Depending on where you live, February kicks off the real start to winter. When the temps drop around freezing and the thought of leaving your house better be for something good. With luck, this month’s list of theatrical treats offers 24 films that range from period dramas, love stories, action-packed comic adaptations, a variety of horrors, and even a live-action take on a beloved SEGA video game icon. None of these will help you cope with the temperature fluctuations outside, but they can certainly provide a brief escape inside.
Waiting for Anya
Director: Ben Cookson.
Cast: Noah Schnapp, Jean Reno, Frederick Schmidt, and Anjelica Huston.
During the harrows of World War II, a young boy, Jo (Noah Schnapp), stumbles upon a dangerous secret: children are being smuggled out of Nazi-occupied France to the safety of Spain. When German soldiers move into town, things become even more dangerous. Jo and his grandfather Henri (Jean Reno) devise a plan with the help of Benjamin (Frederick Schmidt) and Horcada (Anjelica Huston) to stage one last daring effort to get all of the children across the border to safety.
Birds of Prey
(And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
Director: Cathy Yan.
Cast: Margot Robbie, Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Ewan McGregor, Ella Jay Basico, Chris Messina, Ali Wong.
Gotham’s worst brings out their best. Meet Harley Quinn, Black Canary, Huntress, Renee Montoya, and Cassandra Cain.
You ever hear the one about the cop, the songbird, the psycho and the mafia princess? Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is a twisted tale told by Harley herself, as only Harley can tell it. When Gotham’s most nefariously narcissistic villain, Roman Sionis, and his zealous right-hand, Zsasz, put a target on a young girl named Cass, the city is turned upside down looking for her. Harley, Huntress, Black Canary and Renee Montoya’s paths collide, and the unlikely foursome have no choice but to team up to take Roman down.
Director: Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz.
Cast: Riley Keough, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh, Alicia Silverstone, and Richard Armitage.
A bone-chilling nightmare from the directors of Goodnight Mommy, The Lodge follows a family who retreat to their remote winter cabin over the holidays. When the father (Richard Armitage) is forced to abruptly depart for work, he leaves his children, Aidan (IT‘s Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh) in the care of his new girlfriend, Grace (Riley Keough). Isolated and alone, a blizzard traps them inside the lodge as terrifying events summon specters from Grace’s dark past.
And Then We Danced
Director: Levan Akin. Bachi Valishvili, Ana Javakishvili.
Cast: Levan Gelbakhiani,
A passionate tale of love and liberation set amidst the conservative confines of modern Georgian society, And Then We Danced follows Merab, a devoted dancer who has been training for years with his partner Mary for a spot in the National Georgian Ensemble. The arrival of another male dancer, Irakli—gifted with perfect form and equipped with a rebellious streak—throws Merab off balance, sparking both an intense rivalry and romantic desire that may cause him to risk his future in dance as well as his relationships with Mary and his family.
A Simple Wedding
Director: Sara Zandieh
Cast: Tara Grammy, Christopher O’Shea, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Rita Wilson, Maz Jobrani, Peter Mackenzie, James Eckhouse, Houshang Touzie, Jaleh Modjallel, Rebecca Henderson, Aleque Reid.
Iranian-American Nousha has a habit of sabotaging her relationships, frustrating her parents – she’s their only hope for a real Persian wedding. Then she meets Alex, a bisexual artist, activist and DJ living in an old warehouse. Nousha falls fast, but when her parents discover that she and Alex are living together before marriage, chaos unfolds, leading to a wedding that’s anything but simple.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Director: Jeff Fowler.
Cast: James Marsden, Ben Schwartz, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Neal McDonough, Adam Pally, and Jim Carrey.
Sonic The Hedgehog is a live-action adventure comedy based on the global blockbuster videogame franchise from Sega that centers on the infamously brash bright blue hedgehog. The film follows the (mis)adventures of Sonic as he navigates the complexities of life on Earth with his newfound – human – best friend Tom Wachowski (James Marsden). Sonic and Tom join forces to try and stop the villainous Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) from capturing Sonic and using his immense powers for world domination. The film also stars Tika Sumpter and Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic.
Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island
Director: Jeff Wadlow.
Cast: Michael Peña, Maggie Q, Lucy Hale, Austin Stowell, Portia Doubleday, Jimmy O. Yang, Ryan Hansen, and Michael Rooker.
In Blumhouse’s new spin on Fantasy Island, the enigmatic Mr. Roarke makes the secret dreams of his lucky guests come true at a luxurious but remote tropical resort. But when the fantasies turn into nightmares, the guests have to solve the island’s mystery in order to escape with their lives.
Director: Stella Meghie.
Cast: Issa Rae, Lakeith Stanfield, Chanté Adams, Y’lan Noel.
On Valentine’s Day, Issa Rae (HBO’s Insecure) and LaKeith Stanfield (FX’s Atlanta) connect in a romance where a woman must learn from the secrets in her mother’s past if she is to move forward and allow herself to love and be loved.
When famed photographer Christina Eames unexpectedly dies, she leaves her estranged daughter Mae Morton (Rae) hurt, angry and full of questions. When a photograph tucked away in a safe-deposit box is found, Mae finds herself on a journey delving into her mother’s early life and ignites a powerful, unexpected romance with a rising-star journalist, Michael Block (Stanfield).
From writer-director Stella Meghie (The Weekend, Jean of the Joneses) from her original screenplay comes a sweeping love story about forgiveness and finding the courage to seek the truth, no matter where it may lead you.
Director: Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.
Cast: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Will Ferrell, Miranda Otto, Zach Woods, Zoë Chao, Julian Grey, Ammon Jacob Ford, Kristofer Hivju.
In Downhill, barely escaping an avalanche during a ski vacation in the Alps throws a seemingly picture-perfect family into disarray as they are forced to reevaluate life, and how they truly feel about each other.
Director: Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn.
Cast: Lesley Manville and Liam Neeson.
Joan and Tom (Academy Award® nominee Lesley Manville and Liam Neeson) have been married for many years. An everyday couple with a remarkable love, there is an ease to their relationship which only comes from spending a lifetime together. When Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer, the course of her treatment shines a light on their enduring devotion, as they must find the humor and grace to survive a year of adversity.
What About Love
Director: Klaus Menzel.
Cast: Andy Garcia, Sharon Stone, Rosabell Lauren Sellers, Iain Glen, Maia Morgenstern, Marielle Jaffe, Miguel Angel Munoz.
Two young people, somewhat wary of love, spend a summer together in Europe making a film about people’s attitude towards love. Tanner and Christian realize that they’re actually filming their own love story, but they have no idea that their film will ultimately save Christian’s life after tragedy strikes them both.
Director: Nina May.
Cast: Nancy Stafford and Corbin Bernsen.
“First Lady” is a romantic comedy about a woman, not married to the president, who runs for the office of First Lady. However, she winds up getting a much better proposal than she ever expected. She is torn between a promise and her calling.
In this modern day fairytale, when President Morales dies in office, his widow, Kate, agrees to help the VP, Taylor Brooks in his bid for the presidency. She must stop Mallory, the ditzy wife of their competitor, from destroying the dignity of the position.
Kate and Taylor win, but their agendas butt heads and baby boomers clash with millennials while Mallory is determined to destroy Kate.
Max, the prince of her youth, now, literally a King, comes back into her life, disguised as a bodyguard, making her a better offer than First Lady.
“First Lady” is a modern fairytale for the whole family about an autumn romance with a twist. Nina May has written and directed a classic style romantic comedy that harkens back to a genre we all love.
The story shows what could happen when two people lead successful lives apart and reunite later in life to find their happily ever after.
The Call of the Wild
Director: Chris Sanders.
Cast: Harrison Ford, Dan Stevens, Omar Sy, Karen Gillan, Bradley Whitford, Colin Woodell.
Adapted from the beloved literary classic, The Call of the Wild vividly brings to the screen the story of Buck, a big-hearted dog whose blissful domestic life is turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his California home and transplanted to the exotic wilds of the Alaskan Yukon during the Gold Rush of the 1890s. As the newest rookie on a mail delivery dog sled team–and later its leader–Buck experiences the adventure of a lifetime, ultimately finding his true place in the world and becoming his own master.
Brahms: The Boy II
Director: William Brent Bell.
Cast: Katie Holmes, Christopher Convery, Owain Yeoman, and Ralph Ineson.
Unaware of the terrifying history of Heelshire Mansion, a young family moves into a guest house on the estate where their young son soon makes an unsettling new friend, an eerily life-like doll he calls Brahms.
Director: Autumn de Wilde.
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Bill Nighy, Mia Goth, Miranda Hart, Josh O’Connor, Callum Turner, Rupert Graves, Gemma Whelan, Amber Anderson, Tanya Reynolds, and Connor Swindells.
Jane Austen’s beloved comedy about finding your equal and earning your happy ending, is reimagined in this delicious new film adaptation of Emma. Handsome, clever, and rich, Emma Woodhouse is a restless queen bee without rivals in her sleepy little town. In this glittering satire of social class and the pain of growing up, Emma must adventure through misguided matches and romantic missteps to find the love that has been there all along.
Director: Michael Winterbottom.
Cast: Asa Butterfield, Sophie Cookson, Isla Fisher, Shirley Henderson.
Greed tells the story of self-made British billionaire Sir Richard McCreadie, whose retail empire is in crisis. For 30 years he has ruled the world of retail fashion, bringing the high street to the catwalk and the catwalk to the high street. But after a damaging public inquiry, his image is tarnished. To save his reputation, he decides to bounce back with a highly publicized and extravagant party celebrating his 60th birthday on the Greek island of Mykonos.
Las Pildoras De Mi Novio
Director: Diego Kaplan.
Cast: Brooke Shields, Jason Alexander, Brian Baumgartner, Jaime Camil.
A woman’s island getaway with her boyfriend is thrown for a loop when he forgets to take his prescription medications along.
Director: Sam de Jong.
Cast: Slick Woods, George Sample III, Danny Hoch, Marsha Stephanie Blake.
A teenager in a family shelter, wages war against the system to keep her sisters together while she pursues her dreams of being a dancer. A story about displaced youth, ambition and strength.
My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Limited)
Director: Kenji Nagasaki.
Cast: Kousuke Toriumi, Mio Imada, Shunsuke Takeuchi, Tomoyo Kurosawa, Yoshio Inoue, Yūichi Nakamura, Yuka Terasaki.
Class 1-A visits Nabu Island where they finally get to do some real hero work. The place is so peaceful that it’s more like a vacation … until they’re attacked by a villain with an unfathomable Quirk! His power is eerily familiar, and it looks like Shigaraki had a hand in the plan. But with All Might retired and citizens’ lives on the line, there’s no time for questions. Deku and his friends are the next generation of heroes, and they’re the island’s only hope.
The Invisible Man
Director: Leigh Whannell.
Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid.
What you can’t see can hurt you. Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss (Us, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale) stars in a terrifying modern tale of obsession inspired by Universal’s classic monster character.
Trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist, Cecilia Kass (Moss) escapes in the dead of night and disappears into hiding, aided by her sister (Harriet Dyer, NBC’s The InBetween), their childhood friend (Aldis Hodge, Straight Outta Compton) and his teenage daughter (Storm Reid, HBO’s Euphoria).
But when Cecilia’s abusive ex (Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House) commits suicide and leaves her a generous portion of his vast fortune, Cecilia suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of eerie coincidences turns lethal, threatening the lives of those she loves, Cecilia’s sanity begins to unravel as she desperately tries to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.
Director: Benh Zeitlin.
Cast: Tommie Lynn Milazzo, Shay Walker, Devin France, Stephanie Lynn Wilson.
The classic story of Peter Pan is wildly reimagined in this ragtag epic from Benh Zeitlin, director of Beasts of the Southern Wild. Lost on a mysterious island where aging and time have come unglued, Wendy must fight to save her family, her freedom, and the joyous spirit of youth from the deadly peril of growing up.
Director: Andrew Heckler.
Cast: Garrett Hedlund, Andrea Riseborough, Forest Whitaker, Crystal Fox.
Burden tells the incredible true story of Michael “Mike” Burden (Garrett Hedlund), an ardent young member of the South Carolina Ku Klux Klan who rose to the rank of Grand Dragon – and walked away from all of it with the help of a new love and an unlikely ally, the African American religious leader and social activist Reverend David Kennedy (Forest Whitaker). Mike Burden, rejected by his own racist family and raised by Klan leader Tom Griffin (Tom Wilkinson), becomes a pillar of the KKK and proponent of the divisive Redneck Shop, a Klan memorabilia store. But then Mike meets and falls in love with Judy Harbeson (Andrea Risborough), a single mother deeply opposed to the Klan and to Mike’s allegiance to the group. Cut off from the only family he has ever known, Mike and Judy reach out to the Reverend, Mike’s former mortal enemy. In turn, Reverend Kennedy proves the power and conviction of his faith when he accepts Mike’s disavowal of the Klan and welcomes him into his home and his church. Together, they face down irate and vengeful Klan members and win over Reverend Kennedy’s skeptical parishioners, forming a true bond and forging a path towards redemption and forgiveness.
Director: Alex Thompson.
Cast: Kelly O’Sullivan, Charin Alvarez, Braden Crothers, William Drain.
Flailing thirty-four-year-old Bridget (Kelly O’Sullivan) finally catches a break when she meets a nice guy and lands a much-needed job nannying six-year-old Frances (played by a scene-stealing Ramona Edith-Williams). But an unwanted pregnancy introduces an unexpected complication. To make matters worse, she clashes with the obstinate Frances and struggles to navigate a growing tension between Frances’s moms. Amidst her tempestuous personal relationships, a reluctant friendship with Frances emerges, and Bridget contends with the inevitable joys and shit-shows of becoming a part of someone else’s family.
A White, White Day
Director: Hlynur Palmason
Cast: Ingvar Sigurdsson, Ída Mekkín Hlynsdóttir, Hilmir Snær Guðnason, Sara Dögg Ásgeirsdóttir.
In a remote Icelandic town, Ingimundur begins to suspect a local man for having had an affair with his wife, who recently died in a car accident. Gradually his obsession for finding out the truth accumulates and inevitably begins to endanger himself and his loved ones. A White, White Day (Hvítur Hvítur Dagur) is an audacious study of grief, revenge and unconditional love.