14 Films to see in April 2017

1. The Circle

Drama/Thriller | April 28

Directed by: James Ponsoldt

The End Of The Tour and The Spectacular Now writer-director James Ponsoldt’s adaptation of Dave Eggers’ novel follows Emma Watson’s Mae as she excels at the world’s largest tech company and is encouraged by company founder Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks) to live her life with complete transparency. Hanks starred in Tom Tykwer’s adaptation of Eggers’ A Hologran for the King last year, but here he’ll play a more sinister character alongside a strong supporting cast that includes Karen Gillan, John Boyega, Ellar Coltrane, and Bill Paxton in one of his last performances.

2. Colossal

Sci-Fi/Comedy | April 7

Directed by: Nacho Vigalondo

The latest from writer-director Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes, Open windows) stars Anne Hathaway as a hard-partying woman who discovers a strange connection between herself and a monster destroying Seoul, South Korea. While the pay-off for this intriguing set-up has disappointed some critics, others believe the offbeat sci-fi comedy, also starring Jason Sudeikis, is worth the bumpy ride.

 

3. The Fate Of  The Furious

Action/Thriller | April 14

Directed by: F Gary Gray

Juho Kuosmanen’s Finnish boxing drama won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Set in the Summer of 1962, the film tells the true story of Finnish boxer Olli Mäki as he falls in love during the preparation for the biggest fight of his life—a shot at the World Featherweight title held by American Davey Moore. Excellent early reviews praise the strong lead performances of this unique yet universal story.

 

7. The Lost City of Z

The latest from director James Gray (The Immigrant, Two Lovers) tells the story of Lieutenant Colonel Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), a British explorer obsessed with finding a lost city deep in the Amazon. The decades-long quest takes a toll on his reputation and his life with his wife (Sienna Miller) and children. Also starring Robert Pattinson and Tom Holland, the film has earned good early reviews.

 

8. The Entire High School

Animation | April 14

Directed by: Dash Shaw

 

9. Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer

Their Finest Hour and A Half
Directed by Lone Sherfig

Adapted by Gaby Chiappe from Lissa Evans’ novel Their Finest Hour and a Half and directed by Lone Scherfig, Their Finest focuses on a group of filmmakers tasked with making an inspirational film during the Blitz. Gemma Arterton stars as a female scriptwriter matched up with Sam Claflin to produce a film starring a pompous actor played by Bill Nighy in a performance praised by every critic regardless of their feelings toward the film in general.

 

11. Truman

Winner of five Goya Awards (the Spanish equivalent to the Academy Awards) including best film, Cesc Gay’s seventh feature could be his first to make an impression in the States. Ricardo Darin stars as Julián, a teacher who is terminally ill and has decided to stop cancer treatment and get his affairs in order when his childhood friend Tomás (Javier Cámara of Talk to Her) pays him a surprise visit. Unable to change Julián’s mind, Tomás helps his friend make funeral arrangements and find a home for his beloved dog, Truman.

12. Your Name

A huge hit in Japan last year where it was the number one film at the box office for 13 weeks—and the highest-grossing anime film in history—Makoto Shinkai’s fifth feature is based on his own novel about Mitsuha, a high school girl living in rural Japan, and Taki, a high school boy living in Tokyo, who swap bodies. The film received a one week Oscar-qualifying run late last year, but Funimation will return it to theaters in both dubbed and subtitled versions across the U.S. this month.

13. Casting JonBenet

One of the best-reviewed movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Kitty Green’s latest documentary uses a local casting call to collect opinions, theories and performances from professional and non-professional actors auditioning to play members of JonBenet Ramsey’s family. The audacious technique, similar to what Greene used in her 2014 award-winning short, The Face Of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul, results in a unique perspective on the mysterious death of the six-year-old pageant queen.

14. Win It All

Director Joe Swanberg reunites with his Drinking Buddies and Digging For Fire star Jake Johnson for this tale of a gambling addict who agrees to watch a duffel bag full of money for a friend headed to prison, only to lose it all and have a short time to win it back. For many critics, it’s the best of their three collaborations. And, as is typical for the director’s films, the supporting players— Keegan-Michael Key, Joe Lo Truglio and Aislinn Derbe—shine as well.