2022 movie releases: 8 upcoming dramas that you need to see

Looking for an alternative to blockbusters and comic book movies? Here's our round-up of the classy, star-led dramas headed your way over the next 12 months.


1. Belfast (released 21st January)

Kenneth Branagh delivers his most impassioned and personal project in years, a lively, funny and moving account of a young boy's coming-of-age during the Troubles in 1970s Belfast. Screen newcomer Jude Hill is a sensation as the tenacious Buddy, an ordinary kid whose growth to maturity amidst violent political turbulence is steered by the efforts of his loving family. Shot in lustrous black and white and scored by Belfast native Van Morrison, the film showcases an excellent cast of veteran actors including Jamie Dornan, Catriona Balfe, Judi Dench and Ciaran Hinds.



2. A Journal for Jordan (released 21st January)

Denzel Washington is not just an accomplished, Oscar-winning actor. He's also carved out a reputation as a director of repute with his previous movie, Fences, winning the Best Actress Oscar for Viola Davis. He steps behind the camera again for A Journal for Jordan, the tender and bittersweet story of a romance thwarted by circumstance. A young boy learns about his Iraq-war-serving father via means of the eponymous journal in this tear-jerking take on true events, starring Black Panther's Michael B. Jordan.



3. Death on the Nile (released 11th February)

Kenneth Branagh pulls double-duty as actor and director with his latest Agatha Christie adaptation, a follow-up to 2017's Murder on the Orient Express. Christie's impeccably styled and forensic detective Hercule Poirot, played by Branagh, must put his grey cells to the test when a wealthy heiress is shot dead during a Nile river cruise. It soon becomes clear that the suspect is hiding in plain sight amidst the boat's passengers, so who could it be? Gal Gadot plays the ill-fated Linnet Ridgeway-Doyle while the starry supporting cast includes Annette Bening, Lupita Nyong'o and Dawn French.



4. Cyrano (released 25th February)

Peter Dinklage plays the quintessential pining lover, Cyrano de Bergerac, in this adaptation of the timeless romantic fable. The Girl on the Train's Haley Bennett plays Roxanne, the apple of the titular Cyrano's eye, while Waves actor Kelvin Harrison Jr plays Christian, the person who comes to act as a mediator between Cyrano and Roxanne. Can Christian help facilitate this unlikely love match? Atonement and Darkest Hour director Joe Wright puts a fresh spin on classic material, adapting Erica Schmidt's own stage play, which was, in turn, inspired by the original 1897 theatrical masterpiece by Stefano Benni.



5. Operation Mincemeat (released 22nd April)

The Allied invasion of Sicily is regarded as a critical turning point in World War II – but do you know the circumstances leading up to the invasion? Operation Mincemeat, adapted from Ben McIntyre's book of the same name, recounts the stranger-than-fiction events about how the Allies managed to fool Adolf Hitler and the Axis powers with a dead body and a fake identity, in the process securing a critical battleground for their strategic advantage. Shakespeare in Love's John Madden directs a cast of prestigious British names including Colin Firth, Kelly Macdonald and Jason Isaacs.


6. Downton Abbey: A New Era (released 29th April)

Britain's most famous aristocratic residence throws open its doors once again in this follow-up to the blockbusting Downton Abbey movie. Julian Fellowes, writer of both the original ITV series and the 2019 film, brings us the latest chapter in the storied history of the Crawley family. Hugh Bonneville's Lord Grantham and Maggie Smith's witty Dowager Countess are among the familiar and much-loved faces returning for this latest irresistible instalment of service, silverware and soap opera. Will you cordially accept the invitation?

7. Elvis (released 24th June)

He's regarded as the King of Rock and Roll, and remains one of the most studied and cherished musical figures of all time. But what's the true story behind Elvis Presley's meteoric rise to fame? Moulin Rouge! director Baz Luhrmann applies the razzle-dazzle and showmanship to this sweeping biographical account of Presley's remarkable life, with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's Austin Butler portraying the hip-swaying King. Even more intriguingly, we've got Tom Hanks poised to turn nasty as Presley's controversially controlling manager Colonel Tom Parker.


8. Where the Crawdads Sing (released 22nd July)

Delia Owens' bestselling novel Where the Crawdads Sing interweaves two storylines in dazzling fashion. Set amidst the bayous and swamps of steamy South Carolina, the decade-spanning story is, on the one hand, the coming of age story of the isolated Kya, and on the other is a gripping murder investigation. The long-awaited film adaptation comes from Beasts of the Southern Wild screenwriter Lucy Alibar, and stars Normal People's breakout star Daisy Edgar-Jones in the pivotal role of Kya.

Which of these movies are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know @Cineworld.