March

Here is what we’re excited to see this month

A huge month for some of the more promising films of last year…

 

CLIMAX – March 1 

The new one from Gaspar Noé (Enter the Void) is about French dancers that gather in a remote, empty school building to rehearse on a wintry night. The all-night celebration morphs into a hallucinatory nightmare when they learn their sangria is laced with LSD.

TRANSIT – March 1 

When a man flees France after the Nazi invasion, he assumes the identity of a dead author whose papers he possesses. Stuck in Marseilles, he meets a young woman desperate to find her missing husband – the very man he’s impersonating.

GLORIA BELL – March 8

The new one from Sebastián Lelio (A Fantastic Woman) is about a free-spirited woman in her 50s seeks out love at L.A. dance clubs.

THE MUSTANG – March 15

Tells the story of Roman Coleman, a violent convict, who is given the chance to participate in a rehabilitation therapy program involving the training of wild mustangs.

ASH IS PUREST WHITE – March 15

A story of violent love within a time frame spanning from 2001 to 2017.

US – March 22

The new one from Jordan Peele (Get Out) is about a family’s serenity that turns to chaos when a group of doppelgängers begin to terrorize them.

SUNSET – March 22

A young girl grows up to become a strong and fearless woman in Budapest before World War I.

BEACH BUM – March 29

The new one from Harmony Korine (Spring Breakers) is about a rebellious stoner named Moondog who lives life by his own rules.

February

Here is what we’re excited to see this month

VELVET BUZZSAW – February 1 (NETFLIX)

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A satirical thriller set in the contemporary art world scene of Los Angeles where big money artists and mega-collectors pay a high price when art collides with commerce.

Trailer.

ARCTIC – February 1

arctic

A man stranded in the Arctic after an airplane crash must decide whether to remain in the relative safety of his makeshift camp or to embark on a deadly trek through the unknown. After The Grey, this has all the makings of the next great survivor film.

Trailer.

PIERCING – February 1

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A man kisses his wife and baby goodbye and seemingly heads away on business, with a plan to check into a hotel, call an escort service, and kill an unsuspecting prostitute.

Trailer.

EVERYBODY KNOWS – February 8

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Laura, a Spanish woman living in Buenos Aires, returns to her hometown outside Madrid with her two children to attend her sister’s wedding. However, the trip is upset by unexpected events that bring secrets into the open.

Trailer.

THE LEGO MOVIE 2: The Second Part – February 18

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It’s been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens are facing a huge new threat: LEGO DUPLO® invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild.

Trailer.

STREAMING

HIGH FLYING BIRD: February 8 (NETFLIX)

Steven Soderbergh is back… oof. Do we think that Soderbergh and McCraney (writer of Moonlight) can pull off a movie about basketball on Netflix. No. No we don’t. Nevertheless I will be tuning in to see this potential/probable airball even though we know what to expect from Soderbergh. Sod all.

 

DON’T WORRY, HE WON’T GET FAR ON FOOT: February 8 (AMAZON PRIME)

Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Jack Black and Rooney Mara; yes please. Gus Van Sant’s new movie based on the true story of the edgy-cartoonist-quadriplegic has some promise. Grab a tissue and be prepared to either laugh, cry or some combination of both.

TRUE DETECTIVE SEASON 3: February 24 Season Finale (HBO)

There’s a chance you have been so bombarded with work or life that you have not heard about the newest season of True Detective. That’s OK, I’m here to tell you that it’s here, and is already doing better than season 2. You may have seen season 1 and thought it was the best thing since sliced bread, and then you may have given up on the show altogether in season 2. I’m here to tell you it’s time to hit play on season 3! The final will be this month. Get caught up this weekend and watch a new episode at 9ET after the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Netflix:

  • As Good As It Gets (Feb 1)
  • Billy Elliot (Feb 1)
  • Jaws (Feb 1)
  • The 40-Year-Old Virgin (Feb 16)
  • Chefs Table: Volume 6 (Feb 22)

Amazon Prime

  • Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders (Original Series) (Feb 1)
  • The Last Of The Mohicans (Feb 1)
  • The Blues Brothers (Feb 1)
  • The Matrix Trilogy (Feb 1)
  • Lorena (prime original series) (Feb 15)

Hulu

  • The Big Lebowski (Feb 1)
  • Caddyshack (Feb 1)
  • Capote (Feb 1)
  • Equilibrium (Feb 1)
  • The Royal Tenenbaums (Feb 1)
  • Wedding Crashers (Feb 1)
  • Select James Bond (Dr. No/From Russia With Love/Goldeneye/License To Kill/Moonraker/Thunderball) (Feb 1)

HBO

  • The Bourne Identity (Feb 1)
  • Collateral (Feb 1)
  • The Pelican Brief (Feb 1)
  • Won’t You Be My Neighbor (Feb 9)
  • Deadpool 2 (Feb 16)

January

Here is what we’re excited to see this month

A new year, a new you…as we begin 2019, we want to extend a word of appreciation to everyone and anyone who gave us an opportunity to speak sanity into the world of Hollywood film criticism. 

And now, for this month’s watch list…

STATE LIKE SLEEP – January 4

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A woman grapples with the consequences of her celebrity husband’s double life after he commits suicide.

Trailer.

GLASS – January 18

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M. Night Shyamalan is back. Unbreakable meets Split. Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities.

Trailer.

THE HEIRESSES – January 18

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This director debut from Marcelo Martinessi is about two descendants from wealthy families who have been together for over 30 years. With their financial situation becoming worse, they begin selling off their inherited possessions. But when their debts lead to one of them being imprisoned on fraud charges, the other is forced to face a new reality. The film won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 2018.

Trailer.

SERENITY – January 25

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The mysterious past of a fishing boat captain comes back to haunt him, when his ex-wife tracks him down with a desperate plea for help, ensnaring his life in a new reality that may not be all that it seems. It’s Anne Hathaway. It’s Matthew McConaughey. But most importantly its writer/director Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders, Eastern Promises, Locke).

Trailer.

THE WILD PEAR TREE – January 30

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Famed Turkish director, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, returns after his last film, Winter Sleep, in 2014 won the Palme d’Or. This one is about an aspiring writer who returns to his native village, where his father’s debts catch up to him. Doubtful that it will play in your area on this date, but this film will certainly be one to remember.

Trailer.


Since new films at the start of the year typical stink, here are two lists (1, 2) from 2018 we recommend to glean through.

The Guilty

RATING: [C+|👎]

“The man who has a conscience suffers whilst acknowledging his sin. That is his punishment.”

[Fyodor Dostoyevsky]

In 2013, a film came out, largely forgotten and overlooked by our esteemed critics and trophy givers, starring Tom Hardy and director Steven Knight, that painted the edges of the possibilities of a powerhouse duo of acting and writing to deliver what I consider one of the best films of that year. A suspenseful tale of moral decay and redemption from a man with an emotionless disposition and an act of sheer moral bravery that likely cost him everything.

In 2018, we have an opportunity to revisit this dynamic with The Guilty from first time director Gustav Möller, about a detective (Jakob Cedergren), sidelined by field antics, awaiting trial, and forced to work the emergency phone lines until he can return to the streets. A film that echoes the themes of Black Lives Matter and the all too familiar qualified immunity or self-defense defenses we hear in America’s courtrooms that allows bad cops to escape justice. An unlikable character at best, surrounded by bleak terrain and people who have clearly had enough of his personality. A man who seems to fit the Danish Training Day replica of Denzel Washington. 

And still, as he navigates his own anticipatory trial and return to the field based on fabricated reports — dragging his partner into the process — he comes in contact with a call of kidnapping that he feels indebted to complete. And complete he does. Driven by a chilling, suspenseful pace of moral redemption and the acting chops of a man on the edges of his own guilty conscience. A fine first installment from Möller, richly textured and inundated with sound design that, like Roma, has to be experienced on the big screen.

Although, I very much doubt The Academy will propel this entry into the final five (and they shouldn’t) after Sundance propelled this film into the spotlight,  I look forward to what this man will do next.

RATING: C+

December

Here is what we’re excited to see this month

Last month. Hell of a year.

Not the best in films, but certainly not the worst. 

Our list of best films of 2018 coming soon.

MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS – December 7

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Mary Stuart’s attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England, finds her condemned to years of imprisonment before facing execution.

Trailer.

BEN IS BACK – December 7

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A drug addicted teenage boy shows up unexpectedly at his family’s home on Christmas Eve. With all the hype around Beautiful Boy, don’t sleep on Ben is Back.

Trailer.

 

VOX LUX – December 7

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An unusual set of circumstances brings unexpected success to a pop star.

Trailer.

 

THE MULE – December 14

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A 90-year-old horticulturist and WWII veteran is caught transporting $3 million worth of cocaine through Michigan for a Mexican drug cartel.

Trailer.

CAPERNAUM – December 17

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While serving a five-year sentence for a violent crime, a 12-year-old boy sues his parents for neglect. Winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes.

Trailer.

WELCOME TO MARWEN – December 21

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A victim of a brutal attack finds a unique and beautiful therapeutic outlet to help him through his recovery process.

Trailer.

DESTROYER – December 25

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A police detective reconnects with people from an undercover assignment in her distant past in order to make peace. Karyn Kusama has been an impressive director with The Invitation and Jennifer’s Body, worth taking a chance on.

Trailer.

VICE – December 25

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VICE explores how a bureaucratic Washington insider quietly became the most powerful man in the world as Vice-President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways still felt today.

Trailer.

 

November

Here is what we’re excited to see this month

BOY ERASED – Nov. 2

boy erased

The son of a Baptist preacher is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program after being forcibly outed to his parents.

Trailer.

THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB – Nov. 9

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Young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials. So far, poor reviews, but Claire Foy may be worth the price of admission.

Trailer.

BURNING – Nov. 9

Burning

South Korean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards. Jong-soo runs into Hae-mi, a girl who once lived in his neighborhood, and she asks him to watch her cat while she’s out of town. When she returns, she introduces him to Ben, a man she met on the trip. Ben proceeds to tell Jong-soo about his hobby. Strange as it is, anyone who knows the work of Haruki Murakami knows that this could very well be one of the best foreign films of 2018.

Trailer.

A PRIVATE WAR – Nov. 16

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One of the most celebrated war correspondents of our time, Marie Colvin is an utterly fearless and rebellious spirit, driven to the frontline of conflicts across the globe to give voice to the voiceless.

Trailer.

WIDOWS – Nov. 16

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Set in contemporary Chicago, amidst a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms. Huge fan of Steve McQueen, although this film has all the makings of one of those “one for you” moments.

Trailer.

AT ETERNITY’S GATE – Nov. 16

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A look at the life of painter Vincent van Gogh during the time he lived in Arles and Auvers-sur-Oise, France. Julian Schnabel hasn’t directed anything since 2010 according to 2010 and since he himself is a painter this new film will definitely be worth seeing. Although, I doubt it will rival Mike Leigh’s  Mr. Turner, it certainly has the makings of being another fine Van Gogh installment after last years, Loving Vincent.

Trailer.

GREEN BOOK – Nov. 21

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A working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South. WINNER of the Grosch People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival.

Trailer.

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK – Nov. 30

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A woman in Harlem desperately scrambles to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime while carrying their first child. From director Barry Jenkins who did Moonlight and based on a novel by the great civil rights intellectual, James Baldwin.

Trailer.

HAPPY AS LAZZARO – Nov. 30

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This is the tale of a meeting between Lazzaro, a young peasant so good that he is often mistaken for simple-minded, and Tancredi, a young nobleman cursed by his imagination. Winner at Cannes for Best Screenplay.

Trailer.

 

October

Here is what we’re excited to see this month

IN THEATRES

VENOM – October 5

Venom

When Eddie Brock acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego “Venom” to save his life. Wouldn’t be on my radar but for Tom Hardy.

Trailer.

A STAR IS BORN – October 5

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A musician helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral. Major buzz for this movie after it picked up momentum at the Venice Film Festival.

Trailer.

THE GREAT BUSTER – October 5

Buster

Documentary from Pete Bogdonavich about the great silent era comedian and innovator, Buster Keaton.

Trailer.

FIRST MAN – October 12

First Man

A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969. From the young director of Whiplash and La La Land. Overheard someone at Telluride Film Festival saying that Damien Chazelle told them that the movie needs to be seen in IMAX, so if you’ve got the money, go do that.

Trailer.

BEAUTIFUL BOY – October 12

Beautiful Boy

Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years. I’d trust this more if it was from Linklater, but could be immensely impactful.

Trailer.

WILDLIFE – October 19

Wildlife

In 1960, a boy watches his parents’ marriage fall apart after the three of them move to Montana and his mother falls in love with another man. Directed by Paul Dano.

Trailer.

HALLOWEEN – October 19

Halloween

Laurie Strode comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

Trailer.

SERENITY – October 19

Serenity

The mysterious past of a fishing boat captain comes back to haunt him, when his ex-wife tracks him down with a desperate plea for help, ensnaring his life in a new reality that may not be all that it seems. I like Steven Knight as a writer (Locke, Peaky Blinders) so anything he does, I will consider.

Trailer.

MID90s – October 19

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Follows Stevie, a thirteen-year-old in 90s-era LA who spends his summer navigating between his troubled home life and a group of new friends that he meets at a Motor Avenue skate shop.

Trailer.

BURNING – October 26

Burning

Jong-su, a part-time worker, bumps into Hae-mi while delivering, who used to live in the same neighborhood. Hae-mi asks him to look after her cat while she’s on a trip to Africa. When Hae-mi comes back, she introduces Ben, a mysterious guy she met in Africa, to Jong-su. One day, Ben visits Jong-su’s with Hae-mi and confesses his own secret hobby. Very excited for this film.

Trailer.

SUSPIRIA – October 26

Suspiria

A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the artistic director, an ambitious young dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.

Trailer.

STREAMING

Making A Murderer: Part 2 – October 19 On Netflix

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We know it has been a few years since the 10 episode of this first season came on the scene, and maybe you have forgotten some things. Here is a link to a Forbes article with some great reminders. Netflix will release another 10 episodes this month, that will focus on what has happened after the conviction.

Trailer.

Netflix:

  • Mystic River (October 1) (88% RT 🍎) (8.0 IMDb) – Clint Eastwood (director)
  • V for Vendetta (October 1) (73% RT 🍎) (8.2 IMDb) – The Wachowskis (writers)
  • The Shining (October 1) (86% RT 🍎) (8.4 IMDb) – Stanley Kubrick (director)

Amazon Prime

  • The Illusionist (October 1) (73% RT 🍎) (7.6 IMDb)
  • The Man In The High Castle Season 3 (October 5) (8.1 IMDb)
  • Mr. Robot Season 3 (October 11) (8.6 IMDb)
  • The Romanoffs Season 1 (October 12) (NA IMDb) – creators of Mad Men

Hulu

  • Raging Bull (October 1) (95% RT 🍎) (8.2 IMDb) – Martin Scorsese (director)
  • Mulholland Drive (October 1) (83% RT 🍎) (8.0 IMDb) – David Lynch (director)
  • Ace Ventura Pet Detective (October 1) (46% RT) (6.9 IMDb)
  • Ace Ventura When Nature Calls (October 1) (33% RT) (6.3 IMDb)
  • RBG (October 3) (94% RT 🍎) (7.5 IMDb) – Ruth Bader Ginsburg as herself

HBO

  • Fantastic Mr. Fox (October 1) (92% RT 🍎) (7.8 IMDb) – Wes Anderson (director)
  • Dances With Wolves (October 1) (82% RT 🍎) (8.0 IMDb) – Kevin Costner (director)
  • Man On Fire (October 1) (39% RT ) (7.7 IMDb) – Tony Scott (director)
  • Inherent Vice (October 1) (73% RT) (6.7 IMDb) – Paul Thomas Anderson (director)