Thursday, 30 April 2020 17:22

 

BAD EDUCATION | Drama

Bad Education is based on the real-life scandal that went down at writer Mike Makowsky's high school, where a student journalist uncovered the single largest public school embezzlement scheme in America's history.

The movie follows Frank Tassone (Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman) and Pam Gluckin (Oscar winner Allison Janney), whose reign over a prestigious school district is threatened by the embezzlement scandal, forcing Frank to take drastic steps to maintain order and secrecy.

The cast includes MTV Movie + TV Awards nominee Alex Wolff (Hereditary), Kathrine Narducci (The IrishmanGodfather of Harlem) and Golden Globe nominee Ray Romano (The IrishmanEverybody Loves Raymond).

Bad Education has a 92% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus is, "Anchored by an outstanding Hugh Jackman, Bad Educationfinds absurd laughs - and a worthy message - in the aftermath of a real-life scandal."

 

SHAZAM! | Superhero

Billy Batson is a teenage foster kid with a track record for running away and looking out for himself, until he takes a stand against the school bully for his foster sibling Freddy - an act that leads to a strange encounter with an ancient wizard and turns him into grown-up superhero Shazam. Of course, with great power comes the inevitable great enemy, and Billy, aka Shazam, needs to get a handle on his abilities ASAP if he's to fight the evil Dr Thaddeus Sivana. 

Shazam! was the 24th biggest box office hit of 2019 and was nominated for a People's Choice Award for Favourite Action Movie. Asher Angel was nominated for an Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films Saturn Award as Billy, while Zachary Levi (Chuck in Chuck, Flynn Rider in Tangled, Fandral in Thor: The Dark World and Benjamin in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) was nominated for MTV and Teen Choice awards as his superhero upgrade. Jack Dylan Grazer (It) was also up for a Saturn Award as Freddy, with Teen Choice winner Adam Brody (The O.C.) as his alter-ego. Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou (Korath in Guardians of the Galaxy) plays the wizard, while Mark Strong (1917) was nominated for a Teen Choice Villain Award as Dr Sivana.

Shazam! has a 90% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus says, "An effortlessly entertaining blend of humour and heart, Shazam! is a superhero movie that never forgets the genre's real power: joyous wish fulfilment." 

 

 PET SEMATARY | Horror

Dr Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, move to rural Maine with their two young children. When their daughter Ellie discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home, Louis is quick to put her at ease. But these woods belong to something else. Something that brings things back from the dead.

This 2019 adaptation of the Stephen King novel stars Oscar nominee John Lithgow (The Crown3rd Rock from the Sun), Jason Clarke (John Connor in Terminator Genisys), and Amy Seimetz (Eleven's aunt Becky in Stranger Things), with Jeté Laurence (Sneaky Pete) as Ellie.

Pet Sematary was the 66th biggest box office hit of 2019, grossing over $112m worldwide. The horror was also nominated for three 2019 Saturn Awards from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, for Best Horror Film, Best Supporting Actor (John Lithgow) and Best Make-Up.

"The movie honours King by raising fresh hell for a new generation," says Rolling Stone. "It will make you jump out of your seat, but what matters are the provocations you take home and can't shake. That's the stuff of nightmares." 

 

THE HUSTLE | Comedy

In this gender-flipped remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Oscar winner Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables) and Teen Choice winner Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect) are lady con-artists, one high-brow, one low-rent, both masters of the fleece.

Josephine Chesterfield (Hathaway) has used her cunning and class to secure a stunning villa and a safe full of diamonds in the south of France, while Aussie Penny Rust (Wilson) flies by the seat of her pants – and the stacks of cash she liberates from gullible marks. They have almost nothing in common, but when tech billionaire Thomas Westerburg (Alex Sharp from How to Talk to Girls at Parties) comes onto their radar, the pair team up for the scam of the year. 


The Hustle was the 70th biggest box office hit of 2019 and a People's Choice nominee for Favourite Comedy Movie. 

 

CRAWL | Horror

 

If the storm doesn't get you, the alligators will... 

Following a Category 5 hurricane, competitive swimmer Haley and her estranged father, Dave, find themselves trapped in the flooded basement of their run-down house, where every shadow conceals the waiting jaws of a brutal apex predator.     

Four-time Teen Choice nominee Kaya Scodelario (Maze Runner and Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge) and Golden Globe nominee and Emmy winner Barry Pepper (Maze RunnerThe Green Mile) co-star as Haley and Dave. 

This excellent schlock creature-feature horror is a 2020 nominee for both Best Horror Film at the Hollywood Critics Association Awards and Best Wide Release Film at the Fangoria Chainsaw Awards. It's directed by Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) and produced by the legendary Sam Raimi (Evil Dead30 Days of Night and Spider-Man). 

The 71st biggest box office hit of 2019, Crawl has a 83% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus describes it as "an action-packed creature feature that's fast, terrifying, and benefits greatly from a completely game Kaya Scodelario." Vulture called it "a perfect horror film for the summer, as much an ode to the cataclysmic, humbling aspects of Mother Nature as it is a love letter to father-daughter relationships."

WHAT MEN WANT | Comedy

Oscar winner nominee and Golden Globe winner Taraji P. Henson (EmpireThe Curious Case of Benjamin Button) stars as Ali Davis, a successful sports agent who's constantly boxed out by her male colleagues. She gains an unexpected edge over them when, after a wild night out with her girls, she mysteriously gains the ability to hear men's thoughts.


What Men Want was the 83rd biggest box office hit of 2019, with Rotten Tomatoes' critics consensus saying, "Easy to like, What Men Want proves a gender-swapped remake can work - and the odds are substantially improved with Taraji P. Henson in the lead."

 

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR | Romance

 

Jamaica-born pragmatist Natasha isn't in the market for romance. In fact, she doesn't even believe in love. Also, she's about to be deported. Then a stranger saves her life on the street and, over coffee, tells her they're meant for one another. It's never going to happen, obviously, but Natasha's willing to give him an hour of her time...

The Sun is also a Star is a coming-of-age love story based on the best-selling young-adult novel by Nicola Yoon, who also penned Everything, Everything.

Yara Shahidi (Zoey from Black-ish and Grown-ish) and Charles Melton (Reggie from Riverdale, Mr. Wu from American Horror Story: Hotel) both earned Teen Choice nominations last year for their lead roles. Also look out for Golden Globe nominee John Leguizamo (When They See UsMoulin Rouge) and Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Deuce's Larry Brown).

 

THE SISTERS BROTHERS | Western

 

Charlie (Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix) and Eli Sisters (Oscar nominee John C Reilly) are very bad men, who are very good at what they do. And what they do is mostly killing. 

Infamous assassins in 1850s Oregon, they're the last people chemist Hermann Kermit Warm (Golden Globe nominee and Emmy winner Riz Ahmed from The Night Of) and scout John Morris (Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal) want on their trail, but with gold rush fever in the air, the West is a dangerous place to be a clever man.

Winner of Best Director for Jacques Audiard at both Venice and the César Awards, The Sisters Brothers has an 87% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus calls the Western "a dangerous, witty, and emotionally cathartic exploration of what it means to be a man." 

The Sisters Brothers is based on the novel by Patrick deWitt, which was shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize.

 

JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM | Action

It's been four years since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment.  Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans, while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles. When the island's dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. 

As Owen, Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) won Favourite Butt Kicker Kids' Choice and the Teen Choice Summer Movie Star: Male awards. Golden Globe nominee Bryce Dallas Howard also earned a Teen Choice Movie Star: Female award as Claire. The third biggest box office hit of 2018, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was nominated for a People's Choice Award for Favourite Action Movie and was up for Best Science Fiction Film at the 2019 Saturn Awards from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.

"This is without question the best Jurassic Park sequel," wrote Salon.com. "Smart, scary, and even emotionally powerful."

 

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS | Fantasy

 

10-year-old orphan Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro) goes to live with his strange uncle in a creaky old house whose walls contain a mysterious tick-tocking magic. When Lewis accidentally disturbs the dead, the sleepy town comes alive with dark witchery.

Based on John Bellairs' children's book, The House With A Clock In Its Walls stars Oscar winner Cate Blanchett and Golden Globe nominee Jack Black, as well as Golden Globe winner Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks). 

It's the first younger-audience film from gore maestro Eli Roth (HostelCabin Fever), who's called it a "starter horror movie."  Slate calls it "a bullseye... perfectly balanced between funny and scary." Common Sense Media recommends it for 11+.


The House With A Clock In Its Walls was the 54th biggest box office hit of 2018, grossing over $130m globally. 

 

NIGHT SCHOOL | Comedy

Star Kevin Hart and producer Will Packer, who partnered for the hit Ride Along and Think Like a Man series, bring their signature style to Night School. Directed by Malcolm D. Lee (Girls Trip), the comedy follows a group of misfits who are forced to attend night school in the longshot chance they'll pass the GED exam to finish high school. 

Hart and co-star Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) earned Teen Choice Comedy Movie Actor and Actress nominations respectively in 2019, while Night Schoolwas the 62nd most popular box office hit of 2018. 

 

JULIET, NAKED | Romcom

 

Juliet, Naked is the story of Annie, the long-suffering girlfriend of Duncan, and her unlikely transatlantic romance with once revered, now faded rocker, Tucker Crowe, who also happens to be the object of Duncan's musical obsession. When the acoustic demo of Tucker's hit record from 25 years ago surfaces, its release leads to a life-changing encounter with the elusive rocker himself in this comic account of life's second chances.

Directed by Emmy nominee Jesse Peretz (Glow), Juliet, Naked stars Golden Globe nominee Rose Byrne (Damages), Emmy winner Chris O'Dowd (State of the UnionThe IT Crowd), and four-time Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke (Before SunsetBoyhood). 

The film is based on the novel by Nick Hornby, who also wrote About a Boy and High Fidelity.  

Juliet, Naked has a 83% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Los Angeles Times calling it "a charming film... about two very different people trying to press reset in their lives... Comic, heartfelt and smart as they come - a rare combination these days."

 

THE SQUARE | Drama


Christian (Claes Bang from Dracula) is the respected curator of a contemporary art museum, a divorced but devoted father of two who drives an electric car and supports good causes. His next show is "The Square", an installation which invites passersby to altruism, reminding them of their role as responsible fellow human beings. But sometimes, it is difficult to live up to your own ideals: Christian's foolish response to the theft of his phone drags him into shameful situations. Meanwhile, the museum's PR agency has created an unexpected campaign for "The Square". The response is overblown and sends Christian, as well as the museum, into an existential crisis.

Directed by Ruben Östlund (Golden Globe foreign film nominee Force Majeure), The Square won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 2017 and was nominated as Best Foreign Film at both the Oscars and Golden Globes in 2018. Golden Globe winner Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid's Tale) and Golden Globe nominee Dominic West (The Affair, The Wire) co-star.