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Reviews

Film round up

Jeremy Clarke

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Hirokazu Koreeda's I Wish (PG; 128 mins) concerns two boys whose parents have separated. Set during the 2011 opening of a bullet train line, Koreeda weaves a compelling essay on hopes and dreams. Robot And Frank (12a; 88 mins) is a charming drama set in the near future in which an old aged burglar is given a robot to monitor his health. Don't let the sci-fi trappings fool you: this is a compelling character study with a terrific lead performance. More hardcore sci-fi buffs are directed to Brandon (son of David) Cronenberg's Antiviral (on DVD or download, cert 15; 103 mins) in which punters achieve closeness to celebrity idols by injecting illnesses the latter have had. Bizarre, brilliant and intelligent.

A slew of animation companies contribute to the audio recording of A Liar's Autobiography by the late Monty Python star Graham Chapman(15; 82 mins). Sadly it's an episodic ragtag. The fascinating Breath Of The Gods (cert tbc; 105 mins) maps the development of modern yoga through interviews with the family of the late guru Krishnamacharya. Alex Gibney's very different Mea Maxima Culpa (15; 106 mins) takes on sex abuse by priests in Catholic-run children's homes. Many of the victims interviewed are deaf - it was harder for them to explain what was being perpetrated. Harrowing but worth seeing.

The indie low-budget drama Lore (15; 109 mins) features the eldest daughter in a family left to survive after her Nazi parents turn themselves in; its narrative compellingly charts the collapse of the Third Reich. The Taviani brothers' short but poignant Caesar Must Die (cert tbc; 76 mins) observes inmates of a maximum security prison as they mount a production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. The big-budget corruption thriller Broken City (15; 109 mins) is a sprawling affair lacking the discipline of Hitchcock (12a; 98 mins), a droll romp in which the master of suspense and his savvy wife revitalise his career by going independent to make a film the usual Studio backers won't touch: Psycho.

Broken (15; 90 mins) shows three dysfunctional fathers from the same suburb. Its contrived set-up undermines its emotional punch. Spanish thriller Sleep Tight (15; 100 mins) concerns an outwardly friendly hotel doorman who is secretly inflicting pain on a female resident. A chilling work, it's hard to relate to such an unpleasant central character. Park Chan-Wook's first English film Stoker (cert 18; 98 mins) is more effective as an 18-year-old girl bereaved of her father contends with her estranged mother falling for her Uncle Charlie, another charming type with a darker side. Hitchcock would have approved.

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