8 of the best new films to catch at the cinema this year

It has been a difficult 16 months for the arts sector, with theatres closed and restrictions impacting filming. Cinema releases have been put back – and in some cases postponed again – but with movie theatres now open, some great films are coming out in the next few months.

Keep reading for your guide to eight of the best.

1. Old

Put back from its original release date of February, Old is now due to open this month. The latest project from M Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable) is based on the graphic novel Sandcastle by Pierre Oscar Lévy and Frederik Peeters.

Old follows a family on a tropical holiday who pick the wrong beach to relax on. A strange phenomenon associated with this particular location causes the family to age rapidly, threatening to reduce their lives to just one day.

Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps and Rufus Sewell, this chilling and unnerving thriller looks set to continue Shyamalan’s recent run of box-office successes.

Shyamalan is currently attached to the psychological horror series Servant on Apple TV+ but is due to start work on another feature film for Universal later in the year.

2. The Green Knight

The 14th century Arthurian poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight follows the trials of Sir Gawain following the arrival at King Arthur’s court of the mysterious Green Knight. Clad entirely in green, and riding a green horse, the uninvited guest dares those present to strike him, on the understanding that anyone that does so will receive a return blow in a year and a day.

Sir Gawain takes up the challenge and swiftly beheads the Green Knight, only for the fallen visitor to pick up his head and leave Camelot.

The story – which has been filmed twice before – will this time be directed by David Lowery and is another film receiving a late release due to the coronavirus pandemic. Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) stars as the heroic, yet flawed, Sir Gawain.

3. Jungle Cruise

Due for release later this month, Jungle Cruise stars Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt as riverboat captain Frank Wolff and researcher Dr Lily Houghton.

Based on a Disney theme park ride of the same name, the cruise of the title will take the pair down the Amazon in search of an ancient tree said to have healing powers that could benefit the whole of humanity.

Co-starring Paul Giamatti and Jack Whitehall, the stakes are sure to get even higher as the cruise faces supernatural forces and untold peril.

4. The Suicide Squad

A standalone sequel to Suicide Squad (2016), several actors – including Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn – will be reprising their roles from the original film.

Written and directed by James Gunn (The Guardians of the Galaxy), he has cited war films The Dirty Dozen and The Great Escape as influences.

The film is set for release on 30 July.

5. Respect

Starring Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin, this musical drama is a biopic now set for UK release on 10 September.

Co-starring Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans and Mary J Blige, the film marks the directorial debut of South African-American theatre director Liesl Tommy. The film follows Franklin from her childhood singing in her father’s church choir as she grows to become an international music superstar.

6. The Many Saints of Newark

The Sopranos television series ran for six series between 1999 and 2007 and starred James Gandolfini as mafia boss Tony Soprano.

The series was nominated for 111 Emmy Awards (including for writer David Chase, and directors Steve Buscemi and David Nutter) and 23 Golden Globes, including wins for Gandolfini and Edie Falco for her role as Tony Soprano’s wife.

The Many Saints of Newark – due for release 22 October – is a prequel to The Sopranos starring Gandolfini’s son Michael as a young Tony Soprano. Co-starring Jon Bernthal, Ray Liotta, and Vera Farmiga the film is set in New Jersey during the 60s and 70s.

7. No Time to Die

James Bond’s 25th outing and Daniel Craig’s fifth – and possibly final film – in the lead role, has had a difficult journey to release. Originally due to hit cinemas in November 2019, it was pushed back to April 2020, and then postponed further as the extent of the coronavirus pandemic became known.

Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (True Detective), the film sees Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes – among others – return, while Rami Malek and Ana de Armas are among the cast members joining the franchise for the first time.

8. Dune

Following the success of Blade Runner 2049, French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve returns to the science-fiction genre for his version of Frank Herbert’s seminal bestseller Dune. The book was previously filmed by David Lynch and released in 1984.

The first of a two-part film, the first part will cover roughly the first half of the 1965 book and is set for release on 22 October.

Set in AD26,392, the story follows Paul Atreides (here played by Timothée Chalamet) after his family take on the stewardship of the planet Arrakis, the sole source of the much-coveted spice “melange”. This sprawling epic covers political intrigue, ecology, religion, and technology. The book spawned five sequels.


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