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15 Films to See in February

Written by on February 2, 2019 

5. Cold Pursuit (Feb. 8)

One of the more full-bodied Liam Neeson-led early year action offerings, Conor O’Donnell said in his review, “In the action-friendly-titled Cold Pursuit, the frigid sights and sounds of Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland’s In Order of Disappearance have been largely transposed to the ski town of Kehoe, Colorado, down to the silly gangster names. Hell, even a similar, brief physical gag with a yoga ball makes the cut. Moland, however, delightfully manages to wring even more sinister hilarity out of the situation in his Americanized retelling.”

4. Velvet Buzzsaw (Dan Gilroy; Feb. 1)

Premiering this week at Sundance Film Festival, Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler reunion is now on Netflix. Dan Mecca said in his review, “Gilroy seems determined to poke fun at those that profit off of creativity while celebrating those who put their life into their work. One can certainly debate how seriously he’s taken the piece of art he’s made, but then why ruin the fun? There’s some kind of poetry to he’s made here: a trashy thriller set in the world of high art. Any lofty ambitions fall to the wayside in favor of a ludicrous (and ludicrously entertaining) performance from Gyllenhaal and some well-staged death scenes.”

3. Birds of Passage (Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra; Feb. 13)

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After his last movie–the trippy, transportive Embrace of the Serpent–became the first Colombian film ever nominated for an Oscar, director Ciro Guerra is back this year with another Academy Awards contender: Birds of Passage, which he co-directed with Cristina Gallego. The drama follows an indigenous family who gets involved in the drug trade in 1970s Colombia as the marijuana business booms. Rory O’Connor said in his Cannes review, “Birds may follow the rise and fall narrative arc of basically every crime saga since Cagney and Edward G. Robinson began filling theaters in the early ‘30s, but by telling it from the indigenous perspective the filmmakers have made a movie not so much about myth-making and antiheros, but instead a fable about capitalism, lost heritage, and a death of the soul.”

2. Hotel by the River (Hong Sang-soo; Feb. 15)

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The first of at least two Hong Sangsoo films to arrive this year, Leonardo Goi said in his review, “Hong’s acolytes have reasons to rejoice in the Korean’s latest feature: beautifully shot in crisp black and white by Kim Hyung-koo – reminiscent of his work in Hong’s The Day After (2017) and Grass (2018) – and packed with a few of the director’s recurrent casting choices (including muse Kim Min-hee and Kwon Hae-hyo) Hotel by the River is imbued with the self-irony that permeates much of Hong’s ever-growing filmography, only this time the mockery is mixed with a tragic aftertaste that adds to the drama an unsettling and refreshing aura.”

1. High Flying Bird (Steven Soderbergh; Feb. 8)

After his iPhone-shot psychological thriller Unsane, Steven Soderbergh is moving to the world of the NBA with the same technological experiment. Landing on Netflix this month. High Flying Bird follows André Holland as an NBA sports agent, backed by the varied, great cast of Zazie Beetz, Melvin Gregg, Sonja Sohn, Zachary Quinto, Glenn Fleshler, Jeryl Prescott, Justin Hurtt-Dunkley, Caleb McLaughlin, Bobbi Bordley, Kyle MacLachlan, and Bill Duke. Reactions to this one have been extremely strong, and we’ll all get to see it next week.

What are you watching this month?

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