*February always has plenty of spillover from 2017, specifically movies that are up for Oscars. This year, that’s going to be The Shape of Water, Lady Bird, Call Me By Your Name, and Phantom Thread, for noteworthy titles you can still find in theaters. All of them are worth seeing. This list is simply a collection of the ten biggest and/or best releases that are completely new in February!
Winchester is sure to be the top horror film of the month. The film is sort of based on a true story about a grieving widow obsessed with HGTV. She keeps building onto her mansion, making it a ginormous maze. Her reasoning for building the giant house is because she believes the souls of people killed by the guns produced by the company she owns need a place to live. Creepy, right? The film stars Helen Mirren and Jason Clarke, so there’ll be some good acting. The only concern is that the film is directed by the Spiereg brothers, who most recently gave us Jigsaw, one of the worst films of 2017. Maybe a good plot will help them out.
On Body and Soul – Netflix Original
A Fantastic Woman – Limited
A Ciambra – Limited
Scorched Earth – Limited
Bilal: A New Breed of Hero – Limited
Fifty Shades Freed
Ugh. I’m not really sure how this one is supposed to be different from Fifty Shades of Grey or Fifty Shades Darker, but at least we know it’s the last one. I guess the trailer showed a gun, a knife, and a car chase (no, not for BDSM purposes,) so I guess they’re going to try to work some action into the film somehow. Either way, if you’re single and need somewhere to be Valentine’s Day, then here’s your sad night out. And if you’re not single and want a movie date with the person you just started dating, then here’s your awkward night out. Either way, just watch Peter Rabbit. I assure you it’ll be better.
The 15:17 to Paris
Oh Clint. Mr. Eastwood’s recent hobby of making movies about very recent true stories gave us American Sniper, for which we’re all thankful. Unfortunately, it also gave us Sully, and now it’s about to give us The 15:17 to Paris. The film tells the true story about some U.S. soldiers who stopped a shooting aboard a Paris-bound train in 2015. One of the film’s main gimmicks is that the three guys responsible for stopping the shooting are playing themselves. I get the whole authenticity thing, and maybe an element of honor, but we already saw how disastrous it was to cast non-actors in leading roles back in 2012. I suppose it’s possible they won’t be quite that bad, but there’s reason for skepticism. Unfortunately, with the dialogue we’re given in the trailer, I don’t feel overly optimistic.
Okay, so if you’re a fan of the old Beatrice Potter picture books, I can assure you this movie adaptation of her most famous character is not for you. The film is pretty much just taking the namesake and making the movie it wants to make. That movie, however, looks purely delightful. A goofy story of a feud between a man and a rabbit, this film features a cast including Margot Robbie and Rose Byrne and a voice cast with Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, Sia, Daisy Ridley, and, of course, James Corden lending is energetic voice to the titular character. Will Gluck, an American director best known for Easy A, directs the film, and if it’s half as delightful as the trailer, this could be your best excuse not to watch Fifty Shades Freed.
The Ritual – Netflix Original
Aiyaary – Limited
Padman – Limited
Before We Vanish – Limited
La Boda de Valentina – Limited
The movie everyone’s looking forward to this month is one a lot of people have been looking forward to for a very long time. After Captain America: Civil War came out, there’s been curiosity for a solo Black Panther movie, and after that first trailer hit, that curiosity turned to excitement. Ryan Coogler looks to direct this film to be totally different from anything Marvel has previously given us, and it looks awesome conceptually, visually, plotwise, and in every other way you can imagine. A stellar cast with too many names to include here provide yet another excuse to see the film. And at the very least, for you hardcore MCU fans, this is the final film before Infinity War, so get pumped.
The chaps who gave us treasures like Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run, and Shaun the Sheep, are back with Early Man. The film tells the story of a group of rabbit-hunting cavemen who are surprised by the arrival of the Bronze age and the the evil Lord Nooth. The film features a cast including Eddie Redmayne, Maisie Williams, Timothy Spall, and Tom Hiddleston, who sports a goofy accent. With Rick Park directing, the classic British clay-mation team is back, so you know exactly what to expect. Speaking of being British, the presented plot of this movie can’t help but make you wonder if this movie is somehow tackling colonization. We’ll have to see.
Irreplaceable You – Netflix Original
You probably haven’t heard of Irreplaceable You, but that’s probably because Netflix always waits until the last minute to advertise their originals, so watch for a trailer within the next couple weeks. The plot looks to follow a young woman who is diagnosed with cancer, so she goes on the search to find a girlfriend for her awkward fiance. Weird story right? And about as cheesy rom-com as you can get. The film is directed by a Veep producer who’s never directed a film before, and stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Claire Holt, Michael Huisman, Jackie Weaver, Christopher Walken, and Kate McKinnon.
Samson – Limited
The Party – Limited
Loveless – Limited
Nostalgia – Limited
Oh Lucy! – Limited
Double Lover – Limited
Tehran Taboo – Limited
Annihilation is an adaptation of the Jeff VanderMeer sci-novel about a Biologist going on a weird mission. After her husband is lost inside this weird magical, sci-fi bubble thing called The Shimmer, the Biologist goes in with a Psychologist, and a Surveyor to try and find the lost team. The film stars Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, and Tessa Thompson, which is reason enough to get excited. An even better reason, though, is that the film is directed by Alex Garland, who was responsible for the masterpiece that was Ex Machina in 2014. Annihilation is a much different kind of sci-fi from Ex Machina, but after seeing that film, I’m excited for anything Garland touches.
A little more light-hearted than the other two big movies this weekend is Game Night. Game Night comes from a couple Spider-Man: Homecoming screenwriters, and tells a ridiculous story about a group of spouses who get together for a game night, but get accidentally caught up in a high-stakes murder mystery. The film stars Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler, and Jesse Plemmons, and frankly, it looks hilarious. The trailer is loaded with a lot of funny bit-comedy, so if the plot is successful, this could be the first R-rated good comedy of the year.
Mute – Netflix Original
Again, you probably haven’t heard of it, and again, that’s because it’s Netflix. Mute is the latest film from Moon, Source Code, and Warcraft director Duncan Jones, and the movie he’s been trying to make since he first got to Hollywood. The film will be something of a sci-fi epic, telling a story about a mute bartender who goes head-to-head with a gang to find his missing partner. The film stars Justin Theroux, Paul Rudd, and Alexander Skarsgard. With Jones at the helm, this could be a total hit-or-miss. But with Jones at the helm, and with the knowledge of the fact that he’s been working on it for so long, I’m going to make sure I’m one of the first to find out if it’s a hit.
Hichki – Limited
Hannah – Limited
The Lodgers – Limited
Beast of Burden – Limited
The Chamber – Limited
Your guide to February movies.