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10 Films to See In March

Written by on March 4, 2014 

With the Academy Awards putting a final stamp on 2013, we can now look towards 2014 and March will have one doubting any naysayers that claim the early months of the year has a void of worthwhile films. Featuring new features from a handful of cinema’s greatest auteurs, along with a few well-crafted genre movies, a documentary on one of music’s finest bands and another on perhaps the best film we’ll never see, it’s a stellar month. Some may question why a certain highly-anticipated film we loved out of Sundance didn’t make a spot, but even as a fan of the first film, I simply couldn’t connect with The Raid 2. Nonetheless, check out the rundown below, and let us know what you are most looking forward to.

Matinees to See: Journey to the West (3/7), Art of the Steal (3/14), Ernest & Celestine (3/14), Le Week-End (3/114), Veronica Mars (3/14), The Missing Picture (3/19), Muppets Most Wanted (3/21), Blood Ties (3/21), and Breathe In (3/28)

10. Bad Words (Jason Bateman; March 14th)

Synopsis: A spelling bee loser sets out to exact revenge by finding a loophole and attempting to win as an adult.


Why You Should See It: After being a go-to comedy star for the last few years, Jason Bateman has hopped behind the camera for the first time in a feature that looks to have more bite than his studio offerings. In our positive review out of TIFF, we said with Bad Words the star “has finally found a role that will let him prove he can be the mercurial, loudmouth dickhead, while everyone else on the periphery can attempt to appeal to whatever morsel of humility he may have left.”

9. Cheap Thrills (E.L. Katz; March 21st)

Synopsis: Recently fired and facing eviction, a new dad has his life turned upside down when he meets a wealthy couple who offer a path to financial security… but at a price.


Why You Should See It: Cheap Thrills left a horrible taste in my mouth, but I imagine that’s the intended effect of this South by Southwest award winner. It’s certainly unlike anything we’re bound to get this year, as we said in our review, “Every now and then a film completely sideswipes your mental capacities and takes over. Since seeing Cheap Thrills, I’ve hardly been able to get the film out of my head. It’s stuck there, jabbing me every dozen minutes and reminding me how much I was in its deathgrip for around 90 minutes. There is very little fat to this work, a good sign, considering I don’t know if I could have taken any more visceral punishment. The stakes, the violence and the intensity were constantly moving higher as each minute ticked away.”

8. Teenage (Matt Wolf; March 14th)

Synopsis: Teenagers did not always exist. In this living collage of rare archival material, filmed portraits, and voices lifted from early 20th Century diary entries, a struggle erupts between adults and adolescents to define a new idea of youth.


Why You Should See It: Each year we get countless coming-of-age stories that detail that specific transitional period in one’s life, and while many seem authentic, this new documentary aims to provide a new, much different take. Coming from producer Jason SchwartzmanTeenage features voiceover from Jena Malone and Ben Whishaw, as well as an original score by Deerhunter & Atlas Sound‘s Bradford Cox (seen briefly in Dallas Buyers Club). After an impressive trailer, we’re looking forward to seeing this ambitious documentary.

7. Grand Piano (Eugenio Mira; March 7th)

Synopsis: Moments before his comeback performance, a concert pianist who suffers from stage fright discovers a note written on his music sheet


Why You Should See It: Although the release seems to be comparatively quiet, Grand Piano is one of the most well-tuned thrillers I’ve seen in some time. Reminiscent of Brian De Palma in his prime, with a touch of Alfred Hitchcock, Mira is eloquently displaying that he has what it takes to be one of the next major Hollywood directors in this genre. As discussed in our latest podcast, the similarities to last weekend’s Non-Stop is fairly striking, but this one has a bit more meat on its bones. Starring Elijah Wood and John Cusack, it’s already out on VOD ahead of a theatrical release this month and one can read our review here.

6. Noah (Darren Aronofsky; March 28th)

Synopsis: The Biblical Noah suffers visions of an apocalyptic deluge and takes measures to protect his family from the coming flood.


Why You Should See It: Before this latest feature, The Fountain was Darren Aronofsky‘s most ambitious undertaking — wildly imaginative, with a boldly told story, it’s easily my favorite work from the director. As the release of his next film looms, I sincerely hope the same can be said about it. Even though he says it’s his director’s cut, with a budget well over $100 million, Noah could easily sway towards a more all-audience friendly depiction of the Biblical figure. With a release at the end of the month, my wish is that Aronofsky can keep his vision intact on a much larger playing field.

See the top 5 films to watch in March >>

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