The 2019 Film Release Calendar: Films Without Release Dates (M-Z)

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 finish going over the films that do not, as of yet, have release dates. This year, I’ve folded all the 2018 holdovers into this list to make it easier. Just to get it all done at once.


A lonely woman befriends a group of teenagers and decides to let them party at her house. Just when the kids think their luck couldn’t get any better, things start happening that make them question the intention of their host.

Tate Taylor directed a Blumhouse movie.

Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Juliette Lewis, Missi Pyle, Octavia Spencer.

Sounds like your standard crazy woman movie. Unless there are some twists that I don’t know about going on here. Considering the writer has done comedies before, I’m gonna think there’s some humor and/or intelligence in the writing. So 3 stars. Otherwise, if it’s straight horror, it’ll be 2.5 and I won’t care.

Magic Camp

Follows Andy, who, at the urging of his former mentor and Magic Camp owner Roy Preston, returns as a counselor to the camp of his youth hoping to reignite his career.

Sounds like a dumb kids movie.

The fact that this has yet to come out is probably not a good sign.

2.5 stars.

The Man Who Killed Hitler and then the Bigfoot

A legendary American war veteran is recruited to hunt a mythical creature.

Starring Sam Elliott.

Shit yeah.

Trailer makes it look really cheap, so that’s worrying me. I want to go 3.5, but the way the trailer is structured it really makes me think I should only go 3.

So let’s go 3 stars. 3.5 seems like the ceiling on this anyway. But the trailer does not make it look as interesting as the title suggests.

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

Toby, a disillusioned advertising executive, becomes pulled into a world of time jumping fantasy when a Spanish cobbler believes him to be Sancho Panza. He gradually becomes unable to tell dreams from reality.

I can’t believe Terry Gilliam actually got this made.

I also have a copy of this movie, so I’ll be seeing it pretty soon.

Let’s say 3.5 stars. Terry’s been trying to tell this for years, so hopefully it’ll end up having been worth it.


A family looking to start a charter-boat business buys a ship that holds terrifying secrets once out on isolated waters.

Horror movie. But it has Gary Oldman and Emily Mortimer, so there’s that I guess.

Writer’s always done straight horror, for the most part (though I guess he did write the Blake Lively shark movie, which is more of a thriller). The director was the DP on American Horror Story. So yeah, straight horror.

2.5 stars. Sorry Gary, but this isn’t my genre.


The story of 14th century Czech icon and warlord Jan Zizka who defeated armies of the Teutonic Order and the Holy Roman Empire.

Ben Foster is in this? Michael Caine? What?

I gotta say 3 stars on those two alone. But it doesn’t look great.

Miranda July Project

A woman’s life is turned upside down when her criminal parents invite an outsider to join them on a major heist they’re planning.

Well that sounds fun.

Gina Rodriguez, Evan Rachel Wood, Debra Winger, Richard Jenkins.

I’m so in for this.

3.5 stars.

Bring it on, Miranda July.


A group of women hatch a plan to disrupt the 1970 Miss World beauty competition in London.

Is this a heist movie?

Oh, no, it’s a message movie. The director did The Crown and real stuff.

Keira Knightley, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Suki Waterhouse, Rhys Ifans, Greg Kinnear, Lesley Manville. Yeah, this is a legit thing.

Okay, 3.5 stars I guess. I mean, that’s the kind of film they built, so let’s hope it’s good.


A turbulent 24 hours in the life of a father and daughter, grappling with the challenges of dealing with her father’s chaotic mental state.

Sally Potter movie. The Party was good.

Javier Bardem, Laura Linney, Salma Hayek, Elle Fanning, Chris Rock.


Let’s say 3.5 stars, I guess? It’ll be 3 or 3.5, I’m thinking. Cast is nice, so let’s go higher.


“Monster” is what the prosecutor calls 17 year old honors student Steve Harmon. He is being charged with felony murder. But is Steve really a monster?

This played Sundance last year but still isn’t out.

3 stars. Cast is still the cast. I’m sure it’s fine.


A rabid film fan stalks his favorite action hero and destroys the star’s life.

Directed by Fred Durst and starring John Travolta.

Okay then, bring it the fuck on, whatever the hell this is gonna be.

3 stars.

The Mountain

The story of a young man who, after losing his mother, goes to work with a doctor specializing in lobotomies and therapies.

Rick Alverson’s new movie. Entertainment was AWESOME.

And Jeff Goldblum is in this.

3.5 stars. I’m in. Don’t even wanna know more. Done. Seeing this.

Monster Hunter

Based on a video game. And Paul W.S. Anderson is gonna direct it. Oh, so he moved on from Resident Evil and now this is his new thing? Probably means this comes out early 2020, right?

Where does he get the budgets for these movies?

The cast is straight… it’s fitting for a movie like this.

3 stars. You know it’ll be bad-watchable. They always are.


The tragic true story of best friends Steve Driver and Tom Dong, two low end porn actors who sought fame but gained infamy.

Oh yeah, the porno murder movie.


3 stars.

Motherless Brooklyn

Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, Motherless Brooklyn follows Lionel Essrog, a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome, as he ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna.

Edward Norton has been trying to get this made for years.

He’s only directed one movie before this, but it was Keeping the Faith and I love that movie.

He’s also very picky about what he does and has high standards. I have to assume he’s planning to make this really good.

He’s also got Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe, Bobby Cannavale, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Leslie Mann, Alex Baldwin, Ethan Suplee, Fisher Stevens, Cherry Jones, Michael K. Williams — hell of a cast.

4 stars. Maybe I’m wrong. But I’m excited for this.

Mr. Jones

A Welsh journalist breaks the news in the western media of the famine in the Soviet Union in the early 1930s.


3 stars. The kind of movie that’s fine, but like… why do I wanna watch this? That’s how these usually go for me.

Ms. Purple

A young woman who works as a karaoke hostess in Koreatown reconnects with her estranged brother in the final days of their father’s life.

Oh, this is by Justin Chon. Gook was good.

On that alone I’ll say 3.5 stars on this.

Murder Mystery

A New York cop and his wife go on a European vacation to reinvigorate the spark in their marriage, but end up getting framed and on the run for the death of an elderly billionaire.

… Starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston.


That’s right.

The only thing — the ONLY thing — keeping this from going automatically on Unforgivable watch is the fact that it’s director is Kyle Newacheck, who made Workaholics. Which I’ve never seen. I saw Game Over Man, which was at least competent and fine, if not particularly good. Plus, the writer did like, real stuff. Zodiac is him for one. And The Rundown. Basic. But also White House Down, Amazing Spider-Man and Independence Day 2. So you know, it’s varied, to be nice.

I’m gonna shock you — 3 stars.

That won’t keep this from possibly being Unforgivable, but this does mean that I’m expecting not to automatically hate this movie.

Remember this when it comes out. These might be famous last words.


Details the story of a sober drug dealer and her disabled sister.

Did you guys know Sia directed a movie?

It’s a musical, too.

Kate Hudson and Maddie Ziegler.

I have to say 3 stars, but I want to go 3.5 on gut instinct. But she’s never done any of this stuff before, so I have no clue what I’m getting. So let’s assume 3 and see if it can be better. You gotta figure it only can go up from 3, right?

The Mustang

Tells the story of Roman Coleman, a violent convict, who is given the chance to participate in a rehabilitation therapy program involving the training of wild mustangs.

3 stars.

Trailer just made it seem… yeah, 3 stars is the guess.

My Days of Mercy

The daughter of a man on death row falls in love with a woman on the opposing side of her family’s political cause.

Kate Mara and Ellen Page star.

2.5 stars. It’s been held out too long for me to think it’s anything more.

My Spy

A hardened CIA operative finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year-old girl, having been sent undercover to surveil her family.

Oh, fun. Dave Bautista and kids.

3 stars. These movies are usually so dumb they’re fine.

My Zoe

A divorced mother looks to protect her daughter after an unexpected tragedy.

Julie Deply movie. These are almost exclusively 3 stars.

Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase

A bit of an outsider struggling to fit into her new surroundings, Nancy and her pals set out to solve the mystery, make new friends, and establish their place in the community.

It’s a Nancy Drew movie for Netflix. I honestly don’t need anything more than that to say 3 stars.

Native Son

A young African-American man comes of age in the South Side of Chicago during the 1930s.

Well, it’s a famous book. The director is an artist. The cast is nice.

3.5 stars. Honestly I hope it’s 4 stars. I hope this is great. I like everything about what this is setting up to be.

Naya Legend of the Green Dolphin

This is an action film following the adventures of Naya The Golden Dolphin Princess and her mission to save the Earth.

Of course. Why wouldn’t it be?

The cast is nuts, which means Chinese money.

2.5 stars. This sounds baaaaad. And yet, I will watch it. Because I am dumb.

Needle in a Timestack

A husband whose marriage is destroyed by a time-travel rival and will do whatever it takes to get his wife back.

First off, plot sounds amazing. Second, is Rachel McAdams in this? She seems to love movies where she’s wedded to time travelers.

This was written and directed by John Ridley. So that’s nice.

Oh, and Cynthia Erivo is in it. That’s cool too. Orlando Bloom, Freida Pinto, Leslie Odom Jr. Okay then.

Ridley’s last movie was just okay, but he’s a good writer.

Let’s call it 3.5 stars. I want this to be really good.

The Nest

Life for an entrepreneur and his American family begin to take a twisted turn after moving into a English country manor.

It’s Sean Durkin’s new movie. He did Martha Marcy May Marlene and this is his first movie since that.

It sounds more Long Day’s Journey Into Night than horror. Which is good.

Cast is great. Jude Law and Carrie Coon as the leads.

Shit, I want to go 4 stars on this, but I know I should go 3.5 stars.

But anything that makes me think it has the chance or is aspiring to be a sort of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? will only go well for me, I think.

Never Grow Old

An Irish undertaker profits when outlaws take over a peaceful American frontier town, but his family come under threat as the death toll rises.

It’s a western? Oh shit, son. Emile Hirsch and John Cusack. Okay, okay.

3 stars has to be the guess. Westerns usually do better for me, but the director gives me no hope this’ll be anything special.

The Night Clerk

Voyeuristic hotel clerk becomes the subject of a murder investigation.

Tye Sheridan, Ana de Armas, Helen Hunt, John Leguizamo. Okay, then. I like this cast.

Feels like an erotic thriller though, so let’s say it’s only 3 stars. Love that cast, though.

Oh, wait, this sounds like a noir. Fuck it. 3.5 stars. Let’s do it.

The Nightingale

Set in 1825, Clare, a young Irish convict woman, chases a British officer through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against her family. On the way she enlists the services of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy, who is also marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past.

This sounds great. And it’s Jennifer Kent, who made The Babadook.

I want this to be great.

4 stars.

It’s basically True Grit in Australia. True Vegemite?

Whatever. Could be 3.5, but I don’t think it goes lower. I think I’m gonna like this.

Nightmare Cinema

Five strangers converge at a haunted movie theater owned by The Projectionist (Mickey Rourke). Once inside, the audience members witness a series of screenings that shows them their deepest fears and darkest secrets over five tales.

It’s a horror anthology. But there are cool people working on this, like Mick Garris, David Slade and Joe Dante.

3 stars. Anthology movies usually get to 3 for me, even if they’re not great.


Santa’s daughter finds herself having to take over the family business.

Starring Anna Kendrick. And from the writer/director of Two Weeks Notice, Music and Lyrics, Did You Hear About the Morgans and The Rewrite.

That all evens out to a solid 3 stars, I’d think.


A weathered Lieutenant, his police force, and a local vigilante are all caught up in a dangerous scheme involving a recently arrested, troubled man who’s linked to years of female abductions and murders.

3 stars. Logline alone tells me 3.

Cast is decent — Stanley Tucci, Ben Kingsley, Nathan Fillion, Henry Cavill, Minka Kelly, Alexandra Daddario.

Still, 3 stars. These movies never get above 3 for me.

Normal People

Joan and Tom have been married for many years. There is an ease to their relationship which only comes from spending a life time together and a depth of love which expresses itself through tenderness and humour in equal part. When Joan is unexpectedly diagnosed with breast cancer, the course of her treatment shines a light on their relationship as they are faced with the challenges that lie ahead and the prospect of what might happen if something were to happen to Joan.

Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville star. That’s good.

Let’s call it 3 stars. Could be better, let’s assume just okay.

Now Is Everything

A grieving fashion photographer searches for his missing girlfriend.

Is this Blowup?

No idea who the star of this movie is, but Anthony Hopkins is in it.

Let’s say it’s a generic 3 star action thriller. Feels like it. Might be 2.5, but it’ll be one or the other.

Ode to Joy

A man suffers from a serious disease that causes acute narcolepsy whenever he is happy. The man develops a variety of techniques to deny himself pleasure and deal with the sleep issues, but they’re put to a big test when he falls in love.

Okay then.

From the director of the Arthur remake. Oh boy.

Cast is okay. So let’s call it 3 stars.

Still, that Arthur remake… bad idea.

Official Secrets

The true story of a British whistleblower who leaked information to the press about an illegal NSA spy operation designed to push the UN Security Council into sanctioning the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Gavin Hood directs.

Stars Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Ralph Fiennes, Matt Smith, Rhys Ifans.

On that alone I have to say 3.5 stars.

Hood’s resume is solid. Tsotsi is very good. Rendition was just meh. Wolverine was a disappointment, but that’s partially because of the leaked work print. Ender’s Game wasn’t good. But Eye in the Sky was very good.

So yeah, 3.5 stars sounds about right.

Once Upon a Time in Staten Island

Described as a coming of age family drama set in the summer of 1982 on Staten Island, New York.

Written and directed by the guy who did The Purge. So it’s a passion project for him.

Naomi Watts, Bobby Cannavale, Frank Grillo, Method Man… he’s got people in this.

Oh wait, there’s more:

Once Upon a Time in Staten Island is set in the summer of 1982 and has as its backdrop the release of Rocky III. The story tells of an average teen who embarks on a quest in his Rocky Balboa-obsessed town that swirls in his family members. Watts and Grillo will play his parents.

I feel like I’m gonna enjoy this.

3.5 stars.

I really feel like I’m gonna enjoy this.

Also, for everyone who knows me very well… what are the odds that I said this eight years ago?

The Operative

A woman is recruited by the Mossad to work undercover in Tehran.

Diane Kruger is the woman? Sure.

3 stars.


A re-imagining of Hamlet, told from Ophelia’s perspective.

Starring Daisy Ridley. Naomi Watts as Gertrude. Clive Owen as Claudius. I mean, sure.

Reviews on this were just kind of ehh. And given that it’s Shakespearean, I feel no reason to go higher than 3 stars on this. Could get 3.5, but 3 seems more likely.


Three suburban moms travel to New York City to visit their sons.

This is a comedy of middle age.

3 stars.

The cast doesn’t inspire me to guess anything more than that.

The Outpost

A small team of U.S. soldiers battle against hundreds of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

Oh fun, another Afghan war movie.

But it’s directed by Rod Lurie, which is at least intriguing. The Contender is great, The Last Castle is very good, and I love Nothing But the Truth. Straw Dogs wasn’t a great idea. Let’s assume this is fine.

The cast doesn’t inspire me to go any higher than 3 stars, though.

Pain & Glory

A film director reflects on the choices he’s made in life as past and present come crashing down around him.

Pedro Almodovar’s new movie.

Sounds like he’s trying to make this his 8½?

It’s either 3 or 3.5. I guess 3 stars. Let’s see. Maybe it’s great. I wasn’t a huge fan of his last one. Maybe this will fare better.

Paradise Hills

A mysterious boarding school perfectly reforms wayward girls to fit their surroundings’ exact desires.

This looks trippy.

3.5 stars.

I’m in.

The Parts You Lose

A young boy in a small North Dakota town befriends a potentially dangerous fugitive.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul. This could be like Labor Day. But also, maybe not.

I like this cast, so 3.5 stars.

The Peanut Butter Falcon

The Peanut Butter Falcon is an adventure story set in the world of a modern Mark Twain that begins when Zak (22), a young man with Down syndrome runs away from a nursing home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler and attending the wrestling school of The Salt Water Redneck. Through circumstances beyond their control Tyler (32), a small time outlaw on the run becomes Zak’s unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whisky, find God, catch fish, and convince Eleanor (28), a kind nursing home employee with a story of her own to join them on their journey.

Stars Dakota Johnson, Shia LaBeour, Jon Bernthal, Bruce Dern, Thomas Hayden Church, John Hawkes.

I mean, 3.5 stars. That cast tells me it has to be.


A Canadian farmer takes on a giant corporation after their GMO’s interfere with his crops.

Starring Christopher Walken. Aww shit.

3.5 stars. I’m down for a real Christopher Walken movie. Maybe I’m aiming too high, but I need more Walken in my life.

The Perfect Date

Is it April 25th? Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket?

In a clever scheme to raise money for college, Brooks creates a dating app wherein he plays the roll of “stand-in” boyfriend for every kind of situation you can imagine. Through the journey of being a different person every night of the week, he finds out that the real Brooks Rattigan isn’t who he thought at all and to his surprise falls for the real girl of his dreams…..

It’s the guy from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in another Netflix rom com.

Sounds like fun. Not sure how good it’ll be. Nothing about the writers or director makes me think I should go more than 3 stars. The better written it is, the higher it’ll go. Otherwise it’ll just be 3 stars and fine.

The Perfection

A cello prodigy’s pursuit for perfection takes a sinister turn.

Netflix horror movie.

… from the director of The Matador and The Hunting Party and Dom Hemingway. Well that’s a horse of a different color.

3.5 stars. He’s earned that trust.

Thinking this is more Black Swan than anything now.

This is why it’s important to look at all the information at your disposal before you make your decision.

The Personal History of David Copperfield

Directed by Armando Iannucci.

Well that changes everything.

4 stars.

In the Loop was great, Death of Stalin was great. What more do you need?

Ben Whishaw, Gwendoline Christie, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Dev Patel, Benedict Wong… shit yeah.

Bring. It. On.

Point Blank

A nurse saves the life of a criminal and must help plan the patient’s escape in order to save his kidnapped wife.

From the director of Mayhem, which I really enjoyed.

Marcia Gay Harden, Frank Gillo and Anthony Mackie star.

3.5 stars.

Let’s hope they can redo that Mayhem mayhem.

The Poison Rose

Inspired by classic film noir, “The Poison Rose” stars Carson Phillips, an ex-football star turned PI, who’s got a soft spot for a lady in distress. Like the classic tales spun by the masters, he takes on a routine missing persons case which slowly reveals itself to be a complex interwoven web of crimes, suspects and dead bodies. When he discovers his long lost daughter is the number one suspect, he races a ticking clock to save her, solve the murders, and uncover the town’s dirty secrets.

Starring Brendan Fraser, John Travolta, Famke Janssen, Morgan Freeman, Peter Stormare, Robert Patrick.

Well shit.

3 stars.

Sounds super low budget and generic, but I’ll watch the shit out of it.


A comedy about a group of women who form a cheer leading squad at their retirement community, proving that you’re never too old to ‘bring it!’


Diane Keaton, Pam Grier, Rhea Perlman and Jacki Weaver are starring.

So yeah. That’s what this is.

Again, what?

2.5 stars.

The Pope

Explores the relationship and opposing visions between two of the most powerful leaders in the Catholic Church, both of whom must address their own pasts and the demands of the modern world in order to move the church forward.

Directed by Fernando Meirelles.

Jonathan Pryce is Pope Francis and Anthony Hopkins is Pope Benedict. Because all these Popes look the same to me and the last Pope anyone knew or gave a shit about was John Paul II, I had to look up who they were. Benedict is the guy who stepped down and Francis is the guy in there now. And holy shit, does he look like Jonathan Pryce.

I like Fernando Meirelles. But also, this is Popes talking about church stuff. So I’m really not gonna give too much of a shit. Unless they’re gonna go Young Pope on this, which I doubt.

Meirelles’ last movie was 360, which was meh. Blindness was okay. The Constant Gardener’s the last good one. Anthony McCarten wrote it. Theory of Everything, Darkest Hour, Bohemian Rhapsody. I mean, I guess on that alone I have to say 3.5 stars. Not crazy about the whole church aspect, but he’s a good writer, so I have to assume he’ll make it interesting, and the two performances will make it worthwhile.


A big-game hunter for zoos who has booked passage on a Greek shipping freighter with a fresh haul of exotic and deadly animals from the Amazon, including a rare white Jaguar – along with a political assassin being extradited to the U.S in secret. Two days into the journey, the assassin escapes and releases the captive animals, throwing the ship into chaos.

Starring Nicolas Cage.

It’s Snakes on a Plane meets Jumanji, but on a boat. I’m so fucking in.

The director is Nick Powell stuntman on stuff like the Bourne movies.

I mean, 3 stars. I feel like it’ll be badly CGI’d, which should make it less mayhem than I’d hope. But also, you need a lot of mayhem in a Cage VOD movie for me to get higher than 3 stars. At this point I just hope they can be 3 in between the Mandys.

The Professor and the Madman

Professor James Murray begins work compiling words for the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary in the mid 19th century and receives over 10,000 entries from a patient at Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum , Dr William Minor.

They just announced that this is finally getting a theatrical release. Second quarter this year, which I assume means a nice May run.

This was in litigation and I was worried it would delay the movie forever. But here we are.

Stars Mel Gibson and Sean Penn, so I have to guess 3.5 stars on this, regardless. Hopefully it lives up to that. But hey, Margaret was in litigation for years, and that movie’s amazing.


The Austrian Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector, refuses to fight for the Nazis in World War II.

Terence Malick’s war movie. His return to narrative filmmaking, allegedly.

4 stars. All his movies were 4 stars or more until we got to the diminishing returns, Tree of Life-style movies. So let’s go back to the norm for him.


A story of the scientific and romantic passions of Marie and Pierre Curie, and the reverberation of their discoveries throughout the 20th century.


Directed by Marjane Satrapi, who did Persepolis and The Voices.

Rosamund Pike is Marie and Sam Riley is Pierre. Anya-Taylor Joy is also in it. I’m in.

3.5 stars.

Rambo 5: Last Blood

Rambo goes up against a Mexican cartel in what’s reported to be his last adventure.

I mean, sure. Bring on another Rambo movie.

How many people has this man killed?

3 stars.

Also, the director did Get the Gringo, which is a good start to this being fun as hell.


A decades-long feud between two sheep farming brothers comes to a head when disaster strikes their flocks.

Sam Neill stars, and I’m in.

3.5 stars. Might only be 3, but I feel like these feud movies are always fun. Like Jim Sheridan’s The Field and stuff like that.


Follows a single mother who accepts emergency help from a mysterious woman when her daughter is bitten by a rattlesnake. She’s forced to return the favor by taking the life of a stranger in the desert town of Tulia, Texas.”


3 stars.

I like movies like this. Hope it’s better than 3.

Ready or Not

A bride’s wedding night takes a sinister turn when her eccentric new in-laws force her to take part in a terrifying game.

Really? I hope there are twists, because we’ve seen this.

Nothing here that makes me think it’s more than a 3 star movie at best. So let’s stick with that.

Red Joan

The story of Joan Stanley, who was exposed as the KGB’s longest-serving British spy.

Judi Dench is a spy. Dope.

Most of it is flashback, though.

3 stars. Seems okay. 3.5 seems like the ceiling on this, but the trailer makes me think it won’t get there.

The Red Sea Diving Resort

Retelling of the rescue of Ethiopian Jewish immigrants to Israel in 1981.

Historical thriller. 3 stars on that alone. These movies always end up at 3.

Haley Bennett, Chris Evans, Ben Kingsley, Michael K. Williams, Greg Kinnear, Alessandro Nivola… even with a cast, it feels like 3. It’s hard to merge historical recreation with “interesting.”


After a man’s family dies in what appears to be a murder, he gets a phone call from one of the dead, his niece. He’s not sure if she’s a ghost or if he’s going mad, but as it turns out, he’s not.

Blumhouse movie. 2.5 stars. These are not for me.

Remember Me

After discovering his old flame now has Alzheimer’s, a hopelessly in love widower fakes his way into her senior living community in an effort to reunite with her.

Bruce Dern, Brian Cox. One of these. Okay then.

2.5 stars. I watch them, but I don’t necessarily like them.

The Report

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, CIA agents begin using extreme interrogation tactics on those they think were behind it.

Scott Z. Burns wrote and directs. He wrote Bourne Ultimatum, The Informant!, Contagion and Side Effects. So we know he can write a solid one. Oh, and he just did The Laundromat for Soderbergh too.

Who’s in this — Adam Driver, Jon Hamm, Jennifer Morrison, Maura Tierney, Matthew Rhys, Annette Bening, Michael C. Hall, Tim Blake Nelson, Ted Levine. Sweet.

3.5 stars. Don’t think I can safely go higher than that on this one, but this sounds interesting. Hopefully he’s as good a director as he is a writer.


The story of a group of Jewish Boy Scouts who worked with the French Resistance to save the lives of ten thousand orphans during World War II.

From the Hands of Stone director.

Edgar Ramirez, Ed Harris, Jesse Eisenberg, Clemence Posey.

Feels like a 3 star movie.

Richard Says Goodbye

A college professor lives his life with reckless abandon after being diagnosed with a terminal illness.

I finally saw Katie Says Goodbye. That was okay. This I guess is a spiritual cousin to that, since it’s the same writer-director.

3 stars. I imagine more of the same as the other one. Maybe Depp is really good in it. Who knows.

People around him are good — Zoey Deutch, Rosemarie DeWitt, Ron Livingston, Danny Huston. That makes me think this could go 3.5. But we’ll see. Let’s stick with 3 based on the last one.

Ride Like a Girl

The story of Michelle Payne, the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup.

Sweet. Love jockey/horse movies.

3.5 stars on that alone.

Don’t need to know anything more. Might be too hokey, but even that I can live with. I like stuff like this.

Teresa Palmer, Sam Neill. Director is Rachel Griffiths. Oh, no shit. Okay. Her feature debut. One of the writers did Hacksaw Ridge. Yeah, I feel okay about that guess. This should be solid.

Rim of the World

Four misfit teenagers join forces to save the world when an alien invasion interrupts their summer camp.

Directed by McG.

For Netflix.

3 stars.

Anyone need an explanation, or does that all make complete sense on its own?


The film follows a nameless ex-Nazi captain who navigates the ruins of post-WWII Germany determined to atone for his crimes during the war by hunting down the surviving members of his former SS Death Squad.

Directed by Justin Kurzel, who did Macbeth (and yes, Assassin’s Creed). He’s also got another one coming out that’ll be on this list in a minute. This one hasn’t shot yet, but on the off chance it does, it sounds awesome.

Margot Robbie and Matthias Schoenaerts are attached.

3.5 stars. Honestly, wanna go 4, but I’ll stick with 3.5 because I feel like it might not even come out this year (if it even shoots).

Running with the Devil

An International Drug Kingpin sends two of his most highly regarded Assassins to investigate why shipments are being hijacked and over cut.

Starring Nicolas Cage.

That’s really the only thing you can lead with on these movies.

He fills out his VOD slate early, works like, a month straight, shoots them all, and then they all come out slowly over the course of the year. That’s the move now.

But there are like, real people in this: Laurence Fishburne, Barry Pepper, Leslie Bibb, Adam Goldberg, Clifton Collins. That’s a legit cast.

I know better than to go higher on 3 stars for a Cage VOD movie, but also, I want to see this.

Saturday at the Starlight

Teens, tweens and crooks all hang out at the local roller rink one night during the 1990s.

Sounds fun, still.

3 stars. I think I can just get enough out of this to go 3.

A Score to Settle

An ex-enforcer for a local crime syndicate has vowed to enact retribution on his mob bosses after 22 years of wrongful imprisonment. The only thing diverting his violent plans is a new found relationship to his beloved son.

Starring Nicolas Cage.

It’s Oldboy. It’s Oldboy starring Nicolas Cage.

Trivia for this: “Nicolas Cage learned to play piano for his role.”

Okay then.

From a staff writer of Get Shorty and a director who made something I’ve heard of. Good enough for me.

3 stars.

The Secret

A feature film adaptation of the self-help book, ‘The Secret’, which focuses on the power of positive thinking.

Oh no, really?

And it’s on Netflix?

2.5 stars.

This is one step away from “religious movie.”

Secret Obsession

A brutal attack leaves a young woman with amnesia, but when her memories start coming back, she realizes she no longer knows who to trust… not even those closest to her


2.5 stars.

See You Yesterday

Two teenagers build time machines to save one’s brother from being killed by the police.

Well that’s a hell of a logline.

3.5 stars.

Probably aiming high, but I really like that setup. Hopefully they pull it off.


Sergio Vieira de Mello biopic for Netflix. During his diplomatic career, Vieira de Mello drew as many accolades as scorn. Accused of being a “crisis junkie,” Vieira de Mello relished hot spots and war zones where he used his charm, good looks and negotiating skills to save lives. The movie’s story is set hours after the 2003 attack at Baghdad’s Canal Hotel in Iraq orchestrated by al-Qaida. As the world watches the efforts to save Vieira de Mello’s life, the diplomat, buried under the rubble, is forced to confront the dubious choices he has made during his personal life and career as the UN’s go-to man.

Netflix surfing biopic. Yeah…

3 stars.


An expecting father-to-be discovers he has many other siblings and tries to track them down before his baby is born.

Staring Marlon Wayans… Marlon Wayans… Marlon Wayans… yeah, you get the idea.

This is his Norbit.

For Netflix.

2.5 stars.

It’s on watch.


After discovering a disturbing video from a night she doesn’t remember, sixteen-year-old Mandy must try to figure out what happened and how to navigate the escalating fallout.

Well it’s in Sundance, and it’s A24, so that keeps me from being too down on that logline. But I’m not thrilled that it’s a movie about social media.

3 stars. Can’t in good conscience go any higher than that without any more information.

Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon

When an alien with amazing powers crash-lands near Mossy Bottom Farm, Shaun the Sheep goes on a mission to shepherd the intergalactic visitor home before a sinister organization can capture her.

3 stars. First one was that for me, and this should be no different. Most of these Aardman movies don’t go much higher than 3 for me. They’re just cute, but that’s about it.

She’s Missing

When her best friend goes missing at a rodeo, Heidi goes on a search across the desert, digging up secrets and encountering the violence of life on the road.

Okay then.

3 stars.

The first clause of that sentence is amazing, by the way.

The Silence

The story of a family struggling to survive in a world terrorized by a deadly, primeval species who have bred for decades in the pitch darkness of a vast underground cave system, hunting only with their acute hearing. As the family seeks refuge in a remote haven where they can wait out the invasion, they start to wonder what kind of world will remain when they’re ready to emerge.

So it’s The Descent meets A Quiet Place?

Kiernan Shipka, Miranda Otto, and Stanley Tucci.

3 stars, but only for the Tucc.


A destitute young man, raised by racist skinheads and notorious among white supremacists, turns his back on hatred and violence to transform his life, with the help of a black activist and the woman he loves.

Well shit, that’s Jamie Bell under all that makeup. Okay then.

I guess 3 stars?

Slaughterhouse Rulez

An illustrious British boarding school becomes a bloody battleground when a mysterious sinkhole appears at a nearby fracking site unleashing unspeakable horror.

Oh, I can already guess the tone of this and I know it’s gonna be 3 stars. That logline tells me every single thing I need to know about this movie.

Someone Great

On the rebound from a nasty break-up, a woman travels with her two best friends to New York City.

Gina Rodriguez, Brittany Snow, Rosario Dawson. I mean, sure, I guess.

This will either be 2.5 or 3, I’m guessing, so let’s say 2.5 stars. I see so many pitfalls in a setup like this, and I’ve been burned too many times.

The Sound of Silence

A successful “house tuner” in New York City, who calibrates the sound in people’s homes in order to adjust their moods, meets a client with a problem he can’t solve.

Oh-kay, then.

Based on a short. So they had a short that apparently worked and then made it longer. Which rarely goes well.

3 stars.

The Souvenir

A young film student in the early 80s becomes romantically involved with a complicated and untrustworthy man.

3.5 stars. Something tells me this will be good.

Standing Up, Falling Down

A comedy about the unlikely friendship that kindles between a struggling stand-up comedian from L.A., forced to move back home to Eastern Long Island with his tail between his legs, and a tragically flawed, but charming and charismatic, alcoholic dermatologist. Discovering to be kindred spirits, each helps the other find healing, in addition to the confidence to face the “failures” in their lives.

Ben Schwartz and Billy Crystal star. That’s nice.

3 stars, I guess? Could get 3.5 out of this, but I don’t know what this is gonna be, tonally.

The Standoff at Sparrow Creek

A former cop-turned-militia man investigates a shooting at a police funeral.

This came out today, FYI.

This looks interesting as hell.

3.5 stars.


A quirky, homeschooled teenager shakes things up at her uptight high school in Arizona.

Looks fun, I guess.

3 stars.


The strange story of the infamous 1973 hostage crisis in Stockholm.

3 stars. All of these go 3 stars.

Storm Boy

A beautiful and contemporary retelling of Colin Thiele’s classic Australian tale. ‘Storm Boy’ has grown up to be Michael Kingley, a successful retired businessman and grandfather. When Kingley starts to see images from his past that he can’t explain, he is forced to remember his long-forgotten childhood, growing up on an isolated coastline with his father. He recounts to his grand-daughter the story of how, as a boy, he rescued and raised an extraordinary orphaned pelican, Mr Percival. Their remarkable adventures and very special bond has a profound effect on all their lives. Based on the beloved book, Storm Boy is a timeless story of an unusual and unconditional friendship.

3 stars. Seems fine.

Strange But True

A woman who, five years after the tragic death of her boyfriend, arrives on the doorstep of his family to tell them she is pregnant with his child. Though skeptical, the family find themselves trying to prove her right, only to discover that the truth is much more terrifying than they could have imagined.


Wanted to go 3.5 on this, but it sounds more like a thriller than a drama, so I have to knock it down to 3 stars.


An original pop musical film about six strangers who get stuck on a New York City subway together and change each others lives in unexpected ways.

3 stars.

Original musical means it’ll stay at 3, but it’s like two-plus years now. Is it ever coming out?

Summer Night

A coming-of-age story about the complexities of young romantic relationships.

Cast seems interesting. Looks indie, though. 3 stars.


A woman during the Second World War opens her heart to an evacuee after initially resolving to be rid of him.

First time director. Stars Gemma Arterton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Courtenay, Penelope Wilton… good enough to go 3 stars. Not sure there’s enough to automatically say 3.5.

The Sunlit Night

Set between New York City and the far north of Norway, The Sunlit Night follows American painter Frances and émigré Yasha as an unlikely pair who find each other in the Arctic circle. Frances has arrived to jumpstart her career while Yasha has come to bury his father in the land of the Vikings. Together under a sun that never quite sets, they bury the past and discover the future, and family, they didn’t know they had.

From the director of Look Who’s Back and Wetlands. I like that.

Jenny Slate, Zach Galifianakis, Gillian Anderson. Okay.

3 stars. Sounds fine.


Jenn has washed ashore a small tropical island and it doesn’t take her long to realize she’s completely alone. She must spend her days not only surviving the elements, but must also fend off the malevolent force that comes out each night.

The director did Sleight, which was okay. Synopsis sounds interesting. Stars Kiersey Clemons.

3.5 stars. Just because I feel like it’s a cast away kind of movie with limited dialogue, and I like those. The horror aspect worries me, but let’s see what side wins out.

Sweetness in the Belly

Lilly, orphaned as a child, experiences her parents homeland of England, escaping civil war. She becomes the heart of a disenfranchised community in London, where she attempts to reunite people with their families. But her friend Amira discovers Lilly’s mission isn’t purely altruistic and a passionate lost love affair is revealed between Lilly and Aziz, an idealistic doctor.

This was gonna be Saoirse Ronan for a minute. That’s why I was following it. Now it’s Dakota Fanning.

3 stars. Sounds whatever.


Follows New Orleans paramedics, whose lives are ripped apart after encountering a series of horrific deaths linked to a designer drug with bizarre, otherworldly effects. 

The new Benson and Moorehead film. LOVE Spring and The Endless was very good.

Sounds like Bringing Out the Dead, doesn’t it?

But whatever. 3.5 stars. Love their stuff.

The Tax Collector

No idea what this is about, but there are images of Shia LaBeouf all tatted up for it. And it’s David Ayer, who makes good movies when he isn’t making movies about orcs.

3.5 stars. Hopefully he gets back to his roots. We’ll see.

Them That Follow

Set deep in the wilds of Appalachia, where believers handle death-dealing snakes to prove themselves before God, Them That Follow tells the story of a pastor’s daughter who holds a secret that threatens to tear her community apart.

Sundance movie.

Cast is nice.

3 stars.

Not sure where this is going, but have to stay moderate on this, given the subject matter.

Three Christs

Follows Dr. Alan Stone who is treating three paranoid schizophrenic patients at the Ypsilanti State Hospital in Michigan, each of whom believed they were Jesus Christ. What transpires is both comic and deeply moving.

John Avnet movie, so technically part of my Directors List.

Richard Gere, Peter Dinklage, Walt Goggins, Bradley Whitford, Kevin Pollak, Julianna Marguiles, Stephen Root, Jane Alexander.

It played Toronto in 2017 and has no release date in sight. I guess I’ll see if it comes out this year and after this just leave it to the list.

3 stars.


A multi-generational tale of one family from 1950’s Taiwan to present-day New York.

From the creator of that Aziz Ansari show on Netflix. This seems like a history of his own family.

This is for Netflix, and it’s got a very nice cast that is almost entirely Asian.

The question is if this is an Avalon kind of story or not. And on that hope, I will say 3.5 stars.

Timmy Failure

An 11-year old boy who believes that he is the best detective in town runs the agency Total Failures with his best friend, an imaginary 1,200 pound polar bear.

Directed by Tom McCarthy. His first movie after Spotlight. Not sure anyone could have seen that one coming.

It’s Tom McCarthy, though. His movies are usually really good. But it’s a kids movie, so 3 stars. I have to assume 3 and see if it can go higher.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before 2

They only recently announced a sequel. It hasn’t shot yet. But knowing Netflix it’ll shoot soon and come out last half of this year. Like those Christmas movies. They just churn them out.

The director of this did the first one and Carrie Pilby, both of which were very solid movies. I’m wondering if the sequel can be as solid as the first one, or if it’ll be slightly lesser because we know mostly what we’re getting.

I’ll say 3 stars on the sequel drop, but I hope this can be as good as the first one.

To the Stars

Under small town scrutiny, a withdrawn farmer’s daughter forges an intimate friendship with a worldly but reckless new girl in 1960s Oklahoma.

Sundance movie. Shea Whigham, Malin Akerman, Kara Hayward.


I guess 3 stars, on the indie factor. Maybe it can be good though.

Toff Guys

A very British drug lord tries to sell off his highly profitable empire to a dynasty of Oklahoma billionaires.

Guy Ritchie. Yeah, boy. Finally getting back to his crime roots.

Aladdin is coming out this year and you’d think there’s no way this will also come out — but this is already shooting and Aladdin is Disney, which means he has almost no say in the final product. So why wouldn’t he go shoot this?

Loo at the cast — Hugh Grant, Colin Farrell, Charlie Hunnam, Matthew McConaughey, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery.

It’s Guy Ritchie doing crime again after studio work for like, a decade. I’m in.

4 stars. I know that’s aiming high, but I’m excited.


Tolkien explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school.

Cool. Nicholas Hoult plays him. He’s already played Salinger, so I guess he’s making a career out of this.

Cast seems okay around him. Director hasn’t done a whole lot I’ve seen, nor have the writers. One of them wrote Pride, which was cute.

The question of something like this is if it’ll show the worlds he’s creating or just be about him and his romance or whatever. My guess is the latter, which means I can’t go higher than 3 stars on this. I’ve seen these writer biopics before, and it’s tough for them to be particularly good.

The Tomorrow Man

Ed Hemsler spends his life preparing for a disaster that may never come. Ronnie Meisner spends her life shopping for things she may never use. In a small town somewhere in America, these two people will try to find love while trying not to get lost in each other’s stuff.

Sundance movie. Bleecker Street bought it before it premiered, which is a good sign that it’s okay.

John Lithgow and Blythe Danner star.

Seems like a nice little romance.

3 stars. Maybe I can get 3.5 out of this, but it’s also a Sundance indie. Let’s stick with 3 and see where it goes. It’s Bleecker Street who bought it and not Fox Searchlight. There’s a difference there.

Tonight at Noon

Lee and Mae are a couple trying to work out their differences. As Mae struggles with memories of a former flame, Lee, who is a writer, works through his frustration by forming his problems into a story in his mind. And that’s when everything starts shifting back and forth from reality to Lee’s imagination.

Michael Almeredya directs. He usually makes watchable movies.

Stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lauren Ambrose, Connie Nielsen, Rutger Hauer, Josh Hamilton, Ethan Hawke.

Though I do feel like they never amount to as much as one would hope for me.

3 stars, despite the high concept. Marjorie Prime was just okay. Experimenter I liked, but still was just okay for me. So let’s figure more of the same.

Top End Wedding

Lauren and Ned are engaged, they are in love, and they have just ten days to find Lauren’s mother who has gone AWOL somewhere in the remote far north of Australia, reunite her parents and pull off their dream wedding.

It’s playing Sundance. Sounds fun.

3 stars, just because of the indie-ness of it all. I hope it goes higher.


A widowed, former basketball all-star lost family foundation in a struggle with addiction and attempts to comeback by becoming the coach of a disparate, ethnically mixed high school basketball team at his alma mater.

Gavin O’Connor directs, Ben Affleck stars. The last time that happened, we got The Accountant.

This is a basketball movie though. And those are usually solid.

3.5 stars feels like an easy guess for this.

Not looking for the “the performance mirrors Ben Affleck’s current status in his personal life” think pieces, but I’ll just have to brace myself for those.

Trading Paint

Veteran race car driver Derek Bornt and his son, a fellow driver from a small town overcome family and professional conflicts, balancing competition, ego, resentment and a racing nemesis to come out stronger on the other side.

John Travolta VOD movie. Says it’s out February 22nd. We’ll see if that’s the case.

Still, these are usually 3 stars, so I see no reason to assume anything different here.

Trial by Fire

The tragic and controversial story of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in Texas for killing his three children after scientific evidence and expert testimony that bolstered his claims of innocence were suppressed.

Directed by Ed Zwick, who back in the day used to be Mr. Oscar bait. Glory, Legends of the Fall, Courage Under Fire, The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond, Defiance. He always made really solid movies that were made to win awards, and very rarely did they.

His last couple movies were hit and miss — Love & Other Drugs, Pawn Sacrifice, Jack Reacher 2. And now he has this.

Stars Jack O’Connell and Laura Dern. The story sounds like something I don’t particularly want to see. Guessing that’s why it played Telluride in 2017 and still has no distributor.

3 stars. I have to assume that, otherwise someone would have wanted to try to win statues with it.

Troop Zero

In rural 1977 Georgia, a misfit girl dreams of life in outer space. When a competition offers her a chance to be recorded on NASA’s Golden Record, she recruits a makeshift troop of Birdie Scouts, forging friendships that last a lifetime.

Stars Mckenna Grace, who has been very good in stuff like I Tonya and Gifted. Allison Janney and Viola Davis are also in it.

Sounds fun.

3.5 stars. Might just be 3 stars and really on the nose, but fuck it. Misfits coming together to make something usually goes over well with me. And Viola Davis isn’t usually just in anything.

The True Adventures of Wolfboy

Follows a young boy who runs away from home in the search of his estranged mother.

I like movies like this. The question is how sentimental it’ll be.

3 stars. Have to figure that as a baseline and see if it can go any higher. Cast lets me think it could, but I can’t just assume it.

The True History of the Kelly Gang

Based on Peter Carey’s novel. The story of Australian bush-ranger Ned Kelly and his gang as they flee from authorities during the 1870s.

Justin Kurzel, who did Macbeth, directs. The first of two movies he’s got in the pipeline for this year.

George MacKay is Ned Kelly, and it also has Charlie Hunnam, Russell, Crowe, Nicholas Hoult, Essie Davis, Thomasin McKenzie.

Works for me.

3.5 stars.


Fueled by his love of wine, a young man, played by Mamoudou Athie, strives to become a master sommelier while dealing with his father’s expectations that he will take over the family barbecue business.

Netflix movie. Directed by the showrunner of Insecure. Sounds okay.

3 stars.

Uncut Gems

About a jewelry store owner with a gambling addiction who is juggling two relationships and escalating debts.

New movie by the Safdies, who did Good Time.

Stars Adam Sandler, Lakeith Stanfield, Idina Menzel, Judd Hirsch, Pom Kelemntieff.

Good Time managed 4 stars for me, but I’m not sure I can assume that high every time yet on them. So 3.5 stars. I think I can easily get that out of this.


A crew of underwater researchers must scramble to safety after an earthquake devastates their subterranean laboratory.

Okay then.

Director did The Signal, which was meh.

Stars Kristen Stewart, T.J. Miller, Vincent Cassell, Jessica Henwick, Mamoudou Athie, John Gallagher Jr.

3 stars. Sound watchable but generic.

Unicorn Store

A woman named Kit receives a mysterious invitation that would fulfill her childhood dreams.

Brie Larson directed this. Hasn’t had a distributor since premiering at Toronto in 2017. I think Netflix may have picked it up.

My guess is, given the lack of a release, I have to say 3 stars on this. I want it to go higher, because I like it when actors direct and something like this could be a nice fantasy that’s right in my wheelhouse, but 3 stars feels like it has to be the guess.

Untitled Drake Doremus Project

A 30-something woman navigating through love and heartbreak over the course of one year. During that time, she will unlock the secrets to her life in a sudden turn of events and in the most surprising of places.

Drake Doremus likes high concept romance movies.

Stars Shailene Woodley, Sebastian Stan and Jamie Dornan.

And they’re always 3 stars, outside of Like Crazy. So let’s just stick with that.

Untitled Henry & Rel Sci-Fi Project

It’s by the guys who did Catfish, who are making decent sci fi movies now.

Cast includes Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Courtney B. Vance, Rodrigo Santoro and Machine Gun Kelly.

Concerns a drug epidemic that gives people a range of superpowers. The protagonist is believed to be a teenage actress of color who finds herself dealing the drug to help care for her family. Sources say Foxx will play a family man who has suffered a great loss and is desperate to trace the drug’s supply line and find its designer, while Gordon-Levitt will play a beat cop who takes law enforcement matters into his own hands.

Let’s call it 3.5 stars on the cast and potential. Might not go that high, but it could be good.

Untitled Noah Baumbach Project

The story follows an unfolding divorce that spans from New York City to Los Angeles.

Wow, I wonder if that has any relevance to his personal life.

Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Laura Dern, Ray Liotta.

My concern with Baumbach movies is always that the characters are so unlikable and there’s never any entertainment value I get from them. Frances Ha was the only one I really said, “Well that feels like it has some life to it.” Mistress America almost made me like it, The Meyerowitz Stories I liked because of the cast only… this… I don’t know.

3 stars. Baumbach movies usually have to prove to me that they’re more than the same nonsense he usually puts out that I hate.

Untitled Roger Ailes Movie

A few women decide to take on Fox News boss Roger Ailes and the toxic male culture he presided over at the network.

Jay Roach directs, stars Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman, Alice Eve, Kate McKinnon, Charlize Theron, Allison Janney, Connie Britton, Alanna Ubach, Nazanin Boniadi, Ashley Greene… and John Lithgow as Roger Ailes, Malcolm McDowell as Rupert Murdoch, and Mark Duplass.

3.5 stars. I think I can get 4 out of this, but I want to see it get there on its own. The writer also did The Big Short, but he also had Adam McKay there. Jay Roach make solid HBO political movies now, but I want to see this be something more than just a self-serious movie. I need to see it be really good on its own before I assume it’l’l be 4 stars.


Andrea is a recently sober writer whose career has stalled since she published her debut novel several years ago. She strikes up an affair with Nick, a doctor-turned-writer who is hailed for his wartime memoir. At the same time, her sister Tara, a massage therapist dating an aging rock star, finds herself inexorably drawn to a newfound religious zeal and, particularly, to a politically engaged rabbi.

This feels like an indie all the way, and anything about writers… not my cup of tea. And it’s a first film.

But Billy Crystal and Ben Mendelsohn are in it, so on that alone, 3 stars. Should probably go 2.5, but those two got me to 3.

Valley of the Gods

Entwines Navajo lore with a reclusive trillionaire and his would-be biographer, creating a fascinating, mysterious and idiosyncratic vision of America.

Sounds weird. But John Malkovich is in it, so 3 stars.

Vampires vs. the Bronx

A group of young friends from the Bronx fight to save their neighborhood from gentrification…and vampires.

Go on.

This looks fun. But I’m also worried about going above 3 stars. So let’s stick with that and see what this wants to be.

Viena and the Fantomes

A roadie travels across North America with a punk band during the 1980s.

This has been held over at least two years.

Stars Dakota Fanning, Zoe Kravitz, Evan Rachel Wood, Jon Bernthal, Caleb Landry Jones — it’s got a cast. But the fact that they still haven’t released this tells me I can’t go higher than 3 stars on it. But it is from the Miss Bala director, so I can’t imagine it’s bad. I’m just wondering why it hasn’t come out yet. That’s weird to me.


After a pair of amateur criminals break into a suburban home, they stumble upon a dark secret that two sadistic homeowners will do anything to keep from getting out.

Comedy/horror. That’s more promising than just horror.

Haven’t seen anything the directors have done.

But Bill Skarsgard, Maika Monroe, Jeffrey Donovan and Kyra Sedgwick are in it. So that’s good.

I guess 3 stars. No idea how smart this is gonna be, so we’ll assume 3 and hope for more.

Vita and Virginia

It’s the fascinating true story about the love affair between socialite and popular author Vita Sackville-West and literary icon Virginia Woolf.

This played Toronto and instead of an awards run is getting an early-to-mid 2019 release.

Elizabeth Debicki and Gemma Arterton star, so that tells me 3 stars. Should be fine, but nothing overly special.

The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle

A physician discovers that he can talk to animals.

Supposed to come out in January, but I feel like they might try to sneak this in as Oscar bait at the end of the year. For effects and stuff. It feels like a Christmas movie.

Stephen Gaghan directs, which is odd. Since he wrote Traffic and directed Syriana. But hey, a director should be able to handle multiple genres.

His last movie was Gold, which was solid but not as amazing as I’d have hoped.

Downey stars as Doolittle, and there’s a shit ton of celebrity voices in this.

I imagine it’ll be fun.

Let’s say 3.5 stars n all the people involved and hope the star and director can keep it solid. If not, it’s just 3 stars and generic family friendly nonsense.

Waiting for the Barbarians

A Magistrate working in a distant outpost begins to question his loyalty to the empire.

From one of the directors of Birds of Passage and Embrace of the Serpent. Stars Johnny Depp.

I’m definitely interested.

3.5 stars. The films always look great, and this hopefully will be more of the same.

Walk Ride Rodeo

The incredible true story of nationally ranked barrel racer Amberley Snyder, who at 19 barely survives an automobile accident. Now paralyzed from the waist down, Amberley, with the support of her family, physical therapy and her own inspiring determination, fights to earn back her place in the sport she loves.

Netflix movie.

There’s absolutely nothing here to make me think I will care about this.

2.5 stars.

The War with Grandpa

Upset that he has to share the room he loves with his grandfather, Peter decides to declare war in an attempt to get it back.

They bumped this out of last year, which probably tells me everything I need to know.

But it does have Christopher Walken and Robert De Niro. So there’s that. And Uma Thurman, Jane Seymour and Rob Riggle and Cheech Marin.

The creator of SpongeBob directs (he also did Max Keeble’s Big Move, Alvin and the Chipmunks and Hop… so nothing great there).

Honestly, 3 stars, on the cast alone. Let’s see how Unforgivable this really is.


Loneliness, death and the meaning of life, explored through vastly separate lives colliding in interweaving short stories set in future Earth.

Sci-fi ensemble from a first time director.

3 stars on principle.

Alice Eve, Lana Condor, Annabelle Wallis, Laura Harrier, Mena Massoud, Alex Pettyfer, Charlotte Le Bon… cast is nice, though.

Still, this isn’t my first rodeo. 3 stars.


Two young couples navigate through the emotional minefield of growing up and falling in love.

Directed by Trey Edward Shults. He has Krisha and he has It Comes at Nigh. Both solid, even though I didn’t necessarily love either.

Apparently this is a musical of sorts though, so I’m totally in on this one.

3.5 stars.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Merricat, Constance and their Uncle Julian live in isolation after experiencing a family tragedy six years earlier. When cousin Charles arrives to steal the family fortune, he also threatens a dark secret they’ve been hiding.

This was a movie that was supposed to have come out properly in 2018 and then didn’t, and it certainly sounds like a gothic drama, which never goes over well for me.

Alexandra Daddario, Taissa Farmiga, Sebastian Stan, Crispin Glover… still… I know where this goes.

3 stars. This is one of those, expect the norm, hope it can be better.

West Side Story

I know better than to trust that Steven Spielberg won’t get a movie out in time for Oscar season. Especially since they just announced a few days ago that he cast his Maria.

Look, the first West Side Story is one of the single greatest movies ever made. It is perfect, and this feels like it could only be screwed up. That said, if I’m going in on Spielberg making West Side Story, I’m going all in.

4.5 stars.

Gotta go big, because you know what? If he pulls it off, it’s automatic top ten for me. If he doesn’t, I need that shit to hurt. I need to see the disappointment. I don’t want any of that, “Oh, well I guessed 4 and it was 4, I guess it’s fine.” No, no. I want the “Why would you do this, Steven? Didn’t you know it was gonna end this way?” But I want this to be great. There’s room for another West Side Story. I just need him to make it worthwhile. And 4.5 stars will make it worthwhile.

When I’m a Moth

An “un-biopic” of the young Hilary Rodham set in 1969, during the unverifiable weeks her autobiography has her working at an Alaskan salmon cannery. A parable about America, political narratives, and the absence of free will.

Oh yeah, this one.

No idea what this is, but the fact that it has yet to come out or even have any sort of hint at coming out means 3 stars has to remain the guess.

The White Crow

The story of Rudolf Nureyev’s defection to the West.

Ralph Fiennes directs. And he makes solid movies. Coriolanus and The Invisible Woman were both well done.

Let’s call it 3 stars. I’m sure it’s fine, but I also only just sort of liked the other two. So let’s go with more of the same.

Wine Country

A group of longtime friends road trip to Napa to celebrate a 50th birthday.

Directed by Amy Poehler.

Which concerns me.

3 stars, but I’m not particularly looking forward to this.

The Wolf Hour

June was once a known counter-culture figure, but that was a decade ago. She now lives alone in her South Bronx apartment, having all but cut herself off from the outside world. It’s the notorious “Summer of Sam” and June only has to look out of her window to see the violence escalating with the brutal summer heat. The city is on a knife’s edge, a pressure-cooker about to explode into the incendiary 1977 New York blackout riots.

Playing Sundance. Cast looks solid. Feels like a 3 star movie. Maybe it’s better, but 3 feels like the guess.


An ex-felon named Spenser returns to Boston’s criminal underworld to unravel a twisted murder conspiracy.

Peter Berg directs Mark Wahlberg. How many is this now, for them? Five in a row.

They seem to just be cranking out decent, watchable movies. Mile 22 was not good, Patriot’s Day was solid, Deepwater Horizon was solid, Lone Survivor was very good.

It’s 3 or 3.5. That’s really all this is.

It’s Netflix, too, if that matters.

Let’s say 3.5 stars. Most of the ones they’ve done together managed 3.5, so let’s figure they can keep that up and Mile 22 was just an aberration.


Disturbing and mysterious things begin to happen to a bartender in New Orleans after he picks up a phone left behind at his bar.

Dakota Johnson, Armie Hammer, Zazie Beetz.

Feels like 3 stars. Feels like a thriller that I won’t much care about.

You Can’t Win

A drama set in the 1920s hobo underworld and centered on the unusual friendship between an adventurer and a young prostitute.

You had me at “1920s hobo underworld.”

Considering the people involved, I can’t guess more than 3 stars. But seriously, you had me at “1920s hobo underworld.”

You Should Have Left

A screenwriter travels to a remote house in the Alps with his family so that he can write the sequel to his big hit film, but he begins to regret his decision after suffering from a severe case of writer’s block.

David Koepp writes and directs. Stars Amanda Seyfried and Kevin Bacon.

Koepp as a director has done Mortdecai (not great), Premium Rush (enjoyed the shit out of it), Ghost Town (liked it), Secret Window (sure), Stir of Echoes (barely remember it) and The Trigger Effect (never saw).

Sounds like a horror movie where either the house is haunted or he’s losing his shit. Either way, can’t go more than 3 stars. Koepp feels like he can elevate a movie if the material is interesting. But this material is not interesting to me. So 3 stars.


A stripper named Zola embarks on a wild road trip to Florida.

Stars Taylour Paige, Riley Keough, Colman Domingo, Nicholas Braun and Jason Mitchell. Which I like.

The director did Lemon, which I did not like.

But the article this was based on is supposed to be nuts and great, so let’s call it 3.5 stars and hope this doesn’t let me down.

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One response

  1. “Murder Mystery” doesn’t seem like it’ll be good at all, especially considering it stars the king and the queen of the Unforgivable film lists.

    February 17, 2019 at 12:12 pm

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