Arthur (12A)

Starring: Russell Brand, Helen Mirren, Jennifer Garner, Greta Gerwig

The case of the unsatisfying female cops

There's no shortage of interesting male detectives on TV, yet the women are either grim or fluffy, says Ben Walsh

The Adjustment Bureau, George Nolfi, 105 mins (12A)<br/>Rango, Gore Verbinski, 107 mins (PG)

Overworked, under-staffed...guardian angels don't have it easy either

The Tempest (PG)

Like Alonso and Gonzalo under Ariel's soporific spell, you may experience "a strange drowsiness" during Julie Taymor's film interpretation of Shakespeare's late play. What kept me awake was Helen Mirren's imperial performance as Prospera (above), gender-flipped from Prospero in the film's boldest coup, and her touching relationship with her daughter Miranda, also beautifully played by Felicity Jones. The switch from masculine to feminine lends the story a deeper sense of reconciliation and forgiveness, though as a spectacle Taymor's film exhausts rather than exhilarates, failing to establish any sense of scale or control. It roars and rages, like a tempest, but aside from Mirren its thunder is mostly fake.

DVD: Brighton Rock (1947) (PG)

The Boulting brothers' 1947 adaptation of Graham Greene's gangsters-by-the-sea thriller is exquisite for many reasons – its tangy Greene and Terence Rattigan script, a turn by the original Doctor Who (William Hartnell) as Dallow, and its horribly effective ghost-ride slaying – but mostly for Richard Attenborough as psychotic Pinkie Brown. Dickie is a match for Jimmy Cagney here as the small-time hoodlum who takes on the police, the Mob and an impressionable café waitress, Rose, in Thirties Brighton. The way he snarls when Rose clings to him is particularly memorable in this precursor to the likes of Badlands and The Long Good Friday.

DVD: Red (12)

RED (Retired, Extremely Dangerous) follows Frank Moses (Bruce Willis), a retired CIA agent who buries the demons of his past with the help of young pensions officer Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker) and his old CIA team (John Malkovich, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman).

Lucy Porter: Enough of all these rewards. Let's have a 'dishonours list'

It's pretty embarrassing to admit, but whenever I read the New Year Honours list, there's always a part of me that hopes that – due to a massive clerical cock-up – my name will somehow appear.

Digital Digest: 13/12/2010

The Best Of The Web

Daybreak draws a million viewers

ITV1 morning show Daybreak has bounced back by drawing a million viewers for the first time since its launch week.

Sarah Sands: Guilty or not, the BBC is behind the times

I was not aware of Miriam O'Reilly, the former presenter of Countryfile, until she became a martyr for women over 50. O'Reilly claims that Jay Hunt, the former controller of BBC 1, dumped her because her face could not survive the age of high-definition television. It is perfectly possible, however, that Hunt took against O'Reilly for individual rather than general ageist reasons. Plausibly, it is not that Hunt "hates women", as a fellow female presenter alleged, but that she didn't rate her.

Jewish cinema has landed

This year's UK Jewish Film Festival kicks off tomorrow with The Debt, a Mossad thriller starring Helen Mirren. Elisa Bray looks forward to a bumper fortnight of movies

Red (12A)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren

Brighton Rock, Toronto Film Festival

It coasts along quite nicely

Mirren ends Venice with a star-strewn 'Tempest'

Dame Helen turns Shakespeare's Prospero into Prospera &ndash; and brings 'the history of female struggle' to a glamorous stage

DVD: The Last Station (15)

"You all think he's Christ! He thinks he's Christ!" cries an exasperated Countess Tolstoy (regally Slavic Helen Mirren) of her husband and his devoted disciples, including Valentin, played with heaps of blue-eyed charm by James McAvoy.

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