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Cinema

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ON IN CINEMAS

Lady Bird (2017) written and directed by Greta Gerwig

Saoirse Ronan plays the brattishly eccentric titular adolescent who navigates an emotional rollercoaster ride at a Catholic high school in Sacramento. It moves from one humorous or dramatic highpoint to the next in a heady rush that creates a refreshingly honest picture of the cusp of adulthood.

Saoirse Ronan and Lucas Hedges in Lady Bird

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The Shape of Water (2017) directed by Guillermo del Toro

This heartfelt homage to Creature from the Black Lagoon is a hymn to the wonder and power of fantasy. The affectionate world-building, bruising view of 1960s social attitudes and the excellent performances by Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins and Octavia Spencer make up for a somewhat predictable story.

The Shape of Water

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Phantom Thread (2017) directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

Daniel Day-Lewis's final performance is a striking epitaph in an exquisitely-crafted piece of pure cinema. However, the relatively unknown Vicky Krieps holds the screen exceptionally well during her tense, spark-filled scenes with his perfectionistic and near-insufferable character.

Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread

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Downsizing (2017) written and directed by Alexander Payne

This ambitious and well-meaning science fiction allegory could have done with some downsizing itself to make for a more focused and consistent film. It's a frustrating mix of good (the production design, Christoph Waltz) and bad (Hong Chau's annoying character, the jarring shifts in tone). Matt Damon stars.

Downsizing (2017)

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Coco (2017) by Disney Pixar, dir: Lee Unkrich & Adrian Molina

This fantasy adventure, set during the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico, is an imaginative and heartfelt return to form for the much-admired CGI animation studio. Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal and Benjamin Bratt lend their vocal talents to the charmingly-realised characters.

Pixar's Coco (2017)

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Alternately hilarious and undeniably human, this drama of misunderstandings and small-town violence is a real showcase for the typically undervalued Oscar winner Frances McDormand as well as In Bruges writer/director Martin McDonagh.

Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) directed by Rian Johnson

The latest entry in the long-running series ranks as one of its finest. The action is spectacular and the character dynamics pay off with some truly heartbreaking tragedy on a Shakespearean scale.

Adam Driver as Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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Brigsby Bear (2017) starring Kyle Mooney and Mark Hamill

It's the other film coming out in the UK this December to feature Mark Hamill. Imagine Lenny Abrahamson mixed with an affectionate nod at the cult around fluffy 1980s childhood nostalgia and you have the recipe for this enjoyable comedy starring Kyle Mooney.

Kyle Mooney in Brigsby Bear

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Blade of the Immortal (2017) directed by Takashi Miike

The prolific cult Japanese director returns to the chambara genre which he previously visited with the excellent 13 Assassins, albeit with a touch of outrageousness consistent with its manga origins and the director's earlier output.

Blade of the Immortal starring Takuya Kimura

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The Disaster Artist (2017) directed by and starring James Franco

An intentionally hilarious adaptation of Greg Sestero’s autobiographical account of the making of Tommy Wiseau's unintentionally hilarious cult classic The Room.

James and Dave Franco in The Disaster Artist

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More cinema releases

CLICK HERE for a guide to the best independent cinemas in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

DVD/BLU RAY

Ginger Rogers and David Niven in Magnificent Doll

ARTICLES

Blade of the Immortal

RETRO

Emilio Estevez and Zander Schloss in Repo Man

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