BAD TEACHER (15)
ELIZABETH Halsey (Cameron Diaz) is a booze-addled wreck, draining her drippy, rich boyfriend dry until he finally musters the courage to dump her. So she reluctantly returns to her teaching job at a high school run by Principal Wally Snur (John Michael Higgins). Rebuffing the advances of oafish PE master Russell Gettis (Jason Segel), Elizabeth sets her sights on handsome new teacher Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake), who has an expensive watch on his wrist. Unthinkably, Scott resists her flirtations and begins a tender romance with the school’s prim and proper teacher, Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch). Elizabeth declares war on Amy.
STAR RATING: **
THE BEAVER (12A)
BUSINESSMAN Walter Black (Mel Gibson) presides over a toy company that desperately needs one innovative product to revive its ailing fortunes. While the VP (Cherry Jones) holds the business together, Walter self-implodes with depression, making life unbearable for his wife Meredith (Jodie Foster), teenage son Porter (Anton Yelchin) and youngest boy Henry (Riley Thomas Stewart). Eventually, Meredith is forced to kick out her husband, hoping he will get professional help. Following a failed suicide attempt, Walter returns to the homestead with a beaver glove puppet, through which he addresses the family as part of a bizarre form of therapy.
STAR RATING: ***
THE HANGOVER PART II (15)
TODD Phillips’s sequel to the hit 2009 comedy sees the same characters find themselves in a similar nightmare scenario. Dentist Stu Price (Ed Helms) is to marry Lauren (Jamie Chung) in a traditional ceremony in Thailand. Best friends Phil Wenneck (Bradley Cooper), Doug Billings (Justin Bartha) and Alan Garner (Zach Galifianakis) are invited and while Doug makes an early exit, the others party at the resort with the bride-to-be’s 16-year-old brother Teddy (Mason Lee). The next morning, Phil, Stu and Alan wake in a sleazy Bangkok hotel room, with no recollection of the night before and no sign of Teddy. The trio scour the city to find him, crossing paths with shady businessman Kingsley (Paul Giamatti), flamboyant criminal Mr Chow (Ken Jeong) and a larcenous monkey.
STAR RATING: **
KUNG FU PANDA 2 (PG)
OVERWEIGHT panda Po (voiced by Black) is living his dream as an all-action bear, honing his skills under the watchful eye of mentor Shifu (Dustin Hoffman). However, he is haunted by fragmented memories, which eventually reveal how his father came to be a goose called Mr Ping (James Wong). It transpires that an evil peacock Lord Shen (Gary Oldman) is the cause of Po’s deep emotional wounds. Spurred on by a dire warning about pandas from an elderly soothsayer (Michelle Yeoh), Shen and his army of snarling wolves are on a collision course with Po. Thankfully, Po can always rely on The Furious Five - Crane (David Cross), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Tigress (Angelina Jolie) and Viper (Lucy Liu) - to avert disaster.
STAR RATING: ****
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS (12A)
THIS action-packed prequel based on the hugely popular Marvel Comics sees Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) hunting down power-hungry globe-trotter Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon). Aided by telepath Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), shape-shifter Raven Darkholme (Jennifer Lawrence) and five gifted mutants – Angel (Zoe Kravitz), Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Darwin (Edi Gathegi) and Havok (Lucas Till) – Erik must stop Shaw, who intends to spark nuclear war aided by mutant sidekicks Emma Frost (January Jones), Azazel (Jason Flemyng) and Riptide (Alex Gonzalez).
STAR RATING: ***