, fractured memories of Mars. Against the advice of his co-workers, Douglas visits Rekall, which allows visitors to embark on a virtual holiday using memory implants. It transpires that Douglas's memory has been wiped before.

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