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Films coming soon to your sofa

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Staff Writer

With England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all in their own respective lockdowns once again to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the start of 2021 has seen a number of planned cinema releases push back their theatrical debut or head to digital platforms instead. For audiences at home, here’s our guide to the major movies and premium VOD releases available to buy and rent from your sofa in the weeks ahead – plus the subscription streaming exclusives that would have been playing in a multiplex near you.

Wild Mountain Thyme – 30th April

This romantic drama, based on the play Outside Mullingar by Oscar, Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning writer and director John Patrick Shanley (Doubt, Moonstruck), tells a love story between two lonely souls, played by Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan. Passionate, determined and smart, Rosemary Muldoon (Blunt) has been in love with her neighbour Anthony Reilly (Dornan) since they were 10 years old. It seems that everyone in their farming community knows they were meant for each other — except Anthony.

Without Remorse – 30th April

Tom Clancy’s John Clark getting the feature film treatment in this thriller an elite Navy SEAL John Clark who uncovers an international conspiracy while seeking justice for the murder of his pregnant wife. Michael B Jorrdan stars as John, who joins forces with a fellow SEAL (Jodie Turner-Smith) and a shadowy CIA agent (Jamie Bell).

Nomadland – 30th April

Chloe Zhao’s awards frontrunner follows Fern (McDormand), who, after the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. The film is being released on Disney+ in the UK and Ireland as part of the recently launched Star section, at no extra cost to subscribers.

The Mitchells vs the Machines – 30th April

A new animated family comedy from the humans who brought you Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse and The Lego Movie. If follows Katie Mitchell (voiced by Abbi Jacobson), a creative outsider who is accepted into the film school of her dreams. But her plans to meet “her people” at college are upended when her nature-loving dad Rick (voiced by Danny McBride) determines the whole family should drive Katie to school together and bond as a family one last time. Suddenly, the Mitchells’ plans are interrupted by a tech uprising: all around the world, the electronic devices people love – from phones to appliances and an innovative new line of personal robots – decide it’s time to take over. With the help of two friendly malfunctioning robots, the Mitchells will have to get past their problems and work together to save each other and the world.

Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation – 30th April

Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation, filmmaker Lisa Immordino Vreeland (Love, Cecil, Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel) brings the two forces together in a unique and fascinating tête-à-tête, comparing and contrasting their trajectories through dueling voices — the writers’ own, culled from archival footage, and the voices of actors Jim Parsons and Zachary Quinto (The Boys in the Band) portraying, respectively, Capote and Williams at various stages of their lives.

Threshold – 3rd May

A phone call from out of the blue brings Leo (Joey Millin) back into contact with his sister, Virginia (Madison West), who persuades him to embark on a cross-country road trip to lift a curse on her that resulted from a sinister ritual performed by the cult she belonged to. The second feature from co-directors Powell Robinson, Patrick R Young and producer Lauren Bates, following their debut Bastard (2015), was improvised and shot on two iPhones over the course of a 12-day road trip with a crew of just three. Shown here with ARROW Stories and a host of exclusive extras.

Mortal Kombat (2021) – 6th May

Directed by debut filmmaker Simon McQuoid and produced by James Wan (Aquaman), the latest feature outing for the video game franchise stars Lewis Tan (Wu Assassins) as Cole Young, an MMA fighter Cole Young who finds himself hunted by Sub-Zero, an otherworldly Cryomancer who is sent by Outworld’s Emperor Shang Tsung. Fearing for his family’s safety, Cole goes in search of Sonya Blade at the direction of Jax, a Special Forces Major who bears the same strange dragon marking Cole was born with. Soon, he finds himself at the temple of Lord Raiden, an Elder God and the protector of Earthrealm, training with Liu Kang, Kung Lao and rogue mercenary Kano, as he prepares to stand with Earth’s greatest champions against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe. Released as a Premium VOD rental.

Apples – 7th May

Amidst a worldwide pandemic that causes sudden amnesia, middle-aged Aris (Aris Servetalis) finds himself enrolled in a recovery program designed to help unclaimed patients build new identities. Prescribed daily tasks on cassette tapes so he can create new memories and document them on camera, Aris slides back into ordinary life, meeting Anna (Sofia Georgovasili), a woman who is also in recovery. Through images deadpan, strange and surreal, Greek writer-director Christos Nikou posits a beguiling reflection on memory, identity, and loss, exploring how a society might handle an irreversible epidemic through one man’s story of self-discovery. Are we the sum of the images we compile and display of ourselves, or are we something richer, and deeper?

Available on: Curzon Home Cinema

Cowboys – 7th May

Troy (Steve Zahn, Dallas Buyers Club, Lean on Pete) is on a camping trip with his transgender son Joe (Sasha Knight), an 11-year-old with a passion for cowboy yarns and the great outdoors. As they travel through the majestic beauty of the northern Rockies, television news reports emerge claiming that Joe is missing. As detective Faith (Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale) investigates, we see a bigger picture involving Joe’s conservative mother Sally (Jillian Bell, Brittany Runs a Marathon) and her inability to let go of the little girl she loves.

Available on: Curzon Home Cinema

Once Upon a River – 7th May

This festival-favourite slice of mid-western Americana tells the story of Native American teenager Margo Crane in 1970s rural Michigan. After enduring a series of traumas and tragedies, Margo (Kenadi DelaCerna) sets out on an odyssey on the Stark River in search of her estranged mother. On the water, Margo encounters friends, foes, wonders and dangers; navigating life on her own, she comes to understand her potential, all while healing the wounds of her past.

Available on: Curzon Home Cinema

Charlatan – 7th May

Agnieszka Holland directs this biopic about the healer Jan Mikolášek, who cured hundreds of people using plant-based remedies.

Available on: Curzon Home Cinema

Monster – 7th May

Monster tells the story of Steve Harmon (Kelvin Harrison Jr) a seventeen-year-old honor student whose world comes crashing down around him when he is charged with felony murder. The film follows his dramatic journey from a smart, likeable film student from Harlem attending an elite high school through a complex legal battle that could leave him spending the rest of his life in prison.

Available on: Netflix UK/US/CAN

Fried Barry – 7th May

Fried Barry follows the story of a drug-addled degenerate who, after yet another bender, gets abducted by aliens. Barry takes a backseat as his alien visitor assumes control of his body and takes it for a joyride through Cape Town. What follows is an onslaught of drugs, sex and violence as Barry’s alien tourist enters the weird and wonderful world of humankind.

The genre pushing, acid-washed, sci-fi horror is the feature directorial debut of award-winning music video director Ryan Kruger and stars newcomer Gary Green.

Available on: Shudder UK

Johnny Mnemonic – 10th May

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the groundbreaking sci-fi is getting a brand new HD release from Vertigo Releasing. Keanu Reeves stars in the ahead-of-its time thriller set in 2021 as a futuristic data carrier with 80GB storage capacity in his brain.

Available on: iTunes / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Rakuten TV / Google Play / Sky Store / CHILI

End of Sentence – 10th May

John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone), Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson franchise) and Sarah Bolger (The Spiderwick Chronicles) star in this drama about the widowed Frank Fogle (Hawkes), who reluctantly embarks on a journey to honour his wife’s last wish of spreading her ashes in a remote lake in Ireland and a promise of taking his estranged son Sean (Lerman) along for the trip. As Sean steps out of prison the last thing on his mind is a foreign road trip with his alienated father when what he needs is a fresh start in California…

Available on: iTunes / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Virgin Movies / Rakuten TV / Google Play / Sky Store / CHILI

Oxygen – 12th May

Directed by Alexandre Aja (Piranha 3D) and starring Mélanie Laurent and Mathieu Amalric, this thriller follows a woman who wakes up in a cryogenic unit with no recollection of who she is. Quickly running out of air, she must find a way to remember who she is in order to survive.

Available on: Netflix UK

Some Kind of Heaven – 14th May

Behind the gates of a palm tree-lined fantasyland, four residents of America’s largest retirement community, The Villages, FL, strive to find happiness and meaning.

Available on: Curzon Home Cinema

Four Roads – 14th May

Four Roads is a heartwarming and subtle insight into life during the pandemic in the village of Quattro Strade in Tuscany. With the nature of the pandemic restricting any form of physical contact, director Alice Rohrwacher instead uses her old 16mm film camera, a few metres of expired film and a zoom lens to reach where her body can’t.

Available on: MUBI UK

Servants – 14th May

The year is 1980. Michal and Juraj are students at a theological seminary in totalitarian Czechoslovakia. Fearing the dissolution of their school, the tutors are moulding the seminarians into a shape satisfactory to the ruling Communist Party. Each of the young students must decide if he will give into the temptation and choose the easier way of collaborating with the regime, or if he will subject himself to draconian surveillance by the secret police. From director Ivan Ostrochovský, co-written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz (Ida, Colette).

Undergods – 14th May

This dystopian fantasy-thriller is set in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic world, where K and Z roam the streets on the lookout for corpses and something even more valuable – fresh meat. It stars Kate Dickie (The Witch, Game of Thrones), Ned Dennehy (Mandy, Peaky Blinders), Geza Rohrig (Resistance, Son of Saul), Burn Gorman (Pacific Rim, Enola Holmes) and Tanya Reynolds (Emma, Sex Education). Also released in cinemas.

Available on: Curzon Home Cinema / iTunes / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / TalkTalk TV / Rakuten TV / Google Play / Sky Store

The Woman in the Window – 14th May

Based on the gripping, bestselling novel and adapted by Tracy Letts, this psychological thriller stars Adams as Anna Fox, an agoraphobic child psychologist who finds herself keeping tabs on the picture perfect family across the street through the windows of her New York City brownstone. Her life is turned upside down when the Russell family moves in across the street, and she witnesses an unimaginable brutal crime. The question is… what really happened?

Available on: Netflix UK/US/CAN

PG: Psycho Goreman – 20th May

In PG: Psycho Goreman, young siblings Mimi and Luke unwittingly resurrect an ancient alien overlord who was entombed on Earth millions of years ago after a failed attempt to destroy the universe. They nickname the evil creature Psycho Goreman (or PG for short) and use the magical amulet they discovered to force him to obey their childish whims. It isn’t long before PG’s reappearance draws the attention of intergalactic friends and foes from across the cosmos and a rogues’ gallery of alien combatants converges in small-town suburbia to battle for the fate of the galaxy.

Written and directed by Steven Kostanski (The Void, The Divide, Father’s Day).

Available on: Shudder UK

Rare Beasts – 21st May

The directorial debut of Billie Piper tells the dark, funny, failed love story of Mandy and Pete. Mandy is a modern woman in a crisis. Raising a son, Larch (Toby Woolf), in the midst of a female revolution, mining the pain of her parents’ separation and professionally writing about a love that no longer exists, she falls upon a troubled man, Pete (Leo Bill), who is searching for a sense of worth, belonging and ‘restored’ male identity.

Available on: iTunes / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / TalkTalk TV / Rakuten TV / Google Play / Sky Store

State Funeral – 21st May

Moscow, March 1953: in the days immediately following the death of Joseph Stalin, countless citizens flooded the Red Square to mourn their leader’s loss and witness his burial. Though the parade was captured in detail by hundreds of cameramen, their footage has remained largely unseen. Working from several hours of this revelatory archival material, now stunningly restored, master filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa (The Event, The Trial) has crafted one of his most astonishing nonfiction achievements

Available on: MUBI UK

Army of the Dead – 21st May

Zack Snyder returns to the zombie genre for this thriller that follows a group of mercenaries who, after a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, take the ultimate gamble, venturing into the quarantine zone to pull off a job.

Available on: Netflix UK

Cruella – 28th May

Emma Stone stars in this movie charting the rebellious early days of one of cinema’s most notorious – and notoriously fashionable – villains. Cruella, which is set in 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution, follows a young grifter named Estella, a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs. She befriends a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they are able to build a life for themselves on the London streets. One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson), a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute. But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable and revenge-bent Cruella that we know from 101 Dalmatians. Released on Disney+ with a Premier Access fee of £19.99.

Available in cinemas and on Disney+

Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In – 29th May

Recovering from a life-threatening brain haemorrhage and acutely aware that his memory might desert him, the manager begins to recount the most important stories of his life to his son Jason in Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In. Featuring exclusive and previously unseen archive footage, the documentary charts the life of Sir Alex Ferguson, from his working-class roots in Glasgow to his career as one of the greatest football managers of all time. Released in cinemas on 27th May, it then arrives exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.

Available on: Amazon Prime

Shiva Baby – 11th June

A darkly playful comedy of unease about a young bisexual woman grappling with tradition and independence, Shiva Baby tells the story of Danielle (Rachel Sennott), a college student on the verge of graduating who is faced with a series of increasingly awkward and humiliating encounters at a climactic day-long shiva, a Jewish gathering of friends and family during a time of mourning.

Available on: MUBI UK

Luca – 18th June

Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, the animation is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta and endless scooter rides. Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, but all the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret: they are sea monsters from another world just below the water’s surface.

Available on: Disney+

Black Widow – 9th July

The long-awaited comic book blockbuster explores Natasha Romanoff’s struggle to confront the darker parts of her ledger and deal with unfinished business. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger. Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Natasha/Black Widow, Florence Pugh stars as Yelena, David Harbour portrays Alexei/The Red Guardian, and Rachel Weisz plays Melina. Released on Disney+ with a Premier Access fee of £19.99.

Available in cinemas and on Disney+

Coda – 13th August

Written and directed by Siân Heder (Tallulah, Little America) and starring Emilia Jones (Locke & Key), CODA follows 17-year-old Ruby (Emilia Jones), who is the sole hearing member of a deaf family — a CODA, child of deaf adults. Her life revolves around acting as interpreter for her parents (Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur) and working on the family’s struggling fishing boat every day before school with her father and older brother (Daniel Durant). But when Ruby joins her high school’s choir club, she discovers a gift for singing and soon finds herself drawn to her duet partner Miles (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo). Encouraged by her enthusiastic, tough-love choirmaster (Eugenio Derbez) to apply to a prestigious music school, Ruby finds herself torn between the obligations she feels to her family and the pursuit of her own dreams.

Available in cinemas and on Apple TV+

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