You’ve stuffed your face with turkey and trimmings and January is a time to settle down on the sofa and stay out of the cold. So here are the best DVDS out this month to keep you company
Starring: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Colin Morgan
Hardy gives himself two shots at awards glory (maybe he’ll be up against himself?) as the notorious British gangster twins, Ronnie and Reggie Kray. Written and directed by the guy who scripted the movie version of LA Confidential, this is a grittier take on the villains who terrorised London during the Fifties and Sixties, as well as capturing the pop culture zeitgeist. Those of you who love the Kemp brothers’ version will be disappointed. Still Hardy is as magnetic as ever and there’s able support.
Straight Outta Compton
Starring: O’Shea Jackson Jr., Paul Giamatti, Jason Mitchell
The music industry has changed so much since NWA first broke onto the scene that it’s sometimes difficult to realise quite how seismic their impact was. This biopic sets to re-address that balance and does it by casting Ice Cube’s son as Ice Cube, which is quite a nifty trick. You learn about how a group of poor black kids found their way together, bound by a desire to change the world, a skill for poetry and a screw-you attitude. Two of them – Dr. Dre and Ice Cube are now multimillionaire media moguls and one, Eazy-E, is dead. They DID change the world and their music endures.
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin
Based on the terrifying 1996 accidents that befell various summit expeditions (immortalised in Jon Krakauer’s book Into Thin Air), this star-studded cast retraces the steps of the unlucky (and other more fortunate) climbers who got caught in a massive storm that killed several people. Focusing more on character than high-altitude action pics like Cliffhanger, this nevertheless contains some jaw-dropping visuals, especially if watched in 3D. What’s more, the real-life tragedy adds layers of poignancy, expertly wrung out by a superb cast.
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Clancy Brown
Telling a compelling story about the housing crisis is not the easiest job in the world, but this indie makes a good fist of it. That’s mainly thanks to the cast – Garfield as a desperate man who’s been evicted from his home and ends up working for the unscrupulous property guy (Shannon) who screwed up his life. You will wring your hands at the corporate shenanigans which helped turn the subprime mortgage crisis into a genuine first-world humanitarian disaster and pull for the common man haunted by the spectre of the so-called American Dream.
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Topher Grace
Stoner comedy meets spy caper in this bizarre melange of a film about a pothead who also happens to be a supremely capable secret agent. He’s targeted for neutralisation, but unfortunately for his enemies despite being high most of the time he’s also very, very lethal. Eisenberg and Stewart show their Adventureland chemistry wasn’t a fluke and there are some funny cameos.