This month is defined by limited releases. We are finally seeing a number of films hit theaters that have made their festival fun the last few months. There is only one clear movie that stands far above the rest though. Check out the list below.
10. Clash of the Titans (Leterrier, April 2nd)
Synopsis: In a loose adaptation of Greek mythology, Perseus (Sam Worthington), who was born of a god but raised as a man, sets off on an epic mission to combat Hades (Ralph Fiennes) before he can seize power from Zeus (Liam Neeson) and unleash hell on earth.
Why You Should See It: This was higher on my list, but after a screening earlier this week I had to bump it down. Leterrier’s latest has nice production design and some slick action sequences, but it all doesn’t add up to much. If you are looking forward to the film, check it out (in 2D) but for everyone else that wants adventure see How To Train Your Dragon.
9. A Nightmare on Elm Street (Bayer, April 30th)
Synopsis: Disfigured serial killer Freddy Krueger stalks a group of young people in their dreams, forcing them to remain awake as the only alternative to death.
Why You Should See It: Possibly the first good Platinum Dunes remake, Nightmare on Elm Street boasts a slick style and some impressive scares, and that’s just from the trailer.
8. The Losers (White, April 23rd)
Synopsis: After being betrayed and left for dead, members of a CIA black ops team root out those who targeted them for assassination.
Why You Should See It: Although it’s been handed a PG-13 rating, this comic book adaptation looks like a fun ride. Everyone could use more Idris Elba and Zoe Saldana in their lives as well.
7. Please Give (Holofcener, April 30th)
Synopsis: A Manhattan couple find their plan to expand their apartment complicated when they bond with Andra, their elderly neighbor next door.
Why You Should See It: Coming off Sundance buzz this small drama is getting a limited release this month. With a solid cast including Rebecca Hall, Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt and Kevin Corrigan, this is one to check out if you can.
6. The Square (Edgerton, April 9th)
Synopsis: An unscrupulous businessman (Roberts) looks to help his mistress (van der Boom) abscond with the dividends from her husband’s lastest crime.
Why You Should See It: This small budget Aussie thriller has been getting rave reviews at early screenings and festivals. If it comes to a theater near you, definitely check it out.
5. Exit Through the Gift Shop (April 16th)
Synopsis: The story of how an eccentric French shop keeper and amateur film maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner with spectacular results.
Why You Should See It: A mysterious film about a mysterious artist. This one has been getting rave reviews since it’s Sundance premiere. Hitting major cities first, we can only hope it expands.
4. The Good, The Bad, The Weird (Kim, April 23rd)
Synopsis: The story of three Korean outlaws in 1940s Manchuria and their rivalry to possess a treasure map while being pursued by the Japanese army and Chinese bandits
Why You Should See It: Despite being released over two years ago in other countries, this western throwback is finally getting a limited release here in the States. From the director of A Tale of Two Sisters and A Bittersweet Life, this is not one to miss.
3. I Love You, Phillip Morris (Ficarra + Requa, April 30th)
Synopsis: Steven Russell is happily married to Debbie, and a member of the local police force when a car accident provokes a dramatic reassessment of his life. Steven realizes he’s gay and decides to live life to the fullest – even if it means breaking the law.
Why You Should See It: After many, many delays our fingers are crossed that this controversial gay comedy drama will see theaters this month. On a hopeful career resurgence with The Ghost Writer, Ewan McGregor stars as the title character opposite Jim Carrey.
2. Oceans (Perrin + Cluzaud, April 22nd)
Synopsis: An ecological drama/documentary, filmed throughout the globe. Part thriller, part meditation on the vanishing wonders of the sub-aquatic world.
Why You Should See It: After the beautiful Earth, Disney Nature is back with the newest documentary, “the result of four years of 75 diving expeditions in 50 locations all over the world, where camera teams captured about 80 species of outlandish fish, dolphins, whales, squid, lizards, crabs, turtles and creatures that simply defy classification.”
1. Kick-Ass (Vaughn, April 16th)
Synopsis: Despite the fact that he has zero superpowers, teenage fanboy Dave Lizewski looks to reincarnate himself as a crime-fighting superhero named Kick-Ass, a decision that will inspire a subculture of copy cats, put his life in danger, and unite him with a similarly minded father-daughter duo.
Why You Should See It: Violent, hilarious and stylish; Matthew Vaughn’s independently-financed (anti?) superhero film is getting insanely positive reviews all across the board.
The Back-Up Plan (Poul, April 23rd)
Synopsis: Single gal Zoe (Jennifer Lopez) meets potential husband Stan on the day of her artificial insemination. Despite the initial spark, the two lovers begin to wonder if they’re taking the right steps to an enduring romance.
Why You Should Avoid It: In an incredible feat, CBS Films’ second investment actually looks worse than Extraordinary Measures, their debut. The horrifically unfunny Super Bowl ad was the final straw for this rom-com.
Furry Vengeance (Kumble, April 2nd)
Synopsis: An arrogant real estate agent gets in way over his head after he agrees to develop property on an Oregon forest and the area’s animals sabotage his plans.
Why You Should Avoid It: What looks like a live-action version of the solid family film Over The Hedge also looks like one of the most unnecessary films to grace cinema screens this year.
Date Night (Levy, April 9th)
Synopsis: In New York City, a case of mistaken identity turns a bored married couple’s attempt at a glamorous and romantic evening into something more thrilling and dangerous.
Why You Should Rent It: Hopefully the marketing department’s strategy is to release the least funny trailer possible in a reverse ad scheme. The two biggest forces in NBC’s Thursday night lineup team up and I’m hoping for an underrated effort like Fey’s Baby Mama.
Death at a Funeral (LaBute, April 16th)
Synopsis: A patriarch’s funeral leads to a series of family arguments, revealing dark secrets and possibly murder.
Why You Should Rent It: Remaking an English film in English less than three years later is a bit weird, but the original was funny enough that I’m interested to see what the talented LaBute can do differently.
The Joneses (Borte, April 16th)
Synopsis: A picture-perfect family move into a gated community, where they instantly charm their neighbors, who are unaware the new arrivals are secret employees of a marketing company.
Why You Should Rent It: After Californication, I’m in full support of anything David Duchovny does in his post X-Files resurgence. Well…minus those new X-Files movies.
Harry Brown (Barber, April 30th)
Synopsis: An elderly ex-serviceman and widower looks to avenge his best friend’s murder by doling out his own form of justice.
Why You Should Rent It: This (very) slow-burning revenge film doesn’t have the punch of Taken, but the opening scene is worth the rental alone. Michael Caine delivers a solid performance but at the end, it’s not quite worth it.
The Thorn In the Heart (Gondry, April 23rd)
Synopsis: Michel Gondry chronicles the life of Gondry family matriarch, his aunt Suzette Gondry and her relationship with her son, Jean-Yves.
Why You Should Rent It: Likely only for Gondry fans, this intimate portrait of his family should be an intriguing watch.
The Good Heart (Kári, April 30th)
Synopsis: A bartender takes a young homeless man in under his wing.
Why You Should Rent It: Brian Cox and Paul Dano team up in this character drama, debuting to solid reviews at Toronto International Film Festival last year.
Do you agree with the list? What are you seeing this month?