The 12 best new Hollywood movies of early 2024, from Migration and The Color Purple to Dune, Kung Fu Panda and Ghostbusters sequels

Incidental, almost innocuous sightings become increasingly invasive, propelling Matthews into the celebrity stratosphere whether he likes it or not.

Wonka: Timothée Chalamet in toe-tapping Willy Wonka musical origin story

Ari Aster ( Beau is Afraid) produces this delightfully eccentric black comedy from Norwegian director Kristoffer Borgli that has already proved a hit on the festival circuit. (Opens January 4)

2. Next Goal Wins

In 2001, the Pacific island nation of American Samoa suffered the greatest defeat in the history of international football when they lost 31-0 to Australia.

This sporting travesty, and the nation’s subsequent efforts to qualify for the 2014 World Cup form the basis of a new underdog comedy from Oscar-winning writer-director Taika Waititi.

Michael Fassbender plays the Dutch-American coach who was hired to perform the impossible, whipping these perennial losers into goalscoring football stars. (Opens January 11)

3. Anyone But You

Glen Powell ( Top Gun: Maverick) and Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria) take centre stage in the latest romantic comedy from hitmaker Will Gluck (Easy A, Friends With Benefits), as a pair of attractive young singles whose romance fizzled out after just one date.

Fast forward to a glamorous destination wedding in Australia, where both find themselves on the guest list and decide to pose as a couple for the kind of implausible reasons that only ever make sense in fantasy romcom land. (Opens January 18)

4. Argylle

Kingsman director Matthew Vaughn’s confessed ode to 80s action classics like Lethal Weapon and Die Hard stars Bryce Dallas Howard as Elly Conway, a reclusive spy novelist who is suddenly caught up in an international plot to rival anything featured in her own creations.

Henry Cavill is the titular Argylle, debonair hero of Elly’s novels, while Sam Rockwell plays a real secret agent who drags her – and her cat – into a thrilling, globe-trotting adventure. (Opens February 1)

5. Migration

The latest animated extravaganza from Illumination, the French studio responsible for Minions and Sing, Migration tells the story of a family of New England mallard ducks who embark on a thrilling journey south for the winter, against the wishes of their overprotective patriarch.

Kumail Nanjiani, Elizabeth Banks and the increasingly ubiquitous Awkwafina lend their voices to the family of travelling ducks, while directorial duties fall to first-time animator Benjamin Renner. (Opens February 8)

6. Madame Web

Sony Pictures, who retain the rights to Marvel superhero Spider-Man and his bountiful rogues’ gallery of nefarious villains, who include the likes of Venom and Morbius, continues to expand its Spider-verse with the big-screen debut of super-heroine Madame Web.

Dakota Johnson stars as Cassie Webb, a New York paramedic who develops clairvoyant powers that give her the ability to see into the “spider world”. Sydney Sweeney and Celeste O’Connor play different iterations of Spider-Woman in this female-fronted comic book adventure. (Opens February 15)

7. Bob Marley: One Love

With portrayals of Barack Obama and Malcolm X already under his belt, British actor Kingsley Ben-Adir next takes on reggae legend Bob Marley in this glossy biopic from King Richard director Reinaldo Marcus Green.

The film charts the singer-songwriter’s rise to prominence in Jamaica, his marriage to Rita Anderson (Lashana Lynch), and his evolution from musician to symbol of the Rastafarian movement, advocate for the legalisation of marijuana, and pro-democracy activist, which would ultimately put his life in danger. (Opens February 22)

8. Dune: Part Two

Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya return as the star-crossed lovers who lead a violent rebellion on the desert planet of Arakis, seeking revenge for the exploitation of the Fremen and the decimation of House Atreides. (Opens February 29)

9. Poor Things

Emma Stone is remarkable as Bella, a reanimated corpse who elopes with Mark Ruffalo’s caddish lawyer, to explore the world and her sexuality and escape her Frankenstein-esque creator (Willem Dafoe).

Her odyssey of independence evolves into a scathing and frequently hilarious take-down of the patriarchy, gender inequality and sexual conservatism. (Opens February 29)

10. The Color Purple

Producers Steven Spielberg and Quincy Jones, who collaborated on the 1985 film adaptation of The Color Purple, reunite to bring the hit stage musical version of Alice Walker’s seminal novel to the big screen.

Fantasia Barrino, reprising the role she played on stage, and Taraji P. Henson lead an all-star cast to recount the harrowing story of an African American woman struggling to survive in the racially charged Deep South during the early 1900s.

Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, Halle Bailey, and Jon Batiste also star. (Opens February 29)

11. Kung Fu Panda 4

The martial-arts-infused exploits of Po the fuzzy gastronome return for a fourth helping in this belated sequel to the surprisingly successful animated franchise.

Film review: Kung Fu Panda 3 – Po discovers his inner bear in enjoyably chaotic sequel

Jack Black yet again voices the panda protagonist, who this time heads off in search of a fabled new Dragon Warrior in the form of a fox named Zhen (voiced by – who else – Awkwafina) in the hope that she will help him thwart a new villain who can bring the dead back to life. (Opens March 7)

12. Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

Serving as a direct sequel to 2021’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, this latest adventure sees the Spengler family return to New York and take up residence in the iconic disused firehouse, where the original paranormal investigators, played once again by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson, have uncovered a sinister new threat that forces ghostbusters old and new to band together.

Paul Rudd also returns alongside Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard and McKenna Grace. (Opens March 28)

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