10 films to see in February

(Image credit: Reiner Bajo/Lionsgate)

Jennifer Lopez is starring in a rom-com, the Jackass crew is back to mess up and Joanna Hogg’s sequel to The Souvenir is out: Nicholas Barber looks back at February’s must-see films.

(Credit: Mike Blabac/Paramount)

(Credit: Mike Blabac/Paramount)

Fooled forever

Get ready to laugh, wince, scream, and thank your lucky stars that you don’t have to sustain serious injuries to live. Twenty years after the release of the first Jackass movie, and 12 years since the third (with only a Bad Grampa spin-off in between), Johnny Knoxville and his sadomasochistic skater pals are back. Once again they perform a series of elaborate pranks and painful stunts, some orchestrated by Spike Jonze, but these days they take longer to recover. The gang have been attacked by snakes, bees, spiders and more, and in this film, a gray-haired Knoxville was on the sharp end of an angry bull that sent him to the hospital. “I had a broken wrist, a broken rib, a concussion and a brain hemorrhage,” he told Variety. “My cognitive abilities took a few months to come back. I was walking, talking and having a conversation, but I wasn’t 100% for three months.” Talk about suffering for your art.

International release February 4

(Credit: Peter Mountain/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

(Credit: Peter Mountain/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)


The latest adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s play is a sumptuous period musical, written by Erica Schmidt and directed by Joe Wright (Darkest Hour, Atonement). Its most striking aspect, however, is that it stars Peter Dinklage as Cyrano de Bergerac, the 17th century aristocratic soldier who is afraid to declare his love for the beautiful Roxanne (Hayley Bennett). The actor is 1.35m (4ft 5in) tall, so it’s Cyrano’s height, rather than his long nose, that makes him embarrassed. Jennie Kermode in Eye For Film says Dinklage fits the “classic role so perfectly that it could have been written for him”, adding that he “convinces as a much smarter individual than almost everyone around him” . Kermode describes the film as “Cyrano de Bergerac as it should have been… an essential piece of cinema”.

Released February 24 in Australia and New Zealand, and February 25 in the UK, Ireland and the US

(Credit: Universal Pictures)

(Credit: Universal Pictures)

Marry me

In Marry Me, Jennifer Lopez plays Kat Valdez, a Jennifer Lopez-style pop megastar, and Colombian singer and actor Maluma plays Bastian, a Maluma-style pop megastar. They plan to get married on stage at a concert, but when Kat learns that Bastian has been unfaithful to her, just before the big moment, she chooses divorced math teacher Charlie (Owen Wilson) and announces she will marry him. in place. “It’s pretty far-fetched,” director Kat Coiro admitted to Vanity Fair. “But…the coincidences that have to happen to bring two people together are quite significant. Crazier things have happened.” Actually, no, they didn’t. But if Lopez and Wilson want to revive the big-budget, high-concept Hollywood rom-com with a Notting Hill update, we’re happy to accept their proposal.

International release February 11

(Credit: Pathé UK)

The Duke

In 1961 Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington was stolen from the National Gallery in London, but the thief was not the kingpin of international crime. In fact, the painting was swept away by an eccentric 60-year-old taxi driver and aspiring screenwriter, Kempton Bunton (Jim Broadbent), in protest at the government’s neglect of Britain’s pensioners. This stranger-than-fiction thread has been turned into a lovable comedy starring Helen Mirren as Bunton’s wife. Jo-Ann Titmarsh of HeyUGuys says The Duke tells “an incredible story in a very entertaining way…thanks to the screenplay by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman, which flies by at a brisk pace…It’s as sweet as ginger breaks The buns soak in their tea but are never cloying.” Now, however, The Duke is more bittersweet than sweet, as the film’s director, Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Venus), died in September 2021, making it his penultimate film.

Released February 25 in the UK and Ireland

(Credit: Reiner Bajo/Lionsgate)

(Credit: Reiner Bajo/Lionsgate)

moon fall

Sometimes we go to the movies to see a nuanced exploration of the human condition. But sometimes you’re going to see a blockbuster in which a NASA official (Halle Berry) and a disgraced astronaut (Patrick Wilson) hijack a space shuttle after discovering that the Moon is actually a “megastructure” built by evil aliens. . With such a premise, it’s no surprise that Moonfall is directed by Roland Emmerich, the creator of sci-fi mass destruction spectaculars like Independence Day, Godzilla and The Day After Tomorrow. “On the one hand it’s a disaster movie,” he told Entertainment Weekly, “but it’s also a space movie; it’s about space exploration and doing crazy things like flying inside the Moon. On the other hand, on Earth, their children are in serious trouble. It’s the best of both worlds.

International release February 4

(Credit: Josh Barrett/A24)

(Credit: Josh Barrett/A24)

The memory: part two

The Memory of Joanna Hogg was a coming-of-age drama about a naïve film student, Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne), who has a tragic relationship with an older, suavely mysterious man (Tom Burke) in the 1980s. in London. But that was only half the story. In the sequel, Julie is working on a student film about her ex-boyfriend, so on some level The Souvenir: Part II is about the making of The Souvenir: Part I. Based on Hogg’s own experiences and featuring the own Swinton Byrne’s mother, Tilda Swinton, this intricate tapestry of fact and fiction was named Sight and Sound magazine’s best film of 2021 – just as The Souvenir was the magazine’s best film of 2019.” Much of the joy in The Souvenir: Part II,” Melissa Anderson tells 4 Columns, “relieves watching the once passive and hesitant young woman plunge headlong into creative projects, friendships, and romantic banter, all the while trying to make sense of life. troubled man who bewitched her.”

Released February 4 in the UK and Ireland

(Credit: Disney)

Death on the Nile

After years of delay, Kenneth Branagh and his enormous mustache return for a second Hercule Poirot adventure. Like 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express, it’s a star affair, with Gal Gadot, Annette Bening, Letitia Wright, Armie Hammer, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders among suspects and victims aboard an Egyptian paddle steamer . But Branagh promises that Death on the Nile will be more racy than the typical Agatha Christie thriller. “For me, the inspirations were black classics, Dial M For Murder, Double Indemnity and images of today, Body Heat, even Fatal Attraction,” he told Empire. “These warm and vigorous atmospheres.” A digitally aged Branagh will also appear as a 22-year-old Poirot in World War I flashbacks. “We get to see not only what forged Poirot in the rough world that people might not imagine he got involved with, but also in matters of the heart.”

International release February 11

(Credit: Oslo Photos)

The worst person in the world

Norway’s answer to Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha, the worst person in the world “is a sweet, sad and extremely funny character study that gets to the heart of what it feels like to be on the cusp of adulthood. and completely ambivalent about it,” Hannah Strong wrote to Little White Lies. Its heroine is Julie (Renate Reinsve, who won Best Actress at Cannes), a young woman in her twenties who lives in Oslo. During Joachim Trier’s poignant and inventive comedy-drama, she swings between different boyfriends and different career paths, trying to figure out how she feels about love, sex, family, work and life. politics. “From a tumultuous mushroom trip to an awe-inspiring romance sequence with undertones of magical realism,” Strong says, “it’s as messy and unpredictable as love itself.”

Released February 4 in the US and February 10 in the Netherlands and Portugal

(Credit: Netflix)

Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy

In 1998, Clarence “Coodie” Simmons met a 21-year-old rapper in Chicago. Simmons was so taken with his talent and confidence that he decided to make a documentary about him. Of course, he had no idea that the young musician would soon be one of the biggest stars in the world, but his new friend, Kanye West, now known as Ye, had little doubt that it would happen. Almost a quarter century later, this three-part documentary chronicles West’s phenomenal career, but much of it consists of candid footage of him in his early 20s, before the Grammys, the Kardashians and the presidential campaign. . “He wants you to be impressed by his restlessness (you will),” David Ehrlich tells IndieWire, “be inspired by how he forced the world to see him in the same celestial light in which he sees himself- even (it’s complicated), and recognize that West’s polarizing complexities are what make him such an invaluable performer… almost five hours flew by as one and could have held my attention for 10 more hours like them.”

Released in three weekly 90-minute parts on Netflix, premiering February 16

(Credit: Bruno Calvo/Netflix)

(Credit: Bruno Calvo/Netflix)

big bug

Amélie was one of the most successful French films internationally, but that did not help its director, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, to get his new film off the ground. “I’ve been walking this script in France for four years,” Jeunet said on his website, “and it was rejected by everyone (as Delicatessen and Amélie were in their time)…because, obviously, a French comedy with robots does not fit into a nice, tidy box.” Luckily for us, Netflix stepped in. Jeunet’s first film in nearly a decade, BigBug is an offbeat sci-fi satire set in the year 2045, when artificially intelligent androids revolt against the human race and four minion robots lock up their owners in their suburban home. . “The fact that BigBug isn’t released in theaters isn’t a problem,” Jeunet promised, “because…it’s particularly suitable for small screens and TV.”

On Netflix from February 11

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Cory E. Barnes

The author Cory E. Barnes