Entertainment

New year welcomes new releases to the big screen

By Emily Smith

For The Sun News

“Beauty and the Beast” stars Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast. The live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic is directed by Bill Condon.
“Beauty and the Beast” stars Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast. The live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic is directed by Bill Condon. TNS

A new year has begun and now is the perfect time to make resolutions. For those who decided to visit movie theaters more often this year, there is a plethora of big screen releases to choose from.

January started off with thrilling sequels, tense originals tales, and real-life stories to tug at the heart strings and inspire. February keeps the ball rolling with literal star crossed lovers in The Space Between Us, and close to Valentine’s Day is the steamy sequel 50 Shades Darker. For the children, The Lego Batman Movie and Rock Dog are sure to entertain.

March comes in like a lion with Logan, which takes audiences back into the world of comic book heroes, the X-Men. The live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast twirls into theaters in the middle of the month, and the recreated popular Japanese film Ghost in the Shell will keep this month from going out like a lamb.

Laughs take us into April with Going in Style, a heist movie with a most unusual band of bandits. The Fate of the Furious will be revealed come mid-April, and the last weeks of the month will provide us with more movies based on actual historic events, in The Lost City of Z and The Promise.

Keep in mind, not all movies on this list are guaranteed to come to Grand Strand theaters, so be sure to check all local movie listings before making plans. Some movies have not been announced and won’t have a release date until a few weeks in advance, as opposed to a few months, therefore this list is far from all inclusive. Release dates are also subject to change.

Hidden Figures

Release Date | January 6

Director | Theodore Melfi

Starring | Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae

Rating | PG

The space race was a time of crossing all sorts of new thresholds. One group of genius African American women will rise to the challenge of not only putting a man on the moon, but also of the limitations society has tried to shackle them with.

A Monster Calls

Release Date | January 6

Director | J.A. Bayona

Starring | Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones, Liam Neeson

Rating | PG-13

Being bullied at school and coping with a terminally ill mother at home, young Connor is hurting, angry, and has no refuge to escape to. Through his struggles, he comes to face the most terrifying monster of all: the truth.

Underworld: Blood Wars

Release Date | January 6

Director | Anna Foerster

Starring | Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Tobias Menzies

Rating | R

The war between vampires and the Lycan clan is reaching its peak, and neither side will stop until the other is obliterated. Selene stands alone between the enemies, and in her is the power to either end the war or annihilate them all.

Sleepless

Release Date | January 13

Director | Baran bo Odar

Starring | Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, Scoot McNairy

Rating | R

Playing the role of the crooked cop, Vincent Downs is deep undercover in a mission not even his own police department knows about. A robbery goes bad and a gang his kidnaps his son in retaliation. Downs will have to act quickly to save his son without blowing his cover.

Patriots Day

Release Date | January 13

Director | Peter Berg

Starring | Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, John Goodman

Rating | R

In 2013, thousands of people participated in the Boston Marathon, and millions more paid attention when it became victim to an act of terrorism. This account of that day follows the marathon, bombing, and subsequent manhunt, and shows how everyone can be Boston Strong.

Split

Release Date | January 20

Director | M. Night Shyamalan

Starring | James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson

Rating | PG-13

Three girls are kidnapped and locked up together in a basement for unknown purposes, and the more they learn about their kidnapper, the more complicated the situation becomes. For only one personality is responsible for the crime, and there exist 23 more in his mind.

xXx 3: The Return of Xander Cage

Release Date | January 20

Director | D.J. Caruso

Starring | Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone

Rating | PG-13

When the government needs help for a daring and perhaps not entirely legal operation, they know who to ask. With his self-imposed exile interrupted, Xander Cage returns to the life of a superspy and forms a new team, all just as crazy as he is.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Release Date | January 27

Director | Paul W.S. Anderson

Starring | Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Iain Glen

Rating | R

The finale of this long-running movie series has finally arrived, and not even Alice may survive. She remains the final hope for humanity, and a new piece of evidence has her and the scant few remaining humans returning to where it all began.

Gold

Release Date | January 27

Director | Stephen Gaghan

Starring | Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramirez, Bryce Dallas Howard

Rating | R

An inextinguishable determination to earn money and make it big sends modern day prospector to the jungles of Indonesia to search for gold. Along with a geologist, also determined to put his name in the books, the two will find not only gold, but countless dangers.

The Space Between Us

Release Date | February 3

Director | Peter Chelsom

Starring | Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson, Gary Oldman

Rating | PG-13

Living on Mars was never going to be an easy task, especially so for the first human born there. Raised by scientists and only familiar with the red planet, all he dreams about is Earth and for the first time in sixteen years, he has the chance to experience it.

Rings

Release Date | February 3

Director | F. Javier Gutiérrez

Starring | Laura Wiggins, Aimee Teegarden, Jonny Galecki

Rating | PG-13

Originally slated to release last fall, the dark urban legend of a cursed video that kills whoever watches it after seven days has returned. After watching the video to keep her boyfriend from being cursed, Julia discovers something more to the legend throughout her haunting.

50 Shades Darker

Release Date | February 10

Director | James Foley

Starring | Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Bella Heathcote

Rating | R

Unable to keep away from each other, Ana and Christian return to the big screen to once more attempt a relationship, this one less contractual. But with Christian dealing with his inner demons and a dark past that rears its head, the two are in for another bumpy ride.

The Lego Batman Movie

Release Date | February 10

Director | Chris McKay

Starring | Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis

Rating | PG

Lego Batman is swooping into theaters to capture the hearts of kids everywhere once more! Join the legend himself as he battles against The Joker and learns the importance of teamwork with his enthusiastic adopted son.

John Wick: Chapter 2

Release Date | February 10

Director | Chad Stahelski

Starring | Keanu Reeves, Ruby Rose, Ian McShane

Rating | N/A

Despite his determination to retire from the life of a hitman, John Wick is dragged back into the underbelly that he so skillfully traverses. His challenges are greater than ever, and if this talented assassin wants to survive, he has no choice but to go all out.

The Great Wall

Release Date | February 17

Director | Yimou Zhang

Starring | Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, Tian Jing

Rating | PG-13

The history of China’s Great Wall takes a turn to the fantasy when a mercenary captured by the Chinese discovers that the impressive architectural feat is to keep more than humans out. The warrior decides to join his Chinese captors in fighting off their terrible enemies.

Fist Fight

Release Date | February 17

Director | Richie Keen

Starring | Ice Cube, Charlie Day, Tracey Morgan

Rating | R

After putting up with a year of antics, a mellow English teacher reports a fellow teacher for his aggressive teaching style. Now these two high school educators with very contrasting values go head-to-head on the last day of school, and everyone is invited.

A Cure for Wellness

Release Date | February 17

Director | Gore Verbinski

Starring | Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth

Rating | R

A young executive is sent to a remote wellness center in the Swiss Alps to retrieve his company’s CEO. Instead, he slowly unravels a mystery and finds that those who attend the center never leave, nor do they get better.

Get Out

Release Date | February 24

Director | Jordan Peele

Starring | Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford

Rating | R

Meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time can always be an unnerving experience, and Chris is already quite nervous. Getting to know his girlfriend’s family quickly goes south when they discover her family’s estate seems to be horrifically cursed.

Rock Dog

Release Date | February 24

Director | Ash Brannon

Starring | Luke Wilson, J.K. Simmons, Eddie Izzard

Rating | PG

He was born to become a guard dog like his fathers before him, but all Bodi wants to do is rock. The young pup embarks on a journey from his home in the mountains to the city, where he finds a teacher, makes new friends, and discovers how powerful music can be.

Collide

Release Date | February 24

Director | Eran Creevy

Starring | Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones, Anthony Hopkins

Rating | PG-13

A couple traveling in Germany find themselves in great debt because of an medical emergency. To earn good money fast, the boyfriend decides to take part in a heist but when the situation spirals out of control, the stakes become higher than he’s willing to pay.

Logan

Release Date | March 3

Director | James Mangold

Starring | Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen

Rating | R

The powerful group of mutants known as the X-Men has dwindled down to near extinction with Wolverine and Professor X in hiding. A powerful organization is after them and a mysterious little girl. The two aging mutants may be her last hope…and she, theirs.

The Shack

Release Date | March 3

Director | Stuart Hazeldine

Starring | Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, Radha Mitchell

Rating | N/A

A camping trip that ends in a parent’s worst nightmare sends this young father spiraling into a self-destructive depression. Upon receiving a letter with no return address, he takes a leap of faith and returns to the shack that has haunted his every breath.

T2 Trainspotting

Release Date | March 3

Director | Danny Boyle

Starring | Ewan McGregor, Johnny Lee Miller, Kelly Macdonald

Rating | R

The back streets of Edinburgh come to life again as the original cast and director reunite for one more trip. It’s been twenty years since Renton betrayed his mates, and while some things were never the same for any of them, surprisingly little has changed for these troublemakers.

Table 19

Release Date | March 3

Director | Jeffrey Blitz

Starring | Anna Kendrick, Wyatt Russel, Lisa Kudrow

Rating | PG-13

Once a maid of honor, now broken up with the best man and delegated to a table of guests not expected to come, Eloise is attending a wedding seemingly out of sheer spite. Despite not quite being friends of the wedding party, the table of misfits decide to revel in their shared comradery.

Before I Fall

Release Date | March 3

Director | Ry Russo-Young

Starring | Zoey Deutch, Elena Kampouris, Halston Sage

Rating | N/A

That night, Sam and her friends were in a car wreck. That morning, she awoke to the same day. No matter what the high schooler decides, the same day repeats itself over and over again. She only has one day to figure out what to do, but it turns out that’s all the time she needs.

The Last Word

Release Date | March 3

Director | Mark Pellington

Starring | Shirley MacLaine, Amanda Seyfried, Anne Heche

Rating | R

In the throes of old age but still unwilling to loosen the reigns, an elderly businesswoman hires a local journalist to write her obituary. When writing an obituary for a living person turns out to be difficult, the two revisit pieces of the businesswoman’s past – and discover potential futures.

Kong: Skull Island

Release Date | March 10

Director | Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Starring | Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson

Rating | PG-13

Set in the same universe as the recent Godzilla film, Kong: Skull Island reintroduces the giant gorilla for another ground-shaking movie. An expedition in 1972 to an uncharted island turns out to be far more than these soldiers and scientists were expecting.

Beauty and the Beast

Release Date | March 17

Director | Bill Condon

Starring | Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans

Rating | PG

A remake of the popular Disney film, Beauty and the Beast returns the audience to an enchanted castle filled with singing dishes and a misunderstood beast. Fall in love all over again with the magical world where a simple rose can change a destiny.

Free Fire

Release Date | March 17

Director | Ben Wheatley

Starring | Cillian Murphy, Sharlto Copley, Brie Larson

Rating | R

A weapon deal goes badly when both sides are already not on the best of terms and a bit trigger happy. A deserted warehouse turns into a warzone and these 1970s mobsters will do what it takes to get out alive and hopefully with something to show for it.

The Power Rangers

Release Date | March 24

Director | Dean Israelite

Starring | Dacre Montgomery, Ludi Lin, Naomi Scott

Rating | N/A

The live-action television show that has inspired multiple generations of kids has made it to the big screen as never before. Join this group of misfit high schoolers as they discover an alien artifact that gives them superpowers – just in time to save the world.

Life

Release Date | March 24

Director | Daniel Espinosa

Starring | Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson

Rating | N/A

A group of astronauts make a discovery that would change human history and perception of space. But in their orbit around the earth, isolated from help, the team also discovers just how unprepared they are for extraterrestrial intelligent life.

Ghost in the Shell

Release Date | March 31

Director | Rupert Sanders

Starring | Scarlett Johansson, Michael Pitt, Pilou Asbæk

Rating | N/A

Counter-cyberterrorist and part machine herself, the Major and her task force face all sorts of bizarre and complicated enemies. When a new hacker goes all out against the advanced technology the world runs on, she and her force have to act quickly and forcefully to stop him.

The Boss Baby

Release Date | March 31

Director | Hendel Butoy, Tom McGrath

Starring | Alec Baldwin, Miles Christopher Bakshi, ViviAnn Lee

Rating | PG

Puppy popularity is higher than ever, and there seems to be less love for babies. Tim’s new little brother, a suit-wearing, smart-talking baby, is on a mission to turn the tide away from the enemy. If Tim wants his parents to himself again, he’ll have to work together with the Boss Baby.

The Zookeeper’s Wife

Release Date | March 31

Director | Niki Caro

Starring | Jessica Chastain, Daniel Brühl, Johan Heldenbergh

Rating | N/A

Inspired by true events, The Zookeeper’s Wife takes its audience back to war-ridden Poland and the Nazi occupation. With hope hard to come by, one couple will help the underground resistance whisk hundreds of people away using the only thing they have left – their zoo.

Smurfs: The Lost Village

Release Date | April 7

Director | Kelly Asbury

Starring | Demi Lovato, Joe Manganiello, Jack McBrayer

Rating | PG

Smurfette discovers that her village may not be the only home for Smurfs after all. With her friends Hefty, Brainy, and Clumsy, she embarks on a journey through the Forbidden Forest to discover the truth about the Lost Village.

Going in Style

Release Date | April 7

Director | Zach Braff

Starring | Alan Arkin, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman

Rating | PG-13

Three life-long friends are enjoying retirement together when their company freezes all pension payments. Unable to survive without their checks and desperate for a solution, these three come to the next most logical plan: rob a bank!

The Fate of the Furious

Release Date | April 14

Director | F. Gary Gray

Starring | Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham

Rating | N/A

Betrayal never comes from an enemy. When Dom is sucked into an even great world of crime, he turns on his family without explanation. Now the furious team has to go all out against their dear friend to drag him back, if not stop him completely.

Gifted

Release Date | April 14

Director | Marc Webb

Starring | Chris Evans, Mckenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan

Rating | PG-13

Raising a child on your own is difficult; raising a math prodigy is nearly incalculable. All Frank wants is for his niece, Mary, to be a kid, to have fun and grow. But when his mother demands custody, he has to fight for Mary’s right to live a normal life.

Unforgettable

Release Date | April 21

Director | Denise Di Novi

Starring | Rosario Dawson, Katherine Heigl, Geoff Stults

Rating | N/A

Tessa’s husband has moved on and begun a new life, even remarried. Only, Tessa wasn’t ready for him to move on. She sets her sights on the new wife, Julia, and begins using all manner of tricks, lies, and even violence to break the new couple apart.

The Lost City of Z

Release Date | April 21

Director | James Gray

Starring | Charlie Hunnam, Tom Holland, Sienna Miller

Rating | R

A small group of British explorers in the 1920s set off into the wilds of Brazil with the intention of discovering a legendary city. However, their expedition mysteriously vanishes, and the group is never heard from again. Based off the non-fiction book of the same name.

The Circle

Release Date | April 28

Director | James Ponsoldt

Starring | Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, John Boyega

Rating | N/A

Enchanted by a powerful tech company called The Circle and the connected world the CEO promises, a young woman named Mae joins their ranks. As her ambition puts her in a more prominent position, she begins to learn that living in a glass house is quite dangerous.

The Promise

Release Date | April 28

Director | Terry George

Starring | Christian Bale, Oscar Isaac, Angela Sarafyan

Rating | PG-13

During the final years of the Ottoman Empire, the government began what is now known as the Armenian Genocide. Caught up in the turmoil, an Armenian medical student asks for help from his friend, an American reporter he met in Constantinople, before he and his family are captured.

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