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The 2019 Film Release Calendar: Films Without Release Dates (A-L)

New year, new movies.

I begin every new year by taking a look at what movies there are to come out. It helps me to be aware of stuff so I can actively track it throughout the year, and I think it’s helpful for most people who care about movies to at least be informed of what’s going on. Far too often do I talk to my friends who are casually into movies, and they have no idea what’s coming out or when the stuff they want to see is supposed to come out.

Of course, when I do something, I really do it, so instead of just a casual preview of the big 35 movies of the year, I go all out. You’re gonna get everything as it’s currently scheduled to come out, plus another 200 or so movies that are not dated but are finished and ready to come out, plus another 100 or so that I’ve been tracking from previous years. I dare to say that no one on the internet goes as deep into their coverage as I do.

Today we go over the films that do not, as of yet, have release dates.

10 Minutes Gone

A crime thriller that centers on a man whose memory has been lost due to a bank heist gone wrong. The character will need to piece together the missing 10 minutes from his memory in order to determine who sabotaged him.

This is Moviepass’ first movie from their ponzi scheme production company.

What are the odds they ran out of money in the middle of filming?

Oh, and by the way — it’s a Bruce Willis paycheck movie! (*DJ air horn*)

This is from the director of Reprisal, Vice, The Prince, Officer Down — I’ve seen a lot of these. He’s almost exclusively Bruce Willis’ paycheck guy. Because he makes generic thrillers with vaguely similar plots that allow Bruce to work like six days and do like no real work.

It’s almost like he’s a writer in his own bungalow on a studio lot in the 40s. “What if there’s a bank manager who has to track down a guy robbing banks because the bank thinks he did it?” And then he writes that in like four days. And then, “What if a guy robs a bank, but gets amnesia and has to remember who fucked him over with the money?” And he writes that in four days. It’s all B movies. That’s all this is.

I’m sure this will be completely watchable. The only question is if it’ll be 2.5 stars or 3 stars. Reprisal got 3 because Frank Grillo was in it too. This is Bruce and Michael Chiklis, and I assume neither is the lead. So let’s say 2.5 stars.

By the way, this is more coverage a movie like this will get anywhere else.

6 Underground

Six billionaires fake their own deaths and form an elite vigilante squad in order to take down notorious criminals.

Okay then.

Michael Bay’s first post-Transformers movie, and his second non-Transformers movie in a decade (Pain & Gain being the other one). Oh, I’m sorry, third. I forgot 13 Hours. His non-Transformers movies are solid, even if he is a slave to his own directorial style.

This is coming out on Netflix, which really just is for you to know where and how you’ll be able to see it. At this point I’m not altering my guesses based on where it comes out. It’s more of a logistical thing than anything.

3.5 stars. When is a Bay movie not 3.5 stars? We know what we’re getting. Fortunately Reese and Wernick are writing it, which should elevate it from “standard Bay script” to “slightly decent script Bay still largely ignores.” But we know exactly what this is gonna be, almost through and through. The thing I’m counting on is that it won’t feel like another tired “robots fighting” movie, because those last two felt like he was on autopilot.

A Christmas Carol

Apparently this is not a Scrooge movie, but is about someone named Carol.

It’s animated. And Carey Mulligan, Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya and Leslie Caron (!) are doing voices for it.

No clue what this is, so I’ll have to say 3 stars.

Oh, wait, found an article:

The film opens on a Victorian family preparing a toy theatre for their annual performance of Christmas Carol, which the grandmother narrates, and enters the imagination of one of the children in the audience as the cardboard stage and the story transform into a dark fantasy realm, adding lyricism and modern dance to the hallowed tale of redemption.

K.

Not sure if that sways me in any direction, but not I know.

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.

This has been held over at least a year and looks like it might just be a generic thriller.

2.5 stars because of the holdover. Otherwise it may have had a shot at 3.

A Rainy Day in New York

Two young people arrive in New York for a weekend where they are met with bad weather and a series of adventures.

It’s Woody Allen’s movie that didn’t get released last year because people screamed about it.

Guessing Amazon will dump this sometime this year.

Still — Timothee Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Suki Waterhouse, Diego Luna, Liev Schreiber, Rebecca Hall, Jude Law, Selena Gomez — he’s got people.

3 stars.

Woody movies start at 3 stars and we’ll see if I care or not. Recently, I have not cared. In fact, it’s probably going on a decade that I haven’t cared.

Above Suspicion

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.

Philip Noyce directs. Emilia Clarke and Jack Huston star. Also has Thora Birch and Johnny Knoxville.

Solid enough for me.

3 stars.

Adam

Awkward teen Adam spends his last high school summer with his big sister, who throws herself into NYC’s lesbian and trans activist scene. In this coming-of-age comedy, Adam and those around him encounter love, friendship and hard truths.

Sounds like a New York indie movie.

Margaret Qualley is the big sister, so that’s cool.

I guess 3 stars? It’ll probably be 2.5 or 3. And I think they held this over. But let’s say 3. I’m sure it can still be decent.

Adopt a Highway

An ex-felon discovers a live baby left in a dumpster.

The fuck?

Written and directed by Logan Marshall-Green (you know, bootleg Tom Hardy). Stars Ethan Hawke.

I guess… 3 stars?

The Aeronauts

Pilot Amelia Wren and scientist James Glaisher find themselves in an epic fight for survival while attempting to make discoveries in a hot air balloon.

Oh, this is live action. I thought this was animated for some reason.

Reteams Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones. Which is cool. And the director did Wild Rose, which is supposed to be pretty good.

Let’s say 3.5 stars. Those two lead me to believe it will be solid. And hey, hot air balloons.

After the Wedding

A manager of an orphanage in Kolkata travels to New York to meet a benefactor.

Oh, this is the remake of that Susanne Bier movie. I remember seeing this. Mads Mikkelsen. Either that or I didn’t see it and just remember almost seeing it. Who remembers.

Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore, Billy Crudup. Okay, then.

The director did Wolves, that amateur basketball player movie with Michael Shannon as the gambling-addicted father. That was okay.

I feel like the cast is gonna get me to go higher than I should. So I’m going 3 stars. I think it’ll be fine, but something tells me the ceiling on this is 3.5, and there’s a good chance I won’t get it. So let’s stick with 3.

Against All Enemies

An ambitious young F.B.I. Agent is assigned to investigate iconic actress Jean Seberg when she becomes embroiled in the tumultuous civil rights movement in late 1960s Los Angeles, California.

Kristen Stewart is Jean Seberg. Also has Margaret Qualley, Vince Vaughn, Zazie Beetz, Jack O’Connell (as, I’m guessing, the FBI agent), Anthony Mackie… good cast.

The director did Una, that movie based on the play with Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn. He’s a theater director moving into film.

I feel like I should go 3 stars on this, but I’m going 3.5 stars. The cast is nice. I like these people. So let’s hope this can be good. Feels like it’ll probably go 3, but let’s be optimistic.

All Day and a Night

A young man who committed a homicide deals with the repercussions of his action.

Uh… k.

So like, Tell-Tale Heart? Or just like, aftermath of killing someone, waiting for the police to come?

3 stars, I guess. Don’t know what to make of this.

It’s on Netflix, which means it’ll probably be 3. These kinds of movies are almost exclusively 3 stars.

And it’s from one of the Black Panther writers, if that means anything to anyone.

All the Bright Places

The story of Violet and Theodore, who meet and change each other’s lives forever. As they struggle with the emotional and physical scars of their past, they discover that even the smallest places and moments can mean something.

Brett Haley’s new movie. He’s coming off Hearts Beat Loud, which was very solid.

He’s one of those guys who makes nice little character pieces, and I just needed the one to move me over to his team. Because the first two were fine. The Hero was nice, but still just fine. And Hearts Beat Loud was the one where I went, “Oh, this was good.” And now all the other ones before it are slightly better to me now because, “I get it.”

Based on a novel, so I’m not sure if that helps or hurts it. The cast is nice. Elle Fanning, Justice Smith, Keegan-Michael Key, Alexandra Shipp, Luke Wilson.

It’s gonna be either 3 or 3.5 stars. I’m still not sure which way to go with it.

Oh, I read a synopsis of the book. 3 stars. It’s YA. Those have to actively win me over. Plus, his other movies were only 3 stars to me, so let’s keep this at 3 and see if he elevates his standard rating up to a 3.5.

Always Be My Maybe

A pair of childhood friends end up falling for each other when they grow up.

From the creator of Fresh Off the Boat. Stars Randall Park and Ali Wong. Also has Daniel Dae Kim and Charlyne Yi. And Keanu Reeves!

Is it wrong that I want to say 3.5 stars? Fuck it. I’m saying 3.5 stars. Maybe it’ll just be 3, but I like this cast. And if it’s anything that keeps it from going to 3.5, it’s because it’s a TV person and it’ll have TV sensibilities with the writing and humor.

American Woman

This is about the women who kidnapped Patty Hearst. Sarah Gadon, Lola Kirke and Hong Chau star, and Ellen Burstyn is in it.

3.5 stars. Let’s do this. Maybe it’ll only be 3, but I gotta be hopeful about some stuff.

Among the Shadows

A private investigator must unravel the murder of her uncle while keeping the secret that she is a descendant from a line of werewolves.

Starring Lindsay Lohan.

Oh yeah. Don’t think I’m letting this one slip under the cracks.

Lindsay Lohan is in a werewolf movie.

You’re welcome, America.

2.5 stars.

It should be utter dog shit, but tell me you don’t want to see this.

Amundsen

The life story of Arctic explorer, Roald Amundsen.

Of course, him!

No clue. But it’s by one of the Kon Tiki directors, so there’s that.

3.5 stars.

The other guy went off and did Maleficent 2. Thinking I’m gonna be more interested in what this guy is doing.

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 Andy Garcia and Dafne Keen.

Seems like an indie, but I like the two of them, so 3 stars. I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Angel of Mine

A woman grieving over the death of her daughter loses grip of reality when she begins to think her girl may still be alive.

Stars Noomi Rapace, Luke Evans and Yvonne Strahowski.

I tracked it for the cast and now immediately am not looking forward to this.

One of the things that just does not do it for me are the generic, serious thrillers. When they’re fun and stupid like the BRuce Willis paycheck movies, I’m totally fine. But something like this? This is not for me.

2.5 stars.

Animals

Based on a book. So I had to look up the synopsis for the book: “A super-charged comedy that explores the eternal question: must you change your lifestyle in your thirties, or can you keep partying until the bitter end?”

Decent idea. Let’s see who’s behind it so I can know for sure.

Don’t know anything about the director.

Stars Holliday Grainger, Amy Molloy and Alia Shawkat… okay.

I guess… 3 stars? I don’t really have a whole lot to go on here, so let’s assume the movie is just another decent indie. Maybe more, but I doubt it. I don’t have enough to go on to think it’ll be more than just okay.

Anna

This is a Luc Besson movie and we don’t know anything about it.

Questionable as to whether this comes out because of the allegations around Besson and the fact that his company is basically bankrupt.

Let’s call it 3 stars. Sight unseen. I’m sure it’ll be fun. Maybe this is part of the Lucy universe. No clue.

We’ll stick with 3 and see if we can get 3.5. Doubt it goes higher than that.

Also, unrelated, but am I the only one who would want to see a Valerian sequel? (Probably, right?)

Antlers

A small-town Oregon teacher and her brother, the local sheriff, become entwined with a young student harboring a dangerous secret with frightening consequences.

Horror movie, but it’s Scott Cooper, and his movies have all exclusively been 4 stars to this point. Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace, Black Mass, Hostiles. All 4 stars. He’s also weirdly averaging a movie every two years. Always the odd years.

At this point, I don’t even care what it is, because the rating is for the director. At worst this will be 3.5 stars, but Cooper has proven himself to be a 4 star director, so he gets what he’s earned.

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.

I feel like I covered this but then they pulled it. Don’t remember, so here we are again.

This is who is in the cast: Jeremy Renner, James Franco, Alec Baldwin, Anjelica Huston, John Cleese, Heidi Klum, Omar Sy and Michael Madsen.

Allegedly they moved this to November, but who knows anything at this point.

2.5 stars. I’m guessing I won’t care, but 2 stars is not out of the realm of possibility.

Arkansas

Kyle and Swin live by the orders of an Arkansas-based drug kingpin named Frog, whom they’ve never met. But when a deal goes horribly wrong, the consequences are deadly.

Stars John Malkovich, Vince Vaughn, Liam Hemsworth, Michael K. Williams, Vivia A. Fox.

Sounds fun to me.

3 stars.

Also written and directed by Clark Duke, who was in Kick-Ass and Hot Tub Time Machine. So there’s that.

The Art of Self Defense

No synopsis, but it’s Riley Sterans, who did the fantastic Faults a few years back.

Stars Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola, Imogen Poots.

Cool.

No idea what to make of this, but 3.5 stars. He had a solid indie and let’s figure we’re gonna get another solid indie. I like the cast.

Bad Education

The unfolding of the single largest public school embezzlement scandal in history.

Cory Finley’s followup to Thoroughbreds. Stars Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney, along with Alex Wolff, Geraldine Viswanathan, Kayli Carter and Jimmy Tatro.

I’m very in.

4 stars.

The Banker

Story of one of the first African American bankers in the US.

Oh, so this isn’t a thriller. That’s nice.

George Nolfi directs. He did The Adjustment Bureau, which I loved. And then Birth of the Dragon, which… not so much.

Stars Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, Nicholas Hoult, Nia Long. Okay, okay.

Let’s call it 3.5 stars, even though this could fail miserably. I’m rooting for this to be good.

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 Roman Polanski’s movie. Came out abroad in 2017, but still nothing anywhere else.

This is the last year I’m tracking it. After this, it’s relegated to the Directors List and I’ll see it if and when they ever put it out properly for everywhere but France.

3 stars. The lack of a U.S. release has to be a referendum on quality. It can’t just be the Polanski of it all, because we’ve been dealing with that for years.

Beats

Netlfix movie about the Chicago hip hop scene.

Okay then.

3 stars.

Could be more, but I don’t know much about it and it’s Netflix. With them, unless there’s something that immediately piques my interest story or cast wise, it’s best to guess 3 and hope it can be more.

Before You Know It

A pair of sisters find out that the mother they thought was dead is alive and starring on a soap opera.

It’s playing Sundance.

Sounds like a Sundance indie.

3 stars.

Benedetta

A 17th-century nun in Italy suffers from disturbing religious and erotic visions. She is assisted by a companion, and the relationship between the two women develops into a romantic love affair.

It’s Paul Verhoeven, in case you were worried about that synopsis. He’s one of the few people who could pull off a plot like this.

3 stars.

Not sure I’m gonna like it, but Verhoeven makes worthwhile movies, even when they suck.

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’s movie.

3 stars. Just automatic. Could be shit, but I want to see what his sense of humor spits out.

Bergman Island

“The picture revolves around an American filmmaking couple who retreat to the island for the summer to each write screenplays for their upcoming films in an act of pilgrimage to the place that inspired Bergman. As the summer and their screenplays advance, the lines between reality and fiction start to blur against the backdrop of the Island’s wild landscape.”

Directed by Mia Hansen-Love. Stars Mia Wasikowska and Vicky Krieps.

Sounds like fun.

Haven’t seen her other movies (or maybe I’ve seen one and don’t remember it), so I have to say 3 stars and hope it’s better. But still, I wanna see this.

Berlin, I Love You

It’s another one of the anthology films set in cities. I’ve seen all of the others so far and I will always watch one of these.

Paris is still the best. New York was fine. Rio was so-so. This, I imagine, will be fine.

Same kind of cast, a bunch of different directors. I’m always in for these movies.

3 stars.

Big Time Adolescence

A suburban teenager comes of age under the destructive guidance of his best friend, an aimless college dropout.

Playing Sundance. Looks like a standard indie.

3 stars.

Blackbird

A terminally ill mother arranges to bring her family together one last time before she dies. A remake of the 2014 Danish film ‘Silent Heart’.

Directed by Roger Michell, who did Notting Hill and Changing Lanes, and most recently My Cousin Rachel. He’s a solid director.

Kate Winslet stars, along with Sam Neill, Mia Wasikowska, Rainn Wilson, Susan Sarandon and Bex-Taylor Klaus.

I mean, I have no reason, with all of that, to not guess 3.5 stars. Maybe it’ll only be 3, but I have enough here to expect it to be solid enough that it can get to 3.5 stars.

Blinded by the Light

In 1987 during the austere days of Thatcher’s Britain, a teenager learns to live life, understand his family and find his own voice through the music of Bruce Springsteen.

Directed by Gurinder Chadha, who’s been under the radar in recent years.

It’s playing Sundance, and sounds like it’s gonna be a fun little movie.

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.

Chiwetel Ejiofor’s directorial debut. It’s playing Sundance.

I like when actors direct, and this sounds like it could be a crowd-pleaser if done right.

3.5 stars.

Brittany Runs a Marathon

A woman living in New York takes control of her life- one block at a time.

Stars Jillian Bell and Lil Rel Howery. Which… isn’t that appealing to me.

3 stars, just in case it’s okay, but I feel like this could be 2.5 stars if done like all the other comedies I see.

Brother’s Keeper

A true story about the ’09 Abilene High School Football team.

Football movie. Okay. Laurence Fishburne is in it. Cool, cool. Oh, but he’s not the coach. So that’s not as cool.

3 stars. Even if they’re bad, they’re fine. Unless this is gonna be a religious movie, which it doesn’t appear to be.

Buffaloed

Set in the underworld of debt collecting and follows the homegrown hustler, Peg Dahl, who will do anything to escape Buffalo, NY.

From the director of Hysteria, which I liked. Stars Zoey Deutch. Sounds like a different version of Flower, except maybe without the not-quite-but-basically-incest angle.

Let’s call it 3 stars. Sounds like it’ll be fine, but I’m not sure the likelihood of this getting over the hump to 3.5 stars.

Burden

Ku Klux Klansman Mike Burden opens the Redneck Shop and KKK museum in historic Laurens, SC. He subsequently falls in love with a single mom, and, under her influence, quits the Klan and is taken in by an African American Reverend.

This played Sundance last year and still hasn’t come out. Which probably tells me everything I need to know about it.

Cast is nice, but the holdover and lack of distributer means I can’t guess more than 3 stars.

Burn Your Maps

A family in emotional turmoil is taken by surprise in this quirky adventure where an eccentric 8-year-old American boy, Wes, has an existential epiphany – He believes that he is in fact a Mongolian goat herder.

This was originally going to come out first-quarter 2017. And then they pulled it and nothing’s happened since. It bounced around festivals for a while and then disappeared off the face of the earth.

I like the director, so I’ll stick with this, but I can’t guess more than 3 stars. Sounds like it doesn’t quite work based on the fact that it hasn’t come out in over two years. Still, this movie has at least an audience of one, so there’s that.

Christmas in the Wild

Jilted by her husband on the eve of embarking on an African safari, a woman travels to the continent alone where she meets a elephant conservationist.

This is 100% a Netflix Christmas movie, isn’t it?

Starring Rob Lowe and Kristin Davis. Oh my god. Now we’re straight up appealing to the middle-aged woman demo unabashedly.

2.5 stars.

City of Lies

Russell Poole and Jack Jackson investigate the murders of rappers Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.

Oh yeah, the Johnny Depp movie they pulled like four weeks out.

Shouldn’t this come out March 9th? Just sayin’.

Still, 3 stars whenever they do. It’s Brad Furman directing, and he’s solid. Not sure the movie will be any good, but it’s guaranteed to be 3 stars minimum for me. I’ll be able to watch the shit out of this.

Clemency

Years of carrying out death row executions have taken a toll on prison warden Bernadine Williams. As she prepares to execute another inmate, Bernadine must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill.

Seems okay.

3 stars.

Close

A bodyguard and counter-terrorism expert Sam takes a job protecting Zoe a rich young heiress. Neither party is keen on the arrangement until a violent kidnap forces them to go on the run.

Noomi Rapace Netflix thriller.

That’s really all I need to know.

3 stars.

Coming out tomorrow, also. Which further tells you everything you need to know.

Corporate Animals

Lucy (Demi Moore) is the egotistical megalomaniac CEO of Incredible Edibles, America’s premier provider of edible cutlery. In her infinite wisdom, Lucy leads her staff including her long-suffering assistants, Freddie (Karan Soni) and Jess (Jessica Williams), on a corporate team-building caving weekend to New Mexico. When disaster strikes, not even their useless guide, Brandon (Ed Helms), can save them. Trapped underground by a cave-in, this mismatched and disgruntled group must pull together in order to survive.

What?

Oh, I se who this director is and how this is gonna go.

2.5 stars. I’m not a fan of this guy’s style. Maybe I’ll get 3 out of it, but that’s as high as this should end up going.

Crawl

A young woman, while attempting to save her father during a Catagory 5 hurricane, finds herself trapped in a flooding house and must fight for her life against alligators.

Okay then.

Alexandre Aja directs. He did Horns and Piranha 3D. Kaya Scodelario stars and Barry Pepper plays the dad.

Sure.

3 stars.

Why not. Let’s do this.

Critical Thinking

The true story of the Miami Jackson High School chess team which was the first inner city team to win the U.S. National Chess Championship.

John Leguizamo directed this and stars. Dito Montiel wrote it. Michael K. Williams is in it.

That’s great. I’m in for this.

3 stars.

Crown Vic

Follows one memorable night in the life of LAPD officer Ray Mandel while hunting two cop killers on the loose.

Thomas Jane stars, and it’s basically a B movie cast.

3 stars.

Seems pretty straightforward. Why waste more time figuring out what seems obvious?

The Current War

The dramatic story of the cutthroat race between electricity titans Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to determine whose electrical system would power the modern world.

This got pulled in 2017 after the Weinstein thing and then never came out. I’m still waiting for it, because it’s Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s followup to Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and I really wanna see it.

The cast is amazing, and even though reviews out of Toronto weren’t great I can’t imagine it’s that bad.

3.5 stars. Just let me see this. Where is it at? Mired in bankruptcy proceedings? Or just in limbo? Someone put this out already.

Cut Throat City

A heist movie set in the lower ninth ward in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

Directed by RZA. Aww shit.

This looks fun as hell.

3.5 stars.

Daniel Isn’t Real

A troubled college freshman, Luke, suffers a violent family trauma and resurrects his childhood imaginary friend Daniel to help him cope.

Plot sounds good. But something tells me this will end up being one where it takes the kind of twist I don’t want it to take. I want this to either be a drama about healing or a dark comedy where it’s fucked up because he’s just talking to this imaginary friend and people can’t deal with that (a la Harvey).

My guess is this friend is gonna start having him do fucked up stuff. And for that, I can’t assume anything more than watchable. So 3 stars.

The Dead Don’t Die

It’s Jim Jarmusch. I don’t even care what the plot is. His plots never matter. I’m in.

3.5 stars.

Now that’s out of the way, who’s in it? Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi, Tom Waits, Chloe Sevigny, Caleb Landry Jones, Selena Gomez, Danny Glover. Oh, so everybody. Glad we got that all figured out.

The Death and Life of John P. Donovan

A decade after the death of an American TV star, a young actor reminisces the written correspondence he shared with him, as well as the impact those letters had on both their lives.

Xavier Dolan movie. Played Toronto and seemingly got savaged by critics.

HIs last two movies were only just okay for me, so let’s expect more of the same. 3 stars.

The Devil Has a Name

A psychotic oil matriarch leaves the whole industry exposed when she attempts to outfight a bullish farmer whose water has been poisoned.

Edward James Olmos directs. And I like it when actors direct, so I’ll see this.

3 stars. Can’t imagine this will be a masterpiece, but it sounds totally watchable.

Dhaka

Chris Hemsworth stars. About a guy who has to save a kidnapped boy in India.

Sounds like a standard action movie.

3 stars.

The Diary

Early 1930s, the young man leaves Shanghai to come to Europe and reunite with the love of his life.

Jackie Chan wrote and directs. But also Kevin Kline is in it. Maybe it’ll be okay?

3 stars.

Dolemite Is My Name

The story of performer Rudy Ray Moore, who assumed the role of an iconic pimp named Dolemite during the 1970s.

Directed by Craig Brewer. His first movie since the Footloose remake in 2011. I loved Hustle & Flow and Black Snake Moan. I wish he’d made more films than he has.

Also written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who write all the cool, weird biopics (Ed Wood, People vs. Larry Flynt, Man on the Moon, Big Eyes.

Eddie Murphy stars as Rudy Ray Moore. Also has Keegan-Michael Key, Wesley Snipes, Craig Robinson, Chris Rock, Tituss Burgess, T.I and Mike Epps.

Look at this fucking CAST.

I’m overexcited, I know, but I’m going 4 stars. 3.5 seems more likely, but FUCK IT. Go big or go home.

Plus this movie seemingly got Eddie Murphy to wanna work with Brewer again and he just got announced as the Coming 2 America director. So this better be good to give me hope that that movie won’t just be a blight upon the wonder that is the first movie.

Domino

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

Brian De Palma movie. He said recently he doesn’t think this will ever come out, but I have a feeling that’s just an unhappy director talking, and the distributor doesn’t give a shit about what he thinks. (Remember, Accidental Love technically is a movie directed by David O. Russell, if we’re talking movies that directors think will never be released.)

Looks like he got all the secondary cast members from Game of Thrones to be in it. Which makes sense, considering where De Palma is in his career. I don’t know why he isn’t someone people are flocking to, but hey, shit happens.

Guessing this is kind of a Hitchcock pastiche… because every movie from De Palma that isn’t a “mainstream” one is a Hitchcock pastiche. Considering he seems to not like it, I’m going 3 stars. Can’t hope for more when the director doesn’t think it’ll ever see the light of day and seems perfectly fine with that.

Don’t Tell a Soul

Two thieving teenage brothers, stealing money to help their sick mom, match wits with a troubled security guard stuck at the bottom of a forgotten well.

From the writer of Flower. But honestly, kids stuff. Sounds like a generic kids movie with indie sensibilities.

3 stars. I’m sure it’ll be fine.

The Dougherty Gang

Facing the possibility of prison – and in search of an idealized freedom – 3 siblings take matters in to their own hands with a cross country crime spree of epic proportions.

3 stars. Sounds fine.

Dreamland

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

I heard good things about this script. The director made something I’ve never heard of. It’s his second movie.

Margot Robbie is in this. Generally she pics really cool stuff.

I think I’m safe to go 3.5 stars on this. Looks fun. Hope it’s better than 3.5, but unproven director, no idea what I’m gonna get.

Driven

Intense thriller where politics, big business and narcotics collide.

No idea what this is, but it has Lee Pace, Judy Greer, Corey Stoll and Jason Sudeikis. So I’m thinking I can get 3 stars out of this.

Drunk Parents

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 are the titular parents. However, the director made The House Bunny with Anna Faris, Joe Dirt 2 and Mad Families, the Charlie Sheen camping movie for Crackle.

So yeah. Any faith you may have had in this to be watchable is not only out the window, but it got demolished by a truck, Meet Joe Black style.

2.5 stars.

Earthquake Bird

A young ex-pat living in Tokyo is suspected of murder, which uncovers a mysterious love triangle.

Directed by Wash Westmoreland, who generally makes solid films. His last one was Colette.

This stars Alicia Vikander, Riley Keogh and Jack Huston. And honestly, I’m in.

3.5 stars. Hoping for 4, but Westmoreland seems to cap out at 3.5 stars most of the time.

Echo Boomers

Five post grads figure the best way to get back at the unfair economy and live the life they’ve always wanted is to steal from the rich and give to themselves.

It’s supposed to start shooting this month. Hopefully it will and I won’t regret my decision to track it this year. Still, it’s a heist movie and it has Michael Shannon in it. So I’m already in.

3 stars. Doubt it’ll come out this year, but I’m ready for it.

The Education of Fredrik Fitzell

Fred is not a detective, a secret agent or a philosopher. He’s a normal guy approaching 30 and going through an existential crisis as he finds himself on the precipice of full-blown adulthood. Should Fred commit to his long-term girlfriend? Should he take a corporate job to pay the bills and let go of his dream of becoming an artist? Should he paint the walls of his new condo Sea Foam Blue or Burnt Umber? After a chance encounter with a man forgotten from his youth, Fred literally and metaphorically journeys into his past. He slowly begins to unravel a long hidden mystery about a missing girl, a drug called Mercury, and a terrifying creature that has now followed him into adulthood – As past, present and future begin to intersect and parallel each other, Fred explores all the possible lives he could lead. Which one will he choose?

Huh?

Stars Dylan O’Brien and Maika Monroe. I like her and will watch her in just about anything.

Eli

A boy receiving treatment for his auto-immune disorder discovers that the house he’s living isn’t as safe as he thought.

Horror movie. Netflix picked it up. Yawn.

2.5 stars.

Elyse

A life altering event leads Elyse into darkness, forcing her to face her truths.

K.

Oh, I see, Anthony Hopkins’ wife wrote and directs this. That explains that. And he’s in it.

Sure.

2.5 stars.

Emperor

An escaped slave travels north and has chance encounters with Frederick Douglass and John Brown. Based on the life story of Shields Green.

Producer directing his first film.

I’m always worried about something like this. Let’s say 3 stars. Shouldn’t go lower than that, but not sure this one can go much higher.

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. And that’s all I need.

Gonna say 3 stars, because while I like his indies, I prefer the crime indies. This seems like a standard road trip movie. So we’ll stick with 3 and see if this differentiates itself.

Endless

A teenager finds himself trapped in a purgatory searching for a way to make contact with his true love.

I like movies like this.

Though the director has made shitty thrillers, so I can’t expect too much from it.

Still, 3 stars on concept alone. If I get 2.5, I can live with it. But this sounds like it could be a premise you can do something with.

Escape Plan 3: Devil’s Station

They made another one!

The last one was 2.5 stars so I have to figure this will be more of the same.

I’m just interested in how little it looked like Stallone worked this time.

They had to have shot these back-to-back, which must mean he worked like, a week on two movies and got paid some crazy amount.

Eternal Beauty

Follows Jane (Sally Hawkins) who, after being left at the altar, had a breakdown spiraled into a chaotic episode of schizophrenia lasting 20 years in which love (both real and imagined) and family relationships collide. Things change when she begins a darkly comic romance with Mike (David Thewlis), a failed musician and fellow lost soul.

Sounds fun.

3.5 stars.

Eve

Eve is a deadly assassin who works for a black ops organization, traveling the globe specializing in high profile hits. When a job goes dangerously wrong she is forced to fight for her own survival.

It’s Jessica Chastain getting a movie where she gets to kick some ass. And Colin Farrell and John Malkovich are in it. AND Geena Davis and Common.

Given the writer (and former director) of this movie has made two solid films so far, and its current director (Tate Taylor) has made solid films (The Help, Get on Up, Girl on the Train), I can easily say 3.5 stars for this.

I hope this is more than 3.5. Not gonna assume it, but I hope it is.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

A chronicle of the crimes of Ted Bundy, from the perspective of his longtime girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer, who refused to believe the truth about him for years.

This was a Blacklist script, wasn’t it? This title sounds familiar.

A true crime documentarian guy is directing this, and it was picked up by Netflix.

Zac Efron plays Bundy, Lily Collins plays the girlfriend. John Malkovich is in it, Kaya Scodelario, Jeffrey Donovan, Haley Joel Osment, Jim Parsons, Angela Sarafyan… the… lead singer of Metallica… okay.

Still, the fact that all these people are gravitating to it means the script must be really good. Hopefully the movie is of a similar level, because these Blacklist scripts always find a way to not be as good as they were on the page.

3.5 stars.

The Farewell

A Chinese family discover their grandmother has only a short while left to live and decide to keep her in the dark, scheduling a wedding to gather before she dies.

This sounds fun.

It’s playing Sundance, so I don’t know what the quality is gonna be, comedy-wise. Gonna say 3 stars and hope for more. The setup sounds great.

Fisherman’s Friends

Ten fisherman from Cornwall are signed by Universal Records and achieve a top ten hit with their debut album of Sea Shanties.

Sounds like fun.

I was tempted to go 3.5 stars, but it’s coming out in March in the UK and is from the people who did Finding Your Feet, which means it’s almost certainly going 3 stars. Trailer shows me that I should stick with it. I’m hoping it can go 3.5 though..

Fonzo

The 47-year old Al Capone, after 10 years in prison, starts suffering from dementia, and comes to be haunted by his violent past.

Tom Hardy is playing Al Capone. Directed by the guy who did Fantastic Four. I mean, sure. Hopefully he pulls it off. Not really sure what to make of this. Looking at it from the angle I have, I’ll say 3.5 stars. I doubt the movie will be amazing. I think Hardy could be great, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the movie has to be. So we’ll stick with 3.5 and see what the movie is.

Fosse/Verdon

An inside look at the romantic and creative partnership between influential choreographer/director, Bob Fosse, and Gwen Verdon, one of the greatest Broadway dancers of all time.

FUCK. YES.

I only found out this was happening because of the commercial during the Golden Globes.

I fucking love Bob Fosse and I love that they made a miniseries about him. And I love that they got Sam Rockwell to play him. And I love that Michelle Williams is playing Gwen Verdon. I’m so fucking all in on this show. Also, it’s directed by the guy who did Hamilton. And Grease Live.

4.5 stars.

It’s a miniseries, which is basically just a long movie. Fuck it, I’m counting it.

I know I never preview miniseries, but I also know that I’d rather see this than literally anything else that is coming out this year. And this is might site, I’ll do what I goddamn want.

Fracture

Driving cross-country, Ray and his wife and daughter stop at a highway rest area where his daughter falls and breaks her arm. After a frantic rush to the hospital and a clash with the check-in nurse, Ray is finally able to get her to a doctor. While the wife and daughter go downstairs for an MRI, Ray, exhausted, passes out in a chair in the lobby. Upon waking up, they have no record or knowledge of Ray’s family ever being checked in.

Directed by Brad Anderson, who makes solid movies. Stars Sam Worthington, which means slightly more generic than I’d hope. But also, that synopsis does sound like Breakdown, that Kurt Russell movie from 1997 that I love. I feel like this will not have the character of that, so I will not go above 3 stars on this synopsis.

But man, go watch Breakdown. I love that movie.

Frankie

Three generations grappling with a life-changing experience during one day of a vacation in Sintra, Portugal, a historic town known for its dense gardens and fairy-tale villas and palaces.

The director makes 3 star indies.

Stars Marisa Tomei, Brendan Gleason, Greg Kinnear and Isabelle Huppert.

I want to go 3.5 stars, but this guy makes 3 star indies, so 3 stars. Hope I can get more out of this.

Freaks

Okay, so this is a movie I saw before I could guess a rating for it. It came out in Toronto and should come out sometime this year.

Holy shit, though. Go see this movie. This is Benson and Moorehead level sci-fi. Don’t miss out on this one. They do nothing by chance in this movie. I have a feeling I’m gonna be shouting this one out over another movie at the end of the year.

Seriously, seek this one out. It’s one of the few times I get each year to experience not knowing at all where a movie is going and just going along for the ride. This is already one of my favorite films of the year.

The French Dispatch

It’s Wes Anderson. 4.5 stars, sight unseen.

The worst he goes is 4 stars.

It used to be a musical but apparently isn’t anymore. I’d have gone 5 if it were a musical.

Stars Timothee Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan, Willem Dafoe, Benicio Del Toro, Lea Seydoux, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, Frances McDormand, Henry Winkler, Jeffrey Wright, Lois Smith, Bob Balaban, Mathiew Amalric.

Jesus. Look at this.

When has Wes Anderson let us down? I kinda want to go 5 here, but let’s keep him honest. There’s no guarantee it even comes out this year. They like releasing his stuff in March anyway. But I don’t wanna be caught not having it on my list, so here we are.

Friday’s Child

Fresh out of foster care at age 18, a young drifter turns to petty crime to survive, and discovers an impossible love in an unlikely friend.

Been tracking this for at least a year. But it stars Imogen Poots. She’s worth waiting for. And it has Caleb Landry Jones and Tye Sheridan and Jeffrey Wright.

The director used to be Terrence Malick’s editor

3.5 stars. I think this can be good.

Friendsgiving

Molly and Abbey, along with their crew of close friends and acquaintances, host a dysfunctional, comical and chaotic Thanksgiving dinner.

Female director, nice.

Cast is nice. Malin Akerman, Chelsea Peretti, Kat Dennings, Christine Taylor, Jane Seymour, Aisha Tyler, Margaret Cho, Wanda Sykes.

3 stars. I think this can be fun.

Georgetown

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

Directed by and starring Christoph Waltz.

Yup.

And it’s got Vanessa Redgrave, Annette Bening, Corey Hawkins.

I like it when actors direct. Let’s call it 3.5 stars. I hope it’s worth it.

The Glorias: Life on the Road

A feature film based on feminist icon Gloria Steinem’s best selling memoir, My Life on the Road, telling the story of her itinerant childhood’s influence on her life as a writer, activist and organizer for women’s rights worldwide.

Julie Taymor is directing. Julianne Moore is old Gloria, Alicia Vikander is young Gloria. Janelle Monae is Dorothy Pitman Hughes.

Honestly the part I’m most interested in is the Julie Taymor of it all. She is a 3.5 star director at minimum. Kinda hoping this is 4 stars, so let’s go with that.

Going Places

A spin-off of The Big Lebowski centered on the notable bowler, Jesus Quintana.

I still don’t know what the fuck this is gonna be.

Turturro wrote and directed and it’s based on a 70s movie.

Honestly, 3.5 stars. Screw it. Let’s go in on this movie. What’s the worst that can happen? Turturro’s movies are usually weird and interesting. So the conceit will just get more eyeballs on it. I still expect an entertaining movie.

Grand Isle

A young father is charged for murder and must prove his innocence through recalling a very twisted and dark night of events.

Starring Nicolas Cage.

He’s not the young father, so does that mean I care?

Clint Eastwood’s camera operator is directing this. So that’s something, I guess.

3 stars. What the hell.

Greener Grass

Suburban soccer moms find themselves constantly competing against each other in their personal lives as their kids settle their differences on the field.

It’s playing Sundance. I can already guess what the tone is gonna be.

3 stars. Let’s not overdo this. This is gonna be awkward central, is my guess.

Gretel and Hansel

A long time ago in a distant fairy tale countryside, a young girl leads her little brother into a dark wood in desperate search of food and work, only to stumble upon a nexus of terrifying evil.

It’s by Oz Perkins. He made one solid movie, one not so solid movie. So let’s split the difference and say 3 stars.

Guest of Honor

No idea what it’s about, but it’s Atom Egoyan, which is something.

Oh, here’s an article:

Explores the relationship between a father and his 20-something year old daughter who wants to remain in jail for a sexual assault she knows she’s been wrongfully indicted for. Father and daughter find themselves acting out of the bounds of good behavior as the past haunts them.

Let’s say 3 stars? No clue what to make of this.

Hala

Muslim teenager Hala copes with the unraveling of her family as she comes into her own.

Stars Geraldine Viswanathan, who I saw in a couple of things this past year. She’s really great.

I’m down for this.

3.5 stars. I hope it’s great. Playing Sundance, so hopefully it gets some exposure there.

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.

WHAT? Is that what this has been about the whole time? Oh my god, I’m so glad I know this now.

Bring this movie ON.

I assume it’ll only be 3 stars. But still, bring it on.

Harriet

The story of Harriet Tubman, who helped free hundreds of slaves from the South after escaping from slavery herself in 1849.

Kasi Lemmons directs, her first movie since Talk to Me in 2007. Gotta be, right? Yeah. Wow.

Cynthia Erivo plays Tubman and it also has Janelle Monae in it. My gut tells me to go 3.5 stars so I will. I want this to be 4 though. I just… something like this… it feels like a 3.5 star movie for me. I want this to be incredible, though, and I want Cynthia Erivo to break out from it.

The Haunting of Sharon Tate

Pregnant with director Roman Polanski’s child and awaiting his return from Europe, 26-year-old Hollywood actress Sharon Tate becomes plagued by visions of her imminent death.

Starring Hilary Duff.

Oh my god this looks AWFUL.

2.5 stars. I have to see this it looks so bad.

Here Are the Young Men

Dublin teenagers Matthew, nihilistic Rez, and the deranged Kearney, leave school to a social vacuum of drinking and drugs, falling into shocking acts of transgression.

Sounds okay.

3 stars.

The Hole in the Ground

Trying to escape her broken past, Sarah O’Neill is building a new life on the fringes of a backwood rural town with her young son Chris. A terrifying encounter with a mysterious neighbor shatters her fragile security, throwing Sarah into a spiraling nightmare of paranoia and mistrust, as she tries to uncover if the disturbing changes in her little boy are connected to an ominous sinkhole buried deep in the forest that borders their home.

This is premiering at Sundance and it’s A24. Probably the only reason I’d even remotely care about it.

Looks well made, looks creepy. Not sure how much I’ll care, so 3 stars. Same thing I gave Hereditary in January. Gotta show me it’s better than that before I can start guessing it. Horror is not my genre. Takes a lot for me to care.

Honey Boy

A child actor works to mend the relationship with his hard-drinking, law-breaking father.

This is Shia LaBeouf’s movie about his own childhood, in which he plays his own father. So that should be interesting. Lucas Hedges, only ten years younger than Shia, plays his son. Granted, it’s not for the whole movie, but still. And Maika Monroe is in it.

Honestly there’s a lot to like here, and I feel like Shia is gonna do a good job here, overall. I like that he’s not directing it too. That would have felt like too much.

3.5 stars. I think this can be good. Let’s see how it does coming out of Sundance.

Hope Gap

A couple’s visit with their son takes a dramatic turn when the father tells him he plans on leaving his mother.

Stars Bill Nighy and Annette Bening.

Okay then.

And the writer/director also wrote Everest, Unbroken, Les Mis, Gladiator… real stuff.

3.5 stars. Let’s do this.

Horrible Histories: The Movie

Roman teenager Atti is forced to join the Roman army when one of his clever schemes falls foul of Emperor Nero. He is sent to “miserable, cold, wet Britain” where “the natives are revolting – quite literally”. Things go from bad to worse when Atti is captured by Orla, a feisty teenage Celt desperate to prove herself as a warrior. After narrowly avoiding a very sticky end in a bog, Atti uses his Roman know-how to help Orla save her gran who’s been kidnapped by a rival tribe. Meanwhile a furious Nero is determined to crush the rebellion, led by Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni. Atti rejoins his Roman troops and discovers they are preparing for an historic showdown with the Celts at the Battle of Watling Street. Atti’s brains could save the day but they could also spell disaster for Orla as the two new friends find themselves lined up on opposite sides of the battlefield.

I feel like I watched the movie already.

But hey, it at least seems watchable.

3 stars.

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.

Starring Steve Coogan, and directed by the guy who did The Waterboy, The Wedding Singer, Click… and also Blended and The Ridiculous 6.

Seems like a bit of a pivot.

Could be okay. 3 stars.

How to Build a Girl

The novel charts the journey of teenager Johanna Morrigan, who reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde: fast-talking, lady sex-adventurer, moves to London, and gets a job as music critic in the hope of saving her poverty stricken family in Wolverhampton.

Okay then.

3 stars. No idea what to make of this. Cast is okay though.

Human Capital

The lives of two different families collide when their children begin a relationship that leads to a tragic accident.

Written by Oren Moverman, who has written some cool stuff.

Not sure what the tone of this is. Cast leads me to believe 3 stars is the guess. Otherwise I don’t really have a whole lot to go by.

I Am Mother

A teenage girl is raised underground by a kindly robot “Mother” — designed to repopulate the earth following the extinction of humankind. But their unique bond is threatened when an inexplicable stranger arrives with alarming news.

Huh?

This sounds like a Netflix movie.

3 stars.

I Am Woman

The story of 1970s musician and activist Helen Reddy.

Okay then.

Female director, nice.

Seems like an Australian movie.

3 stars. Hope it’s better, don’t know what I’m getting. Writer did Mary Shelley, which was 3 stars. So let’s figure more of the same, I guess.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things

An unexpected detour causes a woman who is trying to figure out how to break up with her boyfriend to rethink her life.

Charlie Kaufman’s next movie. At least one of the last ones didn’t work out, but they just announced a cast for this, so I am hopeful it shoots soon and maybe even comes out this year. Maybe I can try to will it into existence by covering it. No idea.

4 stars.

I just want Charlie Kaufman to make more movies.

Imaginary Order

The sexual, psychological, and moral unraveling of an obsessive-compulsive suburban mom.

K.

3 stars.

In Fabric

In Fabric is a haunting ghost story set against the backdrop of a busy winter sales period in a department store and follows the life of a cursed dress as it passes from person to person, with devastating consequences.

This is by the Berberian Sound Studio guy. That’s cool.

Let’s say 3 stars. Maybe I can get 3.5 out of it if it’s really smart.

In the Shadow of the Moon

Jim Mickle’s new movie. He did Cold in July, which was fine. Also created Hap and Leonard, which I’ve at least heard of.

All I know is that it’s a detective story with a sci fi twist.

No idea what to make of it, but it’s Netflix, so 3 stars is the baseline for one of those.

In the Tall Grass

Brother and sister are driving through Kansas during their road trip. Suddenly, they hear calls for help coming. They stop to investigate and get lost in field of tall grass.

Based on Steven King. Directed by Vincenzo Natali, who has Splice on his resume, which I love.

3 stars. Steven King Netflix… pretty much the norm for those is 3 stars.

The Irishman

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

Scorsese. Automatic 4.5 stars. I need to go this high because I need to be let down if it’s not good. And this, of anything he’s done, is the one where I go, “This doesn’t seem like a good idea.” But you know what? I trust him. So let’s see him make this great.

Ironbark

Cold War spy Greville Wynne and his Russian source try to put an end to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Director did On Chesil Beach and it stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel Brosnahan.

3.5 stars. Cold War spy movie. Have to. Sounds more on the boring end than the fun end, but screw it. Cold War spy shit.

J’accuse

In 1894, French Captain Alfred Dreyfus is wrongfully convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil’s island.

Roman Polanski’s Dreyfus Affair movie. He’s wanted to make this for years.

His movies have fallen off a bit in recent years. But this is a passion project but should hopefully be good.

3.5 stars.

Jeremiah Terminator Leroy

A young woman named Savannah Knoop spends six years pretending to be the celebrated author JT LeRoy, the made-up literary persona of her sister-in-law.

Okay. That’s interesting.

Kristen Stewart plays the woman. And the director made some movies… I don’t have a whole lot of hope for this.

The premise sounds interesting, but with the people involved, I’m not sure how good this can be.

3 stars. Hope it’s more, but this seems like indie central.

Jojo Rabbit

A young boy in Hitler’s army finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish boy in their home.

It’s Taika Waititi. I’m completely in for this.

4 stars.

Juanita

Fed up with her deadbeat grown kids and marginal urban existence, Juanita takes a Greyhound bus to Paper Moon, Montana where she reinvents herself and finds her mojo.

It’s a starring role for Alfre Woodard, which is nice. TV director, though, which limits how good I can assume this will be.

3 stars.

Judy and Punch

Seaside (nowhere near the sea), puppeteers Judy and Punch are trying to resurrect their marionette show in an an anarchic town on the brink of mob rule.

What?

I feel like I wanna go 3.5 stars on this. That just sounds insane. Could be stupid, but whatever. Can’t be right about everything.

Jungleland

A reluctant bare-knuckle boxer “Lion” and his manager / brother “Stanley” must travel across the country for one last fight, but an unexpected travel companion “Sky” exposes the cracks in their bond along the way.

Why are there “quotations” around everything?

This is by Max Winkler, Henry’s son, who did Flower last year. Which was fine.

Charlie Hunnam is “Lion” and Jack O’Connell is “Stanley.”

I mean, it sounds like 3 stars.

The Kid

The story of a young boy who witnesses Billy the Kid’s encounter with Sheriff Pat Garrett.

Vincent D’Onofrio directs a movie about Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Ethan Hawke is Pat Garrett and Dane DeHaan is Billy the Kid. Chris Pratt is in it too.

It’s a western, I’m in.

I’m gonna say 3 stars, even though I want to say 3.5 stars. I like it when actors direct and I love westerns, but something tells me to stick with 3 here.

Kill Chain

Three strangers lives are inevitably entangled in a conflict none of them are prepared for.

Starring Nicolas Cage.

All I’ve heard is that it’s supposed to be a noir, but he’s the only person in the cast I recognize. So I have no idea what that means.

I guess 3 stars. A lot of the boring Cage crap has been 2.5, but the more interesting VOD stuff is 3. Only really insane stuff like Mandy has gone higher. So let’s stick with 3. He’s coming off a good year.

The Kill Team

A young American soldier in Afghanistan is disturbed by his commanding officer’s behavior and is faced with a moral dilemma.

3 stars.

Afghan war movies usually don’t do it for me.

Killers Anonymous

Follows a support group of killers and hitmen who are thrown into a tailspin after a prominent senator is murdered by, they suspect, one of their own.

Okay.

Gary Oldman is in it. That’s probably enough for me.

3 stars.

The Kindness of Strangers

The story of four people suffering through the worst crises of their lives.

Lone Scherfig directs, and it has Zoe Kazan, Andrea Riseborough, Caleb Landry Jones and Bill Nighy in it.

Sounds too New York indie to go higher than 3 stars, but she’s a solid director. So maybe.

The King

Shakespearean movie. Directed by David Michod, written by Michod and Joel Edgerton.

Stars Timothee Chalamet, Edgerton, Ben Mendelsohn, Robert Pattinson, Sean Harris, Thomasin McKenzie and Lily-Rose Depp.

I can’t not guess 3.5 stars with all these people involved. But it’s Shakespeare, so I can’t go too high. It’s Henry V, so it’ll only go so far for me.

Klaus

A postman is posted to a frozen town in the North – where he discovers Santa Claus is hiding out.

Logline sounded interesting… trailer was not.

Could be okay, though.

2.5 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.

Submarine movie. Dope.

Written by the Saving Private Ryan guy, directed by the guy who did The Hunt and the Far from the Madding Crowd remake. Stars Colin Firth, Lea Seydoux, Matthias Schoenaert and Max von Sydow.

I mean, this sounds like it should be 3.5, but they held it over and I feel like reviews are just so-so, so let’s say 3 stars. Feels like a 3 star movie.

Lady and the Tramp

It’s a Disney remake they’re making for their streaming service. Weird it won’t go out in theaters.

Tessa Thompson is Lady, Justin Theroux is Tramp. Janelle Monae is Peg. Kiersey Clemons is Darling. Benedict Wong is Bull. Thomas Mann is Jim Dear.

Okay.

3.5 stars. I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Still can’t see them not putting it out in theaters, which probably means 2020.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

A young man searches for home in the changing city that seems to have left him behind.

Playing Sundance. Director’s first film. Plan B produced it, which is usually promising. And A24 is putting it out. Which is also promising.

3.5 stars. Might get 3, but worth a shot based on the people picking the material.

The Last Days of American Crime

In the not-too-distant future, as a final response to terrorism and crime, the U.S. government plans to broadcast a signal making it impossible for anyone to knowingly commit unlawful acts.

So the idea is that people are going on a crime spree before this thing kicks in? The twist is gonna be that it doesn’t work, right?

The director did Transporter 3, Taken 2 and Taken 3, so this automatically becomes a 3 star action movie.

Sometimes it’s just that easy.

The Last Full Measure

Thirty-four years after his death, Airman William H. Pitsenbarger, Jr. (“Pits”) is awarded the nation’s highest military honor, for his actions on the battlefield.

War movie.

And damn, look at this cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Sebastian Stan, Bradley Whitford, Ed Harris, Christopher Plummer, William Hurt, Peter Fonda.

I should go 3.5 on the cast alone, but I feel like I know what this tone is, so 3 stars. The director hasn’t made anything of note, and it just feels like one of those movies that will be too sentimental to be good. You know, for your uncle who fought in Korea and really respects the values he learned in the Marine Corps. Which is fine, just… those movies don’t rate too highly for me is all.

The Last Summer

A group of young people in Chicago come together during the summer before they head off to college.

Oh, one of these American Graffiti movies. I’ll always watch these. Not sure I’ll care, but I’ll always watch them.

3 stars.

The Last Thing He Wanted

A journalist quits her newspaper job and becomes an arms dealer for a covert government agency.

Dee Rees directs from a Joan Didion novel, starring Anne Hathaway and Ben Affleck. And Willem Dafoe.

Mudbound was good. This looks like a thriller. 3.5 stars seems like the guess. They’ll push it for awards but my guess is it’ll just be fine.

Late Night

A late-night talk show host suspects that she may soon be losing her long-running show.

Mindy Kaling wrote this. Emma Thompson stars, along with Kaling. Honestly it depends on how network TV comedy this is versus how dark comedy it is.

3 stars seems like the baseline, so let’s go with that..

The Laundromat

Follows a group of journalists who take part in unearthing 11.5 million files, linking the world’s most powerful political figures to secret banking accounts to avoid taxes.

Steven Soderbergh directs. Stars Gary Oldman and Meryl Streep.

I’m in.

4 stars.

Let It Snow

Set during a once-in-century snowstorm on Christmas Eve, follows several high school seniors who discover unexpected opportunities as well as complications that test their friendships, love lives, and aspirations for the future.

Oh, this movie. This was scheduled to come out like two years ago and never shot. Now it’s on Netflix and they just announced a cast today. So I’m assuming they’ll shoot it first quarter and put it out for Christmas.

3 stars. Netflix Christmas movie. Has to prove it’s gonna be better than the rest before I can assume it will be.

Lexi

A comedy about what can happen when you love your phone more than anything else in your life.

By the guys who did 21 & Over and Bad Moms. So not looking great already.

Adam Devine stars, which also isn’t great.

2.5 stars.

I’m not overly enamored with their previous output. So at best I’m getting 3 stars out of this movie.

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.

Oh yeah, the Fault in Our Stars ripoff with Jaden Smith and Cara Delevingne.

2.5 stars.

Life Support

Life Support follows a manic Roman Catholic family who is preparing for the death of their dying father, Bob (Brian Dennehy). He’s still alive and kicking, but knows his fate. Eddie (Larry Clarke), the son supposedly in charge, isn’t ready for any of this, especially having to deal with his stepmother, Dawn (Lesley Ann Warren). Together with his siblings, Eddie struggles over many end-of-life decisions, including potentially pulling the plug should the time come – all in front of a dying Bob, who argues that while he’s still alive, he’s calling the shots.

I like movies with older cast still getting work.

That said — 2.5 stars.

Seems indie as hell.

Light of My Life

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

Casey Affleck wrote, directed and stars.

But it’s a survival movie, and I like those.

3.5 stars.

The Lighthouse

The story of an aging lighthouse keeper named Old who lives in early 20th-century Maine.

This is Robert Eggers’ followup to The Witch.

Stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson. No one else credited.

Honestly, cool.

3.5 stars.

The limited cast makes me feel it can maintain a 3.5. Here’s hoping this works as well as The Witch did.

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.

Starring Lupita Nyong’o.

Sounds fun.

3 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.

Saw a trailer. 3 stars.

Looks indie as hell. Could be 3.5 though. I can see that happening.

The Lodge

A soon-to-be-stepmom is snowed in with her fiance’s two children at a remote holiday village. Just as relations finally begin to thaw between the trio, strange and frightening events threaten to summon psychological demons from her strict religious childhood.

This is by the Goodnight Mommy directors.

Riley Keogh stars with Richard Armitage, Alicia Silverstone and the kid from It.

3 stars. But only because of the director. Otherwise I’d have assumed 2.5.

Lords of Chaos

A teenager’s quest to launch Norwegian Black Metal in Oslo in the early 1990s results in a very violent outcome.

Okay then. Sounds interesting.

3 stars.

Lost Girls

A mother searching for her missing daughter in Long Island makes a horrifying discovery in the woods where the murdered bodies of four girls have been dumped.

Cast is good. Plot sounds too serious for something I’d like.

3 stars.

Lost Girls and Love Hotels

The story centers on Margaret, a young Western woman in the midst of losing herself in the bacchanal of nighttime Tokyo. Haunted by memories of her twin brother’s descent into madness, Margaret courts danger with her fellow ex-pat misfits in dive bars and love hotels. When she falls for Kazu, a handsome Japanese gangster, she has a chance at redemption. But with the threat of a killer in the city, Margaret is in a race to find herself before she’s lost completely.

I’m over this.

2.5 stars.

Lost Transmissions

When an acclaimed music producer goes off his medication for schizophrenia, his friends chase him though the LA music scene to help commit him to a psychiatric hospital, revealing the troubling inadequacies of our mental health care system.

Cast is enough to say 3 stars. Not sure if it’s anything more than that.

Low Tide

Nothing about this, but it’s got the kid from Midnight Special and It and Shea Whigham. So that’s something.

3 stars.

Luce

A married couple is forced to reckon with their idealized image of their son, adopted from war-torn Eritrea, after an alarming discovery by a devoted high school teacher threatens his status as an all-star student.

3 stars.

Sundance movie. cast seems… yeah, 3 stars.

Lucy in the Sky

The story of a female astronaut who, upon returning to Earth from a life-changing mission in space, begins to slowly unravel and lose touch with reality.

Oh, this is the movie that used to be called Pale Blue Dot. Noah Hawley’s movie with Natalie Portman. Got it.

Honestly, he created Fargo, which was great. Is an author. And apparently Legion is good too.

Still, plot sounds good. Hopefully it’s great.

4 stars.

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