Film Review Daily

Looking Ahead


UK opening dates for new films:




September 18:


Ad Astra: When Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) sets off to the outer edges of the solar system to find his father, he inadvertently threatens the status quo of earth’s place in the cosmos. For his sci-fi mystery, the director James Gray went to huge pains to present the most realistic look at space travel yet committed to screen. Incidentally, the title is Latin for “to the stars.”  Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler, Donald Sutherland and Kimberly Elise co-star.



September 19:


Rambo: Last Blood: From First Blood in 1982, the Rambo story completes the circle with Last Blood, the fifth and final film in the series in which the Invincible One takes off on his last mission, a journey that finds him in  pursuit of vengeance for the past. With Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega, Sergio Peris-Mancheya, Adriana Barraza, Genie Kim, Joaquin Cosio, Yvette Monreal and Jessica Madsen. Co-written by Stallone and Matt Cirulnick from a story by Stallone. Directed by Adrian Grunberg.



September 20:


The Farewell: Lulu Wang has written and directed her film about a family arranging a wedding in order to surprise their grandmother who is dying of terminal cancer. With Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Zhao Shuzhen, Lu Hong and Jiang Yongbo.

The Kitchen: It’s Hell’s Kitchen, New York, the 1970s, where the wives of the lowlife gangsters take over running their spouses’ ‘business’ affairs while the men are locked away inside. Andrea Berloff directs Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss, Domhnall Gleeson, James Badge Dale, Brian d’Arcy James, Margo Martindale, Common and Bill Camp.



September 27:


Don’t Let Go: Horror fantasy written and directed by Jacob Estes that deals with Ashley (Storm Reid) and her relationship with her uncle Jack (David Oyelowo) who has always supported her. When he gets a frantic phone call from Ashley, the call is cut off. Rushing to the house he finds the whole family dead... but then he gets more calls from Ashley. With Byron Mann, Mykelti Williamson and Alfred Molina.

The Goldfinch: John Crowley directs Peter Straughan’s screenplay from the novel by Donna Tartt about a disturbed young man, Theo, who becomes an art forger, played by Ansel Elgort, with Oakes Fegley as the 13-year-old Theo, and Aneurin Barnard, Finn Wolfhard, Sarah Paulson, Luke Wilson, Jeffrey Wright and Nicole Kidman.

Hotel Mumbai: Anthony Maras’s film is based on the real events surrounding the Mumbai attacks at the Taj Mahal hotel in India in 2008. With Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Anupam Kher and Jason Isaacs.
The Last Tree: Writer-director Shola Amoo’s film is a rites of passage tale about a British boy of Nigerian extraction, living happily in rural Lincolnshire. When he moves to London to be with his mother, he finds adapting to a new way of life something of a culture shock. With Tai Golding, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Nicholas Pinnock, Denise Black, Sam Adewunmi and Jammal Ibrahim.
Normal: Adele Tulli’s documentary is a study of gender in contemporary Italian life, covering body language, rituals of behaviour, identity and the questioning of normality from childhood through to adulthood.  
Pilsudski: Michal Rosa’s film is set in a psychiatric hospital in Russia in 1901 where a Polish underground movement is endeavouring to release a celebrated activist, one Jṓzef Pilsudski, and return him back to his home and the family life he once knew. With Borys Szyc, Magdalena Boczarska, Jan Marczewski and Maria Dedbska.

Poms: Aimed squarely at the grey pound, this comedy-drama is about a gaggle of women at a retirement home who form their own cheerleading squad. The title refers to the brightly coloured pom-poms used by cheerleaders. Diane Keaton stars (below), along with Jacki Weaver, Pam Grier, Celia Weston, Alisha Boe and Phyllis Somerville, under the direction of Zara Hayes.



Ready or Not: Comic horror film from Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett on the problems of adapting to a new family life when a young bride and her husband face his weird but rich family members. With Samara Weaving, Sam Brody, Mark O’Brien, Henry Czerny and Andie MacDowell.
Sea of Shadows: Documentary from Richard Ladkani, Sean Bogle and Matthew Podolsky about the near extinction of the vaquita, the world’s smallest whale, through its habitat being destroyed as Mexican cartels and Chinese mafia harvest the swim bladder of the totoaba fish, the vaquita’s main diet. 

Skin: In a remarkable transformation, Jamie Bell plays the heavily tattooed skinhead and white supremacist Bryon 'Pitbull' Widner whose path of destruction is stalled when he meets the love of his life. Inspired by the 2011 documentary Erasing Hate (2011). Danielle Macdonald, Daniel Henshall, Bill Camp and Vera Farmiga co-star, under Guy Nattiv's direction.

Tomorrow: Martha Pinson’s film is about soldiers returning home from a war zone. One veteran is finding life back home something difficult to face until he meets a man who lives each day as if it is going to be his last. With Sebastian Street, Stuart Brennan, Stephanie Leonidas, Stephen Fry, Sophie Kennedy Clark, James Cosmo, Paul Kaye and the singer Joss Stone. Martin Scorsese is credited as one of the executive producers.



October 4:


Judy: Rupert Goold’s biopic is about the last years in London of the legendary singer and actress Judy Garland, with Renée Zellweger as Garland, Jessie Buckley as Rosalyn Wilder, Judy’s PA, Finn Wittrock as Mickey Deans, Rufus Sewell as Sidney Luft, Michael Gambon as Bernard Delfont, Gemma-Leah Devereux as Liza Minnelli, Bella Ramsey as Lorna Luft, Fenella Woolgar as Margaret Hamilton, John Dagleish as Lonnie Donegan and Darci Shaw as a young Judy.



October 11:


Abominable: We’ve had Smallfoot and The Missing Link, and now we’ve got the story of a Yeti who finds himself lost in Shanghai, as they do. But he has the help of the teenage Yi and her two scampish friends to aid his journey home to the Himalayas. The cartoon is a collaboration between DreamWorks Animation and the Chinese production company Pearl Studio.

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.



October 18:


Maleficent: Mistress of Evil: After a four-year absence from the screen, Angelina Jolie (below) returns as the wicked fairy godmother she first depicted in Maleficent (2014). The latter was a live-action spin-off of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty and showed why the fairy turned her powers to the greater bad. Here, she’s riled again when Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) is embraced by the famiy of the charming Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson). Joachim Rønning directs, with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sam Riley, Ed Skrein, Imelda Staunton, Michelle Pfeiffer, Juno Temple and Robert Lindsay co-starring.

Maleficent - Mistress of Evil


Official Secrets: The invasion of Iraq will not go away. This real-life thriller centres on Katharine Gun (Keira Knightley), the British translator who leaked top secret information on America’s illegal attempts to push for war in Iraq. Gavin Hood directs Matt Smith, Matthew Goode, Rhys Ifans, Adam Bakri, Ralph Fiennes and Indira Varma.

Zombieland: Double Tap: Ten years after the zombie spoof Zombieland (2009) proved a surprising success for the genre, the original stars - Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin and Emma Stone - have returned for more bloody sarcasm. This time, the ill-matched quarted head for the American heartland to encounter more evolved versions of the undead. As before, Ruben Fleischer directs, with Rosario Dawson, Zoey Deutch, Luke Wilson and Bill Murray along for the ride.



October 25:


Black and Blue: Alicia West (Naomie Harris) is a black woman in a blue uniform. But, being a rookie, she is also green, so that when she films the murder of a drug dealer by her partner, she tries to do the right thing in a world that is anything but black and white…

By the Grace of God: Three men link up to try and expose the priest who abused them as children. Based on true events, the French film won the Silver Bear at this year’s Berlin film festival. François Ozon directs Melvil Poupaud, Denis Ménochet and Swann Arlaud.



October 31:


Doctor Sleep: It had to happen. Thirty-nine years after the chilling events that unfolded in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, this sequel sees poor Danny Torrance now a grown man, played by Ewan McGregor. With his psychic powers still intact, Danny is struggling with alcoholism when he meets a teenage girl (Kyliegh Curran) with her own extrasensory gift, known as the 'shine'. Rebecca Ferguson, Carl Lumbly, Bruce Greenwood, Cliff Curtis and Jacob Tremblay co-star under Mike Flanagan's direction. Stephen King wrote the novel from which it's adapted.



November 1:


After the Wedding: Bart Freundlich, the husband of Julianne Moore, directs his wife in an American remake of the 2006 Danish melodrama of the same name. Let's hope he manages to bring a more credible note to the proceedings, in which Michelle Williams (below) plays the co-founder of an Indian orphanage who is forced to confront her principles on a trip to New York. Billy Crudup co-stars.

After the wedding



November 15:


Last Christmas: A romcom set in London sees Kate (Emilia Clarke) end up working as a Santa's elf in a department store. Then she keeps on bumping into the same handsome man (Henry Golding, from Crazy Rich Asians). Might her luck be about to change? Paul Feig directs, with Michelle Yeoh, Emma Thompson, Rebecca Root and Patti LuPone in support.



November 22:


Frozen II: Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf are back, voiced by Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad in the Walt Disney Animation Studio’s sequel to its first outing of Frozen in 2013, which was originally inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s story of The Snow Queen.

Frozen II



December 20:


Cats: Tom Hooper’s film of the stage musical adapted from the poetry collection of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and a screenplay by Lee Hall and Tom Hooper. With James Corden as Bustopher Jones, Judi Dench as Old Deuteronomy, Jason Derulo as Rum Tum Tugger, Idris Elba as Macavity, Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella, Ian McKellen as Gus the Theatre Cat, Taylor Swift as Bombalurina (below), Rebel Wilson as Jennyanydots, Francesca Hayward as Victoria and Ray Winstone as Growltiger.

Taylor Swift in Cats



December 26:


Little Women: The eighth cinema adaptation of the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott is directed by Greta Gerwig and stars Saoirse Ronan as Jo March, Florence Pugh as Amy March, Emma Watson as Meg March and Eliza Scanlen as Beth March. In addition, Laura Dern plays Marmee March and Meryl Streep is Aunt March. Others in the cast include Timothée Chalamet, James Norton and Bob Odenkirk.

Little Women

Timothée Chalamet and Florence Pugh



February 14 2020:


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



April 3 2020:


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 in an unspecified role. 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.



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.

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