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Boxing Day movies ranked best to worst

Our critics give their verdicts on the post-Christmas smorgasbord

EntertainmentOne Films
La La Land

We know 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...

1
La La Land
1/8

La La Land

The young writer-director Damien Chazelle has followed his Oscar-winning drama Whiplash with another entirely novel film steeped in the world of music. His soaring, romantic, extremely stylish and endlessly inventive La La Land is that rare beast: a grown-up movie musical that's not kitschy, a joke or a Bollywood film...

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2
Paterson
2/8

Paterson

The dependably distinctive and rewarding Jim Jarmusch returns with a lovely, episodic fable about the fragile, fruitful and just occasionally fraught relationship between creativity and everyday life. Chronicling a week in the life of Paterson (Adam Driver), a bus-driver and amateur poet whose home happens to be Paterson, New Jersey – home to William Carlos Williams, Allen Ginsberg and Lou Costello, among others – the film depicts, day by inevitably slightly different day, his banal but unexpectedly engrossing routine...

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3
Janis: Little Girl Blue
3/8

Janis: Little Girl Blue

Filmmaker Amy Berg’s deeply sympathetic documentary about Janis Joplin – a singer whose shredded wail tapped reservoirs of pain – gets so much right, it feels like a major act of cultural excavation. We get a glimpse of the high-school-aged Janis’s report card (mostly Cs and Ds) and a thorough sense of the tomboy rebel who found her way to San Francisco’s hippie scene...

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4
Moana
4/8

Moana

This charming animated family movie about a teenage Polynesian girl fighting to save her Pacific island’s future feels like business as usual for Disney in many ways. There’s a strong young female lead, catchy show tunes, lush landscapes and talking animals – a hermit crab with a fondness for trinkets almost steals the film and a dim chicken offers light relief. But this tale from the directors of Aladdin and The Little Mermaid also feels like progress....

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5
Gimme Danger
5/8

Gimme Danger

Snarling and loud, Jim Jarmusch’s new doc about Iggy Pop and the Stooges takes a fairly brief period of time – seven years, three now-classic albums, multiple break-ups and several drug addictions – and turns it into something heartfelt. At the centre of Jarmusch’s film is the rock legend himself (born James Osterberg), still proudly shirt-challenged aged 69, and surprisingly articulate...

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6
A United Kingdom
6/8

A United Kingdom

The kingdom in question, of course, is not the one within the British Isles, but Botswana – or Bechuanaland, as it was known in the post-war years when crown prince Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo) came to London to study, and fell unexpectedly in love with shopkeeper's daughter Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike). Their subsequent marriage scandalised not just the tabloid-buying public but the British civil service, the tribespeople of Botswana and – most dangerously – the government of neighbouring South Africa...

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7
Allied
7/8

Allied

What’s your pleasure: a frothy spy romance or a grim World War II drama? How about both at once? Allied sets itself up as a modern day answer to Casablanca: the early scenes are set in the Moroccan city under German occupation, and like the beloved Bogart ’n’ Bergman classic it combines a star-studded love story with a dark depiction of betrayal...

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8
Why Him?
8/8

Why Him?

If you introduce a loaded gun in the first act of your story, it absolutely has to go off by the end. Chekhov’s tried-and-tested literary advice holds true in Why Him? – except the gun isn’t a gun, but a vast, fragile glass tank filled with moose urine. These are the gags in John Hamburg’s charmless, largely laughless spin on the Meet the Parents formula...

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