April showers bring a great excuse to take refuge at your local theater. With an eclectic slate that includes blockbuster fare (The Fate of the Furious) and indie gems like Colossal and The Void, there’s so much to choose from. So, we’ve got you covered!
Going in Style (April 7)
Cast: Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin
Director: Zach Braff
Synopsis: New Line is rebooting the 1979 heist film Going in Style, about three old friends who are getting ready for retirement. Things quickly change, however, when their pension funds are frozen and the three old men are forced to rebel against the bank that has taken their money away along with countless others. Willie (Morgan Freeman), Joe (Michael Caine) and Al (Alan Arkin) conclude that the best way to get revenge on the bank is to rob them.
Why You Should See It: Going in Style is a classic movie that many could argue it shouldn’t be tinkered with, but this movie couldn’t have picked a better trio. Between Academy Award winners Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin, we are destined for an entertaining, comedic heist film with Hollywood’s favorite elderly men.
The Case for Christ (April 7)
Cast: Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen, Faye Dunaway, Robert Forster
Director: Jon Gunn
Synopsis: Based on a true story and the 1998 novel, an investigative journalist discovers his wife has become Christian and as a self-proclaimed atheist, he sets out to disprove the existence of God. The events of this story change the man forever.
Why You Should See It: The Case for Christ is a very well-known and prestigious book due to its amazing story. While reading about this man’s journey is one thing, bringing this compelling and riveting story to the big screen will be an incredible sight avid movie fans, Christian or not, cannot miss.
Smurfs: The Lost Village (April 7)
Cast: Demi Lovato, Mandy Patinkin, Rainn Wilson, Joe Manganiello, Jack McBrayer
Director: Kelly Asbury
Synopsis: The Smurfs are living their regular Smurf lives until Smurfette discovers that there may be other Smurfs outside their village. So Smurfette, Brainy, Clumsy, and Hefty go out on a mission with a magical map through the magical Forbidden Forest to discover a secret village, which contains the biggest secret in Smurfs history.
Why You Should Go See It: The Smurfs and its sequel proved to Hollywood and the general public that the Smurfs don’t work well in a live-action setting. Sony Pictures Animation is asking for one last chance for the company to redeem the childhood property on the big screen with an animated film that has an original and magical story. You should probably go out and see it, because I can almost guarantee it will be better than The Smurfs with Neil Patrick Harris.
Colossal (April 7)
Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens
Director: Nacho Vigalondo
Synopsis: Gloria (Anne Hathaway) has a problem and drinks too much to the point where her boyfriend kicks her out of their apartment. She decides to return to her hometown to reunite with her childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis). Suddenly, they discover that a monster raging through their city is somehow telepathically connected to Gloria.
Why You Should See It: This movie looks like pure fun with Hollywood fan-favorites Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis at the lead, who will definitely steal the show. This movie is your ordinary comedy but by dropping a huge monster in the middle of the mix, the movie could be genre-defining. Colossal has scored an 81 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes as most critics enjoyed the film, and odds are that you will as well!
Their Finest (April 7)
Cast: Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, Jack Huston
Director: Lone Scherfig
Synopsis: At a low point in World War II, a young British filmmaker (Gemma Arterton) attempts to boost her country’s spirits with a patriotic film.
Why You Should See It: This is a fine historical tale with a winning female lead (Arterton) surrounded by some of England’s finest young actors – and the always great Bill Nighy.
The Transfiguration (April 7th)
Cast: Eric Ruffin, Chloe Levine, Larry Fessenden
Director: Michael O’Shea
Synopsis: Troubled teen Milo (Eric Ruffin) hides behind his fascination with vampire lore. When he meets the equally alienated Sophie (Chloe Levine), the two form a bond that begins to challenge Milo’s dark obsession, blurring his fantasy into reality.
Why You Should See It: Director Michael O’Shea has an interesting backstory, having worked as a cab river, bouncer, and computer technician. After years of persistence, his debut feature, The Transfiguration, had the honor of playing the Cannes and Tribeca Film Festivals in 2016. With a rise in skillfully-crafted indie horror, the film is definitely work a watch.
The Void (April 7th)
Cast: Ellen Wong, Kathleen Munroe, Aaron Poole
Director: Steven Kostanski, Jeremy Gillespie
Synopsis: Cloaked, cult-like figures trap a police officer (Aaron Poole), patients and staffers inside a hospital that is a gateway to evil.
Why You Should See It: From the producers of the Sundance horror hit, The Witch, comes a more grotesque and intense thriller. With a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 78%, the film’s received attention for its special effects and make-up. So, we are morbidly intrigued.
Salt and Fire (April 7th)
Cast: Michael Shannon, Gael García Bernal, Veronica Ferres
Director: Werner Herzog
Synopsis: A shady businessman (Michael Shannon) abducts a scientist (Veronica Ferres) in Bolivia and leaves her stranded in the middle of gigantic salt flats with two blind boys.
Why You Should See It: Despite the film’s negative critical reception, it still makes our watchlist. We mean, c’mon, it’s Werner Herzog! It’s sure to have some redeeming qualities. He also makes an appearance in the film, so we’re sold.
Gifted (April 12)
Cast: Chris Evans, Jenny Slate, Mckenna Grace, Octavia Spencer
Director: Marc Webb
Synopsis: Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a man trying to peacefully raise his 7-year old niece, Mary (Mckenna Grace), a girl with extraordinary intelligence, after the loss of her mother in a small town in Florida. When Mary’s grandmother comes to town, she tries to split the family apart.
Why You Should See It: Both director Marc Webb and Chris Evans have been caught up in superhero movies, and while one has been more successful than the other in the genre, it will be nice to see both men’s talents when working with a smaller film such as Gifted. Also, this movie looks to have a touching, heartfelt story that will feature exes Evans and Slate.
The Lost City of Z (April 14)
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Sienna Miller, Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson
Director: James Gray
Synopsis: This adaptation of the David Grann adventure book follows the trek of an English explorer obsessed with finding the legendary “Lost City of Z” in the Amazon.
Why You Should See It: Did you read the book? If you haven’t, run out, get it, read it, and then get in line. James Gray is a fantastic director (The Immigrant, We Own the Night) and he’s brought a fine cast to the employ of this lush tale. This should be a great one.
A Quiet Passion (April 14)
Cast: Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Ehle, Duncan Duff, Keith Carradine
Director: Terence Davies
Synopsis: A bio-pic chronicling the later life of the great American poet Emily Dickinson (Cynthia Nixon).
Why You Should See It: The great Cynthia Nixon playing Emily Dickinson? Twist our arms.
My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea (April 14)
Cast: Jason Schwartzman, Lena Dunham, Maya Rudolph
Director: Dash Shaw
Synopsis: An earthquake causes a high school to float into the sea, where it slowly sinks like a shipwreck.
Why You Should See It: Did you see the powerhouse roster? With comedians like Jason Schwartzman, Maya Rudolph, and Reggie Watts, this animate feature is bound to have quite a few laughs! On top of that, the film’s production company, GKIDS, has given us so many great animated films! My Life as a Zucchini, April and the Extraordinary World, and Princess Mononoke, are just some of the acclaimed films in their catalog.
Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York City Fixer (April 14)
Cast: Richard Gere, Lior Ashkenazi, Michael Sheen, Charlotte Gainsbourg
Director: Joseph Cedar
Synopsis: A New York City political “fixer” unexpectedly becomes a political mover-and-shaker.
Why You Should See It: Richard Gere’s made a fine late-career comeback playing intriguing New York City figures (watch Arbitrage for proof) and this fascinating little film looks like it will be plenty of fun. Also, that title. That’s a lot of words.
The Fate of the Furious (April 14)
Cast: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham, Scott Eastwood
Director: F. Gary Gray
Synopsis: The team has retired and parted their separate ways, but when Dom gets seduced back into the world of crime, the crew will reunite and participate in adventures larger than ever that will test their limits to save their lifelong friend Dom.
Why You Should Go And See It: Fast and Furious 7 was one intense ride (no pun intended) as it was action-packed and kept you on the edge of your seats. By the looks of the trailer, Fast 8 could easily become one of the most entertaining action movies of the year. The movie will elevate the stakes from the previous installments, relationships will crumble, and most importantly, we will be able to witness the amazing site of the crew fight against a tank on an ice-covered lake in Iceland!
The Ticket (April 14)
Cast: Dan Stevens, Malin Akerman, Kerry Bishé, Oliver Platt
Director: Ido Fluk
Synopsis: A blind man suddenly regains his vision and becomes possessed with making a better life for himself.
Why You Should See It: Dan Stevens has proved time and time again that he is a great actor, and there is no doubt that he will deliver a powerhouse performance in this movie. On top of all of this, there are some cool conflicts being played around with such as ethics, control, and acceptance in society.
Unforgettable (April 21)
Cast: Rosario Dawson, Katherine Heigl, Cheryl Ladd, Whitney Cummings
Director: Denise Di Novi
Synopsis: A deranged ex (Heigl) terrorizes her ex-husband’s new wife (Dawson).
Why You Should See It: This is a classic cheesy-fun spring treat for adult audiences, with just enough soapy drama to keep things interesting. It’s fun to see Dawson headline a feature after being in Netflix’s Marvel world for a while, too.
Free Fire (April 21)
Cast: Enzo Cilenti, Sam Riley, Michael Smiley, Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Sharito Copley)
Director: Ben Wheatley
Synopsis: Two rival gangs exchange bullets and banter in a warehouse after a busted gun deal.
Why You Should See It: Ben Wheatley (High-Rise) is a filmmaker whose stock is going through the roof; combine the claustrophobic, tense premise with the star-studded cast (Brie Larson, Sharito Copley, Armie Hammer) and you have an early-year must-see.
Phoenix Forgotten (April 21)
Cast: Matt Biedel, Hector Luis Bustamante, Ana Dela Cruz
Director: Justin Barber
Synopsis: On March 13, 1997, several mysterious lights appeared over Phoenix. Three teens went into the desert shortly after the incident, hoping to document the strange events occurring in their town. They disappeared that night and were never seen again. Now, on the 20th anniversary of their disappearance, unseen footage has finally been discovered, chronicling the final hours of their fateful expedition.
Why You Should See It: With Ridley Scott’s production company, Scott Free Productions, at the helm, Phoenix Forgotten is definitely going to deliver the thrill of an extraterrestrial flick! After all, Scott has delivered time and time again with the Alien series.
Leap! (April 21)
Cast: Elle Fanning, Carly Rae Jepsen, Maddie Ziegler, Terrence Scammell
Directors: Eric Summer, Éric Warin
Synopsis: This animated feature follows an ambitious young orphan girl (Elle Fanning) who dreams of being a famous ballerina.
Why You Should See It: It’s a perfect kids movie for any aspiring dancer/ballerina – and the Paris backdrop should provide plenty of beautiful imagery for an animated film.
The Circle (April 28)
Cast: Emma Watson, John Boyega, Tom Hanks, Patton Oswalt
Director: James Ponsoldt
Synopsis: A woman lands a job opportunity at the world’s biggest social media company, where she and her colleagues will examine what happens when everyone lives their lives through social media.
Why You Should See It: Once in awhile, there’s a movie released in theaters that is truly thought-provoking, intriguing, and sparks up some great conversations on the car ride home from the movie theater. The Circle could be one of those movies as the concept itself will have you engaged. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have some phenomenal actors and actresses like Emma Watson, John Boyega, and Tom Hanks leading the movie.
How to Be a Latin Lover (April 28)
Cast: Salma Hayek, Eugenio Derbez, Kristen Bell
Director: Ken Marino
Synopsis: Maximo (Eugenio Derbez) gets the surprise of his life when his wealthy, 80-year-old wife dumps him for a younger car salesman. Forced out of his mansion, he must now move in with his estranged sister Sara (Salma Hayek) and her nerdy but adorable son Hugo (Raphael Alejandro). Anxious to return to the lap of luxury, Maximo hatches a scheme to seduce a widowed billionaire (Raquel Welch) and live the high life once again.
Why You Should See It: We could use a little comic relief before blockbuster season hits full gear! And this star-studded flick seems right up our ally.
Sleight (April 28)
Cast: Jason Latimore, Seychelle Gabriel, Dulé Hill, Storm Reid
Director: Justin Dillard
Synopsis: A young man is living off of dealing drugs to support his younger sister after their mother died. After the younger sister is kidnapped, the young street magician must go on a journey and use his street skills to find and rescue his sister.
Why You Should See It: Sleight is a low-budget film that we should all go out and see not for its visual effects, but for its story and for its characters. The movie currently has 71 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, which is honestly a great percentage. Some critics have said the movie is something of a “’Chronicle’ meets ‘Iron Man,” and that’s a movie I want to see.
Churchill (April 28)
Cast: Brian Cox, Miranda Richardson, John Slattery
Director: Jonathan Teplitzky
Synopsis: Britain’s Prime Minister prepares for the D-Day landings.
Why You Should See It: Anything about the endlessly fascinating Winston Churchill is worth a watch, especially with the great Brian Cox playing him. Another bonus? A wonderful and intriguing cast – featuring John Slattery as Dwight Eisenhower.
Buster’s Mal Heart (April 28)
Cast: Rami Malek, DJ Qualls, Kate Lyn Sheil
Director: Sarah Adina Smith
Synopsis: A trippy mystery adventure following the split personality of a mountain dweller (Rami Malek).
Why You Should See It: Because this second feature from writer-director Sarah Adina Smith is already getting rave reviews from critics and audiences for its unusual, mind-bending structure and story. Get in on her career now. Oh, and Rami Malek – star of USA’s Mr. Robot – is always a wonder.
Rupture (April 28)
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Peter Stormare, Michael Chiklis
Director: Steven Shainberg
Synopsis: Abducted and studied by a group of strangers, a single mother’s (Noomi Rapace) genetic abnormality causes her to transform into her true self.
Why You Should See It: Noomi Rapace and sci-fi go together as well as peanut butter and jelly. Though the film has received some relatively negative and controversial reviews, its plot looks intriguing. So, it warrants a watch.
The Promise (Exact date, unknown)
Cast: Christian Bale, Oscar Isaac, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Angela Sarafyan, Charlotte LeBon
Director: Terry George
Synopsis: This epic romantic drama follows a love triangle between three people (Bale, Isaac, LeBon) caught up in the chaos of a declining Ottoman Empire.
Why you should see it: Terry George (Hotel Rwanda) can do international intrigue, and this is a curiously under-dramatized time period and historical event. The cast – Isaac, Bale, LeBon – is well worth the ticket, too.