Get Santa, Black Sea, The Grandmaster: this week’s cinema releases reviewed

Santa does porridge, Jude Law goes on a deep sea treasure hunt, and Tony Leung works some martial arts magic

GET SANTA ★★★★

Ho ho ho! Jim Broadbent’s Santa gets banged up and it’s up to a nine-year-old boy to break him out, in a delightfully British festive caper that mixes the magical with the realistic.

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BLACK SEA ★★★★

Out-of-work submariner Jude Law (and his Scottish accent) rounds up a gang to attempt a daring raid of sunken Nazi gold in this tense undersea adventure from director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland).


THE GRANDMASTER ★★★

Biopic of martial arts legend Ip Man from director Wong Kar-Wai (In the Mood for Love). Tony Leung commands the screen as the kung fu king, the fight choreography is incredible and the cinematography sublime. But the story is confused and lacks emotional punch.


PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR ★★★

The penguins from Madagascar get their own, imaginatively titled, spinoff. There’s a quality voice cast (Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich) and plenty of frenetic, surreal fun, as the birds attempt to foil the plans of an evil octopus named Dave.


ST VINCENT ★★★★

Bill Murray does his Bill Murray thing to great effect in this offbeat comedy about a grouchy Vietnam vet who forms a friendship with a wimpy 12-year-old boy.


MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN ★★★

The internet can be a bad place shocker! Director Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air) weaves together several different stories about love, sex and relationships in the online age – with varied results.


           

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ALSO RELEASED THIS WEEK:

BONOBO ★★★

EASTERN BOYS ★★★★

HELLO CARTER ★★

ME, MYSELF AND MUM ★★★

MEA CULPA ★★★

OPEN BETHLEHEM ★★★

THE PYRAMID