This Week’s Movie Menu (29 January – 4 February 2024)

January’s almost at an end (already?!), but going into February there’s a plentiful helping of new movie gems to check out, from star-studded spy capers to heavily-tipped Oscar contenders, to animated adventures about heroic animals…

Movie of the Week

 

Argylle (2024, dir. Matthew Vaughn)

CAST: Henry Cavill, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O’Hara, Dua Lipa, Ariana DeBose, John Cena, Samuel L. Jackson, Sofia Boutella, Rob Delaney, Jing Lusi

CREW: Matthew Vaughn (director, producer), Jason Fuchs (writer, producer), Adam Bohling and David Reid (producers), Lorne Balfe (composer), George Richmond (cinematographer), Tom Harrison-Read and Lee Smith (editors)

PLOT: Elly Conway (Howard) is the successful but reclusive author of a series of espionage novels featuring fictional secret agent Argylle (Cavill), but when she learns that her stories have begun to mirror the covert missions of real-life spy organisations, she is forced to accompany actual spy Aiden (Rockwell) on a global mission where the line between fiction and reality begins to blur…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Kingsman director Matthew Vaughn returns to the world of espionage with a very different kind of spy caper
  • This one comes with a fantastic A-list ensemble cast that includes Henry Cavill, Samuel L. Jackson, John Cena, Oscar-winners Sam Rockwell and Ariana DeBose, and even music sensation Dua Lipa
  • At the centre of its mysterious plot is Bryce Dallas Howard’s Elly Conway, a writer who finds her worlds colliding in explosive fashion
  • Expect plenty of stylish action and witty plotting that should make this an easy crowd-pleasing blockbuster
  • As if that weren’t enough, cat-lovers will go crazy for Alfie, the feline who has scene-stealing moments opposite his human co-stars!

Argylle is showing in cinemas from Thursday 1 February 2024

What’s Showing in Cinemas This Week?

 

American Fiction (2023, dir. Cord Jefferson)

CAST: Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, Issa Rae, Sterling K. Brown, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander, Leslie Uggams, Adam Brody, Keith David, Okieriete Onaodowan, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Raymond Anthony Thomas, Miriam Shor, Michael Cyril Creighton, J.C. MacKenzie, Patrick Fischler, Ryan Richard Doyle

CREW: Cord Jefferson (director, writer, producer), Jermaine Johnson, Nikos Karamigios and Ben LeClair (producers), Laura Karpman (composer), Cristina Dunlap (cinematographer), Hilda Rasula (editor)

PLOT: Thelonious “Monk” Ellison (Wright), a struggling writer and college professor, finds himself frustrated by the popularity of Black-centric entertainment that relies on outdated stereotypes. Out of spite, he pens his own “Black” book under a pseudonym, which propels him into the world of hypocrisy and madness he despises…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • You’ll never look at Black entertainment the same way again after this damning and hilarious satire of the media world and its reliance on popular racial stereotypes
  • It is a standout filmmaking debut for writer-director Cord Jefferson, who has written for TV shows like Watchmen, Master of None and The Good Place
  • Jeffrey Wright puts in some career-best work as the permanently frustrated protagonist, whose in-movie novel perfectly skewers the tropes that propelled the likes of Precious to infamy
  • At its heart is a surprisingly sweet family drama, which humanises the lead character and gives the viewer even more reason to care about his plight
  • With its fun storytelling subversions and thought-provoking commentary, which has earned it 5 Oscar nominations including Best Picture, this is a film where you’ll feel uncomfortable for laughing, but also relieved that you did

American Fiction is showing in cinemas from Friday 2 February 2024

 

The Zone of Interest (2023, dir. Jonathan Glazer)

CAST: Christian Friedel, Sandra Hüller, Ralph Herforth, Johann Karthaus, Luis Noah Witte, Nele Ahrensmeier, Lilli Falk, Medusa Knopf

CREW: Jonathan Glazer (director, writer), Ewa Puszczynska and James Wilson (producers), Mica Levi (composer), Lucasz Zal (cinematographer), Paul Watts (editor)

PLOT: In 1943, high-ranking SS officer Rudolf Höss (Friedel) lives with his wife Hedwig (Hüller) and their children in an idyllic home located right next to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where Höss is its commandant…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Filmmaker Jonathan Glazer presents a horrifying vision of past evils in this quiet and unassuming drama that will chill you to your soul
  • German actor Christian Friedel stars as Rudolf Höss, the Nazi who laid the groundwork for what would become the Holocaust, alongside Anatomy of a Fall’s Sandra Hüller as his ruthless wife
  • As the family goes about their day, the haunting events happening just yards away are always present through some ingenious sound design that constantly has prisoners’ screams and mechanical engines on the soundtrack
  • It is a breath-taking and deeply disturbing look at the normalcy of evil, which is a powerful message for today’s dangerously brutal world
  • Up for five Oscars including Best Picture and Best International Feature Film, it is officially a movie that you simply cannot afford to miss

The Zone of Interest is showing in cinemas from Friday 2 February 2024

 

Migration (2023, dir. Benjamin Renner)

CAST: Kumail Nanjiani, Elizabeth Banks, Keegan-Michael Key, Awkwafina, Carol Kane, David Mitchell, Isabela Merced, Caspar Jennings, Tresi Gazal, Danny DeVito

CREW: Benjamin Renner (director), Mike White (writer), Christopher Meledandri (producer), John Powell (composer), Christian Gazal (editor)

PLOT: The Mallards are a family of ducks living a quiet but safe life in a New England pond, but when they come across a flock of fellow ducks who are flying south to Jamaica for the winter, overprotective patriarch Mack (Nanjiani) is convinced by his wife Pam (Banks) and two children Dax (Jennings) and Gwen (Gazal) to also make the journey. However, they end up going north instead, and wind up in New York City, where they encounter several dangers…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Illumination’s latest animated feature is a fun and adventurous family comedy that everyone can enjoy
  • Some typically stellar animation accompanies a simple but pleasant story about the importance of spreading your wings
  • Among the starry voice cast, there are turns from Kumail Nanjiani, Elizabeth Banks, Awkwafina and Danny DeVito (who previously voiced the Lorax in Illumination’s take on the classic Dr. Seuss story)
  • Oscar-nominated French animator Benjamin Renner, of the hand-drawn delight Ernest & Celestine, directs a script by The White Lotus creator Mike White, who also wrote the script for the animation studio’s upcoming Despicable Me 4
  • Flying in cinemas in time for half-term, this is the perfect film to take your kids along to as something to go and see over the week-long break

Migration is showing in cinemas from Friday 2 February 2024

 

Blue Giant (2023, dir. Yuzuru Tachikawa)

CAST: Yûki Yamada, Shôtarô Mamiya, Amane Okayama

CREW: Yuzuru Tachikawa (director), Eito “Number 8” Namba (writer), TBA (producer), Hiromi Uehara (composer), Kasumi Tôgô (cinematographer), Kiyoshi Hirose (editor)

PLOT: After being introduced to jazz, former high school basketball player Dai Miyamoto (Yamada) begins practising the saxophone in order to become a successful musician. He soon leaves his hometown behind for the nightclubs of Tokyo, and eventually forms a jazz trio with pianist Yukinori (Mamiya) and drummer Shunji (Okayama), whose rough sounds win them an excited audience…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The latest Japanese anime feature is a dazzling celebration of the power of music
  • It is an adaptation of the successful manga series, which took on the niche subject of jazz to win over a new kind of audience
  • You can expect to hear plenty of incredible music on the soundtrack, with an original jazz score by Japanese musician Hiromi Uehara
  • The animation, overseen by director Yuzuru Tachikawa (known for Mob Psycho 100), incorporates realistic movements to accentuate the passion behind the music
  • It’s a film that should unite fans of anime and jazz in ways that neither would ever have guessed!

Blue Giant is showing in cinemas from Wednesday 31 January 2024

 

Dalton’s Dream (2023, dirs. Franky Murray Brown and Kim Longinotto)

CAST: Dalton Harris

CREW: Kim Longinotto (director, producer, cinematographer), Franky Murray Brown (director, cinematographer), Lorine Plagnol (producer), Ollie Huddleston (editor)

PLOT: In 2018, Jamaican singer Dalton Harris becomes the first non-British man to win The X Factor, and an exclusive record deal, but in the years that follow he struggles to build on his success, and faces severe harassment after allegations are raised about his sexuality…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The stalled life and career of X Factor winner Dalton Harris is the subject of this eye-opening, and at times disheartening, new documentary
  • It charts Harris’ extraordinary rise from his traumatic upbringing in Jamaica to the soundstages of the infamous TV talent competition where he achieved the impossible
  • However, it also deals with his subsequent battle with mental health in the wake of muted record sales and life-threatening homophobia, which should ring true for anyone who’s similarly had a taste of fame and supposed glory
  • In addition to looking at how shows like The X Factor frequently exploit discovered talent that is then quickly discarded, the film shows how Harris got himself back on his feet in inspirational fashion
  • Whatever your feelings on the show he made his name on, you’ll be moved by the personal journey that Harris ends up going on

Dalton’s Dream is showing in cinemas from Friday 2 February 2024

What’s Showing At Home This Week?

 

Orion and the Dark (2024, dir. Sean Charmatz)

CAST: Jacob Tremblay, Paul Walter Hauser, Angela Bassett, Ike Barinholtz, Natasia Demetriou, Golda Rosheuvel, Nat Faxon, Aparna Nancherla, Carla Gugino, Matt Dellapina, Jack Fisher, Werner Herzog, Colin Hanks

CREW: Sean Charmatz (director), Charlie Kaufman (writer), Peter McCown (producer), Kevin Lax and Robert Lydecker (composers), Kevin Sukho Lee (editor)

PLOT: Orion (Tremblay) is a young boy with a host of anxieties and irrational fears, from bees to the ocean to falling off cliffs – but most of all, he is terrified of the dark. One night, he is unexpectedly paid a visit by a living embodiment of the Dark (Hauser), who whisks him away on an adventure to prove that there is nothing to be afraid of…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Netflix teams with DreamWorks Animation for a magical new tale for the family that tackles the most common fears for any child (and adult, for that matter)
  • The voice cast includes Room star Jacob Tremblay and award-winning actor Paul Walter Hauser as Orion and the Dark respectively, along with an as-yet unknown role for legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog
  • Most intriguing, however, is the fact that it’s written by none other than Charlie Kaufman, the surrealist creative force known for scripts to cerebral films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich and Netflix’s own I’m Thinking of Ending Things
  • Kaufman adapts the children’s story of the same name by Emma Yarlett, while Sean Charmatz – formerly a storyboard artist for DreamWorks’ Trolls movies – makes his directorial debut
  • It’s a pleasant and utterly heart-warming film that’s destined to become a new favourite among families with their own share of fears

Orion and the Dark is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Friday 2 February 2024

 

The Tiger’s Apprentice (2024, dir. Raman Hui)

CAST: Henry Golding, Brandon Soo Hoo, Lucy Liu, Sandra Oh, Michelle Yeoh, Bowen Yang, Jo Koy, Sherry Cola, Leah Lewis, Kheng Hua Tan, Deborah S. Craig, Greta Lee, Diana Lee Inosanto, Patrick Gallagher, Poppy Liu

CREW: Rama Hui (director), David Magee and Christopher Yost (writers), Bob Persichetti, Sandra Rabins and Jane Startz (producers), Steve Jablonsky (writer), TBA (editor)

PLOT: After the death of his grandmother, young Chinese-American boy Tom Lee (Hoo) is placed under the protection of Mr. Hu (Golding), a mystical tiger who teaches Tom the ways of ancient Chinese magic in order to protect a sacred phoenix egg from dark forces…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The beloved children’s novel by Laurence Yep is adapted into an action-packed animated adventure for all the family to enjoy
  • A voice cast of prominent Asian actors guides the viewer on this journey, including Henry Golding, Lucy Liu, Sandra Oh and Oscar-winner Michelle Yeoh
  • The film was originally set to receive a theatrical release, but numerous delays caused by the pandemic has brought it to streaming instead
  • It takes heavy inspiration from several corners of Chinese mythology, which will be fascinating for any child or adult unfamiliar with the magical stories of that particular culture
  • With gorgeous animation on its side, this should be a dramatic and engaging film for anyone to roar along to

The Tiger’s Apprentice is streaming exclusively on Paramount+ from Saturday 3 February 2024

 

57 Seconds (2023, dir. Rusty Cundieff)

CAST: Josh Hutcherson, Morgan Freeman, Greg Germann, Lovie Simone, Bevin Bru, Sammi Rotibi, Mark Jacobson, Griff Furst, D.A. Obahor, Jeff Chase, Aaron Jay Rome, Marcus Lyle Brown, Kenneth Kynt Bryan, Lucius Baston, Matthew Jayson Cwern

CREW: Rusty Cundieff (director, writer), Macon Blair (writer), Griff Furst, Joshua Harris, Petr Jákl, Gary Lucchesi, Lori McCreary, Rob Mouten and Thomas P. Vitale (producers), Nathan Furst (composer), Andrew Strahorn (cinematographer), Eric Potter and John Quinn (editors)

PLOT: Franklin (Hutcherson) is a tech blogger who scores an interview with visionary tech guru Anton Burrell (Freeman), but after helping thwart an attack on Burrell, he finds a ring that has the ability to take its wearer 57 seconds back in time. Soon, he decides to use the ring in order to get revenge on the pharmaceutical company that claimed the life of his twin sister…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The Josh Hutcherson resurgence (Hutcher-surgence?) continues with the Hunger Games actor taking on a lead role in this time-bending sci-fi thriller
  • Hutcherson shares the screen with acting legend Morgan Freeman, who plays a tech guru at the centre of a far-reaching conspiracy
  • The film is an adaptation of the short story Lucifer by popular genre writer E.C. Tubb
  • It comes from Tales from the Hood director Rusty Cundieff, who also co-wrote the script with Blue Ruin and Oppenheimer actor Macon Blair
  • It’s got plenty of sci-fi thrills to give anyone an engaging viewing experience

57 Seconds is streaming exclusively on Sky Cinema from Sunday 4 February 2024

 

Liberation (2023, dir. Anders Walter)

CAST: Pilou Asbæk, Lasse Peter Larsen, Katrine Greis-Rosenthal, Morten Hee Andersen, Ulrich Thomsen, Jens Jørn Spottag

CREW: Anders Walter (director, writer), Mette Høst Hansen, Miriam Nørgaard and Tomas Radoor (producers), Johan Söderqvist (composer), Rasmus Heise (cinematographer), Lars Wissing (editor)

PLOT: In 1945 Denmark, headmaster Jakob (Asbæk) finds his school being turned into an internment camp for German refugees, thrusting him into an impossible dilemma over whether to stand firm in Danish resistance against the Germans, or to do whatever he can to help the various new arrivals…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This thoughtful Danish historical drama poses a tough situation that is explored in considerate and mature ways
  • Pilou Asbæk, a go-to Hollywood villain actor seen in films like Uncharted, Run Sweetheart Run and most recently Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, takes a more heroic role than usual as a school headmaster compelled to do what it right
  • It covers the dark period in Danish history where hundreds of thousands of German refugees were treated with vile hostility, regardless of their wartime stance
  • You’ll be moved and maybe even inspired by the acts of courage and determination that are shown throughout this difficult ordeal
  • An inspiring but harrowing story about the kindness of strangers, this is certainly a film to keep an eye out for if you need extra reassurance of the goodness among the human race…

Liberation is available to rent/buy on digital platforms from Monday 29 January 2024

What’s Returning to Cinemas This Week?

 

Days of Heaven (1978, dir. Terrence Malick)

CAST: Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard, Linda Manz, Robert Wilke, Jackie Shultis, Doug Kershaw

CREW: Terrence Malick (director, writer), Bert Schneider and Harold Schneider (producers), Ennio Morricone (composer), Nestor Almendros (cinematographer), Billy Weber (editor)

PLOT: In 1916, young lovers Bill (Gere) and Abby (Adams) find employment harvesting crops on a farm in the Texas Panhandle. When the farm’s wealthy owner (Shepard) falls in love with Abby, Bill convinces her to marry the dying farmer so that she can inherit his riches, but soon their plans become increasingly tragic…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Terrence Malick’s romantic drama is back in cinemas with a brand-new 4K restoration for its 45th anniversary
  • It was Malick’s second feature after his acclaimed debut Badlands, and marked a significant shift in style and direction for the famously secretive filmmaker
  • A young Richard Gere stars alongside Brooke Adams, as well as the late playwright Sam Shepard in one of his first acting roles
  • The film’s cinematography, which earned the film its only Oscar, is widely thought to be among the very best imagery ever put to film
  • Since its release, the film has been cited as one of the greatest ever made, and is a great starting point for anyone interested in Malick’s unusual but dazzling filmmaking style

Days of Heaven is showing in cinemas from Friday 2 February 2024

 

10 Things I Hate About You (1999, dir. Gil Junger)

CAST: Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, Larry Miller, Andrew Keegan, David Krumholtz, Susan May Pratt, Gabrielle Union, Daryl Mitchell, Allison Janney, David Leisure, Greg Jackson, Kyle Cease

CREW: Gil Junger (director), Karen McCullah and Kirsten Smith (writers), Andrew Lazar (producer), Richard Gibbs (composer), Mark Irwin (cinematographer), O. Nicholas Brown (editor)

PLOT: After new high school student Cameron (Gordon-Levitt) instantly falls for sophomore Bianca Stratford (Oleynik), he quickly learns that she has been forbidden from dating by her overprotective father Walter (Miller) until her older sister, the shrewish Kat (Stiles), starts dating. In order to win over Bianca, Cameron convinces school rebel Patrick Verona (Ledger) to try and woo Kat, only for them to start genuinely falling in love…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The late 90s rom-com classic makes its way back to cinemas in time for its 25th anniversary
  • A modern-day reworking of Shakespeare’s play The Taming of the Shrew, it fit right alongside the decade’s trend of adapting classic literature into teen comedies, such as the Jane Austen-coded Clueless
  • It was a massive break-out film for leads Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger, while also giving then-former child star Joseph Gordon-Levitt a chance to shine as an older teen actor
  • The film is perhaps best remembered for the late Ledger’s bombastic rendition of Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”, which won the 2000 MTV Movie Award for Best Musical Performance
  • It’s a classic teen rom-com that’s filled with plenty of romance and comedy that is quite literally Shakespearian

10 Things I Hate About You is showing in cinemas from Friday 2 February 2024

That’s about it for this week – be sure to come back next week for a whole new set of movies to work up an appetite for!

Want to see our past menus?

Want to find a specific film?

Search for it in the box below:

Lisa Frankenstein (2024, dir. Zelda Williams)

A misunderstood teen resurrects a handsome corpse…

Spaceman (2024, dir. Johan Renck)

A lonely astronaut makes an unexpected connection on a solo mission…

American Star (2024, dir. Gonzalo López-Gallego)

An aging hitman travels to Fuerteventura for a final mission…

Dune Part Two (2024, dir. Denis Villeneuve)

Paul Atreides leads the Fremen of the desert planet Arrakis on a defiant mission…

Wicked Little Letters (2024, dir. Thea Sharrock)

In 1920s Littlehampton, a series of vulgar letters rock the community…

Perfect Days (2023, dir. Wim Wenders)

A Tokyo toiler cleaner leads a carefully structured life…

Memory (2023, dir. Michel Franco)

A woman has a surprise encounter with an old high school classmate…

Someone’s Daughter, Someone’s Son (2024, dir. Lorna Tucker)

Filmmaker Lorna Tucker explores the UK’s ongoing homeless crisis…

Bob Marley: One Love (2024, dir. Reinaldo Marcus Green)

Reggae musician Bob Marley rises to prominence throughout the world…

Madame Web (2024, dir. S.J. Clarkson)

A clairvoyant paramedic protects a trio of young women from a mysterious assailant…

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