Arts and Entertainment

(15) Dir. Scott Cooper; Starring Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, 117mins

47 Ronin review: Keanu Reeves struggles to give feeling and meaning to lines in big-budget sword fantasy

Based on a Japanese legend, this is a big-budget sword-and-sorcery fantasy which combines tremendous action sequences with utterly leaden plotting and dialogue.

Granville (David Jason) runs the shop with his son Leroy (James Baxter) in 'Still Open All Hours'

Still Open All Hours review: It was a w-w-worthy effort – but there’s only one Arkwright

With Ronnie Barker gone, it was TV as Garfunkel without Simon, Wise without Morecambe, Hale and Pace without one of Pace or Hale

The 11 Doctors

Doctor Who - From William Hartnell to Matt Smith: What the Time Lords did next

Audiences saw Matt Smith make his last outing as the Time Lord in The Time of the Doctor before regenerating into Peter Capaldi's twelfth Doctor.

Christmas TV review: Mel Smith: I’ve Sort of Done Things was a spirited tribute to a hell-raising comic who was a master of playing it by ear

Mel Smith was a gambler, a smoker, a drinker, a liver of a life. As such, Christmas Eve’s tribute to his work, Mel Smith: I’ve Sort of Done Things (BBC2), was less a maudlin tribute to a man who died young– whatever his excesses – at 60 in July than a tribute to his powers of imbibition (they called it “getting Smithed”).

Family values: 'It's a Wonderful Life'

Ten best Christmas films

The Independent's film critic selects the ten best festive flicks

Hollywood studio Lionsgate has vowed to recall “unauthorised” Italian cinema posters for the Oscar-tipped drama 12 Years A Slave, after they were criticised for promoting the film’s white stars ahead of its black protagonist.

Italian 12 Years A Slave promoters criticised for over-promoting white actors on movie posters

Marketing material for the Steve McQueen film heralds the roles of Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender ahead of the  main character Chiwetel Ejiofor

The View from the Train: Cities & Other Landscapes By Patrick Keiller: book review - A delightful journey in search of Britain's urban hinterlands

Arthur Rimbaud's shimmering poetry collection, Illuminations, was partly inspired by his visit to London in 1872. Brocaded with a dizzy-making imagery of subways, viaducts, raised canals, bridges and steam engines, the poems are thrillingly metropolitan. Accompanied by his lover Paul Verlaine, Rimbaud noted down all he heard and saw. In some ways, Illuminations can be read as a poetic gloss on Karl Marx’s Das Kapital: the London masses as seen by the 19th-century French poet are alienated by “economic horrors” and “feel no need to know one another”.

Lady Mary shares a stern word with Lady Rose in the Downton Abbey Christmas Special 2013

Christmas Day TV: What to watch

In your quest for good Christmas television you’ll probably have to search beyond the predictable big-hitters. Here's our guide.

Family and friends mourned the passing of late actor Peter O’Toole at a private ceremony in London over the weekend.

Peter O’Toole’s funeral: Sian Phillips, Sting among mourners at private London service

The Lawrence of Arabia star passed away aged 81 on 14 December after suffering a long illness

According to studio estimates Sunday, Peter Jackson's 'Hobbit' sequel took in $31.5 million in its second weekend of release. That topped Will Ferrell's 'Anchorman' sequel, which nevertheless opened strongly in second place

The Hobbit holds off Anchorman 2 at the US box office

On a busy pre-Christmas weekend at the box office, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug held off a very different sequel, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

Rhys Ifans plays Danny in 'Protest Song' by Tim Price at the National's Shed theatre
Fool cue: Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy in 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues'

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues review - Ron Burgundy's return is dumb at heart – just the way we like him

You can't help but root for Ron Burgundy, the hapless newscaster played by Will Ferrell. That's the genius of the Anchorman films. In this sequel, Ron is shown as an alcoholic, crack-smoking, backstabbing, borderline racist, near moron... and yet he still retains his utterly winning, folksy quality. He is such an engaging character that he even makes up for a screenplay (co-written by Ferrell with director McKay) that is so skimpily written that it would barely pass muster in an old Jerry Lewis/Dean Martin vehicle.

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Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
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Researchers found that just 10 one-minute swill-and-spit sessions are enough to soften tooth enamel and make teeth vulnerable to erosion
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The Regent Street Cinema’s projection room in the 1920s
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Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
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Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
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Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
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Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
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The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing