Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
They're speaking in full sentences, firing machine guns and – according to the latest trailer – doing forward rolls. The apes have evolved, as has the motion capture, since 2011's relaunch of this primate-powered franchise. Director Matt Reeves takes over from Rupert Wyatt and Andy Serkis returns as the apes' leader Caesar for a story played out in a virus-ravaged San Francisco where human survivors include a warmongering character played by Gary Oldman.
Richard Linklater's epic coming-of-age tale has been likened to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer “for a new generation”, and called “an entrancing, one-of-a-kind act of dramatic storytelling: a beautiful stunt of a movie”. Shot over a period of 12 years with the same cast, it tells the story of a boy called Mason growing up in Texas. Starring Ellar Coltrane as Mason, with Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke as his parents, the movie avoids nostalgia for a direct look at the moments that make up adolescence.
This sci-fi romance from Michel Gondry, adapted from Boris Vian's cult 1947 novel “Froth on the Daydream”, has been praised for “combining refined style and raw emotion into one devastating, beautiful package”. It stars Audrey Tatou as Chloé, who embarks on a whirlwind courtship with Colin (played by Romain Duris) only to fall ill with an unusual illness when a flower begins growing in her lungs.
Magic in the Moonlight
Woody Allen follows his Oscar-winning “Blue Jasmine” with a period romantic comedy set in the 1920s. Starring Colin Firth as a magician who travels to the South of France to debunk the work of a spiritualist played by Emma Stone, it marks a more upbeat mood. It'll also be a Gatsby-esque visual treat according to Variety, with “jazz, beautiful mansions and fashionable nightspots” featured prominently.
After playing a self-aware OS (“Her”) and an alien predator (“Under the Skin”), Scarlett Johansson tries her hand at drugs mule-turned-pharmaceutically-enhanced superhero in the latest film from director Luc Besson. After accidentally ingesting a drug she is carrying, Johansson's character becomes a hyper-intelligent souped-up human in what could be classed as an 'evolution thriller'. Besson has described the film as being “about pure intelligence.”
A Most Wanted Man
In one of his final films, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman plays another of his “inimitable sad-sack characters”, a German intelligence operative tracking terrorist activity. Based on a 2008 novel by John le Carre, the film is directed by Anton Corbijn and is a brooding, slow-paced take on the spy genre.
The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared
Based on the 2009 bestselling novel of the same name, this indie action comedy follows the travails of a centenarian (played by the 59-year-old Robert Gustafsson) who escapes from his nursing home and embarks on a meandering adventure in his slippers. Along the way, there are flashbacks to a life to rival “Forrest Gump”, as he dines with US President Harry S Truman and drinks vodka with Joseph Stalin, unwittingly influencing the key historical events of the 20th Century.
Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert died in 2013 at the age of 70, after a long battle with cancer. Director Steve James followed the final few months of his life for a feature documentary based on Ebert's autobiography. “Life Itself” chronicles his battle with alcohol addiction, his influence on film-makers like Martin Scorsese and his love for his wife Chaz – it also casts an unblinking gaze on the disease that left Ebert unable to speak.