UK, 1999) Jospeh Fiennes, Rhys lfans, Tara Fitzgerald. 98 mins. After the death of his father Pete Thompson (lfans) takes over the running of the family business. To rescue it from the brink of bankruptcy, he does business with the Russian Mafia, as you do. Of course, things do not go to plan. A self- styled tough thriller sporting a fine cast of young Brits also including Sadie Frost and Nick Moran. Glasgow: Odeon, UCI. Edinburgh: ABC, UCl, Virgin Megaplex. Greenock: Waterfront.

Ratcateher (15) *tttt (Lynne Ramsay, UK, 1999) William Eadie, Tommy Flanagan, Mandy Matthews. 93 mins. Seen through the eyes of twelve-year-old James Gillespie, a sensitive boy haunted by the drowning of a neighbour’s son, Ratcatcher paints a bleakly realistic picture of Glasgow family life. Ramsay uses meticulous framing, unusual camera angles and atmospheric images to capture the subtle textures of everyday life, as well as complex inner feelings. Glasgow: Grosvenor. East Kilbride: Arts Centre.

Rear Window (PG) (Alfred Hitchcock, US, 1954) James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Raymond Burr. 112 mins. Laid up with a broken leg, Slim Jim takes to neighbour-spotting with binoculars and camera at the ready. Before long, he's getting hot under the collar about the dirty deeds done across the yard. is it murder? Or just naked voyeurism? One of Hitch's darkest movies, with an intense, unrelenting claustrophobia derived from confining the lens to the apartment set. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

‘I'he Red Squirrel (18) (Julio Medem, Spain, 1993) Nancho Novo, Emma Suarez. 114 mins. Narrower in scope than the director’s debut, Vacas, The Red Squirrel has elements in common with the hysterical sex farces dominant in Spanish filmmaking, but is itself a complex melodrama about deceit, betrayal and love, shot through with angled symbolism. A clever blend of psychodrama and thriller. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

Ride With The Devil (15) *ii* (Ang Lee, US, 1999) Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich, Jeffrey Wright, Jewel. 138 mins. Ride With The Devil is a dusty epic of Gone With The Wind proportions, set amid the bloody chaos of the same war. Jacob Roedel (Maguire) rejects his father's Unionist beliefs to follow best friend Jack (Ulrich) in fighting the Confederate cause. Amongst their companions is black slave Holt (Wright), whose devotion to his master confuses his loyalty to his own people, whose bondage he is fighting to preserve. An Oscar-worthy and unashamedly traditional Hollywood war movie that benefits from Lee’s deft way with the intimate, the ambiguous and the morally complex. Falkirk: FI'H Cinema. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Stirling: MacRobert.

Romeo And Juliet (12) (Baz Luhrrnann, Australia/US, 1996) alia/US. 120 mins. The Strictly Ballroom director's treatment of the Shakespeare tragedy is a magnificent riot of colour, action and sexy teen romance, without any need to sacrifice the text. To call it ‘MTV filmmaking' misses the point that the camera tricks and in-jokes don’t in any way distract from the fact that Luhrrnann has completely grasped the issues at the centre of the play. An intoxicating, breathtaking mix of Catholic iconography, high camp and street violence that’s both deliciously feverish and studiedly cool. Edinburgh: Cameo.

A Room For Romeo Brass (15) *tttt (Shane Meadows, UK, 2000) Paddy Considine, Andrew Shim, Ben Marshall. 90 mins. Meadows once more combines colourful regional characters with impish humour and kitchen sink drama to great efiect, but adds to the mix a deeply personal autobiographical element. And he elicits impressively naturalistic performances from a cast of newcomers for the story of young Nottingham lads Romeo (Shim) and Gavin (Marshall) who are best mates until the arrival of oddball Morell (the astonishingly dynamic Considine). See preview and review. Glasgow: GFT. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

Round Midnight (15) (Bertrand Tavemier, US/France, 1986) Dexter Gordon, Francois Cluzet, Lonette McKee. 133 mins. Late

1950s Paris, and a young French jazz fan plays willing minder to bebop legend Dale Turner, engagingly played by real life maestro Gordon, lest he drink his weary body into the grave. Relentlessly touching character study with some fine music. Edinburgh: Cameo.

Shakespeare In Love (15) (John Madden, UK, 1998) Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rupert Everett. 120 mins. Joseph Fiennes, a pair of breeches and a few moody verses and a league of women will leave the cinema wondering why they never figured it out at school: Shakespeare is sex on legs. Tom Stoppard '5 script is exuberantly confident, irreverent and witty. All the characters are sent up and Will Shakespeare is the butt of so many jokes, it's a wonder he retains his romantic gloss. Glasgow: GFT. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Film Guild at the Filmhouse.

Shane Meadows Study Day Writer/researcher Jamie Hall gives an illustrated presentation of the work of one of the UK’s leading young filmmakers, Shane Meadows. Screenings include A Room For Romeo Brass, Meadows first feature, Small Time, and his newest short, The Stars Of Track And Field. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Shirley Valentine (15) (Lewis Gilbert, UK, 1989) Pauline Collins, Bernard Hill, Tom Conti. 110 mins. Gilbert's screen version of the celebrated Willy Russell play, now expanded from a monologue to include Hill as the insensitive hubby and Conti as the Greek bit of stuff Shirley meets on a Mediterranean holiday that turns into a voyage of self-(re)discovery. Collins is outstanding in the title role of frustrated Liverpudlian housewife. Bathgate: The Bathgate Regal.

Simpatico (15) the (Matthew Warchus, US, 1999) Jeff Bridges, Nick Nolte, Albert Finney. 106 mins. Successful Kentucky race-horse breeder Carter (Bridges) receives a panicky phone call from boozy Vinnie (Nolte), who claims to have been arrested for harassment, and drops everything to fly to Southern California. British theatre director Warchus's respectable adaptation of Sam Shepard's play is most intriguing in the initial stages, when various clues must be deciphered in order to understand the connections between the characters. Unfortunately, any sense of mystery is dissipated by a series of underwhelming revelations. Glasgow: Odeon At The Quay. Edinburgh: Virgin Megaplex.

The Sixth Sense (15) **** (M. Night Shyamalan, US, 1999) Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Olivia Williams, Toni Collette. 107 mins. Nine-year-old Cole Sear (Osment) has a terrible secret. He can see the dead walking the earth; they're around him all the time and it's scary as hell. Child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Willis) takes his case and spends all of his time, at the expense of his marriage to Anna (Olivia Williams), attempting to help the boy. Shyamalan's clever script suggests much and explains little, keeping the audience guessing. General release.

Sleepy Hollow (15) think (Tim Burton, US, 1999) Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Christopher Walken. 105 mins. During the final days of 1799 ambitious young policeman lchabod Crane (Depp) is sent to the fog-shrouded village of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of decapitations, but his scientific beliefs are shaken when he comes face to space with the Headless Horseman. Burton gives Washington Irving’s Gothic folktale a distinctly British colouring, as he borrows merrily from the Hammer films of the 505 and 605, while Depp brings the right note of comedy to the dark proceedings. General release.

Star Wars Episode 1:1’he Phantom Menace (U) *tt (George Lucas, US, 1999) Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman. 132 mins. On the surface, the plot structure isn't a million light years away from the original Star Wars. in visual terms, The Phantom Menace stands alone in the cinematic universe. At times you'd think there was more animation than live action on screen - and maybe it's this toning down of the human element that has left the film lacking soul. Glasgow: UCI. East Kilbride: UCI.

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