The kid movie 2019

The decade has come to a close, and what an awesome ten years it was for cinemagoers. However, there are a tonne of amazing upcoming movies coming in 2020 and beyond to look forward to – despite this being the first year since 2014 not to boast a new Star Wars movie.

The exciting roster of upcoming movies includes No Time to Die (AKA Bond 25), two new movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Black Widow and The Eternals), two original Pixar films, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, Wonder Woman 1984, and the return of Wyld Stallyns in Bill & Ted Face the Music. Excellent!

Put simply, when it comes to upcoming movies, the next few months are going to be epic. So read through this list of the most exciting films heading your way and start planning your cinema trips now!

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Little Women

(Image credit: Sony)

Release date: December 25 (US) / December 26 (UK)

Anyone order a movie adaptation of a classic American novel directed by an Oscar-nominated filmmaker and starring a cast of who’s currently who in Hollywood? Well, you’re in luck, as just before the New Year breaks, the eighth adaptation of Little Women, directed by Lady Bird’s Greta Gerwig and starring Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet and Meryl Streep, among others, is coming.

Little Women, based on Louisa May Alcott’s novel of the same name, also stars Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Laura Dern, Chris Cooper, Louis Garrel, Tracy Letts, James Norton, Bob Odenkirk, and Eliza Scanlen.

The synopses reads: “Gerwig has crafted a Little Women that draws on both the classic novel and the writings of Louisa May Alcott, and unfolds as the author’s alter ego, Jo March, reflects back and forth on her fictional life. In Gerwig’s take, the beloved story of the March sisters – four young women each determined to live life on her own terms — is both timeless and timely.”

Jojo Rabbit

(Image credit: EOne)

Release date: December 25 (US) / January 10, 2020 (UK)

From director Sam Mendes (Spectre) comes 1917, a World War One movie that follows two young British soldiers, Schofield (Captain Fantastic actor George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman), who are given a seemingly impossible mission. The official synopses says the pair are “in a race against time” as “they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers— Blake’s own brother among them.”

The movie reunites Mendes with cinematographer Roger Deakins, marking their fourth collaboration following Jarhead, Revolutionary Road, and Skyfall. Mendes co-wrote the script with Penny Dreadful’s Krysty Wilson-Cairns.

(Image credit: Fox)

Release date: Out in the US / January 3, 2020 (UK)

Hot off the back of Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi’s next movie probably isn’t what most people were expecting. Based on Christine Leunens’ World War II set novel Caging Skies, Jojo Rabbit centres on a young German boy (Jojo) who finds out his mother’s hiding a Jewish girl in the attic. But there’s a weird twist in the tale, because Jojo has an imaginary friend: Adolf Hitler, played by Waititi himself. “I didn’t base him on anything I’d seen about Hitler before,” he told Deadline. “I just made him a version of myself that happened to have a bad haircut and a shitty little moustache. And a mediocre German accent.”

Waititi’s assembled an impressive cast for his latest movie, with Marvel’s Scarlett Johansson, Three Billboards…’ Sam Rockwell, Pitch Perfect’s Rebel Wilson, Leave No Trace’s Thomasin McKenzie and The Office’s Stephen Merchant.

Release date: December 19 (UK) / December 20 (US)

A movie that needs no introduction… Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker marks the final instalment in the Skywalker saga and promises to be an epic conclusion to all nine episodic movies.

Kylo Ren’s now Supreme Leader of the First Order and that the Resistance are living in each other’s pockets on the Millennium Falcon. To some surprise, Emperor Palpatine’s back, and Daisy Ridley’s Rey looks set to turn to… the Dark Side? How director JJ Abrams will fit this all into one movie – and that’s without mentioning returning roles from Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher (through unused footage from Force Awakens), and Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian – remains a mystery. Whatever the case, there’s no denying that we’re extremely excited to blast out into a galaxy far, far away once again.

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

(Image credit: Warner)

Release date: February 7, 2020

Margot Robbie’s baseball bat-wielding Harley Quinn was one of the few things DC fans liked about Suicide Squad. It’s therefore no surprise that Warner Bros. is keen to give the villain a spin-off all of her own. Harley’s not traditionally affiliated with the all-female superhero team Birds of Prey in the comics, but rumour has it she’s left the Joker to go solo in Gotham City, which may have prompted a change of allegiances.

We’re not sure how Birds of Prey fits in with the wider DCEU continuity – Winstead has said “it’s sort of a spin-off of Suicide Squad”, though the Suicide Squad movie James Gunn is shooting before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 is “a total reboot” that… also stars Robbie? It’s all a little confusing.

The King’s Man

(Image credit: Fox)

Release date: February 14, 2020

After Kingsman: The Secret Service announced the arrival of a fun new spy saga, follow-up The Golden Circle fell a little flat. Now, director Matthew Vaughn gets a chance to reinvigorate the series (based on Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons’ comic book series) by going back to the early 20th century in this prequel – we’re thinking of it as The League of Extraordinarily Tailored Gentlemen.

A big advantage of visiting the origins of the titular undercover organisation is the chance to roll out a lot of famous actors playing even more famous historical figures: Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson is Lord Kitchener, Rhys Ifans is Rasputin, Gemma Arterton is Mata Hari, and Tom Hollander is King George V, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Tsar Nicholas II – the three monarchs were cousins and the spit of each other. Expect ridiculous gadgets, over-the-top action and plenty of innuendo.

Sonic the Hedgehog

(Image credit: Paramount)

Release date: February 14, 2020

The Sega icon was meant to reach cinema screens in 2019, but negative fan reaction to the famous blue hedgehog’s live-action look prompted a delay as studio Paramount gave him a makeover – or, as director Jeff Fowler diplomatically put it, they’re “taking a little more time to make Sonic just right”.

Film adaptations of game characters have previously been patchy at best, and this upcoming movie will need to worry about more than aesthetics if it’s going to win over cinema audiences. The first trailergives an indication of how the filmmakers are translating Sonic’s signature moves to the big screen – and reveals a very broad Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik – but after that initial backlash, the famous blue blur faces one of his biggest ever battles if he’s going to conquer the box office.

Mulan

(Image credit: Disney)

Release date: March 27, 2020

Aside from owning Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar, Disney also have a massive back catalogue of animated classics to remake in live-action. So, the latest cartoon to get the Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo and Aladdin treatment is Mulan, the 1998 story of a young woman in Imperial China who pretends to be a man to join the army.

Chinese/American actor and pop star Liu Yifei takes the title role with support from Rogue One’s Donnie Yen as mentor Commander Tung, and Jet Li as the Emperor. Whale Rider’s Niki Caro directs. Watch the Mulan trailer for a better look at the movie.

Onward

(Image credit: Disney)

Release date: March 6, 2020

With Pete Docter now in control at Pixar, the animation studio is prioritising original ideas over sequels (hoorah!). First out of the starting blocks is Onward, a fantasy tale where elves, gnomes, dragons, unicorns, and centaurs roam the world. However, unlike Lord of the Rings, these creatures live like modern Americans, with with houses, cars and rock music. Marvel veterans Tom Holland and Chris Pratt are the elf brothers who set out on a quest to help bring their father back to life. Monsters University director Dan Scanlon is helming the movie.

The New Mutants

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Release date: April 3, 2020 (Direct to Disney Plus)

The New Mutants was due a long time ago. In fact, the X-Men spin-off was originally set to come out in April 2018 – before both Deadpool 2 and X-Men: Dark Phoenix – until reshoots and Disney buying Fox pushed the release date back to its current April 2020 berth… And it’s now coming straight to Disney+, the streaming service.

Directed by Josh Boone, The New Mutants will follow a group of teen mutants trapped in a research facility against their will. They have to face up to their powers – and their personal demons – to survive and escape.

No Time to Die

(Image credit: Eon)

Release date: April 3, 2020 (UK)/April 8, 2020 (US)

After the departure of original director Danny Boyle and an injury to leading man Daniel Craig, No Time to Die, AKA Bond 25, has taken its time getting to the big screen. Hopefully, it‘s a case of better late than never, however, because this will mark Craig’s last outing in the tuxedo before he hands back his license to kill.

Plot details are unsurprisingly scarce, but we do know that the movie kicks off in Jamaica, with Bond enjoying some R&R after the events of Spectre. Reports hav indicated that a new 007, played by Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel), will bring Bond back into the fray, with Bohemian Rhapsody actor Rami Malek acting as the main villain. Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049) will also appear in the movie, with Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear and Jeffrey Wright all returning. Behind the camera, True Detective and Maniac director Cary Fukunaga becomes the first American to helm an official Bond movie, while Fleabag creator/star Phoebe Waller-Bridge is on the writing team.

Black Widow

(Image credit: Disney/Marvel Studios)

Release date: April 24, 2020 (UK) / May 1, 2020 (US)

The next stop in the MCU will be the Black Widow movie, arriving on May 1, 2020.

Directed by Cate Shortland, the confirmed cast includes Scarlett Johansson returning as Natasha Romanoff; Stranger Things’ David Harbour as Alexi; Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova (a “sister figure to Natasha” who takes up the Black Widow mantle in the comics, hint, hint); O-T Fagbenle as Mason, and Rachel Weisz as an unknown character. The Taskmaster will also be in the Black Widow movie.

Footage was shown off at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, with Romanoff and Pugh’s character, Yelena, tussling in Budapest in a flat-out ferocious fight scene. They use everything at their disposal – including a literal kitchen sink – but it ultimately ends in a chokehold stalemate. The short clip ends with a car chase; Black Widow crashes and is met by Alexi, played by David Harbour, who blocks her rapid-fire gunshots with a shield.

A year on the big screen featured Brad Pitt, Little Women, Adam Sandler, Parasite, Robert De Niro, and The Farewell. Photo: Vulture and Courtesy of Studios

The year 2019 felt like one massive screen from which we couldn’t turn away. It wasn’t just that there was so much to watch, it was that there was so much that it seemed like we should be watching: Amid it all, hundreds of movies flickered too quickly through theaters and platforms. Everyone wanted our attention, from Disney and Apple jumping into streaming to Netflix taking The Irishman to Broadway. It’s hard to believe that just a few months ago, we were sitting in a multiplex bearing the brunt of Avengers: Endgame, the highest-grossing film of all time and the culmination of a 22-film, decade-plus arc.

Can a movie ever brand itself as bigger? Surely, one will try, but when we started putting together our respective lists of the best films of the year, we found that the things that we loved the most tended to be stories that were intimate in scale — no franchise additions or sequels made our cuts (though an adaptation and a biopic did). Below are the films that reminded us that there are all sort of ways for a movie to become an event, from an acid-black comedy from South Korea to Greta Gerwig’s take on Little Women to a Senegalese romance to the return of Quentin Tarantino.

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Kent Jones’s Diane, a naturalistic drama with the odd expressionist flourish, is a candidate for the most depressing ever made. Photo: IFC

10. For Sama

The 2016 siege of Aleppo (and the attendant war crimes of Syria and Russia) have produced indelible records of heroism and horror, but Waad Al-Khateab and Edward Watts’s first-person documentary captures most vividly both the specifics of this struggle and the larger tragedy. Sama is Waad’s baby daughter, whose existence haunts the young woman as she films her husband, Hamza (one of the few doctors remaining), in his attempts to save another and another and another bomb-mangled child. Much of the film takes place inside the hospital where Hamza will do 890 operations in 20 days, but it doesn’t feel like raw footage — it has been shaped to force you to bear witness. You feel it would be an act of cowardice to look away from even the most tragic sights.

9. Uncut Gems

Adam Sandler finds his bizarrely abrasive sweet spot as a terminally self-destructive jeweler and gambler in the Safdie brothers’ feverish New York drama, set in the world of grubby Diamond District salesmen and Jewish gangsters. The film, like the character, is in constant, nausea-inducing motion, which the Safdies suggest is the existential condition in a world with no moral center of gravity. What it adds up to I don’t know, but it will take you a long time to stop shaking.

8. Dolemite Is My Name

Everything clicks in this breezy, ironic biopic starring Eddie Murphy as Rudy Ray Moore, who arrested a mid-career fade-out in the 1960s by developing an alter ego called “Dolemite,” a pimp, libertine, and fabulist with roots in black American folklore. Directed by Craig Brewer from a script by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, the movie has the let’s-put-on-a-show feel of Alexander and Karaszewski’s Ed Wood, which also celebrates self-actualization over actual talent and dignity well lost for the sake of fame.

7. Honeyland

Disney princesses should bow before Hatidze Muratova, the roughhewn Turkish woman who presides over a fragile ecosystem of bees in an isolated, windswept Macedonian valley in Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov’s transporting documentary. Her connection to this vanishing world seems inversely proportional to her estrangement from humankind, and her loneliness acquires the luminousness of myth. A magnificent work.

6. American Factory

Steve Bognar and Julia Reichert’s expansive documentary is set largely in Dayton, Ohio, where a closed GM plant is reborn as a Chinese-owned windshield factory. The film is hilarious in depicting the culture clash between stubbornly individualistic Americans (slow, with “fat fingers,” according to Chinese executives) and disciplined, anything-for-the-company Chinese workers, but the underlying trajectory is grim. It’s likely that the Chinese idea of human workers as machine parts will yield soon enough to actual machines doing all the labor. So we’re seeing the worst of communism (become a cog, a zombie drone) combined with the worst of free-market capitalism (you’re expendable in all ways).

5. Parasite

A down-and-out South Korean family insinuates itself into the household of a rich one in Bong Joon Ho’s wildly entertaining tragicomedy, which has an original metaphor for income inequality: The haves live — obliviously — above the have-lesses, who live above the have-even-lesses. Who are the title parasites? The poor who attach themselves to the rich or the rich who suck the marrow of the poor? Or is the system itself the parasite, drawing its energy from the turbulent interaction between rich and poor? By rights, all this should keep you up at night.

4. Little Women

You can feel the buoyant, galumphing Greta Gerwig of Frances Ha in Gerwig’s exhilarating adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic 19th-century weeper, in which Jo March (Saoirse Ronan) struggles to find her voice as a writer without forsaking love and love without giving up her spiky female perspective. Gerwig’s overflowing humanism could have swamped a story with less wit and specificity, but the screenplay (which moves back and forth between a plush past and denuded present) is packed with revelations large and small. She’s a real director. Unusually, the film is stolen by its Amy, the petite, husky-voiced Florence Pugh.

3. Diane

Critic, documentarian, and festival director Kent Jones’s first fiction film centers on the exquisitely expressive Mary Kay Place as a compulsive do-gooder out to expiate her sins while everyone in her little town is either dying or on the brink (although we’re all on the brink). This naturalistic drama with the odd expressionist flourish is a candidate for the most depressing ever made, but once you accept its un-transcendent, death-centric baseline, it’s strangely exhilarating. Sequences are broken by shots through a windshield of passing rural landscapes, its protagonist going — like all of us — from someplace to someplace on the road to who-knows-where.

2. The Irishman

Shaped around the 1975 killing (presumed) of Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa, Martin Scorsese’s three-and-a-half-hour film is notable for what it doesn’t have: flashy set-pieces, whip-pans to carnage, or Rolling Stones songs to pump up the adrenaline. It’s a work of self-abnegation that’s set where Scorsese normally showboats, cast with aging Scorsese vets Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci (who’s sublime), plus a guest star from the other landmark gangster film of the director’s era, Al Pacino. Narrated by the elderly title character, a sometime hit man, from a wheelchair in a Catholic convalescent home, the movie is steeped in regret, not so much for what was done as for what was done but not felt. Scorsese wants this to feel like an old man’s movie: Taking his cue from his increasingly infirm characters, he won’t let himself hide behind motion. The principled paralysis becomes him: It’s his most expressive film in decades.

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

In this gorgeously meandering farrago, two aging, increasingly irrelevant white males from ’50s cowboy TV recover their mojo enough to defend themselves against dirty hippie girls and thereby save a blonde, pregnant movie princess from being butchered. On paper it sounds a tad … reactionary. But Quentin Tarantino’s tenth film — starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt — is more wistful pipe dream than manifesto. Above all, it’s a fetishistic collage of ’60s bric-a-brac that transcends its inspirations, building to a denouement at once euphoric and heartbreaking. Once again, Tarantino has created a unique frame in which to examine (or maybe just to live inside) the movie world that, for better or worse, shaped him.

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Jia Zhangke’s latest, Ash Is Purest White, leaps and bounds through a grand anti-romance. Photo: MK2 Productions

10. Little Women

As no great devotee of Louisa May Alcott’s novel, I wandered into Greta Gerwig’s adaptation feeling, frankly, a little resistant to yet another adaptation. And then it wore me down like a rising sea wears down an eroding coastline. Gerwig keeps the bones of the book for this vibrant work, but she gently rebalances the characters and the way each of the March sisters — Meg (Emma Watson), Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Beth (Eliza Scanlen), and Amy (Florence Pugh) — pursues her own particular happiness. There’s an innate, thoughtfully contemporary feel to the film’s feminism, even as it deals with material that’s now a century and a half old. Little Women admires Jo’s willingness to push back against norms while refusing to paint Meg’s more traditional choices as a defeat, and it highlights the tendency to tie women’s stories off in marriage while also allowing that sometimes we all need a romantic happy ending.

9. Atlantics

The young men in Mati Diop’s feature debut are half-ghosts long before they become actual ones. Scorned by an employer who hasn’t paid them for months, and so gripped by the possibility of better opportunities on the other side of the ocean that it almost feels like a kind of possession, they only have one foot in the world in which they grew up. Diop’s film isn’t about those men, or about how they risk their lives in an attempt to find a better life for themselves. It is, instead, about the women left behind — about living in a community being hollowed out by the forces of globalism and about being those who choose, or have no option, but to stay. Diop’s work is a superbly confident mixture of supernatural fable, mystery, and romance as well as a film that contends with the migrant crisis from the side we usually don’t see.

8. Under the Silver Lake

There is a moment, late in David Robert Mitchell’s Los Angeles neo-noir, when you understand that what you’ve been watching hasn’t actually been a surreal conspiracy drama after all but a portrait of someone who’s totally adrift after a heartbreak. Sam (Andrew Garfield), a down-and-out 30-something on the verge of getting kicked out of his apartment, turns amateur sleuth after his new neighbor, Sarah (Riley Keough), disappears in the night. But the wonderfully strange leads he chases — the underground comic, the missing billionaire, the hip band — mostly add up to a particularly warped reflection of the city as a place where powerful men have always indulged themselves with monstrous acts of ego and where beautiful women have always been commodified. At the heart of Under the Silver Lake isn’t a mystery but the understanding that searching for patterns and connections is a form of creating control in a life that feels out of it. It’s a film about trying to create a story you can be the hero of because dealing with the everyday details of your life feels too difficult.

7. One Cut of the Dead

Sorry, 1917, but the greatest all-in-one-take movie to come out this year was this low-budget phenomenon from Shin’ichirô Ueda. One Cut of the Dead starts off as a curiously stilted, minimalist zombie movie set at an abandoned water-filtration plant. Then it goes back in time and behind the scenes to tell the story of the cast and crew who made it and becomes an ingenious comedy that gives an entirely different context to everything that’s come before. It’s a heartfelt love letter to scrappy indie filmmaking, but it’s also the surprisingly sweet story of a family of showbiz strivers who are just trying to make a go of things in an industry they never expected to allow them to reach great heights.

6. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

On the topic of showbiz strivers … Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) have been rattling around in my head since seeing Quentin Tarantino’s saga of how their midlife friendship leads to their unknowing intervention in the Manson murders. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood makes some choices that are entirely worthy of criticism, and it also has highs like none other — like Rick’s dedication to his stint as a villain on Lancer, and Cliff making macaroni and cheese in the company of his dog, and Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) impulsively paying a solo visit to a movie theater to delight in seeing herself onscreen in The Wrecking Crew. It’s a movie that’s adjacent to Charles Manson without really being about him at all — because what it is, at its core, is a case for the quiet dignity of making the schlock entertainment that people delight in and that history doesn’t remember.

5. Ash Is Purest White

Zhao Tao’s face can bridge decades and break your heart, and in Jia Zhangke’s latest, boy, does it do both. She’s Qiao, a woman living in the industrial city of Datong, while Liao Fan plays her boyfriend, Bin, a gangster and big fish in a small pond. They romanticize their provincial outlaw life right until the point when a run-in with rivals ends with Qiao in prison — and from there, Ash Is the Purest White leaps and bounds through a grand anti-romance in which fortunes rise and fall as China changes around the characters, sometimes shrinking them into specs on vast landscapes. Qiao becomes an unforgettably, tragically noble figure, one who actually believes in the outlaw honor that turned out to be mere self-mythologizing in her lover, who leaves her and their shared past behind in order to chase legitimacy in a country accelerating wildly toward an unknown future.

4. The Farewell

Midway through The Farewell, Billi (Awkwafina) gets chastised by her uncle for wanting to tell her grandmother (76-year-old breakout Zhao Shuzhen) the secret that the family has been keeping — that the matriarch has a terminal illness and that they’ve gathered to say good-bye. “You think one’s life belongs to oneself,” he tells her. “But that’s the difference between the East and the West. In the East, a person’s life is part of a whole.” It’s a totally gutting moment, a declaration of Billi’s fundamental foreignness. It’s also an example of the kind of depth that Lulu Wang’s film brings to its exploration of the Chinese-American experience. The Farewell is simultaneously dryly funny and a four-hanky drama, but the nuance it brings to its treatment of diaspora shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s a film that dares to be ambivalent about immigration and about how opportunities are balanced with a loss of connection and precious time with those you love.

3. Parasite

Has Parasite been out long enough for me to point out that the Kims aren’t really scammers? The members of the poorer of the two families in Bong Joon Ho’s latest absolutely lie and manipulate their way into jobs as tutors, housekeepers, and drivers for the wealthier Parks. But the rub is that they then do the work, and they do it well, as far as we’re shown — they are solid employees, right up until everything goes to hell. Parasite is a brilliantly crafted upstair-downstairs thriller that may leave you wanting to eat the rich, but its most cutting insights have to do with how capitalism pits the working class against itself. The Kims have to do some hilariously, cunningly awful things just to have a chance at survival, and it’s rage at that indignity that runs throughout the movie and that leads to its brutal, then terribly sad, conclusion.

2. The Hottest August

Filmmaker Brett Story spent August 2017 traveling around New York talking to different city residents. She spoke to union men hanging out of a window on the side of their house, skateboarders at the park, a woman working at a call center, vintage-clad partygoers at a 1920s-themed event. She asked them all about the future, and she cut the subsequent interview into a sweltering summer collage that also happens to be a goose-bump-inducing documentary encapsulation of our current pre-apocalyptic mood. Many of the people interviewed in The Hottest August feel grim about the future, though not everyone really seems to have had time to raise their head and look all that far ahead — planning is its own kind of privilege. Story’s film is an indescribably rich text, but it is, more than anything, a haunting document about climate change, and it’s a little too easy to imagine it playing against the side of a ruined building in a city no longer inhabitable by humans.

1. Uncut Gems

Josh and Benny Safdie’s Diamond District drama serves up the sensation of being a gambling addict so forcefully that I wanted to run through the streets after seeing it, so amped was I from the secondhand highs it offered. Uncut Gems starts with an accident at an Ethiopian opal mine and emerges not long after out of its main character’s colon, tying globalist sins directly into Howard Ratner’s (Adam Sandler) instinctual pursuit of the trappings of class-climbing success. Howard has his wife (Idina Menzel) and kids ensconced in a McMansion on Long Island, and his mistress (Julia Fox) in a Manhattan condo, and he’s leveraged to the hilt and doesn’t seem to care. The truth is that it’s the wheeling and dealing that he loves, the constant betting big on a score that could make or break him, the pushing of social situations until they devolve into yelling. The Safdies have an affection for a particularly New York brand of street-level chaos, and Uncut Gems is their purest distillation of that so far, a film that huffs the dying fumes of capitalism — and man, what a rush.

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Gaspar Noé’s Climax, a hellscape you can vogue to. Photo: Wild Bunch

10. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s evocative re-creation of late 1960s Hollywood is the most fun he’s had in years, but it’s also his most compassionate picture in more than a decade. Presenting the intercutting stories of a leading man whose time has passed and a happening starlet for whom everything feels fresh and new, the writer-director seeks to preserve a moment in time that represents the beauty of things changing. It’s not a conservative movie so much as it’s a movie that fetishizes an America in mid-decay. At Cannes, I said that it was terrific save for a misguided ending. Having rewatched it a couple of more times, I now like the ending more, but I’m still not sure it was the right one for this particular film. Either way, I hope there’s a nine-hour cut of this thing somewhere.

9. The Irishman

The Twitter dickheads still upset at Martin Scorsese for belittling their beloved corporate costumed-superhero franchises do make one legitimate observation: Scorsese has gone to an all-too-familiar well for his latest. Indeed, that’s the point of The Irishman, which seems to be in poignant conversation with some of the director’s earlier films, exploding the romantic myth of gangsterism that some of those works trafficked in. The whistle-blower protagonist of GoodFellas lamented that he got to live the rest of his life as a “schnook.” Well, now we get to see the life of a guy who effectively kept the faith and did as he was told: Turns out, his life was even sadder.

8. Shadow

It’s a heartless shame that there wasn’t more fanfare around a new release from Zhang Yimou, one of the greatest directors of all time. And Shadow, a war drama shot in the style of Chinese inkbrush painting, was a real humdinger: a picture whose quiet rhythms eventually gave way to impeccably choreographed, ingenious, and gruesome battle scenes.

7. Atlantics

Mati Diop’s lovely first feature starts off as a moody Senegalese romance set against dreamy ocean vistas, then becomes a somber tragedy of lives lost at sea, then an anti-capitalist ghost story. The director’s light touch renders all these shifts with such seeming effortlessness and lyricism that you walk out of the movie wondering if maybe you dreamed it all.

6. A Hidden Life

Don’t expect lots of historical detail from Terrence Malick’s drama about Franz Jägerstätter, a devout Austrian farmer who became a despised conscientious objector when he refused to pledge loyalty to Hitler. Instead, Malick uses light, movement, sound, and texture to portray a consciousness hovering between earthly reality and metaphysical certitude. The film is all about living a good life in an evil world, and as such, it’s more about today’s reality than anything else.

5. The Wild Pear Tree

Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s sprawling tale of a wannabe-writer trying to reconcile his desire to create great, ambitious work with the stifling, mundane reality of his existence would make a fascinating double feature with Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory: Both movies are about conflicted creators — one young, one old — realizing that their great subject lies right before their eyes.

4. Pain and Glory

At once the gentlest and most emotionally naked movie Pedro Almodóvar has ever made, this is a pseudo-autobiographical portrait of an artist in creative crisis as he looks over several unresolved moments in his life. It’s also a great demonstration of Almodóvar’s mastery of tone and style: The film dances on the edge of deep feeling right until the very end, then finally packs a massive wallop. Also: Give Antonio Banderas his Oscar or face the consequences.

Bong Joon Ho’s hot-button upstairs-downstairs-downstairs black-comic thriller — which I called a “nerve-racking masterpiece” when I first saw it at Cannes — is the kind of zig-when-you-zag movie that keeps setting up narrative expectations, then simultaneously meeting them and undermining them. In so doing, it comes to poignantly embody the very capitalist ethos in which it pokes holes. It’s an anti-crowd-pleaser crowd-pleaser. And its very last scene is its most crushing.

2. Marriage Story

Noah Baumbach’s agonizing (but also occasionally hilarious) look at a bicoastal showbiz divorce not entirely unlike his own isn’t just the best American film of the year, it might also be the most human film of the year; every decision, every word, every emotion feels honest and true to life. But it’s also one of the most terrifying. In fact, it’s sort of a Dr. Strangelove for married couples: You watch it and you think, “Yeah, this is pretty much how it might all go down.”

1. Climax

Leave it to Gaspar Noé to take a story about a bunch of dancers and a bowl of spiked sangria and turn it into a surreal techno-musical about the death of a multicultural France — a hellscape you can vogue to. Casting real-life dancers and letting them, in some cases, improvise their lines and their relationships (as well as their moves), Noé incorporates a sense of offhand realism, which is new for this control-freak director, into one of the more invigorating stylistic gambits of his career.

*A version of this article appears in the December 23, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!

All told, 2019 was kind of a weird year for movies. Disney, whose world we increasingly live in, made $10 billion at the box office before releasing Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker—thanks to cash cows like Avengers: Endgame (on our list) and a live-action remake of the The Lion King (very much not). Meanwhile, there seemed to be far fewer indie breakthroughs. (Or maybe they were just drowned out by all the whizbang? Hard to tell.) The middle, it turned out, was the sweet spot—high-gloss nonblockbusters like Parasite and Booksmart were absolute treasures. These are our favorites from all points on the spectrum.

Year in Review: What WIRED learned from tech, science, culture, and more in 2019

Parasite

Writer-director Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite was easily 2019’s biggest surprise. Not because Bong doesn’t always make great films (see: Snowpiercer, Okja, The Host), but because it twists audiences into such uncomfortable knots before gruesomely unwinding the tension in ways few viewers can see coming. What starts as a family pulling an ever-escalating grift on a much wealthier one in an upscale part of town ends up a powerful commentary on how people relate to and value each other, and the ways the anxieties and messes of the rich often have to be assuaged and dealt with by the poor. There wasn’t a better cinematic metaphor this year.

Knives Out

Anyone who knows writer-director Rian Johnson’s pre-Star Wars: The Last Jedi work understands the man knows how to play around with genres. Time travel (Looper), noir (Brick), the long con (The Brothers Bloom)—Johnson has tackled them all. For his latest, Knives Out, he took on the Agatha Christie-style whodunit, and the results were just as brilliant as before. It was funny, smart, surprising, and even a bit cuttingly political. It was that rarest of films: a good movie and a good time.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Welp, he stuck the landing. Going into Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the thing director J.J. Abrams said he was most worried about was providing a satisfying ending. He was, after all, not only concluding the trilogy he started with 2015’s The Force Awakens, but also the two trilogies that came before it. That’s a lot of weight to bear. Abrams bore it the best he could, wrapping up decades’ worth of stories—and fan expectations—with one final movie. Was it perfect? No. Did it lean a bit heavily on playing the Lucasfilm hits? Yes. But it was also a thrilling ride with some smart twists and a lot of heart. Fans couldn’t have asked for more.

Marriage Story

Along with The Irishman, Marriage Story is Netflix’s other big swing at Oscar glory. Written and directed by Noah Baumbach, the film follows theater director Charlie (Adam Driver) and his actress wife Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) as they work through the dissolution of their marriage. It’s a heartbreaking look at how compassionate and cruel two people can be while enduring the pain of loss. It also has two of the better performances of the year.

Hustlers

Strippers, shakedowns, an Usher cameo. There’s a different version of Hustlers that’s just a low-rent Ocean’s knockoff. (Wait, that happened.) Thank the movie goddesses that it’s not. Under the sharp direction of Lorene Scafaria (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World), it’s a film that is holler-in-the-theater empowering while also being an insightful commentary on class and the things people feel compelled to do to survive. (Jennifer Lopez’s Peter Pan-esque monologue about ripping off the Wall Street bros who ripped off America is one for the ages.) With excellent performances by everyone from Lopez and Constance Wu to Cardi B, there was nothing else like it in multiplexes this year—and it was a long time coming.

Us

After the massive, culture-shifting success of Get Out, everyone wondered what writer-director Jordan Peele would do next. That follow-up was Us, a similarly mind-bending horror flick about the haves and the have-nots articulated through a very creepy set of doppelgängers who show up to haunt a family on a summer vacation. Genuinely terrifying (no one will ever look at rabbits the same again) and deeply insightful, Us—like Get Out—was also one of the smartest movies of the year. It also had Lupita Nyong’o’s best performance(s) since 12 Years a Slave.

Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood

Getting this out of the way: Writer-director Quentin Tarantino’s latest is a bit too long and has a hyper-bombastic ending that feels a bit unearned. That said, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a rich, fictionalized version of the period that Charles Manson and his followers terrorized Los Angeles, told through the story of actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Like all Tarantino movies, it’s a love letter to cinema, and its twist on the Sharon Tate murders is downright heartbreaking.

Avengers: Endgame

No, Avengers: Endgame is not a film. It’s a popcorn superhero flick. But in the ever-growing catalog of popcorn superhero flicks, Avengers: Endgame, like Avengers: Infinity War before it, is incredibly ambitious. The crossover event to end all crossover events, it brought together more than a decades’ worth of movies—21 total—into one massive, mostly coherent. tear-jerking culmination. The jury is still out on whether it’s Oscar-worthy, but that ultimate battle against Thanos was something to behold.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

The Last Black Man in San Francisco encapsulates a lot of things—erasure of history and identity, the realities of gentrification, the transcendent nature of friendship under duress—but it makes its point in its title. As the Bay Area, once home to the “Harlem of the West,” is forced through changes faster than it can adapt to them—take, for example, the Compton’s Cafeteria riot, the gay rights movement, or the Beats—lost a lot of what made it brilliant. That includes most of the family of Jimmie Fails (played by Jimmie Fails, from a script he cowrote with director Joe Talbot), who have been forced to the edges of the city amid the real-estate boom. The tech industry is never mentioned directly, but the impact it’s had on the city is obvious in the shuttle buses in the streets and the passing references to landlord fires. The Last Black Man in San Francisco is about Fails’ attempt to reclaim his grandfather’s house in the Fillmore district, but it’s also a heartbreaking look at the quest to claim space. Put another way, in the words of Fails, “you don’t get to hate unless you love it.”

The Irishman

Yes, The Irishman is a little long. Like three hours and 30 minutes long. (Say what you will about Netflix releasing Oscar bait, at least the streaming service provides the ability to pause for bathroom breaks and naps.) And maybe Anna Paquin should’ve had more lines—like any number higher than seven would’ve been fine. But it’s also an intense, and just tense, retelling of the life of Frank Sheeran (played by Robert De Niro), the alleged mob hitman and Jimmy Hoffa acolyte. Martin Scorsese pulled out all of his movie tricks for this one, and got Industrial Light & Magic to develop a whole new de-aging process to help him do it. Oh, and Joe Pesci’s performance as mobster Russell Bufalino is one of his best ever.

Booksmart

Director Olivia Wilde’s female-fronted high school comedy can’t make up for decades of bro-tastic coming-of-age movies, but dammit if it didn’t try. Set during the last hurrah before high school graduation, the film follows two, yes, bookish best friends—Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein)—as they try to actually party for once. It’s a smart, heartfelt hoot, and a movie that actually gets at all the bittersweet endings that happened at the conclusion of high school.

The Farewell

Writer-director Lulu Wang’s movie about a young woman (played to perfection by Awkwafina) going back to China to visit her ill grandmother is easily 2019’s best weep-in-the-theater film. Ostensibly a movie about one family’s attempt to keep their matriarch’s cancer diagnosis a secret from her, The Farewell is about the secrets and lies that bring families together, as well as pull them apart. It’s also about the lies everyone tells themselves just to cope. Equally wrenching and joyous, its arrival in the final weeks of summer was the perfect antidote to blockbuster fatigue.

Uncut Gems

How long has it been since you considered Adam Sandler: Serious Actor? Well, buckle up, partner, because he’s ready to ride. As New York City jeweler Howard Ratner, he’s a fast-talking dealmaker with a bit of a gambling problem and a family he’s not really attending to. He’s hard to root for, but watching him get close to ultimate victory and/or colossal defeat over and over again is wonderfully intense. By the third act, it’s utterly nerve-wracking—and ready to deliver one of the most surprising twists of the year.

Dark Phoenix

Just kidding! But the hand work is exquisite.

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When you get down to it, “Little” isn’t just a genre film. It’s a full-on genre ripoff, a modern-day version of “Big” but in reverse. That being the case, you don’t have to do much more than watch the trailer to know there’s a definite ceiling as to how good it can be.

You know it’s going to be derivative. Given the multitude of body-swap comedies we’ve gotten over the years, there’s no way for it to be anything but. It’s a pretty safe bet it’s also going to be predictable and contrived, too, right down to its inevitable, cornball “be yourself” message.

Indeed, “Little” is all of those things. This is cinematic filler, no question about it — pure big-screen fluff.

Here’s the thing, though: As an unapologetic genre exercise, it’s also fairly harmless, painless stuff. Thanks largely to the work of its cast, which does more with Tracy Oliver and director Tina Gordon’s decidedly uneven, underdeveloped script than anybody has a right to hope for, “Little” ends up being mostly enjoyable in its own lightweight, empty-calorie and entirely unexpected way.

‘Girls Trip’ producer coming back to New Orleans for ‘The Photograph’

Regina Hall plays the grown-up version of the main character, a tough-as-nails, cartoonishly rude tech mogul who, through a bit of timely magic, wakes up one morning in the body of her 13-year-old self. She then has to spend the rest of the movie figuring out how to reverse the curse, but not before learning a valuable life lesson or two.

That Hall embraces the role with comic relish shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. That’s what she does, particularly when she’s teaming up with producer Will Packer, with whom she has previously worked on such films as “Girls Trip,” “Think Like a Man” and “About Last Night.”

Similarly, Issa Rae, playing Hall’s long-suffering personal assistant, is every bit as charmingly self-effacing as viewers of her Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated HBO series “Insecure” would expect her to be.

The real surprise of “Little,” though, is how well the movie works when Hall hands the reins over to her 14-year-old co-star, Marsai Martin. Audiences might recognize Martin from the ABC sitcom “Black-ish,” but she’s a pint-sized revelation in “Little.”

Behind those dimples, as it turns out, is a performer with superb comic timing and, as evidenced by her spot-on channeling of Hall, genuine acting chops. She’s the secret weapon of “Little,” and she’s loaded for bear.

In fact, while “Little” is an undeniably pale imitation of 1988’s “Big,” it works to the extent it does for the very reason that earlier film does: because of an outstanding, easy-to-embrace lead performance. In the case of “Big,” that performance was delivered by Tom Hanks. This time, it’s Martin who steals the show.

When she’s on-screen, and particularly when she’s on-screen with Rae (who, although a supporting player, gets more screen-time than anyone else in the film), it becomes easy to overlook the genre trappings of “Little” and Gordon’s by-the-numbers direction.

Martin and Rae don’t quite erase all the film’s missteps, mind you, but it is a pleasure to watch them work together.

It’s interesting to note that the whole idea behind the film was Martin’s, who, after seeing “Big” as a 10-year-old, pitched “Black-ish” creator and “Little” co-producer Kenya Barris on the concept. Four years later, Martin has reportedly become the youngest person ever to earn an executive-producing credit on a major Hollywood production.

Now, as a general rule, it’s not a good idea to make movies based on the suggestions of 10-year-olds. But Martin’s clearly not your average kid. She proves that in “Little.”

It’s not going to make anyone forget “Big.” In fact, it might make many moviegoers go back and rewatch that earlier film, just for the sheer joy of seeing Hanks’ work in it.

But “Little” does what it sets out to do, which counts for something. And it just might have given us a budding new star in the process.

LITTLE

3 stars, out of 5

Snapshot: In a mirror-image riff on the 1988 film “Big,” a rude, overbearing tech mogul wakes up one morning to find herself in the body of her 13-year-old self.

What works: The performances, particularly from 14-year-old Marsai Martin — but also from Regina Hall and Issa Rae — are easily what keeps this otherwise derivative exercise afloat.

What doesn’t: The script is underdeveloped and the direction is strictly by the numbers.

Cast: Hall, Martin, Rae. Director: Tina Gordon. MPAA rating: PG-13, for some suggestive content. Running time: 1 hour 49 minutes. When and where: Opens Friday (April 12) at the Chalmette Movies, Elmwood Palace, Clearview Palace, Westbank Palace, Hammond Palace, Covington Movie Tavern, Covington Stadium 14, Slidell Grand, Kenner Grand.

Will Smith and Tom Cruise. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

In the early 2000s amid the first real cell phone boom, I remember seeing a commercial with my father for one of the very first camera phones. At the time, he authoritatively exclaimed with the absolute dismissal only a seasoned Baby Boomer can muster, “Who the hell is ever going to want to take a picture on their cell phone?! This will never sell.”

Good call, Dad.

As we all know, camera phones have essentially rendered digital cameras obsolete, a relic of the past with no real commercial use today. In a similar sense, Movie Stars have also become an outdated fossil of Hollywood, no longer technically needed for success.

To be clear: there’s a difference between a movie star and a Movie Star. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a movie star; Leonardo DiCaprio is a Movie Star. But he’s the last of a dying breed. In fact, you could easily make the case that all bankable Movie Stars are dead, and they’re never coming back.

Dwayne Johnson’s box office muscle is a rarity these days.

Don’t believe me?

Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lawrence and Will Smith, three of the undisputed biggest names in Hollywood, are all in the midsts of varying degrees of cold streaks. Adam Sandler, once one of the safest box office bets in the game for years, has fled to Netflix where financial flops can no longer plague him. Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis, even Tom Hanks, have all been dotted with movies that just didn’t quite connect in recent years. For every Sully, there’s a Larry Crowne; with each passing Mission: Impossible, we also get an Oblivion.

How come the biggest names in Hollywood can no longer consistently lead films to profitability?

Because these days, it isn’t about the names, it’s about the property.

“The idea of star power used to be in global audience recognition, a major star in a movie might ensure global success here and in the international marketplace,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore, told Observer. “A Tom Cruise, a Will Smith, a Julia Roberts. Classic names that could ensure foreign pre-sales and solid box office.”

“But with the advent of big concept movies, franchise ensembles like Fast and Furious and Marvel and big-budget blockbusters, the concept and marketing is now what gets people excited,” he added. “Merely having a movie star is no longer a guarantee of box office success. Now, big stars need a concept in concert with that star power to create excitement.”

Look no further than Robert Downey Jr. in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Since 2012, every single MCU film featuring Downey’s Iron Man, save for Spider-Man: Homecoming, has topped $1 billion at the worldwide box office. That’s Movie Star money, but despite all of our love for his blistering genius-billionaire-playboy-philanthropist performance, that box office gross is tied more to the character and the property than it is to Downey.

His 2014 adult-skewing star-vehicle drama The Judge cost $50 million to make and only took in $84.4 million overall (studios typically like to triple the production budget). Why couldn’t Downey’s name alone put butts in seats? Because the game has changed.

Streaming, SVOD services and other home entertainment options have given new life to “on the fringe” movies. Why spend money and go all the way to the theater when you can just wait for a film like The Judge to become available from the comfort of your own home? Even more importantly, why go through all of the trouble of seeing a film in theaters that you’re feeling lukewarm about when television has gotten so good that you’re guaranteed a good time from your couch?

It’s easy to see why ticket sales have been on a steady decline since 2002.

Audiences aren’t automatically keyed up for original concepts like they are for familiar branded entertainment, a dramatic shift in consumer taste that has taken place over the last 20 years. Major film studios have responded accordingly by dramatically reducing their yearly output and placing a greater emphasis on proven commodities. Thus, the notion of star power equaling box office success has become outmoded.

So if the game has changed like that, our metric of evaluation needs to change as well.

“You still get goosebump-inducing moments when you see a big star attached to something really cool,” Dergarabedian explained. “But star power may not be marked by currency such as dollars and cents anymore… Ultimate star power is now with the audience, particularly with social media giving everyone a voice where they can make their happiness or concerns known to filmmakers. So we’re really trading in currency for an actor or actress’ ability to draw interest to a cool concept.”

This should go without saying, but it seems to fly over the heads of studios far too often: the most crucial factor to generating quality box office numbers is making a good movie.

We’ve seen what happens when you put the cart in front of the horse with notable crowd-displeasers in Warner Bros.’s DC Extended Universe and Universal’s would-be Dark Universe launching pad The Mummy (a Tom Cruise joint).

“It doesn’t matter who is in the movie if it sucks,” Dergarabedian said. “You could walk into a world-renowned restaurant and the chef could make a terrible meal. It doesn’t make it any better just because they’re famous.”

Now the question becomes: Is there room in today’s cinematic environment for mid-budget dramas, comedies and whatnot—”star-vehicles”—or are release schedules solely reserved for superheroes, dinosaurs and Jedi?

The answer is yes, but with a caveat.

It’s very difficult for a non-franchise film to make a mark amidst the onslaught of marketing noise generated by year-round blockbusters, even with a major star playing passion project. But the majority of awards contenders every year can be classified as adult dramas, so there’s still a market for these more mature films. The key is managing your budget.

You can’t spend a fortune on a drama aimed at people older than 40 and expect to recoup huge profits no matter whose name tops the marquee.

On paper, 2015’s Steve Jobs was a home run. Oscar-winning director (Danny Boyle) teamed with Oscar-nominated actor (Michael Fassbender) working off a script from an Oscar-winning screenwriter (Aaron Sorkin) about one of recent history’s most important figures. But when you spend $30 million on production alone and at least half of that on marketing, the $34 million it made at the box office is going to ruin your bottom line. Universal would ultimately lose about $50 million on the picture.

Frugal filmmaking is the name of the game if you’re striving for something more artistic.

No matter the ambition of your movie, it has become abundantly clear that the parameters of Hollywood success have changed. It’s not enough to release a profitable blockbuster, you need to break box office records; it’s great that you just cast an A-lister, but which superhero continuity do they belong to? We may yearn for the simpler times when Movie Stars reigned supreme and the movie-making business was far more straightforward. But that was the past, a moment long gone, a snapshot of a time that was captured by, well, a digital camera.

The movie business is a big business, garnering around $450 billion in 2007 globally. But even that huge number doesn’t mean that all movies are money makers. Although there are thousands of movies made every year, only a percentage of those become feature films with the big budgets we often associate with the Hollywood movie-making business. And though the occasional independent, low-budget film will break out and become a runaway hit (“Napoleon Dynamite,” “Super Size Me” and “Paranormal Activity” are all fairly recent examples), most blockbusters are on the high-budget end.
TUTORIAL: Budgeting Basics
In 2007, for example, the average cost to produce a major studio movie was around $65 million. But the production costs don’t cover distribution and marketing, which was another $35 million or so, on average, in 2007, bringing the total cost to produce and market a major movie right at $100 million. Those kind of numbers are a long way from the lowly $400,000 it cost to make “Napoleon Dynamite.” (For related reading, see Movie Genres That Make The Most Money.)
Mega Movie BudgetsAnd $100 million is just an average. “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003) cost just over $100 million and made over $1 billion worldwide. Back in 1993, “Jurassic Park” was on the lower end of the average movie budget, costing $63 million; over 10 years later, in 2004, “Shrek 2” had a similar budget of over $70 million. Both “Jurassic Park” and “Shrek 2” grossed over $900 million worldwide. Then you’ve got the higher end of the movie budget spectrum: “Avatar” (2009) is a great example, with a mind-blowing budget of $237 million. The high investment paid off, though, with the movie grossing well over $2 billion.
Those are high-budget examples of movies that made enough to justify the expense, but not all movies do. Some costly flops include 2002’s “The Adventures of Pluto Nash,” which had a $100 million budget and managed to gross just a bit over $7 million. Then there was “How Do You Know?” in 2010, with a $120 million dollar price tag and a return of just under $50 million. Ouch.
Whether a movie makes or loses money, though, one question that seems to reappear often is just why it costs so much to make a movie. What magic potion must be acquired that brings the cost so high? (For related reading, see The Economics Of Summer Blockbuster Movies.)
The Costs of Making a MovieAccording to an article by The Guardian, movie costs can be broken down into some broad categories, including script and development (around 5% of the budget), licensing, and salaries of the big-name players, which usually includes the producer, the director and the big-name actors or actresses. Then there are the actual production costs, which include the ongoing salaries of all the people needed to make production happen; production costs eat up a big chunk of the budget, easily taking 25% of the total. And production isn’t the end of the story: special effects, depending on the type of movie, can be an enormous cost, and music has to be composed and performed as well.
Then, when the whole movie is made and ready to go, it’s time to start in on the work of marketing and distributing. After all that money invested, you can be sure that marketing is not an overlooked part of the process. There’s no point in making a $100 or $200 million dollar movie if no one knows about it. “Spiderman 2,” which had a production cost of $200 million, racked up another $75 million in expenses for marketing.
The fact that marketing expense is not included in production cost figures is why studios may claim to have lost movie on a money that grossed more than its negative, or production, cost. If a movie cost $100 million to produce, and grossed $130 million, then they’ve got a $30 million profit … unless there was also a $50 million dollar outlay in marketing and distribution, in which case the profit turns to a $20 million negative on the balance sheet.
The Bottom LineEven with all those big numbers, and potential for huge losses, the movies keep coming. There must be some sense in it, though; despite the average cost of a movie ticket in the United States shooting up to almost $8 in 2010, we keep lining up to buy the tickets, eat the popcorn and watch those expensive movies. (For related reading, see Betting On The Entertainment Industry.)

The Bodyguard Hindi Dubbed Chinese Action Movie | Latest Hindi Dubbed Movies 2019
The film is set in the 2000s in a medium-sized Chinese city located in northeast China, close to the Russian border. An old, overweight man named Ding witnesses a man being stabbed by a gang, but when he is summoned by the police to identify the suspect, he hesitates and is unable to. The police research Ding’s background and discover that he is a retired Central Security Bureau officer from Beijing, and they figure that he is suffering from dementia. Back at his home, Ding is frequently invited for supper by his land-lord, Park, an elderly lady who is attracted to him. Ding, in turn, frequently cares for a little girl next door named Cherry, whose father, Li, is an abusive gambler.
When Li becomes heavily in debt because of his gambling, Choi, a Chinese person of Korean descent, who happens to be the leader of the aforementioned gang, forces Li to embark on a criminal assignment. Li is driven to a hotel and told to steal the shoulder-bag of a Russian gang leader. The alarm is raised but Li escapes with the bag after a protracted chase. However, upon being told that his debt isn’t absolved, Li goes into hiding, taking the bag with him. Choi reacts by sending men to abduct Li’s daughter. Meanwhile, the Russian gang leader feels angry and plans an attack against Choi’s gang for violating their territory.
Choi’s gang members follow Cherry and assault Ding’s home after she enters it, but to their dismay, Ding proves to be a remarkable fighter, and they are repelled. To avoid arrest, two of them are sent by Choi to hide in the countryside. The police, noticing that Li has disappeared, send Cherry to live with her aunt and uncle. However, within a short time, the aunt and uncle wish to eject her, and Ding agrees to provide for her living. Then one night, Cherry goes missing, and what is more, Li suddenly appears in Ding’s home, bringing money in order to compensate Ding for his service. As Li exits the house, he is assaulted by Choi’s gang and killed, and the shoulder-bag is taken back.
Ding, who has been plagued with guilt for years, ever since his granddaughter went missing on a hiking trip, resolves to bring Cherry back using force. He visits the gambling house demanding Cherry’s release, and when Choi’s gang attempts to kill him, he overpowers around 20 of them including a skilled knife assassin. At that moment, some of the Russian gang members appear and start to kill the rest of Choi’s men in an attempt to reclaim their stolen money. Seeing this, Choi escapes, but not before Ding wounds his leg. The Russians proceed to attack Ding, believing that he works for Choi, and Ding is forced to kill them. At the same time, the police, led by Park’s son, chase after two leaders of the Russian gang, who die when they collide with a truck. Choi, who thinks he is safe, is approached by the two subordinates he sent into the countryside. They proceed to murder Choi and to rob him, having accepted a Russian bribe to do so.
In the aftermath of the incident, Ding’s dementia worsens, and he is paralyzed by the loss of Cherry. The police make no attempt to blame Ding, recognizing that his actions were self-defense. Suddenly, Cherry returns, revealing that she simply ran off to live at a friend’s house. Even as Ding forgets his family members, he remembers his relationship with Cherry, who cares for him well into his senescence. In a scene after the credits, the two countryside criminals accidentally encounter a group of drilling PLA military-police, who turn and give chase. After a short chase the remaining criminals are captured.
Sammo Hung as Ding Hu
Zhu Yuchen
Li Qinqin
Feng Jiayi
Jacqueline Chan
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