Winter movies bring Valentine’s variety, genre favorites ahead of spring fever
The focus for the next few weeks may be on the upcoming Academy Awards and films vying for Oscars, but there are a few other movies opening during the winter season.
There are even a few highly anticipated films scheduled, like the Valentine’s Day lineup with a new “Fifty Shades” flick, “Lego Batman” for the kids and Hugh Jackman as a Wolverine for mature audiences only.
In perusing this list that goes into early March, be aware that release dates may be subject to change.
The Space Between Us
Think “The Martian” meets John Green novel: A young man (Asa Butterfield) comes to Earth years after having been born on Mars. He connects online with a young woman with a cool character name: Tulsa.
You’ve probably heard this story before: Watch this creepy videotape if you dare, but you’ll be dead in seven days time. Samara is back.
A look at the life of an aging stand-up comic features Robert De Niro in the starring role. Co-starring Leslie Mann, Danny De Vito, Patti Lupone, Harvey Keitel and more.
This new PBS “American Experience” documentary based on the 1995 bombing, fresh off a debut at the Sundance Film Festival, comes to Circle Cinema with a special showing including a Q&A with journalist Ben Fenwick, who covered the bombing and the trial and who appears in the documentary, following a 7:30 p.m. Friday screening.
Fifty Shades Darker
“Darker” probably means naughtier, which would be pushing it with this series. Just in time for Valentine’s Day date night for the adults-only crowd.
The Lego Batman Movie
The vocal work of Will Arnett as the Caped Crusader may be the defining performance of his career; it’s that good. From the people who made us believe that “Everything is Awesome.”
John Wick: Chapter Two
Who knew that Keanu Reeves had another action-movie franchise in him? Enjoy the continuing adventures of this former hitman and his unique storyline.
Adam Driver (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) portrays a bus driver in New Jersey who writes poetry in this indie drama from director Jim Jarmusch. Bonus: The poetry is supplied by Tulsa poet Ron Padgett.
Oscar-nominated Short Films
This popular program makes its annual return to Circle Cinema, with showings of the films nominated in the live-action short film category, as well as the animated short films.
The acclaimed new documentary from the director of “Winged Migration” and “Oceans” is a thought-provoking look at how mankind and nature have interacted in Europe over the centuries.
The Great Wall
Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou (known for films like “Curse of the Golden Flower” and for the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony) creates an epic war saga starring Matt Damon and the Great Wall of China.
Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! That’s what they’ll be yelling in this comedy at the after-school fight between a wimpy teacher (Charlie Day) and the colleague he just got fired (Ice Cube).
A Cure for Wellness
Before he made all those “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies with Johnny Depp, director Gore Verbinski spooked us with “The Ring.” He returns to horror with an odd tale of a mysterious Swiss Alps spa promising miracle treatments.
One of the year’s most-acclaimed foreign films finds a father trying to reconnect with his workaholic daughter by playing an ultimate prank. From Germany.
Nicholas Hoult (“Warm Bodies”) plays a young man backpacking in Europe and mixed up with drug smugglers who he ends up being chased by on the Autobahn. Co-starring Felicity Jones.
A young interracial couple takes their dating to the “meet the parents” level with nightmare results in this horror film directed by Jordan Peele of Key & Peele fame.
A Tibetan mastiff becomes a rock star in this very odd-looking animated movie with voices by Luke Wilson, J.K. Simmons and Sam Elliott as Fleetwood Yak. Seriously.
The Red Turtle
From Studio Ghibli, the makers of “Spirited Away” and “Ponyo,” comes this new animated film, which is free of dialogue and which follows the interactions of a deserted island castaway with the turtles, crabs and birds that live there.
I Am Not Your Negro
Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and based on an unfinished novel by James Baldwin, filmmaker Raoul Peck’s documentary examines race in America by looking at the murders of three of the author’s friends: Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers and Malcolm X.
In what might be the final appearance of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, expect a very different movie with a tired Logan caring for Professor X at a hideout. But that privacy can’t last in a film that follows the lead of “Deadpool” by going with an R rating.
Sam Worthington (“Avatar”) and Octavia Spencer star in this faith-based drama based on a best-selling book about a father whose depression after a tragedy makes him question his beliefs.
Elle Fanning provides the voice of a poor orphan girl who dreams of becoming a ballerina at the Paris Opera Ballet in this animated movie.
Before I Fall
This odd sci-fi mystery, in which a young woman spends a week’s time living out her final day before her death, stars Zoey Deutch of “Why Him?”
A United Kingdom
Based on the true story of the controversial love between King Seretse Khama of Botswana (David Oyelowo) and Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white woman from London. When they married in the late 1940s, it caused an international scene.
A young married woman (Alicia Vikander) begins an affair with an artist (Dane DeHaan) in this romantic drama, set during the booming tulip market in 17th-century Holland.