The Independent Recommends: Film

THE BRITISH director Vadim Jean has had a distinctly variable career. After co-directing Leon the Pig Farmer, he bounced from the horror movie Beyond Bedlam to the sentimental drama Clockwork Mice. What a surprise that he should find himself on safe ground with The Real Howard Spitz, a sharp and sunny family comedy which is as enjoyable for adults as it is for kids. Kelsey Grammer (above), best known as Frasier, plays a failed crime novelist who turns to writing children's books, only to find his hatred of children a slight disadvantage.

On general release

What pleasures the thriller Gang Related offers are largely derived from the assorted u-turns and blind alleys it takes. The film escalates into an underworld farce; now and then it even glistens with the tantalising oily sheen of pure trash.

On general release

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