Latest movies: Sunset Song, Victor Frankenstein, The Night Before

Scotland on the eve of war, James McAvoy creates a monster, and the party to end all parties: in cinemas 4 December

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SUNSET SONG ★★★

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Director Terence Davies spent 15 years trying to make a movie of Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s 1932 novel, and it shows. The epic sweep of this lovingly made literary adaptation is both breathtaking and indulgent. Agyness Deyn and Peter Mullan play the daughter and father of a dysfunctional Scottish farming family on the eve of the First World War, but the defining feature of the movie is arguably the landscape. If there were Oscars for movie locations, Scotland would sweep the board.

VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN ★★

Daniel Radcliffe continues to surprise with his post-Potter actorly choices. This time he sports long locks to play Igor opposite James McAvoy’s obsessed Dr Frankenstein in a reworking of Mary Shelley’s gothic horror classic. But what begins as a search to harness life for the good of humanity soon turns into a dangerous game of playing God. And we all know how that’s going to end.   


THE NIGHT BEFORE ★★★

A Christmas comedy caper following three friends (played by Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie) who decide to have one last wild night out before settling down. Kayne West was rumoured to make an appearance, but it ain’t so; nevertheless cameo-spotters will be satisfied by the self-spoofing turns from James Franco and Miley Cyrus.


FUTURE SHOCK! THE STORY OF 2000AD ★★★★

A refreshing alternative to the ongoing glut of Marvel superhero movies, this documentary tells the story of British comic 2000AD, the people who made it happen (Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore) and characters it spawned (Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper). Subversive and violent, 2000AD was the comic-book equivalent of punk rock – this doc keeps that spirit alive in both style and content.


THE LESSON ★★★★

Why would a well-to-do provincial teacher try to rob a bank? That’s the question that inspired this understated but gripping Bulgarian-Greek drama. Margita Gosheva is the struggling school teacher who falls behind on her mortgage repayments and falls foul of a dodgy loan shark after her alcoholic hubby fritters away her savings. Loosely based on a real-life event, and filmed in a highly naturalistic style, The Lesson is a study of the human cost of economic crisis.


ALSO RELEASED THIS WEEK

THE SHOW OF SHOWS ★★★

KRAMPUS ★★

CHRISTMAS WITH THE COOPERS ★★


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