CINEMA

This week's movie releases

A kidnapping, a convict on the run, a girl taken to a magical world, a secret band of demon-slayers and One Direction

Boyband One Direction bust some moves in their documentary, This Is Us.
Boyband One Direction bust some moves in their documentary, This Is Us.Christie Goodwin (EFE)

After fighting our way through the screaming hordes flocking to see One Direction: This is us - the documentary following the former X-Factor contestants on their rise to pop super-stardom - what else is there to watch this week?

With Directioners taken care of, cinemas also cater to fans of Twilight -esque young-adult horror with The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, based on Cassandra Clare's bestselling novel. Clary Fray (Lily Collins) discovers that she has inherited her mother's position in a secret band of demon-slayers in this fantasy adventure flick.

And for those of us who aren't prepubescent girls? Into the ring staggers a Michael Bay action number, telling the true story of the American Dream gone bad in Pain & Gain . Fitness trainer Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg), steroid-pumping bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and born-again Christian Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson) meet at the gym and decide to get rich by kidnapping and torturing a gangster.

If drugs, violence and bodybuilding aren't for you, the people who brought us such family-friendly efforts as Ice Age and Rio return with Epic. This is the story of a young girl who gets shrunk down and enters a magical forest world where, unsurprisingly, good must battle evil. Still, this kiddie eco-fantasy tale is visually engaging with plenty of laughs, an all-star voice cast (including Amanda Seyfried, Colin Farrell, Christoph Waltz and Aziz Ansari) and a wisecracking slug.

Next up, we have a movie with bit parts from Whoopi Goldberg as God and Peter Dinklage as a "social escort." In A Little Bit of Heaven, feisty and funny career girl Marley Corbett (Kate Hudson) finds out she is dying of cancer. On the operating table, Marley is visited by God, who grants her three wishes. She starts a relationship with her doctor (Gael García Bernal) and tries to make the most of the time she has been given.

On the run

Last but not least, we have Mud, which stars Matthew McConaughey as the titular character and was nominated for the Palme d'Or award at the Cannes Film Festival 2012. While out walking by the river one day, 14-year-old Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and his friend Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) discover Mud (McConaughey), a man wanted for murder, on the run from the law and the bounty hunters and in search of his lost love. The boys agree to help the man find his heart's desire and in so doing, Ellis, whose parents' marriage is imploding around him, learns a lot about love and heartbreak. Reese Witherspoon also puts in an appearance as Mud's aforementioned love, Juniper.

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