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Absolute Power (15) Columbia, rental, 10 Dec

Despite being a jewel thief, Luther (a haggard Clint Eastwood) is a profound individual - we know this because he has a passion for art. We first see him copying an El Greco in a gallery and returning home to leaf through his sketchbooks in a house filled with paintings. The narrative gets to the point as he rummages through the home of a Washington fat cat. He is disturbed by the Lady of the Manor who brings home the philandering US President (Gene Hackman) and, while hiding behind a conveniently located two-way mirror, is witness to her murder. Clint must decide whether to run for the hills or risk death and expose the corrupt forces of democracy - while patching things up with his estranged daughter. A compelling and compassionate film, despite its ridiculously macho title. HHH

Big Night (15) Columbia, rental, 10 Dec

"Bite your teeth into the arse of life!" is Ian Holm's rip-roaring maxim in Campbell Scott and Stanley Tucci's beautifully crafted film. Primo and Secondo are the incongruous Italian bothers struggling to make a living as restaurateurs in New Jersey. Primo, the chef, strives to remain true to the culinary principles of his homeland and flings saucepans at a woman who goes starch- mad and demands spaghetti with her risotto. Secondo, who constantly treads on eggshells around his brother's temper, looks to making a fast buck to fend off the debt-collectors. Pascal (Holm) comes up with a plan for the brothers to host a dinner party for jazz bandleader Louis Prima, thereby gathering publicity for their waning establishment. A deliciously colourful banquet of a film. HHHH

City of Industry (18) Polygram, rental, 8 Dec

Harvey Keitel continues to hang on the Reservoir Dogs coat-tails, having landed another hard- man-with-big-gun role as Roy in John Irvine's limp thriller. A heist inevitably goes wrong as the getaway driver, Skip (Stephen Dorff) runs away with the loot while Roy's in hot pursuit. The baddies prove to be much more interesting than the slow, snarling Keitel whose gut-busting line "I'm my own police" incites more annoyance than dread. H