BIRDS OF PREY | From 24 May 2021
You ever hear the one about the cop, the songbird, the psycho and the Mafia princess?
The 10th biggest box office hit of 2020 globally, Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is a twisted tale told by Harley herself, as only she can tell it. After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.
Birds of Prey was Rotten Tomatoes’ best reviewed comic book and graphic novel film adaptation last year, and one of its 10 best-reviewed wide-release films overall. Nominated for four People’s Choice Awards, including Favourite Movie, Birds of Prey has won 10 awards so far, including Best Actress for two-time Oscar nominee Margot Robbie (I, Tonya, Bombshell) as Harley Quinn and Best Actor for Golden Globe winner Ewan McGregor (Star Wars, Fargo) as Roman at the 2021 Critics Choice Super Awards’ superhero category, where Birds of Prey was also nominated for Best Superhero Movie and Jurnee Smollet (Lovecraft Country) was up for Best Actress as Black Canary.
In their four star review, The Observer hailed Birds of Prey as “the movie equivalent of a fairground ride with all the bolts loosened and the safety booklet blazed long ago when someone ran out of Rizlas.”
THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND | First on Showmax, from 20 May 2021
The King of Staten Island is directed by Golden Globe nominee and Emmy winner Judd Apatow (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, This is 40, Trainwreck), who co-wrote and produced alongside Saturday Night Live writer Dave Sirus and star Pete Davidson (Saturday Night Live, Big Time Adolescence and the upcoming The Suicide Squad).
The film follows Scott, who’s been a case of arrested development since his firefighter dad died. He spends his days smoking weed and dreaming of being a tattoo artist until events force him to grapple with his grief and take his first steps forward in life. Pete, whose own father was a New York firefighter who died in the World Trade Centre collapse on 9/11, was nominated for a 2020 People’s Choice Award for his starring role as Scott.
The King of Staten Island was also nominated for the 2021 Critics Choice Award for Best Comedy, as well as last year’s People’s Choice Awards for Favourite Comedy Movie. “The content can be raw, sometimes startling,” says Wall Street Journal, “but before and after everything else the film is hilarious, and constitutes a cockeyed pantheon of comic performances. On top of that, it is beautiful.”
Oscar winner Marisa Tomei (Spider-Man and Avengers’ May Parker) co-stars, along with BAFTA nominee Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl, The Morning Show), Judd’s daughter Maude Apatow (Euphoria), Grammy-nominated stand-up comic and F Is for Family creator Bill Burr, and Golden Globe winner Steve Buscemi (Fargo, Miracle Workers).
IT: CHAPTER TWO | From 31 May 2021
Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the members of the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.
Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, Interstellar) stars as the adult Beverly Marsh and Golden Globe nominee and multiple BAFTA winner James McAvoy (His Dark Materials and X-Men’s young Charles Xavier) plays Bill Denbrough. Golden Globe nominee and Emmy winner Bill Hader (Barry, Saturday Night Live) received four separate awards nominations for his role as the adult Richie Tozier, while Bill Skarsgård (The Devil All the Time, Castle Rock) returns in his Teen Choice-nominated role as Pennywise.
Also reprising their roles from the first film are a stellar cast of youngsters, including Teen Choice nominees Sophia Lillis (I Am Not Okay With This), Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) and Jeremy Ray Taylor (Are You Afraid of the Dark?), MTV Movie Awards winner Jack Dylan Grazer (Shazam!, We Are Who We Are), and Critics Choice nominee Jaeden Martell (Knives Out, St. Vincent).
It: Chapter Two won four Fright Meter Awards, with a further eight nominations. The film was also nominated for four 2021 Saturn Awards, including Best Horror Film, two 2020 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, and two IGN Summer Movie Awards. Empire Magazine calls it, “A psychologically merciless sequel,” saying, “everything here is as it should be: deeper, scarier, funnier. (Director) Muschietti in particular has stepped up, skilfully guiding us through a rollicking funhouse. It is obscenely entertaining.”
THE GOOD LIAR | From 17 May 2011
In the crime thriller The Good Liar, Oscar nominee Sir Ian McKellan (The Lord of the Rings, Gods and Monsters) stars as career con man Roy Courtnay, who sets his sights on his latest mark: the recently widowed and extremely wealthy Betty McLeish, played by Oscar winner Dame Hellen Mirren (The Queen, Catherine the Great). But this time, what should have been a simple swindle escalates into a cat-and-mouse game with the ultimate stakes…
Directed and produced by Oscar winner Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Chicago, Dreamgirls), The Good Liar also stars Critics Choice nominee Russel Tovey (Years and Years), multiple Emmy nominee Jim Carter (Downton Abbey), and BAFTA nominee Lucian Msamati (His Dark Materials, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Kiri).
The Good Liar is nominated for a 2021 Saturn Award for Best Thriller from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. It was up for Best Actress (Mirren) at the Satellite Awards and for Best Film Performance (McKellen) at the 2020 Queerties.
ORDINARY LOVE | From 27 May 2021
Oscar nominees Liam Neeson (Love Actually, Cold Pursuit) and Lesley Manville (The Crown, Phantom Thread, Harlots) star in the moving drama Ordinary Love, about a middle-aged couple in the midst of a cancer diagnosis.
London Evening Standard calls it a “scaldingly fine romance”, Metro (UK) “quietly extraordinary”, and The Hollywood Reporter, “Ravagingly honest and quite lovely.”
Last year, Ordinary Love won Irish Film and Television Awards for both Best Film and Best Supporting Actor (David Wilmot) and earned Manville and Neeson Best Actor and Best Actress nominations at the National Film Awards, among other honours.
Ordinary Love holds a 93% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with multiple critics praising the performances of its stellar leads, and Manville’s in particular, of which Los Angeles Times says, “she’s never been better than she is here.”
DARK WATERS | Stream now
Triple Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight, I Know This Much Is True, Avengers) stars as corporate defence attorney Rob Bilott, who takes on an environmental lawsuit against an unscrupulous chemicals company in the modern-day Erin Brockovich story Dark Waters.
Oscar winners Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables, Rachel Getting Married) and Tim Robbins (Mystic River, Dead Man Walking) co-star, along with Oscar nominee Mare Winningham (The Affair, American Horror Story), Emmy nominees William Jackson Harper (The Good Place) and Bill Camp (12 Years a Slave, The Night Of), Critics Choice nominee Bill Pullman (The Sinner, Independence Day) and six-time Emmy nominee Victor Garber (Alias, Argo).
Directed by Oscar nominee Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven, Carol, Mildred Pierce), the legal thriller is based on the real-life case brought against chemical manufacturer DuPont after they contaminated a town with unregulated chemicals.
The film has an 89% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus says, “Dark Waters powerfully relays a real-life tale of infuriating malfeasance, honouring the victims and laying blame squarely at the feet of the perpetrators.” Ruffalo, who also produced, was nominated for Best Actor for the role at the Satellite Awards, where the film also received a nod for Best Adapted Screenplay.
HARRY POTTER BOXSET | From 13 May 2021
Calling all muggles, wizards and devotees of J.K Rowling’s beloved all-time bestselling book series: you can now binge the complete Harry Potter boxset of all eight epic movies of the multiple Oscar-nominated fantasy saga: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Pt1, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Pt2.
Together, the Harry Potter movies are the third highest-grossing film franchise of all time, with a global gross of over $7.7 billion. On the small screen, it still holds the record for the most-watched franchise in TV history, with over 1.3 billion viewings to date.
CUT THROAT CITY | From 13 May 2021
Set after Hurricane Katrina, Cut Throat City sees four boyhood friends who are out of options reluctantly accept an offer to pull off a dangerous heist in the heart of New Orleans.
Chicago Sun-Times praises its “vibrant, rough-edged, impressive storytelling” and FilmWeek its “rich sense of place and an incredible cast of supporting actors.” Slant Magazine calls it “an ambitious and volatile film, an atmospheric survey of the thankless world of the rich and the damned,” while Los Angeles Times says it’s a “thoughtful and personal film, concerned with how systemic racism — and zoning ordinances — can kill more people than a gun.”
It’s directed by Emmy-, BAFTA- and Black Reel-nominated actor, filmmaker and rapper RZA (of Wu Tang Clan fame), who scored Kill Bill and starred in American Gangster. The New York Times says, “RZA tells this story with deliberation and imaginative daring. With Cut Throat City, his third feature, he comes into his own as a director.”
Black Reel winner Shameik Moore (The Get Down and the voice of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s Miles); Denzel Whitaker (The Great Debaters and Black Panther’s young Zuri), Demetrius Shipp Jr. (All Eyez on Me); and Keean Johnson (Euphoria, Spooksville) star alongside Oscar nominees Ethan Hawke (The Good Lord Bird, Training Day) and Terrence Howard (Empire, Hustle & Flow, Iron Man), as well as Black Reel winner Wesley Snipes (Dolemite Is My Name, Blade).
THE GOLDFINCH | First on Showmax, from 6 May 2021
The Goldfinch is the film adaptation of Donna Tartt’s bestselling, Pulitzer-winning novel about a 13-year-old boy whose mother is killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Directed by BAFTA winner John Crowley (Brooklyn), the multigenerational cast is led by Golden Globe nominee Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver, The Fault In Our Stars) as Theo Decker and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (The Undoing, Big Little Lies) as Mrs Barbour, supported by Golden Globe winners Sarah Paulson (Ratched, American Crime Story) and Jeffrey Wright (Westworld, The Hunger Games).
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE…
You can also catch these modern classics on Showmax:
INCEPTION | From 17 May 2021
Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending film Inception, which won 4 Oscars and holds 13th place on IMDb’s Top Rated Movies, stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Elliot Page (as Ellen Page) and Cillian Murphy.
THE MATRIX BOXSET | From 31 May
Ahead of the upcoming fourth instalment’s release, binge the classic sci-fi action trilogy, The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, and The Matrix Revolutions, which made pop culture icons of Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving. Written, directed and produced by the Wachowskis (Cloud Atlas, V for Vendetta, Bound), The Matrix won four Oscars, and is still #16 on IMDb’s Top Rated Movies of all time.
INTERSTELLAR | From 17 May 2021
Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Michael Caine lead an all-star cast in the Oscar-winning sci-fi movie Interstellar, which won a 2015 Oscar and is #29 on IMDb’s Top Rated Movies.
TROY | From 6 May 2021
Homer’s Iliad comes to vivid life in the Oscar-nominated 2004 historical war epic Troy, directed by Oscar nominee Wolfgang Petersen (1981’s Das Boot), written by David Benioff (Game of Thrones) and starring Brad Pitt, who won a Teen Choice Award for his role as Achilles.
THE REST OF US | From 10 May 2021
MTV Movie Award-winner Heather Graham stars in the 2019 drama The Rest of Us, which sees two mother-daughter duos sharing a house after the man who connects them dies. The film has a 91% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
THE WEDDING SINGER | From 10 May 2021
The classic romcom The Wedding Singer was a 1999 Kids’ Choice winner and won Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore the MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss.
WEDDING CRASHERS | From 10 May 2021
Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn lead an all-star cast in the comedy Wedding Crashers, which won both a People’s Choice Award and a Teen Choice Award.
JACKIE CHAN CLASSICS | From 17 May 2021
Catch the Jackie Chan classics First Strike, the third highest grossing domestic film in Hong Kong film history, and Rumble in the Bronx, which was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for Best Fight, and made Chan a household name in the West.
GET HARD | From 20 May 2021
In crime comedy Get Hard, Emmy nominee Kevin Hart stars alongside Will Ferrell, who was nominated for 2016 MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance as a millionaire facing jail time in San Quentin.
GET SMART | From 27 May 2021
Steve Carell stars as a bumbling spy alongside Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson and Alan Arkin in the 2008 action comedy Get Smart, winner of a Teen Choice Award for Choice Comedy.
For even more movies, go to the Showmax portal.