New Film Releases Seen in 2024

The newly released films I see in 2024 will appear here. I now include films seen in the cinema and new releases watched via streaming at home, as that’s the future for film releases post-pandemic. The text reviews beneath each film are what I said on social media about each one. 

2024 Total: 13. (Seen in cinema: 9. Seen via home streaming: 4.)

The 2023 page is here. It links to the previous year, and so do the others, going back to 2015 when I started the One Film Per Week cinema thing.

May 2024

The Fall Guy film poster
The Fall Guy - 3rd May. 8/10.
🎥 in Omniplex MAXX Dundonald.
Rating:
8/10

The Fall Guy film is very silly, but it’s entertainingly silly. It’s also a homage to stunt teams and mentions the lack of an Oscar for stunt work, something that has to be addressed soon.

The script is a bit janky in the first act, but it settles down. Emily Blunt is outstanding. A scene where she directs on the beach is fantastic, and the chemistry between her and Ryan Gosling sparkles.

The stunt work is top-notch. The music choices are good. Some over-the-top acting. Recommended.

April 2024

Challengers film poster
Challengers - 26th April. 8/10.
🎥 in Omniplex Dundonald.
Rating:
8/10

Challengers is worth seeing in the cinema. Or at least in 4K when it streams. You need high resolution to see the literal dripping sweat during the tennis scenes. The cinematography is superb — especially the on-court shots where the ball is hit straight back towards the camera. I jumped a few times! The story is about a ruptured friendship due to sexual attraction and egos. Zendaya is superb in it. As are 2 male leads. Music fab. It’s a bit long. A rating point dropped for the ending.

March 2024

Drive Away Dolls film poster
Drive Away Dolls - 16th March. 9/10.
🎥 in Omniplex Cinema Dundonald.
Rating:
9/10

I may have been predisposed to liking Drive Away Dolls given it stars three actors who were separately in films I’ve loved over the last few years: Geraldine Viswanathan (Blockers, The Broken Heart’s Club), Margaret Qualley (My New York Year), and Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart, Lady Bird).

I wasn’t disappointed. It’s colourful, fast-talking, via Qualley and Feldstein’s characters – Viswanathan brings a more subdued performance that balances things out. It has a ridiculous premise (based on true events, remarkably) and is a fun car trip/slow chase caper. With cartoon violence and a lot of lesbian action. I LOL’d a lot. Many critics have been sniffy about it. Not me. I loved it and have preordered it on the Apple Store. 

Interestingly, two older viewers in the screening I was at left after about 20 minutes. Probably the lesbian action!

Soul film poster
Soul - 8th March. 9/10.
🎥 in Omniplex Dundonald.
Rating:
9/10

Soul is wonderful on the big screen. I’ve seen it before via Disney+ when it got a pandemic streaming release.

But the sound in the cinema coming from all directions is superb. I loved it. I rated it 8 after home viewing in 2022. I’m upping that to 9/10 after seeing it in the cinema. You should go while you have the chance. It’s on Disney+ if you can’t.

I’d forgotten Graham Norton voices one of the main characters (third billing). He’s fantastic for the character in question.

Dune Part Two film poster
Dune Part Two - 1st March. 6/10.
🎥 in Omniplex MAXX Dundonald.
Rating:
6/10

As I watched Dune Part Two, I had an increasingly sinking feeling. Oh no. What have they done? Changing things when adapting a book is expected. Different mediums need different approaches. But the changes need to make sense. Things I think are core to Dune are missing from Part Two. New things added don’t work as well. I won’t list anything here due to spoilers. I’ll maybe blog about it in a few weeks. Maybe not. It certainly looks great, and I rated it 6/10 for that. Not for characters and story. You should see it, but be prepared if you know the book. You might get that sinking feeling too. I had a second viewing pre-booked. I didn’t go. So disappointing.

February 2024

Perfect Days film poster
Perfect Days - 23rd February. 9/10.
🎥 in Omniplex Dundonald.
Rating:
9/10

I was the only person at the Friday afternoon screening of Perfect Days in Omniplex Dundonald. Which is both great for me as the film has quietness at its core, but also a shame as it’s a bloody marvellous film that more people need to see.

It’s a character study of a few days/weeks in the life of a quiet and focused Tokyo man with a somewhat regimented routine. I loved it. Kôji Yakusho is superb in the dialogue-sparse lead role. Highly recommended. It’s on my 2024 favs list via the 9/10 rating.

Past Lives film poster
Past Lives - 17th February. 7/10.
🖥️ via Netflix on AppleTV.
Rating:
7/10

Past Lives is worth watching. It’s a tale about a girl & a boy whose friendship is ripped apart when they are 12 due to the girls family emigrating. They reconnect 12 years later online, & then 12 years later in New York where the woman is living with her husband.

A lot of the “action” happens with silences with time for your thoughts to play out. In one scene at the end I was thinking “Don’t do it!” I think most people have the “what might have” thoughts that are teased out in this film.

Upgraded film poster
Upgraded - 16th February. 8/10.
🖥️ via Amazon Prime on AppleTV.
Rating:
8/10

Upgraded is good. It’s like The Devil Wears Prada and Absolutely Fabulous had a fling, and the result of their boozy night in London got a job in the Art auction business. The film is funny with well above the required number of laughs for a comedy, and the romance stuff isn’t too sentimental. The cast looks like they are having a lot of fun, including Anthony Head, of Buffy fame, who is camping it up in his role. I liked it a lot. 

American Fiction film poster
American Fiction - 5th February. 7/10.
🎥 in Omniplex Dundonald.
Rating:
7/10

American Fiction is okay. I was expecting more, given the buzz. I liked the basic family drama aspects of the film more than the satire about the largely white literary establishment pandering to Black authors writing about “real” Black experiences. Real in quotes because the stories are not real but are stereotypical pastiches.

From a craft point of view, the film is good. The performances are great. As is the script, cinematography, and music.

Anyone But You film poster
Anyone But You - 4th February. 8/10.
🎥 in Omniplex Dundonald.
Rating:
8/10

If you’ve been following my film reviews for #OneFilmPerWeek, and have a handle on the types of films I like, you won’t be surprised to learn that I liked Anyone But You. A lot.

It has tropes aplenty, but it’s funny enough to clear the comedy bar. On the romance front, you can guess who ends up with whom about halfway through. It’s a fun way to spend 1.75 hours. The ending has enough cheese to use up a years supply of crackers but doesn’t drag the whole thing down. Recommended.

January 2024

The Holdovers film poster
The Holdovers - 26th January. 7/10.
🎥 in Omniplex Dunonald.
Rating:
7/10

The Holdovers is okay. It’s not the masterpiece I was expecting, given Oscar chatter about the performances of Paul Giamatti & Da’Vine Joy Randolph. They’re good performances, but not in a film that I’ll rewatch multiple times in the future.

It’s a dialogue-driven story about three very different people from different worlds and with various life experiences getting to know each other when circumstances thrust them together over Christmas in a New England boarding school. Catch it on VOD.

James Blunt One Brit Wonder film poster
James Blunt One Brit Wonder - 16th January. 10/10.
🖥️ via Apple Store on AppleTV.
Rating:
10/10

James Blunt: One Brit Wonder is a fantastic documentary. It’s a nice companion to his recent book, which is on my favourite books of 2024 list already. The documentary is the first film this year to get a rating that means it’ll be on the list of my favourite films in December. You should watch it. 

Role Play film poster
Role Play - 15th January. 8/10.
🖥️ via Amazon Prime Video on AppleTV.
Rating:
8/10

I liked Role Play. It’s a decent story that’s been done many times. But this is a good addition. There is a definite Hanna vibe from the storyline, settings, and music. Kaley Cuoco is good in the action role. I’m smiling watching the credits. That’s a good indicator. Worth 100 minutes of your time if you have Prime.