This week in cinemas: The Jungle Book, Criminal and Eye In The Sky


by Phil de Semlyen |
Published on

This week in cinemas: Jon Favreau’s CG feast The Jungle Book reminds us of the bare necessities of life, Eye In The Sky presents a mind-twisting moral conundrum, Despite The Falling Snow offers double Rebecca Ferguson and Criminal proves, well, criminal.

The Jungle Book



What it’s about: Separated from his fellow humans, man-cub Mowgli (Neel Sethi) is raised by a pack of wolves in the depths of the Indian jungle. But when prowling, menacing tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) sniffs out his presence among his animal brethren, Mowgli’s life is suddenly in grave danger. His panther pal Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) volunteers to help guide him back to his village, but the pair’s journey soon proves perilous.

What we thought: "Wonderful to look at, this is a more adult, more complex affair than its animated, and more entertaining, forebear. Still, it’s Disney’s best live-action adaptation yet."

Read Empire’s review of The Jungle Book.


What it’s about: Knowing no empathy for his fellow men, feeling zero remorse for his violent impulses and sporting a really terrible haircut, Jericho (Kevin Costner) seems like an unlikely bet to save humanity from a hacker with the key to the entire US defence infrastructure. But with the help of new memory-transplant technology pioneered by a boffin (Tommy Lee Jones), he holds the key to tapping into the intel store in the mind of Ryan Reynolds' recently-deceased agent. CIA wonk Gary Oldman shouts a lot along the way.

What we thought: "A preposterous premise that never makes sense. A tedious thriller that offers no thrills. An A-list cast reduced to C-list material. Piers Morgan. You’ve heard of Face/Off. Well, this is Brain/Off."

Read Empire’s review of Criminal.

Eye In The Sky


What it’s about: A gathering of wanted terrorists in a single Kenyan household presents obsessive British colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) with the ideal target for a drone strike. Political approval reluctantly granted, Hellfire missiles primed and a US air force unit (Aaron Paul and Phoebe Fox) on the trigger, the fate of the would-be suicide bombers seems sealed. Then a young girl selling bread wanders into the kill zone and the moral landscape shifts drastically.

What we thought: "This is a moral thriller more than an action one, questions fired at us like so many bullets. A film to think about for days, with little hope of finding a comfortable answer."

Read Empire’s review of Eye In The Sky.

Despite The Falling Snow


What it’s about: It’s Moscow at the Cold War’s chilliest, most paranoid ebb. Spying for the Americans on her own regime is Katya (Rebecca Ferguson), a young woman with revenge in mind when she’s assigned to get close to ambitious politician Alexander (Sam Reid). But when she starts to fall for him, she’s exposed to greater and greater conflict and danger. Fast forward three decades and Alexander’s niece (also Ferguson, this time in a wig) sets out to discover what happened to her.

What we thought: "An old-fashioned, espionage-tinged romance that might be more at home on ITV3 than the big screen."

Read Empire’s review of Despite The Falling Snow.

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