Latest movies: La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, Live by Night, Underworld: Blood Wars

Songs in the key of life, a death in the family, once upon a time in Boston and Beckinsale bites back

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LA LA LAND ★★★★★

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone trip the light fantastic as lovers dreaming of stardom in the City of Angels. Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to Whiplash has already hoovered up a mound of Golden Globes, but will this romantic musical sweep the Baftas and Oscars, too?

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MANCHESTER BY THE SEA ★★★★

Casey Affleck is this year’s award magnet for best actor with his hard-to-ignore performance as a mouthy janitor jolted into taking responsibility when he’s appointed guardian of his equally lippy teenage nephew. It’s doomy and a bit gloomy, but leavened by a rich seam of humour, too.


LIVE BY NIGHT ★★★

Older Affleck brother Ben already has two Oscars in his cabinet but his latest opus, an ambitious gangster saga set during Prohibition, probably won’t be adding to the tally. At least it’s blessed with a classy cast and the writer/director starring as the sharp-suited “hero” determined to build an empire in spite of violent attention from rival mobsters.

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UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS ★★★

Kate Beckinsale is back in black as vampire heroine Selene in the fifth instalment of the long-running horror series. Expect livid lycanthropes, nasty nosferatu and lashings of claret.


ALSO RELEASED THIS WEEK

THE BYE BYE MAN ★★

EMBRACE ★★★

THE YOUNG OFFENDERS ★★★★


 
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