2020 is in full swing and it feels like movie season never even slowed down after the holidays. January is usually the month where bad movies go to die and be buried by studios, but this year had a handful of solid flicks seeing releases. But what about February? The month of love (hello, Valentine’s Day!) is led by Harley Quinn and her Birds of Prey, Sonic the Hedgehog, and a handful of horror movies.
Release Date: Friday, February 7
Cast: Margot Robbie, Ewan McGregor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ali Wong, Rosie Perez, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Bojana Novakovic, Chris Messina, Charlene Amoia, Matthew Willig
Director: Cathy Yan
After being the clear breakout star of Suicide Squad, Margot Robbie reprises her role as Harley Quinn in *takes breath* Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). She’s joined by a girl gang comprised of Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) and Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) as they team up to take down crime lord Black Mask (Ewan McGregor) and save a young girl in the process. Luckily, Harley will have ditched her abusive boyfriend in Joker in this movie, hence her emancipation.
AND THEN WE DANCED (LIMITED)
Cast: Levan Gelbakhiani, Bachi Valishvili, Ana Javakishvili, Giorgi Tsereteli, Tamar Bukhnikashvili, Marika Gogichaishvili, Kakha Gogidze, Levan Gabrava, Ana Makharadze, Nino Gabisonia
Director: Levan Akin
This Cannes Directors Fortnight film is a beautiful and gripping love story set in the world of Georgia’s traditional dance – the country, not the U.S. state. Driven young dancer, Merab (Levan Gelbakhiani), has been training with his partner, Mary (Ana Javakishvili), at the National Georgian Ensemble since they were children. His world is upended the charismatic Irakli (Bachi Valishvili) arrives at the school and threatens to usurp Merab’s place as the top male dancer. But as the two grow closer, their feelings of mutual dislike turn to longing as their intense relationship evolves into something more.
COME TO DADDY (LIMITED)
Cast: Elijah Wood, Stephen McHattie, Garfield Wilson, Madeleine Sami, Martin Donovan, Michael Smiley, Simon Chin, Ona Grauer, Ryan Beil, Raresh DiMofte
Director: Ant Timpson
This festival darling stars horror king Elijah Wood as Norval Greenwood, a byproduct of his generation – a.k.a. a giant man-child – who seeks to reconcile with the estranged father he hasn’t seen in 30 years. He travels to his dad’s remote cabin and quickly discovers that not only is his dad an awful person, he also has a sinister past that’s chasing him. Soon, Norval is in the fight of his life with demons both real and imagined.
THE LODGE (LIMITED)
Cast: Riley Keough, Richard Armitage, Jaeden Martell, Alicia Silverstone, Lia McHugh, Rebecca Faulkenberry, Danny Keough, Katelyn Wells, Lola Reid
Director: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
The Lodge fits neatly into A24’s slate of cerebral, atmospheric horror films with gorgeous cinematography. Riley Keough stars as Grace, the new girlfriend of Richard (Richard Armitage) whose kids, Aidan (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh) view Grace as a usurper trying to take their dead mother’s place. Richard invites them all to spend the holidays in their family cabin. But when he has to leave suddenly for a work trip, Grace is left alone with the children in a remote, snowed-in cabin. As the blizzard intensifies, so do the cracks in Grace’s fragile psyche as the dark specters of her past threaten to tear her and the children apart.
Release Date: Friday, February 14 (Valentine’s Day)
Cast: Jim Carrey, James Marsden, Neal McDonough, Tika Sumpter, Ben Schwartz, Adam Pally, Leanne Lapp, Debs Howard, Michael Hogan, Shannon Chan-Kent
Director: Jeff Fowler
After thankfully addressing the original, nightmare fuel design of Sonic, more fans seem on board with the blue speedster. In Sonic the Hedgehog, the superfast video game character must team up with his new human friend, Tom (James Marsden) in order to save the world from the evil schemes of Dr. Robotnik (played by a truly unhinged Jim Carrey).
Cast: Parisa Fitz-Henley, Maggie Q, Lucy Hale, Portia Doubleday, Michael Peña, Kim Coates, Michael Rooker, Ryan Hansen, Charlotte McKinney, Jimmy O. Yang, Austin Stowell
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Blumhouse’s horror spin on the classic ’60s TV show has plenty of people intrigued. The enigmatic Mr. Roarke invites a group of strangers to his lush island with the premise of making their wildest fantasies come true. But the fantasies soon turn to dark nightmares and the guests must figure out the secret of the island if they want to survive.
Cast: LaKeith Stanfield, Issa Rae, Chelsea Peretti, Rob Morgan, Courtney B. Vance, Kenneth Kynt Bryan, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Teyonah Parris, Lil Rel Howery
Director: Stella Meghie
Cast: Sharon Stone, Andy Garcia, Iain Glen, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers, Maia Morgenstern, Jose Coronado, Marielle Jaffe, Caroline Morahan, Sara Lazzaro, Roan Joseph Bronstein
Director: Klaus Menzel
20-somethings Tanner and Christian are both wary of love, both having been burned before. But as they spend a summer together in Europe making a film about how people view love, they realize that their own love story is blossoming on tape. The project they create together will ultimately save one of their lives when tragedy strikes. You should probably bring tissues for this one.
Cast: Martin Kove, Stephen Lang, William Sadler, David Patrick Kelly, Dora Madison, Sierra McCormick, Fred Williamson, George Wendt, Travis Hammer, Tom Williamson
Director: Joe Begos
This is one blood-splattered, violent ride. A bunch of war veterans show up at the local VFW to celebrate the birthday of one of their own. But their night of revelry turns violent when a strange girl runs into the bar with a bag of stolen drugs. Their night quickly turns into a fight for survival when the psychotic, hopped-up-on-drugs gang comes looking for the girl and their stolen goods, forcing them to join forces for one last fight together.
Cast: Zoey Deutch, Judy Greer, Jai Courtney, Noah Reid, Lusia Strus, Jayne Eastwood, Raymond Ablack, Jermaine Fowler, Casey Hudecki, Brian Sacca
Director: Tanya Wexler
Debt sucks, right? And so does paying for school. Brilliant student Peg (Zoey Deutch) has her eyes set on getting into an Ivy League school. However, when her acceptance letter comes, she realizes she’ll never be able to pay the cost of tuition. In order to pay for school, she soon gets pulled into the shady world of debt collection, and she quickly rockets to the top. But at what cost?
Cast: Will Ferrell, Miranda Otto, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kristofer Hivju, Zach Woods, Hélène Cardona, Zoe Chao, Giulio Berruti, Julian Grey, Kimberly Rydell
Director: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
A remake of the 2014 Swedish film Force Majeure, Downhill is centered around an American family whose life is upended after they escape a deadly avalanche while vacationing in the Alps. Soon, the married couple (played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell) is forced to reevaluate their relationship and whether or not they still love each other.
Release Date: Friday, February 21
Cast: Karen Gillan, Harrison Ford, Cara Gee, Dan Stevens, Wes Brown, Bradley Whitford, Jean Louisa Kelly, Omar Sy, Scott MacDonald, Colin Woodell
Director: Chris Sanders
20th Century Studios is bringing us an updated version of Jack London’s classic novel. It follows the story of Buck, a gentle St. Bernard hybrid whose quiet life in California is uprooted when he’s stolen and forced to survive in the wilds of Alaska’s Yukon Territory during the 1890s Gold Rush. As the newest dog on the mail delivery dogsledding team, Buck must quickly acclimate to his new reality and fight for dominance to lead the pack.
Cast: Katie Holmes, Owain Yeoman, Ralph Ineson, Christopher Convery, Anjali Jay, Oliver Rice, Joely Collins, Natalie Moon, Charles Jarman, Ellie King
Director: William Brent Bell
The sequel to the first Brahms: The Boy had some setbacks with reshoots needed, but it’s back on track now. We return to Heelshire Mansion, now occupied by a young family that’s completely unaware of its blood-soaked history. Soon, however, their son makes a creepy new friend in the form of a doll named Brahms, and things take a deadly turn.
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Tanya Reynolds, Josh O’Connor, Gemma Whelan, Bill Nighy, Johnny Flynn, Mia Goth, Callum Turner, Miranda Hart, Rupert Graves
Director: Autumn de Wilde
Jane Austen’s classic comedy is getting a new reimagining, this time with Anya Taylor-Joy in the lead. In the bitingly funny satire, Emma Woodhouse is clever, rich, beautiful – and bored. She alleviates her boredom by trying to play matchmaker and igniting romantic entanglements. However, when it comes to her own romantic life, love is right there in front of her – she’s just too blind to see it.
Release Date: Friday, February 28
Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Michael Dorman, Harriet Dyer, Amali Golden, Benedict Hardie, Zara Michales, Sam Smith
Director: Leigh Whannell
Another adaptation of a classic book this month, Leigh Whannell takes the newest stab at adapting H.G. Wells’ 1897 novel about a scientist who accidentally turns himself invisible. Whannell’s version, however, takes a much darker turn in the form of abusive ex-husband Adrian Griffin using his newfound powers of invisibility to stalk and gaslight his estranged wife, Cecilia. This one looks set to terrify.
Cast: Andrea Riseborough, Garrett Hedlund, Forest Whitaker, Tom Wilkinson, Crystal Fox, Tess Harper, Austin Hébert, Usher Raymond, Anna Colwell, Jason Davis
Director: Andrew Heckler
Forest Whitaker leads the film in the role of Reverend Kennedy, a man trying to keep racial tensions from boiling over in his small Southern down after plans to build a Klu Klux Klan museum are announced. The tension only increases when word comes out that the reverend is also sheltering Mike Burden, a Klansman who is rethinking his life after his relationships with a single mother and an old high school friend force him to reexamine his beliefs.
Cast: Tommie Lynn Milazzo, Shay Walker, Stephanie Lynn Wilson, Yashua Mack, Devin France, Gavin Naquin, Gage Naquin
Director: Benh Zeitlin
Another novel adaptation! This time, however, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan gets a wild reimagination from Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild). Lost on a mysterious island where aging and time have stopped, Wendy must fight to save her freedom, her found family of The Lost Boys, and her childhood innocence in a world that threatens to rip it away as she grows up.
THE WHISTLERS (LIMITED)
Cast: Vlad Ivanov, Catrinel Marlon, Rodica Lazar, Agustí Villaronga, Sabin Tambrea, István Teglas, Cristóbal Pinto, Antonio Buíl, George Pistereanu, David Agranov
Director: Corneliu Porumboiu
This official selection from last year’s Cannes come straight to us from Romania. Bucharest police officer Cristi isn’t exactly a clean cop and straddles both sides of the law. When he gets embroiled with the gorgeous Gilda in a high-stakes heist, they’re both faced with backstabbing, corruption, and dangerous treachery to get what they want. But a random trip to the Canary Islands to learn the secret whistling language of the islanders might be what they need to pull it all off without getting caught.