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10 Films to See In February

Written by on February 4, 2014 

The early months of the year can be bleak for a cinephile, but while one catches up on everything worthwhile from 2013, there are a handful of notable features to seek out this month. While we’ll save the VOD titles for our weekly wrap-ups and when they hit theatrical release, one should note the recommended Grand Piano is now available to stream. Moving on to the theatrical releases of February, there’s a handful of independent features and some high-profile studio dramas, but animation is king this month. Check out our rundown below and let us know what you’re most anticipating in the comments.

Matinees to See: The Pretty One (2/7), Vic + Flo Saw a Bear (2/7), Adult World (2/14), In Secret (2/21), Omar (2/21)

10. Winter’s Tale (Akiva Goldsman; Feb. 14th)

Synopsis: A burglar falls for an heiress as she dies in his arms. When he learns that he has the gift of reincarnation, he sets out to save her.


Why You Should See It: Every Valentine’s Day we seem to get a by-the-numbers romance that hits all the marketable notes (see: Endless Love), so it’s refreshing when an entry comes along that looks to be doing things differently. Such is the case with the directorial debut of longtime Hollywood producer and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman. Based on Mark Helprin‘s celebrated novel, the adaptation could easily collapse under the weight of its ambition, but we’re hedging our bets that’ll be one of more interesting studio releases this season.

9. The Pretty One (Jenée LaMarque; Feb. 7th)

Synopsis: When a woman’s identical prettier twin sister dies, the woman assumes her sister’s identity, moving into her apartment and the big city.


Why You Should See It:  Slowly building up an impressive resume the last two years, Zoe Kazan and Jake Johnson have now teamed for this high-concept comedy. We reviewed it out of Tribeca, saying, “It’s when The Pretty One focuses on Laurel’s identity crisis in the smallest and most intimate of moments that it truly shine. It’s too bad that subplots and clichés hold the film back from being a truly special indictment of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Even still, it’s a funny and unpretentious study of identity.”

8. A Field in England (Ben Wheatley; Feb. 7th)

Synopsis: Three soldiers who, fleeing from a Civil War, escape through an overgrown field and are ambushed by two dangerous men, who make them search the field for treasures.


Why You Should See It: After being mostly enamored with Ben Wheatley‘s last two features — the nightmarish thriller Kill List and one of the strangest road trip dramas we’ve seen, Sightseers — I was slightly let down by his fourth film, but it’s still one worth seeking out. Heading back to the Civil War, the black-and-white descent into madness is pulled off, but begins to feel repetitive. Our official TIFF review was more positive, saying, it’s “strange, captivating, metaphoric, and utterly obtuse.”

7. The Lunchbox (Ritesh Batra; Feb. 28th)

Synopsis: A mistaken delivery in Mumbai’s famously efficient lunchbox delivery system connects a young housewife to an older man in the dusk of his life as they build a fantasy world together through notes in the lunchbox.


Why You Should See It: After recently dipping his toes into the Hollywood system with The Amazing Spider-Man and Life of PiIrrfan Khan has returned to his native land for a new drama, The Lunchbox. Initially premiering at Cannes Film Festival last year, Ritesh Batra’s debut film stopped by Sundance last week and will arrive in theaters this month. A sentimental, but seemingly well-crafted story of married woman looking for a connection and finds it through her cooking skills, it looks like one to watch.

6. The Monuments Men (George Clooney; Feb. 7th)

Synopsis: An unlikely World War II platoon are tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.


Why You Should See It: Once destined to be a late-year prestige drama, after a delay, George Clooney‘s latest film is now arriving this week. Early reviews seem to be mixed, hinting that the director doesn’t adequately find an engaging tone, but with lowered expectations, we’ll be pleased if it’s simply a fun ’50’s and ’60’s-esque throwback. Hopefully it’ll also be worth watching for the cast alone, which includes our director, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Bob BalabanBill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin and Hugh Bonneville.

Read the top 5 films to see this month >>

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