By Kristen Lopez | The Playlist February 3, 2014 at 12:19PM
The shortest month of the year can still yield ten movies worthy of your attention! We continue through the doldrums of that cold time called “every month before summer,” and while March has transformed into a time for decent fare, we still have to blaze through February. The films assembled are a mix of blockbusters and art house, mindless entertainment and incisive filmmaking, so settle down and get ready to explore the month of February.
“A Field in England”
Synopsis: A group of deserters from the English Civil War tripping on mushrooms engage in a mystery, and possibly murder, they never saw coming.
What You Need to Know: You can’t find higher praise than what’s being said about director Ben Wheatley’s “A Field in England.” Several critics, including our own Jessica Kiang, drew allusions to Ingmar Bergman and Lars von Trier when discussing this drug-fueled acid trip. Kiang saw it during the Karlovy Vary Film Festival and called it a “bracing, sometimes exhilaratingly bonkers experience” in her “B+” review, and apparently Martin Scorsese liked what he saw because he’s slapped his name on the posters and trailers to provide a seal of approval. Additionally, Wheatley’s movie won a Special Jury prize at Karlovy Vary, giving the movie further clout for fans of bloody international cinema.
Release Date: February 7th in limited release and VOD
“The Lego Movie”
Synopsis: Emmett (voiced by Chris Pratt) is a blue-collar Lego trying to get through life. However, plans change when the evil President Business (voiced by Will Ferrell) plots world domination, pulling Emmett into the fray when he learns he’s the Chosen One.
What You Need to Know: The Lego company has shaped children’s imaginations for decades, and their arm of straight-to-DVD animated movies have their fair amount of fans. “The Lego Movie” has the distinction of being the first feature-length theatrical film in the Lego legacy, and the first trailer seems to show off more flair and superhero theatrics than any comic book adaptation out there. Because rights are different for the Lego movies you’ll get the chance to watch Superman and Batman face off well before the 2016 live-action version, on top of Morgan Freeman voicing a magical wizard and a Who’s-Who of additional character cameos. If the film is as delightful as directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s previous foray into animation, “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” expect this to please kids and adults alike.
Release Date: February 7th
“The Monuments Men”
Synopsis: A World War II platoon made up of art historians and museum curators is tasked with entering Germany in order to secure a wealth of valuable masterpieces from Nazi thieves and restore them to where they belong.
What You Need to Know: Director George Clooney has created an eclectic bunch of features, all with an Old Hollywood sensibility to them. He last got behind the camera in 2011 for the political thriller, “Ides of March," receiving mixed opinions from audiences and critics. And his latest film is becoming gossip fodder, further dividing those who are pro- and anti-director Clooney. “The Monuments Men” was originally slated for a December 18th release, prime real estate for Oscar season. However, Clooney didn't have the movie ready in time, and the film was shifted into the New Year. The movie is preparing to open the Berlin Film Festival on February 6th but has already screened for press, with our review coming down in the middle. But no matter what the critics think, the cast assembled (including Matt Damon, Bill Murray, and Oscar heavy-hitter Cate Blanchett) should secure a healthy audience opening weekend.
Release Date: February 7th