Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

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Has Jack Sparrow met his match? He’s in London, facing piracy charges, has no crew, no ship and – seemingly – no hope. But, of course, keeping Jack behind bars wouldn’t make for much of a film and so, following a beautifully-choreographed escape through the streets of London, a scene-stealing cameo from Keith Richards as Jack’s worldly-wise father and reunion with feisty former love Angelica (Penelope Cruz), Jack is soon ensconced on the ship of the legendary Blackbeard (Ian McShane), on the hunt for the fabled Fountain of Youth. On his tail is pirate nemesis Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) but, as the journey gets increasingly dangerous, the old foes may find that they need to work together if they are to make it home alive…

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The King’s Speech (2010)

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The King’s Speech has an awful lot to live up to as it makes its home entertainment debut. Not only did it win a clutch of awards, including four Oscars, but it’s been proclaimed as the saviour of modern British cinema by commentators from every corner of the industry. It’s rare for a film to satisfy that amount of hype, and often those who have waited to catch a must-see movie in the comfort of their own home are left wondering what all the fuss is about. Not so here; this film is a genuine delight.

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Red Riding Hood (2011)

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Greenlighting this updated Red Riding Hood must have seemed like a no-brainer; combine the current trend for modern gothic – angst-ridden vampires and emotionally conflicted werewolves – with the familiar set up of an ever-green fairy tale, a beautiful cast and the director of the teen behemoth Twilight and you’ve got a sure fire winner, right? But, as so often happens, it seems that so much stock has been placed in replicating a seemingly winning formula that no care was taken to ensure that the resulting film had any emotional heart, or even a cohesive narrative.

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