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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Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea