DC comics ups the young-adult quotient and takes on the 1980s body-switching genre with Shazam! (the original Captain Marvel for all you purists out there) starring Zachary Levi (Thor: The Dark World) and Mark Strong (Green Lantern).
Tim Burton (Planet of the Apes) takes another stab at a relatively unnecessary live-action Disney remake with Dumbo. Burton puts his own twist on things and brings Michael Keaton (Jack Frost), Danny DeVito (Death to Smoochy), Colin Farrell (Fright Night), and Eva Green (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For)to the mix.
Academy Award winning writer/director Jordan Peele (Get Out) returns to deliver a new, original horror film with Us starring Lupita Nyong’o (Non-Stop) and Winston Duke (Black Panther). Filled with self-referential images and packed with subtext and meaning, Peele crams this thriller with a lot of extra weight to bear. Some viewers will marvel at the complex multi-level narrative and the social commentary. Others will wonder why it isn’t scarier.
Director Steven Soderbergh (Bubble) whips out an iPhone to shoot, edit, and direct a new, direct-to-Netflix feature High Flying Bird starring Andre Holland (Bride Wars). Featuring a buzzy cast of supporting actors (including Bill Duke!) and intercut with documentary interviews (why?), this is an interesting sit.
Brie Larson (Short Term 12) and Samuel L. Jackson (Snakes on a Plane) headline a 1990s-set buddy-cop picture for Marvel Studios to introduce one of the most powerful superheroes in the MCU - Captain Marvel. The 21st entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the first female-centered Marvel Studios release and is is heavy on mid-1990s music cues, pagers, CD-roms, and slightly awkward computer-aided reverse aging technology.
Independent Spirit Award Nominee and film festival darling The Rider wows the guys with verisimilitude, grit, beauty, and honesty. A slow, raw, touching, and moving independent film worth your time and attention.
Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, and Joan Crawford headline the movie you’ve all been waiting to hear us discuss! 1932’s Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Grand Hotel, was nominated for only one award back in 1932 but it was the BIG one!
Albert FInney (Scrooge) stars as Tom Jones in the film adaptation of the novel. This movie was nominated for ten Academy Awards and took home four including Best Picture in 1963. This may be one of the worst films to ever take home the Best Picture honor. Seriously, we take back what we said about Crash.
Writer/Director Spike Lee (Oldboy) earned his first ever Best Director nomination for his 2018 film Blackkklansman starring John David Washington (Denzel Washington’s home movies) and Adam Driver (Midnight Special). The film has also been nominated for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Score).
Writer/Director Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) delivers one of the most critically-acclaimed movies of the year with the Netflix Original film Roma. The film has won a number of awards already including Best Director honors from the Golden Globes and Directors Guild and is nominated for ten Academy Awards. The guys were split on this one - Mike loved it, Danny didn’t.
Writer/Director/Cameo Fetishist M. Night Shyamalan (The Last Airbender) returns to the cinematic universe he created in 2000’s Unbreakable with Glass starring James McAvoy (Filth), Bruce Willis (The Last Boy Scout), Samuel L. Jackson (XXX: Return of Xander Cage), and Sarah Paulson (New Year’s Eve). The film is a master class in falling short of expectations. A mess.
Honestly, this one is a mess. For Sherlock Holmes completists, you may need to see it. For fans of Will Farrell (Bewitched) and John C. Reilly (Days of Thunder), you may need to see it. For anyone other than die hard fans, this one is hard pass. Try Without A Clue starring Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley instead!
Writer/Director Adam McKay (Step Brothers) offers a quasi-biopic/in-your-face-mockumentary look at the life and legacy of former Vice President Dick Cheney in Vice. Starring Christian Bale (Reign of Fire), Amy Adams (Sunshine Cleaning), Steve Carell (Melinda and Melinda), and Sam Rockwell (The Search for One-Eye Jimmy), this film definitely wears its heart on its sleeve.
Sony finally figures out what to do with their Spider-Man property rights with the stunning animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Incredible visuals, great music, an impressive cast, and a wholly original concept introducing a clown car’s worth of interesting characters make this one of the best films of the year.
Director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) delivers a new, strange, disaffected, oddly-comic drama with The Favourite. Featuring impressive performances by Olivia Colman (Hot Fuzz), Rachel Weisz (The Mummy), and Emma Stone (Aloha), this film will likely be an awards magnet, although not one to take your family and friends to. Designed for a VERY specific audience, you’ll either hate or love The Favourite.
Viggo Mortenson (Young Guns II) and Mahershala Ali (Predators) showcase their range and their considerable buddy chemistry in the slightly more than by-the-numbers Green Book. This is a movie you can encourage your parents to go see - they will really enjoy it.
Director Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking) brings Hugh Jackman (Van Helsing) to the screen as Gary Hart, former candidate for the U.S. Presidency and media punching bag. Backed with an impressive cast and lacking the typical Reitman soundtrack, this movie exists - for some reason.
Michael B. Jordan (Fantastic Four) and Tess Thompson (When a Stranger Calls) join Sylvester Stallone (Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot) in a sequel to their Rocky spinoff with Creed 2. The emotional baggage is high and the melodrama thick as Dolph Lundgren (Masters of the Universe) returns as Ivan Drago, the Russian beast from Rocky IV.
Benedict Cumberbatch (War Horse) voices everyone’s favorite awful Christmas hater, The Grinch. Supported by Keenan Thompson (The Smurfs 2) and Angela Lansbury (Magnum, P.I.), this re-imagining of the holiday classic packs on an additional 65 minutes or so. Bring your kids.
Director Bryan Singer (Jack the Giant Slayer) delivers (some of? most of? either way, he got fired before finishing the film) the world a quasi-biopic of Freddie Mercury and his band Queen in Bohemian Rhapsody. Rami Malek (Battleship) stars as Mercury and dials up both the glam rockstar posturing and the loneliness. The music is fun and there are flashes of a more exciting picture here. Audiences are loving it, so your parents will probably dig it.