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Murder On The Orient Express Trailer

It's the 1930s and a group of strangers from different walks of life board a crowded luxury train called the Orient Express in Istanbul, preparing for a long overnight journey to their destination. Among them is the world famous detective Hercule Poirot who certainly isn't expecting to be working in such circumstances, but when a passenger named Edward Ratchett is found havng been brutally murdered in his sleep on the second night, it's up to him to gather all available evidence and wheedle out all of the suspects. So who are they? He soon deduces that the potential killer could be one of eleven including Professor Gerhard Hardman, Edward Masterman the Butler, Count Andrenyi, Hector MacQueen the Assistant, Mary Debenham the Governess, Pilar Estravados the Missionary, Mrs. Hubbard the Widow, Marquez the Salesman, Hildegarde Schmidt the Maid, Doctor Arbuthnot or Princess Dragomiroff. 

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Mindhorn Trailer

In the late 80s, Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barratt) was the most famous police detective on television, but fast-forward to the present day and he's balding, ungroomed and trying to convince himself that he is exactly where he needs to be in life with desperate daily positive affirmations. Fate does have one more adventure in store for the actor, however. A suspected serial killer named Paul Melly (Russell Tovey) has escaped from a secure unit at Darkmoor Hospital and is now taunting Isle of Man police that more will die unless he can speak to Detective Mindhorn. The police are well aware that Mindhorn is just a TV character, but they try their luck and enlist the help of the actor who plays him nonetheless. Unfortunately, Thorncroft turns out to be much less efficient than his onscreen persona, as much as he'd like to believe otherwise. 

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Daisy Ridley And Judi Dench To Join Johnny Depp On Board 'Murder On The Orient Express'

Johnny Depp Kenneth Branagh Daisy Ridley Judi Dench Michelle Pfeiffer

The ensemble cast of Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express is shaping up to be pretty special.

Branagh, who will direct and star in the adaptation, is to be joined by Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Judi Dench and Michelle Pfeiffer for the classic Agatha Christie murder mystery.

Johnny DeppJohnny Depp is among the A-list cast for Murder on the Orient Express

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Branagh Live: Romeo & Juliet Trailer

The story of Romeo and Juliet is one of unconditional love that shows how far two people will go in order to be together for eternity. The two families the Montagues and the Capulets are at war with each other and both Romeo the son of Montague and Juliet the daughter of Capulet fall in love with each other which is strictly forbidden because of the family's ongoing feud.

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Kenneth Branagh To Star In And Direct 'Murder On The Orient Express' Movie

Kenneth Branagh Ridley Scott Fox

Sir Kenneth Branagh is to play fictional Belgian detective Hercule Poirot in a film adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express for Fox Studios that he will also be directing, according to reports.

The 54 year old English actor, whose directing credits include Thor, Henry V and 2015’s box-office success Cinderella, is reported by Variety to have signed up for the Fox re-make that has been in the pipelines since 2013. Ridley Scott, fresh from his success with The Martian, is also attached to the project as a co-producer.

Kenneth BranaghSir Kenneth Branagh will be directing and starring in the new adaptation of Agatha Christie's classic novel

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Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Is A "Muffled" Reboot Of Tom Clancy's CIA Hero, Say Critics

Chris Pine Kenneth Branagh Keira Knightley

As Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit prepares for release worldwide, the critics' reviews have been formed and filed and could determine whether many see the film or not this January. If you're a film fan who was looking forward to Kenneth Branagh's new realisation of the late Tom Clancy's CIA hero Jack Ryan, you may want to click away now because it's not too pretty.

Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit Chris Pine
Chris Pine Leads As Jack Ryan In The Franchise's New Incarnation.

After Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck and Harrison Ford's incarnations of the young but heroic CIA agent, it's now Star Trek's Chris Pine's turn to take on the action role. Pine's Ryan starts out as a CIA office worker but is propelled into a daunting new world of special operations when he is enlisted to help thwart a major Russian terrorist plot.

Continue reading: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Is A "Muffled" Reboot Of Tom Clancy's CIA Hero, Say Critics

Tom Clancy's Legacy Lives On In New Kenneth Branagh Movie, 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit'

Tom Clancy Kenneth Branagh Chris Pine

Talented spy author Tom Clancy died earlier this week, but his legacy lives on via his many novels, his video games and his movies, which are still being made. The 66 year-old novelist died in a Baltimore hospital after a short illness.

Tom Clancy
Clancy Brought Thrilling Tales Of Espionage To Life.

With a personal fortune estimated at $47.8m (£33m), Clancy was one of the most productive, not to mention richest authors in the world. His most famous character Jack Ryan appeared in many of Clancy's novels and movies, including the famous The Hunt For Red October, starring Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery.

Continue reading: Tom Clancy's Legacy Lives On In New Kenneth Branagh Movie, 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit'

Cate Blanchett Will Debut As Film Director In Herman Koch's Epic 'The Dinner'

Cate Blanchett Woody Allen Peter Jackson George Clooney Kenneth Branagh

Cate Blanchett might've put on a jaw-dropping performance in her most recent film Blue Jasmine, but she's about to display a new talent as a budding film director in the upcoming adaptation of The Dinner.

Perhaps working with such iconic directors as Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine), Peter Jackson (The Hobbit), George Clooney (The Monuments Men, due out 2014) and Kenneth Branagh - who she is currently filming the new adaptation of Cinderella with - has inspired her to branch out in her film career as she finally takes on the tricky role new in a new film based on the novel by Herman Koch.

It's a suspenseful thriller about two couples who are trying to make a drastic decision about their teenage sons who have been involved in a horrific situation that's now in the hands of the police. There is little action and one setting, but that will only make it harder to infuse each second with nail-biting tension and heart-stopping dread when it is put to film.

Continue reading: Cate Blanchett Will Debut As Film Director In Herman Koch's Epic 'The Dinner'

Marion Cotillard Lined-Up For Lady MacBeth Role In Upcoming Film Adaption

Marion Cotillard Michael Fassbender Kenneth Branagh Natalie Portman Terrence Malick James McAvoy

Marion Cotillard has been chosen to bring some Gallic glamour to one of Scotland's most malevolent (fictional) characters in the latest big screen adaption of William Shakespeare's MacBeth. The Oscar-winning actress is set to star along German/Irish actor Michael Fassbender, who will be taking on the titular role, under the direction of Snowtown's Justin Kurzel, The Hollywood Reporter first revealed.

Marion Cotillard
Marion Cotillard will replace fellow Oscar-winner Natalie Portman in the latest adaption of 'The Scottish Play'

Distributed through StudioCanal and Film4, the latest rendition of the classic Shakespearean tragedy is being produced by The King's Speech backers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, who run the production house See Saw. Which happens to be the same company that worked on the Fassbender-starring Shame. No further details of the film have been released just yet, so it is still unknown who Cotillard and Fassbender will be starring alongside when filming begins in January 2014.

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A Week In News: Tributes Paid To George Jones, Tyler The Creator Finds Controversy, Lily Collins Goes Zombie-Hunting

George Jones Lily James Kenneth Branagh Lily Collins Farrah Abraham Tyler The Creator Beyonce Knowles Mariah Carey Kris Kross Lil Wayne

The Slipper Fits! Lily James Snags Role As Disney's Cinderella: Who Is She?

Lily James Kenneth Branagh Emma Watson

The Downton Abbey actress Lily James has landed the role of Cinderella in Disney's live-action retelling of the classic Brothers Grimm fairy-tale, reports Variety. Kenneth Branagh will direct the project, based on a script by Chris Weitz. Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett co-stars as the evil stepmother.

James is a name that's hardly been mentioned throughout the casting process, with Disney originally offering the role to Harry Potter star Emma Watson. On that occasion - Variety's Marc Graser (who broke news of Lily James' casting) - reported how negotiations had broken down, with Watson instead choosing to focus on Guillermo del Toro's planned Beauty and the Beast movie, over at Warner Bros. The film is still in development at the studio, though there's no production start date or release date yet.

Lily James began her career in several notable theatre roles, including alongside Dominic West in a production of Othello at the Crucible in Sheffield. She went onto star in Vernon God Little at the Young Vic Theatre. She landed a movie roles in Noel Clarke's 2012 film Fast Girls about a group of young female athletes competing in the World Championships before appearing in Wrath of the Titans, alongside Rosamund Pike, Sam Worthington and Liam Neeson. Her television credits include Secret Diary of a Call Girl and season three of Downton Abbey. 

Continue reading: The Slipper Fits! Lily James Snags Role As Disney's Cinderella: Who Is She?

Lily James Chosen To Play Cinderella In New Disney Flick

Lily James Cate Blanchett Kenneth Branagh

Lily James, who found fame as Lady Rose MacClare in Downton Abbey, has been chosen by Disney to play Cinderella in their upcoming live-action reboot of the fairy tale. The English beauty has beaten off competition from the likes of Saoirse Ronan, Bella Heathcote and Emma Watson for the sought after role, with filming set to begin on the project later this year.

Lily James
Lily James should make a fitting Cinderella

Kenneth Branagh has already been signed on to direct the live action take, with Cate Blanchett playing the evil stepmother. Disney have been planning on bringing a live-action version of Cinderella to cinemas since 2010, following the success of Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland, but have only now gotten round to filling in all the gaps in the project. Blanchett was confirmed to take on the evil stepmother role at the end of last year, but since then the producers have been in a mad dash to sign their lead actress, with many of the would-be Cinderellas, most notable Watson, declining the part due to other commitments.

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Alex Kingston Lands Lady Macbeth Role Alongside Kenneth Branagh

Alex Kingston Kenneth Branagh

The actress Alex Kingston has been cast as Lady Macbeth, to star alongside Sir Kenneth Branagh in a new production of the Shakespearian tragedy. The new production of the play will be co-directed with the Emmy and Tony award-winning director Ron Ashford. Kingston, aged 50 is perhaps best known for her roles as Dr Elizabeth Corday in ER and River Song in Doctor Who.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, she revealed “I’m excited - and a bit terrified, as well - about being given the challenge and being pushed… It’s going to be a workout, that’s for sure. Emotional things are already starting to percolate.” She also explained how she came to be working with Branagh; they met in Los Angeles for tea and discussed the not-so-happy Macbeth couple. Kingston and Branagh saw eye to eye when it came to approaching the characters and their development throughout the play. “it’s more interesting if you don’t consider them sort of quintessentially evil at the beginning of the play, because then, ultimately, you’re only playing one note,” said Alex. “There are references in the play that their castle is very pleasant; it’s not some sort of terrifying, glowering place that has an evil presence.”

Co-director Ron Ashford explained that he wanted an actress of Alex’s “stature” to carry off the complexities of Lady Macbeth’s character and highlight her vulnerabilities. 

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If Emma Watson Isn't Doing 'Fifty Shades Of Grey,' Then Who Is?

Emma Watson Kenneth Branagh Alexis Bledel Shailene Woodley Henry Cavill Alex Pettyfer

Emma Watson is officially out of the running to play the submissive Anastasia Steele in Kelly Marcel's adaptation of the S&M novel 'Fifty Shades of Grey.' Watson - who, of course played Hermione Granger in Harry Potter - has long been considered one of the favourites to play the female lead in theUniversal and Focus Pictures movie, though she shot down the rumors in a couple of posts on her Twitter page this week. Watson, who recently turned down the opportunity to play Cinderella in Kenneth Branagh's upcoming Disney movie, started off by telling followers, "Who here actually thinks I would do 50 Shades of Grey as a movie? Like really. For real. In real life."

After encouraging her fans to respond, Watson presumably got few affirmative replies, or plenty of tweets warning her off the project, tweeting, "Good. Well that's that sorted then." The nature of her tweets suggest Watson has been approached by Universal about playing Anastasia and it's likely she would have been the studio's first choice. "I haven't read the book, I haven't a read a script, nothing," Watson told in July 2012, "There are so many movies you become attached to when I've literally never even received a phone call. It was the same way with 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' - I never even saw a script!"

The Fifty Shades movie remains without a lead actor, actress or director, despite Universal's hopes of releasing the film in summer of 2014. Shooting is likely to go ahead within the next couple of months, though Watson ruling herself will have given producers a potential headache. Is she isn't playing Steele, then who is?

Continue reading: If Emma Watson Isn't Doing 'Fifty Shades Of Grey,' Then Who Is?

Slipper Didn't Fit: Emma Watson Passes On Disney's 'Cinderella'

Emma Watson Kenneth Branagh

Emma Watson has weighed up the pros and cons of Kenneth Branagh's Walt Disney movie 'Cinderella' and determined that now is probably not the time to take another family friends kids movie.

Last month, Variety's Marc Graser reported that former Harry Potter actress Watson was in early talks to join the project, which stars Cate Blanchett and boasts a crew including 'Devil Wears Prada's Aline Brosh on script duty and Twilight's Chris Weitz on rewrites. The movie is planned to begin shooting in London this fall, though the entire project has been dealt a serious blow with news that Watson - the studio's first choice for Cinderella - has passed.

It's probably a wise decision by Watson, who is slowly but surely moving away from family movies in a bid to be considered a serious actress. This year, she'll be seen in Darren Aronofsky's historical-epic Noah, with Russell Crowe, and plays a teenage thief in Sofia Coppola's 'The Bling Ring.' She also stars in Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen's This Is The End.

Continue reading: Slipper Didn't Fit: Emma Watson Passes On Disney's 'Cinderella'

The Good Life: Legendary TV Actor Richard Briers Dies Aged 79

Richard Briers Kenneth Branagh

Legendary television actor Richard Briers, who played the enduring Tom in BBC comedy The Good Life, has died at the age of 79. The actor, who also starred in Ever Decreasing Circles, Monarch of the Glen and numerous successful stage productions, had been ill for a number of years with emphysema.

Richard Briers, Variety Club Showbiz AwardsTributes Are Pouring In For The Legendary Richard Briers

His agent, Christopher Farrar, said in a statement, "Richard was a wonderful man, a consummate professional and an absolute joy to work alongside. Following his recent discussion of his battle with emphysema, I know he was incredibly touched by the strength of support expressed by friends and the public, adding, "He has a unique and special place in the hearts of so many. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and deepest sympathy go to his family at this sad time."

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Floating Skulls At Their Ready: James McAvoy To Take On MacBeth In New West End Production

James McAvoy Kenneth Branagh Macbeth

James McAvoy can add future King of Scotland to his resumé when he takes to the West End stage early next year for a new production of Shakespeare's Macbeth, run by director Jamie Lloyd.

The updated production will be held at the newly opened Traf Transformed theatre at Trafalgar Studio in Whitehall, beginning in February next year (13), running from February 9 until  April 27. The latest version has been re-written by Lloyd and is set in a dystopian separatist Scotland, which has been ravaged by war. Although little else has been revealed about the plot of the latest adaption, is is believed that the story will largely follow Shakespeare's original plot, with the setting and a few other details being changed for the new adaption.

After the show's run, McAvoy will be heading back to Hollywood to film the sequel for last years X Men: First Class, where he will reclaim his role as Professor Charles Xavier in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Don't worry if you want to see Macbeth after McAvoy calls it quits though, as the newly knighted Sir Kenneth Branagh will be teaming up with director Rob Ashford to bring their own interpretation of the Bard's most famous story at the Manchester International Festival in July.

Kenneth Branagh Honoured By The Queen: Thats SIR Kenneth Now

Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh was honoured by the Queen at Buckingham Palace earlier this week, receiving his knighthood from the royal following his awarding of the title during her birthday honours list in June this year.

The actor, director and writer, who also had a starring role in Danny Boyle's opening ceremony for this years Olympics, taking on the role of famed Victorian industrialist Isambard Kingdom Brunel, received his honour from the Queen, saying after to the BBC that he felt "humble, elated and incredibly lucky" to be bestowed with such an honour.

Known best for his Shakespearean roles, most notably Henry V, as well as his role on television as the Swedish detective Wallander on the BBC of the same name, Branagh was recognised for his ongoing services to drama, which have spanned more than three decades already. 

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Kenneth Branagh Declares Knighthood As The Icing On The Cake To A Great Year

Kenneth Branagh

Yesterday (Nov 9), Kenneth Branagh was officially made Sir Kenneth Branagh, with the actor declaring the day to be the pinnacle of "one hell of a year."

The actor, who first bowed before the Queen after a performance in Hamlet when he was a 19-year-old drama student, took to one knee in front of Her Majesty once again as he has given his knighthood after it was announced during the Queen's birthday honours list in June this year reports The Daily Mail. The actor/director/writer was officially recognised by the Queen for his outstanding services to drama over a career that was spanned more that three decades. 

Throughout his distinguished careers, the Belfast-born thespian has been nominated for five Academy Awards and won three BAFTAs, however he has said that the knighthood knocks all these recognitions out of the water. Known best for his Shakespearean roles, especially Hamlet and Henry V, Branagh also received recognition for his roles on TV as the Swedish detective Wallander, as well as receiving plaudits for his roles behind the camera, for Frankenstein and most recently Thor.

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Arise Sir Kenneth: Kenneth Branagh Knighted By The Queen At Buckingham Palace

Kenneth Branagh Gary Barlow Danny Boyle

Actor/writer/director and all round renaissance-man Kenneth Branagh received his knighthood today at Buckingham Palace by Queen Elizabeth II, having been told of his accolade following the announcement of Queen's birthday honours in June this year.

Sir Kenneth, who is perhaps best known for his Shakespearean roles both in front and behind the camera, also played a part in this year's Olympic opening ceremony, donning the trademark stove-pipe hat as he played Britain's most famous industrialist Sir Isambard Kingdom Brunel at the start of Danny Boyle's breathtaking spectacle.

Branagh was not the only person honoured in the Birthday list from the entertainment industry, with X Factor judge and Diamond Jubilee organiser Gary Barlow recognised with an OBE for his services to the entertainment industry and to charity. Comedy writer Armando Iannucci, known for his work on sitcoms such as The Thick Of It and I'm Alan Partridge, was also given an OBE in the honours.

Continue reading: Arise Sir Kenneth: Kenneth Branagh Knighted By The Queen At Buckingham Palace

Kenneth Branagh? That's Sir Kenneth Branagh To You!

Kenneth Branagh Michael Caine Patrick Stewart Ben Kingsley Laurence Olivier Marilyn Monroe

Kenneth Branagh has received his knighthood from the Queen at Buckingham Palace for services to drama and the community of Northern Ireland. The Oscar-nominated actor, director and screenwriter, is best known for his Shakespearean works though most recently played Swedish detective Wallander in the BBC series of the same name.

Sir Kenneth joins the likes of Sir Michael Caine, Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ben Kingsley and Sir Laurence Olivier in becoming a thespian knight. Branagh - who recently starred in the Marilyn Monroe movie My Week With Marilyn - told Sky News that he felt "humble, elated and incredibly lucky," to have received the award, adding, "When I was a kid I dreamed of pulling on a shirt for the Northern Ireland football team. I could only imagine how proud you might feel. Today it feels like they just gave me the shirt and my heart's fit to burst." Branagh spent his early years in Northern Ireland though moved to Reading with his family at the age of nine. 

In today's ceremony, two British servicemen were awarded the Military Cross for bravery. Corporal Carl Taylor from Birmingham ran 80 feet across open ground under Taliban fire to rescue three young Afghan children. Bombardier Mark Carpenter of the Royal Artillery was also honoured, as were four fire-fighters from Nottinghamshire who received the Queen's Gallantry Medal for acts of bravery. 

Continue reading: Kenneth Branagh? That's Sir Kenneth Branagh To You!

Video - Kenneth Branagh Corresponded With Laurence Olivier

British actor and director Kenneth Branagh (Thor; Valkyrie; Wallander) takes part in a satellite interview to promote his movie "My Week With Marilyn" in London. He talks about how he wrote a letter to Laurence Olivier - whom Kenneth portrays in the film - for advice on a role he was playing badly while at drama school. He reveals that the great actor wrote back. Kenneth also recalls a famous quote of Olivier's, about how Marilyn had so broken him during filming of The Prince and the Showgirl, that he couldn't direct another film for sixteen years.

Kenneth stars in My Week With Marilyn alongside Michelle Williams, who plays the famous blonde bombshell and Eddie Redmayne, who plays Colin Clark

My Week With Marilyn Review

Very Good
Based on Colin Clark's memoirs, this film sometimes feels a bit too warm and nostalgic for its own good. But the performances are strong, and it's packed with terrific moments.

At age 23, Colin (Redmayne) is struggling to break into the movie business, camping out at the production offices of Laurence Olivier (Branagh), who is just about to start filming the 1957 comedy The Prince and the Showgirl with Marilyn Monroe (Williams). While Marilyn's diva behaviour and strict acting coach (Wanamaker) enrage Laurence, he can't deny that when she gets it right, she's magic. Meanwhile, Colin is assigned to help Marilyn make it through the shoot. And of course he can't help falling for her.

Continue reading: My Week With Marilyn Review

My Week With Marilyn Trailer

Colin Clark is an aspiring film maker and his first job upon leaving university is the role of assistant on a new film, called The Prince and The Showgirl. It stars a young Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe, the blonde bombshell who shocks with her implications that she sleeps in the nude.

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Thor Trailer

Odin is one of the main gods on the planet of Asgard, when his son Thor acts naively and brings bring chaos in their peace-loving world he tells Thor he's unworthy, casts him out and revokes all his godly powers.

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The Boat That Rocked Trailer

Legal radio stations in 1960's Britain weren't exactly what you'd call interesting to listen to if you were part of the hip young generation. 2 hours of rock was their weekly limit. 

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Valkyrie Trailer

This amazing true story is based around the life of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, a German officer who, along with a group of high ranking officers decide something must be done about Hitler before all of Germany is destroyed by war. 

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Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets Review


Welcome back, Potter.

The beloved Harry Potter returns to screens, a scant year after his most debut, with the film version of book two in the unfathomably popular Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Unfortunately, while the Potter-obsessed will likely find few faults with the film, this sequel captures much less of the original's magic. (And while I've not read the books, I understand the same can be said for the second novel as well.)

Secrets finds Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) back at home with his Muggle family on summer vacation, locked in his room (though no longer under the stairs). Before long, Harry is set to return to Hogwarts -- despite the insistence from his uncle that he is no longer allowed to study magic. But a daring prison break, courtesy of the Weasley family -- including Harry's best bud Ron (Rupert Grint), gets Harry back to school, despite the meddling of a Yoda-like "house elf" named Dobby (very obvious CG). The masochistic Dobby tries to convince Harry that his life is in danger if he returns to Hogwarts -- though in reality his life appears more in danger due to Dobby's "helpful" meddling.

Harry of course does return to Hogwarts, where all his familiar experiences await him. Hermione (Emma Watson) is still the class brain. Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) is still the school clown. Snape (Alan Rickman) is still Snape. The new additions to the cast include a new Dark Arts professor, Gilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Branagh), a narcissistic wizard with questionable ability, as well as the father of Harry's platinum blonde archrival Malfoy, Lucius (Jason Isaacs).

While the cast is still in fine form (the exception being a shockingly haggard Richard Harris as headmaster Dumbledore; Harris died a few weeks before the film's release), it's the story that is decidedly lacking in this episode. The titular Chamber of Secrets is a legendary room inside Hogwarts fabled to hold a menacing creature. It can only be opened, we're told, by an heir to the Slytherin family. When a mysterious message appears on the Hogwarts walls in blood, Harry begins hearing hissing voices, and students begin to turn up paralyzed. It appears the Chamber of Secrets has been opened -- and suspicions fall on Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) as the heir. Or is it Harry?

What follows is another nearly-three hours of exposition as Harry, Ron, and Hermione attempt to crack this riddle, Nancy Drew-style, while the body count at Hogwarts keeps rising. Mercilessly padded, the movie drags us through ages of all-too-familiar territory: a Quidditch match ends predictably; spells go awry; the trio works on a potion together; one-note characters appear only to say their line and soon exit the story. Finally, invariably first-on-the-scene Harry coincidentally discovers a blank diary -- it's amazing how much coincidence drives the plot -- that leads him on a circuitous path to discover the Chamber, just in time for a final showdown with what looks astonishingly like a miniature-golf hazard.

Jeez, I'm bored just writing about it. So much of Secrets is so unnecessary that my audience was way ahead of the circuitous yet ultimately very simplistic story. Kids spent the three hours running up and down the aisles -- only their parents had the fortitude to stay with the plot. That said, this installment is much funnier than the original, and it has a bit more of a grown-up sentiment to it. Still, it's going to take more than an ominous voice in the walls and a flying car to keep even the most patient adults interested in a three-hour movie.

Chamber of Secrets is enjoyable for many of its stretches, and it's unfortunate that director Chris Columbus (giving up the reins for episode 3) didn't take more chances with the source material, excising the many irrelevant parts and adding in a bit of his own vision. As such, we have a movie that plays out in fits and starts of fun alternating with boredom. Sad to say, the kids will probably want to leave midway through this one and ask you to replay the original on DVD when you get home. Poor Harry, when we see you again (in two years' time), I hope you'll have regained a bit of your magic.

As with Potter #1, the film comes to DVD in an exhaustive and impressive two-disc package, headlined by one of the most aggressive 6.1 channel audio tracks I've ever had the privilege to hear on DVD. This film thankfully makes it much easier to find the deleted/extended scenes, all of which are well worth checking out and add a bit of depth and flavor to an otherwise so-so movie. There are also tons of games for the kids and a few interviews for the adults, including one with J.K. Rowling.

Try putting right down the middle of the course.

Othello Review

Seldomly have I been so outright disappointed by a film. Othello's problems are numerous, and given the outstanding cast put together for the film (and an admitted masterpiece to work with), it's amazing that this film comes off as being so downright bad.

The story's been around for 400 years. Othello (Lawrence Fishburne) is a Moorish general in the Italian army, and he is the victim of constant prejudice. Desdemona (Irene Jacob) is his Italian lover, and when the pair secretly marry, Othello finds himself the victim of a fiendish plot by his servant Iago (Kenneth Branagh). Iago's motives are also magnified by the presence of young Cassio (Nathaniel Parker), who serves as Othello's right-hand man despite Iago's longer term of service.

Continue reading: Othello Review

Harry Potter & The Chamber Of Secrets Review


In his second big-screen outing, adolescent wizard Harry Potter is blessed with enough cinematic magic to overcome several of the very same problems that left last year's "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" feeling a little protracted and rambling.

Sure "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" spends twice as much screen time on atmosphere and adventure scenes than on plot and character. But this time around every episode seems relevant, which is a vast improvement over last year's film, bloated as it was with Quidditch matches and monster moments that didn't advance the plot one iota.

Returning director Chris Columbus retains the enchanted ambiance as Harry heads to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his second year of instruction in the black arts. But nothing is ever easy for our young hero, as unseen forces seem to be conspiring against him -- not the least of which is some kind of elusive beast that's loose in Hogwarts' halls, turning students to stone.

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Love's Labour's Lost Review


For a long time I've had a theory that the musical genre couldn't survive the cynicism of modern audiences except as a ironic in-joke, like the "South Park" movie or as a post-modern homage, like Woody Allen's "Everyone Says I Love You."

I couldn't have been more wrong -- and leave it to Kenneth Branagh, a writer-director-actor who has made his name revitalizing old (old, old!) school entertainment -- to prove it by bringing back the kind of weightless musical delight that carried Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to stardom.

For his new adaptation of Shakespeare's "Love's Labour's Lost," Branagh has re-imagined the buoyant romantic comedy as a classy, corny, 1930s movie musical, complete with uplifting dance numbers and a catalog of favorite big band ditties sung with great enthusiasm (if not great skill) by a quality cast of cheerful actors clearly having the time of their lives.

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Rabbit-Proof Fence Review


An extraordinary true tale of perseverance set against the deplorable backdrop of government-sanctioned racism in 1931 Australia, "Rabbit-Proof Fence" is a stirring film about three kidnapped Aboriginal girls who run away from an indoctrination camp and walk 1,500 miles across the Outback to return to their native village.

The story takes place at a time when it was Aussie government policy to remove "half-caste" children (fathered by white men) from their Aborigine families and re-educate them to be adopted by white families, and director Philip Noyce makes no bones about showing the dismay induced by the enforcement of these laws. In one of the film's first scenes, 14-year-old Molly (Everlyn Sampi), her 8-year-old sister Daisy (Tianna Sansbury) and their 10-year-old cousin Gracie (Laura Monaghan) are ripped from their mothers' arms at a remote trading post near a tribal community called Jigalong, leaving the women sobbing and wailing in the dust kicked up by government cars.

Dragged to the a compound on the other side of the continent where dark-skinned children have the Bible beaten into them and their native languages and customs beaten out by missionaries and nuns, the girls suffer at the hands of the policy that "in spite of himself, the native must be helped."

Continue reading: Rabbit-Proof Fence Review

Gandalf Vs Dumbledore - Sir Ian Mckellen Discusses Disagreement With Richard Harris

Ian McKellen Richard Harris Peter Jackson Derek Jacobi Kenneth Branagh Harry Potter

Legendary thespian and film star, Sir Ian McKellen, came under fire from the late Richard Harris several years ago when he landed the role of the wise but mischievous Gandalf in 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. McKellen claims that Harris was furious for not being cast in Peter Jackson's fantasy epic, and this was exacerbated by McKellen being chosen over him.

Related: Sir Ian McKellen Inspires Bristol Students With Famous Gandalf Line

Harris reportedly exploded at the rumour that McKellen would then take the role of Dumbledore as well in 2002 when Harris' health steadily began to fail. The actor explained: "Before Richard Harris died, there was an enquiry: would I be interested in playing in Harry Potter? And I said, 'Yes, certainly'. But I've not heard anything since."

Continue reading: Gandalf Vs Dumbledore - Sir Ian Mckellen Discusses Disagreement With Richard Harris

Kenneth Branagh

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Kenneth Branagh

Date of birth

10th December, 1960








Kenneth Branagh Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Dunkirk Trailer

Dunkirk Trailer

It's 1940 and World War II is in full swing. Allied soldiers from Britain, Belgium,...

Murder On The Orient Express Trailer

Murder On The Orient Express Trailer

It's the 1930s and a group of strangers from different walks of life board a...

Dunkirk Trailer

Dunkirk Trailer

In one of the biggest military disasters in British history, 400,000 soldiers found themselves stranded...

Mindhorn Trailer

Mindhorn Trailer

In the late 80s, Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barratt) was the most famous police detective on...

Branagh Live: Romeo & Juliet Trailer

Branagh Live: Romeo & Juliet Trailer

The story of Romeo and Juliet is one of unconditional love that shows how far...

Cinderella - Extended Trailer

Cinderella - Extended Trailer

Cinderella is an uncommonly kind young woman, overcome with the loss of her dear father....

Cinderella Trailer

Cinderella Trailer

Following her mother's death, Cinderella was faced with a lonely existence while her beloved father...

Cinderella Trailer

Cinderella Trailer

Everyone is familiar with the classic fairy tale of Cinderella. Cinderella lives a mundane life...

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Movie Review

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Movie Review

There's nothing very original in this spy thriller, but director Branagh gives the film a...

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit  - International Trailer Trailer

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit - International Trailer Trailer

Jack Ryan is a young office worker at CIA headquarters whose life turns upside down...