A Cure For Wellness leads the new cinema releases and trailers February 24th 2017

A Cure For WellnessThis week, there are NINE new films out for you to choose from: Weirdness abound in A Cure For Wellness, Deepwater Horizon’s Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg team up again for Patriots Day, Mommy’s Xavier Dolan is back with a new engaging French drama in It’s Only the End of the World, border patrol guards in the desert have a mystery to solve in Transpecos, one of Hollywood’s favourite tropes – a film with spooky shocks – does the rounds again with Shut In, Stalin is back in 1930s Ukraine in Bitter Harvest, there’s more spooky shocks in Crawlspace, there’s acclaimed drama with epilepsy in The Fits, and Nicolas Cage and John Cusack team up again in Arsenal (aka Southern Fury).

A Cure For Wellness centres around an ambitious young executive, played by Dane DeHaan, who’s sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic, but mysterious, “wellness centre” in a remote Swiss Alps location. As the trailer gets across, once you arrive, it’s difficult to escape, hence he soon suspects that the spa’s miraculous treatments are not what they seem. When he begins to unravel its terrifying secrets, his sanity is tested, as he finds himself diagnosed with the same curious illness that keeps all the guests here longing for the cure.

Directed by Gore Verbinski, who co-wrote the story with screenwriter Justin Haythe, the film also stars Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth, Celia Imrie, Susanne Wuest, Carl Lumbly and Adrian Schiller and I’m very intrigued by this. I assumed it was adapted from a novel, but it’s a whole new story and I’m very much looking forward to this. I can’t see it getting too many screens, though, since it’s an 18-cert and it’s a rare 18 which is given the time of day in the cinema.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Patriots Day shows Mark Wahlberg is making a name for himself after starring in real-life dramas such as Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon and Transformers: Age Of Extinction.

I jest with the last one of course, but this movie reunites him with ‘Deepwater‘ director Peter Berg and also stars Melissa Benoist, Michelle Monaghan, JK Simmons, Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, Michael Beach, Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Wolff and X-Men Apocalypse‘s Lana Condor.

The film tells the account of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis’ (John Goodman) actions in the events leading up to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists behind it.

This film has had hit-and-miss reviews, but based on his previous work with Berg, I’ll opt for…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

It’s Only the End of the World (aka Juste la fin du monde)

After 12 years of absence, Louis (Gaspard Ulliel), a writer, goes back to his hometown, planning on announcing his upcoming death to his family. As resentment soon rewrites the course of the afternoon, fits and feuds unfold, fuelled by loneliness and doubt, while all attempts of empathy are sabotaged by people’s incapacity to listen and love.

Also starring Nathalie Baye, Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard and Léa Seydoux, I first came across director Xavier Dolan‘s work with 2014’s Mommy, a superb drama, if a bit overlong. This is much shorter by about 40 minutes, but I definitely want to see this.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!


For three Border Patrol agents working a remote desert checkpoint, the contents of one car will reveal an insidious plot within their own ranks. The next 24 hours will take them on a treacherous journey that could cost them their lives.

Directed by Greg Kwedar, who co-wrote it with Clint Bentley, the film stars Johnny Simmons, Gabriel Luna and Clifton Collins Jr, there’s a lot that intrigues me about this trailer so I do want to check this out.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Shut In

A heart-pounding thriller (it says here) about a widowed child psychologist who lives in an isolated existence in rural New England. Caught in a deadly winter storm, she must find a way to rescue a young boy before he disappears forever…

Naomi Watts, Charlie Heaton and Room‘s Jacob Tremblay star but while it’s one of those films with shocks here and there, it looks like it could go either way in terms of entertainment…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

Bitter Harvest is set in 1930s Ukraine. Stalin (Gary Oliver) has advanced the ambitions of communists in the Kremlin, while young artist Yuri (Max Irons) battles to save his lover Natalka (Samantha Barks) from the Holodomor, the death-by-starvation program that ultimately killed millions of Ukrainians.

Also starring Terence Stamp, Barry Pepper, Aneurin Barnard and Tamer Hassan, there’s certainly potential in this story.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

Crawlspace (aka Within)

A widower, his daughter and new wife are ready to begin a new life when they move into a peaceful suburban neighborhood. But as strange things begin to happen around them, it becomes clear that something about their seemingly perfect home isn’t right. As they learn the deadly secrets of their new house, they risk becoming the next chapter in its horrifying history.

Starring Michael Vartan, Erin Moriarty and Nadine Velazquez (aka Catalina in My Name is Earl), this looks a bit ‘Poltergeist’, but thankfully not the 2015 Poltergeist remake! Even so, it’s still nothing to get excited about.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Fits

While training at the gym 11-year-old tomboy Toni (Royalty Hightower) becomes entranced with a dance troupe. As she struggles to fit in she finds herself caught up in danger as the group begins to suffer from fainting spells and other violent fits.

Also starring Alexis Neblett, Antonio AB Grant Jr and Lauren Gibson, this has had some critical acclaim, but the trailer did nothing for me.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Arsenal (aka Southern Fury) is nothing to do with the football team, comprising of men kicking a bag of wind about, this relates to an arsenal of weaponry.

Nicolas Cage and John Cusack team up again for the third time following 1997’s Con Air and 2013’s The Frozen Ground, although they’re not in leading roles as it centres around the Lindel brothers, Mikey (Johnathon Schaech) and JP (Adrian Grenier), who had only each other to rely on growing up.

As adults, JP found success as the owner of a construction company, while Mikey became a small-time mobster, mired in a life of petty crime. When Mikey is kidnapped and held for a ransom by ruthless crime boss Eddie King (Cage), JP turns to the brothers’ old pal Sal (Cusack), a plain clothes detective for help. In order to rescue his brother, JP must risk everything and unleash his vengeance against King’s relentless army of gangsters.

Directed by Steven C Miller (Marauders), from a screenplay by Jason Mosberg, Cage and Cusack look like they’re on familiar ground without really pushing the boat out. It could pass a reasonable 90 minutes or so. I really hope it doesn’t feel like it will go on much longer than that. However, based on the previous works from the director….

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.


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