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The 2018 Film Release Calendar: Films Without Release Dates (A-L)

It’s January, which means it’s preview time up here at B+ Movie Blog.

I don’t really peruse other places, but if I were to guess, I would say I’m the only person that goes this deep on their preview coverage for a year. I go month to month based on what’s scheduled to come out, preview like 200 extra movies that you probably have never even heard about as of now, and then bring back all the stuff from last year and previous years that I’ve been tracking that hasn’t come out yet. I’m not the kind of person who just goes, “Oh my god, Avengers! Wrinkle in Time! (Insert other movies the studios are paying us to talk up to fit the narrative to get us more clicks)!” If you ever see a slideshow from me, then you know I’ve given up.

The reason I do this is purely for me, though I imagine anyone stumbling on this will get something out of it to. What I try to do is preview everything so I’m aware of it when it comes out, and, to make it interesting for myself, try to guess what I’m gonna think of it when I do see it. That way, I can see what films surprised me or disappointed me from every angle (before, during and after).

Today we’re going over the films that don’t yet have release dates.

#211

Bank heist movie in the vein of “End of Watch” meets “Black Hawk Down”.

Starring Nicolas Cage.

Of course it was gonna be Nicolas Cage. What a great way to start this list. He just doesn’t give a fuck anymore, does he?

Yet another straight to VOD masterpiece of his, I’m sure.

3 stars. I’m worried I need to lower my blanket Cage rating to 2.5, but let’s see if we can get the ‘cable watch 3’ out of this.

Adam

Adam, an awkward teen, spends a summer with his older sister, who is part of New York City’s lesbian and trans activist scene. He meets the girl of his dreams but can’t figure out how to tell her he’s not the trans man she thinks he is.

This could be offensive.

Margaret Qualley is in this.

2.5 stars.

Adrift

A young woman sails into the eye of a hurricane to save the man she loves.

Directed by the guy who did Everest and stars Shailene Woodley.

Sure.

3 stars.

They just dated this for June 1st.

All About Nina

Nina Geld (Winstead) is a bracingly funny and blisteringly provocative stand-up comedian whose career is taking off, but whose personal life is a near-complete disaster. To escape a difficult ex and to prepare for a prospectively life-changing audition, Nina flees to Los Angeles where she meets Rafe (Common), who challenges almost every preconception she has — including those around her own deeply troubled past.

Written and directed by a woman. Stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead. I love her.

3.5 stars. Why not?

American Animals

Four young men mistake their lives for a movie and attempt one of the most audacious heists in U.S. history.

Sounds fun. 3 stars.

American Dresser

When a recent widower consumed with regret seeks absolution in riding his motorcycle cross-country to confront the mistakes of his past, he unexpectedly discovers that life is about moving forward, one mile at a time.

This is a movie that will never come out, but I’m tracking it because of the cast. Here’s who’s in it: Tom Berenger, Bruce Dern, Keith David, Gina Gershon and Penelope Ann Miller.

Good enough for me to look for it.

2.5 stars.

Ana

Ana meets Rafa in a chance encounter and they embark on a road trip to try and save him from bankruptcy, or worse.

Stars Dafne Keen and Andy Garcia. Interesting enough pairing. I’ll see it.

3 stars.

Andorra

Alexander Fox leaves the US to start a new life in the tiny nation of Andorra. Quickly drawn to a tall Australian blonde and the heartbroken daughter of the town matriarch, he finds himself the prime suspect in a murder investigation.

Stars Guy Pearce, Gillian Anderson, Essie Davis, Tony Collette, Clive Owen, Vanessa Redgrave and Joanna Lumley. Directed by Fred Schepisi, who previous directed A Cry in the Dark and Six Degrees of Separation. So sure.

3 stars.

The Angel

True story of Ashraf Marwan, who was President Nasser’s son-in-law and special adviser and confidant to his successor Anwar Sadat – while simultaneously Israeli Intelligence’s most precious asset of the 20th century.

Sounds cool. Directed by Ariel Vroman, who did The Iceman, which I saw and was fine, and Criminal, which was also fine.

So 3 stars. This guy makes 3 star movies.

Angel Has Fallen

After saving the president in the first two pics, secret service agent Banning himself becomes the target of terrorists, this time while mid-flight on Air Force One.

So it’s literally Air Force One, but with Gerard Butler stabbing people in the face.

They haven’t shot this yet, but will soon. I’m sure this will not come out until early 2019, but let’s get it tracked now to make it easier.

Ric Roman Waugh directs. He did Shot Caller, which I quiet liked.

Morgan Freeman is back. Apparently Jada Pinkett Smith is in this too. Sure.

3 stars. This entire franchise is 3 stars. No reason to think otherwise for this one. What is it gonna be, the Logan of the franchise? You know what you’re getting.

Anna

There’s no synopsis. Just says ‘will focus on an action heroine’. Why do I get the feeling that this is Luc Besson doing a Lucy shared universe?

This stars Sasha Luss, a model who I’m sure is sleeping with Luc Besson. She had a small part in Valerian and hasn’t acted before. Also in it are Cillian Murphy, Like Evans and Helen Mirren.

It’s Besson, so 3 stars. Maybe we get 3.5, but let’s hedge our bets. I’ve got almost nothing to work on.

Anna and the Apocalypse

A zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven during the Christmas holidays, forcing Anna and her friends to fight, sing and slash their way to survival with a fast-spreading undead horde in relentless pursuit.

It’s an original musical about the zombie apocalypse. I’m so in.

3.5 stars. This looks fun as shit. Bring it the fuck on.

Apostle

A man attempts to rescue his sister who’s been kidnapped by religious cult.

Written and directed by Gareth Evans, who did the Raid movies. Stars Dan Stevens, Michael Sheen and Lucy Boynton.

I’m in.

3.5 stars.

Arctic Justice

Swifty the Arctic fox works in the mail room of the Arctic Blast Delivery Service but dreams of one day becoming a Top Dog (the Arctic’s star husky couriers). To prove himself worthy of the Top Dog role, Swifty secretly commandeers one of the sleds and delivers a package to a mysterious location. He stumbles upon a secret fortress where he comes face to face with Otto Von Walrus, a blubbery evil genius who walks around on mechanical legs and commands a loyal army of oddly polite puffin henchmen. Swifty soon discovers Von Walrus’ plan to melt the polar ice caps and flood the world in order to reign supreme. Now, Swifty has to enlist the help of his friends: PB, a concerned polar bear, Lemmy, a scatterbrained albatross, Bertha and Leopold, two conspiracy theorist otters and Jade, a worldly fox. This ragtag group of Arctic misfits has to band together to stop Von Walrus’ sinister plans and save the day.

Sounds like a terrible animated movie, right? I know. But listen to who’s in it: Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin, James Franco, Michael Madsen, Anjelica Huston, John Cleese and… Heidi Klum.

What the fuck? Why does this have a cast? This is by the guy who directed this did Spark: A Space Tail, which was a piece of shit.

2 stars.

What is this?

Arizona

Set in the midst of the 2009 housing crisis, this darkly comedic story follows Cassie Fowler, a single mom and struggling realtor whose life goes off the rails when she witnesses a murder.

Stars Rosemarie DeWitt, Danny McBride, Luke Wilson and David Alan Grier. Sure. 

3 stars.

The Art of Self-Defense

Written and directed by Riley Stearns, who did Faults, which I liked a lot.

Stars Jesse Eisenberg, Imogen Poots and Alessandro Nivola.

Ashes in the Snow

In 1941, an aspiring artist and her family are deported to Siberia amidst Stalin’s brutal dismantling of the Baltic region. In a seemingly hopeless place, love is the only means of survival.

Stars Bel Powley, which is the reason I’m interested in this. I really wanna see how her career progresses.

Also written by the guy who did Like Crazy, Breathe In, and Newness. (Which are all Drake Doremus movies, strangely.)

3 stars.

Assassination Nation

This is a thousand percent a true story about how the quiet, all-American town of Salem, absolutely lost its mind.

This sounds batshit crazy.

3 stars.

Backseat

The story of Dick Cheney, the most powerful Vice President in history, and how his policies changed the world as we know it.

This is Adam McKay’s Cheney biopic, starring Christian Bale as Cheney, Sam Rockwell as W., Amy Adams as Cheney’s wife, Steve Carell as Rumsfeld, Alison Pill as Cheney’s daughter, Bill Pullman as Nelson Rockefeller, Tyler Perry as Colin Powell, and I was in an hour ago.

4.5 stars. Go big or go home.

The Big Short looms large in that rating, but it was amazing, and this is supposed to be somewhat like that. So I’m down. Hope it’s a top ten.

The Beach Bum

A rebellious stoner named Moondog lives life by his own rules.

Written and directed by Harmony Korine, his first movie after Spring Breakers. Stars Matthew McConaughey, Isla Fisher, Zac Efron, Bria Vinaite (from The Florida Project) and Snoop Dogg.

So in.

3.5 stars.

Beautiful Boy

Chronicles meth addiction and recovery through the eyes of a father who watches his son as he struggles with the disease.

Stars Steve Carell, Timothee Chalamet and Amy Ryan and directed by the guy who did The Broken Circle Breakdown.

I’m down.

3.5 stars.

Beast of Burden

Sean Haggerty only has an hour to deliver his illegal cargo. An hour to reassure a drug cartel, a hitman, and the DEA that nothing is wrong. An hour to make sure his wife survives. And he must do it all from the cockpit of his Cessna.

Starring Daniel Radcliffe.

3 stars. Automatic 3 star action movie. I don’t need anything more to know that’s what I’m getting.

Been So Long

Neon-soaked musical about unrequited love in Camden Town.

Musical. Down.

3 stars.

Behold My Heart

In the aftermath of tragedy, a woman and her teenage son must forge into uncharted territory in order to move on with their lives.

No idea what this is, but it stars Marisa Tomei, Charlie Plummer, Timothy Olyphan and Mireille Enos.

Sure.

2.5 stars.

Bel Canto

A world-renown opera singer becomes trapped in a hostage situation when she’s invited to perform for a wealthy industrialist in South America.

Directed by Paul Weitz, who did Grandma, Being Flynn, About a Boy, Down to Earth and American Pie. And a bunch of Mozart in the Jungle. Stars Julianne Moore, Christopher Lambert, Ken Watanabe and Olek Krupa. Love that guy.

3 stars. Should be solid.

Ben Is Back

Follows the charming yet troubled Ben Burns (Hedges), who returns home to his unsuspecting family one fateful Christmas Eve. Ben’s wary mother Holly Burns (Roberts) welcomes her beloved son’s return, but soon learns he is still very much in harm’s way. During the 24 hours that may change their lives forever, Holly must do everything in her power to avoid the family’s downfall.

Stars Lucas Hedges, directed by his father, and Julia Roberts.

No idea what this is, but I guess 3 stars?

Benjamin

A family calls in an intervention for Benjamin, a kid who is doing drugs. Soon, it becomes clear that those who are confronting Benjamin’s problem also have many problems of their own.

Bob Saget directed this.

3 stars. I’d rather know as little about this as possible.

Bob Saget is a director. That’s… so great.

Berlin, I Love You

The anthology feature of 10 stories of romance set in the German capital.

I’ve seen all the other ones, including Rio, which almost no one has seen, so I might as well keep going.

Directors include: Dianna Agron (yes, from Glee), Peter Chelsom (The Space Between Us), Fernando Eimbcke (Duck Season), Dennis Gansel (Mechanic: Resurrection), Josef Rusnak (The Thirteenth Floor) and Til Schweiger.

Stars: Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Jim Sturgess, Patrick Dempsey, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Mickey Rourke, Diego Luna, Charlotte Le Bon and Luke Wilson.

Sounds better than Rio, which didn’t really have the directors or the stars. So 3 stars. Should be fine. These movies are usually fine.

Best F(r)iends: Volume Two

I saw the first one, which was amazing(ly bad), in that Tommy Wiseau kinda way. Very excited for part two.

And yes, I know you guys haven’t even come close to seeing part one yet, but hey, I gotta track what I need to see and keep you aware of it.

3.5 stars.

Between Worlds

The story follows Joe, (Cage), a down-on-his-luck truck driver haunted by the memory of his deceased wife and child. He meets Julie (Potente), a spiritually gifted woman who enlists Joe in a desperate effort to find the lost soul of her comatose daughter, Billie (Mitchell). But the spirit of Joe’s dead wife Mary proves stronger, possessing the young woman’s body and determined to settle her unfinished business with the living.

CAGE MOVIE.

2.5 stars. Supernatural thriller. Not for me.

Bird Box

A woman and a pair of children are blindfolded and make their way through a post-apocalyptic setting along a river.

Susanne Bier directs this, written by Eric Heisserer and starring Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson, Rosa Salazar, Jacki Weaver, John Malkovich, Danielle Macdonald and Trevante Rhodes. Damn. That’s a cast.

3.5 stars. Gotta assume really solid with that kind of talent.

Black Klansman

Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer from Colorado, successfully managed to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan and became the head of the local chapter.

Spike Lee movie. He gets 3 stars automatic. Could be higher. Stars Adam Driver. Tempted to go 3.5 stars, but let’s wait and see what we get. Spike lately has been mostly miss with the occasional hit.

Blaze

The life of musician Blaze Foley.

Ethan Hawke wrote and directed this. Not sure I’m particularly interested, but fuck it, 3 stars. Maybe it’ll just be fine and not super pretentious like I’m worried about.

Blindspotting

A buddy comedy in a world that won’t let it be one.

No idea what this is, but it sounds like it could be interesting.

3.5 stars.

The Bombing

During World War II, five different Chinese people fight their way through Japanese Air Force attacks to protect an important military machine in Chongqing, 1940.

Bruce Willis stars (or extended cameos) in a Chinese-funded movie. He’s taking his paycheck movies international!

3 stars.

Book Club

Four lifelong friends have their lives forever changed after reading 50 Shades of Grey in their monthly book club.

Okay.

Starring Jane Fonda, Alicia Silverstone, Mary Steenburgen, Diane Keaton, Katie Aselton, Andy Garcia, Don Johnson, Wallace Shawn, Candice Bergen, Richard Dreyfuss, Craig T. Nelson and Ed Begley Jr.

Shit, I’ll see it just for them.

3 stars.

Boundaries

Laura and her son Henry are forced to drive her estranged, pot-dealing, carefree father Jack across country after being kicked out of a nursing home.

Stars Vera Farmiga, Bobby Cannavale, Christopher Plummer, Christopher Lloyd and Kristen Schaal.

Sounds fun.

3 stars.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

A boy in Malawi helps his village by building a wind turbine after reading about them in a library book.

Directed by, co-written by and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor.

3.5 stars. I hope this is great.

The Catcher Was a Spy

A major league baseball player, Moe Berg, lives a double life working for the Office of Strategic Services.

I love the idea of this story. I remember hearing about the book this was based on. I hope they knock this out of the park.

Robert Rodat wrote the screenplay. He wrote Saving Private Ryan and The Patriot. The director is Ben Lewin, who did The Sessions, which was really solid.

Stars Paul Rudd as Moe Berg, as well as Mark Strong, Connie Nielsen, Sienna Miller, Guy Pearce, Paul Giamatti, Jeff daniels, Shea Whigham, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tom Wilkinson and Giancarlo Giannini.

Reviews out of Sundance are mixed. I’m thinking they could still tweak it, and all that tells me is to not go above 3.5 stars. But I think I can easily get 3.5 out of this, so that’s what I’m going with. How can this not be solid?

Charming

Charming is an irreverent animated comedy about a young Prince with an irresistible appeal and one kick-ass maiden who wants him only for his money. Cursed as a child, Prince Philippe Charming compulsively proposes to every woman he encounters, leaving a trail of lovesick ladies and scorned lovers to wreak vengeful havoc on the Kingdom. Ultimately, Prince Philippe’s exasperated father, King Charming, gives the young Prince an ultimatum… Find a true, true-love before his 21st Birthday or lose all claim to the throne.

This… actually sounds fun.

3 stars.

Not gonna assume really good, but this sounds like it could be okay.

Clara’s Ghosts

Set over the course of a single evening in the Reynolds family home in suburban Connecticut, Clara’s Ghost tells the story of Clara Reynolds who, fed up with constant ribbing from her self-absorbed showbiz family, finds solace in and guidance from the supernatural force she believes is haunting her.

This is an Elliott family movie. Bridey Elliott writes and directs, and it stars her father, Chris Elliott, her sister Abby and her mother Paula. And Haley Joel Osment for good measure. I guess because ghosts?

3 stars. I’m excited. This should be interesting.

Colette

The story of a marriage, Colette shows the lengths one woman must go to escape her husband’s control and claim her voice as an artist.

Directed by Wash Westmoreland, who did Quinceañera, The Last of Robin Hood and Still Alice, and stars Keira Knightley, in her return to corsets.

3.5 stars. I generally like Keira Knightley movies, and Westmoreland’s other stuff has been solid.

Con Man

The story of Barry Minkow, a young charismatic business man who becomes a wealthy CEO by lying, cheating and stealing his way to the top.

The star of the movie is a guy from Jane the Virgin, but also in it are Mark Hamill, James Caan, Ving Rhames, Talia Shire, Armand Assante, Gianni Russo and Bill Goldberg (yes, the wrestler).

3 stars. This cast is too interesting to not see.

Decoy

A young identity thief finds himself being hunted by the NSA after he unwittingly steals the identity of a wanted man.

Stars Tyler Posey, Frank Grillo and Andy Garcia.

Pure 3 star action movie.

Departures

A hypochondriac working as an airport baggage handler is forced to confront his fears when a British teenager with a terminal illness enlists him to help her carry out her eccentric bucket list.

Stars Maisie Williams, Asa Butterfield, Nina Dobrev, Tyler Hoechlin, David Koechner and Ken Jeong.

3 stars. This feels like a solid 3 all around.

Destination Wedding

Frank and Lindsay two emotionally broken people, must attend a destination wedding. They meet and, over the course of the weekend and against all odds, find themselves drawn to one another even as they are repulsed by one another.

Written and directed by the guy who did 5 to 7, which I liked. Stars Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder, who somehow have never made a movie together.

I’m going 3.5 stars. I can’t wait for this. This sounds amazing.

Destroyer

A police detective reconnects with people from an undercover assignment in her distant past in order to make peace.

Karyn Kusama directs. People liked her last movie, The Invitation, which wasn’t for me. Stars Sebastian Stan, Nicole Kidman, Toby Kebbell, Bradley Whitford and Tatiana Maslany.

I kinda wanna go 3.5 stars here, but I’m gonna go 3 stars. I feel like that’s the safer choice.

Distorted

A 32-year-old woman suffering from bipolar disorder comes to suspect the proprietor of the state-of-the-art ”smart apartment” she and her husband just moved into is using the building’s residents as unwitting guinea pigs for a ”synthetic telepathy” brainwashing plot with dire global ramifications.

Directed by the guy who did The Humanity Bureau (yeesh) and starring Christina Ricci and John Cusack.

This’ll be VOD nonsense that I’ll see because I’m an insane person.

2.5 stars.

Dog Days

Dog Days follows a group of interconnected people in Los Angeles who are brought together by their lovable canine counterparts.

Ken Marino directs this. His last movie wasn’t great. It’s also a movie that can go very wrong.

So 2.5 stars, and we’ll hope for the best.

A Dog’s Way Home

A dog travels 400 miles in search of her owner.

Really?

Directed by Charles Martin Smith. Is that his thing? Animal movies? He did Air Bud (yes, that Air Bud), and both Dolphin Tale movies.

2.5 stars. Family movie nonsense. Not even gonna pretend like I’ll care about this.

Domino

A Copenhagen police officer seeks justice for his partner’s murder by a mysterious man.

This is a new Brian De Palma movie. Repeat, this is a new Brian De Palma movie. His first in six years. Written by the guy who did Kon Tiki and starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Carice van Houten and Guy Pearce.

3.5 stars. I’m down for De Palma.

Donnybrook

Two men prepare to compete in a legendary bare-knuckle fight where the winner gets a $100,000 prize.

Sounds cool. Stars Jamie Bell, Frank Grillo, Margaret Qualley and James Badge Dale.

3.5 stars.

It’s guys beating the shit out of each other, what’s not to like?

Dragged Across Concrete

Once two overzealous cops get suspended from the force, they must delve into the criminal underworld to get their just due.

This is the new S. Craig Zahler film. After Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99, I’m down for anything he wants to make.

This stars Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn, and was originally publicized as a “Blue Lives Matter” movie. Which definitely doesn’t feel like what this is gonna be, having seen Zahler’s first two movies. He’s also picking up his own little stable of actors. Jennifer Carpenter, Don Johnson, Udo Kier and Fred Melamed are all back from Cell Block, and now we’ve added Michael Jai White.

4 stars. The last two were great. No reason to think this won’t be great either.

Dreamland

A teenager’s adventures as a bounty hunter takes an unexpected twist.

Margot Robbie is in this. And Garrett Hedlund. Plot sounds like it’s gonna be fun.

3.5 stars.

Driven

Intense thriller where politics, big business and narcotics collide.

Stars Lee Pace, Judy Greer, Jason Sudeikis and Corey Stoll. Sure.

3 stars.

Duck Butter

Two women, who are dissatisfied with the dishonesty they see in dating and relationships, decide to make a pact to spend 24 hours together hoping to find a new way to create intimacy.

Directed by Miguel Arteta, who is just not my cup of tea. But co-written and starring Alia Shawkat, which is cool. Also co-stars Laia Costa.

3 stars. Can never assume more than 3 stars out of Arteta, but at least it’s not 2.5, right?

Duck Duck Goose

A bachelor goose must form a bond with two lost ducklings as they journey south.

Oh goddamnit. Another shitty animated movie. Voice actors include Jim Gaffigan, Zendaya, Greg Proops, Natasha Leggero, Diedrich Bader, Reggie Watts, Carl Reiner, Stephen Frey, Craig Ferguson and Jennifer Grey.

2.5 stars. Assuming indifference. No idea why.

Dude

A group of teenage girlfriends deal with life after high school.

Written and directed by Olivia Milch, who also co-wrote Ocean’s 8. The cast is full of interesting twenty-somethings. Sounds like this could be a nice little hidden gem of an indie.

3 stars.

Dumplin’

A girl with the nickname “Dumplin'” enters a beauty pageant in order to win over the boy she likes and stick it to the other girls at school.

Stars Danielle Macdonald, from Patti Cake$. Jennifer Aniston plays her mother. Directed by Anne Fletcher who did The Proposal, which was actually okay, The Guilt Trip, which was meh, and Hot Pursuit, which was beyond awful. Oh, and the first Step Up and 27 Dresses. So a mixed bag.

I’m gonna go 3 stars. This could be okay.

Eggplant Emoji

When a teenager accidentally cuts off his penis, he and his friends rush to save the appendage before it’s too late in this dark comedy.

Okay, then.

3 stars. Probably should go 2.5, since the director also did Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, but he also did Tour de Pharmacy and 7 Days in Hell. So let’s stay at 3 and see what we get.

Eighth Grade

A teenager tries to survive the last week of her disastrous eighth-grade year before leaving to start high school.

Bo Burnham wrote and directed this. It got good reviews out of Sundance, and the subject matter greatly appeals to me.

3.5 stars.

 

End of Sentence

After being widowed, Frank Fogle reluctantly embarks on a journey to honor his wife’s last wish of spreading her ashes in a remote lake in her native Ireland and a promise of taking his estranged son, Sean, along for the trip. As Sean steps out of prison the last thing on his mind is a foreign road trip with his alienated father. What he needs is a fresh start in California. But when his travel plans collapse he reluctantly accepts his father’s proposal in return for a ticket to the West Coast and a promise that they never have to see each other again. Between a disconcerting Irish wake, the surfacing of an old flame, the pick up of a pretty hitchhiker and plenty of unresolved issues, the journey becomes a little more than father and son had bargained for.

Stars John Hawkes, Logan Lerman, Sarah Bolger.

3 stars.

Escape Plan 2: Hades

Sequel to the 2013 film that featured a security expert named Ray Breslin, who used his skills to test out the reliability of maximum security prisons.

I liked the first Escape Plan. I’m down for this.

Stalone is back. Dave Bautista’s here. 50 Cent. Sure.

3 stars. Easy action movie watch.

An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn

Lulu Danger’s unsatisfying marriage takes a turn for the worse when a mysterious man from her past comes to town to perform an event called “An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn; For One Magical Night Only.”

No idea what this is, but it was at Sundance. Didn’t get great reviews, but that means nothing to me.

Stars Aubrey Plaza, Jemaine Clement, Emile Hirsch, Craig Robinson.

An Aubrey Plaza Sundance movie gets 3 stars from me. Maybe it’s fucked up and interesting, like Ingrid Goes West, and I can get 3.5, but 3 has to be the guess. They’re almost always 3, albeit strong 3s.

Everybody Knows

Carolina, a Spanish woman living in Buenos Aires, who returns to her hometown outside Madrid with her Argentinian husband and children. However, the trip is upset by unexpected events that bring secrets into the open.

Asghar Farhadi movie. Stars Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

I generally know what I’m getting from Farhadi at this point, so 3.5 stars. Could be 4, but I think 3.5 is the baseline. I’m worried the husband and wife pairing might make it a bit overdone. So we’ll see.

Extinction

A father has a recurring dream of losing his family. His nightmare turns into reality when the planet is invaded by a force bent on destruction. Fighting for their lives, he comes to realize an unknown strength to keep them safe from harm.

Directed by Ben Young, who did Hounds of Love.

Stars Lizzie Kaplan and Michael Pena.

3 stars.

Not gonna assume 3.5 from him, but Hounds of Love was great.

Fast Color

A woman is forced to go on the run when her superhuman abilities are discovered. Years after having abandoned her family, the only place she has left to hide is home.

Written and directed by Julia Hart. Stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Strathairn.

Sounds cool.

3 stars.

The Favourite

A bawdy, acerbic tale of royal intrigue, passion, envy and betrayal in the court of Queen Anne in early 18th century England.

Yorgos Lanthimos directs. Stars Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Olivia Colman, Nicholas Hoult and Joe Alwyn.

4 stars. Should be 3.5, but I really wanna see how he handles period. I’m so excited for this.

The Festival

After graduating from University, Nick and his Uni friends go on a tour of festivals around the country.

3 stars.

First Reformed

A former military chaplain is wracked by grief over the death of his son. Mary is a member of his church whose husband, a radical environmentalist, commits suicide, setting the plot in motion.

Paul Schrader.

Stars Amanda Seyfried, Ethan Hawke, Cedric the Entertainer.

3 stars.

Schrader makes interesting movies. Weird, but interesting.

Freak Shift

A band of misfits hunt down and kill underground, nocturnal monsters.

Ben Wheatley movie. Already down.

Stars Alicia Vikander, Armie Hammer and Sasha Lane.

3.5 stars.

Wanna go 4, let’s stay 3.5, just because Ben Wheatley movies tend to go a bit lower than I think they will for me.

The Front Runner

American Senator Gary Hart’s presidential campaign in 1988 is derailed when he’s caught in a scandalous love affair.

Jason Reitman, with possibly two movies in a year. I’m excited he’s back with a vengeance.

Hugh Jackman stars as Hart, with Vera Farmiga as his wife, J.K. Simmons, Kaitlyn Dever, Ari Graynor, Kevin Pollak, Bill Burr and Mike Judge also in it.

4 stars. I know Reitman has dropped down to a 3.5 average lately, but I’m holding out hope that he’s back. I’ve never gotten less than 3.5 out of him. Maybe Men, Women and Children is borderline 3/3.5, but I think he’s back, and I’m gonna hope this is incredible. I want to see him back on top.

Galveston

After escaping a set up, a dying hitman returns to his hometown of Galveston where he plans his revenge.

Melanie Laurent directs this, based on a novel and a script by Nic Pizzolatto.

Stars Lili Reinhart, Elle Fanning, Ben Foster and Beau Bridges.

3 stars.

I hope it’s great.

George and Tammy

The story of the rise and waterfall of country and western icons George Jones and Tammy Wynette.

Taylor Hackford directs and Jessica Chastain and Josh Brolin star.

Hasn’t shot yet, but you can see why I’m tracking it.

3.5 stars.

Just in case.

Georgetown

Ulrich Mott, an ambitious social climber, marries a wealthy widow in Washington D.C. in order to mix with powerful political players.

 

Christoph Waltz directs this! CHRISTOPH WALTZ!

He stars, too, along with Annette Bening, Vanessa Redgrave and Corey Hawkins.

3.5 stars. Not sure why, 3 stars should be the guess, but I love Waltz. Let’s hope he directs a solid one.

A Good Woman Is Hard to Find

A recently widowed young mother will go to any lengths to protect her children as she seeks the truth behind her husband’s murder.

Stars Sara Bolger. Written by the guy who wrote Boogaloo and Graham, the lovely short about the two Irish brothers and the chicken.

2.5 stars.

Gore

A young man spends a summer in Italy where he meets his idol, Gore Vidal, who teaches him about life, love, and politics.

It’s Call Me By Your Name with Gore Vidal. Also with Michael Stuhlbarg in it!

This is the movie that got dropped by Netflix the minute the Spacey thing happened. This might never come out, but I’ll track it for a little while, just because it doesn’t deserve to disappear, but I can’t imagine when someone will want to put this out.

Michael Hoffman directs. He made Soapdish, One Fine Day, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Emperor’s Club, Game 6, The Last Station and the Gambit remake. He makes solid movies.

3 stars. If they ever release this.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

A writer forms an unexpected bond with the residents of Guernsey Island in the aftermath of World War II when she decides to write a book about their experiences during the war.

Mike Newell is back. His first movie in six years.

Stars Lily James, Jessic aBrown Findlay, Matthew Goode, Tom Courtenay, Penelope Wilton.

Sure. Sounds a bit by-the-numbers, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be solid.

3 stars.

Half Magic

Explores themes of female empowerment through sex, work, and friendship. These women are able to come together through their frustration over male dominance and in fact use their newly formed sisterhood to lean on each other and understand that they must first learn to love themselves before doing anything else.

Heather Graham wrote and directed this. Which is the only reason I’m even paying any attention to it.

2.5 stars.

Happy Anniversary

A couple on their three-year anniversary need to decide whether to stay together or call it quits.

3 stars.

Hard Powder

A snowplow driver seeks revenge against the drug dealers he thinks killed his son. Based on the 2014 Norwegian film ‘In Order of Disappearance’.

Starring Liam Neeson. Yeah, boy.

3 stars.

Liam Neeson action movies get the same blanket rating.

Also stars Emmy Rossum, Julia Jones and Laura Dern.

Headlock

After new CIA recruit, Kelley Chandler (Polish) is seriously injured during a mission, surviving only on life support, his wife Tess (Agron), a former CIA operative, becomes determined to find out what happened to her husband. As the details of Kelley’s last mission unravel, showing that his accident was an inside job, Tess puts everything on the line to keep Kelley out of harm’s way, even if that comes with dangerous consequences.

Oh, this movie. I feel like I’ve been tracking this for years.

2.5 stars.

If I’ve been tracking it for years, then the fact that it hasn’t come out yet is not a positive sign.

Hearts Beat Loud

A father and daughter form an unlikely songwriting duo in the summer before she leaves for college.

Stars Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons. Also Toni Collette, Ted Danson, Sasha Lane and Blythe Danner.

Director also did I’ll See You in My Dreams and The Hero. So we know exactly what his type of movie is.

3 stars.

Hellboy

Hellboy comes to England, where he must defeat Merlin’s consort and Nimue the Blood Queen. But their battle will bring about the end of the world, a fate he desperately tries to turn away.

David Harbour is Hellboy now. They’ve rebooted it without Guillermo. Milla Jovovich is in this, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, and Sophie Okonedo.

I mean, sure.

3 stars. I never particularly loved the Hellboy movies, but I’m sure it’ll be fine.

It’s by the director of The Descent, so there’s that.

Hereditary

The Graham family starts to unravel following the death of their reclusive grandmother. Even after she’s gone, the matriarch still casts a dark shadow over the family, especially her loner teenage granddaughter, Charlie, whom she always had an unusual fascination with. As an overwhelming terror takes over their household, their peaceful existence is ripped apart, forcing their mother to explore a darker realm in order to escape the unfortunate fate they’ve inherited.

This is being talked about as being the ‘It Comes at Night’ of 2018. The trendy horror movie that cool people like. So be prepared for that.

3 stars.

Horror isn’t my genre, so we’ll temper expectations and see where it goes.

High Life

A father and his daughter struggle to survive in deep space where they live in isolation.

Stars Robert Pattinson, Mia Goth and Juliette Binoche. And… Andre 3000.

Claire Denis directs. Which means I put this right in that realm of the Oliver Assayas movies. 3 stars for me, and I’m sure people will talk them up as being the most amazing movies of the year. (Never fails.)

Hold the Dark

After the deaths of three children suspected to be by wolves, writer Russell Core is hired by the parents of a missing six-year-old boy to track down and locate their son in the Alaskan wilderness.

Jeremy Saulnier’s new movie. Blue Ruin, Green Room and now Hold the Dark. Based on a book, adapted by Macon Blair and stars Alexander Skarsgard, Riley Keogh, James Badge Dale, Jeffrey Wright.

4 stars. It’s Saulnier. He’s earned my trust.

Hot Air

A right wing talk show host’s life takes a sudden turn when his 16 year old niece comes crashing into his life.

Directed by Frank Coraci, whose previous film include: The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy, Around the World in 80 Days, Click, Zookeeper, Here Comes the Boom, Blended and The Ridiculous Six. So I’m sure you’re all thrilled about this one.

This is his first non-Adam Sandler movie in a while. So maybe there’s hope?

3 stars.

The House That Jack Built

The story follows Jack, a highly intelligent serial killer over the course of 12 years and depicts the murders that truly develop Jack as a serial killer.

Lars Von Trier. ’nuff said.

3.5 stars.

How It Ends

A desperate father tries to return home to his pregnant wife after a mysterious apocalyptic event turns everything to chaos.

3 stars

I Am Not a Bird

Margaret is doing everything in her power to forget home, and Tokyo’s exotic nightlife-teeming with drink, drugs, and three-hour love hotels-enables her to keep her demons at bay. Working as an English specialist at Air-Pro Stewardess Training Institute by day and losing herself in a sex- and drug-addled oblivion by night, Margaret represses memories of her painful childhood in Canada and her older brother Frank’s descent into madness.

3 stars.

I Think We’re Alone Now

The apocalypse proves a blessing in disguise for one lucky recluse — until a second survivor arrives with the threat of companionship.

Reed Morano directs. Elle Fanning, Peter Dinklage, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Paul Giamatti star.

3 stars. Was gonna go 3.5, but I feel like I need to go 3. Hopefully it can overcome that.

If Beale Street Could Talk

A woman in Harlem desperately scrambles to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime while carrying their first child.

Barry Jenkins’ followup to Moonlight.

4 stars.

Sticking with that and seeing what I get. I’d rather go in knowing less and being surprised more.

The Irishman

A mob hitman recalls his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa.

This is the Scorsese movie. They’re supposed to be holding this over to 2019 to finish the effects, but either way, I’ll mention it now in case they wanna push it into this year’s race.

It’s stacked with cast and class. Steve Zaillian wrote the script. Stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Jesse Plemons, Anna Paquin, Bobby Cannavale, Jack Huston, Stephen Graham, Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano, and a lot of other Italians.

I’m concerned. I’ve been concerned about this for years, and I’m still not over that concern.

4.5 stars, because it’s Scorsese, but I’m still worried this is a big mistake for him.

Irreplaceable You

A couple who have known each other since 8 are destined to be together until death do them apart.

Straight up romance. I’m in.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Also in it are Jacki Weaver, Christopher Walken, Kate McKinnon and Steve Coogan.

3.5 stars. Aiming high!

Juliet, Naked

Juliet, Naked is the story of Annie, the long-suffering girlfriend of Duncan, and her unlikely transatlantic romance with once revered, now faded, singer-songwriter, Tucker Crowe, who also happens to be the subject of Duncan’s musical obsession.

Based on a Nick Hornby novel, directed by the guy who did Our Idiot Brother, and co-written by Tamara Jenkins

Stars Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke, Chris O’Dowd.

3 stars. My gut said 3.5, but my brain says stick with 3 because it’s only gonna be 3. So let’s go 3.

A Kid Like Jake

As married couple Alex and Greg navigate their roles as parents to a young son who prefers Cinderella to G.I. Joe, a rift grows between them, one that forces them to confront their own concerns about what’s best for their child, and each other.

3 stars.

Kin

An ex-convict and his brother are forced on the run by a vengeful criminal.

Based on a short film called ‘Bag Man’. Stars James Franco, Zoe Kravitz, Carrie Coon, Jack Reynor, Dennis Quaid.

3 stars. Sounds fun.

The Kindergarten Teacher

A kindergarten teacher in New York becomes obsessed with one of her students who she believes is a child prodigy.

Written and directed by Sara Colangelo, who did Little Accident, which I didn’t like. Stars Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rosa Salazar, Gael Garcia Bernal and Anna Baryshnikov.

3 stars.

Worried about all the pitfalls here. Gonna stick with 3.

The Kissing Booth

A high school student is forced to confront her secret crush at a kissing booth.

3 stars.

Kursk

The film follows the 2000 K-141 Kursk submarine disaster and the governmental negligence that followed. As the sailors fight for survival, their families desperately battle political obstacles and impossible odds to save them.

Directed by Thomas Vinterberg, who did The Hunt and Far from the Madding Crowd. Stars Lea Seydoux, Colin Firth, Matthias Schoenaerts, Max von Sydow.

3.5 stars.

Sounds fun.

Ladies in Black

Adapted from the bestselling novel by Madeleine St John, Ladies in Black is an alluring and tender-hearted comedy drama about the lives of a group of department store employees in 1959 Sydney.

Bruce Beresford directs.

3 stars.

The Land of Steady Habits

Anders Hill, long ensconced in “the land of steady habits”-the affluent hamlets of Connecticut that dot the commuter rail line-is finally ready to reap the rewards of a sensible life. Into his mid fifties and newly retired, his grown son’s college tuitions paid in full, Anders decides he’s had enough of steady habits: he leaves his wife, buys a condo, and waits for freedom to transform him. Stripped of the comforts of his previous identity, Anders embarks on a clumsy, and heartbreaking journey to reconcile his past with his present.

Nicole Holofcener’s new movie. Stars Ben Mendelsohn, Connie Britton, Thomas Mann, Elizabeth Marvel, Edie Falco.

3 stars.

The Last Full Measure

34-years after his death, Airman William H. Pitsenbarger Jr. (“Pits”) is awarded the nations highest military honor for his actions on the battlefield.

Stars Sebastian Stan, Bradley Whitford, Samuel L. Jackson, Ed Harris and Christopher Plummer. Oh wait… and Amy Madigan, William Hurt, Jeremy Irvine Peter Fonda, Michael Imperioli, Diane Ladd and John Savage. Holy fuck.

3.5 stars. Was gonna be 3, but look at that cast!

The Last Laugh

No idea what this is, but it stars Andie MacDowell, Chevy Chase and Richard Dreyfuss

So in.

3 stars.

The Last Movie Star

An aging, former movie star is forced to face the reality that his glory days are behind him. On its surface DOG YEARS is a tale about faded fame, but at its core, it’s a universal story about growing old.

Directed by Adam Rifkin, starring Burt Reynolds, Ariel Winter, Clark Duke, Chevy Chase, Ellar Coltrane.

Sure.

3 stars.

Leave No Trace

A father and his 13 year-old daughter are living in a paradisiacal existence in a vast urban park in Portland Oregon when a small mistake derails their lives forever.

Debra Granik’s first movie since Winter’s Bone. Stars Ben Foster.

Sounds good.

3.5 stars.

Life in a Year

The movie follows 17-year-old Daryn who finds out that his girlfriend is dying. He sets out to give her an entire life in the last year she has left.

Stars Jaden Smith and Cara Delevingne. Oh boy.

3 stars. Can’t not. This feels like it’s gonna get a lot of Razzie attention.

Life Itself

The lives of people from New York to Spain intersect over the course of different generations.

Ensemble movie. By the guy who did Danny Collins, which I liked. He also created This Is Us.

Stars Olivia Wilde, Oscar Isaac, Samuel L. Jackson, Olivia Cooke, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Mandy Patinkin.

I know I’m gonna regret going this high, but 3.5 stars.

Light of My Life

A father and his young daughter find themselves trapped in the woods.

Casey Affleck wrote, directed and stars.

3.5 stars. I don’t know why, but it’s a survival movie. I think it can be good.

Like Father

A workaholic woman who is left at the altar takes her honeymoon trip anyway with her overachieving father who left her mother because he believed his family was holding back his career.

Stars Kristen Bell, Seth Rogen, Kelsey Grammar.

3 stars.

Little Bitches

A group of friends vow to open their college acceptance letters at the same time during the big end-of-year party.

3 stars.

Little Italy

A young couple must navigate a blossoming romance, amidst a war between their families’ competing pizza restaurants.

Romeo and Juliet with Italians. I mean… the other Italians. Guidos?

2.5 stars.

Little Monsters

A washed-up musician teams up with a teacher and a kids show personality to protect young children from a sudden outbreak of zombies.

Stars Lupita Nyong’o.

So in.

3.5 stars.

Little Woods

A modern Western that tells the story of two sisters, Ollie and Deb, who are driven to work outside the law to better their lives. For years, Ollie has illicitly helped the struggling residents of her North Dakota oil boomtown access Canadian health care and medication. When the authorities catch on, she plans to abandon her crusade, only to be dragged in even deeper after a desperate plea for help from her sister.

Stars Lily James and Tessa Thompson.

3 stars.

Lizzie

A psychological thriller based on the infamous 1892 murders of the Borden family.

Starring Kristen Stewart and Chloe Sevigny.

3 stars.

The Long Dumb Road

Two guys serendipitously meet at a time when they both find themselves at personal crossroads and decide to embark on an unplanned road trip across the American Southwest.

3 stars.

Looking Glass

A couple buy a desert motel where they find that strange, mysterious events occur.

Starring Nicolas Cage.

It’s like The Florida Project, but with Nic Cage.

3 stars.

Louisiana Caviar

A feared Russian-Israeli oligarch’s banishment from the U.S. sets into motion a spiraling chain of events involving a boxer, a plot to blackmail an Orthodox Jewish real estate developer, a Hollywood sex scandal and copious amounts of gefilte caviar

Cuba Gooding Jr. co-wrote and directs this. So yeah.

He stars with Richard Dreyfuss, Famke Janssen and Katherine McPhee.

3 stars?

Love Sonia

Inspired by real life events, Love Sonia is the story of a young girl’s journey to rescue her sister from the dangerous world of international sex trafficking.

3 stars.

Love Thy Keepers

An idealistic attractive young couple acquires a stunning, life-like robot for guilt free help, but as the three grow closer, their perception of humanity will be altered forever.

Addison Timlin is in this, and I’ll watch anything with her.

3 stars.

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