Testament of Youth, Whiplash, American Sniper: this week’s cinema releases reviewed

The true story of a young woman in the First World War, the clash between a talented drummer and his crazed tutor, and Bradley Cooper as a real-life military gunman

TESTAMENT OF YOUTH ★★★★

Based on the memoir of Vera Brittain, this moving tale of love and war stars a superb Alicia Vikander as Brittain, who volunteers as a nurse during the First World War, and Game of Thrones’s Kit Harington as her dashing fiancé.

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WHIPLASH ★★★★★

JK Simmons and Miles Teller go head to head in this intense, thrilling and suprising tale, which turns the concept of the inspirational teacher upside down. Teller is fantastic as a young drummer with high aspirations, while Simmons is spectacular as his terrifying, foul-mouthed mentor.


AMERICAN SNIPER ★★★★

Clint Eastwood directs a bulked-up Bradley Cooper as real-life military gunman Chris Kyle, whose success with a rifle made him the most wanted man in Iraq. It’s a simple, powerful and tragic story.


WILD ★★★

A damaged woman (Reese Witherspoon) embarks on a gruelling cross-country journey to find herself. Despite being based on a true story, and an impressive performance from Witherspoon, this is lacking in emotional impact.


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ALSO RELEASED THIS WEEK:

DUCK SOUP ★★★★★

PAPER SOULS ★★★

POINT AND SHOOT ★★★