Happy Friday! It's a packed week of movies in your latest releases round-up, so get ready for the weekend with these epic new arrivals.
The LEGO Batman Movie
What's the story? LEGO Batman must learn to be a team player to defeat The Joker in this brilliantly funny LEGO Movie spin-off.
Self-regarding, gravel-voiced Bruce Wayne (Will Arnett) - aka Batman - remains the toast of Gotham City. But each night, he returns to the Batcave alone. His faithful manservant Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) suggests that this illustrious master builder and crime-fighter's greatest fear is of being part of a family once more.
The solution is to raise the orphan he adopted, Dick Grayson (Michael Cera), to become his superhero sidekick Robin. But the over-excited boy wonder proves quite a handful. Meanwhile, police commisioner Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) wants Batman to join her law enforcement team just as highly-strung, self-styled greatest foe The Joker (Zach Galifianakis) rears his cackling head.
Will Arnett reprises his wonderful voice performance from the hit LEGO Movie for this witty animated comedy that places Batman centre stage - where he feels he belongs!
Fifty Shades Darker
What's the story? Ana Steele and Christian Grey continue their steamy relationship in this eagerly awaited follow-up to the 2015 erotic smash.
At the end of blockbusting E.L. James adaptation Fifty Shades of Grey, it seemed as if the relationship between naďve Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) and mysterious, kinky billionaire Christian (Jamie Dornan) was over.
However, the two are drawn back towards each other – but not like before. The more assertive Ana is now setting the terms of their relationship whilst Christian has some dark secrets of his own, which manifest in the form of a dangerous old flame and the influence of one Elena Lincoln (Kim Basinger). Can they make it last?
Adapted from E.L. James’ sexy, barnstorming bestseller, Fifty Shades of Grey was one of the biggest hits of 2015. With its two attractive stars back for more, expectations are high for Fifty Shades Darker to exceed its predecessor.
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
What's the story? An Iraq war hero struggles with his newfound celebrity in Oscar winner Ang Lee's heartfelt drama.
After 19-year-old Bravo Squad private Billy Lynn (Joe Alwyn) is filmed saving the life of his injured sergeant (Vin Diesel) during an intense firefight in Iraq, he and his comrades are hailed as heroes.
Now the military seeks to use their bravery to bolster public support for the war by bringing traumatised Billy and his platoon home for a two-week nationwide victory tour. This culminates in the spectacular halftime show at a Thanksgiving Day football game, where they appear alongside Destiny's Child. But as a series of powerful flashbacks reveal, the reality of war is much messier and uglier than the propagandists would have the public believe.
Adapted from Ben Fountain's acclaimed 'Catch 22'-style satirical bestseller, Ang Lee's visually stunning, superbly acted follow-up to Life of Pi brilliantly immerses us in Billy's world on and off the battlefield.
The Space Between Us
What's the story? A boy who has spent nearly all his life on Mars travels to Earth for the first time in this emotional sci-fi drama.
Gardner Elliot isn’t a normal teenager. Born en route to Mars, his mother died in childbirth and he has no idea who his father is. Having spent virtually all his life on the red planet he’s never experienced a fellow child or talked to anyone who isn’t a scientist. But while searching for clues about his father, and the home planet he's never known, Gardner begins an online friendship with a girl in Colorado named Tulsa (Britt Robertson).
When he finally gets a chance to go to Earth, he's eager to experience all of the wonders he’s only ever read about – from the most simple to the extraordinary. But once his explorations begin, scientists discover that Gardner's organs can't withstand Earth's atmosphere…
This wondrous movie is directed by Hector and the Search for Happiness’s Peter Chelsom and stars Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight), BD Wong (Doctor Strange) and Asa Butterfield (Hugo) as the 16-year-old Gardner Elliot.
What's the story? Denzel Washington stars and directs this compelling drama about a black family in 1950s Pittsburgh.
In 1950s Pittsburgh, Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) once dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player. Nowadays, he’s a sanitation worker with a wife and a teenage son, who dreams of playing football. But Troy remains bitter about the missed opportunities of his past, while at the same time trying to cope with the pressures of being a husband and father.
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reprise their roles from the award-winning revival of August Wilson’s acclaimed play. The movie is tipped for Oscar greatness, having picking up nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (Washington), Best Supporting Actress (Davis) and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Hidden Figures (limited)
What's the story? An uplifting true-life drama about the African-American women who played a key role in US space missions.
It's 1962 and the space race is on. NASA is determined to beat the Russians in putting a man into orbit around the Earth. But behind the scenes, a trio of pioneering African-American women are responsible for the calculations that will launch John Glenn into space.
These "human computers" have to battle against deeply engrained racism and sexism to secure their place in history. Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) is a brilliant maths prodigy. Team supervisor Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) is kept in her place by a condescending boss (Kirsten Dunst). And Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) endures an uphill struggle to train as NASA's first black female engineer.
From the director of 'St. Vincent', this is an inspirational, feel-good true story of unsung heroes who dared to dream big and refused to be intimidated by the obstacles placed in their way.
What's the story? A pitch black, wryly British comedy from the mind of Alice Lowe, Prevenge follows Ruth, a pregnant woman on a killing spree.
It's her misanthropic unborn baby dictating Ruth's actions, holding society responsible for the absence of a father. The child speaks to Ruth from the womb, coaching her to lure and ultimately kill her unsuspecting victims. Struggling with her conscience, loneliness, and a strange strain of prepartum madness, Ruth must ultimately choose between redemption and destruction at the moment of motherhood.
Having shown at Venice, Toronto and most recently the London International Film Festival, Prevenge marks the directorial debut from Lowe, who is a true triple threat, writing, directing, and acting in the film during her own real-life pregnancy.
What's the story? A timeless story of human connection and self-discovery, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.
At once a vital portrait of contemporary African American life and an intensely personal and poetic meditation on identity,family, friendship, and love, Moonlight is a groundbreaking piece of cinema that reverberates with deep compassion and universal truths.
Anchored by extraordinary performances from a tremendous ensemble cast, director Barry Jenkins’ staggering, singular vision is profoundly moving in its portrayal of the moments, people, and unknowable forces that shape our lives and make us who we are. Nominated for eight Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director, it's an unmissable experience.
Arrival: extended version (Monday 13th February)
What's the story? Amy Adams stars as a linguist recruited to communicate with aliens in this smart, emotional sci-fi drama, nominated for eight Academy Awards including Best Picture.
When twelve spacecraft land at seemingly random locations all over Earth, US Army Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker) recruits two experts to handle the 'first contact'.
Military scientist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) is teamed with Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) - a linguist whose mission is to determine the aliens' intentions. This is an urgent task. Although the craft appear to pose no immediate threat, their arrival sparks widespread public alarm and heightens international tensions between old foes. What Louise doesn't anticipate is that the work will illuminate a tragedy in her own past.
Adapted from Ted Chiang's award-winning novella 'Story of Your Life', this thoughtful, provocative, strikingly original sci-fi drama poses big questions in the tradition of '2001: A Space Odyssey' and 'Interstellar'. The director is Denis Villeneuve, whose impressive list of credits includes 'Sicario' and 'Prisoners'.
Dirty Dancing: 30th anniversary screening (Tuesday 14th February)
What's the story? Celebrating its 30th anniversary, this timeless, Oscar®* winning classic is a phenomenally popular coming-of-age tale beloved by generations.
Teenager Baby (Jennifer Grey), goes with her family on vacation to Kellerman’s holiday resort in the Catskill Mountains. Things are pretty tame until she meets Johnny (Patrick Swayze), a dance teacher at the resort who mesmerises Baby with his dance moves, his passion and his misunderstood ‘bad boy’ image. During the summer of 1963, Johnny teaches Baby how to dance. And, more importantly, how to love.
NT Live: Saint Joan (Thursday 16th, 7pm)
What's the story? Gemma Arterton is Joan of Arc, broadcast live from the Donmar Warehouse.
Bernard Shaw’s classic play follows the life and trial of a young country girl who declares a bloody mission to drive the English from France. As one of the first Protestants and nationalists, she threatens the very fabric of the feudal society and the Catholic Church across Europe.
Josie Rourke (Coriolanus, Les Liaisons Dangereuses) directs Gemma Arterton (Gemma Bovery, Nell Gwynn, Made in Dagenham) as Joan of Arc in this electrifying production.
What's the story? The film shows an obscure episode from the life of a Stalinist criminal - Colonel of the Office of Public Security, Julia Brystiger.
Her nickname was "Bloody Luna" because during interrogations she tortured prisoners with extreme cruelty. At the beginning of the 1960's she appeared in Laski near Warsaw, in the Institute for the Blind, where the Primate of Poland, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, was also a frequent visitor. His imprisonment in the years 1953-1956 was supervised by none other than Julia Brystiger herself.
During the difficult and tempestuous conversation with the Primate, Julia Brystiger rejects the communist ideology, asks for her crimes to be forgiven and for help in finding God...
Mahi Nri (Punjabi)
What's the story? Set primarily in the UK's second largest city Birmingham, Mera Mahi NRI (My Beloved Non-Resident Indian) is a realistic multi- cultural comedy drama that follows the life of a student 'freshie' (a term used to describe somebody who is from the sub-continent who has recently arrived in the UK and who has very little experience of the British way of life).
The film shows Sherry and the twists and turns that he goes through to become an NRI ( Non Resident Indian) to please his girlfriend's mother who feels that a boy from Britain is the only suitable match for her daughter . The film also takes a humorous sideways look at the false premise that the UK from a rural-Indian point of view is still seen as the place where the streets are paved with gold and that all British Asians have huge sprawling houses, big cars and money that grows on trees.
Balu Mahi (Pakistani)
What's the story? A modern-day rom-com that introduces two affable but distinctive characters that meet at the most awkward situation.
Balu (Osman Khalid Butt) plays an aeronautical engineer from London that gatecrashes a wedding in Lahore. Turns out that the bride-to-be Mahi (Annie Jaffrey) wants to be a runaway bride. Mahi’s persuasive character leads her to convince Balu to hatch a plan for her escape. Reluctantly, he agrees only to find out once they’ve escaped together that her family are part of the police force.
Their escapade is captured beautifully in the film, revealing episodes of adventure and joy, while perfectly essaying their love for each other. Their journey gets an abrupt end when Balu decided to hand back Mahi to her family. Has he made a mistake in doing so? Will they end up together or away from each other? Balu Mahi marks the directional debut of hit TV director Haissam Hussain.
Singam 3 (Tamil)
What's the story? Suriya's courageous cop returns in the third instalment of Hari's hugely popular Tamil action-masala franchise.
Respected, honest, fiery police officer Durai Singam (Suriya) takes on another brave mission in the most thrill-packed Singam movie to date. Also returning from the first two Singam films is female lead Anushka Shetty. Shruti Haasan joins the cast in a pivotal new role. She plays a journalist who helps our hero to bring down a bad guy's criminal empire. Making his Singam debut alongside her is muscular model and popular Hindi TV star Thakur Anoop Singh. He's cast as the antagonist who locks horns with the formidable cop in what promises to be a spectacular showdown.
Writer/director Hari has also reunited the creative team behind the camera who helped make those first two films so successful, including cinematographer Priya and editor VJ Vijayan. They're joined by his frequent collaborator and award-winning soundtrack composer Harris Jayaraj, making his Singam debut.
What will you be watching over the next week? Let us know @Cineworld.