A monthly preview of what is hitting our screens, who is in them and why you should see them. Obviously this is just a guide and I’m not expecting you to see them all but if you do not see at least one of these then you have failed at…well everything! Each film contains a Hangover potential, the higher the score the more anticipated you should be for it!

September is an odd month for films. Studios tend to use it to throw out all the films that don’t quite belong in the Summer season but also cannot fit in within the Award worthy pictures of the winter months. Therefore it tends to be a heavy month, and this year is no exception, with almost 3/4 notable films out each week. Also unlike previous years this September seems to feature better looking films than normal. A selection of bigger action fests alongside low key indie dramas coupled with some well known comedy and horror picks. There is pretty much something for everyone this month!!

7th September:

Ben-Hur

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Starring: Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman, Toby Kebball

Director: Timur Bekmabetov

Why You Should See It: Sadly there doesn’t seem to be many good reasons to see this. Another remake, this time classic epic Ben-Hur has received a more action heavy makeover from Wanted director Bekmabetov. A solid cast and what looks like some decent action, particularly the chariot sequences (Timur has stressed how much of them were done in camera but it all seems to have a notable CGI sheen), could make this throwaway entertainment. Also we get to see Morgan Freeman looking like this:

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Ben-Hur Trailer

Hangover Potential: 2/5

9th September:

Don’t Breathe

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Starring: Stephen Lang, Dylan Minnette, Jane Levy

Director: Fede Alvarez

Why You Should See It: Already a box office hit in the US, this looks like a taut tense thrill ride. 3 young thieves break into what they think is an old blind man’s house, turns out he is more than capable of standing up for himself. Lang looks mightily imposing in this, and he is always a menacing presence in his films. Running at a lean 85 mins, and from the director of the surprisingly effective Evil Dead remake, this is already receiving raves across the pond. Horror is having a good year so far and this looks to be continuing the trend.

Don’t Breathe Trailer

Hangover Potential: 4/5

Captain Fantastic

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Starring: Viggo Mortensen, George MacKay, Frank Langella

Director: Matt Ross

Why You Should See It: This could be something special. Telling the story of one man and his wife who raise their children in the wilderness away from all modern ways. After she dies the father faces a major test, taking his children back into the world for the funeral. It all sounds a little twee, but with a grizzled Mortensen in the lead it is looking like a dramatic powerhouse. Able support from Langella and the fine child performers could add up to a terrific slice of optimism and tear jerking drama. I’m off to see this today, come back later for my thoughts.

Captain Fantastic Trailer

Hangover Potential: 5/5

Kubo and the Two Strings

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Starring: (Voices) Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson

Director: Travis Knight

Why You Should See It: Laika animation stormed into being with the exceptional and gorgeous Coraline a few years back. Since then they’ve continued to deliver lovingly detailed and unique stop-motion delights. This seems to be following suit, coming from the mind of Laika CEO Travis Knight, Kubo (the title is a mouthful) tells of the titular hero who must team with a Monkey and a Beetle to search for a secret mystical weapon in order to defend himself from a vengeful spirit of the past. Influenced by Eastern culture and set to contain some of the most imaginatively constructed set-pieces in Laika’s history. If they can bring the heart and soul of their previous pictures into this also then we are looking at next years potential Oscar for Best Animated Film.

Kubo Trailer

Hangover Potential: 5/5

Hell or High Water

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Starring: Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster

Director: David Mackenzie

Why You Should See It: Scripted by Taylor Sheridan (Sicario) and from the director of Starred Up should be all you need to hear to want to see this. Add the immense cast, Bridges certifiably guarantees that I’ll be there, and a Western vibe filled with good cops and complex ‘villains’. The tale of two brothers who take to robbing banks with the local sheriff (Bridges) hot on their trail is awfully familiar, but Mackenzie has a good directorial eye and Sheridan laced Sicario with incredible detail alongside heart clenching tension. A low key drama with the potential for awards love.

Hell or High Water Trailer

Hangover Potential: 5/5

Anthropoid

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Starring: Jamie Dornan, Cillian Murphy, Toby Jones

Director: Sean Ellis

Why You Should See It: Although not hugely publicised this one has a good trailer and solid reviews going for it. It is the true story of two Czech officers (the two handsome fellows seen above) parachuted into their homeland to assassinate prolific Nazi Officer Heydrich, a key member of Hitler’s inner circle. Although it doesn’t seem to be offering anything new to the crowded WW2 genre, I must say I am a fan of solid unheard of tales from the conflict. Handsomely shot this could offer mid-size thrills to the post summer season. Plus Toby Jones, who always makes films 79% better (figure may not be accurate).

Anthropoid Trailer

Hangover Potential: 3/5

15th September:

Blair Witch

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Starring: Some random kids you’ve never heard of

Director: Adam Wingard

Why You Should See It: Kept hidden for months, only known as The Woods, Comic-Con saw this found footage horror actually unveiled as a belated sequel to the 1999 classic. I still don’t believe that this secrecy was entirely necessary, not overly advertised as The Woods before the reveal anyway so when it was revealed it may have gone down well with the geek crowd, but the average moviegoer won’t hear about it until the full title was revealed anyway. But enough with the publicity let’s talk about the film. Set 20 years after the original, it follows the brother of one of the original projects victims determined to find out what really happened that night. Of course shit is gonna go down upon the return to the woods. Finding new ways to explain the characters incessant need to keep filming has become the key battle in these found footage pieces but I have faith in director Adam Wingard. You’re Next and The Guest were genre masterclasses and showed a man with great control over the material. Not to mention an ability to writhe a huge amount of tension from simple premises. A skill that should be utilised well for a new slant on a classic horror.

Blair Witch Trailer

Hangover Potential: 3/5

16th September:

The Infiltrator

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Starring: Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger

Director: Brad Furman

Why You Should See It: Bryan Cranston switches sides and stars in the true story of an undercover FBI agent attempting to bring down Pablo Escobar’s drug empire. Brad Furman directs with a degree of fun and a lightness of touch, The Lincoln Lawyer felt refreshingly light for a film about sexual assault, and appears to be bringing that skill to the table here. I mean I’m not sure if we need to see another undercover officer who gets in too deep story but I’d happily see Cranston in anything. His ability to showcase numerous emotions in nothing but a look is one of his impressive skills as a performer, not to mention his trademark aggressive rants. There is chance for many of those in this one.

Infiltrator Trailer

Hangover Potential: 3/5

Bridget Jones’s Baby

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Starring: Renee Zellwegger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey

Director: Sharon Maguire

Why You Should See It: Arriving over 10 years after the weak sequel The Edge of Reason, Zellwegger returns as the eponymous Bridget. Still single and throwing around blue language with aplomb as always, she finds herself caught between two men who both could be the father of her unexpected baby bump. Now this is hard to preview as it is most definitely not designed with me in mind. I do question whether people are up for seeing more from Jones, the first was a huge hit but even the sequel had a steep drop and that was released only 2 years after the first, plus the trailer doesn’t imply that there is any real story to this follow up. That being said Firth and Dempsey are big draws and the inclusion of Emma Thompson both starring and co-writing could add some much needed bite to a potentially fluffy piece.

Bridget Jones’s Baby Trailer

Hangover Potential: 2/5

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

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Starring: Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rhys Darby

Director: Taika Waititi

Why You Should See It: A heartwarming crowd pleasing film out of New Zealand (It’s currently the number 1 homegrown movie of all time there) from What We Do in the Shadows and Thor Ragnarok director Waititi. Hunt tells of a boy and his foster father who get lost in the wilderness and become a part of massive manhunt. Neill is a master at playing crotchety older men with buried layers of heart and here it looks no different. But the real revelation appears to be young Dennison seemingly taking a page out of UP and acting like the perpetually annoying but deeply soft souled boy scout that became the beating heart of that film. Earning rave reviews from all who see it. This looks set to be the small town offbeat underdog that will warm your heart.

Wilderpeople Trailer

Hangover Potential: 5/5

23rd September:

The Girl with all the Gifts

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Starring: Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close, Paddy Considine

Director: Colm McCarthy

Why You Should See It: I’m not sure why Sony are intent on making a Last of Us film when this has beaten them to the punch. Telling of a world ending virus, the same featured in the successful Naughty Dog game, the film follows a group of children (particularly Sennia Nanua as the titular Girl) who have a built in defence against the disease. As you can tell things go dramatically wrong and a small group head out into a world that nature has begun to take back. One of the coolest aspects of the game was the unique settings, flora and fauna overtaking all in their path, and this seems to have followed suit. With a homegrown setting, a stellar cast, some effective production design and an adult story with actual things to say, this could be the big quiet hit of the month. Plus what is probably the most effective trailer of the year!

Girl with all the Gifts Trailer

Hangover Potential: 5/5

Imperium

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Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Toni Collette, Tracey Letts

Director: Daniel Ragussis

Why You Should See It: Daniel Radcliffe continues to make interesting choices in his post Potter career. The young actor determined to challenge himself and put his name to pictures that may have struggled to get made without his marquee presence. In this instance he plays a wide eyed FBI undercover officer ingratiating himself within a prominent neo-nazi group. Shaving his head for the role Radcliffe is almost unrecognisable and appears to be bringing a vital bubbling energy to his performance. Whether the film supports his commitment and delivers as good as he does remains to be seen, but I’m excited to see him take the next step into becoming a true versatile actor.

Imperium Trailer

Hangover Potential: 3/5

The Magnificent Seven

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Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Why You Should See It: Yes another remake is set to arrive this month. This looks slightly more promising than Ben-Hur with a brilliant cast, solid director and an intriguing choice in scriptwriter. True Detective’s Nic Pizzolatto lends his pen and I’m hoping this cleaves more to the successful first season than the flabby and boring second season. A well told story, but the direction looks explosive and fun. I’m a big fan of getting the team together films and when the team includes big personalities like Pratt and Vincent D’Onofrio it should be at least entertaining.  The trailers thus far have been poorly edited lacklustre affairs but I do have faith that this team could pull something magnificent together.

Magnificent Seven Trailer

Hangover Potential: 3/5

30th September:

Deepwater Horizon

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Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Kate Hudson, Kurt Russell

Director: Peter Berg

Why You Should See It: Hopefully washing away the taste of Berg’s last films Battleship and the jingoistic Lone Survivor. Horizon tells the true story of the worst oil spill in history, and although the news spent most of their focus on the environmental costs and the negligence on BPs part, they spent less time on the 11 men who lost their lives. This film seeks to tell their story. One aspect I hope Berg keeps low is deifying the heroes of the story, and judging by the trailer he hasn’t. Yes these men made a huge sacrifice but making them heroes rather than blue collar guys could lessen the true weight of their loss. But a terrific cast, John Malkovich makes a most welcome appearance, full on direction (Lone Survivor proved Berg is capable of physical brutal realism) and a moving story could add up to a thrilling piece of true story film-making.

Deepwater Horizon Trailer

Hangover Potential: 3/5

Swiss Army Man

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Starring: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe

Directors: Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert

Why You Should See It: Remember only 3 films back when I said Radcliffe is making some interesting choices, well this is possibly the most outlandish you can possibly go. Playing a corpse, yes a corpse, who after washing up on an island becomes the essential multi-tool companion to a stranded Paul Dano. Things just get weirder from there, Radcliffe’s frequent farting and excessive erection are stepping stones on the way to telling a story of friendship, hope and humanity. The concept will no doubt put a lot of people off and I’m pretty confident that this won’t be for everyone, but the trailer showcases a film full of warmth, wit, craziness and sheer joy. Sometimes it is in the most unusual of situations that real truths are unveiled and I for one am more than willing to open my mind to some insanity.

Swiss Army Man Trailer

Hangover Potential: 4/5

The Free State of Jones

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Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Keri Russel, Gugu Mgbatha-Raw

Director: Gary Ross

Why You Should See It: Set during the American Civil War, McConaughey plays Newt Knight a Confederate soldier who opposes slavery. Taking up with a group of runaway slaves he forges an alliance and sets in motion events that will change everything. Stately, impassioned and with IMPORTANT things to say, this all looks a little bland. McConaughey is always watchable but even here there feels like an element of phoning it in. It is a vital story but with the Oscar winning 12 Years a Slave previously and the future award hopeful The Birth of a Nation offering unwavering honest portrayals of the slavery cause, this all seems a little too movie of the week to sit alongside them.

Free State of Jones Trailer

Hangover Potential: 2/5

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

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Starring: Eva Green, Samuel L Jackson, Asa Butterfield

Director: Tim Burton

Why You Should See It: Tim Burton has suffered in recent years. Seemingly becoming a parody of himself, each film turning ever more odd and somehow missing the humanity within their core that his best films so eloquently achieved. Perhaps it was his incessant need to use the same troupe of actors, particularly Johnny Depp and his endless parade of funny hats or the lack of decent stories. This though looks a little more like his older stuff. An adaptation of a popular kids book, adapted here by Kick-Ass writer Jane Goldman, and telling the story of a group of period X-Men types. Offbeat children with unusual powers sheltered from the world by the kind hearted but fiercely loyal Miss Peregrine played by Eva Green. Green is a magnificent screen presence, unpredictable, forceful and dripping with barely suppressed eroticism. She is generally the best thing in whatever she features. If Burton can marriage her with an emotional story and what look to be effective sequences of CGI he may well have returned to the Burton of old.

Peculiar Children Trailer

Hangover Potential: 4/5

Wow that is a lot of films and most look like they could be something pretty special. Stay tuned for my reviews of each. October preview will arrive soon. Plenty of films to get drunk on, let the hangovers commence.

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