Film: Fall Arts Preview 2018

      No Comments on Film: Fall Arts Preview 2018

Boy Erased

It’s something of an unusual season for film this fall. Gone are the usual spate of horrors that typically cram theaters ahead of Halloween. Instead, there’s only a choice few — from theme park nightmare Horror Festto a forty years-later sequel to Halloweenonce again starring Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode.

Instead, fall is shaping up to be a bountiful season of Oscar-bait and indie darlings, with a number of topics popping up throughout the coming months. There’s addiction and its impact on families in Beautiful Boy and Ben is BackBritish royalty and the imagined goings-on behind castle walls in The Favourite and Mary Queen of Scotsand the post-apocalypse in I Think We’re Alone Now and Mortal Engines.

There’s the usual blockbuster offerings — though less than in previous years — including VenomFantastic Beastsand Aquamannotable LGBTQ-themed films such as conversion therapy drama Boy Erased and Oscar Wilde biopic The Happy Princeand even one major surprise: Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga-starring remake A Star Is Born is apparently fantastic.

And then, in December, something supercalifragilisticexpialidocious this way comes…

Bel Canto — It has taken almost twenty years for Ann Patchett’s novel to be made into a film, and early reviews suggest it was worth the wait. Loosely based on the 1996 Peru hostage crisis, Julianne Moore leads an incredibly diverse cast as an opera singer (dubbed by Renée Fleming) who travels to an unnamed South American country to perform for a Japanese industrialist (Ken Watanabe), only to find herself trapped in the Vice President’s mansion as guerilla forces storm the building. Part thriller, part Stockholm syndrome romantic drama, it asks a difficult question in a post-9/11 world: How much can terrorists and their captors truly empathize with one another? (9/14)

Lizzie — Lizzie Borden became something of a national celebrity when, in 1892, she was accused of murdering her father and stepmother with an axe. The lead-up to the murders and the sensational trial that followed are the subject of Craig William Macneill’s film, which stars Chloë Sevigny as Borden and Kristen Stewart as the housemaid Borden allegedly engaged in an illicit romance — and who inspired her to commit double parricide. (9/14)

Colette — The life of Nobel Prize-winning novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette is dramatized in this period film, starring Keira Knightley as the titular character. Forced by her domineering husband (Dominic West) to publish her novels under his name — granting him the fame and recognition she deserves — Colette begins an affair with the gender-defying Mathilde de Morny, Marquise de Belbeuf (Denise Gough), which inspires her to take control of her life and career. A timely tale of female empowerment, glowing early reviews suggest that it’s one of Knightley’s best performances. (9/21)

Fahrenheit 11/9 — Michael Moore’s latest documentary tackles the election and presidency of Donald Trump, as well as the how and the why of what led to his victory — or, in the film’s own terms, “How the fuck did we get here, and how the fuck do we get out?” While some critics have argued that it lacks cohesion, Fahrenheit 11/9 is Moore’s most lauded film in recent memory, and a chilling reminder that we all need to fight for our democracy, or soon there’ll be nothing left to fight for. (9/21)

I Think We’re Alone Now — A perennial misfit (Peter Dinklage) is given a new lease on life after the apocalypse wipes out everyone in his small town, granting the quiet, solitary life he craves. That is, until Grace (Elle Fanning) shows up, quickly imploding his newfound serenity. Critics are divided on Emmy-winning director Reed Morano’s film, though her background in cinematography means it depicts its unusual tale with stark beauty. (9/21)

Tea with the Dames — Fancy spending 90 minutes with Dame Eileen Atkins, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Joan Plowright, and Dame Maggie Smith? Now you can, as Roger Mitchell’s documentary explores the lifelong friendship between four of Britain’s most lauded and awarded actresses. Or, as Britain’s Times described it: “A torrent of mischief, gossip, swearing, recitations, singing and reminiscence.” We’re sold. (9/21)

The House with a Clock in Its Walls — Look closely at the poster for this fantasy adventure, based on John Bellairs’ 1973 novel, and you’ll note one curious oddity: it’s directed by Eli Roth. Yes, Eli Roth, who helped popularize the “torture porn” genre with films like Hostelis in charge of a gothic children’s film. That said, there’s a lot of potential here. Ten-year-old Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) is sent to live with his uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) in his creaky old house. Jonathan, it transpires, is a mediocre warlock, his neighbor Florence (Cate Blanchett) is a powerful good witch, and when bad things start to happen it’s up to the trio to stop an evil power from destroying everything. Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment is co-producing, and has presumably reined in Roth’s horror excesses to meet the film’s PG sticker. (9/21)

Hell Fest — Halloween-themed nights designed to spook guests are all the rage at American theme parks, which makes Hell Fest both a timely and terrifying concept for a horror film: What if there was an actual serial killer picking people off, all under the guise that it’s just an actor working for the park? (9/28)

Free Solo — Acrophobics, look away now, as this is not a film for you. For everyone else, Free Solo is a fascinating documentary from National Geographic about Alex Honnold, the first person to climb 3,200 feet up the sheer face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park — without any safety equipment to stop him from falling back down. Just be thankful it’s not in 3D. (9/28)

Night School — This is either going to be an enjoyable riot, or an unholy mess. We’re cautiously optimistic, as it’s helmed by Girls Trip director Malcolm D. Lee and reunites him with Tiffany Haddish. Here, Haddish is the extremely unorthodox teacher of a night school that aims to help adults — including Kevin Hart (who produced and co-wrote the film), Rob Riggle, and Mary Lynn Rajskub — obtain their GED in just one semester. (9/28)

A Star Is Born — No one saw this coming, but the third remake of 1937’s A Star Is Born is one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year so far. Bradley Cooper is both behind the camera as director and in front of it as Jackson Maine, an established musician who stumbles across unknown singer-songwriter Ally (Lady Gaga) and helps launch her career. Naturally, they fall in love and her career quickly overtakes his, leading to all the passions and jealousies we’ve seen play out three times before. Still, there’s already Academy Awards buzz, and Gaga, stepping into shoes worn by Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand before her, has successfully transformed from hit-making diva to bona fide film star. It makes the film’s title seem a little on the nose. (10/5)

The Happy Prince — Rupert Everett spearheaded this film about the last days of Oscar Wilde, a passion project that Everett wrote, directed, and cast himself in as Wilde on his deathbed. Critics have praised Everett’s performance, as Wilde reminisces on his life, his career, and the romance with a Marquess’ son that sent him to prison for two years. Colin Firth stars as Wilde’s close friend Reggie Turner, and Colin Morgan as Wilde’s lover, Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas. (10/5)

The Hate U Give — This couldn’t be timelier. Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg) is a black teen from a poor neighborhood who attends a rich, predominantly white prep school. Her world is upended after she watches a white police officer shoot her childhood best friend, and the careful walls she’s built quickly crumble as she’s drawn into activism. Based on Angie Thomas’ bestselling 2017 novel, which was banned by a school district in Texas because one parent objected to the frank portrayal of its subject matter, George Tillman Jr.’s film blends coming-of-age drama with the Black Lives Matter movement — and critics are loving it. (10/5)

Venom

Venom — We last saw Venom in 2007’s Spider-Man 3and after ten years of rumors and development, the character finally has his own film. Tom Hardy steps into the role as journalist Eddie Brock, who becomes the host of an alien symbiote that transforms him into the horrific Venom and grants superhuman abilities. Sony intends this film to start an adjacent Marvel universe to the MCU we all know and love, and Venom will apparently be darker, scarier, and more violent than the usual Marvel fare. Don’t expect to see Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, though — director Ruben Fleischer said there’s no cameo planned. (10/5)

Bad Times at the El Royale — There’s a lot of mystery surrounding writer-director Drew Goddard’s film, about seven strangers in the 1960s who meet at the El Royale motel on Lake Tahoe. A mystery thriller, each of the strangers — including Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Jon Hamm, and Chris Hemsworth’s abs (if the trailers are anything to go by) — apparently has one last shot at redemption before everything gets crazy. There’s two-way mirrors in the rooms, hidden passageways, and the motel even sits on the state line between Nevada and California. Whether the end result is a thrilling spectacle or a busy mess remains the be seen — but we’re intrigued regardless. (10/12)

Beautiful Boy — Steve Carell is a father watching helplessly as his teenage son (Timothée Chalamet) spirals into meth addiction. Based on David Sheff and Nic Sheff’s dual memoirs, Beautiful Boy chronicles the addiction, recovery, and relapses that tore at the bond between David and Nic. Critics have been mostly positive about the latest film from Amazon’s in-house film studio, with Carell, Chalamet and Maura Tierney as David’s second wife particularly praised for their performances. (10/12)

First Man — Conservative outrage reared its ugly head when it transpired that director Damien Chazelle (La La Land) had opted not to show the American flag being planted on the moon in this biopic about Neil Armstrong, the first person to step onto the surface of the moon. That hasn’t detracted from the Oscar buzz surrounding the film, which stars Ryan Gosling as Armstrong, Claire Foy as his wife Janet, and Corey Stoll as Buzz Aldrin, and follows the years leading up to the historic 1969 landing. (10/12)

Can You Ever Forgive Me? — Melissa McCarthy chases a second Oscar nomination as Lee Israel, who turned to a life of crime after her writing career died. Israel, who documented her actions in her 2008 memoir, started rewriting and later forging celebrity letters, selling on the enhanced forgeries and stolen originals for profit, before she was eventually caught by the FBI. Here’s hoping the strength of McCarthy’s performance is enough to erase the memories of The Happytime Murders from the minds of Academy voters. (10/19)

Halloween — Forty years after Laurie Strode first thought she’d escaped masked serial killer Michael Myers, she’s about to have a pretty terrible reunion. Jamie Lee Curtis, star of the 1978 original, returns as Strode in this, the eleventh film in the franchise (which conveniently ignores all of them except the first). What’s more, early reviews suggest this is one franchise worth revisiting — dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and much hardier than in ’78, Laurie’s showdown with Myers should make for tense, scary cinema. (10/19)

Johnny English Strikes Again

Mid90s — Jonah Hill steps behind the camera as writer-director for a film inspired by his childhood growing up in ’90s-era LA skater culture. Sunny Suljic (The Killing of a Sacred Deer) stars as 13-year-old Stevie, who escapes his abusive home life after falling in with a crowd at the local skate shop. A coming-of-age tale, critics suggest it’s far from original, but they’re lauding it regardless — one even called it a “minor masterpiece.” (10/19)

Hunter Killer — Sure to do nothing to help thaw current U.S.-Russia relations (outside the White House), this film markets itself as being from the producers of the Fast and the Furious franchise and Olympus Has Fallen. That alone should let you know if Hunter Killer — about a Gerard Butler-captained U.S. submarine sent into Russian waters to save the Russian president, who’s been kidnapped by his own Defence Minister — is worth your time. Spoilers: It probably isn’t. (10/26)

Johnny English Strikes Again — We’re not entirely sure who was pushing for a third entry in Rowan Atkinson’s spy comedy franchise, but here we are. Stepping back into the shoes of Britain’s accident-prone secret agent, Atkinson teams up with partner Angus Bough (Ben Miller) from the first film. Emma Thompson is also here as Britain’s prime minister. William Davies, who penned the first two films, is handling the script, and while the franchise has never exactly been loved by critics, it’s always been good for some reliable, James Bond-parodying laughs. (10/26)

Bohemian Rhapsody — Rami Malek seems perfectly cast as Freddie Mercury, the flamboyant lead singer of iconic rock band Queen. Blessed by Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor, the film follows Mercury’s life and the band’s music leading up to Queen’s Live Aid performance at Wembley Stadium in 1985. Eyebrows were raised when one trailer showed Mercury’s relationships with women more than men, and there’s questions as to why it doesn’t continue to his death from AIDS-related complications in 1991, but this could be one of fall’s best films if writer Anthony McCarten (Darkest HourThe Theory of Everything) and directors Bryan Singer and Dexter Fletcher get it right. (11/2)

Boy Erased — The second film this year to tackle conversion therapy — after The Miseducation of Cameron Post — Boy Erased is based on Garrard Conley’s memoir, and stars Lucas Hedges as Jared Earmons, son of a Baptist pastor, who is shipped to a gay conversion therapy program after his parents (Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman) discover his sexuality. Joel Edgerton wrote, directed, and produced the film, and stars as head therapist Victor, who is determined to “cure” Jared. Expect to hear more from this come awards season, as early reviews are glowing, and the subject matter is incredibly timely, given the push nationwide to outlaw the horrific practice. (11/2)

Suspiria — Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino swaps dreamy Italian countryside for horrific German murders. Based on Dario Argento’s 1977 original, Suspiria follows an American dancer who transfers to a German dance academy, only to realize there are sinister, supernatural ongoings. There’s a stellar cast, including Dakota Johnson as the dancer in question, Tilda Swinton, and even Jessica Harper (the original film’s lead), but critics are divided as to whether this remake was necessary. Or if it’s even good. (11/2)

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms — Disney’s latest live action effort tackles the story underpinning Tchaikovsky’s infamous ballet, itself based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s novel. Mackenzie Foy stars as Clara, whose deceased inventor mother created a parallel world of four realms where she ruled as queen. Naturally, things have gone a bit awry in the queen’s absence, and Clara must save three of the realms from the tyrannical Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), leader of the mysterious Fourth Realm. Keira Knightley, Morgan Freeman, and Richard E. Grant also star, and Lasse Hallström (ChocolatThe Cider House Rules) directs. (11/2)

Nobody’s Fool — Tyler Perry has an inconsistent history as a filmmaker, but Nobody’s Fool looks like a lot of fun. Tanya (national treasure Tiffany Haddish) is the recently paroled sister of high-flying executive Danica (Tika Sumpter), and proceeds to upend her life when she learns that the man Danica is in an online relationship with might be catfishing her. Whoopi Goldberg and Amber Riley also star, as does the very handsome Omari Hardwick (Starz’s Power). (11/2)

El Angel — Carlos Robledo Puch earned the nickname “The Angel of Death” for good reason. Arrested in Argentina in 1972 — aged just 20 — he was ultimately charged with 11 murders, 17 robberies, one attempted murder, and a number of other crimes, and his methods included stabbing, shooting, strangling, bludgeoning and slitting throats. Luis Ortega’s film depicts the baby-faced serial killer from his first kill up to his incarceration — Puch is currently Argentina’s longest-serving inmate — as well as his burgeoning desire for partner-in-crime Ramón Peralta (Chino Darin). Critics are calling it a stylish period drama, and praising Lorenzo Ferro’s strong performance as Puch. (11/9)

Helen Mirren in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

The Grinch — We’re not sure the world needs a third telling of Dr. Seuss’ classic tale — after the 1966 TV movie and 2000 Jim Carrey-starring film — but clearly someone at Universal disagreed. Still, this animated film, which features Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of the titular Grinch, looks like good fun — even though it’s releasing about a month early. (11/9)

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald — Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a stylish if flawed first entry in J.K. Rowling’s latest Potter-universe franchise. The sequel promises more: more of Eddie Redmayne’s annoyingly mumbly Newt Scamander, more impressive CGI magic effects, and more (possibly gay) Dumbledore, here played by Jude Law. Rowling once again writes the script, and David Yates returns to direct, as powerful dark wizard Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) escapes custody and starts a movement that would see witches and wizards rule over all non-magical beings. Obviously, he doesn’t succeed. We’ve all seen Harry Potter. (11/16)

Widows — After four armed robbers are killed in a heist, their widows — Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, and Cynthia Erivo — step up to finish the job. If that sounds like a rather ludicrous premise, don’t be so hasty to judge — directed and co-written by 12 Years a Slave‘s Steve McQueen, Widows touches on a number of topics amongst the obvious firefights and car chases, including police brutality, domestic violence, and sexism. Plus, critics say the film, driven by a powerhouse performance from Viola Davis, is excellent. (11/16)

Ralph Breaks the Internet — Stop reading this article and go and watch the trailer for Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet. If you don’t finish it with a goofy grin on your face, seek immediate medical attention, because the sequel to 2012’s wonderful Wreck-It Ralph looks to be a bigger, bolder, and funnier film, as Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) venture out of their respective games and into the internet, via a newly installed router in their arcade. (11/23)

Second Act — Jennifer Lopez is in a new rom-com. We repeat: J.Lo has a new rom-com. To those who have sat with a tub of ice cream and watched The Wedding PlannerMaid in ManhattanThe Back-up Planand so on, you know what to expect — Second Actabout a woman stuck in a low-paying job who blags her way into a Manhattan consultancy firm, is going to be terrible, and it’ll be added to your Netflix queue the moment it’s available. (11/23)

The Favourite — All About Eve but with corsets and carriages, Emma Stone is the younger cousin who threatens to usurp Rachel Weisz as the close confidant of 18th century British monarch Queen Anne (Olivia Colman). Helmed by Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster), this comedy drama looks nuts in all the right ways. Come for the sizzling sexual tension, stay for Colman as Queen Anne screaming at her royal staff for daring to look at her. Plus, she called filming her sex scenes with Stone “awfully fun,” so there’s that to look forward to. (11/23)

The Front Runner — Gary Hart’s spectacular fall from Democratic presidential nominee frontrunner to political has-been is the subject of this film, which focuses on Hart’s earnest 1988 campaign and its subsequent implosion when journalists uncovered that he was cheating on his wife — you know, back when that would actually prevent someone from seeking the nation’s highest office. Hugh Jackman stars as Hart, and critics are praising his performance, even if Juno and Up in the Air director Jason Reitman’s film is receiving mixed reviews overall. (11/23)

Creed II — No one expected 2015’s Creedthe seventh film in the Rocky franchise, to be good. And it wasn’t — it was great, driven by the performances of Sylvester Stallone and new star Michael B. Jordan, and the direction of Ryan Coogler. Stallone and Jordan return to help Adonis (Jordan) train to fight Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), the Russian boxer who killed his father Apollo in the ring thirty years and four films ago. Can lightning strike twice? We’ll see. (11/23)

If Beale Street Could Talk — Tish is an African-American woman determined to clear the name of her husband Fonny, wrongfully accused of rape, before she gives birth to their child. The latest film from Moonlight screenwriter and director Barry Jenkins adapts James Baldwin’s 1974 novel, its themes of racism and injustice still concerningly relevant today, and stars Kiki Layne as Tish and Stephan James as Fonny. Critics are already heaping praise on the film, so don’t be surprised to see reappear come awards season. (11/30)

Ben Is Back — Lucas Hedges seems destined to play teenagers who disappoint their parents. His third film this fall — and the season’s second addiction-focused film — Hedges is the titular Ben, who unexpectedly returns home from rehab on Christmas Eve. While his mother (Julia Roberts) is happy to see him, what follows is a tense 24 hours as the family waits for Ben to relapse into his old ways. Peter Hedges (Lucas’ father) wrote and directed the film, and critics are praising its tight narrative and the performances of its two leads. (12/7)

Mary Queen of Scots — The Scottish queen who was famously imprisoned and then beheaded at the order of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, is the subject of this film — one that appears to be a more dramatic and faithful adaptation than the 16th century soapiness of the CW’s Reign. Saoirse Ronan is the eponymous queen, Margot Robbie the white painted, flame haired Elizabeth, and the film was written by House of Cards creator Beau Willimon, which bodes well for all of the Elizabethan warring and politicking. (12/7)

Mary Queen of Scots

Backseat — Adam McKay successfully distilled the 2008 financial crisis into a simultaneously humorous and horrifying experience with 2015’s Oscar-nominated The Big Short. Expectations are high that he will do similarly good work with America’s most powerful Vice President, Dick Cheney, who was widely believed to be running the show behind President George W. Bush. Little is known about the film as it’s being kept under tight wraps, but Christian Bale stars as Cheney, capturing his rise to V.P., Amy Adams plays his wife Lynne Cheney, Steve Carell is Donald Rumsfeld, and Sam Rockwell is Bush, alongside a number of other famous faces from the Bush administration. (12/14)

Mortal Engines — The Lord of the Rings‘ Peter Jackson ventures outside of the Shire with this adaptation of Philip Reeve’s post-apocalyptic novel, where the world’s great cities have been turned into “traction” cities, mounted on wheels and roaming the remains of Earth, cannibalising any smaller cities that cross their path. Hera Hilmar stars as Hester Shaw, an assassin determined to stop London’s Head of the Guild of Historians (Hugo Weaving). Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan) is a lowly Londoner caught up in the crossfire and ejected from the city. $100 million dollars and a lot of CGI later, they’ll join a resistance fighting to stop London from taking out every other traction city on earth. If first-time director and special effects artist Christian Rivers can keep things coherent, this could make for enjoyable popcorn fare. (12/14)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — The second Spider-Man film (and third Marvel film) from Sony this year comes in the form of an animated adventure, one that depicts the Miles Morales version of Spider-Man, not the Peter Parker character cinemagoers will be more familiar with. Spearheaded by the team behind Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and The Lego MovieInto the Spider-Verse mixes the classic Spidey origin story — juggling high school with burgeoning superpowers — with the discovery of a shared multiverse where there can be more than one Spider-Man, all ripped from the comics. Think Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Ham, and SP//dr (Peni Parker). The animation blends 3D with hand-drawn comic book style, and it looks to be a compelling addition to the Spidey canon. (12/14)

Mary Poppins Returns — No other film this year carries as many expectations on its shoulders as this. Disney is taking perhaps its boldest step in recent memory with this sequel to the beloved 1964 original. Emily Blunt takes over the title role from Julie Andrews — who won an Oscar for her work — as Mary Poppins returns to the Banks family 25 years after she last gave them a spoonful of sugar. Rob Marshall (ChicagoInto the Woods) directs a script by Life of Pi and Finding Neverland scribe David Magee. Whether Disney can recapture the magic of the original remains to be seen — and Emily Blunt must be going mad waiting for its release and the inevitable reaction to her take on the character. Here’s hoping the studio’s audacious decision pays off. (12/19)

Alita: Battle Angel — Robert Rodriguez (Sin City) returns to filmmaking with this adaptation of Yukito Kishiro’s manga about a cyborg (Rosa Salazar, performing entirely by motion capture) who awakens in the future with no memory of who she is. Taken in by compassionate doctor Ido (Christoph Waltz), it’s not until their city is overrun by a deadly force that her unique fighting abilities are discovered. Mahershala Ali, Jennifer Connelly and Michelle Rodriguez also star. However, none of this may matter if concerns over Alita’s deliberately “uncanny valley,” almost-real appearance turn viewers off — early previews led to a number of complaints and comments saying as much. (12/21)

Aquaman — Seriously, is anyone expecting this to be good? We know, we know, no one expected Wonder Woman to be anything, and it transpired to be great, but it seems unlikely — given the current spate of DC Comics films — that lightning will strike twice here. Jason Momoa is the titular Aquaman in his first big screen origin story, but the CGI in the trailer looks mediocre and the script underwent numerous rewrites and changes, which is never a good sign. Still, we’re ready to be pleasantly surprised. And it can’t be any worse than DC’s other films, can it? (12/21)

Mary Poppins Returns

Holmes and Watson — Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are the titular crime-solving duo in this action-comedy. Written and directed by Get Hard‘s Etan Cohen, you already know if this is something you’ll be interested in — chances are if you liked Step Brothersyou’ll like this. You also might want to reconsider your life choices, but that’s not for us to say. (12/21)

Welcome to Marwen — In 2000, artist Mark Hogancamp was left with brain damage and little memory of his life after being attacked outside a bar in New York. His crime? Telling five men he was a cross-dresser. To recover, Hogancamp constructed Marwencol, a one-sixth scale WWII-era Belgian town, and populated it with dolls representing himself, his friends, and his attackers. Steve Carell steps into Hogancamp’s shoes for this drama, directed and co-written by Robert Zemeckis, and based on the documentary Marwencolwhich captured Hogancamp’s escape into his fictional world to cope with his PTSD and recovery. Leslie Mann, Merritt Wever, and Janelle Monáe also star. (12/21)

Destroyer — Critics are calling Nicole Kidman unrecognizable in this crime thriller, about an LAPD detective forced to return to a gang she previously went undercover in with disastrous results. While early reviews have hailed Kidman’s performance for upending expectations with a dark, complex, often unlikable character, the film itself has had a more mixed overall reception. (12/25)

On the Basis of Sex — Notorious RBG makes her big screen debut. Felicity Jones is a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a brilliant lawyer fighting for equal rights for women, including before the Supreme Court she would eventually come to have a seat on. Armie Hammer co-stars as Ginsburg’s husband, Martin, and Emmy-winning director Mimi Leder is at the helm. This is about as close as it gets to perfect Oscar-fodder, but should also hopefully make for compelling viewing — Ginsburg’s incredible life achievements deserve it. (12/25)

Hellboy — A reboot of Guillermo Del Toro’s films, this time with Stranger Things‘ David Harbour taking over the titular role as the half-demon superhero. You might ask why we need this reboot a mere ten years after Hellboy II: The Golden Army, but there’s one compelling reason to get excited: It will be R-rated, versus the original films’ PG-13. As Hellboy squares off against a medieval British sorceress (Milla Jovovich) hellbent on destroying humankind, expect it to hew closer to the darker, more horrific elements of the source comics — producers are already promising it will be a “more gruesome version of Hellboy.” (1/11)

Glass — The final film in M. Night Shyamalan’s trilogy encompassing 2000’s superhero thriller Unbreakable and 2016’s psychological horror Split. Bruce Willis returns as Unbreakable‘s invulnerable and superhuman David Dunn, tasked with pursuing James McAvoy’s Kevin Wendell Crumb from Splitwhose 24th personality, The Beast, is a cannibalistic sociopath with superhuman abilities. Samuel L. Jackson also returns as Unbreakable‘s Elijah Price, here known as Mr. Glass, who apparently holds secrets critical to both men. If you’re confused, don’t be — rent both films, binge them ahead of Glass‘ release, and then settle in for Shyamalan’s patented brand of twists and turns in this superhero horror-thriller. (1/18)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.