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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Day In a Page

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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

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From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
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Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

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Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape