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10 Films to See In April

Written by on April 2, 2014 

In previous years, April might have signaled the calm before the blockbuster storm, but Hollywood has expanded their definition of the season. While limited releases (with some available everywhere on VOD) are the most promising films this month, Marvel will release their latest tentpole and a Christopher Nolan protege gets his first chance at directing. Check out our rundown of what films to see below and let us know what you’re most looking forward to this month.

Matinees to See: The Unknown Known (4/2), Afflicted (4/4), Alan Partridge: The Movie (4/4), Draft Day (4/11), Hateship Loveship (4/11), Oculus (4/11), The Railway Man (4/11), Fading Gigolo (4/18), Godzilla: The Japanese Original (4/18), Young and Beautiful (4/25)

10. Dom Hemingway (Richard Shepard; April 4th)

Synopsis: After spending 12 years in prison for keeping his mouth shut, notorious safe-cracker Dom Hemingway is back on the streets of London looking to collect what he’s owed.


Why You Should See It: While he’s been fairly upright and proper in recent films such as Anna Karenina, The Grand Budapest Hotel and even Side Effects to an extent, Jude Law goes delightfully off the rails in this recommended dark comedy. “He’s out of shape, incapable of humility or remorse, wildly unpredictable, and, frankly, one of the most interesting characters at the Toronto International Film Festival this year,” we said in our review from the film’s premiere.

9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Anthony Russo, Joe Russo; April 4th)

Synopsis: Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier.


Why You Should See It: While this film will certainly make more at the box-office than all of the others combined, Marvel actually has a creative reason to be proud of this sequel, as our review indicates it’s among the best of their output. As someone who believes its predecessor was the most accomplished superhero film to date from the studio, I’m looking forward to seeing them switch up the formula a bit. We said, “even the opening fight scene here could be out of Metal Gear Solid, with its covert operation and Cap’s brute force mixed with delicate finesse,” and if “we’re to grade them as cogs in an elaborate machine, The Winter Soldier is as important a link as we’ve seen yet.”

8. Transcendence (Wally Pfister; April 18th)

Synopsis: A terminally ill scientist downloads his mind into a computer. This grants him power beyond his wildest dreams, and soon he becomes unstoppable.


Why You Should See It: While Christopher Nolan will deliver Interstellar at the end of the year, here’s hoping his longtime cinematographer’s directorial debut is a worthy appetizer. The previews for Wally Pfister‘s Transcendence thus far have painted a cyber thriller that seems more in line with something from the ’90’s, but perhaps that won’t be a bad thing in the glut of retreaded material that will follow this summer. With a remarkable cast and what’s sure to be strong visuals, hopefully Pfister found a story worth telling.

7. Locke (Steven Knight; April 25th)

Synopsis: A single phone call causes the life of a successful construction manager to unravel during his drive home.


Why You Should See It: Since breaking out in Nicolas Winding Refn‘s Bronson, Tom Hardy has mostly been relegated to supporting roles, whether it be major films like Inception and The Dark Knight Rises or the stellar Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but this year he finally returns to take the lead in Locke. Coming from Eastern Promises writer Steven Knight, the real-time thriller has been awarded acclaim since its debut on the fall festival and will now drive into limited release at the end of the month.

6. Blue Ruin (Jeremy Saulnier; April 25th)

Synopsis: A mysterious outsider’s quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving himself an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family.


Why You Should See It: One of the more impressive independent thrillers I’ve recently seen, we said in our review, “92 minutes of taut physical activity, morbid humor, and gruesome violence, Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin is one of the year’s leanest and most impressive killing machines. Saulnier begins his film with quiet, character-building chapters, but once he sets his resourceful, pleasingly narrow plot in motion, Blue Ruin becomes nothing more than a series of sharp, vicious set-pieces founded on Nash Edgerton-like bursts of violence. The film is a good example of the kind of genre treat that gets points for disposable ambition: Saulnier’s technique is so controlled, and his sequence staging so clever, that nothing else really matters.”

The top 5 films to watch in April >>

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