Since absolutely nothing worthwhile is opening this Friday, I decided to get a head start on previewing the most noteworthy upcoming releases of Spring 2016. While next week brings a pair of powerhouses—Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson's Anomalisa and László Nemes' Son of Saul, which will be covered in detail, what lies beyond is a little murkier.
The much delayed Jane Got a Gun (Jan. 29) was originally intended for director Lynne Ramsay, but after much on-set hullabaloo it ended up in the hands of Gavin O'Connor (Warrior). The revisionist (and feminist?) Western stars Natalie Portman who takes up arms to save her rotten husband from imminent death.
Thankfully, Joel and Ethan Coen grace us with another star-laden screwball comedy titled Hail, Cesar (Feb. 5), which follows a 1950s Hollywood fixer (Josh Brolin) on his quest to rescue a kidnapped movie star (George Clooney). Swoon.
Andrew Haigh's devastating two-hander 45 Years (Feb. 5) starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay as a struggling married couple is a must-see. For a much needed dose of absurdity, check out Zoolander 2 (Feb. 12) the following week.
Generating buzz and acclaim since its spine-tingling premiere at Sundance last year, Robert Eggers' The Witch (Feb. 26) finally arrives, as does John Hillcoat's super violent Triple 9 (Feb. 26) about a crew of corrupt cops trying to pull off the perfect bank robbery.
A week later, we'll get Terrence Malick's enigmatic Knight of Cups (March 4), easily the event of the spring. This melancholic and poetic treatise on tinsel town arrogance and vapidity stars Christian Bale and Natalie Portman. You'll either love it or hate it.
Finally, other notable releases include Jeff Nichols' Midnight Special (March 18), a fantasy drama about a father (Michael Shannon) whose young son discovers he has supernatural powers, and Jeremy Saulnier's Green Room (April 1), about a punk rock band that comes under attack from neo-Nazis. Fun times.
The Forest: A young woman experiences a horrific experience while visiting a Japanese forest.
The Revenant: Leonardo DiCaprio plays a wounded fur trader who traverses the harshest countryside to enact revenge on the man who killed his son.
Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art: This documentary unearths the history of land art that began in the 1960s. Screens through Thursday, Jan. 14, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
One Time Only
Dangerous Men: This 2005 cult film follows a traumatized young woman who becomes a vigilante in the name of protecting women from violent men. Screens at 11:55 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, at the Ken Cinema.