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Kundun (12). Martin Scorsese's richest film since The King of Comedy is also one of his most personal - which might sound strange since it's a meditative, somewhat abstract historical biopic that traces the early life of the 14th Dalai Lama, from the point when he is discovered in 1937 as a precocious two-year-old, to the Chinese invasion of his country, culminating with his exile at the age of 24. It's obvious that Scorsese is endlessly fascinated by his subject, and his approach to this exotic culture is rapt and remarkably intimate, devoid of any condescension. A deeply spiritual movie whose humility precludes religiosity, Kundun is a sorrowful, magisterial epic that completely eschews Hollywood bluster. It's also one of the most visually ravishing films ever made (the exquisite compositions and colours are capable of triggering a profound emotional response). Kundun derives much of its force from Roger Deakins's gorgeous, painterly cinematography and Philip Glass's insistent score. The Tibetan actors (many of them non-professionals) are effective throughout. The only weak link, in fact, is Melissa Mathison's screenplay, which alternates between understatement and awkwardness. The film's final half-hour, which depicts the Dalai Lama's flight into exile (interposed with stunning shots of intricate sand mandalas), is breathless, hypnotic, and ineffably moving.

Scream 2 (18). The original Scream skewered horror-movie conventions so decisively that this hastily-produced follow-up was always going to suffer by comparison. Indeed, one of Scream 2's predictably self-reflexive running jokes is that sequels, as a rule, suck. Director Wes Craven deftly orchestrates a succession of reasonably satisfying cheap thrills, but it's clear that screenwriter Kevin Williamson has lapsed into formula (a formula-bucking formula, for what it's worth). Two years after the original bloodbath, heroine Sidney (Neve Campbell) is a surprisingly well-adjusted college student - who switches back effortlessly into Jamie Lee Curtis mode when a slasher starts killing off her schoolmates. The surviving characters from the first movie - the ruthless TV reporter (Courteney Cox), the sweetly dopey deputy sheriff (David Arquette), and especially the loquacious, improbably charming film geek (Jamie Kennedy) - are more memorable than any of the new ones, and the movie ultimately goes on for much too long.

The Wedding Singer (12). This harmless piece of retro fluff stars proudly moronic comedian Adam Sandler as the unlucky-in-love title character, and a perfectly adorable Drew Barrymore as his dream girl. The film's main joke: it's 1985. Soundtrack, hair, costumes, and various other accessories are all frighteningly on the mark. The romance isn't exactly convincing and the humour is spotty, but as cringe-fests go, it's all good-natured enough.