The Dark World (3D) (12A)
Dir: Alan Taylor
With: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman
Runtime: 112 minutes
THE superhero with the mighty hammer is back, this time without Kenneth Branagh in the director's chair - and it shows.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has managed to bring peace to the nine realms of the kingdom and put the evil Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in the high-tech slammer. The path to the throne is clear, but the Dark Elves, led by Christopher Eccleston's Malekith, have claims of their own to make. Meanwhile, in modern times, scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) waits for news of her mythic man's return. With its mix of ancient and contemporary, Thor is still as endearingly daft as ever, but Alan Taylor's take on the tale is not as sleek or assured as Branagh's.
Muscle Shoals (PG)
Dir: Greg Camalier
With: Bono, Aretha Franklin
Runtime: 111 minutes
DESPITE its size, the small town of Muscle Shoals in Alabama has had a huge impact on popular music.
From Wilson Pickett and The Rolling Stones to Percy Sledge and Aretha Franklin, all the greats of rhythm and blues rocked up there at some point. Yet only the cognoscenti seem to have been aware of it - until now.
Greg Camalier's documentary puts the record straight with the help of a long line of famous Muscle Shoals supporters - including Keith Richards and Bono - paying tribute. It's overlong for a documentary, but music fans won't mind.
Birks Cinema, Aberfeldy, November 2 and 6; Vue, Omni, Edinburgh, November 12; Belmont, Aberdeen and Cameo, Edinburgh, December 10
Cutie and the Boxer (12A)
Dir: Zachary Heinzerling
With: Ushio Shinohara, Noriko Shinohara
Runtime: 82 minutes
USHIO Shinohara, whose trademark works include paintings made by slamming a boxing glove-clad fist against a canvas, left Tokyo for America in the Sixties, becoming part of the New York art scene. It was there that he met a younger artist, Noriko. Zachary Heinzerling's tender and illuminating documentary finds the now old married couple almost broke, but still determined to make their mark. This time, though, it's different, with Noriko about to have her moment courtesy of her illustrations telling the story of Cutie and the Boxer, a tale not too far from the couple's own. With more hard times than good times, theirs is not, as Noriko says, "a typical romance", but it is one many will recognise.
Cameo, Edinburgh, November 5
Short Term 12 (15)
Dir: Destin Daniel Cretton
With: Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr
Runtime: 97 minutes
SET in a care home for youngsters waiting to be fostered, Destin Daniel Cretton's spirited American drama has a tough line to walk. Too sentimental and it risks appearing false, overly hard hitting and it might alienate the audience.
Grace (Brie Larson) is supervisor at Short Term 12 and not without troubles of her own. When a newcomer arrives, Grace forgets her rule about not becoming too involved. Cretton garners some outstanding performances from the youngsters and Larson, and the style as a whole is engaging and naturalistic. Though a little too heavy handed, Short Term 12 is still a moving watch.
Cineworld, Glasgow from tomorrow. Glasgow Film Theatre, Filmhouse, Edinburgh, and DCA, Dundee from November 15