Love & Mercy, The Cobbler, American Ultra, Just Jim, The Vatican Tapes, The Runner: 4 January’s new DVDs

Surf’s up for Paul Dano and John Cusack, Adam Sandler walks a mile in your shoes, Jesse's firing on blanks, the coolest guy in the village, Michael Pena fights dark forces, and sexy secrets threaten to destroy Nicolas Cage

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LOVE & MERCY (12)
★★★

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A biographical drama about musical genius Brian Wilson that is, unfortunately, something of a missed opportunity. Paul Dano plays the Beach Boys frontman in his early years and John Cusack the older Brian, a man damaged by too many substances and at the mercy of a dodgy therapist (Paul Giamatti).

Formats: DVD, Blu-ray and download


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THE COBBLER (12)
★★

Quirky fantasy comedy starring Adam Sandler as a shoe repairer who discovers that he can turn into whoever’s footwear he puts on. It’s a nice idea and although Sandle nails it, the film doesn’t have a lot of sole (that’s enough, get on with it!) and ultimately it becomes unsure of what it is.

Formats: DVD and download


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AMERICAN ULTRA (15)
★★★

In this fast-paced action comedy, stoner Jesse Eisenberg discovers he was once a trained assassin who has had his memory wiped and is now the target of an operation to wipe him out permanently. There’s a witty script to help balance the thrills and splatter, and the laid-back Eisenberg has a nice chemistry with his on-screen girlfriend played by Kristen Stewart.

Formats: DVD, Blu-ray and download


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JUST JIM (15)
★★★

A geeky and socially awkward teenager (Craig Roberts) gets some lessons in cool from a swaggering American (Emile Hirsch) in this comedy that’s an effective combination of the conventionally witty and the enjoyably oddball.

Formats: DVD and download


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THE VATICAN TAPES (15)
★★

Michael Pena stars here as a cleric called in to help a young woman (Olivia Taylor Dudley) who could be the victim of demonic possession. Yes, it’s been done before – there’s even an older priest who turns up to help out – but despite throwing a lot of money into the mix, director Mark Neveldine never really produces enough scares

Formats: DVD, Blu-ray and download


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THE RUNNER (12)
★★

Another week, another Nicolas Cage movie. Here he stars as a congressman doing good works for the victims of the 2010 oil spill, whose reputation is damaged by stories of sexual indiscretion. For once the scenery remains unchewed, but it’s difficult to put yourself on Nic’s side.

Formats: DVD, Blu-ray and download


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