Arts and Entertainment Family values: 'It's a Wonderful Life'

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

Album: Joshua Radin, The Rock and the Tide (Warner Bros)

Thirty-six-year-old Joshua Radin, in case you're bewildered by modern music's deluge of Joshes, is the singer-songwriter from Ohio who had a medium-sized hit last year with "I'd Rather Be With You".

Nicolas Cage and the return of the $1m comic

Clark Kent wouldn't necessarily rush to a telephone box to change into superhero garb, but he'd probably put a call in to The Daily Planet after learning that a copy of the comic in which he made his fictional debut has turned up safe and sound, more than a decade after being stolen from the home of Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage.

Nicolas Cage's rare comic recovered

A rare comic book stolen from Nicolas Cage 10 years ago has been recovered.

Drive Angry: Video interview with Amber Heard

Nicolas Cage stars as a vengeance-fuelled father pursuing the killers of his daughter and to save her kidnapped baby in Drive Angry, the new in-your-face shocker from the team behind My Bloody Valentine!

Neil LaBute: 'I put heavy things on my audiences. I love it'

He's famous for his brutal characters and shocking plotlines. What personal experiences inform Neil LaBute's dark material? On the eve of a new play, he talks about family, critics and telling racist jokes

Nicolas Cage: From the sublime to the ridiculous

It's time Nicolas Cage ditched the duds and focused on the kind of blistering character work he's capable of, says Ben Walsh

Independent Operacast: Mike Figgis

Opera is the one thing MIKE FIGGIS hasn't done before and as he bows in at English National Opera with Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia he talks at length to EDWARD SECKERSON about theatre, film, and his first love - music.

US trial for 'Merchant of Death' after extradition

Thailand extradited accused Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout to the US yesterday to face terrorism charges, siding with Washington in a tug-of-war with Moscow over whether to send him to stand trial or let him go home.

Still crazy: Director Mike Figgis reveals the stories behind his favourite shots

Mike Figgis is better known for his films than for taking photographs. But now some of the director's sexually charged images of women, including blindfolded girls, an abstract nude and Kate Moss descending a staircase in suspenders, are going on show in "Best of British", at London's Little Black Gallery, alongside pictures by Terence Donovan, Terry O'Neill, Patrick Lichfield and Bob Carlos Clarke.

Thailand: 'Lord of war' could be extradited to US

A court yesterday dismissed charges of money-laundering and wire fraud against the suspected Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, bringing him a step closer to extradition to the United States to face terrorism charges.

DVD: Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans (18)

Nicolas Cage's New Orleans cop, Terence, starts out as a cocky, sharp-suited, wisecracking law enforcer and spirals – via his crack and painkiller addiction – into a depraved sinner, lurching from one unruly scenario to the next.

DVD: Kick-Ass, For retail & rental (Universal)

"How come nobody tries to be a superhero?" wonders Dave Lizewski, teen nerd.

DVD: Kick-Ass (15)

"A putz in pantyhose," is how Mark Strong's wise-guy crook, Frank D'Amico, describes Kick-Ass, a crime-buster in a green wetsuit (snapped up for $99 on the internet) and yellow rubber gloves.

Guy Adams: Has Jerry Bruckheimer lost his magic?

This weekend’s box-office charts will make ugly reading for Disney, whose ambitious $150m kids flick The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, starring Nicolas Cage, opened to a raspberry of public disinterest and global returns of just $32m.

DVD: Astro Boy, For retail & rental (E1 Entertainment)

This fast, fun superhero adventure has everything you might want from a cartoon about a robotic youngster who zooms through the skies above a floating future city.

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General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions