Opening this weekend
View a guide to this weekend's new theatrical releases including The Witch, Race, Risen, and more.
New trailers and updates for upcoming films
A second look at Midnight Special
The latest from writer-director Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter, Mud) debuted to good reviews in Berlin last week. Opening March 18th in the U.S., the film follows a father (Michael Shannon) who goes on the run to protect his young son, Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), and uncover the truth behind the boy’s special powers. Fleeing religious extremists (led by Sam Shepard) and pursued by the Federal Government (in the form of Adam Driver), Midnight Special is a chase film that leads to a sci-fi finale.
Amityville: The Awakening
Single mother Joan (Jennifer Jason Leigh) moves her family to a new home to help with the rising costs of care for her comatose son, James (Cameron Monaghan). When Belle (Bella Thorne), James’ twin, begins to witness strange occurrences there, she learns that they have moved into the infamous Amityville house. Amityville: The Awakening, directed by Frank Khalfoun (Maniac), hits theaters April 1st.
Beware The Darkness
The latest from Wolf Creek and Wolf Creek 2 director Greg McLean stars Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, David Mazouz, and Lucy Fry as a family that returns home from a visit to the Grand Canyon only to be haunted by a supernatural force that preys on their fears and vulnerabilities. The Darkness comes to theaters starting Friday, May 13th.
Early reviews have been mixed on Triple 9, director John Hillcoat’s (The Proposition, The Road, Lawless) cops-as-robbers saga starring Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Kate Winslet, Aaron Paul, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie, Norman Reedus, Gal Gadot, Clifton Collins, Jr., and Teresa Palmer. Coming to theaters next week, the title refers to a “999” or “officer down” call, a diversion the crew uses to pull off the impossible heist they’ve been blackmailed into doing by Winslet’s Russian-Israeli mob boss.
The Boss gets blue
Previously titled Michelle Darnell for the lead character Melissa McCarthy plays, The Boss follows a Martha Stewart/Suze Orman titan of industry as she’s jailed for insider trading. Upon her release, she settles on the couch of her assistant, played by Kristen Bell. Directed by McCarthy’s husband, Ben Falcone, from a script they wrote together, this April 8 release also stars Kristen Schaal, Kathy Bates, Peter Dinklage, Cecily Strong, and Margo Martindale.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Writer-director Taika Waititi’s follow-up to What We Do in the Shadows is an adaptation of Barry Crump’s novel Wild Pork And Watercress. The film follows Ricky (Julian Dennison), a city kid who warms to his new foster family, Aunt Bella and Uncle Hec (Rima Te Wiata and Sam Neill), even though they live in the New Zealand countryside. Unfortunately for Ricky, foster care threatens to move him to a new home, so he and Uncle Hec flee into the bush. Hunt for the Wilderpeople received a warm reception at Sundance this year and this international trailer hints at why. The Orchard will release the film in the States sometime this year.
For the Crouching Tiger sequel, go big or go home
Only Michelle Yeoh returns from the original cast for a Netflix-produced sequel to Ang Lee’s 2000 hit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The first review for the film claimed it is a pale imitation of the original film, and this new trailer does nothing to dispel that opinion. Starring Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Eugenia Yuan, Juju Chan and Harry Shum Jr., and directed by legendary martial arts filmmaker and stunt coordinator Yuen Woo-pin, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny streams on Netflix next Friday, when it will also play on IMAX screens (but not in conventional theaters).
Ethan Hawke is Born to Be Blue
Ethan Hawke stars as Chet Baker in Born to be Blue, a biopic of the jazz trumpeter and singer. Written and directed by Robert Budreau, the film covers Baker’s life in the 1960s, when he tried to kick his heroin addiction and mount a comeback. The film earned mostly good reviews when it premiered in Toronto last year, with Hawke getting plenty of praise for his performance. Look for it in select theaters beginning March 25th and On Demand beginning March 31st.
Pee-wee’s Big Holiday
More than thirty years after Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, Paul Reubens returns as Pee-wee Herman in this new adventure that finds him inspired to travel by the visit of a mysterious stranger (Joe Manganiello). Directed by John Lee and starring Jessica Pohly, Alia Shawkat and Stephanie Beatriz, Pee-wee’s Big Holiday will premiere at SXSW on March 17th, the day before its release on Netflix.
Production has begun on Star Wars: Episode VIII. Written and directed by Rian Johnson and featuring new cast members Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and Kelly Marie Tran, the film lands in theaters on December 15, 2017. Check out the video announcement below.
Coming to select theaters next Friday and VOD and iTunes March 1st is A Country Called Home, starring Imogen Poots as a young woman who returns home to Texas to attend her estranged father’s funeral.
News and notes
- This week on Metacritic, we rank the 25 best films from black directors.
- Director Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner sequel, starring Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, will be released on January 12, 2018.
- John Wick: Chapter 2 will hit theaters on February 10, 2017.
- Coming Home director Zhang Yimou’s The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon, will come to theaters on February 17, 2017.
- Amazon Studios will release Woody Allen’s next film, a romantic comedy set in the 1930s starring Steve Carell, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeannie Berlin, Blake Lively, Parker Posey, Kristen Stewart, Corey Stoll, and Ken Stott. - Variety
- Julianne Moore is in talks to play the villain in the sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service. - Heat Vision
- Christian Bale will re-team with his Out of the Furnace director, Scott Cooper, for Hostiles, the story of an army captain “who agrees to escort a dying Cheyenne war chief and his family back to tribal lands.” - Variety
- Keira Knightley is in talks to star as Catherine the Great in director Barbra Streisand’s biopic of the Russian ruler. - TheWrap
- Ryan Reynolds is in talks to join Rebecca Ferguson in Daniel Espinosa’s sci-fi film Life. - Deadline
- Jessica Chastain has been offered the lead in Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, Molly’s Game, an adaptation of Molly Bloom’s memoir. - TheWrap
- Emily Blunt is in talks to play Mary Poppins in Rob Marshall’s planned sequel. - Variety
- Gillian Anderson has joined Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins, Paul Bettany, Natalie Dormer, Tahar Rahim, and Martin Freeman in director Justin Chadwick’s spy thriller Official Secrets. - Variety
- Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan will play a married couple in writer-director Andrew Fleming’s An Ideal Home. - THR
- Saoirse Ronan will star in director Dominic Cooke’s adaptation of Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach. - Variety
- Dwayne Johnson and director Brad Peyton will return for the sequel to San Andreas. - Heat Vision