January 2020 wasn’t a great month for new, wide released films, and February not only looks to top it – but provide us with a solid quantity of genuinely great, creative and original films. Whether you want to catch up on Sundance family fare (Timmy Failure, Wendy) or Sundance adaptations of stories we’re familiar with (Downhill, The Assistant), festival favorite foreign cinema (The Traitor, Portrait of a Lady on Fire) or some new romantic comedies available to view at home (All The Bright Places, To All The Boys: P.S. I Love You), there’s a lot to get excited about – and for any type of movie fan. Welcome to our February 2020 movie preview, where we let you know about the noteworthy releases of the month and follow them up with 5 top picks. Hope to see you at the movies!
Birds of Prey – February 7th (Theatrical)
After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord. (IMDb)
Directed by Cathy Yan and written by Christina Hodson.
Starring Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ewan McGregor, Rosie Perez, Ali Wong and Chris Messina.
The Traitor – February 7th (Theatrical)
The real life of Tommaso Buscetta the so called “boss of the two worlds”, first mafia informant in Sicily 1980’s. (IMDb)
Directed by Marco Bellocchio. Written by Bellocchio with Valia Santella, Ludovica Rampoldi, Francesco Piccolo and Francesco La Licata.
Starring Pierfrancesco Favino.
Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made – February 7th (Disney+)
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. (IMDb)
Directed by Tom McCarthy. Written by McCarthy and Stephan Pastis.
Starring Winslow Fegley, Craig Robinson and Wallace Shawn.
To All The Boys: P.S. I Love You – February 12th (Netflix)
Lara Jean and Peter have just taken their relationship from pretend to officially official when another recipient of one of her old love letters enters the picture. (IMDb)
Directed by Michael Fimognari. Written by Sofia Alvarez and J. Mills Goodloe.
Starring Lana Condor, Noah Centineo and Holland Taylor.
Fantasy Island – February 14th (Theatrical)
A horror adaptation of the popular ’70s TV show about a magical island resort. (IMDb)
Directed by Jeff Wadlow. Written by Wadlow, Jillian Jacobs and Christopher Roach.
Starring Michael Pena, Lucy Hale, Michael Rooker and Austin Stowell.
Sonic the Hedgehog – February 14th (Theatrical)
A cop in the rural town of Green Hills will help Sonic escape from the government who is looking to capture him. (IMDb)
Directed by Jeff Fowler. Written by Patrick Casey and Josh Miller.
Starring Jim Carrey, Adam Pally, James Marsden, Tika Sumpter and Ben Schwartz.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire – February 14th (Theatrical)
On an isolated island in Brittany at the end of the eighteenth century, a female painter is obliged to paint a wedding portrait of a young woman. (IMDb)
Written and directed by Celine Sciamma.
Starring Noémie Merlant and Adele Haenel.
The Photograph – February 14th (Theatrical)
A series of intertwining love stories set in the past and in the present. (IMDb)
Written and directed by Stella Meghie.
Starring LaKeith Stanfield, Issa Rae, Chelsea Peretti, Rob Morgan, Courtney B. Vance, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Lil Rel Howery.
Emma – February 21st (Theatrical)
Based on the classic Jane Austen novel. (IMDb)
Directed by Autumn de Wilde and written by Eleanor Catton.
Starring Anya Taylor Joy, Bill Nighy, Mia Goth and Johnny Flynn.
The Call of the Wild – February 21st (Theatrical)
A sled dog struggles for survival in the Alaskan wild. (IMDb)
Directed by Chris Sanders and written by Michael Green.
Starring Harrison Ford, Karen Gillan, Dan Stevens, Bradley Whitford and Omar Sy.
Brahms: The Boy 2 – February 21st (Theatrical)
After a family moves into the Heelshire Mansion, their young son soon makes friends with a life-like doll called Brahms. (IMDb)
Directed by William Brent Bell and written by Stacey Menear.
Starring Katie Holmes and Ralph Ineson.
Ordinary Love – February 21st (Theatrical)
An extraordinary look at the lives of a middle-aged couple in the midst of the wife’s breast cancer diagnosis. (IMDb)
Directed by Lisa Barros D’sa and Glenn Leyburn. Written by Owen McCafferty.
Starring Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville.
The Last Thing He Wanted – February 21st (Netflix)
A veteran D.C. journalist loses the thread of her own narrative when a guilt-propelled errand for her father thrusts her from byline to unwitting subject in the very story she’s trying to break. Adapted from Joan Didion’s namesake novel. (IMDb)
Directed by Dee Rees. Written by Rees and Marco Villalobos.
Starring Anne Hathaway, Ben Affleck, Willem Dafoe, Rosie Perez and Toby Jones.
Disappearance at Clifton Hill – February 28th (Theatrical)
Follows a troubled young woman returning to her hometown of Niagara Falls, where the memory of a long-ago kidnapping quickly ensnares her. (IMDb)
Directed by Albert Shin. Written by Shin and James Schultz.
Starring Tuppence Middleton, Hannah Gross and David Cronenberg.
Seberg – February 28th (Theatrical)
Inspired by real events in the life of French New Wave icon Jean Seberg. In the late 1960s, Hoover’s FBI targeted her because of her political and romantic involvement with civil rights activist Hakim Jamal. (IMDb)
Directed by Benedict Andrews. Written by Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse.
Starring Kristen Stewart, Anthony Mackie, Jack O’Connell, Margaret Qualley, Vince Vaughn, Stephen Root and Zazie Beetz.
Wendy – February 28th (Theatrical)
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. (IMDb)
Directed by Benh Zeitlin. Written by Benh and Eliza Zeitlin.
Featuring a cast of up-and-coming child actors.
Dan’s Top Five Picks of the Month
- The Assistant – February 7th (Theatrical)
A searing look at a day in the life of an assistant to a powerful executive. As Jane follows her daily routine, she grows increasingly aware of the insidious abuse that threatens every aspect of her position. (IMDb)
Written and directed by Kitty Green.
Starring Julia Garner, Matthew Macfadyen, Makenzie Leigh, and Kristine Froseth.
Why You Should See It: 6 months after the beginning of it’s festival run, The Assistant, the narrative feature inspired by the Harvey Weinstein allegations hits theatres. It’s hard to be *excited * for this one, considering the heavy subject matter, but it’s hard not to be intrigued by such a concept – and to see how it’s adapted to the big screen.
- Horse Girl – February 7th (Netflix)
A socially awkward woman with a fondness for arts and crafts, horses, and supernatural crime shows finds her increasingly lucid dreams trickling into her waking life. (IMDb)
Directed by Jeff Baena. Written by Baena and Alison Brie.
Starring Alison Brie, Jay Duplass, Dylan Gelula, Matthew Gray Gubler, Meredith Hagner, Toby Huss, John Ortiz, Paul Resier, Debby Ryan and Molly Shannon.
Why You Should See It: Fresh out of this year’s Sundance, Jeff Baena’s follow up to The Little Hours looks just as insane and strange, but in a more intense, less goofy way – and it’ll definitely be interesting to see him direct a film from that perspective. Additionally, Alison Brie’s screenwriting credit definitely adds to the intrigue.
- All the Bright Places – February 28th (Netflix)
The story of Violet and Theodore, who meet and change each other’s lives forever. As they struggle with the emotional and physical scars of their past, they discover that even the smallest places and moments can mean something. (IMDb)
Directed by Brett Haley. Written by Liz Hannah and Jennifer Niven.
Starring Elle Fanning, Alexandra Shipp, Keegan-Michael Key, Justice Smith and Luke Wilson.
Why You Should See It: Independent filmmaker Brett Haley may not be the biggest name or have the biggest following, his films I’ll See You In My Dreams, The Hero and Hearts Beat Loud are all equally sweet and entertaining – and hopefully this ensemble rom-com continues to prove his worth as one of the best.
- Downhill – February 14th (Theatrical)
Barely escaping an avalanche during a family ski vacation in the Alps, a married couple is thrown into disarray as they are forced to reevaluate their lives and how they feel about each other. (IMDb)
Directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash. Written by Faxon, Rash, and Jesse Armstrong.
Starring Will Ferrell, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Miranda Otto, Zach Woods and Hélène Cardona.
Why You Should See It: Although one may not initially associate the concepts of Ruben Ostlund and quirky Sundance indie comedy, this remake of the acclaimed filmmaker’s Force Majeure looks like it could bring a tone to the table that allows for a brand new perspective. Also, any opportunity to see JLD on the big screen is a good one!
*enter our advance screening contest here*
- The Invisible Man – February 28th (Theatrical)
When Cecilia’s abusive ex takes his own life and leaves her his fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of coincidences turn lethal, Cecilia works to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see. (IMDb)
Written and directed by Leigh Whannell.
Starring Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, and Oliver Jackson-Cohen.
Why You Should See It: Leigh Whannell’s Upgrade was, without a doubt, one of our favorite movies of 2018. Although Whannell isn’t working on something original, considering his talent as a director, we’re nearly sure that this is going to be exceptionally creative and entertaining – not to mention, Elisabeth Moss has been at the top of her game as of late.
- all the bright places
- birds of prey
- brahms: the boy 2
- disappearance at clifton hill
- fantasy island
- horse girl
- ordinary love
- portrait of a lady on fire
- sonic the hedgehog
- the assistant
- the call of the wild
- the invisible man
- the last thing he wanted
- the photograph
- the traitor
- timmy failure mistakes were made
- to all the boys p.s. i still love you