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Muppets have a Dickens of a good Christmas

The Muppet Christmas Carol (U)

HHHH

Dir: Brian Henson

With: Michael Caine, Frank Oz

Runtime: 85 minutes

WHEN it comes to adaptations of Dickens's tale of repentance and redemption there is only one question to ask: who made a better Scrooge: Alastair Sim, Donald Duck, or Michael Caine?

Purists will go for one of Edinburgh's greatest acting sons; Mickey Mouse fans, meanwhile, will argue that Scrooge McDuck had an irresistible waddle. I'll go for Caine, who lends his own brand of acting majesty to Brian Henson's comedy concoction.

All the old favourites turn out, from Miss Piggy as Emily Cratchit, Gonzo as Dickens, and Fozzie as, who else, Fozziewig. A bringer of seasonal joy, whatever your age.

Glasgow Film Theatre, December 21-23; Cameo, Edinburgh, December 21, 23, 24; Belmont, Aberdeen, December 24.

False Trail (15)

HHH

Dir: Kjell Sundvall

With: Peter Stormare, Rolf Lassgard

Runtime: 129 minutes

IF the end of The Killing has left you bereft and Christmas seems too long a period to go without some Scandi-noir, False Trail has arrived just in time.

Erik (Rolf Lassgard) hoped to never again see his home village in the north of Sweden, but a murder finds the thoughtful detective heading back. Once there, he encounters Torsten (Peter Stormare), an old-school policeman who likes to implement the law his way.

When the two clash over the likeliest suspect for the murder of a young woman, secrets, lies and painful home truths emerge. Stormare and Lassgard have a grand old time locking antlers in a De Niro/Pacino/Heat way but Kjell Sundvall's overcooked and visually underwhelming thriller is more Saturday night television viewing than big screen fare.

Glasgow Film Theatre, December 21-27, excluding 24/25/26; Filmhouse, Edinburgh, January 4-5.

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