Dir. John Hamburg, US, 2016
Cast: James Franco, Bryan Cranston, Zoey Deutch, Megan Mullally, Keegan-Michael Key
Over the holidays, Ned (Bryan Cranston), an overprotective but loving dad and his family visit his daughter at Stanford, where he meets his biggest nightmare: her well-meaning but socially awkward Silicon Valley billionaire boyfriend, Laird (James Franco). The rivalry develops,and Ned’s panic level goes through the roof when he finds himself lost in this glamorous high-tech world and learns that Laird is about to pop the question.
A Monster Calls (12A)
Drama | Fantasy
Dir. J.A. Bayona, UK/US/Spain/Canada, 2016, 108 mins
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Lewis MacDougall
The monster does not come walking often. This time it comes to Connor, and it asks for the one thing Connor cannot bring himself to do. Tell the truth. This is a very touching story about a boy who feels very damaged, guilty and mostly angry. He struggles at school with bullies, and pity looks from everyone, and at home with his mother’s sickness. Will Connor overcome his problems? Will everything be okay? Will Connor be able to speak the truth?
Bye, Bye Man, The (15)
Horror | Thriller
Dir. Stacy Title, US, 2017, 96 mins
Cast: Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, Cressida Bonas
When three college students move into an old house off campus, they unwittingly unleash a supernatural entity known as The Bye Bye Man, who comes to prey upon them once they discover his name. The friends must try to save each other, all the while keeping The Bye Bye Man’s existence a secret to save others from the same deadly fate.
Collateral Beauty (12A)
Dir. David Frankel, US, 2016, 96 mins
Cast: Will Smith, Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet, Naomie Harris, Keira Knightley
When a successful New York advertising executive suffers a great tragedy, he retreats from life. While his concerned friends try desperately to reconnect with him, he seeks answers from the universe by writing letters to Love, Time and Death. But it’s not until his notes bring unexpected personal responses that he begins to understand how these constants interlock in a life fully lived, and how even the deepest loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.
Eagle Huntress, The (U)
Documentary | Adventure | Family
Dir. Otto Bell, UK/Mongolia/US, 2016, 87 mins
Cast: Aisholpan Nurgaiv, Daisy Ridley
This spellbinding documentary follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old nomadic Mongolian girl who is fighting to become the first female eagle hunter in twelve generations of her Kazakh family. Through breathtaking aerial cinematography and intimate verite footage, the film captures her personal journey while also addressing universal themes like female empowerment, the natural world, coming of age and the onset of modernity.
Man Down (15)
Drama | Thriller
Dir. Dito Montiel, US, 2015, 90 mins
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Jai Courtney, Gary Oldman
When a U.S. Marine returns home from Afghanistan, he finds that the place he once called home is no better than the battlefields he fought on overseas.
Accompanied by his best friend, he searches desperately for the whereabouts of his estranged son and wife. In their search, the two intercept a man carrying vital information about his family.
Adventure | Drama | Romance | Sci-fi
Dir. Morten Tyldum, US, 2016
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Andy Garcia
Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt are two passengers onboard a spaceship transporting them to a new life on another planet. The trip takes a deadly turn when their hibernation pods mysteriously wake them 90 years before they reach their destination. As Jim and Aurora try to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction, they begin to fall for each other, unable to deny their intense attraction… only to be threatened by the imminent collapse of the ship and the discovery of the truth behind why they woke up.
Drama | History
Dir. Martin Scorsese, Mexico/Taiwan/US, 2016, 107 mins
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson
Martin Scorsese’s SILENCE tells the story of two Christian missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) — at a time when Christianity was outlawed and their presence forbidden.
The celebrated director’s 28-year journey to bring Shusaku Endo’s 1966 acclaimed novel to life will be in theaters this New Year.
Assassin's Creed (3D) (12A)
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
Dir. Justin Kurzel, UK/France/Hong Kong/US, 2016, 115 mins
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons
Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.
Dir. Cristian Mungiu, Romania/France/Belgium, 2016, 128 mins, Subtitles
Cast: Adrian Titieni, Maria-Victoria Dragus, Rares Andrici
Romeo Aldea (49), a physician living in a small mountain town in Transylvania, has raised his daughter Eliza with the idea that once she turns 18, she will leave to study and live abroad.
His plan is close to succeeding – Eliza has won a scholarship to study psychology in the UK. She just has to pass her final exams – a formality for such a good student. On the day before her first written exam, Eliza is assaulted in an attack that could jeopardize her entire future.
Now Romeo has to make a decision. There are ways of solving the situation, but none of them using the principles he, as a father, has taught his daughter.
La La Land (12A)
Comedy | Drama | Musical
Dir. Damien Chazelle, Canada, 2016, 107 mins
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Rosemarie DeWitt
Written and directed by Academy Award® nominee Damien Chazelle, LA LA LAND tells the story of Mia [Emma Stone], an aspiring actress, and Sebastian [Ryan Gosling], a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.
Manchester By The Sea (15)
Dir. Kenneth Lonergan, Canada, 2016, 133 mins
Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler
Lee Chandler is a brooding, irritable loner who works as a handyman for a Boston apartment block. One damp winter day he gets a call summoning him to his hometown, north of the city.
His brother’s heart has given out suddenly, and he’s been named guardian to his 16-year-old nephew. As if losing his only sibling and doubts about raising a teenager weren’t enough, his return to the past re-opens an unspeakable tragedy.
Olive Tree, The (15)
Comedy | Drama
Dir. Icíar Bollaín, Spain/Germany, 2016, 100 mins, Subtitles
Cast: Anna Castillo, Javier Gutiérrez, Pep Ambròs
From Goya Award Winner and internationally acclaimed director Icíar Bollaín (Even the Rain, Take My Eyes), The Olive Tree follows a wilful and spirited young woman named Alma who embarks on a journey from the East coast of Spain to Germany in order to retrieve an ancient olive tree precious to her ailing grandfather.
With the help of a variety of friends & new acquaintances, she pulls everyone she encounters into her plan with unexpected consequences for all involved.
Hacksaw Ridge (15)
Drama | History | War
Dir. Mel Gibson, Australia/US, 2016, 139 mins
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey
HACKSAW RIDGE is the extraordinary true story of Desmond Doss [Andrew Garfield] who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun.
He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong. As an army medic, he single-handedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers and was wounded by a grenade and hit by snipers.
Doss was the first conscientious objector awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Dir. Garth Davis, Australia, 2016, 118 mins
Cast: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara
In LION, five-year-old Saroo gets lost on a train travelling away from his home and family. Frightened and bewildered, he ends up thousands of miles away, in chaotic Kolkata.
Somehow he survives living on the streets, escaping all sorts of terrors and close calls in the process, before ending up in an orphanage that is itself not exactly a safe haven. Eventually Saroo is adopted by an Australian couple, and finds love and security as he grows up in Hobart.
Not wanting to hurt his adoptive parents’ feelings, he suppresses his past, his emotional need for reunification, and his hope of ever finding his lost mother and brother. But a chance meeting with some fellow Indians reawakens his buried yearning.
With just a small store of memories, and the help of a new technology called Google Earth, Saroo embarks on one of the greatest needle-in-a-haystack quests of modern times.
Live By Night (15)
Crime | Drama
Dir. Ben Affleck, US, 2016, 128 mins
Cast: Ben Affleck, Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson
Oscar winner Ben Affleck (“Argo”) directed and stars in the dramatic crime thriller “Live by Night.” Affleck also wrote the screenplay, based on the award-winning best-seller by Dennis Lehane; it marks the second collaboration for the fellow Boston natives, following the acclaimed drama “Gone Baby Gone.”
What you put out into this world will always come back to you, but it never comes back how you predict. Taking fatherly advice is not in Joe Coughlin’s nature. Instead, the WWI vet is a self-proclaimed anti-establishment outlaw, despite being the son of the Boston Police Deputy Superintendent. Joe’s not all bad, though; in fact, he’s not really bad enough for the life he’s chosen. Unlike the gangsters he refuses to work for, he has a sense of justice and an open heart, and both work against him, leaving him vulnerable time and again—in business and in love. Driven by a need to right the wrongs committed against him and those close to him, Joe heads down a risky path that goes against his upbringing and his own moral code. Leaving the cold Boston winter behind, he and his reckless crew turn up the heat in Tampa. And while revenge may taste sweeter than the molasses that infuses every drop of illegal rum he runs, Joe will learn that it comes at a price.
Animation | Comedy | Drama
Dirs. Christophe Lourdelet, Garth Jennings, US/UK, 2016, 108 mins
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane
Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Sing stars Buster Moon (Academy Award® winner Matthew McConaughey), a dapper Koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times.
Buster is an eternal optimist—okay, maybe a bit of a scoundrel—who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now facing the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition. Five lead contestants emerge: A mouse (Seth MacFarlane) who croons as smoothly as he cons, a timid teenage elephant (Tori Kelly) with an enormous case of stage fright, an overtaxed mother (Academy Award® winner Reese Witherspoon) run ragged tending a litter of 25 piglets, a young gangster gorilla (Taron Egerton) looking to break free of his family’s felonies, and a punk-rock porcupine (Scarlett Johansson) struggling to shed her arrogant boyfriend and go solo.
Each animal arrives under Buster’s marquee believing that this is their shot to change the course of their life.
Documentary | Sport
Dir. Daniel Gordon, UK, 2016, 90 mins
Cast: George Best
He was football’s first rock and roll star – a handsome, charismatic Belfast boy who could thrill and excite the crowds with every turn of the ball.
But George Best was also the lead in his own Shakespearean tragedy, a flawed genius, brought down by drink, temptation and depression. In this 30 for 30 documentary jointly presented by ESPN Films, the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen, director Daniel Gordon (Hillsborough) recounts the tale of this beloved but be-devilled superstar with riveting, evocative footage and testimony by those who knew him at his best—and worst.
There’s a lot of ground to cover in Best’s short life—from his electrifying debut with Manchester United at the tender age of 17, through the glory years that United won the 1968 European Cup, his adventures in the North American Soccer League, not to mention his time spent romancing the world’s most beautiful, intoxicating women.
But Gordon tells Best’s story with a skill worthy of the man himself. The film draws you into the drama that surrounded Best and makes you understand just why an estimated quarter of a million people lined the route of his funeral cortege to mourn his tragic passing.
Dir. Pablo Larraín, Chile/France/US, 2016, 100 mins
Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig
JACKIE is a portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Natalie Portman).
JACKIE places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband’s assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a portrait of the First Lady as she fights to establish her husband’s legacy and the world of “Camelot” that she created and loved so well.
Action | Drama | Sport
Dir. Thomas Napper, UK, 2017, 91 mins
Cast: Johnny Harris, Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, Michael Smiley
A former youth boxing champion, Jimmy McCabe (Johnny Harris), is a man in search of hope but looking in all the wrong places. When he hits rock bottom he turns to his childhood boxing club and the only family he has left: gym owner Bill corner man Eddie and promoter Joe. Back in training, years after anyone thought he was a contender, he risks his life, as he tries to stand tall and regain his place in the world.
Drama | Horror
Dir. F. Javier Gutiérrez, US, 2017
Cast: Vincent D’Onofrio, Johnny Galecki, Laura Wiggins
A new chapter in the beloved RING horror franchise.
A young woman becomes worried about her boyfriend when he explores a dark subculture surrounding a mysterious videotape said to kill the watcher seven days after he has viewed it. She sacrifices herself to save her boyfriend and in doing so makes a horrifying discovery: there is a “movie within the movie” that no one has ever seen before…
Toni Erdmann (15)
Comedy | Drama
Dir. Maren Ade, Germany/Austria/Romania, 2016, 162 mins
Cast: Sandra Hüller, Peter Simonischek, Michael Wittenborn
Winfried doesn’t see much of his working daughter Ines. He pays her a surprise visit in Bucharest, where she’s busy as a corporate strategist.
The geographical change doesn’t help them to see more eye to eye. Practical joker Winfried annoys his daughter with corny pranks and jabs at her routine lifestyle of meetings and paperwork.
Father and daughter reach an impasse, and Winfried agrees to go home to Germany. Enter Toni Erdmann: Winfried’s flashy alter ego. Disguised in a tacky suit, weird wig and fake teeth, Toni barges into Ines’ work circle, claiming to be her CEO’s life coach.
As Toni, Winfried doesn’t hold back, and Ines meets the challenge. The harder they push, the closer they become. In all the madness, Ines begins to see that her eccentric father deserves a place in her life.
Underworld: Blood Wars (15)
Action | Horror
Dir. Anna Foerster, US, 2016, 91 mins
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Tobias Menzies
The next installment in the blockbuster franchise follows Vampire death dealer, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) as she fends off brutal attacks from both the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her.
With her only allies, David (Theo James) and his father Thomas (Charles Dance), she must stop the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires, even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.
xXx: The Return of Xander Cage (12A)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
Dir. D. J . Caruso, US, 2017, 107 mins
Cast: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, Tony Jaa, Toni Collette, Samuel L. Jackson, Ice Cube
Extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) comes out of self-imposed exile, thought to be long dead, and is set on a collision course with deadly alpha warrior Xiang (Donnie Yen) and his team in a race to recover a sinister and seemingly unstoppable weapon known as Pandora’s Box. Recruiting an all-new group of thrill-seeking cohorts, Xander finds himself enmeshed in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of world governments.