Film Review Daily

Looking Ahead


UK opening dates for new films:


April 25:


Avengers: Endgame: In the UK, Avengers: Infinity War was the highest grossing film of 2018. And it was only really half a movie. Now comes the second bit, the finale, or in Marvel-speak, the endgame. Following the mega-massacre at the end of Infinity War, the few remaining Avengers must re-assemble to combat the awful Thanos (Josh Brolin) and save the multi-verse. What drama. And for those who care, this is the 22nd entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Anthony and Joe Russo direct Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson (below), Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Pratt, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson and loads of other big stars.Available in IMAX and 3D.




April 26:


Ash Is Purest White: A love story from Chinese writer-director Zhangke Jia set in and around a society of gangsters. With Tao Zhao, Fan Liao, Yi’nan Diao and Zheng Xu.

Bel Canto: When a world-class soprano (Julianne Moore) agrees to perform for a Japanese industrialist (Ken Watanabe) in South Africa, she finds herself in the middle of a hostage crisis. Paul Weitz directs his own adaptation of the novel by Ann Patchett, with Sebastian Koch, Christopher Lambert, Olek Krupa and Elsa Zylberstein co-starring.

Breaking Habits: Robert Ryan’s documentary is about a nun, Sister Kate, who runs a cannabis farm in order to help victims of epilepsy, cancer and all manner of other diseases, despite the protestations of the authorities.
The Dig: Thriller from Andy and Ryan Tohill about a murderer who, on release from prison, discovers that the father of the victim is still searching for his son’s body. With Moe Dunford, Francis Magee, Emily Taaffe, Lorcan Cranitch and Katherine Devlin.
Donbass: A Russian drama from Sergey Loznitsa, set in eastern Ukraine where a war is still underway against Russia itself After several cease fires the battle continues ever on... With Georgiy Deliev, Aesen Bosenko. Boris Kamorzin, Sergey Kolesov, Svetlana Kolesova, Sergey Russkin and Alexander Zamuraev.
Eighth Grade: First-time directorial effort from comedian Bo Burnham whose screenplay concerns a teenage girl in the eighth grade and not doing very well as she prepares to leave for high school. Then YouTube comes to her aid... as it did for the film’s director. With Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson, Jake Ryan, Imani Lewis and Nora Mullins.
Pond Life: Bill Buckhurst’s film is set in 1994 in a Yorkshire mining village where rumour has it that a giant carp has been spotted in a nearby pond. Faced with various problems some of the local population get together to see something that might bring a little happiness into their poverty-stricken lives. With Tom Varey, Esme Creed-Miles, Angus Imrie, Gianlucca Galluci, Ethan Wilkie, Shaun Dooley, Sally Lindsay, Siobhan Finneran and Julie Hesmondhalgh.
Styx: Wolfgang Fischer’s German film finds a woman on a sailing trip that turns from a peaceful outing into a tragic drama when she encounters another boat that has been shipwrecked on the high seas and she is forced to help rescue the refugees on board. With Susanna Wolff, Gedion Oduor Wekesa, Kelvin Mutuku Ndinda, Alexander Beyer and Inge Birkenfeld.

The World is Yours: A drug dealer is desperate to change his life, so his next job, he swears, will be his last. And we’ve all heard that before. The French comedy was shot in France and in Benidorm in Spain. Romain Gavras directs Gabby Rose, Karim Leklou, Vincent Cassel and Isabelle Adjani.



May 3:


The Corrupted: Ron Scalpello’s thriller is set in London before the 2012 Olympics where a former criminal is trying to regain the respect of his family, having lost everything to a local crime syndicate run by a villain with political connections in high places. With Sam Claflin, Charlie Murphy, Adam Long, Timothy Spall, Hugh Bonneville, Lorraine Ashbourne, David Hayman, Noel Clarke, Shaun Dooley and Linal Haft.
The Curse of La Llorona: Michael Chaves’ horror film is about an evil force that may be about to endanger the lives of any children by way of an unexplained spirit haunting a Catholic orphanage. With Linda Cardellini, Patricia Velasquez, Raymond Cruz, Marisol Ramirez, Sean Patrick Thomas and Tony Amendola.
A Dog’s Journey: Gail Mancuso directs W. Bruce Cameron’s adaptation of his own book about how a dog relates to human beings. With Dennis Quaid, Jake Manley, Marg Helgenberger, Betty Gilpin and the voice of Josh Gad.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile: Joe Berlinger’s film about America’s most notorious serial killer, Ted Bundy, and his longtime girlfriend who refused to believe the truth about him. With Zac Efron (below), Lily Collins, Angela Sarafayan, Sydney Vollmer, Grace Victoria Cox and James Hetfield. 

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile


Long Shot: Seth Rogen plays a journalist who meets up with his former babysitter and childhood crush (Charlize Theron) who, when running for the Presidency, employs him to write her speeches. Trouble looms when they start to become romantically involved. With June Diane Raphael, O’Shea Jackson Jr, Ravi Patel, Bob Odenkirk, Andy Serkis and Alexander Skarsgǻrd.
Tolkien:The early life of the author J. R. R. Tolkien is the subject of Dome Karukoski’s biographical film as the orphaned writer looks for friendship and love among his fellow school pupils. With Nicholas Hoult as Tolkien, Lily Collins as his wife Edith, Patrick Gibson as Robert Q. Gilson, Pam Ferris as Mrs Faulkner, and with Derek Jacobi and Colm Meaney.
Vox Lux: In Brady Corbet’s film Raffey Cassidy plays Celeste, a teenage pop star who is injured in a school shooting tragedy. She has an affair with a rock star that produces a daughter, also played by Cassidy. Some eighteen years the adult Celeste (now played by Natalie Portman) tries to stage a comeback following a terrible scandal. With Jude Law, Stacy Martin, Jennifer Ehle, Christopher Abbott and Logan Riley Bruner.
Woman at War: Icelandic film from Benedikt Erlingsson about a woman who becomes an environmental activist in order to prevent an aluminium factory from spoiling her countryside. When a small orphan enters her life, matters take a different turn. With Halldṓra Geirharṏsdṓttir, Juan Camillo Roman Estrada, Jṏrundur Ragnarsson and Jṓhann Sigurṏarson.



May 10:


The Hustle: It may look like Ocean’s Two, but this story of two female con artists is actually a remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) – which, itself, was a remake of Bedtime Story (1964). Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson play the chalk-and-cheese crooks, with Alex Sharp, Dean Norris and Tim Blake Nelson in support. Chris Addison directs.

Hustle, The

Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway


Pokémon Detective Pikachu: Ryan Reynolds supplies the voice of the eponymous Pikachu, an ace Pokémon detective who teams up with the son of his partner after the latter goes missing. Let’s hope this is more successful than the previous human/creature cross-over semi-animated shambles, The Happytime Murders (2018).

Pokemon Detective Pikachu



May 29:


Godzilla: King of the Monsters: The third instalment in the so-called MonsterVerse sees Godzilla pitted against a variety of humongous beasties. A rather good cast includes Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, O'Shea Jackson Jr., David Strathairn, Ken Watanabe and Zhang Ziyi.



May 31:


Ma: A lonely women (Octavia Spencer) befriends some teenagers and allows them to party at her place – on the condition that they call her ‘Ma’. Among other things… From Tate Taylor, director of The Help (2011) and The Girl on the Train (2016). Juliette Lewis, Diana Silvers, Luke Evans, McKaley Miller and Missi Pyle co-star.



June 7:


Gloria Bell: She may be in her fifties, but divorcee Gloria Bell (Julianne Moore) finds new life on the dance floors of Los Angeles. Sebastián Lelio, the Chilean director of A Fantastic Woman and Disobedience, here re-imagines his own 2013 drama Gloria shot in Santiago. John Turturro, Michael Cera, Caren Pistorius, Brad Garrett and Jeanne Tripplehorn co-star.

Late Night: In spite of a luminous career, late-night talk-show host Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson, below) is in danger of losing her slot because it is accused of being male-centric. So she hires Molly Patel, played by Mindy Kaling, to add some feminine zest. Kaling also wrote the screenplay to this comedy-drama. Nisha Ganatra directs a cast that includes Hugh Dancy, Reid Scott, John Lithgow and Amy Ryan.

Late Night



July 19:


The Lion King: A 'photorealistic' remake of Disney's 1994 cartoon classic builds on the company's growing technical acumen. Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and James Earl Jones supply the voices, while Elton John teams up with Tim Rice and Beyoncé to provide a brand-new song. Jon Favreau (The Jungle Book) directs.
Lion King, The



August 9:


Midsommar: A young couple chooses a remote Swedish village in which to holiday, a decision they quickly learn to regret when bizarre local traditions start to surface. Florence Pugh (below), Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper and Will  Poulter star under the direction of Ari Aster, the American filmmaker who made his debut with the critically acclaimed Hereditary (2018).




August 30:


The Informer: The last thing former convict Pete Koslow (Joel Kinnaman) wanted was to be back behind the bars of Bale Hill Prison, New York. But this time he has a mission – and is acting undercover for the FBI. Rosamund Pike, Common, Ana de Armas, Clive Owen and Sam Spruell co-star, with Andrea Di Stefano barking the orders. 



October 11:


Gemini Man: Will Smith plays a hitman of the future who, when he decides to quit the game, comes up against a clone of himself. Ang Lee directs the sci-fi actioner, with Clive Owen, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Benedict Wong along for the ride.



November 22:


Frozen II: Anna and Elsa are back.



February 14 2020:


Legally Blonde 3: Reese Witherspoon returns as Ellie Woods. With Jessica Cauffiel as Margot.



April 8 2020:


Bond 25: Daniel Craig stars as 007, with Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann, Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny and a rumoured Rami Malek. Cary Joji Fukunaga directs.



May 8 2020:


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 and Stephen Graham also star, under the direction of Aaron Schneider.