ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY
Easy A ★★★★
The appealing Emma Stone has earned her acting stripes in Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Help and Birdman (for which she was Oscar-nominated). But she made her name in teen comedies, of which this is the stand-out. She plays Olive, a Californian high-school “nonentity” who lies about losing her virginity and fakes having sex at a house party with a boyfriend (who’s actually gay) for the benefit of those listening at a bedroom door. Targeted by the school’s Christian group, she is ostracised as a “skank”, and decides to live up to her “scarlet letter” by taking payment from virginal boys who wish to improve their sexual reputation by pretending they’ve slept with her. Directed by Will Gluck (Friends with Benefits), it’s much funnier than it sounds, hits all the right modern notes by having Olive talk to a webcam and credits its teenage audience with a modicum of intelligence. Meanwhile Lisa Kudrow and Thomas Haden Church head the adult cast.
Woody Harrelson and Emily Mortimer take a train ride across the icy wastes in this thrill-ride knowingly playing the clichés about Russia for all their worth.
The excellent Chiwetel Ejiofor is the virtuous martial artist dragged into the world of murky commerce in David Mamet’s tightly coiled thriller.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day ★★★★★
Director James Cameron cranks up the pyrotechnics for a big, shiny sequel where Arnie squares up against the slippery shape-shifting T-1000. A real ground-breaker.
The Descent ★★★★
If you’re afraid of heights, enclosed spaces and unseen creatures that kill, then this horror may well tick all your phobic boxes. Just keep telling yourself that it’s only a film.
Buy your copy of the Radio Times Guide to Films 2016