Trailer Mash

A dozen new movies to choose from, not all of them in the spirit of Valentine's Day

Margaret Hilda Thatcher so loathed her low born roots, runs one interpretation, that she destroyed the entire British working class out of revenge. Her methods were not subtle, as you will see if you skip to 2.07 of the rather elegiac trailer below for Miners' Hymns, seemingly a portrait of the last days of the Durham mining industry. A haunting brass score, by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, is draped over exquisitely edited vintage footage, and on this evidence we may well have a Koyaanisqatsi of the North.

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is the most overtly ridiculous movie title since Can Heironymous Merkin Ever Forget Mercie Humppe? Is it a sequel? It looks like one with that punning 2 in there. And it has The Rock in it. And Michael Caine. And Luis Guzman. All good sequels men. But it seems these fine fellows were included simply to give two generations of older audiences something to look at while their children and grandchildren text each other from their popcorn-reeking multiplex seats. At other times, it seems, Vanessa Hudgens and one of those production-line potato-faced everyboys from children's TV suffer dinosaur-related scrapes in what is apparently a travesty of Jules Vernes's novel. Which was itself indeed a sequel. To 20000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Here's something you should know: Don't waterboard Denzel Washington. In the Safe House trailer, he's some kind of rogue, superbad CIA operative returning to the fold, a trope favored by film stars of middling years. (Richard Gere does it twice a decade.) As the shirtless hotshot tasked with bringing him in, we have Ryan Reynolds. That boy can combine a Bruce Willis horse eye with a Keanu Reeves dumbshow better than any other set of abs of his generation. Explosions, running and jumping are the order of the day. But honestly? On the basis of this? Well, impossible as Denzel is to not watch, you'd be no better off sitting through the whole of this movie than if you went instead to see Michael Caine in Journey 2: The ATM. (Caine on Jaws 3D. "I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.")

The chiseled seediness of Channing Tatum is united at last with the protean prettiness of Rachel McAdams in The Vow, a movie notionally targeted at Valentine's dates. The premise: Idyllic young couple. Girl gets hit by car. Amnesia the only scar. Forgets husband. Husband has to make her fall in love with him all over again. But unless the objective of the evening is to split up over an argument about one party not loving the other party enough, then this is very far from being a date movie. Nope, it's squarely a film for groups of girls who are having love affairs with buckets of chocolate.

Our office professional young person claims never to have seen Star Wars. Now too old to feel either interest in or repugnance for this week's 3-D release of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, the first of the prequels originally released in 1999, he is, it is fair to say, doubly blessed.

Didn't make it to Havana in the late 1940s and 1950s? Never strolled the Malecón hand in hand with the love of your life as jazz played all around you? Never saw Paris and New York in their mid-century finest? In their heads, Fernando Trueba and Javier Marescal have imagined it all for you and translated that vision into exquisite animation that calls to mind the very best of Disney if Disney understood zesty sex. Just to give some sense of the credentials of the filmmakers, in 1989 alone, for example, while one directed Jeff Goldblum in The Mad Monkey, the other was designing the mascot for the Barcelona Olympics. These men are clearly the ideal artists to conjure a magical lost world that never really existed. Chico & Rita is the true love story for Valentine's Day.

A micro-budget trailer suggests Exit Strategy is superficially a silly comedy about the deep-rooted fear men have of women. In fact, it is a means by which to justify a string of lead-footed misogynist jokes. Obviously the guys in the film are supposed to be halfwits, but this trailer isn't just offensive to women, it's offensive to the very idea of self-aware carbon-based lifeforms. Madame, if your paramour takes you to see this as his Valentine's date, you may wish to review your romantic options.

"I know these sewers better than I know my own wife" is not a euphemism from Exit Strategy but a line from Agnieszka Holland's In Darkness. After a spell directing episodes of The Wire in Baltimore, Holland returns to her native Poland to tell the true story of a petty thief and sewer worker who risked his life to help Lvov Jews escape the Nazis during the occupation. As you'd expect from the woman who directed the famous showdown between Stringer Bell and Avon Barksdale in The Wire's "Moral Midgetry" episode, this is going to be gripping stuff, and even the trailer ratchets the tension. Looks like a proper thriller.

This much is apparent from this trailer for the new BBC Films production: Ewan McGregor is a chef, Eva Green some kind of scientist. They fall in love and share a bath. Ewan's mate, Ewen Bremner (Spud from Trainspotting, continuity fans), is also a chef, but he seems to get ill, as do random others. Then Eva does that rolling her eyes to her left while sucking in her bottom lip under her front teeth bit, a lot, and Ewan gets a bit shouty and cross. This film is called Perfect Sense. Well, maybe to you.

Rampart had its Oscar-baiting release last year, at which point it looked like … the film Martin Scorsese should be making. Woody Harrelson is back in ripped-psycho mode but this time wearing an L.A. police badge. Did you know that not all members of the LAPD are saints? Has anyone addressed that on film before? Looks very crowd-pleaserish.

Linda Cardellini is the Iraq/Afghanistan vet returning home to her husband and a suspiciously attractive other woman in Return, a gender reversal of the usual Coming Home story. With Michael Shannon and John Slattery shoring up the cast, this is evidently a tight little drama promising a big punch. Couple of breakout stars in there, not least Cardellini herself and Christina-Hendricks-in-waiting Bonnie Swencionis.

A gas lamp sways in elegant black and white for the duration of the entire trailer to The Turin Horse. The name Béla Tarr appears. Life, death, God and the pain of existence. They're all going to be in the movie, at least according to this trailer.