Film Review Daily

A nostalgic Looking Ahead


Original UK opening dates for new films:




March 27:


The Australian Dream: Sports documentary from Daniel Gordon about the inspiring life of Australian Rules Football player Adam Goodes who was brought up by his single Aboriginal mother and, despite his success, became involved in a famous racist name-calling row brought on by a thirteen-year-old female audience member during a game.

Koko-Di, Koko-Da: Johannes Nyholm wrote and directed this Scandinavian horror comic about a traumatised couple who go on a camping trip only to find themselves being being terrorised by a bunch of entertainers who appear out of the woods. Cast includes Leif Edlund, Peter Belli, Brandy Litmanen, Morad Baloo Khatchadorian, Ylva Gallon and Katarina Jakobson. 

The Painted Bird: When during the Second World War a young Jewish boy is sent to stay with relatives to avoid anti-Semitism, he finds himself having to fend for himself. Based on the 1965 novel by Jerzy Kosiński, the film is shot in black-and-white and features scenes that many might find upsetting. Václav Marhoul directs.

The Perfect Candidate: Drama from Saudi Arabian writer-director Haifaa Al-Mansour about a young female doctor who decides to run for office in her local city elections, much to the consternation of the community. With Nora Al Awadh, Dae Al Hilalki, Mila Al Zahrani. Khalid Abdulraheem, Shafi Alharthy, Tareq Al Khaldi and Khadeeja Mua’th.

Swingers: Norwegian comedy from Andrejs Ekis and Stig Frode Henriksen about two couples who decide to freshen up their boring lives with some extra-mural activities. With Zahid Ali, Aleksandra Orbeck-Nilssen, Evy Kasseth Rǿsten, Mikkel Bratt Silset and Morten Ramm.

System Crasher: German drama from writer-director Nora Fingscheidt about a nine-year-old girl who is a problem wherever she goes, being expelled from all her schools and without the will to change her ways. Even her own mother is scared of the girl. When someone from the child protection services provides the girl with a school escort, things start to look up. With Helena Zengel, Albrecht Schuch, Lisa Hagmeister, Melanie Straub and Gabriela Maria Schmeide.

Vivarium: When a young couple sets off to find their perfect home, they find themselves trapped in an endless housing estate of identikit buildings. Lorcan Finnegan directs Imogen Poots, Jesse Eisenberg, Jonathan Aris and Danielle Ryan. Filmed in Liege, in Belgium.



April 3:


16 Bars: Sam Bathrick’s documentary covers the lives of four inmates in a Virginia jail who take part in a rehab course in which they get to write and record new music with the aid of Todd ‘Speech’ Thomas, a Grammy award-winning recording artist from the hip-hop outfit Arrested Development.

Assistant, The 


The Assistant: Probably the first of many new dramas investigating abuse in the workplace, this one focuses on a junior assistant (Julia Garner, below) working for a film production mogul. Coincidentally, the film’s exteriors were shot outside the Tribeca building where one Harvey Weinstein used to hold court…

Back Roads: Crime thriller by the actor turned director Alex Pettyfer (Magic Mike, The Strange Ones, Endless Love, etc) based on Tawni O’Dell’s novel about Harley, a young guy (played by Pettyfer) who has to look after his three younger sisters when their father is killed and their mother is in jail. Also with Juliette Lewis, Jennifer Morrison, Nicola Peltz, Chiara Aurelia and Robert Patrick.

Carmilla: Based on the 1871 Gothic novella by Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla tells the story of a sexually curious teenage girl (Hannah Rae) whose life is turned upside down with the arrival of a young woman recovering from a roadside accident... Emily Harris directs Jessica Raine, Hannah Rae, Devrim Lingnau, Tobias Menzies and Greg Wise.

It Must Be Heaven: Palestinian writer-director Elia Suleiman appears as himself as he wanders around the world looking for someone to back his latest production, while also pointing out the human foibles of our global community. With Tarik Kopty, Kareem Ghneim, Ali Suleiman, George Khleifi, Faris Muqabaa, Vincent Maraval and Claire Dumas.

Second Spring: Director Andy Kelleher offers a portrait of a woman under pressure through mental illness, the result of which sees her leaving her husband for an almost total stranger, a wild figure who leads her back to his childhood home in Kent where she begins to face reality. With Cathy Naden, Jerry Killick, Matthew Jure, Adrian Annis, Andrew Jarvis and Indra Ové.

The Uncertain Kingdom: A compilation of twenty short films about the state of the UK in 2020. With contributions from Sally Bretton, Esther Smith, Alice Lowe, Ruth Madeley, Andy Hamilton, Steve Evets and Hugh Dennis.

The Whalebone Box: A collaboration between Andrew Kӧtting and Iain Sinclair about a box given to Sinclair thirty years ago by sculptor Steve Dilworth who was living on the Isle of Harris. The box was washed up on a remote beach in the Outer Hebrides and was claimed to have magic properties – either good or bad.



April 10:


Four Kids and It: Based on the novel by Jacqueline Wilson, this family fantasy centres on a quartet of children on holiday in Cornwall who come across a grumpy sand fairy that can bestow them one wish a day. Andy De Emmony directs, with Paula Patton, Russell Brand and Matthew Goode as the grown-ups and Michael Caine supplying the voice of the fairy, the Psammead. Lovers of children's literature will know that Ms Wilson, in turn, based her novel on E. Nesbit's Five Children and It.

Rocks: Sarah Gavron’s study of Rocks, a teenage girl who lives in a London council flat with her mother and brother. When her mother disappears, Rocks has to take charge of her sibling, forcing her to face up to a new way of life. With Bukky Bakray, D’angelou Osei Kissiedu, Ruby Stokes, Sarah Niles, Kosar Ali and Sharon D. Clarke.

Trolls World Tour: Sequel to the 2016 film about tribes of trolls around the world and their music of choice, namely rock, folk, Country, techno, pop and classical. Voiced by Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden, Ozzy Osbourne, Rachel Bloom, Mary J. Blige, Sam Rockwell and Gwen Stefani.

Why Don’t You Just Die! Russian comedy-thriller from writer-director Kirill Sokolov about a detective who is also the world’s worst father. He gathers together a collection of people who each have a reason for revenge. With Vitally Khaev, Aleksander Kuznetsov, Evgenia Kregzhde, Michael Gorevoy, Elena  Shevchenko, Igor Grabuzov and Aleksandr Domogarov.



April 24:


Our Ladies: When a gaggle of Catholic school girls is invited to Edinburgh to enrol in a choir competition, they see it as a chance to paint the town red… Michael Caton-Jones directs the miscreants.



May 8:


Greyhound: Based on the C.S. Forester novel The Good Shepherd, this war film stars Tom Hanks as the commander of an Allied convoy navigating the treacherous waters of the North Atlantic during the Second World War. Elisabeth Shue, Rob Morgan and Stephen Graham also star, under the direction of Aaron Schneider.

Legally Blonde 3: Reese Witherspoon returns as Ellie Woods. With Jessica Cauffiel as Margot and Alanna Ubach as Serena.



July 17:


Tenet: Christopher Nolan's new film is being described as an action-thriller with a time-distorting theme which, of course, is right up his street. The film stars John David Washington, Elizabeth Debicki, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Robert Pattinson, Himesh Patel, Clémence Poésy, Kenneth Branagh and Michael Caine. Wow.



August 7:


In the Heights: Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony-winning Broadway musical set in the Hispanic neighbourhood of New York's Washington Heights is finally with us. Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins and Leslie Grace (below) and Melissa Barrera take over the lead roles, with John M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) in the director's chair. We can't wait.

In the Heights


Peter Rabbit 2: A rough approximation of Beatrix Potter’s beloved bunny is back with more outrageous shenanigans when he, Peter, runs away from home. Will Gluck directs Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson (below, with bunny) and David Oyelowo, with James Corden supplying the voice of Peter, Elizabeth Debicki as Mopsy Rabbit, Daisy Ridley as Cottontail Rabbit and Margot Robbie as Flopsy Rabbit. Expect lashings of risqué humour. 

Peter Rabbit 2



September 16:


The King's Man: Matthew Vaughn's new action-comedy features Gemma Arterton as Mata Hari (below), Rhys Ifans as Rasputin and Stanley Tucci as Merlin in a time-dancing romp that sees a gang of historical tyrants and criminal masterminds join forces to create dastardly mayhem. A prequel to the Kingsman series, the film also stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Matthew Goode, Tom Hollander, Djimon Hounsou and Ralph Fiennes. 

Gemma Arterton



September 18:


Without Remorse: When a Navy Seal seeks to avenge his wife's murder, he finds a major conspirscy is afoot. Based on the 1993 Tom Clancy novel of the same name. Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell and Jodie Turner-Smith top the bill. 


November 12:


No Time to Die: Daniel Craig stars as 007, with Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann, Christoph Waltz as Blofeld, Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny, Ana de Armas as Paloma, Lashana Lynch as Nomi and the Oscar-winning Rami Malek as Safin, a really nasty piece of work. Cary Joji Fukunaga directs from his screenplay written in collaboration with Scott Z. Burns and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, based on an early draft by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.



November 27:


Happiest Season: A romantic comedy from director (and actress) Clea DuVall sees a young woman attempt to propose to her girlfriend at a family gathering. Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis play the love-birds, with Mary Steenburgen, Victor Garber, Alison Brie and Aubrey Plaza in support.

King Richard: A rare drama set in the world of tennis stars Saniyya Sidney as Venus Williams and Demi Singleton as Serena Williams. Will Smith takes the title role as the sisters' father and coach, Richard Williams. Reinaldo Marcus Green (Monsters and Men) directs.



December 18:


West Side Story: Steven Spielberg directs a second film version of the Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim 1957 musical about cultural strife and romance on the Upper West Side, Manhattan. Inspired by Romeo and Juliet, the musical won a Tony for best choreography, although the 1961 film adaptation did slightly better, grabbing ten Oscars, including the trophy for best film. The new version stars Ansel Elgort as Tony and Rachel Zegler as Maria.