Cinema

Film reviews and trailers, plus the latest releases and cinema listings. Buy tickets for your nearest cinema and discover the best movies to watch

Film

Ricki and the Flash

Meryl Streep stars as a fading rocker in this off-kilter tale of rock & roll redemption from a master of the form

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Film

Lilting

A quiet, thoughtful London-set study of love, grief and cultural differences from Cambodian-born Hong Khaou

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Film

Vacation

This lazy retread of Harold Ramis’s 1983 'Vacation' sours everything that’s made that film such a favourite

Time Out says
  • 1 out of 5 stars
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Film

Mr Holmes

Ian McKellen's Sherlock is a cantankerous 93-year-old living by the seaside in Kent and keeping bees

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Film

The Man from UNCLE

A familiar story of spies, disloyalty, twists, double-crossing and a nuclear plot to destroy the globe

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Film

Manglehorn

Pacino's most natural performance in years in this story of a man facing up to a lifetime of failed relationships

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Film

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Tom Cruise goes through the motions in this diverting but empty blockbuster

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Film

Bernie

A tongue-in-cheek, often camp spin on a real-life murder case that took place in Texas in the late 1990s

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Original-language cinemas

Cinemas

Renoir Plaza de España

The flagship of the enterprising Renoir chain, with screens on the small side and a haphazard queuing system in the cramped foyer, although good sound systems and a keen crowd of film fans ensure enjoyable viewing. The Cuatro Caminos branch is also worth a mention for its larger screens, decent bar and intelligent balance of Spanish and world cinema, while the Princesa also has an eclectic mix of Spanish, European and independent American cinema.

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Cinemas

Verdi

This relative newcomer to the ranks of VO cinemas has five screens showing a lively mix of art-house, Spanish, independent and mainstream foreign films.

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Cinemas

Golem

This legendary four-screener, until recently known as the Alphaville, was the first of Madrid's art-house cinemas and played a crucial role in the Movida during the '80s. The screens and sound systems are showing their age and tiering is inadequate, but the basement café is still a fashionable meeting place with a bohemian atmosphere.

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Cinemas

Filmoteca Española (Cine Doré)

Known affectionately as la filmo and featured in films by Almodóvar, this chic art nouveau national film theatre was founded more than 50 years ago. The neon-lit foyer/café is a lively meeting place and the tiny bookshop is always full of browsers. A free, expansive, fold-out monthly programme features details of its eclectic seasons of films from the Spanish National Archive and world cinema. The grand auditorium is an especially marvellous place to see silent movies, sometimes accompanied by live music. The outdoor rooftop cinema and bar are open - and unsurprisingly very popular - during the summer months. Note that tickets can't be bought in advance for the Filmoteca, so you will often be required to queue well before the film starts.

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Cinemas

Cine Estudio de Bellas Artes

Originally a theatre, this repertory cinema is part of the grand Círculo de Bellas Artes building. The sound system is excellent, and the programme of themed film seasons goes down well with the trendy audience.

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Cinemas

Cineteca

Inside the Matadero de Madrid, this is the first and practically the only cinema in the country dedicated almost exclusively to non-fiction films. The programme is made up of alternative, indpendent and documentary films, and the cinema is recognised as a platform for young film-makers.

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Tickets & Attractions

Attractions Buy tickets

Palacio Real

Commissioned by Philip V after the earlier Alcázar was lost to a fire in 1734, the Royal Palace is rarely used by the royal family, and many of its 3,000 rooms are open to view. The architects principally responsible for the final design, which reflects the taste of the Spanish Bourbons, were Italian - Giambattista Sacchetti and Francesco Sabatini - with contributions by the Spaniard Ventura Rodríguez. Filippo Juvarra, Philip V's first choice, had planned a palace four times as large, but after his death the project became a little less ambitious. Completed in 1764, the late-baroque palace is built almost entirely of granite and white Colmenar stone, and, surrounded as it is by majestic gardens, contributes greatly to the splendour of the city. Inside you must keep to a fixed route, but are free to set your own pace rather than follow a tour. The entrance into the palace is awe-inspiring: you pass up a truly vast main staircase and then through the main state rooms, the Hall of Halbardiers and Hall of Columns, all with soaring ceilings and frescoes by Corrado Giaquinto and Giambattista Tiepolo. In the grand Throne Room there are some fine 17th-century sculptures commissioned by Velázquez, which were saved from the earlier Alcázar. Other highlights are the extravagantly ornate private apartments of the palace's first resident, Charles III, again decorated by Italians. Particularly striking are the Gasparini Room, the king's dressing room, covered in mosaics and rococo stuccoe

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Plaza Mayor

This famous square is in the heart of the city's historic district, built on the site of the old Plaza del Arrabal, which was home to the most popular market in the late 15th century. It was Felipe II who in 1580 commissioned Juan de Herrera with the project to remodel the square, although it would be Juan Gómez de Mora who would finish the job in 1619. The first building that was erected in Plaza Mayor as we know it today was the Casa de la Panadería bakery, designed by Diego Sillero. These days the square is the headquarters of the Madrid Tourism Centre. The equestrian statue of Felipe III in the centre of the square was designed by Giambologna and completed by Pietro Tacca in 1616. Another important work in the area is the Arco de Cuchilleros, the most famous of the nine entrances to the square. The archway is the work of Juan Villanueva, who, after the devastating fire of 1790, decided to reduce the façades by two levels, close off the square, and raise the nine arches, so the largest in size with an enormous stairway would give passage to C/Cuchilleros.

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Segovia

With an ancient Roman aqueduct and a 13th century castle, this city is full of symbols representing its past. Established by the Romans, the area became a retreat for Spanish monarchs. 

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Toledo

Inhabited by everyone from the Romans to the Christians, Toledo has served as a homebase for each of its conquerors, with traces of each remaining throughout the city. One could easily devote an entire day to visiting the Muslim mosques, Jewish synagogues, the Catholic cathedral, and not forgetting the Alcazar castle or the Renaissance art by the famed El Greco.

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Madrid City Tour and Santiago Bernabeu Stadium

Match a sightseeing tour of Madrid with a visit to Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, home ground of the legendary Real Madrid football team. See the buildings that have shaped Madrid, from the Moorish quarter to the Habsburg and Bourbon eras with their Royal Palace and grand squares. Then go behind the scenes on a Santiago Bernabeu Stadium tour and feel the excitement of walking on Real Madrid’s home pitch. 

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El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen

Commissioned by King Felipe II as a testament to Spain's devout Catholic faith, El Escorial was built in the 16th century after defeating the French in the Battle of Saint Quentin. 

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Cinema on the cheap

Spanish Film Academy – Free

The Academia de las Artes y las Ciencias Cinematográficas de España, aka Academia de Cine ('The Spanish Film Academy'), responsible for the annual Goya national film awards, is much more than a simple institution. Founded in 1986, its honorary president is Luis García Berlanga, who took part in the creation of this non-profit, public-service-orientated organisation. The films shown here are completely free of charge. All you have to do is to collect your passes (maximum two per person) from the mansion that houses the academy on the same day as the screening of the film you want to see. Admission is limited to the capacity of the auditorium, and no one is allowed in once the session has started. The academy also schedules interesting film cycles.

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Cine Doré – €2.50

The Spanish Film Archive (Filmoteca Española) has its headquarters at this cinema, which has three auditoriums. The first is a reconstruction of the old Salón Doré, the second is a more modern design and the third is an open-air space named after the Spanish director Luis Berlanga, which is only open from July to mid-September and has bar service. A café and specialist bookshop round out the facilities. The films shown here belong predominantly to the classic, independent and experimental genres, though there are occasional nods to the mass audience through their ‘Cine para todos’ (‘Cinema for all’) sessions. And all of this costs just €2.50, or €2 if you’re a student.

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Cines Golem – €4 on discount day

Large seats and wide arms mean that watching an original-language film at this cinema is both comfortable and cheap. Its location in a street that runs parallel to C/Princesa makes it easy to get to, and the films are mostly indie productions. It happens to be right next door to Renoir Plaza de España, another cinema specialising in the same genre. Monday is discount day here and tickets cost €4 (€3.90 if you buy them online). Note that 3-D films are subject to a €1 supplement and prices double at weekends, so take advantage of cheap Monday here to start off the week with a good movie.

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La Casa Encendida – €3

Everything from documentaries and experimental screenings to short films, talks with directors and auter productions have a place in the audiovisual auditorium of La Casa Encendida. The idea is to offer a wide perspective of the art form paying special attention to 'works that explore less-well-travelled expressive paths and are overlooked by commercial channels'.  A number of noteworthy films have been screened here, and in summer an open-air cinema is set up on the outdoor terrace. Admission usually costs €3.

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Our favourites

Film

Ricki and the Flash

Ageing rocker Ricki Randazzo (Meryl Streep) barely holds on to her grocery checkout job during the daytime. She’s sarcastic, bitter and chatty. But those liabilities become assets at night, when she becomes the frontwoman of a scruffy bar band and her local fans howl appreciatively through the hits. This zesty, defiantly awkward shambles of a film might be tagged a domestic drama, as it plucks near-penniless Ricki from her beer-soaked California stage and flings her to the Midwest. Back in the suburbs she has to deal with her wealthy ex-husband (Kevin Kline) and their suicidal grown-up daughter (Mamie Gummer, Streep’s real-life daughter), a victim of Ricki’s long-ago abandonment. Tough stares and words await, very much of a piece with screenwriter Diablo Cody’s earlier credits, especially her underrated comedy ‘Young Adult’. Director Jonathan Demme has an impossibly rich CV of female empowerment (‘Married to the Mob’), musical euphoria (‘Stop Making Sense’) and failed American dreams (‘Melvin and Howard’), and this movie lets him do everything he’s terrific at. ‘Ricki and the Flash’ gives Streep her most emotionally blocked character in years, and she delivers it without caricature. There’s an underlying realness to her that defies glibness. Ricki is graced by an angel at her side in the form of Greg (real-life musician Rick Springfield), her boyfriend and lead guitarist, and she finds her way to the soul of several songs, including a Lady Gaga cover. There’s devastating c

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Film

Trainwreck

Amy Schumer is a comedy superwoman. Her stand-up is funny-as-hell; she’s a viral sensation with her ‘Inside Amy Schumer’ sketches and lately she’s become every feminist’s new girl crush. Now add to that list: she’s the best thing to happen to Hollywood since the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler double act at the Golden Globes. Schumer’s new autobiographical comedy ‘Trainwreck’, about a commitment-phobic New York writer, is the funniest film of the summer, so outrageous and hilarious that it’ll make your bladder go weak. The posters say ‘from the guy who brought you “Bridesmaids”’, meaning comedy super-producer Judd Apatow, who produces and directs Schumer’s script. ‘Trainwreck’ is more of a straightforward romcom than ‘Bridesmaids’, except that here Schumer plays the traditional ‘man’ role. She’s hard-partying, promiscuous Amy, a writer for a Maxim-like men’s magazine that publishes articles like ‘How to talk your girlfriend into a three-way’. In a genius piece of casting, Tilda Swinton is Amy’s no-nonsense boss (unrecognisable behind inch-thick fake-tan and a Kate Middleton blow-dry). Amy has mastered the art of sleeping around (four different actors are credited as ‘One-Night Stand Guy’) and her number-one rule is never to sleep over on a date. The sex is all hilariously awkward. But when she’s assigned to interview a sports surgeon (Bill Hader, adorable), she cracks and gets serious. ‘Trainwreck’ isn’t perfect. Its happy-ever-after ending feels like a cop-out. But you can forgive th

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Film

Inside Out

The film’s bold thinking and journey into the mind of an 11-year-old girl will thrill Pixar fans of all ages

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Film

The Man from UNCLE

Guy Ritchie’s reboot of ‘The Man From UNCLE’ – the 1960s spy TV series that no one under 50 will remember – has a sunny, tongue-in-cheek vibe. Its Cold War Europe setting is less about paying homage to its vague influences (including Ian Fleming and John le Carré) and more of an excuse to embrace old-school city-hopping larks and sharply-suited 1960s adventure. It’s all pulp and no politics. This ‘U.N.C.L.E.’ prefers to giggle where the new-school James Bond would grimace, and to deliver a hearty backslap where le Carré would shoot his doomed characters in the back. A familiar story of spies, disloyalty, twists, double-crossing and a nuclear plot to destroy the globe, the movie hops from Berlin to Rome, taking in other scenic European spots along the way. Henry Cavill’s American spy and Armie Hammer’s Eastern Bloc stooge team up, with Alicia Vikander in tow as a fellow traveller and Hugh Grant and Jared Harris playing backroom puppet-masters. It’s not quite teasing or knowing enough to be a spoof, which is lucky, as that old schtick can get tiring very quickly. But it’s not far off. This is a film that’s one step from winking at you mid-scene. All this charm is a little surprising considering that on paper its trio of leads, Cavill, Hammer and Vikander, feel as charismatic as cardboard. As it turns out, the two men have an especially sharp rapport, something Ritchie previously conjured up between Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law in his Sherlock Holmes films. You wonder if this

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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