Midweek movie review round-up

Sacha Baron Cohen plays Admiral General Aladeen in The Dictator.
Sacha Baron Cohen plays Admiral General Aladeen in The Dictator.
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A round-up of the latest film releases to help you decide what to watch at the cinema, plus you can view the latest trailers.

THE DICTATOR (15)

Sacha Baron Cohen plays Admiral General Aladeen, tyrannical ruler of the African state of Wadiya, who is hiding the real Osama Bin Laden in one of his opulent palace’s spare rooms.

During a visit to “the Devil’s nest” of America to address the United Nations about his nuclear arsenal, Aladeen is usurped by his duplicitous brother Tamir (Sir Ben Kingsley) and cast adrift on the streets.

Zoey (Anna Faris), the tomboyish manager of a vegan feminist non-profit co-operative, takes pity on Aladeen, who she accepts as an immigrant called Allison Burgers, but sparks of romance are continually extinguished by Aladeen’s bigotry.

Eventually, Zoey discovers that Aladeen is wanted for war crimes and is horrified by the truth. Rating: Cohen-troversial fun - 8/10

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THE RAID (18)

Rookie cop Rama is part of an ill-prepared SWAT team charged with infiltrating a 15-storey apartment block, which doubles as the headquarters of notorious drug lord Tama and his sadistic henchmen Andi and Mad Dog.

Led by Lieutenant Wahyu and Sergeant Jaka, the cops have one simple and admittedly difficult objective: fight their way to the top floor and destroy Tama’s criminal network.

They stumble into a trap but underestimate Rama’s mastery of martial arts. Rating: A high kicking shoot ‘em up - 7/10

DARK SHADOWS (12A)

In the mid-18th century, Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) spurns the advances of servant/witch Angelique and falls in love with Josette DuPres.

In revenge, Angelique kills Josette then transforms Brnabus into a vampire and buries him alive.

Almost 200 years later his cast-iron coffin is unearthed and the fanged fiend is unleashed in swinging 1972 Maine where he seeks sanctuary at his ancestral home with the latest branch of the family tree headed by Elizabeth (Michelle Pfeiffer). Rating: Even star billings don’t help - 5/10

THE LUCKY ONE (12A)

Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) is ambushed by the enemy in Iraq and several of his men are wounded or killed in the subsequent fire fight.

Escaping he glimpses a photograph of a beautiful woman in the rubble, tracking her down when he gets home and agrees to help her work in a family-run kennel with her and her feisty grandmother.

Without explaining why he’s there, their bond deepens – much to the chagrin of her jealous ex-husband, Keith (Jay R Ferguson). Rating: Hunky guy, candy girl, ho hum - 5/10

HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION (15)

Veteran thief Driver (Mel Gibson) is nabbed in Mexico with millions of dollars of mobster money. The local cops pocket the cash and throw him into the country’s most notorious prison.

A tender bond develops between Driver, a 10-year-old urchin and the boy’s ballsy mother (Dolores Heredia).

The tyke has the same rare blood type as cartel boss Javi (Daniel Gimenez Cacho), who runs operations inside the prison, but Driver isn’t thrilled about anyone removing organs from his pint-sized sidekick. Rating: Mel’s return to tough guy form - 6/10

AMERICAN PIE: THE REUNION (15)

There is a moment in what is hopefully final slice of the American Pie series when lovable Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs) loses his patience with sex-obsessed man-child Stifler (Seann William Scott) and laments: “You’re so trapped in the past.

When are you going to realise things will never be the way they used to be?” Yes, just when you thought they’d grown old gracefully Jim and his wife Michelle head back to East Great Falls to attend their 13 year high school reunion. Rating: Hopefully school’s out forever - 4/10

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE (12A)

A must for all fans of Marvel comics.

When a dangerous new enemy threatens the safety of mankind, Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson), director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D, scours the globe in search of the ultimate team of superheroes recruiting Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) to save the day. Rating: A Marvel-ous comic treat - 7/10