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Indie Film Release Guide: February 21st [An ONTD Original]

ONTD Indie Release Guide Graphic.png

The only film from the major studios going into wide release this week is 20th Century’s The Call of the Wild, starring Harrison Ford, Karen Gillan and a heavily CGI’d dog. That leaves room at the box office for Sonic and Birds of Prey to pick up some more coins, and leaves room in the schedules of movie viewers to check out new indie releases, such as the exquisite Portrait of a Lady on Fire and the films in this week's post.

The films listed are from studios other than the “Big Six” - Paramount, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Columbia/Sony and Disney. Note that some of the movies listed are in their first week or two of limited release in the USA, so it may take them a few more weeks (or months) to show up in your local arthouse theater or on VOD. Check out the posts from the past few weeks for more movies that may have just opened near you: February 14th, February 7th, and January 31st.


Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Bill Nighy, Mia Goth
Writer: Eleanor Catton, based on the novel by Jane Austen
Director: Autumn de Wilde
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Plot: In 1800s England, a well meaning but selfish young woman meddles in the love lives of her friends.
What you should know: Though she has directed many music videos and short films, this is director Autumn de Wilde’s first feature film.
Opens in: Select cities; expanding over the next few weeks

Brahms: The Boy II

Stars: Katie Holmes, Owain Yeoman, Christopher Convery, Ralph Ineson
Writer: Stacey Menear
Director: William Brent Bell
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Plot: After a family moves into the Heelshire Mansion, their young son soon makes friends with a life-like doll called Brahms.
What you should know: The film was pushed back twice before STX settled on this release date.
Opens in: Wide release


Stars: Zora Howard, Josh Boone, Michelle Wilson, Alexis Marie Wint
Writer: Rashaad Ernesto Green, Zora Howard
Director: Rashaad Ernesto Green
Genre: Drama, Romance
Plot: Set against the backdrop of a changing Harlem landscape, when seventeen year old Ayanna meets handsome and mysterious outsider Isaiah, her entire world is turned upside down on her path towards self-discovery as she travails the rigorous terrain of young love the summer before she leaves for college.
What you should know: Filmed on location in Harlem.
Opens in: Select cities, and available VOD.

Vitalina Varela

Stars: Vitalina Varela, Ventura, Manual Tavares Almeida, Francisco Brito
Writer: Pedro Costa, Vitalina Varela
Director: Pedro Costa
Genre: Drama
Plot: A Cape Verdean woman navigates her way through Lisbon, following the scanty physical traces her deceased husband left behind and discovering his secret, illicit life.
What you should know: It’s in Portuguese.
Opens in: Select cities

Standing Up, Falling Down

Stars: Billy Crystal, Ben Schwartz, Eloise Mumford, Grace Gummer
Writer: Peter Hoare
Director: Matt Ratner
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Plot: The unlikely friendship that kindles between a struggling stand-up comedian from L.A., forced to move back home with his tail between his legs, and a tragically flawed, but charming and charismatic, alcoholic dermatologist.
What you should know: Ben Schwartz is also in theaters as the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog.
Opens in: Select cities

Impractical Jokers: The Movie

Stars: Brian Quinn, Joe Gatto, James Murray, Sal Vulcano
Writer: Chris Henchy, Brian Quinn, Joe Gatto, James Murray, Sal Vulcano
Director: Chris Henchy
Genre: Comedy
Plot: The story of a humiliating high school mishap from 1992 that sends the Impractical Jokers on the road competing in hidden-camera challenges for the chance to turn back the clock and redeem three of the four Jokers.
What you should know: This is a spinoff of the truTV show of the same name.
Opens in: Wide release


Stars: Kristen Stewart, Yvan Attal, Margaret Qualley, Anthony Mackie
Writer: Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse
Director: Benedict Andrews
Genre: Biography, Drama, Thriller
Plot: Inspired by true events about the French New Wave darling and Breathless star, Jean Seberg, who in the late 1960s was targeted by the FBI because of her support of the civil rights movement and romantic involvement with Hakim Jamal, among others. Seberg’s life and career are destroyed by Hoover’s overreaching surveillance and harassment in an effort to suppress and discredit Seberg’s activism.
What you should know: This had an award qualifying release back in December, but didn’t receive a great critical reception.
Opens in: Select cities

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band

Director: Daniel Roher
Genre: Documentary
Storyline: A confessional, cautionary, and occasionally humorous tale of Robbie Robertson's young life and the creation of one of the most enduring groups in the history of popular music, The Band.
What you should know: Premiered at TIFF 2019, and features many famous musicians.
Opens in: Select cities

10 Things We Should Do Before We Break Up

Stars: Christina Ricci, Hamish Linklater, Lindsey Broad, Mia Sinclair Jenness
Writer/Director: Galt Niederhoffer
Genre: Romance
Plot: After Abigail, a single mom of two, becomes pregnant following a one-night stand with Ben, the unlikely pair try to make a go of it.
What you should know: Director Galt Niederhoffer’s last film was 2010’s The Romantics.
Opens in: Select cities

The Night Clerk

Stars: Tye Sheridan, Ana de Armas, Helen Hunt, John Leguizamo
Writer/Director: Michael Cristofer
Genre: Crime, Drama
Plot: While on duty, a young, socially challenged hotel clerk witnesses a murder in one of the rooms but his suspicious actions land him as the lead detective’s number one suspect.
What you should know: Director Michael Cristofer’s last film was 2001’s Original Sin, starring Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderas.
Opens in: Select cities

Also opening: Goldie (Trailer), Jinpa (Zhuang Si Le Yi Zhi Yang) (Trailer), Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll (Trailer), Manou the Swift (Birds of a Feather) (Trailer), Ride Your Wave (Trailer), Balloon (Trailer)

Source 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

What have you been watching lately, ONTD? Seeing anything this weekend?
Tags: actor / actress, adaptations, ana de armas, anime / manga, anthony mackie, anya taylor-joy, christina ricci, comedy / comedian, film - comedy, film - documentary, film - drama, film - foreign, film - historical, film - horror, film - romance, film - suspense / thriller, film trailer / stills / clips, indie film release guide, katie holmes, kristen stewart, music / musician (rock), ontd original
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