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This week at the kino: Spies, sleuths and music sensations

Catch Babylon’s Top Secret! spy film series including Roman Polanski’s "Intrigue", whodunit "Knives Out", insightful doc "Miles Davis: Birth Of The Cool", stunning Judy Garland biopic "Judy", and more happening in the Berlin film world this week.

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Photo courtesy of Entertainment One. Catch Judy in Berlin cinemas now!

Happy New Year all! We’ve got a few tips for your kino trips to kick off the new decade in style. 

Unknown Pleasures festival is back at Arsenal and Wolf Kino with a shrewdly curated showcase of US indies and critical darlings. Check out our preview if you need pinpointing on what not to miss (through Jan 16). And while you’re loitering around Arsenal, make sure you check out the Kenji Mizoguchi retrospective, which comes to an end on January 31 (all films with English subs). 

To start 2020, Babylon are asking a vital question: Bond or Bourne? In coordination with the German Spy Museum, Babylon’s Top Secret! series puts the spotlight on those who operate in the shadows, with spy films ranging from political thrillers, action flicks and documentaries. From now through Jan 21, don’t miss out on the opportunity to catch the preview of Roman Polanski’s new film Intrigue (J’Accuse), the Bourne saga and the Daniel Craig era Bond films on the big screen once more, as well as selection highlight Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Tomas Alfredson’s note perfect adaptation of John le Carré’s essential 1974 espionage novel. 

There are treats on general release this week. If you’re in the mood for a cheekily subversive whodunit that plays with the Agatha Christie coda and features an impressively starry cast, look no further than Knives Out. It unexpectedly divided our critics, so we’ve got a PRO and CON review for you… Elsewhere, Rupert Goold’s biopic Judy is headed straight for Oscar glory thanks to a barnstorming turn from Renée Zellweger, who plays Judy Garland to perfection. Bring your singing voice and tissues. Plenty of tissues. Another musician is also celebrated this week, this time in doc form, with the release of Miles Davis: Birth Of The Cool. It’s an insightful portrait of a wonderful artist and a complicated man, a documentary well worth seeking out. Lastly, feel free to skip Charlie’s Angels, an uninspired second attempt at rebooting the 1970s TV show. Despite its good intentions, nothing saves this depressingly mediocre film from being this year’s first flop.

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