The New York Times argues no adjective derived from a modern writer’s name rivals “Orwellian” for visibility. Photograph: AP

George Orwell is common shorthand for ‘mean people are being mean to me because they’re mean’

Julia Vysotskaya is electrifying  as Lyuda, a dedicated party member.

Film review: 1962’s Novocherkassk massacre was the ultimate betrayal of the Russian revolution

The late Marvel head honcho Stan Lee with a Spider-Man model in his Beverly Hills office in December  2008.  Photograph: Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg

Plus: James Stewart and Hitchcock, a missing Saturday Night Fever song and Schitt’s Creek casting

One Night in Miami imagines that, on the night after Cassius Clay’s defeat of Sonny Liston, the fighter who was about to become Muhammad Ali gathered with Sam Cooke, Malcolm X and  American footballer Jim Brown in a Florida hotel room.

Review: This sophisticated imagined conversation between Malcolm X, Cassius Clay, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke works hard to shake off (...)

Julia Vysotskaya in Dear Comrades!

Dear Comrades!, MLK/FBI, One Night in Miami, Stardust

The streaming giant’s recently unveiled 2021 slate is coming down with romantic comedies, family films and mid-budgeted dramas

Big names, Oscar contenders and everything from westerns to romcoms will hit the small screen this year

Guan Hu’s The Eight Hundred, a Chinese epic concerning the Sino-Japanese War

The year just gone may have been an aberration, but the Chinese film industry’s box-office challenge to Hollywood has been evident(...)

Vanessa Kirby in Pieces of a Woman

Dramas Pieces of a Woman and Two Ways Home, docs Robin’s Wish and Mother

Marlon Brando with John Huston on the set of Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967)

Plus: tying the title, novels by actors, a first time song, the three wives of who?

Robin Williams and his wife, Susan

Film review: This documentary sets the record straight on the actor’s last days

Two Ways Home compares favourably with the recent, ill-starred Hillbilly Elegy

Review: Tanna Frederick is terrific in a film about mental illness that avoids preachiness

Moives due to come our way in 2021...

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a traffic jam of anticipated films for this year

 Boston Common  rock festival, 1971. The music writer David Hepworth argues that 1971 saw the release of more defining albums than any other year. Photograph: Spencer Grant/Getty Images

Donald Clarke: You can’t beat 1981. Others will argue for 1967, 1989, 1995 or 2020. Nobody is right. Nobody is wrong

We Can Be Heroes: Vivien Blair (left) as Guppy, Isaiah Russell-Bailey as Rewind, Lotus Blossom as A Capella, YaYa Gosselin as Missy Moreno, Akira Akbar as Fast Forward, Hala Finley as Ojo, Dylan Henry Lau as Slo-Mo. Photograph: Ryan Green/Netflix

Review: Just try and stay out of the room for the excruciatingly sunny David Bowie cover

Sing Me a Song:  quasi-surreal depictions of a clash between ancient ritual and contemporary moral corruption

Review: This remarkable tale of innocence corrupted with a helping hand of technology

“There has always been something character-building about the need to plough through the more revolting chocolates before another box can be opened.”

Donald Clarke: Either way, the seasonal sweets remain my nausea-inducer of choice

Movie highlights from Paddington 2 and Soul to Dunkirk and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

George Clooney and Caoilinn Springall in The Midnight Sky

Review: The star’s own performance is the main reason to give this movie a chance

Phil Lynott. Photograph: Fin Costello/Redferns

Stirring documentary will retain a permanent place on Thin Lizzy fans’ playlists

Best of 2020: some remarkable films in a remarkable year

Parasite, Uncut Gems, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, The Invisible Man and many more

A scene from Bob Clark’s 1983 film A Christmas Story

Some US films fail to travel – Bob Clark’s 1983 comedy, however, is worth your attention

Jessie Buckley took best actress for her turn as confused, intertwined personae in I’m Thinking of Ending Things

The Dublin Film Critics Circle has announced the results of its annual poll

American Utopia was shot with respect by Spike Lee at a performance of David Byrne’s Broadway show

Review: If you like Talking Heads, watch this. If you don’t, don’t

Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate (1967)

Plus: Cartoon Saloon’s features and a ‘John Hughes film’ directed by John Hughes

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman 1984

Wonder Woman, Let Him Go on release, Ma Rainey, American Utopia on demand

Wonder Woman, aka Diana Prince, played by Gal Gadot performing cautiously within her very narrow range

It has good villains, especially Kristen Wiig, ignored frump turned malevolent feline

Still from Angela’s Christmas Wish, set in Limerick.

Brown Bag's second instalment of McCourt-inspired tale surges with impressive recreations of Limerick

‘Have these people no grit? Are there no prisons? Are the Union workhouses no longer in operation?’

Donald Clarke: I can’t imagine Walter Cronkite or Don Cockburn doing such a thing

Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

The Oscar-winner on playing Ma Rainey, working with Chadwick Boseman and race in Hollywood

Gillian Anderson stars in the fourth season of Netflix original The Crown as Margaret Thatcher.

Vouchers are not the most imaginative presents but you can be certain they will be used

Meryl Streep and James Corden in The Prom

Bee Gees and The Mole Agent streaming, The Racer on general release, The Prom on Netflix and limited release

Ricardo Montalban (left) in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Plus: 2020’s biggest earner, Brian De Palma’s non-movie, King Kong and the MCU

So close to parody... Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan in Wild Mountain Thyme

Review of reviews for the stage-Irish film whose trailer was eviscerated last month

Louis Talpe (in pink) stars as Dominique Chabol.

Review: Non-accusatory but gruelling treatment of compromised glamour

Maurice, Barry and Robin Gibb aka The Bee Gees

Review: ‘I’d rather have my brothers back and no hits at all.’ Barry Gibb makes us cry

“Scarcely one in a hundred people can have known what an R-number was before Covid arrived. Now every second amateur physician is brandishing the term with the same confidence they bring to the discussion of weather, hurling, politics or whatever else they pretend to know about.” File photograph: Getty

The 2020 selection is taken up with terms relating to a certain familiar menace

Mary Poppins: Julie Andrews in the 1964 film. Photograph: Mondadori via Getty

Julie Andrews’s song was inspired by a polio immunisation, according to its writer’s son

Wolfwalkers

Wolfwalkers, Girl from Mogadishu on release, Mank on demand, Crock of Gold on both

Plus: Peter Parker’s alter-ego, best picture biopics, Harry Potter titles, Pixar’s species

Review: Ahmed is a credit to her nation. It’s a shame Mary McGuckian’s biopic is so pallid

Wolfwalkers, Cartoon Saloon’s latest film, opens on December 4th.

Review: A family entertainment set among the Cromwellian atrocities? Sounds risky

Marlon Brando and Al Pacino in The Godfather (1972). The mafia drama was directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Photograph: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

The French Connection won best picture but the non-fiction novel is largely forgotten

Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut is called Falling and is inspired by memories of his mother. Photograph: Matt Doyle/Contour/Getty Images

But the film made a star of the Danish American actor. Now he’s a director too

Photograph: Miramax

Plus: Withnail’s finest wine, Jack Nicholson’s iconic order, The Godfather's spaghetti recipe

Finding Jack Charlton

Finding Jack Charlton, Possessor, Black Beauty, Train to Busan 2: Peninsula

This Black Beauty works well enough as a bank-holiday entertainment in the style of mid-20th century Disney television.

Review: Kate Winslet voices the horse in Disney+ adaptation

In at No. 10:  Saoirse Ronan. Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA

But hang on: what’s Keanu Reeves doing here? And really hang on: where’s Meryl Streep?

Audrey Hepburn in a promotional still from the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Photograph courtesy Everett Collection/Getty Images

He was a fascist who walked out on the family. No wonder the star had father issues

Jack Charlton at a friendly between the Republic of Ireland and England at the Aviva Stadium in 2015. Photograph: David Maher/Sportsfile

Finding Jack Charlton lays bare his remarkable connection with the Irish psyche

Film Hocus Pocus, starring Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker, originally opened at a poor number four in the US box office charts.

I cannot pretend that Hocus Pocus is any more deserving of affection now than it was in 1993

Plus: Colin Farrell credits, soundtracking The Graduate, Who Killed Bambi’s band

Dolly Parton in Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square

Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square, Hillbilly Elegy, Patrick, Collective

Patrick is set in a nudist colony

Review: This is an absolute original that should launch a starry career

Glenn Close and Amy Adams in Hillbilly Elegy.

Review: One’s brain aches pondering why anyone thought this would be a good idea

Nika McGuigan and Nora-Jane Noone in Wildfire

The 65th outing had Pixar’s Soul, great Irish premieres and a film about cycling cheats

Gabriel Byrne in New York in 2016. Photograph: Larry Busacca/Getty

The actor on his struggle with fame, the sexual abuse he endured, and the new Ireland

Gillian Anderson as former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher

She is the latest of many actors to wrestle with the blue suit and tortured vowels

Cary Elwes and Robin Wright in The Princess Bride (1987)

Plus: Which monster links Jack Nicholson, Lon Chaney Jr and Benicio Del Toro?

Ibrahima Gueye and Sophia Loren in The Life Ahead

The Life Ahead, Martin Eden, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, Two of Us

The indomitable star’s stoic performance is the main reason to watch this Italian drama

Diaana Babnicova as Young Jessica Jangle and Justin Cornwell as Young Jeronicus Jangle in Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey.  Photograph: Gareth Gatrell/Netflix

Review: A combination of high Disney gloop with Hamilton hip-hop

So close to parody... Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan in Wild Mountain Thyme

Film with Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan, Christopher Walken is laden with patronising Paddywhackery

The late James Bond actor Sean Connery has been the subject of debate for comments he made in 1965 about “acceptable” ways to beat a woman. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

We are never too far from a story about a celebrity with a history of domestic violence

Sean Connery as James Bond next to his Aston Martin DB5 in a scene from Goldfinger in 1964. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Plus: What film won most Oscars this year, who give the Golden Globes, name a Cohen Bros sequel

Jonathan Coe’s new novel Mr Wilder and Me is available November 5th.  Photograph: Getty Images

The novelist on his new book, being an unromantic outsider and Billy Wilder

Sean Connery as James Bond next to his Aston Martin DB5 in a scene from Goldfinger in 1964. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

He was always a little out of his time, combining charm, menace and old-fashioned masculinity

Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live.Photograph: NBC

The angry pop culture of the Nixon years is better than that of the Trump era

Maureen O Hara, the Irish-American actor  famed for her flaming red hair and her role in The Quiet Man, has died aged 95.

Plus: playing Cleopatra, a Hitchcock no-show, Meryl and her many nominations

Paul Muni in I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932), directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Photograph:  Warner Bros.

Hollywood regularly confounded that myth that grim times generate merry, escapist art

Bill Murray and director Sofia Coppola on the set of On the Rocks

On the Rocks, Rebecca, Summer of 85, The Secret Garden

Plus: singing Oscarless, editing Martin Scorsese, a co-director goes uncredited

On the Rocks

Exasperated, bewildered Jones is at least the equal of her older costar in this exquisite film

Rebecca: Lily James as Mrs. de Winter. Photograph: Kerry Brown/Netflix

Review: The film is so lathered in superficial gloss the subtexts struggle to breathe

Host Deirdre O’Kane and Martin Scorses, who appeared by video link

Charming domestic moments made up for the lack of red-carpet pizzazz at the virtual event

Gal Gadot, who played Wonder Woman and has now been cast as Cleopatra,  attending the 90th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood in 2018. Photogaph: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The news had barely landed before social media blew its collective top

James Frecheville and Hugo Weaving in Lance Daly's ‘Black 47’

The Irish Film and Television Academy’s awards will be broadcast on Sunday night

Raffey Cassidy in The Other Lamb

Unsettling Wicklow-shot The Other Lamb, Sundance winner Time, harrowing Body of Water, saccharine Disney biopic Clouds

Plus: In what year is the new Wonder Woman film mostly set?

Raffey Cassidy and Ailbhe Cowley in The Other Lamb. Photograph: IFC Midnight

Review: Film is at the more austere end of the cult-movie spectrum

Body of Water: Far from an easy watch but leaves an impression

Review: Stark and unyielding throughout for those adventurous enough to dive in

Callan Cummins Matthew Malone and Mary Murray in Fishamble: The New Play Company’s Embargo by Deirdre Kinahan.  Photograph: Anthony Woods

Dublin Theatre Festival: Unquestionably a celebration of the protest but with layers of nuance

Kerry’s own Jessie Buckley in I’m Thinking of Ending Things. Photograph: Netflix

There’s been another major turnover but catch the classics while you can

Actor John Wayne plays Ethan Edwards in The Searchers. Photograph: Warner Bros/AP Photo

A limited actor and probable racist, he is still the go-to icon for frontier bravado

People celebrating the independence of Ireland on O’Connell bridge before midnight on Easter Sunday, April 17th, 1949. Photograph: Larry Burrows/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

Dublin Theatre Festival review: Summoning the despair of an urban space in the time of Covid

Evan Rachel Wood in Kajillionaire

Kajillionaire in cinemas, David Attenborough, 40-Year-Old Version, My Zoe at home

Scottish actor Sean Connery at 90. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Plus: SNL spin-offs, Marvel alter egos, the American Pie crew, Carry On casting

Richard Jenkins, Debra Winger and Evan Rachel Wood in Kajillionaire

Review: The film is more aware of its own oddness than the director’s first two features

David Attenborough: ‘We have come this far because we are the smartest creatures that have ever lived. But to continue we require more than intelligence. We require wisdom’

Review: This ‘witness statement’ for Netflix is filled with truths worth hammering home

Miranda July: it’s a real gift to be able to start a first draft without really knowing what I’m writing about. Photograph: Elizabeth Weinberg/The New York Times

The director of US high-quirk indie cinema returns with her best yet, Kajillionaire

Cineworld, Parnell Street, Dublin.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Cineworld shut down ... Bond postponed again ... The cinema sector is on life support

Talia Shire, Sylvester Stallone and Sico in Rocky IV (1985). Over the years, a cult following has pored over Sico’s interesting history. Photograph: MGM

The disappearance of Rocky’s robotic butler has the conspiracy censors twitching

Dara Ó Briain: ‘When people say they want more right-wing comedy I say: there is no more open market than comedy. Go to Edinburgh.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

His new book, Is There Anybody Out There?, skilfully weaves thumping gags with raw physics

Jack Gleeson in Dead Centre’sTo Be a Machine as part of Dublin Theatre Festival 2020.

Self-conscious experiments complement the exploration of transhumanism

Yul Brynner, Steven McQueen, Horst Buchholz, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and James Coburn as the original seven in 1960

Plus: a year without Marvel, the home of Cartoon Saloon, nothing for the ladies

Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and Tom Glynn-Carney in Rialto

Rialto, The Boys in the Band, Eternal Beauty, The Trial of the Chicago 7

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