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Films reviews, festivals, cinemas and trailers

Five five-star films you must see this month
Film

Five five-star films you must see this month

You can tell it's Academy Awards season when the cinemas are crowded with high quality flicks, all hoping to capitalise on the free publicity. These five movies are all Oscar hopefuls and all of them rate the maximum five stars from Time Out critics

The many faces of M Night Shyamalan
Blog

The many faces of M Night Shyamalan

America has never seemed more like a sufferer of some kind of split personality disorder, so the new film from The Sixth Sense director M Night Shyamalan is curiously on point.   In Split, three teenage girls are drugged and locked in a basement cell. They soon realise their abductor, Kevin (James McAvoy), has Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), with 23 identities grappling for control of his mind, ranging from a strict matriarch to a mischievous eight-year-old boy. While Kevin’s psychiatrist, Dr Fletcher (Betty Buckley), gets increasingly suspicious, his captives await the appearance of Kevin’s shadowy 24th personality – known as the Beast.   Shyamalan himself has worn different masks, from Oscar-nominated wunderkind (The Sixth Sense) to the derided peddler of flops The Happening and The Last Airbender. He even tried his hand with found footage with 2015’s The Visit and had an unexpected triumph. His follow-up film is another witty, well acted, quality piece of pulp. Time Out spoke to the filmmaker via phone to LA about McAvoy, directing horror, and keeping audiences on their toes. Night, what was the origin of Split?I've had this idea for a long time in my drawer. It’s a fascinating idea – realising that the person who has abducted them is many people, and they have to manipulate those personalities to get out.  James McAvoy is great in this – which of his personalities was the most fun to direct?[laughs] He was amazing at all of them. Probably Patricia – Patricia was

Lion filmmaker: “What’s important is just accepting people, no matter where they come from”
Blog

Lion filmmaker: “What’s important is just accepting people, no matter where they come from”

Saroo Brierley’s story is every parent’s nightmare. In 1987, aged five, he was separated from his brother at a train station in India and ended up destitute on the streets of Kolkata. Adopted by a Tasmanian couple, 25 years later he used Google Earth to try to track down his birth family, a search he recounted in his autobiographical book A Long Way Home. Now Melbourne-based director Garth Davis tells Saroo’s story with his feature film debut Lion.... 

Boxing Day movies ranked best to worst
Film

Boxing Day movies ranked best to worst

We get that the post-Christmas movie serves multiple purposes – heat relief, child minding, desperate attempt at family bonding – but if you want our honest opinions on the day's big releases, here they are...

Guides for Melbourne movie lovers

See all of our latest film reviews
Film

See all of our latest film reviews

Check out the latest releases in Australian cinemas, all reviewed by Time Out critics

Upcoming film festivals in Melbourne
Film

Upcoming film festivals in Melbourne

Attention movie buffs: add these excellent Melbourne film festivals to your diary

The best outdoor cinemas in Melbourne
Film

The best outdoor cinemas in Melbourne

Catch cult classics, new releases and family favourites under the stars in Melbourne.

Top ten Aussie films to scare off tourists
Film

Top ten Aussie films to scare off tourists

A sweaty handful of movies making Tourism Australia's job that little bit harder

Film screenings and events in Melbourne

Films in cinemas now in Melbourne

Lion
Film

Lion

When five-year-old Saroo (Sunny Pawar) gets on the wrong train at a station in Buhanpur, Northern India, he finds himself 1,600km from home... 

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Jackie
Film

Jackie

Right from the beginning of Pablo Larraín’s near-experimental stunner, you can tell you’re in for a psychodrama of strange, hypnotic intimacy

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Moana
Film

Moana

This charming animated family movie is about a teenage Polynesian girl fighting to save her Pacific island’s future

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Allied
Film

Allied

What’s your pleasure: a frothy spy romance or a grim World War II drama? How about both at once? 

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
A United Kingdom
Film

A United Kingdom

It's a story of forbidden romance and political intrigue in far-flung locations

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
See more films in cinemas now

The best cinemas in Melbourne

Cinema Nova
Film

Cinema Nova

Melbourne's largest arthouse movie complex also hosts regular films events, special screenings and festivals

Lido Cinemas
Film

Lido Cinemas

An arthouse complex complete with a jazz bar, rooftop cinema and Huxtaburger

The Astor Theatre
Film

The Astor Theatre

A single-screen Art Deco theatre with a program of new and classic films in 35mm, 70mm and digital

Coburg Drive-In
Film

Coburg Drive-In

One of Melbourne's last remaining drive-ins, this is a cinematic experience brimming with nostalgia

The Sun Theatre
Film

The Sun Theatre

This pint-sized Art Deco cinema counts Quentin Tarantino among its legion of film-loving fans

Upcoming film releases in Australia

Live by Night
Film

Live by Night

 Adapting a novel by writer Dennis Lehane, a fellow Bostonian, Affleck plays Joe Coughlin, an invincible World War I-veteran-turned-outlaw, son of a high-ranking cop (Brendan Gleeson) and lover of a notorious mobster’s girlfriend (Sienna Miller)

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Patriots Day
Film

Patriots Day

Mark Wahlberg stars in a muscular, street-level dramatisation of 2013’s Boston Marathon bombing

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Toni Erdmann
Film

Toni Erdmann

Embarrassing dads don't come much more meaningful (or embarrassing) than the one in this German comedy

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Moonlight
Film

Moonlight

Barry Jenkins’s exquisite coming-of-age drama is a heartbreaker 

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Manchester by the Sea
Film

Manchester by the Sea

An emotional powerhouse with the weave of great literature has a complex central performance to match cinema’s all-time great brooders

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars

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Chinese New Year at The Valley
Sport and fitness Buy tickets

Chinese New Year at The Valley

The Valley will be celebrating Chinese New Year with a night of colourful Chinese entertainment and racing. There will be 12 different food trucks on site, all peddling Asian delights from satay skewers to dumplings and baos to duck pancakes. There will also be plenty of traditional Chinese entertainment including dragon dancers, fire breathers, fireworks and giveaways. Hong Kong pop sensation Det Dik will be bringing his high-energy hits to life on stage, while Mandarin race caller Jamie Pi will be calling the feature race on the night. Best of all entry to the night is free, so get your family and friends together and head to the Valley for a night of racing fun.

Australia Day at Munich Brauhaus
Restaurants

Australia Day at Munich Brauhaus

The Munich Brahaus will be celebrating Australia Day with an all-day party in the beer hall and beyond. They'll be hosting a special summer barbecue from 2pm, dishing out grilled corn on the cob, bratwurst, grilled chicken, veggie skewers and more delicious summer food. There will also be a drinks special which includes a peach, strawberry, mango and passionfruit Summer Schnapps Bellinis and buckets of craft beer including the Munich Lager. You can also stay tuned into Triple J’s Hottest 100 throughout the day, which will be streaming right across the dining hall, beer garden and bars. If you're a sports fan, you can also catch the Australian Open semi-final, screened live all day. They will also be introducing the Big Oz Schnitzelmeister challenge. One kilo of golden veal schnitzel comes topped with beetroot and everyone's favourite breakfast combo – crisp bacon and sunny side up eggs. The challenge – if you choose to accept it – is to finish the Big Oz Schnitzelmeister in less than one hour. If you are successful in your endeavour, you will receive your mega-meal on the house, a Schnitzelmeister champion T-shirt, your very own spot in the Schnitzelmeister Hall of Fame and of course bragging rights. So get down to Munich Brauhaus on January 26 for snags, schnitzel, dancing and steins. 

Pip Utton: Churchill, Playing Maggie and Adolf

Pip Utton: Churchill, Playing Maggie and Adolf

Award-winning British actor and playwright Pip Utton will be making his Australian debut when he tours three plays, each of which illustrates one of history's most notorious leaders. Utton's one-man performances offer theatrical portraits of German dictator Adolf Hitler and British prime ministers Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher. The series will each offer insights into the minds of these historical figures, all on the Theatre Works stage. In Playing Maggie Utton steps out as the Iron Lady, opening the stage up to audience questions, answering them in character as Margaret Thatcher. In Adolf, Utton transforms into the tyrant in the hours leading up to his suicide. Finally in Churchill Utton brings the great statesman to life, transporting the audience to London to enjoy the three things that Winston loved the most – hearing himself talk, a glass of scotch and a cigar.  In the current political climate, there's been no better time to look back at history's leaders – both good and bad – and see what their legacy has created.

Hong Kong 101
Travel

Hong Kong 101

You could spend a week, a year or a decade in Hong Kong and never be bored once. Pulsing with energy and always evolving, it’s the perfect place to explore if you’re into people-watching, eating, shopping, hiking, partying, relaxing, art, history… or perhaps all of the above. Thanks to its compact size and zippy public transport system, Hong Kong is also remarkably easy to navigate, meaning you can cram a lot of action into a fairly short trip. The most unexpected part? A multitude of beaches and green hillsides are within easy reach of the city, providing the perfect respite when you seek it. Here are the must-see districts to explore in the days you have free either side of the Sevens.