Film preview of the year 2012
The best movies from January until spring.
The Iron Lady 12A cert
Meryl Streep is every bit as good as you've heard in this biopic of Margaret Thatcher, which sidelines politics and puts personal drama centre stage.
Shame 18 cert
The British film-maker Steve McQueen's dissection of 21st-century sexual desire is cinema at its most heartbreaking, fearless and essential.
War Horse 12A cert
Steven Spielberg returns to form with this historical drama about a horse that serves in the First World War.
Bombay Beach 12 cert
Debut documentarist Alma Har'el presents lyrical snaps of hardscrabble lives on the Salton Sea in California.
Martha Marcy May Marlene 15 cert
Elizabeth Olsen gives a star-making performance in this haunting thriller about a teenager who flees a rural cult.
The Muppets U cert
It's time to light the lights again: Kermit, Miss Piggy and their puppet peers return to cinemas in a joyfully nostalgic movie musical.
Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody (Juno) reunite, giving Charlize Theron her best role since Monster as an alcoholic thirtysomething.
John Carter 12A cert
Edgar Rice Burroughs's science-fiction novel A Princess of Mars receives an Avatar-ish treatment from veteran Pixar animator Andrew Stanton.
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
Anatomy of a Turkish murder investigation from the great art house darling Nuri Bilge Ceylan, which shared the Grand Prix at Cannes.
Into the Abyss: a Tale of Death, a Tale of Life
Werner Herzog's best doc since Grizzly Man looks at a multiple homicide in the weeks before one killer's scheduled execution.
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists (U cert)
After a successful foray into CGI with Arthur Christmas, Aardman returns to its stop-motion roots with this droll tale of Plasticine piracy.