Reel Reviewer Column: Blockbuster Beasts

Jason Day previews Johnny Depp’s latest leading role and more in his November cinema column…

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald (out Nov 16):

Given the law of increasing returns for Harry Potter movies, it’s likely this first sequel to the £800m+ Beasts blockbuster will do similar business. Johnny Depp returns as the dark wizard who caused so much trouble for Eddie Redmayne previously.

The Marvellous Mabel Normand (November 1):

Mabel Normand is a silent film star long overdue reappraisal. This package of some of her short films features a score by The Meg Morley Trio and is showing at BFI cinemas.

Peterloo (November 2):

Mike Leigh, who’s directed a string of kitchen-sink dramas and made his first feature film in 1971, finally has his ‘DeMille’ moment with this epic. Released to mark 200 years since the titular massacre, when a peaceful Manchester demo demanding voting rights ended with the army killing 15 and injuring 700. Maxine Peake stars.

Widows (November 6):

Director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) assembles a fine female cast in this smashing thriller about the widows of bank robbers who step-up to finish the job. Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki and Cynthia Erivo are the exwives who do more than wear veils and weep.

The Grinch (November 9):

Animated version of the classic Dr Seuss tale. Benedict Cumberbatch voices the title character, a miserable hermit who wants to wreck the positive Christmas vibes of the local town.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web (November 21):

Claire Foy is the actress of the moment. After TV triumphs as English Queens in Wolf Hall and The Crown and film success in Unsane and First Man, she takes on the mantle of Elisabeth Salander, the kick-ass girl of the Stig Larsson books. Here, Elisabeth is caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials.

You can read more in-depth reviews from Jason by following him on Twitter: @Reelreviewer

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