Film Review Daily

Looking Ahead


UK opening dates for new films:




January 25:


Bergman: A Year in a Life: Jane Magnusson’s documentary about Ingmar Bergman, the celebrated Swedish film and theatre director, with a wealth of archive footage and interviews.

Destroyer: Nicole Kidman plays a Los Angeles cop who encounters an old adversary from a gang in the California desert and is forced to face the demons that destroyed her life. With Toby Kebbell, Tatiana Maslany, Sebastian Stan and Scoot McNairy. Directed by Karyn Kusama. 

A Dog’s Way Home: Adventure movie about a lost dog who travels some four hundred miles in order to find her owner. With Bryce Dallas Howard, Ashley Judd, Alexandra Shipp and Edward James Olmos. Directed by Charles Martin Smith.

Love Sonia: Set in the world of sex trafficking, this is the true story of a woman who tries to rescue her sister. Filmed in Mumbai, Jaipur, Hong Kong and Los Angeles, the film is an Indian production directed by Tabrez Noorani and stars Richa Chadha, Freida Pinto, Demi Moore, Mark Duplass and newcomer Mrunal Thakur.

Love Sonia


The Mule: Based on an article in The New York Times, this is the true story of a man who becomes a drug trafficker for an international crime syndicate. Nothing odd about that, but this guy happens to be ninety-years-old. Clint Eastwood, a mere 88, plays him and also directs and produces. Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Peña, Dianne Wiest and Andy García co-star.

Nina: Polish film from director and co-writer Olga Charles in which the woman of the title, a teacher, is struggling to have a child and so seeks out a surrogate mother. Rather than her husband falling for the woman concerned, Nina herself embraces the would-be mother-to-be. With Julia Kijowska, Eliza Rycembel and Andrzej Konopka. 

On Her Shoulders: Documentary film from Alexandra Bombach about Nadia Murad, a young woman who survived genocide and sexual slavery committed by Isis. 

One Nation, One King: Writer-director Pierre Schoeller’s film is about the French Revolution which shows the two sides of the population at the time, the monarchy and the commoners, and the subsequent storming of the Bastille in 1789. With Gaspard Ulliel, Adele Haenel, Olivier Gourmet, Louis Garrel, Niels Schneider and Denis Lavant. 

Second Act: Peter Segal’s film stars Jennifer Lopez as a successful young woman in a good job, but when she is ignored for promotion, her nephew rewrites her CV so that she then has to pretend to be somebody she is not. With Milo Ventimiglia, Vanessa Hudgens, Leah Remini and Treat Williams.

Vice: That’s vice as in vice-president and the man in the hot seat is Dick Cheney, perhaps the most influential VP in American history. Writer-director Adam McKay previously brought us The Big Short with Christian Bale and Steve Carell, both of whom return here to play, respectively, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. There’s also Amy Adams as Mrs Cheney, Bill Pullman as Nelson Rockefeller and Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush. The Oscar buzz has begun and Mr Bale already has a Golden Globe.

Christian Bale as Dick Cheney

Christian Bale as Dick Cheney

February 1:

Can You Ever Forgive Me? Marielle Heller’s film is the true story of American writer Lee Israel who, when out of work, became a forger of correspondence of the famous and succeeded in recreating some four hundred phoney texts. Melissa McCarthy plays the alcoholic lesbian forger with Richard E. Grant as her gay helpmate, plus Dolly Wells, Jane Curtin, Anna Deavere Smith, Stephen Spinella and Ben Falcone. 

Crucible of the Vampire: British horror film from director Ian Ross-McNamee about the unearthing of a buried cauldron that may have belonged to a 17th century warlock. With Neil Morrissey, Katie Goldfinch, Florence Cady, Charles O’Neill and Brian Croucher. 

Escape Room: More horror from Will Wernick about an old dark house and the horrible events that once took place there. When a new family moves in, things start to happen again. With Evan Williams, Annabelle Stephenson, Elisabeth Hower, Dan J. Johnson, John Ieradi and Kelly Delson. 

Green  Book: Biographical comedy from Peter Farrelly about a bouncer who is employed by an African-American pianist to drive him on a tour of the US southern states in the 1960s. With Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini, Sebastian Maniscalco and Mike Hatton. 

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World: A further sequel in the animated series with voices supplied by Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Kit Harington, Kristen Wiig, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, F. Murray Abraham, Craig Ferguson and Gerard Butler.

February 6:

Alita: Battle Angel: Action movie from Robert Rodriguez about a young woman destined to find out who she is and how she can save the world. With Rosa Salazar, Eiza Gonzalez, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Lana Condor, Christoph Waltz, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley, Michelle Rodriguez and Jeff Fahey.

February 8:

All Is True: Kenneth Branagh directs and stars as William Shakespeare who gives up writing and settles down to tend his garden and think about his lost son. With Judi Dench as Anne Hathaway, Jack Colgrave Hirst, Doug Colling, Eleanor de Rohan, Phil Dunster, Sam Ellis and Ian McKellen. Ben Elton wrote the screenplay but don’t expect another Upstart Crow. 

Boy Erased: Joel Edgerton wrote, co-produced and directed this film based on a memoir by Garrard Conley about his experiences in being forced to undergo gay conversion therapy by his parents. With Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman as the boy’s mother, Russell Crowe as the boy’s priest father, and Joel Edgerton as the chief therapist. 

If Beale Street Could Talk: Written and directed by Barry Jenkins, based on James Baldwin’s 1974 novel, the film is about 'Tish' Rivers, a young African-American woman and her fight to clear the name of her wrongly accused lover. With KiKi Layne as Tish, Stephan James, Colman Domingo, Teyonah Parris, Michael Beach, Aunjanue Ellis, Finn Wittrock, Diego Luna, Dave Franco, Ed Skrein and Bryan Tyree Henry. Regina King, who plays Tish's mother, looks like the favourite to win the Oscar.

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part: Animated sci-fi comedy featuring the world’s favourite building toy as the LEGO world has to deal with invaders from outer space. With the voices of Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Banks, Tiffany Haddish, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph. 

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.

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.



February 22:


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.

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.

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.

March 1:


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.

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 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



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.