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Watch trailers for our critic's film choice of the day in the videos below:

Film review: Jack the Giant Slayer (12A)

Perhaps "Jack and the Beanstalk" sounded a bit tame, and "Jack the Giant Killer" a bit bloodthirsty.

Ewan McGregor (centre) in the 1996 film Trainspotting

Danny Boyle to make Trainspotting sequel with original cast in middle age

Two decades after choosing heroin over life, the stars behind seminal British film Trainspotting are set to return for a sequel, as the characters face a mid-life crisis.

Keith Allen: 'Litterers should be shot and killed'

I got knocked out a few times performing stand-up I did it early in my career as a way to express the punk attitude. [Allen fronted punk act the Atoms in the 1970s.] One night it would feel like I was sleeping with 127 virgins; the next night I'd get my arse kicked after making jokes about the Army. I got knocked out by soldiers twice. I'd get my own back by walking over seats and pissing on people.

Someone at a Somerset school still loves Piers Morgan

Schools: Someone still loves you, Piers Morgan

In order to practise the skill of persuasive writing, Year 11 pupils at Chew Valley school in Somerset were asked in early December to write to their favourite celebrity asking for an autographed picture.

Miller in 2000: he headed several film committees

Claude Miller: Film director who showed the dark side of youth

Claude Miller didn't do lightweight. His best-known film, Garde à vue, an adaptation of the novel Brainwash by the British crime writer John Wainwright, is a dark thriller revolving around the police interrogation of a lawyer accused of raping and murdering two little girls. The viewer is never quite sure whether the inspector, played by Lino Ventura, should pin the ghastly crimes on the suspect, the wonderfully ambiguous Michel Serrault, who knows the law inside out but appears almost too willing to dig himself into a hole.

Poetic prose: Jon McGregor

This Isn't The Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You, By Jon McGregor

Ten years ago, Jon McGregor's first short story was published in Granta magazine. "In Winter The Sky" was about a teenager who, driving back home after a romantic tryst, is so distracted by the warm memory of the girl he has just kissed, that he runs over a man and kills him. He doesn't tell a soul. Having long since married the girl, the story ends as he confesses to her the secret that has burdened, and shaped, their relationship. The dead body, its furtive roadside burial, and the baleful weight it has exerted over the years, becomes a metaphor for the unmentionable secrets that couples carry.

Beginners, Mike Mills, 104 mins (15)

Mike Mills tells the story of an older man revealing his true sexuality with a pleasing mix of melancholia and whimsy, aided by Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor

Ewan McGregor receives death threat on set

It sounds like the plot to the latest Hollywood blockbuster. It involves an A-list star, his understudy, and a violent death threat. Unfortunately for Ewan McGregor, it is the reality unfolding on the set of his new movie.

Polanski's 'The Ghost' wins best film at European Film Awards

Roman Polanski's The Ghost – the story of a journalist hired to write the memoirs of a British prime minister – has won the prize for best film at the European Film Awards.

DVD: The Ghost

A topical DVD this, considering that Roman Polanski’s film of Robert Harris’s political thriller revolves around Blairish memoirs.

DVD: The Men Who Stare at Goats, For retail & rental (Momentum)

Jon Ronson's book about the Pentagon's secret experiments in psychic combat has been turned into a film in the most unsatisfying possible manner.

The Ghost (15)

Spirited thriller the Roman way

The skip of Britain's curling team: All about Eve

Bagpiper, ace golfer and now – at just 19 – the skip of Britain's curling team. Eve Muirhead tells Simon Turnbull why she has gold in her sights

The Island (nc)

The spirit of Tarkovsky is never far from this rebarbative fable of guilt and atonement by Pavel Lounguine.

The Men Who Stare at Goats (15)

The Men Who Stare at Goats, Jon Ronson's book about the Pentagon's secret experiments in psychic combat, has been adapted into a film in the least satisfying way possible. It stars Ewan McGregor, as a small-town reporter who hears about the experiments from George Clooney's retired sergeant, far right, while the pair of them are driving through Iraq. Shown in flashback, these goofball anecdotes are all very watchable, but the film is ultimately neither one thing nor the other.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links