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All films start at 7.45pm unless otherwise stated.

Thursday 23 February

COLLATERAL BEAUTY (12A)

From the director of Hope Springs and The Devil Wears Prada comes this drama about a successful New York advertising executive who suffers a great tragedy. When he retreats from life, his concerned friends try desperately to reconnect with him while he seeks answers from the Universe.

Collateral Beauty is a spiritual tale with an all-star cast, led by Will Smith and including Keira Knightley, Kate Winslet, Edward Norton, Michael Pena, Naomie Harris and Helen Mirren.

USA, 2016, 97 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Friday 24, Saturday 25 and Tuesday 28 February

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (15)

Casey Affleck stars in this emotional and critically acclaimed drama from writer-director Kenneth Lonergan. Affleck plays Lee Chandler, a reclusive handyman who must face his painful past when he returns to his hometown after the death of his older brother Joe. Already unsettled by meeting his estranged ex-wife (Michelle Williams), the revelation that Joe has made him guardian of his teenage son deepens Lee’s private torment.

A film of rare depth and subtlety, Manchester By The Sea is funny, intimate and painful. An unflinching exploration of grief, hope and love.

USA, 2016, 137 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Thursday 2 March

LIVE BY NIGHT (15)

Ben Affleck’s directs and stars in his second adaptation of a Dennis Lehane novel (Gone Baby Gone). Joe Coughlin is an ambitious young gangster working for Boston Irish mobster Albert White. When a bank job goes awry and his affair with White’s mistress is discovered, he heads for Florida and the opportunities created by prohibition, but the past isn’t far behind.

Live By night is a confident period crime drama featuring Zoe Saldana, Elle Fanning, Sienna Miller, Chris Cooper, Brendan Gleeson and Robert Glenister.

USA, 2017, 129 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Friday 3 and Saturday 4 March

JACKIE (15)

Pablo Larrain's first English-language film, starring Natalie Portman in possibly her most impressive and demanding role to date; Jackie Kennedy in the immediate aftermath of John F. Kennedy's traumatic assassination. The personal and political intersect as she struggles to maintain the her husband's legacy, while also dealing with the very public side of her loss.

Jackie is produced by Darren Aronofsky and features a stellar supporting cast including Peter Sarsgaard, Billy Crudup, Greta Gerwig and John Hurt.

Chile/France/USA (English and Spanish dialogue with English subtitles), 2016, 100 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Tuesday 7 and Thursday 9 March

DENIAL (12A)

Starring Rachel Weisz and Timothy Spall, Denial tells the compelling story of the legal battle between Jewish American historian Deborah Lipstadt and notorious Holocaust denier David Irving. Adapted from Lipstadt’s own book by David Hare, the film dramatises the 1996 libel case brought against Lipstadt, in London, by Irving, thereby placing the burden of proof upon her under English libel law. With terrific central performances, Denial follows the impassioned historian and her legal team (Tom Wilkinson and Andrew Scott) aiming to fight prejudice and ignorance with truth, reason and forensic fact.

UK/USA, 2016, 110 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Friday 10 and Saturday 11 March

T2 TRAINSPOTTING (18)

T2 Trainspotting catches up with Renton, Sick Boy, Begbie and Spud twenty years after the scheming, deceit and betrayal that led to Renton fleeing Edinburgh with the proceeds of their big score. Returning to his roots, Renton anticipates changes and a mixed reception from his former friends. If only it were that simple when highs and lows, sorrow, vengeance, self-destruction and mortal danger lie in wait.

Ewan McGregor, Kelly Macdonald, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Shirley Henderson and Ewen Bremner return to their breakthrough roles in Danny Boyle’s latest film based on Irving Welsh’s novel.

UK, 2017, running time 117 minutes

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Further information regarding scenes used by the BBFC to determine the film's certification, may be found at the extended classification link – please note that this page contains spoilers.

Tuesday 14 and Thursday 16 March

TONI ERDMANN (15)

The standout film of Cannes 2016, Toni Erdmann is a highly original tragi-comedy about Winfried, a mischievous father who is unsatisfied with his distant relationship with his career-driven daughter Ines. After an awkward reunion is curtailed by work-related calls he decides that her life can be improved, adopting the guise of the bewigged, bedentured alter ego ‘Toni Erdmann’ to do so.

Maren Ade directs a film that is as continually surprising, hilarious, exasperating and bizarrely touching as Winfried’s alter ego himself.

Germany/Austria/Romania (German/Austrian and Romanian dialogue with English subtitles), 2016, 162 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Friday 17 March

HACKSAW RIDGE (15)

Hacksaw ridge tells the true story of Desmond Doss, who served in the US army during World War Two whilst refusing to carry a gun. Mel Gibson directs, beginning with Doss’ upbringing in Virginia within the Seventh Adventist Faith that informed his pacifist stance. However Doss’ determination to serve his country takes precedent, places him at odds with both his father and the military.

Andrew Garfield gives an acclaimed performance as Doss, in a war film including vilolent scenes as it vividly realises The Battle of Okinawa.

Australia/USA (English and Japanese dialogue with English subtitles), 2016, 139 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Saturday 18 March

LION (PG)

After five-year-old Saroo finds himself separated from his brother Guddu, he searches their home town of Khandwa in vain, before falling asleep on a train. When he awakes thousands of miles away, lost and scared in Kolkata’s overcrowded streets, he must endure a fraught life on the streets and even worse orphanage, before being sent to Australia for adoption.

Dev Patel plays the adult Saroo 25 years later, in a sweeping adaptation of Saroo Brierley’s engrossing memoir; he has adjusted to his new life but is still haunted by lucid, recurring visions of his old life and withdrawing from his girlfriend and adopted mother (Rooney Mara and Nicole Kidman).

Sunny Pawar is charming as the young Saroo in a rousing tribute to the tenacity of the human spirit and the resilience and unswerving love of motherhood.

Australia (English, Bengali and Hindi dialogue and English subtitles), 2016, 118 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

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Stoke Film Theatre, College Road, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 2EH Registered Charity no. 504600