New Films

A KIND OF HUSH (15, 91 mins)

Director: Brian Stirner

Starring: Harley Smith, Marcella Plunkett

Played out around the cafes and toilets of shabby King's Cross, A Kind of Hush presents an efficient portrait of the capital's young criminal flotsam. The actors are untried; the direction gropes for a documentary realism. Some clanking dialogue, plus an abrupt tone-shift towards the end, jars the mood a little. Until then, this works just fine.

West End: ABC Shaftesbury Avenue

EYES WIDE SHUT (18, 159 mins)

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Starring: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman

Eyes open for the two-and-a-half-hour death throes of a mighty talent. But Kubrick's psycho-drama contains faint strains of brilliance as it trips alongside Cruise's doctor through a long, dark night of the soul that leads him from a naff Ferrero Rocher-type party to a decadent costume shop to a shady sex orgy in the suburbs. At its best, Eyes Wide Shut is a brave and unsettling study of public faces and private sins. At its worst, it's garbled, awash with undigested sex philosophies and heart-of-gold hookers. Or to put it another way: daytime soap with a big nipple count.

West End: ABC Tottenham Court Road, Barbican Screen, Clapham Picture House, Notting Hill Coronet, Odeon Camden Town, Odeon Kensington, Odeon Marble Arch, Odeon Swiss Cottage, Ritzy Cinema, The Tricycle Cinema, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Chelsea, Virgin Fulham Road, Virgin Haymarket, Warner Village West End Repertory: National Film Theatre And local cinemas

THE ITALIAN JOB (RE-ISSUE) (PG, 100 mins)

Director: Peter Collinson

Starring: Michael Caine, Noel Coward

Take away the Mini Cooper and Collinson's beloved British thriller doesn't seem half so much fun. Revolving around a Turin bullion heist, this 1969 timepiece idles in third gear for too long; giving too much rope to the often self-indulgent performances. Neat car chase, though.

West End: Plaza, Virgin Fulham Road Repertory: The Pullman Everyman

MOUCHETTE (NC, 82 mins)

Director: Robert Bresson

Starring: Nadine Nortier, Paul Hebert

See The Independent Recommends, right

Repertory: National Film Theatre

RAVENOUS (18, 100 mins)

Director: Antonia Bird

Starring: Robert Carlyle, Guy Pearce

See The Independent Recommends, right.

West End: Odeon Swiss Cottage, Virgin Chelsea, Virgin Haymarket And local cinemas.

STOP MAKING SENSE (PG, 88 mins)

Director: Jonathan Demme

Starring: Talking Heads

Demme's Talking Heads showcase welds three concerts into one hermetically sealed unit. Viewed from a 15-year distance, what at the time appeared state-of-the-art now looks endearingly retro. David Byrne prances on stage like some jerk(y) marionette; the music is all kinetic, thumping funk; the design, your basic primary-coloured power-dressing. Manhattan advertising executives on a caffeine rush. Suddenly it all makes sense.

West End: Curzon Soho, Odeon Camden Town, Ritzy Cinema

VARSITY BLUES (15, 105 mins)

Director: Brian Robbins

Starring: James Van Der Beek, Jon Voight

Taking time out from the Dawson's Creek day job, Van Der Beek stars in this American football movie, playing a nonconformist quarterback at a tinpot Texas high school. Bad move. Varsity Blues is pure frat-house doggerel; its feeble attempts at rebellion soon give way to the usual "be-all-you-can- be" cliche as our heroes gear up for the big game. Even the cheering sounds canned.

West End: Plaza, Virgin Trocadero Local: Croydon Safari, Edmonton Lee Valley UCI 12, Feltham Cineworld the Movies, Streatham ABC

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