A shepherdess of impressionable young minds leads us into murky ethical waters in director Sara Colangelo's gripping English-language remake of the Israeli film of the same title.

Reset to Staten Island, The Kindergarten Teacher is a deeply unsettling psychological drama which pivots deliciously on a fearless lead performance from Maggie Gyllenhaal as the titular educator, whose obsession with a five-year-old pupil warps her instinct to nurture.

Colangelo's script invites Gyllenhaal to walk a tightrope between predator and misguided protector, which she accomplishes with dizzying aplomb.

She teases the ambiguities of her flawed character and these subtle shifts in tone and intent steadily crank up tension until our knuckles glow white with fear.

Gyllenhaal's fallen angel repeatedly crosses the divide between encouragement and exploitation in her pursuit of perfection, averting her gaze from her own mediocrity to focus intently on the burgeoning brilliance of a boy entrusted to her care.

The actress burrows deep beneath the skin of her anti-heroine and we find ourselves ricocheting at speed between pity and disgust as she enacts her plan, seemingly blinkered to the potentially catastrophic consequences.

Kindergarten teacher Lisa Spinelli (Gyllenhaal) yearns for a spark of excitement in her marriage to her husband Grant (Michael Chernus).

Her relationship with her own children is strained and, to compound Lisa's dissatisfaction, her efforts at writing poetry fail to impress Simon (Gael Garcia Bernal), the handsome teacher of an evening class for aspiring scribes.

In one of these sessions, Lisa recites verse composed by one of her students, a cherub called Jimmy Roy (Parker Sevak), and passes off his poem as the fruits of her creative toil.

Simon is impressed and gives the carefully chosen words a glowing reception.

Buoyed by the undeserved praise, Lisa surmises that Jimmy is a "young Mozart" in need of nurturing.

She assiduously inserts herself into the boy's life and disrupts the influence of other adults including Jimmy's babysitter Becca (Rosa Salazar).

Lisa fails to convince Jimmy's father Nikhil (Ajay Naidu) that his boy should forgo weekly baseball practice with friends to publicly recite poetry.

"I want my son to have a normal life," argues Nikhil.

However, Lisa has come too far to stop now...

The Kindergarten Teacher is an expertly composed character study that holds us in a vice-like grip, steadily forcing the air out of our lungs as Lisa jeopardises her reputation and - more importantly - the well-being of her innocent ward.

Gyllenhaal is inscrutable when she needs to be and gels wonderfully with youngster Sevak, who is a natural in front of the camera.

Colangelo makes light work of the 97-minute running time, leaving us to make our own choices before we sink into the moral quagmire with the lead character.

EVERYBODY KNOWS (15) Three stars

Everybody knows fragments of the truth in writer-director Asghar Farhadi's slow-burning thriller but piecing together this mosaic of desire and regret across the class divide is another matter entirely.

Set against the backdrop of a family wedding with a full complement of underlying tensions, Everybody Knows orchestrates the abduction of a teenager, then sows seeds of mistrust between guests as the clock ticks down on a ransom demand.

The precision-engineered narrative provides Farhadi's picture with dramatic momentum and a sense of jeopardy, and his lean script withholds the identity of the captor(s) until the final act.

He generates palpable heat from the on-screen pairing of husband and wife Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, luminously photographed by cinematographer Jose Luis Alcaine.

They implode on cue as emotionally damaged characters face the repercussions of their shared past.

Farhadi, a two-time winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for A Separation and The Salesman, has a sharp eye for the ebb and flow of human interaction and he sketches lovely moments between protagonists.

Unfortunately, his resolution feels underpowered and you can second-guess one twist far in advance of the tear-sodden big reveal.

Laura (Cruz) returns to her Spanish homeland from Argentina with her children Irene (Carla Campra) and Diego (Ivan Chavero) to attend the wedding of her younger sister Ana (Inma Cuesta).

Her architect husband Alejandro (Ricardo Darin) remains in Buenos Aires for work so Laura spends precious time with loved ones including her father Antonio (Ramon Barea), older sister Mariana (Elvira Minguez) and childhood friend Paco (Bardem).

Meanwhile, Irene explores the belfry of a local church with Paco's nephew Felipe (Sergio Castellanos), who draws her attention to initials carved into the stonework.

"Your mother and Paco. They were in love. Everybody knows," confides Felipe.

During the wedding reception, the town suffers a power cut and under the cover of darkness, Irene is kidnapped.

The abductors issue a ransom demand by text for 300,000 euros.

Alas, Laura doesn't have the money.

The family closes ranks to avoid alerting the police and Paco takes charge of raising funds to the consternation of his wife Bea (Barbara Lennie) and Laura's proud father.

Everybody Knows promises more than it ultimately delivers but Farhadi confidently holds our attention for more than two hours as his slippery plot uncoils.

He conjures a vivid sense of community and relishes the opportunity to test the ties that bind friends and neighbours on the sleepy outskirts of Madrid.

Cruz is luminous as a wife on the verge of a nervous breakdown, whose primary concern is her imperilled flesh and blood, and Bardem is a brooding physical presence.

They light up the screen whenever the wattage of Farhadi's vision threatens to dim.

CAPTAIN MARVEL (12A) Four stars

Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Annette Bening, Lashana Lynch. Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck.

Released: March 8 (UK & Ireland)

Marvel finally puts a female superhero front and centre in its first blockbuster to be co-directed by a woman.

While Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, Zoe Saldana's Gamora and Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch have sometimes felt sidelined by the comic book giant in the decade since the success of Iron Man changed the landscape of modern cinema, Captain Marvel is finally given a chance to shine.

And the wait was worth it. Brie Larson, who won an Oscar for 2015's Room, takes on the titular role of Captain Marvel, an origin story directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.

Set in 1995, with a toe-tapping soundtrack to match, the film follows US Air Force pilot Carol Danvers on her journey to become one of the most powerful heroes in the history of the Marvel comics.

It pre-dates any of the films about the Avengers, including 2008's Iron Man and unites her with a younger Nick Fury (a de-aged Samuel L Jackson), when he still has both eyes and is pushing paper as a low-ranking member of S.H.I.E.L.D, and a truly scene-stealing cat.

When we meet her, Larson's character is far from earth and a member of Kree's Starforce, on the side of Yon Rogg (Jude Law), Minn-Erva (Gemma Chan) and the Supreme Intelligence (Annette Bening) as the Krees wage war on the Skrulls, including Talos (Ben Mendelsohn).

If you're a fan of the comics you will know this war is a legendary part of Marvel folklore but don't worry if you're coming in blind.

The film's deft script, penned by Boden, Fleck and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, rattles along at a crackling pace and carries you along with it with enough references for the die-hard fans and pleasing gags for the newly initiated.

It also takes seriously the fact this is Marvel's first film about a woman and does not shy away from addressing the misogyny Danvers faces (a male pilot tells her there is a reason it's called a "cockpit"), regardless of which planet she is on.

But it is also a celebration of friendship and endurance. The relationship between her and Air Force pal Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) is touching and there is a montage about perseverance that has reduced grown women to tears.

While the film sets up the events that will unfold in Avengers: Endgame (due out in April), it is Captain Marvel who is pitched to be the future of the film series, taking the place of founding members such as Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Captain America (Chris Evans), and it is Captain Marvel who is the hero we need right now.


In 1989, skipper Tracy Edwards led the first all-female crew to the starting line of the Whitbread Round The World Race, one of sailing's most physically demanding challenges.

The media and other participants dismissed Edwards and the crew of Maiden as a novelty, who would never complete the gruelling 33,000-mile voyage lasting nine months.

Buoyed by funding from King Hussein of Jordan, the Maiden crew steadily defied the naysayers, placing first within their class over two of the six legs of the race.

Thirty years after Maiden shattered preconceptions, documentary film-maker Alex Holmes draws on archive footage and expert testimony from the crew to relive the behind-the-scenes setbacks and hard-fought battles against Mother Nature, which transformed Edwards and co into trailblazers for gender equality.


Christened uisce beatha or "the water of life" by ancient Celts, whisky has been linked to Scotland since the late 15th century.

A special relationship between Scotland's barley farmers and distilleries results in a booming industry of grain and Campbeltown, Islay, Highland and Lowland single malts.

Directed by Andrew Peat, this documentary enjoys a wee dram with some of whisky's most ardent fans and traces the history of the amber liquid including contributions from master blender Ian McMillan and master distiller Jim McEwan.

RAY & LIZ (15)

Turner Prize nominee Richard Billingham has frequently meditated on family history in his photographs and videos including the 1996 book Ray's A Laugh, which documented the relationship between his alcoholic father Ray and tattooed, chain-smoking mother Liz.

These memories inform his award-winning feature film directorial debut about growing up in a Black Country council flat.

Distilled into three chapters, grim vignettes reveal the tensions between Ray (Justin Salinger), Liz (Ella Smith), Richard and his younger brother Jason, which are heightened by the family's lodger Will (Sam Gittins), who badly mistreats Ray's brother (Tony Way).

As Richard and Jason become teenagers, their paths diverge and social services intervene.


Adapted from a novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, Border is a fantastical Scandinavian drama, which explores the relationship between two outsiders in present-day Sweden.

Tina (Eva Melander) is a border control officer with a unique ability to sniff out guilt on the people she stops.

She uses this finely attuned nose to wage war on criminals and degenerates.

One day, Tina stops a man named Vore (Eero Milonoff), who possesses the same powers.

He encourages the border security officer to succumb to her base desires and Tina embraces her true identity in the surrounding wilderness.


Booker Prize-winning novelist Roddy Doyle addresses the timely issue of homelessness in Dublin in a quietly affecting drama directed by Paddy Breathnach.

The film unfolds over the course of 36 fraught hours.

Full-time mother Rosie (Sarah Greene) must secure temporary accommodation for her partner John Paul (Moe Dunford), who washes dishes in a local restaurant, and their four children.

The family's landlord has recently sold the property where they were residing so the brood relies on Rosie to find a room in a hotel each night for 13-year-old Kayleigh (Ellie O'Halloran), eight-year-old Millie (Ruby Dunne), six-year-old Alfie (Darragh McKenzie) and four-year-old Madison (Molly McCann).

Unfortunately, local authority-funded accommodation is scarce and the mother has limited credit on her mobile phone to make vitals calls.

In desperation, Rosie and co are forced to settle at night in their car, huddling together for warmth until the morning comes.


In 1983, author Ruth Prawer Jhabvala adapted her Booker Prize-winning novel for director James Ivory and the following year she won a Bafta for her script.

A new sparkling 4K restoration of the award-winning drama returns to selected UK cinemas, transporting audiences to the splendour and stifling heat of India.

In 1982, young historical researcher Anne (Julie Christie) inherits letters penned by her great aunt Olivia (Greta Scacchi), which detail an intriguing personal history.

Anne becomes obsessed with unearthing the truth by interviewing her great aunt's friends.

She travels to India to follow the evidence, turning back the clock to 1932 when Anne and her husband Douglas (Christopher Cazenove) became entangled with the Nawab of Khatm (Shashi Kapoor) during the British Raj.

CLEFT LIP (Certificate TBC)

Writer-director Erik Knudsen resets Sophocles' tragedy Oedipus Rex to the 21st century, when the ties that bind families are increasingly knotty and complex.

Campbell (Reece Douglas) is 25 years old and contentedly in love with his older wife, Jaz (Miranda Benjamin).

He is blissfully unaware that when Jaz was younger, she donated one of her eggs to allow a childless couple to conceive.

Over the course of three tumultuous days, Campbell and Jaz are confronted by the consequences of fertility treatment and the painful relationship between a parent and child.


The world-renowned company performs the enchanting fairytale ballet recorded live at the historic Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, set to Tchaikovsky's lyrical score and choreographed by former Bolshoi artistic director Yuri Grigorovich with nods to the original choreography of Marius Petipa.

King Florestan XIV (Andrei Sitnikov) and his wife the Queen (Kristina Karasyova) celebrate the birth of their daughter Princess Aurora with their royal subjects.

Evil Carabosse (Denis Savin) gatecrashes the party and curses the princess to die young from pricking her finger on a knitting spindle.

The benevolent Lilac Fairy (Maria Allash) attempts to neutralise the spell, but 16 years later, Princess Aurora (Nina Kaptsova) does indeed prick her finger and she falls into a deep slumber for 100 years.

Only a kiss from dashing Prince Desire (Artem Ovcharenko) can break the enchantment.