THE MARTIAN (12A) RIDLEY SCOTT'S film opens with the six-strong crew of the Ares 3, led by Commander Melissa Lewis (Jessica Chastain), gathering samples on Mars.
Sensors pick up an approaching storm and Lewis gives the order to evacuate. During the trek back to the ship, botanist Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is hit by flying debris.
"I know you don't want to hear this.
Mark's dead," crew member Beck (Sebastian Stan) informs Lewis, who reluctantly blasts off with the rest of her team: Johanssen (Kate Mara), Martinez (Michael Pena) and Vogel (Aksel Hennie).
They begin the long journey back to mission control, crestfallen by their loss. Little do they realise that back on Mars, Watney is alive.
Back on Earth, NASA Administrator Teddy Sanders (Jeff Daniels), Director of Mars missions Vincent Kapoor (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Ares 3 flight director Mitch Henderson (Sean Bean) cut corners to let Mark know the cavalry is coming.
The Martian bears obvious similartites to space hit Gravity, and Scott employs the 3D format to dazzling effect.
MACBETH (15) THE Scottish play bares its teeth and draws blood in Australian director Justin Kurzel's muscular and unflinching adaptation that accentuates the carnage as the doomed title character is undone by paternal grief and naked ambition.
| Michael Fassbender in Macbeth (Michael Fassbender) and Lady Macbeth (Marion Cotillard) are inconsolable at the loss of their beloved son.
On the battlefields, the Thane encounters a trio of witches (Lynn Kennedy, Seylan Baxter, Kayla Fallon) and a child (Amber Rissmann), who foretell his rise through the ranks and eventful coronation at the expense of King Duncan (David Thewlis).
Aided by his wife, Macbeth murders the monarch and frames his manservants. The king's son Malcolm (Jack Reynor) flees and Banquo (Paddy Considine) - who is party to the witches' proclamation - naturally suspects Macbeth's trembling hand in the foul play.
Macbeth subsequently turns his attention to rival Macduff (Sean Harris) and in one of the film's most harrowing scenes, he orders the execution of Lady MacDuff (Elizabeth Debicki) and her children so that no one stands in his way as decreed by the hags.
Michael |Fassbender in Macbeth
Matt Damon |in The Martian