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“Get Out”, “The LEGO Batman Movie”, and “A United Kingdom”: Ten Movies to see in February

Ahoy folks! With the Academy Awards still a couple of weeks away, we can momentarily take a breather and look at something else for the day. What is that, you might ask? Well, today is a look at what else theaters will have playing throughout this month, besides the obvious Oscar hopefuls and leftover prestige movies. I do this every single month, as you all must know by now, so of course I won’t exclude February. Much like with January, this month gets a bad reputation as one of the worst for new releases, and while that’s often been well founded, if you look closely enough this month you can find some very solid cinematic options. Consider this list another public service for those of you who have seen all of the Oscar contenders and nominees already. You might even find a gem or two amongst the junk…

Here now are what I think the ten best bets for movies are during the month of February:

10. Fifty Shades Darker – This inevitable sequel to the pop culture sensation, hopefully this time around the leads bother to have an ounce of chemistry. Dakota Johnson is the reason to see this one, as she managed to escape the last one mostly unscathed. There’s nowhere to go but up for the franchise, so consider this one a bit of a curiosity for me at least.

9. Youth in Oregon – A film I saw back last year at the Tribeca Film Festival, this dramedy is an odd duck. Dealing with euthanasia, it follows Frank Langella as a doctor looking to end his life. His family tries to talk him out of it, with a road trip ensuing. Billy Crudup is one of the co-stars, and it’s a very well acted film. It just won’t be for everyone, tonally.

8. A Cure for Wellness – I see this horror movie tonight, so I might report back next week if it’s anything particularly special. This could be an X factor once it hits theaters, provided it doesn’t disappoint. Dane DeHaan getting his own star vehicle of sorts is certainly something to be happy about. The trailers have been stellar, so fingers crossed here…

7. Lovesong – A small scale indie starring Riley Keough and Jena Malone, I’m curious mainly because of the cast. Keough has been raising her profile over the past few years, while Malone is one of the more underrated actresses in the business, at least in my humble opinion. Reviews from a couple of film festivals have praised them, so here’s hoping we have something strong to look forward to.

6. The Girl with All the Gifts – This zombie flick has been gaining strong buzz for months now. It’s been making the festival circuit rounds ever since last year, so it’s a known factor, quality wise. The last European zombie tale to really impact the industry was 28 Days Later, so we’ll have to see if this one can do anywhere near that amount of damage!

5. John Wick: Chapter 2 – A surprise hit, the first John Wick now has a sequel. The buzz is that this one is just as good, which is always a plus. Keanu Reeves returns to the title role, this time likely not avenging a dog. The simple concept and clever action should be easy to replicate, so in all likelihood this will satisfy anyone who was hoping for a return engagement.

4. A United Kingdom – David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike star in this true life romantic drama. A potential 2016 awards player until it was delayed into 2017, it now can attempt to contend again. That being said, I have my doubts it’ll do anything, despite apparently being pretty good. The release date is just a bit of a killer. We shall see though. Anything is possible, right?

3. Dark Night – A deeply unsettling drama about a movie theater shooting similar in nature to the one from when The Dark Knight Rises opened, this is tough stuff. Tim Sutton is a filmmaker with a vision. I can’t wait to see what he does next. This move has stayed with me for a while now, so he clearly knows how to have an impact. If you can handle it, seek this one out and see what I mean.

2. The LEGO Batman Movie – After how good The LEGO Movie was, a spinoff made total sense, especially surrounding the Batman character. Will Arnett again voices the caped crusader as he goes on bricked adventures in Gotham City. There will likely be cameos galore too. I see it over the weekend, so expect a more thorough report potentially in the days to come.

1. Get Out – The surprise screening at the Sundance Film Festival was this horror/comedy hybrid. Actor turned filmmaker Jordan Peele has apparently crafted something really great here. Plus, as an added bonus, Bradley Whitford seems to be given a really juicy villainous turn. Of everything hitting in February, this is the movie that I’m most looking forward to.

Honorable Mention: The Comedian, Fist Fight, The Great Wall, The Space Between Us, War on Everyone, and XX

Be sure to check all of these out as the month of February continues!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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