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24 films to see in 2024

A new year – and the watchlist grows ever larger!

Priscilla – 1 January

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Director Sofia Coppola gets 2024 up and running with what has been greeted as one of the best films of her career, offering a fascinating flipside to Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis. Cailee Spaeny stars in the title role, and by all accounts it’s a star-making performance.

Night Swim – 5 January

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The Banshees of Inisherin Oscar nominee Kerry Condon pivots to popcorn in the latest chiller from the Blumhouse (The Invisible Man, Get Out) shingle. A family’s dream home turns into a nightmare – there’s something in the water of the pool…

Poor Things – 12 January

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The Favourite director Yorgos Lanthimos, star Emma Stone, and Dublin company Element Pictures reunite for an Oscar-tipped fantasy that looks as mad as a ha’penny watch. Stone is the woman brought back to life by her scientist dad (Willem Dafoe), meeting, and falling for, a cad lawyer (Mark Ruffalo) as she makes her way in the world.

The Beekeeper – 12 January

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The first big action movie of the year sees one-man army Jason Statham wreaking havoc on the phishing underworld. Directing as the bullets and wisecracks fly is David Ayer, whose credits include Suicide Squad, Fury, and End of Watch.

Kneecap – Date TBC

One of the unlikeliest offerings of the year is “the origin story of the riotous and ground-breaking” west Belfast rap group – in which the trio of Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap, and DJ Próvaí play themselves. Michael Fassbender, Simone Kirby, and Josie Walker are also in the mix, with the film set to receive its world premiere at the Sundance Festival in January – a first for an Irish-language production.

The Holdovers – 19 January

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At long last, Sideways director Alexander Payne and star Paul Giamatti reunite for a new Christmas classic (yes, the release timing is a bit off) about a teacher (Giamatti), a student (Dominic Sessa), and a cook (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) stuck together for the holidays in a swanky school. The performances are brilliant, your heart will be full, and the temptation to watch The Holdovers again straight away will be tough to resist.

All of Us Strangers – 26 January

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The much-anticipated pairing of Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal is a story of second chances with a supernatural element. Director Andrew Haigh previously made Weekend, 45 Years, and Lean on Pete, so his presence behind the lens makes three reasons why you will be in the best of company here.

The Color Purple – 26 January

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Alice Walker’s seminal coming-of-age novel was previously brought to the big screen by Steven Spielberg in 1985. Now, it’s a musical, based on the 2005 hit stage show, and with American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino and co-star Danielle Brooks tipped to be among the Oscar nominees.

The Zone of Interest – 2 February

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Under the Skin and Sexy Beast director Jonathan Glazer delivered the most disturbing trailers of 2023 for this story of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel) and his wife Hedwig’s (Sandra Hüller) family life next to the camp. Hailed as a landmark in cinema by festival audiences, The Zone of Interest won the Grand Prix at Cannes in May and will undoubtedly be among the Oscar nominees come 23 January.

American Fiction – 2 February

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The great Jeffrey Wright teams up with first-time writer-director Cord Jefferson for a film that, going by the trailer, looks wickedly funny. Described as Wright’s best performance, it’s the story of a commercially unsuccessful novelist who writes a book chock full of racial stereotypes for sheer devilment – and suddenly has a bestseller on his hands.

The Iron Claw – 9 February

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The squared circle has given us some special movies – Beyond the Mat, The Wrestler, Fighting with My Family – and Zac Efron’s latest dramatic role sees him jumping from the top rope as the real-life Kevin Von Erich. Writer-director Sean Durkin previously made the excellent Martha Marcy May Marlene and The Nest, and the cast also includes The Bear‘s Jeremy Allen White and ER‘s Maura Tierney.

Origin – 9 February

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The Butler and A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay tackles “the mystery of history, the wonders of romance, and a fight for our future” in this adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson’s bestseller Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. The trailer, with the King Richard duo of Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor and Jon Bernthal in the roles of Wilkerson and her husband Brett Hamilton, respectively, does quite the job on the heart.

Bob Marley: One Love – 14 February

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Forty-three years after his death, Bob Marley’s story comes to cinemas as a family-endorsed, all-the-hits biopic with One Night in Miami… star Kingsley Ben-Adir in the title role. Director Reinaldo Marcus Green’s last film was the Oscar-winning, Will Smith-starring King Richard so hopes are high.

Wicked Little Letters – 23 February

Jessie Buckley and Olivia Colman turned the air blue (and then some) in the red band trailer, and advance reports say the bawdy laughs and epic putdowns are relentless in this 1920s-set comedy whodunit. Rising Irish star Alisha Weir (Matilda!) is among a cracking cast that also includes Timothy Spall (Mr Turner), Anjana Vasan (We Are Lady Parts), and Eileen Atkins (Doc Martin).

That They May Face the Rising Sun – Date TBC

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This adaptation of the late author John McGahern’s final novel will close the Dublin International Film Festival on 2 March, with a release sometime after that. Directed by Pat Collins (Song of Granite) it follows a year in the lives of a couple (Barry Ward and Anna Bederke) who leave London for a rural Irish community close to where the husband spent his formative years.

Dune: Part II – 1 March

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Director Denis Villeneuve is back with the follow-up to his six-Oscar-winning space epic. Deep breath: Timothée Chalamet and returning co-stars Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, Charlotte Rampling, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Javier Bardem are joined by, among others, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Christopher Walken, and Léa Seydoux for the 166-minute extravaganza.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire – 29 March

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Thrills for nostalgists and a new generation alike as Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson reunite with Ghostbusters: Afterlife stars Finn Wolfhard, McKenna Grace, Carrie Coon, and Paul Rudd. This time, the story is back where it all began, New York, and our heroes must face The Death Chill…

Mickey 17 – 29 March

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High Life star Robert Pattinson returns to sci-fi, this time with Parasite‘s Oscar-winning director Bong Joon-ho at the controls. That title though…

The Fall Guy – 2 May

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Director David Leitch has said that film fans are set for “an underdog love story action comedy thriller” when the Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt-starring take on the 1980s TV favourite hits the big screen. Get your gilet ready as stuntman Colt Seavers (Gosling) is charged with finding wayward A-lister Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) for director Jody Moreno (Blunt) – Seavers’ former love interest.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga – 24 May

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Mad Max supremo George Miller is back with a Fury Road prequel/spin-off as Anya Taylor-Joy portrays Charlize Theron’s Fury Road character in her early years. The vehicular carnage and cliffhangers look like the best of summer fun, but nothing will ever beat Max Max 2!

Inside Out 2 – 14 June

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Batten down the hatches as Riley, the little girl from Pixar’s 2015 cerebral classic Inside Out, returns as a teenager. Amy Poehler (Joy), Phyllis Smith (Sadness), Lewis Black (Anger), Tony Hale (Fear), and Liza Lapira (Disgust) are all back inside Riley’s head, this time joined by Maya Hawke – as Anxiety!

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F – Summer 2024

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Thirty years on from that dud of a third instalment, Eddie Murphy is out to make amends as the iconic smartass – fingers crossed. The teaser looks decent, and, in more good news, Murphy is reuniting with Beverly Hills Cop co-stars John Ashton (Sergeant John Taggart), Bronson Pinchot (Serge), Judge Reinhold (Detective Billy Rosewood), and Paul Reiser (Jeffrey Friedman).

Joker: Folie à Deux – 4 October

Director Todd Phillips and stars Joaquin Phoenix and Zazie Beetz return with the sequel to their outré, $1-billion-plus-making DC Comics adaptation – this time with Lady Gaga and Brendan Gleeson joining the cast. Word is that it’s a musical; sounds so certifiably crazy that it just has to work.

Paddington in Peru – 8 November

Our beloved bear heads home to visit Aunt Lucy, with Emily Mortimer taking over from Sally Hawkins as Mrs Brown and Antonio Banderas and Olivia Colman also joining the fun alongside Ben Whishaw, Hugh Bonneville, and co. First-time director Dougal Wilson says making the movie has been “a joy and an honour” – he has his work cut out after the genius of Paddington 2.

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