It’s that time of the month where we preview what’s to come in the world of cinema! January saw the wide release of many incredible films like Silence and the eminently rewatchable 20th Century Women. These nine (yes, 9) February 2017 films may not measure up to such a ridiculously high standard, but will surely impress. The quantity of promising February 2017 films is especially surprising, considering this is our shortest month of the year. Hollywood was feeling particularly generous with this month’s releases so let’s dive into what demands our attention most!
Opening February 3rd
– I Am Not Your Negro –
The first of these February 2017 films is a recent Oscar nominee for Best Documentary Feature, I Am Not Your Negro. This film tells the story of the Civil Rights movement through the unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, by writer James Baldwin. The movie’s content will assumably evoke many emotions as intended. Considering its critical acclaim and many accolades, it will likely live up to its hype through its relevant and necessary message.
– Oklahoma City –
The next entry we have is Oklahoma City, which recently screened at Sundance Film Festival last month to much adoration. This film covers the infamous Oklahoma City bombing and what ultimately influenced the worst act of domestic terrorism on American soil in April 1995. Consider a ticket already sold to me when this movie releases, because that’s a subject I was far too young to be invested in at the time but am eager to learn more about now. Again, if word of mouth holds true, we have another imperative documentary feature in February with this picture.
– War on Everyone –
From the renowned writer/director of Calvary and The Guard, John Michael McDonagh, comes War on Everyone. This dark buddy cop comedy stars Alexander Skarsgard and Michael Pena as two carelessly corrupt cops that pretty much despise the citizens they swore to protect. Having seen this movie already, I assure you the laughs are early and often, and the two leads’ chemistry sufficiently carry the feature. You’ll undoubtedly enjoy War on Everyone if you appreciated the unconventional, unexpected comedy in The Guard.
Opening February 10th
– Fifty Shades Darker –
I’m just kidding. Don’t see this garbage. Seriously. Don’t.
– John Wick: Chapter 2 –
Back to must-see February 2017 films, John Wick had to be the biggest surprise success of 2014. From trailers, the premise sounded like a Nicolas Cage B movie (NOT THE B’S). Then you see it in all its bloody glory, as a perfect blend of self-awareness and creative gun-fight choreography. To top it all off, Keanu Reeves gives one of his career best performances. So yes, John Wick: Chapter 2 deserves to be seen, even opening night if possible. And again, please don’t see the dumpster fire that is Fifty Shades Darker.
– The LEGO Batman Movie –
In what will probably be the best DC movie out in 2017 (a controversial opinion, I know), The LEGO Batman Movie serves as a spin-off to the ever-so-awesome The LEGO Movie. Based on the success and pure joy that oozes from The LEGO Movie, there’s a ton of deserved hype surrounding LEGO Batman. Whether history will repeat itself in terms of the film’s caliber is anybody’s guess, but I’m certainly excited to see the return of Will Arnett‘s hilarious take on Batman. Again, it’s an acceptable alternative to the atrocity that will be Fifty Shades Darker.
– A United Kingdom –
A United Kingdom might be one of the can’t-miss February 2017 films, but Toronto International Film Festival audiences already witnessed this film and the verdict is: it’s great! David Oyelowo, one of my favorite working actors today, stars as Sir Seretse Khama, a very real person who was the first president of Botswana. The conflict in the movie covers Seretse’s relationship with his wife, Ruth (Rosamund Pike), who is white if you can’t tell by the trailer thumbnail, and their mixed race marriage is frowned upon by a government or two during the apartheid. At the very least, there’s high impact potential with A United Kingdom, which once again, is a 100% better option than…you guessed it, Fifty Shades Darker.
Opening February 17th
– A Cure for Wellness –
As you can tell by our prior coverage on director Gore Verbinski‘s next project, A Cure for Wellness, we are very psyched to see what in the world this movie is. Early word on Twitter from screenings are this is even weirder than you’d expect. Dane DeHaan plays a young executive sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from a “wellness center,” but not everything is at it seems in a Shutter Island kind of way. There will presumably be as much creepily beautiful cinematography as there will be twists and turns as the film progresses. My curiosity will get the better of me, even if reviews end up on the Fifty Shades Darker-awful side of the spectrum. (I’m legitimately done with my Fifty Shades Darker potshots now.)
Opening February 24th
– Get Out –
Again, our coverage on the first Get Out trailer hints at our elevated hype levels for this bizarre, racially-driven horror flick. Written and directed by Jordan Peele of Key & Peele fame (I know. Surprising, right?), the movie stars Black Mirror standout Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, who visits his girlfriend’s parents to discover they’re up to some sinister activities. Judging from the trailer, we’ll feel awkward and terrified once we finally watch this offbeat, innovative feature.
– My Life as a Zucchini –
Intentionally-kooky title aside, My Life as a Zucchini is an Oscar-nominated picture that’s had plenty of positive buzz hurled its way. The trailer shows an animation style reminiscent of Laika Studios (Coraline, Kubo & the Two Strings) and the American voice cast boasts Will Forte, Ellen Page, Nick Offerman, and more. The film promises to be eccentric, memorable, and full of heart based on the footage shown so far. Since I personally enjoy indulging in watching Oscar-nominated movies, this is a no-brainer must-see picture for as far as February 2017 films go. If you thought this list for February was excessive, you just wait until things get worse (in a good way) in March!