March and April are generally not known for producing great films in the way the final months of the year are. However, with recent success of movies like The Grand Budapest Hotel and Ex Machina—which both opened in those months—the tides seem to be changing a bit. This spring, aside from the general blockbusters, there seem to be some promising movies coming, and I’ve ranked a few of them below. Take a look and see if anything looks interesting.
5. Demolition: dir. Jean-Marc Vallée; starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, and Chris Cooper.
This film premiered way back in the fall at Toronto to mixed reviews, but being helmed by Vallée (Dallas Buys Club, Wild), I’m still interested. The plot concerns a man (Gyllenhaal) who falls in love with a customer service rep (Watts) while struggling to piece his life back together after the tragic death of his wife. It sounds a bit generic, but Gyllenhaal and Watts are some of the best working actors and, if anything, promise to be emotionally engaging. Demolition opens April 8.
4. Midnight Special: dir. Jeff Nichols; starring Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, and Jaden Lieberher.
With only a few films Nichols has slowly built a reputation for himself as a nuanced, competent director, and Midnight Special sees him taking on sci-fi for the first time. The film deals with a father (Shannon) who goes on the run after discovering his son (Lieberher) has supernatural powers. It got pretty solid reviews out of SXSW and with a cast this great, it’s not hard to see why. The film hits theaters on March 18.
3. Keanu: dir. Peter Atencio; starring Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Will Forte, Jason Mitchell, and Nia Long.
From the people who brought you Key & Peele comes a movie about two friends (Key and Peele…) who pose as drug dealers to rescue their cat that was stolen by an infamous gang. It sounds absolutely ridiculous but also something only they could pull off, and opens April 29.
2. Green Room: dir. Jeremy Saulnier; starring Patrick Stewart, Alia Shawkat, Anton Yelchin, and Imogen Poots.
Possibly the strangest film on this list, the plot sees a punk rock band struggling for survival after being terrorized by a group of white-power skinheads (led by Stewart, who is supposed to be fantastic). It honestly looks terrifying, gruesome, and intense, so if you’re into horror-thriller type films, definitely check this one out. Green Room also hits theaters on April 29.
1. Everybody Wants Some: dir. Richard Linklater; starring a bunch of unknown, conventionally attractive white people.
Okay, I may not have sold it in the title, but this film actually looks pretty good. A “spiritual sequel” to Linklater’s cult movie Dazed and Confused, Everybody Wants Some looks to do for college and the 80s what that film did for high school and the 70s. About a group of college baseball players exploring a bunch of drugs, girls, and freedom, it looks vastly different from Linklater’s last film, the critically acclaimed Boyhood, and more like his earlier work. It opens April 1.
Other movies coming out include the J.J. Abrams produced Cloverfield sequel 10 Cloverfield Lane, Sacha Baron Cohen comedy The Brothers Grimsby, and one of the late Alan Rickman’s final films, Eye in the Sky, which all open March 11. The third Divergent movie opens March 18, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice lands on March 25 along with the long-anticipated sequel, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.
April will see the release of Don Cheadle’s directorial debut, Miles Ahead, a biopic on Miles Davis that opens on the first of the month. Later, we have Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Bell comedy The Boss out on April 8, along with the horror film Before I Wake and first-person action movie Hardcore Henry. Iron Man director Jon Favreou’s The Jungle Book comes out April 15, action sequel The Huntsman: Winter's War hits theaters April 22. Lastly, Jennifer Aniston comedy Mother’s Day comes out April 29, along with the Jennifer Lawrence-narrated documentary A Beautiful Planet, which explores earth from the viewpoint of outer space.