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THE AVENGERS (12)

Director: Jeremiah Chechik

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman, Sean Connery

Unavailable for preview at time of going to press. The distributors appear to have so little faith in this modern adaptation of the cult television series that they have declined to screen it for the press - a bad sign.

What we do know is that Ralph Fiennes dons the bowler hat and wields the cane as Steed, Uma Thurman pours herself into a catsuit as Emma Peel, while Sean Connery sashays around in a kilt as the diabolical August de Winter, who plans to take over the world by controlling the weather. Judge for yourself.

CW: ABC Baker Street, ABC Tottenham Court Road, Barbican Screen, Clapham Picture House, Hammersmith Virgin, Odeon Camden Town, Odeon Kensington, Odeon Marble Arch, Odeon Swiss Cottage, Phoenix Cinema, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Fulham Road, Virgin Trocadero, Warner Village West End

EVE'S BAYOU (15)

Director: Kasi Lemmons

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Lynn Whitfield

Things we have seen too many times, part one: films that begin with a sage female voice intoning the words "I was 10 years old when I killed my father/became a woman/ poisoned my guinea pig, etc" and then use flashback to trace the fall from innocence of the character concerned. It isn't the fault of the director, Kasi Lemmons, that her Louisiana locations have been overfamiliarised and devalued by Southern Comfort ads, but her screenplay doesn't add anything new to the gumbo. Despite some intuitive observations and fine performances, particularly from Samuel L Jackson as a philandering doctor, this feels for the most part like reheated Fried Green Tomatoes.

CW: Gate Notting Hill, Odeon Mezzanine, Plaza, Ritzy Cinema, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Trocadero

FIRELIGHT (15)

Director: William Nicholson

Starring: Sophie Marceau, Stephen Dillane, Lia Williams

Things we have seen too many times, part two: miserable 19th-century women being sold off to cold, heartless landowners and having corsets painstakingly laced and unlaced. Sophie Marceau is the Swiss governess who bears a child for the wealthy aristocrat Stephen Dillane, then devotes the rest of her life to finding the girl. Nicholson (who wrote Shadowlands) makes a disheartening debut as director with a starchy melodrama in which the only pleasures come from the hysterically overstated use of symbolism.

CW: Clapham Picture House, Curzon Minema, Screen on the Hill, Virgin Fulham Road, Virgin Haymarket

GANG RELATED (15)

Director: Jim Kouf

Starring: James Belushi, Tupac Shakur, James Earl Jones

See The Independent Recommends, right

CW: Ritzy Cinema, Virgin Trocadero

MAJORETTES IN SPACE: FIVE GAY TALES FROM FRANCE (18) subtitles

Director: Various

See The Independent Recommends, right

CW: ICA Cinema

Ryan Gilbey

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