Sicario 2: Soldado leads the new cinema releases and trailers June 29th 2018

Sicario 2
This week, there are ELEVEN new films out for you to choose from: a powerful sequel thriller in Sicario 2: Soldado, a father and his daughter going off the grid in Leave No Trace, Manchester-based horror Habit, weirdness abound in The Endless, Japanese 15-rated anime in Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms, Michael Douglas stars in Animal World, plus films less worthy if your time in Patrick, The Bookshop, Zoo, Adrift and Tag.

Sicario 2: Soldado follows on from 2015’s wonderful Sicario, and now, the drug war on the US-Mexico border has escalated, as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border. To fight the war, federal agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) re-teams with the mercurial Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro).

It’s once again written by Taylor Sheridan, but Stefano Sollima takes over the directorial reins from Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049).

The confirmed cast members include Catherine Keener, Jeffrey Donovan, Matthew Modine, Christopher Heyerdahl, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Transformers: The Last Knight‘s Isabela Moner.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Leave No Trace

Will (Ben Foster) and his teenage daughter, Tom (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie), have lived off the grid for years in the forests of Portland, Oregon. When their idyllic life is shattered, both are put into social services. After clashing with their new surroundings, Will and Tom set off on a harrowing journey back to their wild homeland.

Ben Foster is a great actor, and this looks superb, so I’m really looking forward to it. I’m surprised I’d heard nothing about it until it was just about to be released.

Director: Debra Granik
Writers: Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini
Novel: Peter Rock
Also stars: Jeffery Rifflard, Michael Draper, Derek John Drescher, Peter Simpson, Erik McGlothlin

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!


Set within the neon drenched rain swept underbelly of Manchester, where the addicted prey on the lost and the lonely.

This horror movie could be okay, but I’ll certainly give it a watch for the location and the cast.

Writer/Director: Simeon Halligan
Novel: Stephen McGeagh
Starring: Jessica Barden, Roxanne Pallett, William Ash

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

The Endless centres around two brothers who return to the cult they fled from years ago, to discover that the group’s beliefs may be more sane than they once thought.

There’s a lot going on in the trailer, but it’s difficult to get a handle on it all without seeing the whole film.

Directors: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
Writer: Justin Benson
Starring: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Callie Hernandez, Tate Ellington, James Jordan

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms

In the land of Iolph, all the people stop aging in their mid-teens and can live for hundreds of years. One resident, Maquia, feels lonely despite the peaceful and idyllic land she lives in. But one day, the Mesarte army invades Iolph, seeking the peoples’ blood for their immortality. Maquia manages to escape the destruction and chaos of war, but with no home or people, she becomes a wanderer in a dark forest. She comes across Erial, an infant mortal boy who has lost his parents, and becomes his guardian. The story follows the relationship that evolves between the two as Erial grows up while Maquia does not.

If you’re into CGI anime, this could work for you. I’m not wholly sold on it.

Writer/Director: Mari Okada
Stars: Manaka Iwami, Miyu Irino, Yôko Hikasa, Yuki Kaji

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

Animal World has a trailer with a lot of stylish crash/bash/smash, but I can’t find a plot anywhere.

Michael Douglas turns up to top up his pension, but there’s no big draw to this.

The only thing of interest in it that I can see is the widescreen aspect ratio of 2.66:1, the same as 1959’s Ben Hur.

Director: Yan Han
Starring: Yi Feng Li, Dongyu Zhou, Michael Douglas, Alberto Lancellotti

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!


Beattie Edmondson, the insanely untalented spawn of Jennifer Saunders and Adrian Edmondson, takes the lead in a supposed comedy about a pug called Patrick.

Laugh? I nearly fell into a coma.

It also comes from Mandie Fletcher, who directed Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie. That speaks volumes.

Also stars: Gemma Jones, Jennifer Saunders, Ed Skrein, Cherie Lunghi, Emilia Jones, Tom Bennett, Meera Syal, Peter Davison

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The Bookshop

Set in a small town in 1959 England, it is the story of a woman who decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop, a decision which becomes a political minefield.

aka… Drippy British drama that holds all the excitement of a wet Saturday afternoon.

Writer/Director: Isabel Coixet
Novel: Penelope Fitzgerald
Starring: Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy, Patricia Clarkson, Hunter Tremayne, Honor Kneafsey, James Lance

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Zoo : Elephant escapes and goes on the run. Looks as dull as it sounds.

Director: Colin McIvor
Starring: Toby Jones, Amy Huberman, Art Parkinson, Penelope Wilton, Ian McElhinney, Damian O’Hare, Stephen Hagan

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Adrift is where my attention was going when I watched this trailer for an “inspiring true story of two free spirits whose chance encounter leads them first to love, and then to the adventure of a lifetime”, starring dystopian movie stars Shailene Woodley (Allegiant) and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2).

Tami and Richard are the two avid sailors who set out on a journey across the ocean, but whom couldn’t anticipate they would be sailing directly into one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history. In the aftermath of the storm, Tami awakens to find Richard badly injured and their boat in ruins. With no hope for rescue, Tami must find the strength and determination to save herself and the only man she has ever loved. Adrift is the unforgettable story about the resilience of the human spirit and the transcendent power of love.

Possibly one for the teenage female audience, especially given the lead actors.

Director: Baltasar Kormákur (Everest, 2 Guns)
Also stars: Jeffrey Thomas, Elizabeth Hawthorne, Grace Palmer, Tami Ashcraft (as herself)

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Tag is not a remake of the 2015 gory Japanese horror movie, but a rather pointless new comedy about a small group of former classmates who organise an elaborate, annual game of titular event which requires many of them to travel all over the country, and this ‘game’ has been going on for 30 years.

Given this trailer, I think I’ve seen all I need to see of this movie.

Director: Jeff Tomsic
Cast: Annabelle Wallis, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Leslie Bibb, Rashida Jones, Isla Fisher, Jake Johnson, Ed Helms, Brian Dennehy, Hannibal Buress, Sebastian Maniscalco, Nora Dunn

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!