ParaNorman 3D (PG)


Dirs: Chris Butler, Sam Fell

Voices: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick

Runtime: 92 minutes

YOUNG Norman, like the kid in The Sixth Sense, sees dead people. If that sounds like an unconventional starting point for an animated family film, stick around. Chris Butler and Sam Fell's picture confounds expectations to deliver a smart, funny film that will likely delight and scare young viewers in equal measure. Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) is living unhappily in Blithe Hollow, the victim of bullies. When the town comes under attack from the departed, it is Norman, inset below, who has a handle on what is going on. While the Coraline-style animation will charm all ages, the spooky stuff means the picture is perhaps not for the very young or easily alarmed.

The Snows of Kilimanjaro (15)


Dir: Robert Guediguian

With: Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Ariane Ascaride

Runtime: 107 minutes

NOT to be confused with the 1952 adaptation of the Hemingway story starring Gregory Peck, Robert Guediguian's fine French drama has far more ordinary heroes at work. It is modern day Marseilles in recession hit France and Michel (Jean-Pierre Darroussin) is hit by redundancy. As a lifelong socialist and believer in the brotherhood of man, Michel's political faith isn't tested by the lottery of the jobs market but by what happens next. Snows takes a while to warm up, with the politics of the piece rather too chewy, but the introduction of a dramatic twist livens up the drama no end.

Glasgow Film Theatre and Filmhouse, Edinburgh, from tomorrow-September 27.

Premium Rush (12A)


Dir: David Koepp

With: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez

Runtime: 91mins

INSPIRED by the death-defying antics of New York's bicycle messengers, Premium Rush is action cinema at its exhilarating best. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Wilee (as in the cartoon coyote), the Big Apple's best rider, whose latest package is wanted by a corrupt detective (Michael Shannon) with gambling debts. The ensuing film takes the form of a cat-and-mouse chase through the streets of Manhattan interspersed with flashbacks to earlier in the day. The big draw is the stunts, which are further enhanced by David Koepp's use of CGI "what if" scenarios designed to show the split-second thought processes behind each daredevil move. Gordon-Levitt yet again oozes an effortless charm while Shannon goes suitably OTT as his adversary. Plot contrivances aside, this is a thrilling chase movie that genuinely delivers.

Reviewed by Rob Carnevale

To Rome with Love (12A)


Dir: Woody Allen

With: Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz

Runtime: 111 minutes

WOODY Allen continues his grand tour of Europe with this pleasant if unremarkable comedy. Allen plays one of a cast of many characters, in his case a retired music business executive visiting Rome to meet his daughter's fiance. Also there are Alec Baldwin (a celebrated architect), Jesse Eisenberg (a version of the architect's younger self), and Penelope Cruz (an escort). All the usual Allen themes are played out, from the perils of temptation to the madness of psychoanalysis, but to smileworthy effect only.