A Mighty Heart
Michael Winterbottom adapts Mariane Pearl’s memoir about the death of her journalist husband Daniel at the hands of Islamists following his kidnapping in Pakistan in 2002. Angelina Jolie and Dan Futterman lead the cast, support from Archie Panjabi, Irrfan Khan, Will Patton and Denis O’Hare.
Biopic about Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp), focusing on the relationship he had with old neighbourhood pal-turned-FBI agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton). Slightly brimming over with familiar faces – Benedict Cumberbatch, Rory Cochrane, Peter Sarsgaard, Dakota Johnson, Kevin Bacon, Corey Stoll – but Scott Cooper handles the tension well.
Another decent addition the modern Disney canon, this time with a young rabbit (Ginnifer Goodwin) fulfilling a lifelong ambition to become the first ever lapine recruit to the Zootopia Police Department, an anthropomorphic world where such roles are normally filled by predators. Idris Elba plays her sceptical boss, Jason Bateman the wily fox she reluctantly partners up with to solve a mystery. Good balance of straight-ahead for-the-kids cartoon action, strong visuals, decent plotting, and the odd adult theme too; jointly directed by Byron Howard (Tangled) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph).
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
Rather muted wrap-up of the teen future dystopia series.
The Propaganda Game
Documentary about how North Korea sees itself and attempts to portray itself to others, by Spanish director Álvaro Longoria.
Strong genre premise – sullied ex-cop builds a new life for himself and his daughter as the boss of a crime scene clean-up company, but finds his past catching up with him – is, almost inevitably, hashed by director Renny Harlin.
Samuel L Jackson is great in the lead, but unfortunately is given no more direction than be Sam Jackson. Robert Forster and Eva Mendes are criminally under-utilised, and Ed Harris as the ex-partner might as well be twirling a thick black moustache.