This summer has been excellent for cinemas up and down the UK thanks to a superb collection of movies that span the genres and truly showcase the craft of moviemaking in its many forms. Gone is the dominance of superheroes and Disney’s many franchises. Instead, audiences turned up en masse to see Barbie, Oppenheimer – to fuel the still ongoing ‘Barbenheimer’ fad – the latest Mission: Impossible, and even Meg 2: The Trench.
Luckily, film fanatics of Stratford and the surrounding region had plenty of places to go, from the many Vue, Cineworld, Empire Cinema, and ODEON venues to the luxury cinemas like Everyman Cinema on Wood Street. Barbenheimer may still be rolling hot, but there’s even more to look forward to as we delve deep into the autumn months and face the chills of winter.
Say what you want about the realism of the films or the quality of the age-rating-capped third instalment, but The Expendables series is now instantly recognisable. Teeming with fan-favourite action stars, its gone from an audacious movie series to a major draw at online casinos. In fact, the platform offering the leading casino bonus and named Casino of the Month with a five-star rating, Mr Vegas boasts not one but two Expendables slots.
Expendables Megaways and The Expendables: Mew Mission Megaways go big on emulating the action on screen and feature the movie’s biggest names. On 22 September, Statham and Stallone return with 50 Cent and Megan Fox for what will be the leading man’s last outing in the series. It’ll certainly entice fans of bombastic set-pieces as crazy stunts.
Those who like their high-sci-fi and delved a little too deeply into the AI End Times hailed when ChatGPT launched should certainly keep an eye on this one. From the creator of the only decent Star Wars movie since Disney took over, Gareth Edwards, it’s set against a backdrop of humanity fighting to remain as AI forces seek to take over. Arriving on 29 September, at the very least, The Creator will be a cinematic spectacle, but the cast and story promise much, much more than just an aesthetically pleasing outing.
The Miracle Club
Just in time to fend off the dropping temperatures on 13 October, join Maggie Smith, Laura Linney, and Kathy Bates on a heart-warming tale of friends from Ballygar as they seek to win the trip of a lifetime to France. However, to get there, they’ll all need their own miracle. Reviews credit the sweeping shots, locations, 1967 setting, and the powerhouse performances from its stars.
Killers of the Flower Moon
Martin Scorsese. Leonardo DiCaprio. Robert De Niro. That’ll be enough to get the crowds to the cinema for Killers of the Flower Moon. There is a slight catch, though. It’ll release to UK cinemas on 20 October, but it’s reported that Apple TV+ will start streaming the film not long after. Of course, the best place to see a film is at the cinema, and this looks to be an epic fitting of such a night out.
Five Nights at Freddy’s
A fair few intriguing horror flicks are releasing towards the end of September and in early October, so it might just be Five Nights at Freddy’s and its 27 October that dominates the spookiest night of the year. Based on the popular, chilling, and downright menacing video games, see if the unfortunate security guard can survive the night of animatronic anarchy.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds
Headlined by Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games series smashed it at the box office from 2012 to 2015, with four films bringing in just shy of $3 billion. Now, a new series begins with the prequel, The Ballad of the Songbirds. The series returns after a welcomed break that others should heartily consider, and right now, The Hunger Games setting is just as relevant as ever.
How about a massive historical epic to finish up the 2023 slate? Napoleon sees Ridley Scott (Gladiator) delve into the rise of iconic French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, and has wrangled one of the best working actors to lead the film, Joaquin Phoenix. It’s going to feature tremendous set pieces, a telling character study, and you may one day even want to watch the director’s four-and-a-half-hour cut to experience it in full.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to keep returning to the cinema over the coming months.