The 2017 Film Release Calendar: Films Without Release Dates (A-L)
Every January, I preview all the films that are scheduled to come out for the year. I go through the existing release calendar, month by month, and guess how much or how little I’m going to like each of the films.
The major benefit is that it allows me, come the end of the year, to see which movies ended up surprising me for better or for worse, or which ones I had wildly disproportionate expectations for. It also gives me a chance to know what’s coming out and what to look forward to.
I also take all the films that are filming or in post and theoretically able to come out that year and preview those too, along with all the films from the previous year(s) that have yet to come out that I’ve been tracking. In all, I end up previewing more films than pretty much anyone else, I’ve been told.
Today we’re gonna go over all the films that currently are in post or finished but either don’t have release dates yet and will come out over various points during the next year-plus, or have dates that were announced after I went over their respective months.
A woman (Jacobson) learns her brother (Franco) has relapsed on heroin.
Netflix movie. Gonna come out this year. Stars Abbi Jacobson and Dave Franco. Sure.
In November 1939, Georg Elser’s attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler fails, and he is arrested. During his confinement, he recalls the events leading up to his plot and his reasons for deciding to take such drastic action.
Oh, well damn. I was not expecting something this interesting.
Dated for March 17th. Directed by the guy who did Downfall. He’s had a bit of a string of bad luck since then. They lured him to Hollywood and then stuck him with The Invasion. Yeesh. Then he did a movie called Five Minutes of Heaven, which was decently received but no one knows it exists. Then he did Diana, the Princess Diana movie. Yeah…
Here’s hoping he’s back on track
Gonna say 3.5 stars, even though there’s a strong possibility for just 3. This came out 2 years ago overseas and is only coming out here just now. If it were great, it would have gotten some qualifying love at the time. I’m just figuring the period nature and story elements keep me engaged.
47 Meters Down
Two sisters, vacationing in Mexico, are trapped in a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean, with less than an hour of oxygen left and great white sharks circling nearby.
I feel like this is gonna be campy, and not really good. Because the premise sounds like it could be really good, if done right.
The director only has bad or schlocky horror on his resume. Mandy Moore stars.
So yeah, not expecting much out of this.
3 stars? I guess?
Be prepared for this synopsis. It’s… too much.
55 Steps is based a the inspiring true story of Eleanor Riese, a mental illness patient herself, who brings a class action suit to give competent mental patients the right to have a say in their medication while they’re in a hospital, and Colette Hughes, the lawyer appointed to her case. Eleanor’s fight for justice goes all the way up to the Supreme Court of California, and, despite a stormy start and Eleanor’s difficult personality, in the process Eleanor and Colette develop a deep friendship that benefits Colette as much as it does Eleanor. Similar in tone to “Erin Brockovich,” it is a moving story about two complex women, and the rights of mental patients who, even in hospitals, and even if they’re competent to make judgments about their own care, have fewer rights than criminals. Director Billie August, who won the Cannes Film Festival Palm d’OR award twice, brings his incredible directing skills to this moving and important picture.
British Oscar bait!
Helena Bonham Carter plays the mental patient, as if there were any doubt. And Hilary Swank plays the lawyer, because there’s no such thing as Oscar bait that she’ll turn down.
Quick, name the last movie you saw Hilary Swank in.
That’s right. You can’t.
The answer is The Homesman, the Tommy Lee Jones western, which was a weird part for her, because (spoiler alert) she kills herself out of nowhere two-thirds of the way through that movie. She either does on-the-nose Oscar bait or really bad genre stuff, if she works at all.
The director of this movie is another 90s director twenty years out of his element, like Mick Jackson last year doing Denial. It’s Billie August, who made Pelle the Conqueror, The House of the Spirits, the Liam Neeson Les Miserables and not a single movie you’ve heard of in the past twenty years.
I’m gonna go 3.5 stars, but I’m thinking we’re getting another Denial here. But, you know, maybe we’ll get a BAFTA nomination for Helena here. They like her and she’s great. Hopefully the material isn’t too rubbish.
The chilling true story of a newly married FBI poster boy assigned to an Appalachian mountain town in Kentucky. There he is drawn into an illicit affair with an impoverished local woman who becomes his star informant. She sees in him her means of escape; instead, it’s a ticket to disaster for both of them. This scandal shook the foundations of the nation’s top law enforcement agency, ending in the first ever conviction of an FBI agent for murder.
Interesting. Director is Phillip Noyce, who made Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games, The Saint, The Bone Collector, Rabbit-Proof Fence, The Quiet American, Salt and The Giver. So not overly promising, but he’s capable.
Stars Emilia Clarke, Jack Huston, Johnny Knoxville and Thora Birch. Damn, what happened to her?
3 stars. I’d like to get more, but something tells me don’t go higher than 3.
An Actor Prepares
After suffering a heart attack, a world famous, hard-drinking actor is forced to drive across country with his estranged son (who testified against him in his parent’s divorce) on one last madcap adventure.
Jeremy Irons is the actor, which is nice. Jack Huston is the son. And Mamie Gummer is also in it. And a nice smattering of character actors we like, Will Patton and Frankie Faison.
3 stars. I hope for more, but I’m not getting my hopes that high. I don’t see the talent behind the camera to convince me the material’s so good as to make it go much higher than this.
In the aftermath of World War II, a British colonel and his wife are assigned to live in Hamburg during the post-war reconstruction, but tensions arise with the German widower who lives with them.
This hasn’t been shot yet, but I’m hopeful.
Stars Alexander Skarsgard, Keira Knightley and Jason Clarke.
3.5 stars. I like World War II stuff.
All Eyez on Me
A chronicle of the life of rapper Tupac Shakur.
Dated for June 16th.
No cast I’ve heard of, the director hasn’t really done much of anything. Hard to think this will be anything more than passable at best.
A young basketball player struggles to fit in with his new team.
Netflix movie. I’m sure it’ll be fine.
A story centered on counterterrorism agent Mitch Rapp.
Michael Keaton is in this. That’s the only reason I’m even paying attention to it.
A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply.
Alex Garland’s follow-up to Ex Machina.
Stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Oscar Isaac, Gina Rodriguez.
Not just cause of Ex Machina either. I really like the stuff he’s written. 28 Days Later, Sunshine, Never Let Me Go. Thinking 3.5 stars at worst here.
Set in a world without anonymity or crime, a detective meets a woman who threatens their security.
And Andrew Niccol now. That’s cool. Two writers who do smart sci fi back to back.
Clive Owen and Amanda Seyfried star.
Niccol is always good for great ideas (The Truman Show) but not always great execution (In Time). Typically he’s good for a 3 or 3.5 star movie. So let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and say 3.5 stars.
The events of one evening take an unexpected turn for the worst for a young boy trying to spy on his babysitter.
A horror movie directed by McG. Great…
Netflix is putting this out, so at least it’ll be easy to watch and not care about.
2.5 stars. I’m being nice.
After the early death of his wife, a mourning father moves with his teenage son across the country for a private school teaching job. Their lives begin to transform due to two unique women, who help them embrace life and love again.
J.K. Simmons is the father. Which is cool.
3 stars. Let’s give this a shot.
A couple who can’t stop fighting embark on a last-ditch effort to save their marriage: turning their fights into songs and starting a band.
Oh, this could be fun. This also feels like a Sundance movie. Not even gonna look, I already know it is.
3 stars. Hope I can get 3.5 out of this.
Based on a True Story
A writer goes through a tough period after the release of her latest book, as she gets involved with an obsessive admirer.
This is a new Roman Polanski movie.
He co-wrote it with Oliver Assayas.
It stars his wife, though, which didn’t work for me on his last one, which I actively did not like.
But Eva Green is also in it, so that’s nice.
3 stars. Can’t expect a whole lot out of Polanski at this point.
Battle of the Sexes
The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.
This is steeped in class. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Ferris direct, Simon Beaufoy wrote it, Emma Stone and Steve Carell star. Based on who they cast and everything, the tone does not seem like “Oscar contender” even though I’m sure that’s what they’re gonna go for.
I’m getting the sense that this is more likely to end up as “3.5 stars and solid” and not “this should be nominated for Oscars.” And if they pitch it as the latter, it’ll end with a lot of people getting disappointed by it and it getting bad reviews unnecessarily. But that’s just a gut feeling.
I have to guess 4 stars simply because of all the talent involved. I would like to get 4 stars out of this. I think it’s either 3.5 or 4, and I’m gonna assume the best
Beatriz at Dinner
A holistic medicine practitioner attends a wealthy client’s dinner party after her car breaks down.
Miguel Arteta directed this, and I straight up didn’t like his last three movies (Alexander and the Terrible Horrible so on, Cedar Rapids and Youth in Revolt). Mike White wrote this. They did Chuck & Buck together, which I imagine will get some eyeballs on this.
Salma Hayek, John Lithgow, Chloe Sevigny, Connie Britton and Jay Duplass star.
I’m gonna go 2.5 stars, just because I don’t want to fall into the trap of thinking I’m gonna like this and be disappointed.
The Big Sick
A couple deals with their cultural differences as their relationship grows.
This made a splash at Sundance and sold for some crazy amount of money. Michael Showalter directs, coming off Hello My Name Is Doris, which I liked.
3 stars. Hope I can get more out of this, but not gonna get my hopes up. Sundance hype is usually just that, and I typically know better than to assume more. I’ll just be happily surprised instead.
Billy Forsetti has grown up poor, desperate and angry. His best friend, Mikey, has taught him how to steal and fight his way through life. Add a couple of friends, and introduce the world of carjacking-amateurs seeking thrills and cash-it all leads to an intoxicating time. But when Mikey and Billy’s values collide over where to draw the line, Mikey explodes and Billy finds himself estranged and wanting to move on. Billy takes up with a beautiful girl and finds a more promising life. But when a carjacking goes wrong, his past becomes a shadow that darkens and threatens his future. Mistrust, jealousy and fear will chase Billy down a rabbit hole that might leave him no way out.
Starring Melissa Benoist and Blake Jenner.
2.5 stars. Just feels like it could be real generic.
The star wrote it, so there’s that. Not sure if that helps or hurts. I generally get worried when actors write. Let’s what and see what happens.
A novelist blinded in a car crash which killed his wife rediscovers his passion for both life and writing when he embarks on an affair with the neglected wife of an indicted businessman.
Stars Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin.
This should be interesting. They think this is 1994.
Set in a small town in 1959 England, it is the story of a woman who decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop, a decision which becomes a political minefield.
Oh good. Chocolat but with books.
Written and directed by a woman, though, which is good. Stars Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson and Bill Nighy. I’m in.
I feel like this could be one of those likable British films that flies under the radar but is very solid.
A look at the 1980 Wimbledon final match between tennis stars Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe.
Shia LaBeouf is playing John McEnroe. Which is just great. I can kinda see the resemblance. Though he’s gonna have to wear that crazy Andy Samberg hair for it.
3 stars. Can’t imagine I’ll love it, but I’ll sure as shit be fascinated by it.
A father takes his son to tour colleges on the East Coast and meets up with an old friend who makes him feel inferior about his life’s choices.
Mike White wrote and directs. Ben Stiller stars. Guessing Michael Sheen is the friend.
3 stars. That seems pretty easy.
A logger defends his family from a group of dangerous drug runners.
Starring Jason Momoa.
I’d normally say 2.5 stars, but he’s a logger, so 3 stars.
We get deep into analytics here, clearly.
Based on Tim Winton’s award-winning and international bestselling novel set in mid-70s coastal Australia. Two teenage boys, hungry for discovery, form an unlikely friendship with a mysterious older adventurer who pushes them to take risks that will have a lasting and profound impact on their lives.
Simon Baker wrote and directs. Elizabeth Debicki stars.
Let’s say 3 stars. I like her. Let’s figure this is worthwhile, but not great.
Based on the true story of Robin (Garfield), a handsome, brilliant and adventurous man whose life takes a dramatic turn when polio leaves him paralyzed.
Andy Serkis directed this and Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy star.
William Nicholson wrote this. He’s written some solid stuff.
3.5 stars. Garfield generally makes good decisions, quality-wise.
A human detective and a hulking Orc spring into action as evil forces scrap to seize control of an all-powerful wand.
Not a joke, that’s the plot.
Max Landis wrote the script, and they sold it to Netflix for a shitload of money, and David Ayer came on to direct and Will Smith came on to star.
They got a great cast for it — Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Edgar Ramirez. You’d have to assume there’s something of value here. But… the plot aside, I’ve heard bad things about this movie.
Landis has cryptically said the film hasn’t turned out at all like he wanted it to, I’ve heard the movie’s a huge piece of shit. It looks like David Ayer’s still reeling from the Suicide Squad debacle. I feel like he’s gonna be torn between his down and dirty instincts and his wanting to please a studio instincts, and that’s gonna be death for a movie like this.
I’m not sure how much I can put faith in this movie to be any good.
I’d normally give Ayer and that cast the benefit of the doubt and say 3.5 stars, but I have to say 3 stars here. Because this looks like it’s being set up to be a monumental disaster, the kind we all look at and wince when it’s all over. I hope not, but that’s how it’s shaping up. I really would like this to be good.
I typically don’t like material like this, and I’d especially be wary of Will Smith choosing material like this, given his choices over the past… years, but if anyone could make something like this interesting to me, it’s David Ayer. So I’m hopeful, but it’s not looking promising.
Brigsby Bear Adventures is a children’s TV show produced for an audience of one: James. When the show abruptly ends, James’s life changes forever, and he sets out to finish the story himself.
No idea what this is, but I’m interested.
3 stars. Let’s not get my hopes up too high. But the synopsis certainly sounds like it could be good. It being at Sundance… ehh. Unless it wins, in which case I may need to reevaluate. But until then, let’s say 3.
Based on the inspiring true story of the bridging of one of the biggest racial divides imaginable. Mike Burden, an orphan raised within the Ku Klux Klan, attempts to break away from the Klan when the girl he falls in love with urges him to leave for a better life together. When the Klan seeks Mike out for vengeance, a black congregation led by the benevolent, Reverend Kennedy, takes in Mike, his girlfriend and her son, protecting them, and accepting them into their community.
Interesting. Actually solid cast, too. Garrett Hedlund, Forest Whitaker, Andrea Riseborough, Tom Wilkinson, and… Usher.
3 stars. Story sounds interesting enough and the cast is good. I can get 3 out of this.
When a Texas military force invades their Brooklyn neighborhood, 20-year-old Lucy and war veteran Stupe must depend on each other to survive.
Dave Bautista stars as the veteran. Seems like a low budget action movie.
3 stars. I’m the audience for these things. I tend to enjoy them when others don’t.
Call My by Your Name
A romance between a seventeen year-old boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera.
Luca Guadagnino directs this, and after A Bigger Splash, we should all be interested in this.
Timothee Chalamet is the kid, Armie Hammer is the guest and Michael Stuhlbarg is the kid’s father. I’m down.
James Ivory is credited as a writer. My guess is he tried to do this years ago and Guadagnino jumped in and rewrote his script.
3.5 stars. Hope I can get four out of this. Sounds good.
A post-apocalyptic thriller and an emotional story of a father trying to save his child at all costs.
Based on a short film. Which usually means there’s something of interest in here they’re expanding upon. Martin Freeman stars.
Oh, wait… more of a story:
In a desperate bid to outrun a violent pandemic, Andy and Kay have holed up on a houseboat with their one-year-old daughter, Rosie. Their protected river existence is shattered by a violent attack, which sees Kay tragically die and Andy infected. Left with only 48 hours before he transforms into one of the creatures they have fought so long to evade, Andy sets out on a precarious journey to find a new guardian for his child. A flourishing Aboriginal tribe are Rosie’s best chance of survival – but with their merciless attitude toward the afflicted, they also pose a grave threat. A young Indigenous girl becomes Andy’s only chance of safe passage into this sacred community. But unfortunately the girl has no desire to return to her people – she is on a quest to cure her own infected father by returning his stolen soul. Each in their own way is seeking salvation… but they will need to work together if they hope to achieve it.
Okay, sounds interesting.
3 stars. Hope for more, but let’s stick with that for now.
Thieves attempt a massive heist against the U.S. Treasury as a Category 5 hurricane approaches one of its Mint facilities.
Oh my god. This sounds AMAZING. Rob Cohen directs too. This should be pretty batshit. Can’t wait.
Remember Snake Eyes? What an underrated movie. Brian DePalma, and a noir mystery that takes place over like six hours as a hurricane is coming in. I love that movie.
Ted Kennedy’s life and political career become derailed in the aftermath of a fatal car accident in 1969 that claims the life of a young campaign strategist, Mary Jo Kopechne.
I saw the title and said, “Are they going there?” And they are. They’re going there.
John Curran is directing. The Painted Veil was decent, Stone was decent, and I liked Tracks. So sure. That’s a solid track record.
Jason Clarke plays Kennedy, Kate Mara plays Kopechne. That’s all I need.
15 minutes of fame destroys the life of a man who works as a clapper in television.
Written and directed by Dito Montiel. Which says everything I need to know.
He’s pretty much exclusively a 3 stars guy.
A Korean-born man finds himself stuck in Columbus, Indiana, where his architect father is in a coma. The man meets a young woman who wants to stay in Columbus with her mother, a recovering addict, instead of pursuing her own dreams.
Evangelist Carlton Pearson is ostracized by his church for preaching that there is no Hell.
The writer did All Good Things, the Robert Durst (inspired) movie. The director did Maria Full of Grace and Complete Unknown. The real question is who’s gonna play Pearson.
Oh, it’s Chiwetel Ejiofor. Okay, I’m in.
When political turmoil forces a British-Caribbean dictator to flee his island nation, he seeks refuge and hides with a rebellious teenage girl in suburban America, and ends up teaching the young teen how to start a revolution and overthrow the “mean girls” in her high school.
Okay, that’s actually kind of interesting.
Michael Caine plays the dictator, and I’m in from that alone.
When Colin Warner was wrongfully convicted of murder, his best friend Carl King devoted his life to proving his innocence.
Sundance movie. 3 stars.
What’s of interest to me is that Nnamdi Asomugha is King. He’s a cornerback who was the best cornerback in football about seven years ago. That’s impressive if he manages to actually become a legitimate actor after that.
The Current War
Electricity titans Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse compete to create a sustainable system and market it to the American people.
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon directs this. He did Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, my favorite film of 2015. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Edison and Michael Shannon plays Westinghouse. Nicholas Hoult plays Tesla. Katherine Waterston and Tom Holland are also in this.
I’m so fucking in all around.
Might be overdoing it, but I don’t care.
In 2008, rookie journalist Jay Bahadur forms a half-baked plan to embed himself among the pirates of Somalia. He ultimately succeeds in providing the first close-up look into who these men are, how they live, and the forces that drive them.
They cast Barkhad Abdi as a Somali pirate again.
Quicksilver plays the journalist and Al Pacino is in this too. The director did The Bronze. Which… maybe that’s why it didn’t quite work as a comedy?
3 stars. Interesting, but I can’t see where it’ll be good from this.
A businessman travels West to join his fiancée in the mountains.
This is by the director of Kumiko the Treasure Hunter.
I’m in automatically.
Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska star.
Not gonna figure 4 like Kumiko, but I’ll figure solid.
Dave Made a Maze
Dave, an artist who has yet to complete anything significant in his career, builds a fort in his living room out of pure frustration, only to wind up trapped by the fantastical pitfalls, booby traps, and critters of his own creation.
I saw a trailer for this and said, “Oh yeah, this is going on.”
Here’s a more detailed synopsis, if you need to be sold more:
‘Dave Made A Maze’ re-imagines classic 80’s adventure films with a modern comedic edge and a higher body count. Dave, an artist who has yet to complete anything significant in his career, builds a fort in his living room out of pure frustration, only to wind up trapped by the fantastical pitfalls, booby traps, and critters of his own creation. Ignoring his warnings, Dave’s girlfriend Annie leads a band of oddball explorers on a rescue mission. The handmade fantasy world comes to life with puppetry, stop-motion animation, and in-camera optical illusions, re-igniting the tactile sense of wonder from the movies of our childhoods.
That last sentence is the one that should get you.
3.5 stars. So fucking excited for this.
In the wake of his older brother’s death, 13-year-old Dayveon spends the sweltering summer days roaming his rural Arkansas town. When he falls in with a local gang, he becomes drawn to the camaraderie and violence of their world.
Sundance movie. 3 stars.
I’m inherently leery about movies with this subject matter, but you never know.
The Death and Life of John F. Donovan
An American movie star finds his correspondence with an 11-year-old actor exposed, prompting assumptions that begin to destroy his life and career.
Xavier Dolan’s first American movie. People are lining up to work with him.
Jessica Chastain, Natalie Portman, Kit Harington, bella THorne, Thandie Newton, Sarah Gadon, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Michael Gambon.
I mean — look at that.
It could suck, but I have to give that cast the benefit of the doubt. 3.5 stars.
A student who discovers a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill anyone begins a crusade against evil in order to rule the world as a benevolent human god. Then a deadly game of cat and mouse begins when a reclusive detective begins to track down the young man, attempting to end his reign of terror once and for all.
Netflix. Adam Wingard.
Adam Wingard lost a lot of points from me after that Blair Witch mess. I have no idea why he would do that.
I don’t know the material this is based on, but I do know people really like it.
I have no real feeling one way or the other on it.
Netflix, Wingard, and a lack of a cast I really care about leads me to believe I’ll just be okay with it.
The Death of Stalin
Follows the Soviet dictator’s last days and depicts the chaos of the regime after his death.
Armando Iannucci wrote and directs this. He’s the guy who did In the Loop and created Veep. So… that’s very promising.
3.5 stars on principle. I hope this is great.
Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, Andrea Riseborough, Rupert Friend, Olga Kurylenko, Jason Isaacs, Paddy Considine.
I’m really in on this. I want this to be great.
A mild-mannered father is transformed into a killing machine after his family is torn apart by a violent act.
Eli Roth is directing this. Not my favorite director. He hasn’t directed anything I’ve liked to this point in time.
But Bruce Willis is starring. So there’s that. Right?
A love story set one year after the existence of the afterlife is scientifically verified.
This is dated for March 31st on Netflix.
Charlie McDowell made The One I Love, which was really solid.
This stars Robert Redford, Rooney Mara, Jason Segel, Riley Keough, Jesse Plemons.
Not sure what to make of the trailer, but the people involved are interesting.
3.5 stars. Hope it’s great.
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot
About John Callahan who became a paralyzed after a car accident at age 21, and turned to drawing as a form of therapy.
Gus Van Sant is directing. Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara and Jonah Hill star.
Hasn’t shot yet, but I’m intrigued.
I’ve been burned by these films before, but Gus is writing, and Joaquin typically picks good stuff.
Two drunk parents attempt to hide their ever increasing financial difficulties from their daughter and social circle through elaborate neighborhood schemes.
Alec Baldwin and Salma Hayek.
I mean… 2.5 stars? I can’t assume good, but it’s those two, and the title is funny. But this has to be generic, borderline awful comedy, right?
Four hijackers take over an airplane, take the passengers hostage, and force it to land in Entebbe, Uganda in 1976 in an effort to free of dozens of Palestinian terrorists jailed in Israel.
The director made Elite Squad and RoboCop. The story is an interesting one.
Rosamund Pike and Daniel Bruhl star.
3 stars. Not sure what to make of it except a straight 3 stars.
A journalist strikes up a romantic relationship with notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar.
Javier Bardem is Escobar and Penelope Cruz is the reporter.
This seems like a project for them to act together.
The director did A Perfect Day, which I enjoyed.
Can’t see a whole lot coming out of this.
Sisters in conflict travelling through Europe toward a mystery destination.
Stars Alicia Vikander and Eva Green.
That’s all I need, really.
The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir
The story of Ajatashatru Oghash Rathod, a fakir who tricks his local village in Rajasthan, India into believing his possesses special powers and into paying him to fly to Paris to buy a bed of nails from an IKEA store.
Hasn’t shot yet, but shit.
The director did Delivery Man and Unfinished Business, which were both tonally all over the place.
So 3 stars. If this even gets made.
The story of Mark Felt, who under the name “Deep Throat” helped journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the Watergate scandal in 1974.
Written and directed by the guy who did Parkland and Concussion.
I already can tell now that my Five Word review of this is gonna be “Liam Neeson ‘Tells the Truth’.”
Liam Neeson plays Felt. Diane Lane plays his wife, Maika Monroe plays his daughter. Rest of the cast is solid all around. Lotta character actors.
Landesman has made two worthwhile movies so far, can’t imagine this will be different.
Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
A romance sparks between a young actor and a Hollywood leading lady.
Annette Bening plays Gloria Grahame, so this is supposed to be based on real events. Vanessa Redgrave and Julie Walters are in this. Stephen Graham, Jamie Bell. Okay, then.
Paul McGuigan directs. I liked Lucky Number Slevin, Push was okay, Victor Frankenstein was not.
3 stars. Let’s split the difference.
The story of Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti.
Stanley Tucci wrote and directed this.
Some scores will never be settled.
Dave Bautista and Pierce Brosnan.
Oh, got it. Generic action movie.
At a major sporting event, during which the stadium is seized by a group of heavily armed criminals demanding ransom, an ex-soldier must use all his military skills to save the 35,000 capacity crowd, one of which is the daughter of his fallen comrade.
That’s more like it. So it’s World Cup Has Fallen? Sure.
Finding Steve McQueen
Based on the true story of the biggest bank heist in US history. In 1972, a gang of close-knit thieves from Youngstown, Ohio attempt to steal $30 million in illegal contributions and blackmail money from President Richard Nixon’s secret fund.
The director has made Simon Birch, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, When in Rome and Killing Season.
William Fichtner and Forest Whitaker are in this.
I mean, I’m interested in the story, so 3 stars. Otherwise, no clue.
The life story of silent film star Mary Pickford, who co-founded the movie studio United Artists in 1919. Based on Eileen Whitfield’s biography, “Pickford: The Woman Who Made Hollywood.”
Whoa, really? Okay.
Female writer and director. The star was in Nymphomaniac and Philomena. And The Danish Girl, apparently. Still can’t really place her. But the story is interesting, so I’m in.
A police chief who tries to solve a kidnapping that involves a bank robber holding a young boy hostage.
Bruce Willis paycheck movie!
The guy made Marauders, which was fine in a B movie way and Arsenal, which is the movie that just came out where Nicolas Cage is doing his Deadfall character again.
2.5 stars. Not sure why I’m not going 3 here, but something tells me not to go 3.
The Florida Project
The story of a precocious 6-year-old girl and her friends whose summer break is filled with adventure while their parents and the adults around them struggle with hard times.
I know what that sounds like, but it’s being directed and written by Sean Baker, who did Tangerine. So you gotta give him the benefit of the doubt on that.
A sexually curious teen forms an unorthodox kinship with her mentally unstable step-brother.
Henry Winkler’s son is directing this.
After the end of Apartheid, Archbishop Desmond Tutu meets with a brutal murderer seeking redemption.
Forest Whitaker plays Tutu, in case there was any doubt there.
Roland Joffé directs.
A young drifter ages out of foster care at 18 and discovers the perils and temptations of a life apart. An unlikely friend must help our hero return to the right road.
The director did The Better Angels, which I never saw. He was the editor on two of Terrence Malick’s recent movies.
Tye Sheridan, Imogen Poots and Jeffrey Wright star.
Good enough for me.
Fun Mom Dinner
Four moms whose only common ground is their kids’ preschool class, decide to get together for a harmless “fun mom dinner.”
Yes, this should worry you as much as it worries me.
Paul Rudd’s wife wrote this. Female director. Decent cast. Not the people you’d expect.
I think this will be okay, but indie.
A Futile and Stupid Gesture
In the 1970s and ’80s, National Lampoon’s success and influence creates a new media empire overseen in part by the brilliant and troubled Doug Kenney.
Netflix is putting this out. David Wain directed.
A young boy searches a future world wasteland for a rumored cure for his dying mother.
James Franco co-directed this, so pretty much everything else is irrelevant to me.
Though Milla Jovovich, Lucy Liu, Snoop Dogg and Method Man are in this. Based on that insanity alone, 3 stars. But I’ve also not seen a Franco-directed movie really come out at all over the past few years and I may have not seen any of these ever. I’ve tracked about five of them, but none of them have ever come out. It’s like it’s a giant gag and these movies don’t really exist.
Game Over, Man!
It’s by the Workaholics team, and is described as “Die Hard in a hotel.” That could just be a joke, but that’s all we got.
Stars Lola Kirke, Zoe Kravitz and John Cho. They’re strenuously kept any details of plot from coming out, so I have nothing to go on with this.
While trying to spice up their marriage in their remote lake house, Jessie must fight to survive when her husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her handcuffed to their bed frame.
I know people like the book, but I also hear that this story is unadaptable.
3 stars. No idea what to make of this. Let’s wait and see.
A Ghost Story
This is the story of a ghost and the house he haunts.
David Lowery wrote and directed this. Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck star. I liked Ain’t Them Bodies Saints quite a bit.
4 stars. I think this could be really good.
In a city where greeting card writers are celebrated like movie stars, Romance writer Ray used to be the king. In trying to recapture the feelings that once made him the greatest, he gets entangled in a web of murder and deceit as writers vie to create the perfect card for a new holiday: Girlfriend’s Day.
Netflix. Dated for Valentine’s Day.
The trailer looks interesting.
3.5 stars. Could only be 3, but I liked that trailer.
The Glass Castle
A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother who’s an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who would stir the children’s imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.
Starring Brie Larson and directed by the guy who did Short Term 12.
Also stars Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts.
A spin-off of The Big Lebowski centered on the notable bowler, Jesus Quintana.
Oh, thats right. This is happening.
Turturro wrote and directs this.
Stars Susan Sarandon, Bobby Cannavale, Audrey Tautou and J.B. Smoove.
No fucking clue what to make of this, but I’m in.
3.5 stars, just because we need to actively be disappointed if this isn’t that.
An intersectional narrative of two families in Brooklyn and the unraveling of unspoken unhappiness that occurs when a young foreign girl spending time abroad upsets the balance on both sides.
Directed by Alex Ross Perry, who made a bunch of movies people really like. I haven’t seen any of them, but this might be my entry into his stuff.
A bank robber finds himself unable to evade those who are looking for him.
Stars Robert Pattinson, Barkhad Abdi and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Could be fun?
Eli and Daniel, two Korean American brothers, own a struggling shoe store and have an unlikely friendship with Kamilla, a street wise 11 year old African American girl. Kamilla ditches school, Eli stresses about the store, and Daniel tries to have a good time. It’s just another typical day at the store until the Rodney King verdict is read and riots break. With the chaos moving towards them, the trio is forced to defend the store while contemplating the future of their own personal dreams and the true meaning of family.
Halo of Stars
Set against the backdrop of a small traveling circus, the pic centers on a European clown and his 5-year-old daughter as they lead each other through the everyday mysteries of love, magic and loss.
Okay. That’s more interesting than I was expecting.
A Columbo-style mystery comedy film. Homicide detective Gene Handsome tries to make sense of his life and solve crime. He’s very good at one of those.
I’m in on this synopsis alone.
Jeff Garlin directed this and co-wrote it. I liked his other stuff.
A homicide detective teams up with a criminal profiler to catch a serial killer whose crimes are inspired by the children’s game Hangman.
Al Pacino paycheck movie this time.
These tend to be worse than other actors’ paycheck movies.
A drama about a family set in Calais with the European refugee crisis as the backdrop.
Michael Haneke movie.
3.5 stars automatic. Let’s wait and see from there.
The Happy Prince
The untold story of the last days in the tragic times of Oscar Wilde, a person who observes his own failure with ironic distance and regards the difficulties that beset his life with detachment and humor.
Rupert Everett wrote, directed and stars as Oscar Wilde. That’s… concerning. But Colin Firth, Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson and Miranda Richardson are in this. So that could be good. Or it could be his friends doing him a favor. We’ll see.
An ailing movie star comes to terms with his past and mortality.
Sam Elliott stars. That’s all I needed.
The director did I’ll See You in My Dreams, so I’m expecting more of the same.
The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards
Based on short stories from Robert Boswell’s collection, seven vignettes explore the difference between fantasy and reality, memory and history, and the joy and agony of the human condition.
There’s like seven directors on this and a lot of people you know. Not even gonna go down the cast. It’s a lot of famous people.
3 stars. Ensemble, multi-director movies tend to be watchable.
Life for a single mom in Los Angeles takes an unexpected turn when she allows three young guys to move in with her.
Written and directed by a woman. Cool.
Nancy Meyers’ daughter. Could be good.
Starring Reese Witherspoon. Could be real bad.
But it’s listed as a drama. So let’s give it the benefit of the doubt.
A team of CIA agents and special forces head into Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks in an attempt to dismantle the Taliban.
Chris Hemsworth, Trevante Rhodes, Michael Pena and Michael Shannon star.
That’s all I need.
In 1892, a legendary Army captain reluctantly agrees to escort a Cheyenne chief and his family through dangerous territory.
Scott Cooper’s next movie.
4 stars. Scott Cooper’s earned 4 star guesses out of me.
Now let’s see who’s actually in it.
Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, Ben Foster, Jesse Plemons, Stephen Lang, Adam Beach, Q’orianka Kilcher, Peter Mullan.
Yeah, that’s all I needed.
Bring it on.
Starring Dev Patel.
Oh, wait, no shit? He’s actually in this? I was just joking, based on how he’s always in movies about India and especially movies about hotels in India.
Fuck, man. What does that say that I was joking and ended up being right?
Hotel Mumbai tells the astonishing true story of the victims and survivors of the devastating attacks on Mumbai in 2008. A story which fearlessly tackles the defining global issues of our time. A story about ordinary people. Real people. People of all races, all colors, all creeds, binding together in a grueling fight for survival. A story that celebrates humanity’s highest ideals – compassion, courage, resilience and an unwavering desire to live.
So, Rwanda in India?
3 stars. Hopeful for 3.5, but no basis for it to be anything but 3 at the moment.
The House of Tomorrow
The film tells futurist, architect, and inventor R. Buckminster Fuller’s incredible story through two teens hoping to get laid, become punk gods, and survive high school.
The Humanity Bureau
In a dystopian future where the American government has enacted a secret operation to cremate those deemed expendable, an agent goes rogue and attempts to escape to Canada along with a woman and her young son.
Starring Nicolas Cage.
An assassin helps a young woman avenge the death of her family.
I feel like I may have tracked this last year. I don’t even remember.
I’m sure it’ll be generic/watchable.
I Kill Giants
Barbara Thorson struggles through life by escaping into a fantasy life of magic and monsters.
Directed by the guy who did Helium, the short that won the Oscar. Imogen Poots and Zoe Saldana star.
Good enough for me.
I’m Not Here
A man struggles with the tragic memories of his past to make sense of his present, but soon realizes that maybe time isn’t the enemy he thinks it is.
Written and directed by a woman. Stars J.K. Simmons, Sebastian Stan, Maika Monroe, Mandy Moore, Max Greenfield, David Koechner.
A mother looks to escape her abusive past by moving to a new town where she befriends another mother, who grows suspicious of her.
Starring Nicolas Cage.
Well, I guess not starring, since he’s playing neither of the two women. (I’m assuming. All bets are off with him.)
The Incredible Jessica James
An aspiring playwright in New York strikes up a friendship with a guy while on the rebound from a break-up.
The writer did Grace Is Gone and People Places Things, which were both solid.
Maybe this gets him to a solid 3.5, but let’s play the odds on this one.
One of my rules is never buy into Sundance hype.
A blind musician hears a murder committed in the apartment upstairs from hers that sends her down a dark path into London’s gritty criminal underworld.
Natalie Dormer co-wrote this and stars. That’s cool.
Ingrid Goes West
Ingrid Thorburn (Plaza), a mentally disturbed young woman, becomes obsessed with Taylor Sloane (Olsen), a social media star who appears to have the perfect life. But when Ingrid decides to drop everything and move west to befriend Taylor, her behavior turns unsettling and increasingly dangerous.
Sundance movies are so easy to predict, 85% of the time.
An attorney for a big L.A. law firm discovers some unfavorable things about his late partner and decides to right his wrongs.
Dan Gilroy, who did Nightcrawler, writes and directs. Denzel stars. They’ve been trying to get this off the ground for years. Still hasn’t shot. Allegedly gonna start shooting in the spring, which makes for a theoretically makable release this year.
I trust Gilroy after Nightcrawler.
Sam, a teenage girl, is one of the last people on a post-cataclysmic Earth. With the final shuttle scheduled to leave the planet, she must decide whether to journey to the launch point and join the rest of humanity, or remain on Earth, a castaway in the only home she has ever known.
Margaret Qualley, Anthony Mackie, Danny Huston. I like them.
The story follows a filmmaker whose life is sent into a tailspin by the return of a former lover just as he is about to embark on the shoot of a new film.
Stars Marion Cotillard, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Mathiew Amalric.
Oh, it’s by the guy who did My Golden Days. That’s cool.
There’s a bit of a supernatural element to this, I’m seeing. That could make it fun.
A coming of age story about Charlie Bucktin, a bookish boy of 14. On the night that Jasper Jones, the town’s mixed race outcast shows him the dead body of young Laura Wishart, Charlie’s life is changed forever. Entrusted with this secret and believing Jasper to be innocent, Charlie embarks on a dangerous journey to find the true killer. Set over the scorching summer holidays of 1965, Charlie defeats the local racists, faces the breakup of his parents and falls head over heels in love as he discovers what it means to be truly courageous.
Australian. Hugo Weaving, Toni Collette. Okay.
RC Sherriff’s Journey’s End is the seminal British play about WW1. Set in a dugout in Aisne in 1918, it is the story of a group of British officers, led by the mentally disintegrating young officer Stanhope, variously awaiting their fate.
Oh man, this is a remake of the 30s film. All right, all right.
Journey to China: The Mystery of Iron Mask
The English traveler Jonathan Green receives from Peter the Great an order to map the Russian Far East. Once again he sets out for a long journey full of incredible adventures that will eventually lead him to China. The cartographer will unexpectedly face a lot of breathtaking discoveries, encounter bizarre creatures, meet with Chinese princesses, and confront deadly martial arts masters and even the king of all dragons – the Dragon King. What could be more dangerous than meeting eye to eye with Viy, except doing it again? What would be stronger this time – a staunch skepticism of the scientist or the old black magic that has seized power of Eastern lands?
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan are both in this. Jason Flemyng is the star.
I’m mostly interested in what kind of panda-ing is gonna go on here.
A group of friends trek into the Bolivian jungle with a fraudulent guide.
The director of The Belko Experiment is doing this.
Daniel Radcliffe stars as well.
Inspired by the Flannan Isle mystery. A small relief boat approaches the Isle, a tiny isolated island no bigger than a football pitch, 20 miles off a rugged coast. Its aim is to routinely replace the three lighthouse keepers, after six weeks alone manning the light. It nears the dock and none of the men greet them. The winch is broken. A call. Nothing. Experienced keepers Thomas, James and Donald have vanished. The lamps are clean and refilled; the table is laid for dinner. There is an upturned chair. Two sets of yellow oilskins are missing…The men were never found.
A family become imprisoned in their home by intruders, who force them to play a life-and-death game, where the mysterious rules become clear as the night unfolds.
This is weird thing where the whole thing is being broadcast to people, so no one knows who’s in on it, etc. I’m sure I’ll be bored.
The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara
The Kidnapping Of Edgardo Mortara recounts the story of a young Jewish boy in Bologna, Italy in 1858 who, having been secretly baptized, is forcibly taken from his family to be raised as a Christian. His parents’ struggle to free their son becomes part of a larger political battle that pits the Papacy against forces of democracy and Italian unification.
Spielberg directing Mark Rylance and Oscar Isaac. Hasn’t shot yet, but Spielberg is really good at filming something and having it out by the end of the year. Not ruling anything out with him.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer
A teenager’s attempts to bring a brilliant surgeon into his dysfunctional family takes an unexpected turn.
Yorgos Lanthimos directs, and that’s all I need.
Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman star.
Set during the final days of the admired photo development system known as Kodachrome, a father and son hit the road in order to reach the Kansas photo lab before it closes its doors for good.
Ed Harris, Jason Sudeikis, Elizabeth Olsen, Bruce Greenwood, Dennis Haysbert.
A young man living a sheltered life develops a crush on a stripper and joins her Alcoholics Anonymous group just so he can be in the same room with her.
William H. Macy directs. Rosario Dawson plays the stripper. John Leguizamo, William Fichtner and Kathy Bates co-star.
3 stars. I like Macy, but I don’t know how good this is gonna be. Let’s find out.
The murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious BIG spark an investigation.
Johnny Depp is starring in this, which is just amazing.
The director made The Lincoln Lawyer, which was decent, Runner Runner, which was not, and The Infiltrator, which I really liked.
3 stars. I just can’t imagine this can be good. I hope it is, but I can’t assume it will be.
The adventures of a young woman living in Northern California for a year.
Greta Gerwig wrote and directs this. Saoirse Ronan stars.
Good enough for me.
In 1995, a teenager living with her sister and parents in Manhattan discovers that her father is having an affair.
Gillian Robespierre, who did Obvious Child, and Jenny Slate, who starred in Obvious Child. I’m in.
It’s Sundance, but Sundance movies can hit 3.5. I assume 3 naturally, but at least there’s precedent here.
Last Flag Flying
Richard Linklater directs Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, Laurence Fishburne.
This, by the way, is a sequel to The Last Detail.
So we’re aiming big.
I trust Linklater, so 4 stars.
Lean on Pete
A young boy embarks on a perilous journey in search of his long-lost aunt and a possible home, his only companion the stolen racehorse Lean on Pete.
The director of 45 Years did this. I like movies starring kids. Also stars Steve Buscemi, Chloe Sevigny, Zteve Zahn, Thomas Mann and Amy Seimetz.
3.5 stars. Maybe I’m aiming high, but fuck it.
The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter
Jaden, a cool and confident sixth-grade boy, is supposed to be bonding with his father on a hunting trip, but Jaden wants to do anything but!
Jody Hill writes and directs. People love Eastbound & Down, and I really loved Observe and Report. So I’m in for whatever this wants to be.
A man watches his life unravel after he is left by his blind girlfriend.
Sundance movie, though, so 3 stars.
The Life and Death of John Gotti
The story of crime boss John Gotti and his son.
The joke is that after over a decade, this movie is actually in the can.
I doubt this comes out this year. They’ll wait and then dump it on VOD in 2018. That’s what this feels like.
After years of potentially big directors working on this, we ended up with Kevin Connolly. But goddamnit if John Travolta didn’t stay attached all throughout.
3 stars. I doubt it’ll be good, but I’m fascinated that they actually went through with this.
Gary who has just married Samantha the woman of his dreams, discovers that her six-year-old son may be the Antichrist.
Don’t you hate it when that happens?
The Little Hours
A young servant fleeing from his master takes refuge at a convent full of emotionally unstable nuns in the middle ages.
Jeff Baena writes and directs. Life After Beth was decent. I liked Joshy a little bit.
3 stars. This should almost exclusively be 3 stars.
The Little Mermaid
A young reporter and his niece discover a beautiful and enchanting creature they believe to be the real mermaid.
Yup. This happened. This isn’t Disney, since anyone can make this movie.
2.5 stars. Mostly out of morbid fascination.
Major props if they go with the original ending and she turns into foam.
Abandoned by her friends and family and with her career in jeopardy, starlet Markey Marlowe is sequestered in a duplex with a reclusive landlord who just may be more dangerous than she is.
A young woman goes on a notorious ax-murdering rampage in Massachusetts at the turn of the century.
Yes, this is Lizzie Borden. Starring Chloe Sevigny. And Kristen Stewart.
Two brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina.
Steven Soderbergh is back, baby!
Starring Daniel Craig, Adam Driver, Katherine Waterston, Sebastian Stan, Channing Tatum, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Seth Macfarlane, Hilary Swank.
Trust the Soderbergh.
The Long Home
A young contractor is hired to build a honky-tonk in Tennessee by the man who killed his father.
What the fuck?
This sounds insane.
James Franco directed this and stars. I’m following it just for that insane synopsis.
Debra Winger and Tracy Letts play a long-married, dispassionate couple who are both in the midst of serious affairs. But on the brink of calling it quits, a spark between them suddenly reignites, leading them into an impulsive romance.
Debra Winger and Tracy Letts star. That’s enough for me to be excited about it.
They’re releasing this in May.
3 stars. Hope it’s more than that.
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