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15 Films to See in April

Written by on March 31, 2016 

5. Men & Chicken (Anders Thomas Jensen; April 22nd)


Synopsis: A black comedy about two outcast brothers, who by getting to know their unknown family also discover a horrible truth about themselves and their relatives.


Why You Should See It: If Mads Mikkelsen takes part in a feature, we will surely show up, and it’s a bonus when it’s a great film. As we said in our review, “A perverse genetic-minded fairy tale about family—warts and more warts—its leading duo consists of one brother who must regularly masturbate (Mikkelsen’s Elias) and another possessing a visceral dry heave tick (David Dencik‘s Gabriel). They show us that ugly ducklings can sometimes simply prove ugly. And unnecessarily aggressive in dysfunctional loyalty. And as inexplicably smart or unsocialized as the sky is blue.”

4. Sing Street (John Carney; April 15th)

Sing Street 1

Synopsis: A boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980s escapes his strained family life by starting a band.


Why You Should See It: Returning to Sundance after breaking out with the Oscar-winning, shoe-string romance musical Once, director John Carney is back on a victory tour of sorts with Sing Street. Imbuing the same love for music with its emotional highs, this is a film more earnest in its pleasure-giving than his last feature, Begin Again. While the structure can be a touch too formulaic, it’s difficult to resist getting swept up in the music and its modest ambitions, for his new musical is acutely attuned to being a crowd-pleaser in all the right ways. For more, check out my full review.

3. No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman; April 1st)


Synopsis: Conversations between the film-maker and her mother just months before her mother’s death.


Why You Should See It: It’s hard to believe one of cinema’s greatest directors is gone, but one can experience more than just her last film this month. Not only is Chantal Akerman‘s final feature arriving in theaters, but a new documentary on her film, I Don’t Belong Anywhere, will also see a limited release this month. As for No Home Movie, we said in our review, “The presence of a mother is quite clear in Chantal Akerman’s best-known work, whether it be the one communicated back and forth to in News From Home or the titular Jeanne Dielman, a woman relegated to homemaker and cook for her son. Assuming the influence this woman has had on one of cinema’s most rigorous formalists and staunch feminists, making a film about her final years may conjure up a certain mental image, yet many will be surprised by the ensuing two hours.”

2. Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier; April 15th)

Green Room 1

Synopsis: After witnessing a murder, a punk rock band is forced into a vicious fight for survival against a group of maniacal skinheads.


Why You Should See It: If one appreciated the stripped-down brutality of Jeremy Saulnier‘s Blue Ruin, just wait until you see what he has in store for his follow-up, Green Room. In mostly one location, Saulnier is able to eke out every bit of tension possible and will have one squirming in their seat during a number of sequences. Starring Patrick Stewart, Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, and, reteaming with Saulnier, Blue Ruin star Macon Blair, it’s bound to be one of the year’s most intense films.

1. Everybody Wants Some!! (Richard Linklater; March 30th)

Everybody Wants Some 5

Synopsis: A group of college baseball players navigate their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood.


Why You Should See It: It looks like Richard Linklater‘s streak won’t be ending anytime soon. Following Bernie, Before Midnight, and Boyhood, his latest is another winner. Speaking of his spiritual sequel to Dazed & Confused, we said in our review, “Linklater’s career has long been about navigating between the petty and profound — the points when stupidity becomes genius and when the self-aware discussion of ideas becomes navel-gazing. Everybody Wants Some!! inevitably feeds off the past knowledge of Linklater’s filmography. Like Hail, Caesar! earlier this year, it’s another film that appears minor on its own, but plays like a synthesis of its director’s alternately tossed-off and straining exploration into identity politics.” Technically already in theaters thanks to a release date bump from Paramount, it’ll expand in the coming weeks.

What are you watching this month?

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