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Reviews

Film round up

Jeremy Clarke

The Raid 2 (cert 18; 150 mins, pictured) is every bit as awesome as its predecessor although considerably more convoluted and with moments of genuine pathos. Set during Norway's 1980s oil boom, Pioneer (cert 15; 111 mins) is a first rate, very well researched and thoroughly gripping conspiracy thriller involving deep sea diving .

Meandering Chilean drama Magic Magic (cert 15; 98 mins) concerns a female US student whose holiday with friends turns into a nightmare. Portuguese effort After The Night (cert 15; 99 mins) follows a debt-ridden drugs dealer released from prison through the night in a Lisbon slum district. Very raw, it feels too much like photographs of people talking.

Terrific thriller Blue Ruin (cert 15; 92 mins) has a man go after his father's recently released killer - and his family. A frightening look at people consumed by a blood feud, it's edgeof- the-seat stuff. Unsettling and violent, Cheap Thrills (cert 15; 85 mins) is an essay on, if you were poor, how far would you go for money? Where it crosses the line will depend on you: a gory discussion starter.

Japanimation Patema Inverted (cert PG; 98 mins) pits against each other two societies where one is the other way up: think people walking on the ceiling. It's a clever conceit, well thought out. Highly creative and poetic Slovenian war drama without dialogue Silent Sonata (cert 15; 77 mins) is unike anything else out there and a deeply moving experience.

Lukas Moodyson's We Are The Best! (cert 15; 102 mins) is a gentle and sweet story of teenage schoolgirls forming an amateur punk band: watch out for the Christian acoustic guitarist. Tracks (cert 12a; 113 mins) sees loner Mia Wasikowska crossing the Australian outback with four camels and a dog. Slow paced and poignant, it's a highly effective landscape movie cum character study.

Dog lovers - along wth everyone else - are pointed towards Sam Fuller's 1982 White Dog (DVD/BD combi, cert 15; 86 mins), about a dog trained to attack black people: one of the best films ever made about racism. Steven Knight's extraordinary Locke (cert 15; 85 mins) is merely Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) on the phone driving from Wales to London keeping in control of events as his whole life unravels. Merely! This masterpiece made on a shoestring is destined to be one of the year's best.

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