Screenwriting : 33 Current Great Scripts/Great Films in the U.S. - What's Playing by You? by Bill Costantini

33 Current Great Scripts/Great Films in the U.S. - What's Playing by You?

This list of current films in the theaters is for the passionate and dedicated writers who love writing and who love cinema. These are just the films currently playing in my town.

I say this kinda regularly: there has never been a greater time in the history of the world to be a screenwriter. Ever. Every year, more films are made around the world; more subject matters are being filmed; and more people of every race, sex, creed, and color are involved in the process. And that is as good as it gets so far. I have also provided the link to the World-Wide Film Making Report by UIS/UNESCO, and the MPAA 2016 Market Report at the bottom of this forum topic.

These are some of the great films that were written by great writers. I’ve seen many of them, and hope you will, too – or at least the ones that appeal to your interests, or that are in the genre/genres that you write in. Happy Writing, and Happy Film-Going, Stage32 members!

Non-U.S. Members: Please take a few moments out of your busy days and add what is playing in your areas of the world, too. I’d like to know. Thanks!

And my apologies for those films that I have missed, and for not including the art-house films playing in the U.S. right now as well.

Instant Family – written by Sean Anders and John Morris.

A Private War - written by Marie Brenner (based on the Vanity Fair article “Marie Colvin’s Private War) and Arash Amel.

Widows – written by Gillian Flynn, Steve McQueen, and Lynda La Plante (and based on her book).

Boy Erased – written by Garrard Conley (and based on his book) and Joel Edgerton.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – written by J.K Rowling.

Bad Times at the El Royale – written by Drew Goddard.

Beautiful Boy – written by Luke Davies and Felix van Groeningen, and based on the books Beautiful Boy by David Sheff and on the book Tweak by Nic Sheff.

Bohemian Rhapsody – written by Anthony McCarten and Peter Morgan.

Can You Ever Forgive Me? - written by Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty.

Crazy Rich Asian – written by Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim, and based on the novel by Kevin Kwan.

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch – written by Michael LeSieur and Tommy Swerdlow, and based on the book by Dr. Seuss.

5 Weddings – written by Stage32 Member Denise Cruz-Castino and Andy Glickman.

First Man – written by Josh Singer and based on the book by James R. Hansen.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web - written by Jay Basu, Fede Alvarez, and Steven Knight, and based on the novel by David Lagercrantz and with characters introduced in the Millenium series by Stieg Larson.

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween - written by Rob Lieber and Darren Lemke, and based on the book by R.L. Stine.

Hallloween – written by Jeff Fradley, Danny McBride and David Gordon Green, and based on characters by John Carpenter and Debra Hill.

The Hate U Give – written by Audrey Wells, and based on the novel by Angie Thomas.

The House with a Clock in Its Walls - written by Eric Kripke, and based on the novel by John Bellairs.

Hunter Killer - written by Arne L. Schmidt and Jamie Moss, and based on the novel Firing Point by George Wallace and Don Keith.

Incredibles 2 – written by Brad Bird.

Johnny English Strikes Again – written by William Davies.

The Meg – written by Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber, and based on the novel by Steve Alten.

Mid 90’s – written by Jonah Hill.

Night School – written by Kevin Hart, Harry Ratchford, Joey Wells, Matthew Kellard, Nicholas Stoller, and John Hamburg.

Nobody’s Fool – written by Tyler Perry.

The Nun – written by Gary Dauberman, with story by James Wan and Gary Dauberman.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms - written by Ashleigh Powell, suggested by the short story by E.T.A. Hoffman and The Nutcracker Ballet by Marius Petipa.

The Old Man & The Gun – written by David Lowery, and based on the New Yorker article by David Grann.

 Overlord – written by Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith.

Smallfoot – written by Karey Kirkpatrick and Clare Sera, story by John Requa, Glenn Ficarra and Karey Kirkpatrick, and based on the book Yeti Tracks by Sergio Pablos.

A Star is Born – written by Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper and Will Fetters, based on the screenplays by Moss Hart, John Gregory Dunne, Joan Didion, and Frank Pierson, and based on the story by William A. Wellman and Robert Carson.

Venom – written by Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenberg and Kelly Marcel, story by Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg, and based on Marvel’s Venom character created by Todd McFarlane and David Michelinie.

Wildlife – written by Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan, and based on the book by Richard Ford.

Here are the links to the global report and 2016 MPAA report that I mentioned above. Happy Writing, Happy Film-Going, Stay Positive, and CLOSE OUT 2018 STRONG!



Cinema Data Release
Cinema Data Release
The UIS has published updated indicators for the cinema industry that include the results of the latest Feature Film Survey. Data from 93 countries and territories cover film production, exhibition an…
Dan MaxXx

I have seen 11 movies on Bill's list. This weekend, will see "Creed 2" & "Ralph Breaks the Internet", finish the month watching two Indie films, "Jinn" & "Shoplifters" and an Oscar contender, "ROMA". And I have "Ballad of Buster Scruggs" on Netflix.

Jody Ellis

Saw Bohemian Rhapsody today and it was so damn good.

Bill Costantini

Dan: Man...those two really killed it at the box office today. Great choices, and enjoy, bro.

Jody:'re so right....that film was so damn good. I'm a little pissed at a couple critics who gave it bad reviews. I won't name them here, but in the past, I've written them letters praising their work, and both times, they emailed me back the next day with thanks. This time, though, I gave them both a bit of a constructive disagreement - nothing seriously demeaning - , and both times...they didn't respond. And that was like three weeks ago. Too bad for them...they both lost me as a reader of their work, now and forever, and that was a really great film.



Mark Mcgary

Bill, your film list is superb. And don't those events recorded there in, "Marie Colvin’s Private War", for instance, remind me to reflect upon thanksgiving. And Butte County, CA, events, Mercy, all other life events that I must some how measure.

Well, those events and fun recorded there remind me to live. Now if I can just capture working at a

modern "Cannery Row".

Bill Costantini

Mark: Thanks, bro. And those are just the great films that are currently playing in Las Vegas. And there must have been another 50 or 60 great domestic films that have played here since the beginning of the year, too.

The people who do all the voting for the various awards shows this year are going to be in some pretty tough quandaries this year for sure. A Private could someone not consider that film, and someone who gave up her life for freedom and for others? And the great Rosamund Pike as Marie Colvin? Man...what a passionate woman, brave journalist and great writer Marie Colvin was. I remember when her book, On the Front Line, came out a while back. Man...that book is just so gripping and chilling. I hope her alma mater names their journalism school after her.

RIP, Marie Colvin (January 12, 1956 - February 22, 2012.)

And people who do all the badrapping of Hollywood and ignorantly bemoan that there are never any good films....they now have a partial list to use as a place mat for their lunches of sour grapes and tripe.



Wendy Jones

In Hereford, UK we have:

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald

Robin Hood - written by Ben Chandler & David James Kelly.

A Star is Born

Bohemian Rhapsody

Disney's Christopher Robin - written by Alex Ross Perry , Tom McCarthy & Allison Schroeder.

Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation

Mama Mia: Here we go again - written by Ol Parker

Peterloo - written by Mike Leigh

The Grinch

The Nutcracker and the four realms


I went to see Anthony McCarten talk about making Bohemian Rhapsody at Hay Festival a few months back. Excellent talk. Excellent film.

And it was only a few years ago we were a one film town. Imagine that. We would walk in and ask for 2 tickets. Not 2 to see whatever, because there was only ever one thing on!

Gustavo Freitas

Okay, last weekend in Brazil, just the non-US (by the way, all the top 10 are US or UK/US...). In order of tickets sold, here we go:

- "Tudo por um Popstar" - tweenie comedy, written by Paulo Cursino and Bruno Garotti;

- "O Grande Circo Místico" (The Great Mystical Circus) - drama, written by Cacá Diegues

- "O Doutrinador" (The Awakener) - action / crime - written by Mirna Nogueira and LG Bayão

- "Tudo Acaba em Festa" - comedy, written by Danilo Gullane

- "Um Segredo em Paris" (Drôles d'oiseaux) - Dramedy, France, written by Élise Girard

- "Uma Noite de 12 Anos" (A Twelve-Years Night) - Crime, Uruguai, written by Álvaro Brechner

- "Chacrinha: O Velho Guerreiro" (Chacrinha) - Biopic, written by Carla Faour and Claudio Paiva

- "Todas as Canções de Amor" - Romance, written by Juliana Araripe e Nina Crintzs

- "Burn the Stage: The Movie" - South Korea, documentary, director Jun-Soo Park

- "Em Chamas" (Burning) - Drama / Mystery - South Korea - written by Jung-mi Oh

- "Sueno Florianópolis" (Florianópolis Dream) - Comedy - Argentina - written by Ana Katz

- "Verão" (Leto) - Biopic / Music / Romance - Russia / France - written by Mikhail Idov and Lili Idova

Patrick Levy

Here is the complete list of all the movies playing in Paris-France at the moment - Enjoy:

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

Thanks for sharing.

Craig D Griffiths

There hasn't been a lot of local stuff in theatrical release lately.

Joel's film "Boy Erased" seems good, I plan to see that. But for a great Aussie film hunt down "Death in Brunswick" or Heather Ledgers "Candy".

Adam Harper

I went to a small, old, independent cinema last night (The Electric, Birmingham) to watch a film called Happy New Year, Colin Burstead by Ben Wheatley (Kill List, High Rise) who was on hand to do an insightful/entertaining Q&A afterwards. It's a contained British indie movie and is heavy on dark, dry humour which is exactly my bag.

It doesn't have a wide release, I believe it is being shown on terrestrial television over Christmas (in UK). If/when you can check it out you should.

Urban Bergsten

The Unthinkable written by Victor Danell and Christoffer Nordenrot. Operation Ragnarok written by Fredrik Hiller. Both Independent or semiindependent flicks that made it to the Big Screen. Hoping that Draug written by Karin Engman and Klas Persson, which I am in, make it there too, soon. It had it´s World Premiere on Screamfest L.A. and won two fat Awards. Best Actor: Thomas Hedengran and Best Score: Klas Persson! Boyakka!!

Nada Badra

We have only one native movie showing here in Al-Zamalek Island, Cairo: "Poisonous Flowers", written and directed by Ahmed Fawzy Saleh, starring Mahmoud Hemida and is an -award winner in Cairo International Film Festival and won Best Film Award at African Cinema Festival in Spain

Denise Cruz-Castino

Boy I have a lot of catching up to do to see all of these! But OMG thank you Bill for putting my movie on this list! I'm so honored! Now let me go find the Audrey Wells post since I actually found this one! lol

Bill Costantini

Wendy: wow....from a one-film town to a multiplex.....I smell maybe a new story about something like that....small town gets a multiplex....and the complications and consequences....and coming to a theater near you by 2021!

Gus: wow...that's quite a variety of foreign have a great film town....and much luck/boa sorte in the Stage 32 4th Annual Feature Film Contest, Senor Finalista de Quarto!

Erik: I don't speak the language, but I love the style of Bollywood films. I might move there so I can kick Vijay Anthony's ass!

Willem: Again...I don't speak the language, but that's quite an impressive list. I know that there are approximately (maybe) big-budget 30-40 films produced each year in the Netherlands, and you may find that to be a small number...but considering your country's size (20,000,000 people)...that really is a pretty decent number.

Patrick: That is a great list. Many locally-made films, and some foreign. Even a few old American films. I love Paris. The first thing I saw on that list was an ad for Moulin Rouge. And I clicked it...again..and again...and again. Qui mouseur, jetaime Paris! Oops....Mauvais Bill! Mauvais Bill!

Phillip: You're welcome, bro!

Craig: Sorry to hear that there aren't too many Aussie films playing by you right now. I saw Candy a while is such a great film, and such a tragic film, of course. RIP, Heath Ledger. I love Abbie Cornish - she is such a great actress.

Adam: I love Birmingham. One of my former gf's is from Birmingham, and her mother still lives there. I checked out The Electric theater in England. That's some history in that building, you know? If you liked the film Happy New Year, I know I'll like it. Indie cinema houses still exist in the U.S., but not to the extent that they existed 20, 10, and five years ago. I was a teen/young adult attending Indie theaters in the 70's/80's in Chicago, and saw a foreign film almost every week Chicago Filmmakers, the Music Box and Facets. And similar to your experience with the film Happy New Year, many times the director/filmmaker/actor would be at Chicago Filmmakers and Facets for Q&A's. And may the heavens continue to bless Milos Stehlik, founder of Facets, who celebrated his 95th b-day last month!

Jerry: I haven't seen Creed II yet, but the four people whom I know that did see it said the same thing as you. Look forward to seeing it soon. One of the dudes was estranged from his father, and Creed II inspired him to become reconnected with his father. How freaking cool is that? It's still everywhere here, - from small theaters to IMAX to the DRIVE IN. Yes...we still have a DRIVE-IN here in Las Vegas. And how freaking cool is that? DRIVE-IN...heh-heh...I love typing that. And I can even fit six people in my car trunk when we go there...just like in the old days. Heh-heh. I love the old Cheech y Chong "Pedro and the Man at the Drive In" skit from Los Cochinos album. That is one of the funniest comedy albums of all time. Here is the link to "Pedro and the Man at the Drive In".

Harriet: Even though nothing is too close, at least you didn't have to go too far.

Urban: That's cool that you have some cool local films playing nearby. I love Stockholm,, and fortunately saw but unfortunately couldn't swipe some really cool artifacts at the museums when I was there. Okay...I wasn't intending to keep them...just wanted to show them to folks back in the states who couldn't make the trip, but man...there should be like a 10-letter limit on the street names in takes me an hour to say some of those street names. WTF is up with that, bro? Do the people who name the streets get paid by the letter, or what? But are one seriously great freaking artist.'t tell me you paint and do performance poetry, too, or I will really freaking come there to Stazla...Starslaga...Starzlajaga...Starzagag....ah...screw it....I ain't comin' there, and consider yourself lucky! Heh-heh. Best fortunes to you in your future endeavors, and best fortunes for Draug! That looks like one scary-ass take-your-nails-out-of-my-forearm-honey-you-are-making-me-bleed film. I love folksy, natural horror films like that. Here is the trailer to Draug, for those who may still be reading this besides my Swedish arch-enemy Urban:

Nada: Sorry to hear that there aren't many playing near you. Egypt's local film production is still low, as you know and I hope things really start increasing there soon, and for everyone. Poisonous Flowers really looks special.

Denise: You're welcome! And much congrats with getting your first feature film on your resume, and in starting your second! And you write some really great dialogues, Denise. You are a great writer. Dang....I'm gonna be cutting Denise's grass in her Pacific Palisades ocean-front home pretty soon, I think. I better start getting the lawn mower ready. Just have some iced tea ready for me, please - strawberry is my favorite flavor. And that is some backstory about 5 Weddings director Namrata Singh Gujral, and all that she has endured and conquered. She is one fierce warrior. Much continued good Karma and good fortune to Namrata, and to you Denise - and don't forget my strawberry-flavored ice tea!

I love films of all cultures. I love to see the differences between Western and non-Western life, thinking and filmmaking. There are a lot of interesting-looking foreign films so far on this topic, and I look forward to seeing some more from other countries.

Best wishes to all you creatives and your loved ones, and best fortunes in your careers!

Urban Bergsten

Thank you, Bill! Your enthusiasm is deeply appreciated and thank you for sharing the Link for Draug!! (and yes, I have dabbled in Performance Poetry as well :))

Christian Pius

Wow! This is an exhaustive list of the greatest in cinema that period and now. I haven't seen any of the films unfortunately. Where is the time to sit my ass in the theaters? Lol. Anyway, I followed the buzz online for A Star Is Born, watched thrillers and behind the scenes for First Man and Dr Suess, The Grinch, read plot synopsis for The Hate U Give in the wake of Audrey Wells. May her soul rest in perfect peace.

Roma, which is a non US film and not on this list made quite an impression. I felt deeply inspired to the fact that anything is possible. Just dream it, believe it, work your butt off and it's a reality.

Well, right here in my humble abode, they were a handful of good films at the time of this post. As I mentioned, I didn't have time for cinema. I was just surfing the internet. The breath of fresh air worth mentioning is Lion Heart, a film directed by Genevieve Nnaji. The movie derided the usual narrative of women running family businesses​ in Nigeria. It made history as the first Nigerian/African film to be on Netflix. That's awesome!

I urge all the readers on this thread, Bill to pray for my country. Though, as a nation there is gradual traction in our entertainment industries, but there is more to be done. Please pray for my country to assail all our economic and political unrest to be at the echelon of absolute productivity.

Bill Costantini

Urban: you da man! I saw the trailer for your latest film, Legend of Dark Rider...looks pretty awesome. Best continued fortunes to you, Urban!

Christian: thanks for your replies, and I totally agree with you and hope that everyone else does, too. There is so much work to be done in your country and other countries in your area, and in so many ways. It's such a tragedy that those matters and controls get to continue, regime after regime. I hope and pray that the ways begin to change more quickly, and that organizations like the United Nations become more aggressive to the plights of nations like yours. Much hope and thoughts go your way, Christian!!

Urban Bergsten

Thank you, Bill!! Yes, I am really proud of that one. It is on the way to become a Feature (fingers crossed).

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