ASSASSIN’S CREED ★★★
Michael Fassbender re-teams with Macbeth director Justin Kurzel for the long-awaited big-screen adaptation of the hit video game. Chests are bared as Fassbender’s modern-day criminal Callum Lynch is mind-swapped back to the days of the Spanish Inquisition when hooded ancestor Aguilar had a tiff with the Templar Knights.
A MONSTER CALLS ★★★★
A bullied boy with a terminally ill mother gets sage advice from an old tree creature in this gloomy adaptation of the fantasy novel by Patrick Ness (creator of Doctor Who spin-off Class). It may not be the usual sort of feel-good fare for children, but there’s a lot of heart here, and it makes a refreshing change for youngsters to be fed something else other than sweetness and schmaltz.
Martin Scorsese revisits the nature of faith and the suffering of the devout (following The Last Temptation of Christ and Kundun) with his passion project about Jesuit priests sent on a mission to 17th-century Japan to find their mentor (Liam Neeson, in an Oscar-worthy turn). Expect harrowing scenes, convincing performances from Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver (as the missionaries) and typically thought-provoking questions from a director at the top of his game.