SAMUEL Maoz's bravura depiction of war deservedly won the coveted Golden Lion at the 2009 Venice Film Festival.

Shot from the perspective of a four-strong team of men within a tank during the First Lebanon War, the film begins in June 1982 with tank commander Assi (Itay Tiran) preparing to lead his men – ammunitions loader Hertzl (Oshri Cohen), gun man Shmulik (Yoav Donat) and driver Yigal (Michael Moshonov) – into hostile territory.

What begins as a routine mission descends into carnage and tensions flare within the tank, leading to bickering between the soldiers.

An Israeli commander, Jamil (Zohar Strauss), leaves a Syrian captive (Dudu Tassa) in the bowels of the tank to ensure his safe passage through the war zone.

The prisoner's presence exacerbates divisions between Assi and his team and the superior officer struggles to maintain firm control in the face of challenges to his authority.



YEARS after his death, comic Bill Hicks remains a potent influence.

His fearlessness at the microphone, tearing apart religion and the fabric of society, was his trademark.

Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas's animated documentary pays tribute to this virtuoso talent by creating a mosaic of highlights from Hicks's stage performances, photographs and deeply personal testimony.



BEHIND every great man there is a woman and that is certainly the case in Marco Bellocchio's biopic based on the book The Secret Son Of Il Duce: The Story Of Albino Mussolini And His Mother Ida Dalser.

A young and impassioned Benito Mussolini (Filippo Timi) draws the attentions of emotionally unstable Ida Dalser (Giovanna Mezzogiorno).

The pair become lovers and raise a son, then Benito leaves to fight in the Italian army. He is presumed killed in battle and poor Ida struggles to come to terms with her loss.

When Benito re-emerges some years later, she is thrilled – less so to discover that he now has a wife, Rachele (Michela Cescon), and as his mistress, she is the embarrassment to his ambitions. Ida refuses to fade silently into the background.



IN AN ultra-Orthodox neighbourhood of Jerusalem, Aaron (Xohar Strauss) is well respected, running the butcher shop he inherited from his father.

When he is not working, Aaron lavishes attention on his devoted wife Rivka (Tinkerbell) and devotes time to his faith. In order to cope with increasing work pressures, Aaron hires an apprentice, Ezri (Ran Danker), and the undeniable spark of attraction between the two men kindles a forbidden desire.

Aaron and Ezri maintain the facade of employer and apprentice, acutely aware of the terrible dangers they would face if the affair was exposed.




CORPORATE high flier Zoe (Jennifer Lopez) gave up her stressful job to buy a downtown pet store. A chance encounter with Stan (Alex O'Loughlin), who runs a dairy stall at a New York farmer's market, puts a healthy glow in Zoe's cheeks. The romance goes from strength to strength and eventually, Zoe is forced to tell Stan that in nine months he will be playing surrogate father to a pair of tots. Stan wonders if he is ready for fatherhood. Meanwhile, Zoe ponders whether she should revert to her old plan of becoming a single parent.



PHIL Foster (Steve Carell) and his wife Claire (Tina Fey) live in New Jersey with their early-rising children. Every week, the Fosters hire a babysitter so they can go through the ritual of date night in a bid to keep their marriage alive. One week they arrive without a reservation and end up taking a table reserved for another couple, the Tripplehorns. However, Phil and Claire soon get into trouble with heavies who are looking for the real Tripplehorns.



ARMY special forces operative John Tyree (Channing Tatum) heads home for two weeks' leave to see his father (Richard Jenkins). During an afternoon on the beach, John meets local girl Savannah (Amanda Seyfried) and the spark of attraction is immediate. Inevitably, the two weeks end and John returns to the front line, promising his sweetheart, “I'll be back for good.” Fate conspires to reunite the lovers, though not in a way that either of them would have wished.



DAN Sanders (Brendan Fraser) works for a real estate company which is developing a small community in the forests of Oregon. Sanders transplants his teacher wife Tammy (Brooke Shields) and teenage son Tyler (Matt Prokop) to the back of beyond while he completes the project. However, a tenacious raccoon and his forest friends, including a rowdy bear, fight back to protect their stomping ground.



PARTY guy Lou (Rob Corddry) attempts to commit suicide by choking down exhaust fumes in his garage, and childhood pals Adam (John Cusack) and Nick (Craig Robinson) rush to his hospital bedside. The three men decide to return to the Kodiac Valley skiing resort which was the site of their greatest triumphs when they were teenagers. Adam drags along techno-savvy nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) and the four men drive to the snow-laden mountains where the hotel is now in disrepair. Thankfully the hot tub still works and after a night of heavy drinking under the stars, the drunkards wake to find that they have been sent back to the decade of Adam, Nick and Lou's youth.


IRON MAN 2 (12A)

JON Favreau and his cast return for the explosive sequel to the 2008 blockbuster, based on the Marvel Comics superhero. Billionaire industrialist Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) embraces his dual life as the supersonic Iron Man in the full glare of the media spotlight and wins countless adoring fans in the process. However, the US government and private investors are keen to acquire his technology for their own needs and Stark resists at all costs. Aided by beautiful and spirited assistant Virginia 'Pepper' Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and good friend, Lieutenant Colonel James 'Rhodey' Rhodes (Don Cheadle), Stark attempts to keep his invention secret from prying eyes. However, Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) 'acquires' the Iron Man technology and uses it to transform himself into the deadly Whiplash.



THE teenagers of leafy Elm Street are shocked when sleep-deprived hunk Dean (Kellan Lutz) slits his own throat in front of classmate, Kris (Katie Cassidy) in this re-imagining of A Nightmare On Elm Street. Other classmates Nancy (Rooney Mara) and Quentin (Kyle Gallner) are deeply disturbed, even more so when the youngsters discover they are experiencing the same nightmares about a maniac called Freddy (Jackie Earle Haley). Nancy feels certain that her mother knows more than she is letting on. The only way to stay alive is to stay awake.