This month's top movie releases, reviewed

Gabriella Geisinger, Ian Sandwell
·7-min read

From Digital Spy

Cinemas are going to be closed until May in England and potentially the rest of the UK, but it's not just at the cinema where new movies are being released right now.

But even with more spare time than ever before, you will want to know that the movie you're spending your time on is worth it. So which one of the new releases should you choose to settle down to?

Here's our handy round-up of reviews for the biggest releases out now.

Films out March 1-31

Cherry (released on Apple TV+ on March 12)

As good as Tom Holland is as Spider-Man, Cherry shows that he can do so much more than be a wise-cracking, slightly awkward teenage superhero. He really pushes himself in a wide-ranging and committed performance, holding together a movie that is overambitious and narratively muddled.

Read our full Cherry review

Already released

Wrong Turn (available to rent now on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and more)

There's nothing to shock in Wrong Turn. It all feels safe, as it seeks to deliver standard gory thrills and little else. In fact, you could swap the title for any other 'teens in peril' slasher. And you'd be better off taking a right turn, back to the original.

Read our full Wrong Turn review

The Owners (available to buy now on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and more)

For some, The Owners might prove to be a bit too nasty as it certainly doesn't shy away from either the gore or dark revelations. That will likely limit the audience for the movie despite the draw of the lead cast and the effectiveness of the shocks. The Owners is fairly relentless in its grim tone, but it's never trying to be anything else.

Read our full The Owners review

I Care A Lot (Amazon Prime Video)

It's hard to imagine I Care A Lot being half as fun without Rosamund Pike though, who has been blessed with a doozy of a role here – instantly iconic with her cutthroat attitude, blunt haircut, monochromatic suit and trainer combos, and vape pen.

Read our full I Care A Lot review

Flora & Ulysses (Disney+)

As Marvel fans wait for Squirrel Girl to make their big screen bow, Flora & Ulysses might just scratch that superhero squirrel itch – but don't go expecting any world-saving heroics to be seen.

Based on the children's book of the same name by Kate DiCamillo, the latest Disney+ original movie centres on Flora (newcomer Matilda Lawler) who adopts a squirrel, only to discover it's developed superpowers, like writing poetry, after a brush with death in an incident with a vacuum cleaner. Little do they know that Ulysses could be just what Matilda's parents (Ben Schwartz and Alyson Hannigan) need to bring them back together.

Flora & Ulysses is packed with comic book references and cute squirrel antics to make it a fun and engaging family watch. Led by talented newcomer Matilda Lawler, the cast is a perfect fit for the light tone and when the movie calls for it, they can deliver on the emotion too.

It's not perfect by any means as it's got a very slight plot and is firmly for the little ones, but it's still one of the stronger Disney+ movie offerings to date.

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (available to rent now on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and more)

For all their absurdity, Barb and Star are in command of their own story, and so we go with them because we want to see them win, not fall on their faces. The tight story and quick pacing stop it from becoming tiresome, and the result is that Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar is a funny, heartfelt, giddy movie that unabashedly does its own thing.

Read our full Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar review

Willy's Wonderland (available to rent now on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and more)

It's a truly bizarre offering that only Nicolas Cage could make as ridiculously entertaining as Willy's Wonderland ends up being, and you'll want to pay a return visit to the madness as soon as it ends.

Read our full Willy's Wonderland review

To All the Boys: Always and Forever (Netflix)

To All the Boys: Always and Forever may not live up to the bar that the first movie set. But that's okay – it's a sweet cherry on top of the cake, and that's all it ever needed to be.

Read our full To All the Boys: Always and Forever review

News of the World (Netflix)

In truth, there's not too much that really happens during News of the World and anyone not used to the more stately pacing of a Western might find proceedings as dry as the landscape Kidd finds himself in. However, the quality on display in front and behind the camera ensures that the movie isn't a drag.

Read our full News of the World review

Malcolm & Marie (Netflix)

Malcolm & Marie isn't perfect and is slightly hampered by its contained nature, yet Zendaya and John David Washington are so charismatic that you'd watch them read the phone book. It might only be January, but you're left in no doubt that you're already watching two of the best performances of the year in the first great movie of 2021.

Read our full Malcolm & Marie review

Assassins (available to buy from Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and more)

Assassins steers clear of any definitive judgment and chooses instead for an objective presenting of the facts, leaving the audience to make up their own minds as the best true-crime documentaries do. But whatever conclusion you come to, you'll find Assassins hard to shake after its bittersweet ending. A must-see.

Read our full Assassins review

The Dig (Netflix)

You'll be left wishing that The Dig uncovered more, but it's still a well-performed and beautifully shot drama for a comforting weekend watch.

Read our full The Dig review

Penguin Bloom (Netflix)

Even if a disabled actor played the main role, Penguin Bloom would likely have suffered from an overarching feeling of skeeviness simply because of the way the story is framed and told.

Read our full Penguin Bloom review

Wonder Woman 1984 (available to rent from Prime Video, iTunes and more)

There is the usual trumpeting of good vs evil, and plenty of well-choreographed stunts to make Wonder Woman 1984 a solid DC adaptation. But beyond the standard we've come to expect from films in these expansive genres, Wonder Woman 1984 leaves a little more to be desired.

Read our full Wonder Woman 1984 review

Blithe Spirit (Sky Cinema and NOW TV)

Delayed from last year, Blithe Spirit has unfortunately proven to not be worth the wait, despite a lot of comic promise in the cast and the concept of a man who unwittingly brings back the ghost of his dead first wife.

An update of Noël Coward's comedy led by Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher and Leslie Mann, with Judi Dench in the Madame Acarti role, could have been a slam dunk. However, despite the best efforts of the cast, they can't do much with a script that seems to forget about the jokes, as well as doing some questionable changes and needless updates to the original play.

Outside the Wire (Netflix)

Could Outside the Wire have benefited from a cleaner story and a tighter runtime? Yes. Does it suffer dramatically as is? No, not really. There's enough tension between Thomas and Captain Leo to keep you from switching it off.

Read our full Outside the Wire review

One Night in Miami (Amazon Prime Video)

One Night in Miami may have a slow-ish start, but from the first gut punch (you'll know it when it happens) it never lets up. It is a must-watch — not only because it is Important with a capital I, but because it is a superbly acted and beautifully written story whose full emotional resonance settles in and stays, long after the credits roll.

Read our full One Night in Miami review

Pieces of a Woman (Netflix)

There are moments in Pieces of a Woman where the strength of the performances ensure it hits emotionally. However, for the most part, Pieces of a Woman just can't live up to its unforgettable and powerful opening, despite the best efforts of Vanessa Kirby.

Read our full Pieces of a Woman review

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