Film Review Daily

Looking Ahead


UK opening dates for new films:


February 14:

Instant Family: Mark Wahlberg returns to comedy after the blistering heroics of Mile 22 and is reunited with Sean Anders, director of Daddy’s Home and Daddy’s Home 2. Marky Mark and Rose Byrne play eager parents whose cup runneth over when they adopt three children. Isabela Moner, Octavia Spencer, Margo Martindale and Julie Hagerty co-star.

Instant Family

Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne and dependants are an Instant Family



February 15:

Happy Death Day 2U: Two years ago Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) had a habit of dying every day. And now her friends are at it. But who’s the killer?

Isn't it Romantic: When Natalie, an Australian architect working in New York (Rebel Wilson), is knocked out, she wakes up to find herself stuck inside a romcom. It’s full of clichés and other hackneyed situations, but in order to claw her way back to reality, Natalie must first find true love within her new parameters. Liam Hemsworth, Adam DeVine, Priyanka Chopra and Jennifer Saunders co-star.

Jellyfish: Debut feature from James Gardner about a teenage girl from the Kent coast who discovers she has a gift for doing stand-up comedy, which is a welcome break from her rather miserable Margate existence. With London Film Critics’ Circle nominee Liv Hill, and Sinead Matthews, Cyril Nri, Angus Barnett and Swainley Whipps Eden-Entwistle.

The Kid Who Would Be King: Alex Elliot is bullied at school but discovers that he is bestowed with a very special, centuries’ old power. A modern-day reincarnation of King Arthur, Alex is compelled to protect his world from the ancient forces of darkness rallied by Morgana le Fay (Rebecca Ferguson). Alex is played by Louis Ashbourne Serkis, son of the actor and director Andy Serkis, under the direction of Joe Cornish.

A Private War: Matthew Heineman’s film covers the life and work of Marie Colvin, the intrepid war correspondent of The Sunday Times who lost an eye in an explosion in Sri Lanka, after which she wore an eye patch. Her work drives her to becoming a battle-scarred alcoholic. With Rosamund Pike as Colvin, and Jamie Dornan, Tom Hollander, Stanley Tucci, Corey Johnson, Faye Marsay, Greg Wise.



February 22:


Capernaum: Winner of the Jury Prize at last year’s Cannes film festival, Capernaum is the extraordinary story of a 12-year-old Syrian refugee boy who takes his parents to court. Directed by the Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki.

Cold Pursuit: Liam Neeson is on the warpath again, this time seeking retribution for the death of his son at the hands of a drug cartel. The difference this time is that Liam plays a snowplow operator. It’s a remake of the 2014 Norwegian actioner In Order of Disappearance, directed by Hans Petter Moland, who picks up the megaphone again. Laura Dern, Emmy Rossum, Tom Bateman and William Forsythe co-star.

Old Boys: Toby Macdonald’s film is a take on the Cyrano de Bergerac story, here set in a boarding school in the 1980s where a geeky pupil goes to the aid of a fellow student to help him get off with the daughter of a visiting French teacher. With Alex Lawther, Pauline Etienne, David Gordon-Dixon, Giles Malcolm and Nicholas Agnew.

On the Basis of Sex: Mimi Leder’s biographical film is based on the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who found it difficult to gain employment as law firms had a policy of not taking on women. Instead she took a job at a law school teaching law and sexual discrimination. With Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Sam Waterston, Kathy Bates, Cailee Spaeny, Jack Reynor, Stephen Root and Ruth Bader Ginsburg as herself.

Piercing: Nicolas Pesce has written and directed his film about a husband who says goodbye to his wife and child, saying he is going away on business but instead he goes to a hotel, books an escort service to attract a prostitute he plans to murder. With Christopher Abbott, Mia Wasikowska and Laia Costa.

The Rhythm Section: Stephanie Patrick (Blake Lively) was meant to be on a flight that killed her family. Then she discovers that the crash was not an accident… Based on the novel by Mark Burnell and directed by the former cinematographer Reed Morano, so it should look good. Jude Law, Max Casella, Daniel Mays, Richard Brake and Sterling K. Brown co-star.

Sometimes Always Never: Carl Hunter directs Frank Cottrell Boyce’s screenplay about a tailor called Alan (Bill Nighy) who is searching for his long-lost son Michael who left home after an argument over Scrabble. When Alan has to identify a body, he realises that his missing son may be playing the game online. He also has to try and keep his family together by helping his other son Peter (Sam Riley). With Jenny Agutter, Tim McInerney and Andrew Shim.

Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don’t Know Me: Olivia Lichtenstein’s documentary about the life of the rhythm and blues singer and how his world changed at the age of 31, when he suffered a near-fatal car crash.


February 27:


Fighting with My Family: Following his directorial debut, alongside Ricky Gervais, on Cemetery Junction (2010), Stephen Merchant now takes solo control of this biographical comedy-drama. Adapted from the 2012 documentary The Wrestlers: Fighting with My Family, the film focuses on the Bevises, a family of professional wrestlers. Florence Pugh plays Saraya, who signed up to World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., under the nom de plume of 'Paige.' Dwayne Johnson is executive producer and appears as himself, alongside Jack Lowden, Nick Frost, Lena Headey and Vince Vaughn.

March 1:


The Aftermath: Based on the 2013 novel by Rhidian Brook, this drama sees an English woman (Keira Knightey) move into the Hamburg home still occupied by its owner, a German widower (Alexander Skarsgård) and his daughter. It is Keira’s husband, a British colonel (Jason Clarke), who is tasked with helping to rebuild Hamburgh after the Second World War. James Kent (Testament of Youth) directs.

The Aftermath


Burning Men: Jeremy Wooding’s film describes itself as a unique English rock and roll road movie from the director of Channel 4’s Peep Show. With Ed Hayter, Aki Omoshaybi, Eleanor Crawley. Two musicians are evicted from their squat, so decide to sell their vinyl collection and fly to Memphis in search of success. 

Foxtrot: An Israeli family learns of the horrors of war when soldiers arrive to inform them of their son’s death on active duty at a remote desert post. With Lior Ashkenazi, Sarah Adler and Yonathan Shiray. Writer-director Samuel Maoz has won multiple awards for his astonishing film. 

Hannah: Charlotte Rampling plays the title role in Andrea Pallaoro’s film about the state of mind of a woman who is left alone to contemplate the fate of her husband who is incarcerated in prison. With Andrḗ Wilms, Stḗphane Van Vyve, Simon Bisschop and Jean-Michel Balthazar. 

The Hole in the Ground: Lee Cronin’s horror film has Seẚna Kerslake as a woman living in an Irish backwoods town with her small son where a meeting with a weird neighbour throws her life into disturbing array. With James Quinn Markey, Simone Kirby, Steve Wall, Eoin Macken, Sarah Hanly and James Cosmo.

Kobiety Mafii: A group of women involved in a gangster fraternity is the subject of writer-director Patryk Vega’s film, as they compete against their opposite male numbers. With Olga Boladz, Agnieszka Poplawska, Kasia Warnke and Janusz Chabior. Aka Women of Mafia.

Sauvage: Camille Vidal-Naquet wrote and directed his debut feature film about a rent boy selling himself on the street while waiting for Mr Right to come along and rescue him from his way of life. By all accounts Fḗlix Maritaud (seen recently in Robin Campillo’s 120 BPM) gives a strong performance in a very sexually explicit film. With Eric Bernard, Nicolas Dibla, Philippe Ohrel, Marie Seux, Lucas Blḗger and Camille Mṻller. 

Serenity: Writer-director Steven Knight’s thriller stars Matthew McConaughey as Baker Dill, a fisherman on Plymouth Island who offers fishing trips to tourists in his boat. Business is not good but Dill is obsessed with catching a giant tuna who appears to be far too elusive. Then his ex-wife turns up demanding Dill kill her new and abusive hubby. With Anne Hathaway, Jason Clarke, Diane Lane and Djimon Hounsou. 

What They Had: Debut feature from writer-director Elizabeth Chomko about a family trying to cope with Alzheimer’s and how it affects everybody in the family and not just the one with the affliction. With Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Robert Forster, Blythe Danner, Taissa Farmiga, Josh Lucas and Sarah Sutherland.


March 7:


H is for Harry: In Edward Owles and Jaime Taylor’s documentary film an eleven-year-old boy enters a secondary school in London without being able to read or write. With the aid of a sympathetic teacher, the boy tries to overcome the problems of illiteracy that has beset his own family for several generations.


March 8

The Kindegarten Teacher: Films about child prodigies always make for interesting viewing, but this one takes an unexpected route. Maggie Gyllenhaal is the eponymous teacher who discovers a prodigious literary bent in a boy in her charge. Parker Sevak, Rosa Salazar and Gael García Bernal co-star under Sara Colangelo's direction.



March 15


Fisherman's Friends: Not a film about the menthol lozenges, but a true story in which a group of Cornish fisherman regularly gets together to sing sea shanties. What they didn’t expect was an executive from Universal Records to show a commercial interest in their music. Chris Foggin directs Daniel Mays, James Purefoy, David Hayman, Dave Johns, Tuppence Middleton and Noel Clarke.

What Men Want: A vague remake of the Mel Gibson romcom What Women Want (2000), this comic fantasy sees a struggling sports agent (Taraji P. Henson) discover the ability to read men’s thoughts. Shiver her timbers. Adam Shankman directs a cast that includes Aldis Hodge, Richard Roundtree, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Tracy Morgan.

What Men Want

Taraji P. Henson



March 22:


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.



March 29:


Dumbo: An elephant with outsize ears is able to fly ("The ninth wonder of the universe! The world's only flyin' elephant!") and is the star attraction of a circus that subsequently falls into the hands of a dastardly entrepreneur. The first of three live-action remakes of animated Disney classics to be released this year, Dumbo is directed by Tim Burton and stars Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Eva Green, Alan Arkin, Roshan Seth, Finley Hobbins and Thandie Newton's daughter, Nico Parker.


Finley Hobbins, Dumbo and Nico Parker in Tim Burton's Dumbo


April 26:


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.



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



February 14, 2020:


Bond 25: Daniel Craig stars as 007. Cary Joji Fukunaga directs.