Tom Hanks brings his special brand of everyman heroism to the role of Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the veteran pilot who saved the day when he was forced to land a damaged passenger plane on the Hudson River in 2009. Director Clint Eastwood is more interested in how somebody ordinary performs the extraordinary and he has the perfect acting foil in the always classy Hanks.
The Disney canon of perfect princesses gets an exhilarating animated addition with the debut of spirited Polynesian teenager Moana, who challenges tradition to embark on a quest to save her people from a terrible curse. Awesome animation, terrific tunes, cute creature sidekicks and Dwayne Johnson as the voice of shapeshifting demigod Maui guarantee there’s something for all the family to enjoy over the Christmas period.
The story of real-life boxer Vinny Pazienza’s battle back from a near-fatal car crash to make a tilt at a world title is the subject of this inspirational against-the-odds drama. Whiplash star Miles Teller bulks up to convincing effect as “The Pazmanian Devil” while Aaron Eckhart shaves down (his head) as the fighter’s legendary trainer Kevin Rooney.
Director Spike Lee brings rhyme and reason to the mean streets of Chicago with this ambitious modern-day musical adaptation of Aristophanes’s play Lysistrata, in which the wives of Greek warriors deny sex to their husbands until they forego their warlike ways. Here, it’s the city’s gun-crazy gangsters who find themselves starved of carnal favour until they pack in the killing. Samuel L Jackson is smoothness personified as the natty narrator.