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10 Movies You Must See in February

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Our guide to the most exciting movies coming to UK/ROI screens in February.

I'm not gonna lie, this was the most difficult monthly preview I've had to put together. Film distribution in the UK and Ireland is currently in limbo, with most studios holding off their releases in the (naive?) belief that cinemas might reopen in the near future. Over the past year we've seen studios put their less high profile releases, and even some major releases like Mulan and Soul, onto online platforms, but this doesn't seem to be the case for February. Having said that, thanks largely to subscription services Shudder, Amazon, Netflix and MUBI, I've managed to find 10 February releases that look like they might be worth checking out while you're still on lockdown.


A Nightmare Wakes

A Nightmare Wakes (Feb 4th, Shudder)
Writer/director Nora Unkel's feature debut adopts a similar modus operandi to Josephine Decker's Shirley, taking a real life author and placing them in a fictional scenario. Here it's 'Frankenstein' author Mary Shelley (Alix Wilton Regan), who fuelled by opium, begins to hallucinate the characters of her novel coming to life and threatening her relationship with Percy Shelley (Giullian Yao Gioiello).




Bliss

Bliss (Feb 5th, Amazon Prime Video)
Director Mike Cahill won acclaim for his trippy indie sci-fi dramas Another Earth and I Origins. His latest, Bliss, continues in similar fashion. Owen Wilson plays a man struggling with a recent divorce and the loss of his job who meets a homeless woman (Salma Hayek) who convinces him that they're living within a computer simulation.




Greenland

Greenland (Feb 5th, Amazon Prime Video)
In director Ric Roman Waugh's Greenland, a deadly comet is on a collision course with Earth. The planet should be okay though, because Gerard Butler lives on Earth, and he's got form when it comes to saving us from such catastrophes. Right? Maybe not this time. In Greenland, even Gerry Butler turns his tail and flees with his wife (Morena Baccarin) and son to the titular nation, which represents their best chance of survival. We're willing to bet Butler will roll up his sleeves and punch the comet at some point though.




News of the World

News of the World (Feb 10th, Netflix)
Director Paul Greengrass reteams with his Captain Phillips star Tom Hanks for this adaptation from the novel by Paulette Jiles. Set in post Civil War Texas, the movie sees Hanks play Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, who spends his time travelling from town to town delivering news from around the world. Kidd is assigned to return a young girl (System Crasher's Helena Zengel) to her family after she spent six years living with the Kiowa tribe, but the girl is reluctant to return to a world she has no memory of.




Dead Pigs

Dead Pigs (Feb 12th, MUBI)
Before helming comic book blockbuster Birds of Prey, Cathy Yan made her directorial debut with this Chinese satire, now finally premiering in these parts thanks to MUBI. The film follows a disparate group of characters in Shanghai who deal with various trials and tribulations, all while thousands of pig carcasses float down a river towards the city (an event which actually happened in reality!).





Willy's Wonderland

Willy's Wonderland (Feb 12th, VOD)
You've got to hand it to Nicolas Cage, he sure likes to pick projects that catch your attention. Directed by Kevin Lewis, Willy's Wonderland sees Cage play a taciturn man who accepts a job cleaning a rundown theme park, only to spend the night fighting for his life when the park's animatronic models come to life with murderous intent. Consider us sold!




Sator

Sator (Feb 15th, VOD; Feb 22nd, DVD)
Filmed over five years, Jordan Graham's directorial debut Sator is a slowburn horror movie in which a troubled family are observed in their woodland home by a sinister supernatural entity. The atmospheric trailer has us very intrigued!




Bad Tales

Bad Tales (Feb 18th, MUBI)
Italian filmmaking brothers Damiano and Fabio D'Innocenzo's Bad Tales is a misanthropic ensemble piece of the sort you associate with the likes of Haneke and Seidl, but with a touch of pitch black comedy ala Todd Solondz. The film revolves around a group of passive aggressive neighbours in suburban Rome and their desperate attempts to climb the social ladder.




I Care a Lot

I Care a Lot (Feb 19th, Amazon Prime Video)
Director J Blakeson's comic thriller stars Rosamund Pike and Eiza Gonzalez as two lovers who run a scam whereby they seize the assets of elderly wards of the state. Unbeknownst to them, their latest mark (Dianne Wiest) has a connection to a dangerous mobster (Peter Dinklage).




The Dark and the Wicked

The Dark and the Wicked (Feb 25th, Shudder)
Similar to last year's horror hit Relic, The Strangers director Bryan Bertino's The Dark and the Wicked sees a pair of siblings return to their childhood home when their elderly father takes a bad turn. But once home they realise that it's their mother they should be worried for, as something seems to have taken possession of her.