Quality over quantity: that was the reason given by Sky when they decided to reduce the number of movies shown on their streaming platform a few months ago. If you’re a subscriber to the movie channel on Sky or NOW TV, you might want to question this as many of the movies they have shown recently have been pretty awful.
Last Seen Alive, Black Site, Die In A Gunfight, and White Elephant are just some of the titles that have been poor in quality and this month, Stowaway and Shark Bait are two other terrible movies that await subscribers. This wouldn’t be as big of an issue if subscription costs were low but as Sky has raised prices and added adverts to their services, you could be forgiven if you decided to cancel your subscription to them!
Thankfully, there are a few decent movies to watch this month, including Belfast, Uncharted, and After Yang, so it’s not all bad. And in terms of shows, you have Vampire Academy and This England to look forward to if you subscribe to Sky and Now TVs entertainment channels.
For more on these and the other upcoming highlights (and lowlights), check out our preview below.
Many film directors have turned their childhood memories into films, including Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous), John Boorman (Hope and Glory), and Mike Mills (20th Century Women). This time, it’s Kenneth Branagh’s turn to give us an insight into his past in this critically acclaimed coming-of-age story set in Belfast in the late 1960s.
The film focuses on young Buddy (Jude Hill) and his working-class family (Jamie Dornan and Caitríona Balfe star as the boy’s parents, Ciaran Hinds and Judi Dench as his grandparents) as they each deal with the changes to their neighbourhood at the beginning of The Troubles.
Branagh’s passion project is both heart-warming and funny and is guaranteed to make you reminisce about your own childhood if you lived in Northern Ireland during the time this film is set.
Even Mice Belong In Heaven (2021)
In this Czech animation, two mortal enemies – a mouse and a fox – become the best of friends when they both wind up in Heaven after suffering an unfortunate accident. Filmed using stop-motion techniques as well as CGI, this is a small but big-hearted tale about the power of friendship and the importance of being kind to others, regardless of differences.
Christina Ricci stars in this 1950s-set tale about a traumatized young mother who flees from her abusive ex-husband with Cody, her 7-year-old son, in tow. They settle in a new lakeside home but when monsters of a very different kind start to threaten their peaceful existence, they realise their lives may still be in danger.
This twisty supernatural thriller offers a few surprises but if you’re a horror fan, you might be disappointed to know that it isn’t very scary.
Mind Over Murder
This six-part documentary series chronicles the story of six individuals who were convicted of the murder of Helen Wilson, a 68-year-old grandmother from Beatrice, Nebraska. When new DNA evidence came to light, they were exonerated of the crime, even though five of them originally confessed to the murder. The filmmakers track their case, from the initial murder investigation right through to the events that happened after they were released from prison.
1972 – Munich’s Black September
Tragedy struck the 1972 Munich Olympics when several Israeli athletes and a West German police officer were killed by Palestinian terrorists from the Black September organization. This feature-length documentary marks the 50th anniversary of this terrible event.
The 355 (2022)
Simon Kinberg’s action thriller certainly looked promising when early details emerged. But despite the presence of a starry female cast, including Jessica Chastain, Penélope Cruz, and Lupita Nyong’o as the skilled agents who join forces to thwart a mercenary group, the film failed to deliver. There are a few exciting set pieces but critics agreed that these ladies deserved a better script for which to demonstrate their considerable talents.
Last Looks (2021)
Charlie Hunnam stars as a disgraced ex-cop who drops out of society to live a quiet existence in a woodland cabin. His peaceful life is disrupted when his former lover Lorena (Morena Baccarin) pulls him out of retirement to investigate a case involving the murdered wife of eccentric TV star Alastair Pinch (Mel Gibson). Lucy Fry, Rupert Friend, and Clancy Brown also star in this twisty crime thriller from The Pentaverate director Tim Kirkby.
Ruby Rose stars as Bella Denton, a young woman who inherits a yacht after her father dies. After climbing aboard for a night of passion with a guy she meets at a bar, she quickly begins to regret her inheritance prize when the boat is taken over by a gang of crooks looking for some hidden money.
This could have been a female take on Under Siege but instead, it’s a soggy thriller that should have been thrown overboard at the early draft stage. A laughable script and wooden acting are just two of this waterlogged movie’s problems.
Marry Me (2022)
A few seconds before delivering her marriage vows to Bastian (Maluma), music superstar Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) discovers her husband-to-be has been unfaithful. This would be embarrassing for any bride but as Kat’s wedding ceremony is taking place before a live audience of 20 million fans at one of her concerts, she has more than a few relatives to worry about when her marriage dreams start to collapse. Thankfully, she has the opportunity to say “I do” when she meets Charlie (Owen Wilson), a random stranger in the crowd, and impulsively decides to marry him.
Lopez is back in rom-com territory again and if you’re a fan of the star and the genre, you might enjoy this one. If you’re not a fan, however, this might be one that you say “I don’t” to!
Vampire Academy: Season 1
This reboot of the failed 2014 adaptation of Richelle Meade’s novel series tells the story of two young women who complete their education at St. Vladimir’s Academy in preparation for a life within a royal vampire society. They are joined in school by their guardians-in-training, which is a good thing as their lives are constantly in danger from the Strigoi vampires who want to destroy them. The movie version of Meade’s novels was terrible so here’s hoping this steamy new vampire series is better than that bloodless effort.
Mona Lisa And The Blood Moon (2021)
From the director of A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (wonderful) and The Bad Batch (terribly weird), comes this fantastical tale about a struggling single mother called Bonnie (Kate Hudson) who befriends asylum escapee Mona Lisa Lee (Jeon Jong-seo), a young girl with psychic powers, and forms a plan to use the girl’s telekinetic ability for financial gain. Unfortunately, her luck starts to run out when she and Mona Lisa embark on a crime spree and draw the attention of local cops.
This England: Season 1
Kenneth Branagh stars as current PM Boris Johnson in this dramatic retelling of events covering his first few months in power. He had a lot to deal with, not least the Covid-19 pandemic, and in Michael Winterbottom’s series, we get a closer look inside the corridors of power and the ways in which Boris handled the escalating pandemic situation.
After Yang (2022)
In the near future, Jake (Colin Farrell) and his wife Kyra (Jodie Turner-Smith) are living with their adopted daughter Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja) and her beloved AI companion Yang (Justin H. Min). When Yang malfunctions, Jake does what he can to repair the android and in the process finds out his life has been passing before his eyes via the unlocked memories of Mika’s robotic friend.
This is a moving and meditative tale of what it means to live and how it’s easy to miss out on the important things in life as time passes.
Video game adaptations are rarely any good and due to the many delays that Uncharted suffered from during the journey to the big screen, many suspected this movie would be another failure. Thankfully, it’s not the disaster that some predicted, largely thanks to Tom Holland who turns in a good performance as Nathan Drake, the young explorer that travels the globe in search of treasure and adventure.
Despite the occasional setpiece that will be familiar to fans of the video games, the movie is more a prequel than a direct adaptation of any of the series titles. It’s never as entertaining as the Indiana Jones movies that the game developers were presumably inspired by but it’s still a fun movie, with enough action sequences and puzzle moments to satisfy those who have enjoyed Sony’s gaming franchise.
Shark Bait (2022)
Five spring breakers find themselves trapped on shark-infested waters after a game of ‘jetski chicken’ goes horribly wrong. Do they become shark bait? As they presumably forgot to bring shark repellant and an ounce of common sense with them, you can probably guess what happens next. Eschewing the practical effects of Spielberg’s Jaws for bad CGI instead, this is yet another shark movie that ranks alongside Sharknado, 47 Meters Down, The Meg, and Jaws IV: The Revenge for sheer awfulness.
Loosely based on a true story, Georgetown tells the tale of ambitious social climber Ulrich Mott (Christoph Waltz) who marries Elsa Breht, a wealthy widow (Vanessa Redgrave), not because he loves her but because he wants to get a foothold in American high society. When she later turns up dead, her daughter (Annette Bening) suspects Mott of murder.
The movie is loosely based on a true story and while it doesn’t grip as it should, the talented actors at the core of this tale make up for any weaknesses in the script.
Bloods: Season 2
Forged In Fire: Season 11
The Slow Mo Guys’ Big Adventures: Season 1
Trolls: TrollsTopia: Season 2
The American Presidency with Bill Clinton
Brassic: Season 4
The Russell Howard Hour: Season 6
Britain’s Greatest Obsessions: Season 1
Never Mind The Buzzcocks: Season 2