The Town

Affleck has turned out an accomplished and riveting crime thriller. The Town isn't as hot as Heat, but it's one hell of a scorcher.

The Hole 3D

A proper horror for kids big and small, The Hole is a great relief after The Human Centipede. Friendly fun to freak out the hole (ahem) family.

I'm Still Here

Committed and convincing, I'm Still Here is a brave and unusual piece of cinema. Fascinating.

Winter's Bone

As bleak as Brick, Winter's Bone is a cold modern mystery that should earn Jennifer Lawrence an Oscar. A frostbitten pleasure.

The Other Guys

There are flashes of brilliance in this frantic Ferrell vehicle. The Other Guys never shoots to kill, but it frequently finds your funny bone.

Tamara Drewe

Intelligently titillating, Tamara Drewe hides its smarts under a hedgerow of filth. Unassuming, undeniably fun.

Going the Distance

Drew and Justin make sparks fly in this natural, likeable movie. Unlike most rom-coms this year, Going the Distance is worth making the trip to see.


Mumblecore meets mainstream without making a masterpiece. Painful and heartfelt but rarely funny, Cyrus is good but it's no Greenberg.

The Runaways

A run-of-the-mill rock biopic elevated by its quick script and great cast. Forget mopey Bella: Kristen Stewart rocks.

The Last Exorcism

The Last Exorcism blends belief, doubt and humour to produce some seriously scary cinema. Until the dubious ending.

The Switch

Ill-conceived but entertaining, the year's second sperm donor rom-com leaves no embarrassing stains.

An Education: Cinema's Top Syllabus

With kids back to school and education funding cut, what's the best way to educate your child? Cinema.

Have Your Say

What do you want to see at the LFF?


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Director: Casey Affleck
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix
Certificate: 15

Is it a hoax? That's the main discussion surrounding I'm Still Here, which purports to show the "lost year" of Joaquin Phoenix, who publicly decided to retire from Hollywood and head to hip-hop instead. Directed by his brother-in-law Casey Affleck, it's a funny, bizarre and candid look at life in the glare of the media. But it is true? Joaquin definitely did stop acting for a while. He did perform as a rapper. And he did grow a beard. The crazy part? Well, that's quite believable too.

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Director: Adam McKay
Cast: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Eva Mendes
Certificate: 15

If you don't like Will, you won't like this - that's pretty much the standard maxim for all of Ferrell's comedies. When he comes up with turkeys like Land of the Lost, it throws that way off. Here, though, he's back with writer-director Adam McKay, the man responsible for Anchorman and the very amusing Talladega Nights. It's not quite on a par with the legend of Ron Burgundy, but The Other Guys still breaks out the hilarity in pretty constant doses.

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Going the Distance

Director: Nanette Burstein
Cast: Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Charlie Day, Christina Applegate, Jason Sudeikis
Certificate: 15

You can almost hear studio execs thinking up the idea of a long-distance relationship during the kooky animated credits. With its oh-so-witty title, Going the Distance clearly thinks its onto a winning concept. And it is a topic that hasn't really been focused on in a film before. But in the year of Sex and the City 2 and The Back-Up Plan, Going the Distance is original for a completely different reason: it's really good.

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Cuts are in the air as kids go back to school this September. But with education funding reduced and renovation plans scrapped, who do you turn to when your local primary or secondary has collapsed into a pile of rubble?

With its varied back-catalogue and comfortable seating arrangements, the cinema could well be your best bet to educate your offspring.

Nick Clegg can’t stop you seeing a film based on your postcode, and Michael Gove is all for people starting up their own state schools. Even Odeon’s website agrees: "the cinema can provide a useful and relevant study aid," it readily enthuses. Starting up your own school? Don’t use the chip shop – use your own home cinema.

When it comes to the national curriculum on a budget, you can forget the Three Rs. The letters you want are these: DVD.

Here’s a rundown of your basic introductory syllabus:

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Scott Pilgrim vs the World

Director: Edgar Wright
Cast: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ellen Wong, Keiran Culkin, Anna Kendrick, Mark Webber
Certificate: 12A

This is Scott Pilgrim (Cera). Scott Pilgrim’s precious little life involves computer games, sleeping and not much else. Unless you count his band, Sex Bob-Omb. They suck. Scott lives with his gay roommate Wallace Wells (Culkin) and is dating a high schooler called Knives Chau (Wong). She’s Chinese. Then one day into his head rollerblades the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers (Winstead). And every adolescent boy knows exactly what that means: awkward chat-up lines, making out and some serious Street Fighter action.

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The Girl who Played with Fire

Director: Daniel Alfredson
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Mikael Nyqvist, Mikael Spreitz, Peter Andersson, Georgi Staykov
Certificate: 15

After showing the world what she could do with a golf club, a motorbike and a laptop, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has returned. But unlike her first cinema outing, expectations are higher. Also unlike last time, both the writing and direction have changed hands. Although that's not always a bad thing, you can certainly tell. 

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Director: Phillip Noyce
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Daniel Olbrychski
Certificate: 12A

When the story of Anna Chapman's identity as a Russian spy hit the headlines, several things happened. Her British passport was revoked. Folks at Columbia Pictures thanked her for making this preposterous plot more believable. And lots of people wished Anna had done more cool spy stuff. Like shoot people, jump onto moving vehicles, or use her pants to cover up security cameras. Now Salt is here, everyone's happy.

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The Expendables

Director: Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Steve Austin, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Arnold Schwarzenegger
Certificate: 15

How bad can so-bad get before it stops being good? If Sylvester Stallone doesn't know the answer, no-one does. But he has a damn good shot at it with The Expendables, an action movie with a cast of manly men that most men dream of in their manly man-dreams. The Expendables are mercenaries - guns for hire with an emphasis on the guns. They have names, but they don't matter. What matters is that they have guns. Lots of guns. Dolph Lundgren's gun can literally blow a man into two halves.

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Knight and Day

Director: James Mangold
Cast: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Paul Dano
Certificate: 12A

June (Diaz) is trying to get back home to Boston for her sister's wedding. She’s running around Wichita airport dragging a suitcase full of car parts attempting to make a last minute flight. She keeps bumps into a tall, dark, handsome stranger - well, actually, it’s Roy Miller, played by Tom Cruise, to whom not all those adjectives can be applied. Once on the plane, June's flight is far from smooth: through a bizarre series of events, everyone onboard ends up dead. Apart from her and Miller.

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Director: Joan Sfar
Cast: Eric Elmosnino, Lucy Gordon, Laetitia Casta, Anna Mouglalis, Doug Jones
Certificate: 15

Serge Gainsbourg (Elmosnino), legendary French songwriter and womaniser, grows up in the streets of Nazi-occupied Paris. Not keen on classically trained piano, he soon falls into playing popular bar music, chatting up the ladies as he goes. Sure, he's young, but he's "wise beyond his years", the boy proudly beams at a topless model after his still-life drawing class. It's all fun and backstory for what seems to be a straightforward biopic of the singer. Then out sprouts his alter-ego, stalking through streets and flying through the air. That's when things get very surreal.

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