Alan Dee’s film preview: The Book Thief is serious, solid, but not really a page-turner

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The horrors of the holocaust from a child’s perspective provide the central theme for a sombre release that has to fight for attention this week against a couple of flashy and forgettable thrillers.

The Book Thief was a worldwide bestseller beloved of reading groups, and its translation to the big screen has been tackled with serious purpose.

The Book Thief

The Book Thief

It’s all about a book-loving girl bonds with a young Jewish refugee in Nazi Germany.

Sophie Nelisse and Ben Schnetzer are the young leads, while Emily Watson and Geoffrey Rush are the principal grown-ups.

It’s a solid piece of work from director Brian Percival, best known for directing episodes of Downton Abbey.

Ever since Liam Neeson got himself earmarked as an action man, the quality of his thriller output has been hit and miss. There’s no shortage of them, though, and here comes another.

Non-Stop casts him as a US air marshal confronted by a mysterious threat that a passenger will die every 20 minutes unless he can sort out a giant stash of cash for his foe.

Lots of twists and turns at 40,000 feet, nothing new to puzzle the popcorn munchers, but expertly exploiting a winning formula.

Ride Along features Kevin Hart and Ice Cube in what’s optimistically described as an action-packed buddy comedy. It’s all about a smart-mouthed security guard who wants to be cop just like his intended’s brother. He joins the doubtful law enforcer on a training day and, what do you know, it all goes wrong. Loud, crass and obvious, and a second instalment is apparently already in the works.