Avatar

Yes, they do look like overgrown smurfs running around some Ferngully-like forest that's been designed by Roger Dean in the style of a giant 3D Yes cover - but so what?! This is  an amazing film experience - and one that looks loads better than in does in the trailers (for once).

The story's pretty generic once you break it down - basically a Dances With Blue Wolves eco-friendly adventure in which our ex-marine hero Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) ends up thinking that the natives he encounters on Pandora, the alien planet he's been sent to, might have a better way of thinking about the world. You know, be nice to the planet, and it'll be nice to you maaaan. His job is to try to encourage them to leave their home so the nasty human corporation he works for can start mining the huge deposits of "unobtainium" - and if they don't vacate pronto, the military hardware is going to kick in ASAP and BLOW SHIT UP!

But don't worry about all that - it's just an excuse to let you wander around the world's biggest 3D landscape, amazingly rendered, detailed and immersive - it's the film that this new wave of 3D tech has been waiting for. At times it feels like the start of a whole new wave of game/film hybrids, like you can see where they're going to go with it all once they figure out how to let you play this film. For now though, it's a great ride - would totally recommend the full-on 3D IMAX combo.

The interaction between Sully (a wheelchair user) and his avatar is all pretty interesting, mirrored with the chunky military exo-skeletons and the way the Na'vi communicate with their animals - by plugging their tails in! Sigourney Weaver - the only Cameron vet on this mission - is her usual credible self, even if we've seen her do the hardass to perfection before. It's long, but you can imagine wanting to spend another few hours in this Pandora's box. The plot's generic, but the experience isn't - 4****