WTM?’s WHAT’S ON: FEBRUARY Cinema releases (UK)

It’s the month of love, and nothing says ‘I love you’ quite like a romantic stroll up the sticky aisle of a dank, dark cinema screen; the pathway lit by the shiny beacons of group WhatsApp message screens that will inevitably still be there by the time the film’s third-act rolls around.

But fear not back row lovers, soul mates, friendzoners, or childhood sweet (or salty) hearts: February looks set to be more than just one good date – there’s many to look forward to!

And so here are just a handful of the UK cinema releases that are sure to get you hot under the collar, and get you dusting off the old arm-over-the-shoulder-yawn manoeuvre…

Phantom Thread

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville, Vicky Krieps
Release date: Feb 02

If this really is the great Daniel Day-Lewis’ final big-screen venture, here’s hoping it’s going to be one memorable curtain call. The initial signs are good: six Oscar noms – including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for DD-L himself – Phantom Thread already seems to have weaved an impressive shawl of anticipation.



Director: The Spierig Brothers
Cast: Helen Mirren, Jason Clarke,
Release date: Feb 02

No, this isn’t a sequel to Edgar Wight’s cult classic Shaun of the Dead, unfortunately. While there might be no ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ on the jukebox, the Queen herself, Helen Mirren, is very much in the house. And by house, we of course mean the titular structure of Jigsaw directors Michael and Peter Spierig’s latest. Think MTV Cribs meets the Overlook Hotel…


Journey’s End

Director: Saul Dibb
Cast: Asa Butterfield, Sam Claflin, Paul Bettany, Tony Jones, Stephen Graham
Release date: Feb 02

The fifth adaptation of the R. C. Sherriff stage play, Journey’s End‘s release comes one-hundred years after the events it depicts, and brings with it a remarkable plethora of British talent – Paul Bettany, Sam Claflin, Toby Jones, Stephen Graham. A gritty, emotionally-charged WWI trench drama – could this be 2018’s answer to Nolan’s Dunkirk?


Fifty Shades Freed

Director: James Foley
Cast: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Kim Basinger
Release date: Feb 09

Mr Grey will see you now…again…for the third time…

Need I say more?


The Mercy

Director: James Marsh
Cast: Colin Firth, Rachel Weisz
Release date: Feb 09

Snakes on a Plane, Zombies on a Train, Sharks in a Tornado. How about Firth on a boat?

Based on the true story of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst who, in 1968, attempted to complete the Golden Globe Race, The Mercy marks the first film by director James Marsh since his award-winning 2014 Stephen Hawking biopic, The Theory of Everything. Starring cinema stalwarts in Firth and Weisz, this is sure to make waves at the UK box office. At least, we hope so.


Black Panther

Director: Ryan Coogler
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis
Release date: Feb 13

Some killer poster artwork. One hell of a cast. Yep, we’re ready for Black Panther.

A Marvel film, yes; but there is so much more to look forward to. Michael B. Jordan’s villain, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel…*ahem*…Oscar-nominated Daniel Kaluuya; and if that wasn’t enough for ya, try Forest Whitaker and Andy Serkis on for size!

It feels a long time coming, but February will finally hit us with one of the most anticipated superhero films this side of Nolan’s Bat trilogy.

Plus, with Rachel Morrison at the Cinematography helm – the first woman to be nominated for an Academy Award in the category – you just know, at the very, very least, it’s going to look amazing.


The Shape of Water

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, Octavia Spencer
Release date: Feb 14

Having flooded the Oscar nomination room with no less than thirteen nominations, UK cinephiles will finally get to experience the beauty of Del Toro’s latest, The Shape of Water, when it gets it widespread release in Feb. Those lucky enough to catch it at last year’s BFI London Film Festival will have been plugging this one for a while; and I don’t think we could be more excited for a slimy, scaly reptile-man if we tried!

Ok, so we’re sure Michael Shannon’s not that bad in real life…


Lady Bird

Director: Greta Gerwig
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet
Release date: Feb 16

Another Oscar front runner, with Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig became only the fifth woman ever to be nominated in the Best Director category. Like Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread, this one comes with a growing aura of expectation, outweighed only by the anticipation of a coming-of-age tale that brings together the fabulously wonderful Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf (yes, Mrs Loomis, herself).

Hurry up February 16th, already!


I, Tonya

Director: Craig Gillespie 
Cast: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney
Release date: Feb 23

Figure Skating has never looked so utterly bonkers. Margot Robbie has never looked so utterly bonkers (well, outside a Harley Quinn costume anyway). Looking more akin to The Wolf of Wall Street (Robbie’s breakout film, of course) style of true-to-life story than other biopics hitting UK cinemas in Feb , I, Tonya might just leave the rest of them on ice.



Director: Alex Garland
Cast: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Oscar Isaac
Release date: Feb 23

So, it might sound like the title of a Jean-Claude Schwarzenegger action-fest, but Annihilation has all the ingredients of something much more profound. Throw together Natalie Portman, the always brilliant Jennifer Jason Leigh and Ex Machina pairing Oscar Isaac and writer/Director Alex Garland and you’d be hard pushed not to be at least a tad intrigued.

Add in a trailer that has shaded sci-fi blends of Avatar, Arrival, Monsters, and a live-action episode of Rick and Morty, and our curiosity is well and truly piqued.

NOTE: Annihilation will bypass UK cinemas and be released on Netflix.


Finding Your Feet

Director: Richard Loncraine
Cast: Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Joanna Lumley
Release date: Feb 23

Every now and again, there comes along a British comedy that just feels so genuine and warm. And in 2018, Finding Your Feet might just be that. With Timothy Spall, Joanna Lumley and Imelda Staunton making up just a handful of the nation’s screen acting treasures on offer here, Richard Loncraine’s coming-of-retirement-age tale of snobbery, sisterhood, and starting over looks like it might just be the cinematic hot water bottle we all need for a cold, dark, wet February.

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