Spring Movie Preview: 21 Notable Upcoming Films

  • Publish Date: March 6, 2013
  • Comments: ↓ 3 user comments

Friday, March 8

Beyond the Hills LIMITED Watch trailer
Directed by Cristian Mungiu

Also by this director:

Tales from the Golden Age (2011) 68
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2008) 97

Based on events at Romania’s Tanacu monastery (which were reported and later turned into “nonfiction novels” by Tatiana Niculescu Bran), Cristian Mungiu’s new film chronicles the struggle between Alina’s love for her best friend, Voichita, a novice nun, and Voichita’s love of God. Alina, played by Cristina Flutur, wants Voichita (Cosmina Stratan) to leave the monastery so they can live together in Germany. The two stars, both newcomers to acting, shared the best actress prize at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where Mungiu won the screenplay award. For most filmmakers, this would be a career achievement, but Mungiu’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days won the Palm d’Or in 2007 (in addition to racking up one of the highest Metascores of all time). Early reviews of his latest film have not been equally glowing, but there should still be plenty to reward the adventurous moviegoer.

Oz: The Great and Powerful Watch trailer
Directed by Sam Raimi

Also by this director:

Drag Me to Hell (2009) 83
Spider-Man 3 (2007) 59
Spider-Man 2 (2004) 83
Spider-Man (2002) 73
The Gift (2000) 62
For Love of the Game (1999) 43
A Simple Plan (1998) 82
The Quick and the Dead (1995) 49
Army of Darkness (1993) 57

Thanks to recent hits like Alice in Wonderland, spring now seems to be the go-to season for big-budget fantasies, though the strategy is not without its cautionary tales (for example, last week's major flop Jack the Giant Slayer). Expect better results for Oz: The Great and Powerful, the first film in four years for Spider-Man director Sam Raimi. This $200 million, 3D prequel to the story told in 1939's The Wizard of Oz chronicles the rise of said wizard (James Franco) from his humble beginnings as a small-time Kansas magician. Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weisz also star.

The ABCs of Death LIMITED Watch red-band trailer
HORROR With 26 directors comes 26 (or more) ways to die in this horror anthology featuring segments by Ben Wheatley (Kill List), Jason Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun), Ti West (House of the Devil), and more. You can finally find out why "T is for Toilet."

Dead Man Down Watch trailer
THRILLER Noomi Rapace, Colin Farrell, Terrence Howard, and Isabelle Huppert star in the English-language debut for director Niels Arden Oplev, who helmed the original film version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey LIMITED
DOCUMENTARY A look at Filipino singer Arnel Pineda's rise from obscurity to become the frontman for the rock group Journey.

Electrick Children LIMITED
DRAMA The debut feature for writer-director Rebecca Thomas centers on a Mormon teen who believes that she was impregnated by rock music.

Emperor LIMITED Watch trailer
DRAMA Tommy Lee Jones is General Douglas MacArthur and Matthew Fox plays General Bonner Fellers in this dramatization of Operation Blacklist, in which Fellers was tasked with clearing Emperor Hirohito's name during America's occupation of post-war Japan.

Greedy Lying Bastards LIMITED
DOCUMENTARY Taking a much less civil approach than An Inconvenient Truth (as if you couldn't guess that from the title), this new documentary focuses on climate change deniers and the harm done by inaction.

FOREIGN Dominik Moll (Lemming) directs this French-language adaptation of the gothic novel by Matthew G. Lewis.

The Silence LIMITED
FOREIGN A pair of terrible crimes two decades apart shake a suburban German town.

Somebody Up There Likes Me LIMITED Watch trailer
COMEDY No relation to the 1956 film of the same name, this unconventional indie comedy from Bob Byington (described by The Hollywood Reporter as "a Todd Solondz film directed by Wes Anderson") stars Keith Poulson, Jess Weixler, Nick Offerman, and Stephanie Hunt and features a score by Vampire Weekend's Chris Baio.

The We And The I LIMITED
DRAMA The less ambitious of the two Michel Gondry films due in 2013, this small scale drama centers on a group of Bronx high schoolers (played by non-actors), who ride the same bus to school.

Friday, March 15

From Up on Poppy Hill LIMITED Watch trailer
Directed by Goro Miyazaki

Also by this director:

Tales from Earthsea (2010) 47

The films of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Ponyo, to name but a few) are beloved by millions, so that puts a fair bit of pressure on his son, Goro Miyazaki. An architect by trade, the younger Miyazaki only began directing films after designing the Studio Ghibli Museum. Though his debut did not receive the rapturous reviews associated with his father’s work, maybe his second film will. From Up on Poppy Hill is a coming-of-age story set in Yokohama in 1963 as Japan prepares to host the 1964 Olympics. Umi and Shun, two local high school students, join forces to save their school’s clubhouse from demolition. Providing the voices for this U.S. release are Sarah Bolger, Anton Yelchin, and Gillian Anderson. Like all Studio Ghibli films, it looks to be a beautifully hand-drawn feast for the eyes.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Watch trailer
Directed by Don Scardino

Veteran TV director Don Scardino (30 Rock) returns to feature directing for the first time in nearly 15 years with a PG-13 comedy about rival magicians penned by the team behind Horrible Bosses 57. The impeccably dressed and coiffed Steve Carell stars as a Vegas magician who attempts to enlist his former partner (Steve Buscemi) to regain his mojo after a street magician (Jim Carrey) becomes the most popular act in town. Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin, and James Gandolfini also star.

Spring Breakers LIMITED Watch red-band trailer
Directed by Harmony Korine

Also by this director:

Trash Humpers (2010) 33
Mister Lonely (2008) 53
Julien Donkey-Boy (1999) 52

Has Harmony Korine gone mainstream? Let’s not go that far. Sure, Spring Breakers might not be as experimental as Gummo or Trash Humpers. But just because he has Disney stars in bikinis brandishing automatic weapons and taking bong hits while James Franco in cornrows celebrates himself, don’t think Korine has lost his edge. He’s still pushing the visual and editorial limits despite the more consumer-friendly subject matter. Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Rachel Korine, and Ashley Benson star as four friends who want to go to Florida for spring break, so they hold up a Chicken Shack. That will not be their last transgression. Reviews have been mixed, but that’s to be expected with Korine at the helm.

Blancanieves LIMITED
FOREIGN This black-and-white silent Spanish film transports the classic "Snow White" story to 1920s Andalusia.

The Call Watch trailer
THRILLER Halle Berry plays a 911 operator who attempts to save a kidnapped girl (Abigail Breslin) who phones for help in the latest from director Brad Anderson (Transsiberian, The Machinist).

Ginger & Rosa LIMITED Watch trailer
DRAMA Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, Christina Hendricks, and Annette Bening star in a coming of age story about the effect of the Cuban missile crisis on a teenage friendship from director Sally Potter (Orlando); the film received mostly positive reviews on the festival circuit last fall.

My Amityville Horror LIMITED Watch trailer
DOCUMENTARY Horror classic The Amityville Horror was based on a book that claimed to describe true events: the haunting of a house occupied briefly by the Lutz family a year after a mass killing at the location. In this new documentary, Daniel Lutz, who was 10 at the time of the alleged haunting, gives his side of the story.

Reality LIMITED Watch trailer
FOREIGN A fishmonger becomes obsessed with joining the cast of the reality show Big Brother in a dramedy from acclaimed Italian director Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah) that won the Grand Prix at last year's Cannes.

Reincarnated LIMITED Watch trailer
DOCUMENTARY Follow rapper Snoop Dogg as he leaves hip-hop behind and becomes the reggae performer Snoop Lion.

Upside Down LIMITED Watch trailer
SCI-FI Jim Sturgess and Kirsten Dunst are star-crossed lovers—almost literally, as they live on twinned planets with opposing gravities that have several unique properties that make it almost impossible for them to be together—trying to reconnect after 10 years apart.

Friday, March 22

Admission Watch trailer
Directed by Paul Weitz

Also by this director:

Being Flynn (2012) 53
Little Fockers (2010) 27
Cirque du Freak (2009) 43
American Dreamz (2006) 45
In Good Company (2004) 66
About a Boy (2002) 75
Down to Earth (2001) 32
American Pie (1999) 58

Combining the comedic talents of Tina Fey and Paul Rudd might increase expectations a bit too much for this comedy from director Paul Weitz, though perhaps the latter's involvement will help you keep those expectations in check. An adaptation of Jean Hanff Korelitz’s novel of the same name, Admission finds Fey playing an admissions officer at Princeton, while Rudd runs an alternative school in New Hampshire. They’re brought together when Rudd asks Fey to meet one of his students, Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), and consider him for admission to the prestigious university. The strong supporting cast includes Michael Sheen as Fey’s boyfriend (a role he previously played on 30 Rock), Lily Tomlin as Fey’s mom, and Wallace Shawn and Gloria Reuben as her colleagues.

Olympus Has Fallen Watch trailer
Directed by Antoine Fuqua

Also by this director:

Brooklyn's Finest (2010) 43
Shooter (2007) 53
Lightning in a Bottle (2004) 78
King Arthur (2004) 46
Tears of the Sun (2003) 48
Training Day (2001) 70
Bait (2000) 39
The Replacement Killers (1998) 42

The first (though probably not the better) of two terrorists-attack-the-White-House action films arriving this year, Olympus stars Gerard Butler as the only Secret Service agent who can save the president (Aaron Eckhart) from capture after an attack by North Korean agents. Antoine Fuqua's first film in three years (after several aborted projects) also stars Morgan Freeman, Dylan McDermott, and Angela Bassett. Coming this summer is Roland Emmerich's White House Down, which finds Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx in basically the same roles as Butler and Eckhart.

The Sapphires LIMITED Watch trailer
Directed by Wayne Blair

Set in 1968, this crowd-pleasing Australian comedy chronicles the journey of four Aboriginal women who form a soul music group with the help of a goofy, boozing Irishman (Chris O’Dowd) and go on to sing to the troops in Vietnam. The film is based on true events from the lives of writer Tony Briggs’ mother and aunt, and stems from a play Briggs wrote in 2004 (before collaborated on the screenplay with Keith Thompson). Director Wayne Blair makes his feature film debut, and early reviews indicate that they’ve come up with a lightweight but pleasing blend of comedy, romance, and especially music: the films features plenty of hits from Motown and Stax Records sung by the cast.

The Croods Watch trailer
ANIMATED/FAMILY The latest from DreamWorks Animation (though it was once going to be an Aardman Animations project) tells the story of a prehistoric family discovering a new world beyond their cave. Voices come from Nicolas Cage, Catherine Keener, Ryan Reynolds, and Emma Stone.

Doctor Bello LIMITED Watch trailer
FOREIGN/DRAMA Isaiah Washington and Vivica A. Fox star in a Nigerian melodrama that follows a doctor's search for a cure for his 13-year-old patient's cancer.

Gimme the Loot LIMITED Watch trailer
COMEDY/DRAMA A hit at SXSW last year, Loot follows two Bronx teens as they hatch a plan to tag the New York Mets' outfield home run apple with graffiti.

Hunky Dory LIMITED Watch trailer
DRAMA/MUSICAL In 1976 Wales, a teacher (Minnie Driver) attempts to get her students to stage a rock opera version of Shakespeare's "The Tempest," featuring songs by David Bowie, Nick Drake, Pink Floyd, ELO, and more.

InAPPropriate Comedy LIMITED Watch red-band trailer (or don't)
COMEDY Infomercial pitchman Vince Offer ditches ShamWows for "comedy" in this "film" that he "wrote" and "directed." For some reason, Adrien Brody stars. Expect a single-digit Metascore.

Love and Honor LIMITED Watch trailer
ROMANCE Liam Hemsworth stars in a period drama about a soldier who goes AWOL and leaves Vietnam to return to the States and attempt to win back the girl who dumped him.

No Place on Earth LIMITED Watch trailer
DOCUMENTARY A look at a group of Holocaust survivors who escaped by hiding in caves for 18 months.

Starbuck LIMITED
FOREIGN/COMEDY This French-Canadian hit comedy about a man who fathered over 500 children (via donations to a fertility clinic) is being remade (by the same director, Ken Scott) as an English-language film starring Vince Vaughn, called The Delivery Man.

Wednesday, March 27

Welcome to the Punch LIMITED Watch trailer
THRILLER James McAvoy stars as a London cop who may finally have an opportunity to capture the notorious criminal (Mark Strong) he has been obsessed with for years.

Friday, March 29

G.I. Joe: Retaliation Watch trailer
Directed by Jon M. Chu

Also by this director:

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (2011) 52
Step Up 3-D (2010) 45
Step Up 2: The Streets (2008) 50

Delayed nine months so it could be converted to 3D, this sequel to 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra 32 might be more action-packed and, well, three-dimensional than the original, but it won’t have as much Channing Tatum, who reportedly makes just a brief appearance. Reprising their roles more substantially are Ray Park as Snake Eyes, Jonathan Pryce as the U.S. President (and another villainous character), Arnold Vosloo as Zartan, and Byung-hun Lee as Storm Shadow, but it’s the new additions that might get fans excited: Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock, Bruce Willis as General Joe Colton, Adrianne Palicki as Lady Jaye, Ray Stevenson as Firefly, and Elodie Yung as Jinx. Director Jon M. Chu steps up to take over the franchise from Stephen Sommers, and was able to use his previous 3D experience to keep a watchful eye on the conversion process. Hopefully, it pays off, and then we can all look forward to the director’s next rumored project, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe in 3D.

The Host Watch trailer
Directed by Andrew Niccol

Also by this director:

In Time (2011) 53
Lord of War (2005) 62
S1m0ne (2002) 49
Gattaca (1997) 64

Another action-filled, sci-fi/fantasy young-adult novel turned movie? Yes, but it comes from the pen of Twilight scribe Stephenie Meyer, the woman who almost single-handedly started Hollywood's latest fad. This futuristic sci-fi romance is set in a world where parasitic aliens called Souls have infiltrated the bodies and minds of most humans. But a rebellious young woman named Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan) proves a less accommodating host, and converts her alien occupier, Wanderer, to her cause. Max Irons plays Melanie's boyfriend (when she was fully human) while Jake Abel and Diane Kruger appear in supporting roles. Unsurprisingly, Meyer has plans to turn The Host into a trilogy of novels, so expect a sequel (or three) if The Host performs well.

The Place Beyond the Pines LIMITED Watch trailer
Directed by Derek Cianfrance

Also by this director:

Blue Valentine (2010) 81

Derek Cianfrance’s follow-up to Blue Valentine stars Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper as men whose decisions and families are destined to intertwine. Gosling plays a pro motorcycle racer who puts his skills on the bike to criminal use to earn extra money after he learns he has a son. Cooper plays a cop who also has a young son with his wife (Rose Byrne). Once these two men cross paths, their lives, and those of their sons (played later by Dane DeHaan and Emory Cohen), change forever. Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle) provides the score for the ambitious drama which also features strong supporting roles by Ben Mendelsohn and Ray Liotta.

Room 237 LIMITED Watch trailer
Directed by Rodney Ascher

Some movie fans love The Shining, director Stanley Kubrick's lone foray into the horror genre. Others find the material beneath the talents of such an accomplished director (though even many of the film's biggest critics have grown to appreciate the film more in recent years). And then there is a third group of people who see numerous coded messages hidden within the colors, numbers, and music of Kubrick's film—messages about genocide, government conspiracies, and more. It is this latter group of obsessives that is the subject of the entertaining documentary Room 237, which received ecstatic reviews at 2012's Sundance festival and finally comes to theaters later this month.

Wrong LIMITED Watch trailer
Directed by Quentin Dupieux

Also by this director:

Rubber (2011) 59

Surprisingly, given that his first film was about a car tire that comes to life and kills people using its psychic powers, French director Quentin Dupieux (also known as Mr. Oizo, to electronic music fans) seems to have gone in an even stranger direction for his follow-up. The absurdist comedy Wrong centers on a man who may or may not have lost his job—and who definitely has lost his dog—though really it's just an excuse for Dupieux to showcase his collection of warped ideas. Critics as last year's Sundance festival felt that, despite funny moments, it didn't actually congeal into a fully watchable film, though as a showcase of inventiveness, you could do worse this spring.

Family Weekend LIMITED Watch trailer
COMEDY An ambitious 16-year-old girl (Olesya Rulin) takes her parents (Kristin Chenoweth, Matthew Modine) hostage after they miss her big jump-roping competition.

Mental LIMITED Watch trailer
COMEDY Toni Collette reunites with director P.J. Hogan (Muriel's Wedding), starring as an eccentric nanny to a household with five eccentric children whose eccentric mother has been committed to an asylum.

Tyler Perry's Temptation Watch trailer
DRAMA Perry's latest is adapted from his stage play, Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, which finds a marriage counselor falling for one of her clients. The cast includes Jurnee Smollett, Vanessa Williams, and Kim Kardashian.

Friday, April 5

Trance LIMITED Watch red-band trailer
Directed by Danny Boyle

Also by this director:

127 Hours (2010) 82
Slumdog Millionaire (2008) 86
Sunshine (2007) 64
Millions (2005) 74
28 Days Later... (2003) 73
The Beach (2000) 43
A Life Less Ordinary (1997) 35
Trainspotting (1996) 83
Shallow Grave (1995) 67

What’s an award-winning director to do after spending years on the opening ceremony for London’s Olympic Games? The answer might be go back to his roots. Danny Boyle began his feature filmmaking career with 1995’s Shallow Grave, a nasty little paranoia-filled thriller. He begins it again with Trance, a film about an art auctioneer who steals a valuable painting with the help of a gang of criminals, only to take a blow to the head and forget where he stashed the painting. James McAvoy plays the sly auctioneer, and Vincent Cassel plays the rather unhappy crime boss who hires Rosario Dawson to hypnotize McAvoy and extract the location of the prized artwork. Boyle again collaborates with cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, an Oscar winner for Slumdog Millionaire, and the propulsive score comes from Underworld’s Rick Smith.

Upstream Color LIMITED Watch trailer
Directed by Shane Carruth

Also by this director:

Primer (2004) 68

Fans of Shane Carruth’s debut Primer—and there are many—have been waiting almost nine years to see what he would write and direct next. The results were finally revealed at January's Sundance Film Festival where Carruth premiered his latest enigma, Upstream Color. It didn’t take the Grand Jury prize as his first film did, but it was awarded a Special Jury Prize: Dramatic (for sound design). And it's clearly a personal project: Carruth serves as producer, writer, director, lead actor (opposite Amy Seimetz, in a much-praised performance), cinematographer, editor (with David Lowery), composer of the score, and even distributor of the film. While Upstream Color has challenged viewers so far, critics seem to be embracing it. Just don't expect a straightforward story. The official synopsis reads, “A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the lifecycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.” Find out what that means when Carruth's film comes to new cities each week in April.

6 Souls LIMITED Watch trailer
HORROR Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers star in a supernatural horror tale (formerly known as Shelter) about a psychiatrist who takes on a patient with multiple personalities, who all happen to be murder victims.

The Brass Teapot LIMITED Watch trailer
COMEDY/THRILLER Michael Angarano and Juno Temple play a couple who find a magical teapot that rewards them with money, but at a price: someone nearby must experience pain. Based on the comic books.

The Company You Keep LIMITED Watch trailer
THRILLER Robert Redford's latest directorial effort (following the lackluster The Conspirator and Like Lions for Lambs) follows a journalist's pursuit of a former Weather Underground activist; the screenplay comes from Lem Dobbs (Haywire, The Limey) and the cast includes Redford, Shia LaBeouf, Susan Sarandon, Anna Kendrick, Brit Marling, Stanley Tucci, and Nick Nolte.

Evil Dead (2013) Watch red-band trailer
HORROR This remake of Sam Raimi's 1981 classic (made with Raimi's approval; he's a producer here) was co-written by Diablo Cody and comes from first-time feature director Fede Alvarez; Jane Levy (Suburgatory) stars.

Jurassic Park (1993)
SCI-FI/ADVENTURE Steven Spielberg's 1993 hit gets a 3D re-release in regular theaters and—for one week only—IMAX screens.

Lotus Eaters LIMITED Watch trailer
DRAMA Shot in black and white, the directorial debut for actress Alexandra McGuinness follows a group of young Londoners dealing with the troubles that come from being wealthy and attractive.

Simon Killer LIMITED Watch trailer
THRILLER Receiving mixed early reviews, this stylish thriller about a young man who devises a blackmail scheme with a Parisian prostitute comes from Antonio Campos, director of Afterschool.

Friday, April 12

To the Wonder LIMITED Watch trailer
Directed by Terrence Malick

Also by this director:

The Tree of Life (2011) 85
The New World (2005) 69
The Thin Red Line (1999) 78

Terrence Malick’s second film in two years (and the first of potentially three upcoming films from the director) is the story of a man (Ben Affleck) torn between two women: Marina (Olga Kurylenko), a single mother who returns with him to Oklahoma from Paris, and Jane (Rachel McAdams), a former flame. Kurylenko’s Marina is lost in Oklahoma, and another lost soul is the local priest, played by Javier Bardem, who struggles with his faith in god and in himself. Those are the actors that made the cut; somewhere there is footage of Jessica Chastain, Rachel Weisz, Michael Sheen, Amanda Peet, and Barry Pepper, who all filmed scenes but wound up on the cutting room floor. A few biographical details give the impression that Malick is allowing viewers a glimpse at his own life (he met his second wife in France and his third wife is American), but that was also said about The Tree of Life, and To the Wonder is said to take the impressionistic style he employed with that film to a new extreme. The film received boos at its Venice Film Festival premiere, but early reviews have still been generally positive.

42 Watch trailer
DRAMA Chadwick Boseman stars as Jackie Robinson in a biopic about the former Brooklyn Dodgers superstar who broke through baseball's color barrier from writer-director Brian Helgeland (best known for penning L.A. Confidential and Mystic River).

The Angels' Share LIMITED Watch trailer
COMEDY/DRAMA The latest from director Ken Loach is an atypically lightweight outing (though it still won the Jury Prize at Cannes last year) about a few Glasgow thugs who attempt to turn around their lives in the whisky industry.

Disconnect LIMITED Watch trailer
THRILLER Jason Bateman, Paula Patton, Alexander Skarsgard, and fashion designer Marc Jacobs are among the stars in an ensemble thriller about the myriad dangers of modern communications technologies.

Into the White LIMITED Watch trailer
DRAMA Harry Potter's Rupert Grint stars in this true-life tale of English and German World War II pilots shot down over Norway only to find themselves struggling to survive together in a remote cabin.

It's a Disaster LIMITED Watch trailer
COMEDY David Cross plays Julia Stiles' new boyfriend at what could be the last brunch ever in this post-apocalyptic comedy (the first of many due this year) from writer-director Todd Berger.

Scary Movie 5 Watch trailer
COMEDY The fifth parody film in the Scary Movie series follows Scary Movie 4 and precedes Scary Movie 6. Additional details were available at press time, but we didn't read them. (If you found that amusing, you may also like Scary Movie 5).

Friday, April 19

Directed by Joshua Michael Stern

Also by this director:

Swing Vote (2008) 47

Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs? Perhaps director Joshua Michael Stern was going out of his way to embrace Apple's "Think Different" mantra. Josh Gad co-stars as Steve Wozniak in Stern's examination of the life of the late Apple co-founder and eventual savior. Both Kutcher and the film as a whole received mixed reviews (at best) when the film debuted at Sundance in January, though the curiosity factor could still fill a few seats when it arrives in theaters next month. Oh, there's one more thing: expect a competing Jobs biopic—written by The Social Network's Aaron Sorkin and based on Walter Isaacson's best-selling biography—next year.

Oblivion Watch trailer
Directed by Joseph Kosinski

Also by this director:

TRON: Legacy (2010) 49

Tom Cruise stars in a sci-fi thriller that's an adaptation of director Joseph Kosinski's own graphic novel, set in the year 2073 when Earth is mostly abandoned after being devastated by war. Cruise plays a drone repairman who rescues a woman (Andrea Riseborough) from a downed spacecraft and runs afoul of resistance forces (led by Morgan Freeman); Olga Kurylenko, Melissa Leo, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau also star. It's Kosinski's first film since the mixed success of Tron: Legacy, but various drafts of the script were written by Oscar-winners William Monahan and Michael Arndt (the latter getting some much-needed sci-fi experience to prepare him for Star Wars Episode VII), and the score comes from French electronica band M83. Note that IMAX theaters were originally supposed to get the film one week early (on the 12th), but Oblivion will now open everywhere on the 19th.

In the House LIMITED
FOREIGN Based on a Spanish play, the latest from French director François Ozon (Potiche, Swimming Pool) centers on a jaded teacher who mentors a gifted 16-year-old student whose troubling writings blend reality with fiction.

Kon-Tiki LIMITED Watch trailer
FOREIGN This dramatized look at Thor Heyerdahl's famous South Seas expedition was nominated for a foreign language Oscar.

The Lords of Salem LIMITED Watch trailer
HORROR A radio DJ receives a mysterious record that, when played, awakens an old demonic presence in the latest directorial effort from Rob Zombie.

Friday, April 26

At Any Price LIMITED Watch trailer
Directed by Ramin Bahrani

Also by this director:

Goodbye Solo (2009) 89
Chop Shop (2008) 83
Man Push Cart (2006) 71

Ramin Bahrani has enjoyed the praise of critics for each of his first three films, but early impressions of his latest have been underwhelming. Has Bahrani lost his magic by trying to jump to large-scale melodrama with known actors instead of sticking to what his previous films did so well with unknowns or non-actors in the lead roles? Possibly, but At Any Price still looks to be an intriguing misfire (if it is that). Dennis Quaid stars as a successful farmer in Iowa whose moral compass is a bit off when it comes to his business and his marriage. Zac Efron plays his speed-loving son who dreams of being a NASCAR driver instead of a farmer. Family fights and the struggle for the American Dream play out with the support of Kim Dickens as Quaid’s wife and Heather Graham as his mistress, while Efron has his eyes on Maika Monroe and Sophie Curtis.

Mud LIMITED Watch trailer
Directed by Jeff Nichols

Also by this director:

Take Shelter (2011) 85
Shotgun Stories (2008) 76

When it premiered at Cannes last year, Jeff Nichols’ Mud received a lukewarm response, but maybe expectations were too high thanks to the overwhelming critical praise of his previous feature, Take Shelter. His latest is a coming-of-age story set in the South. The Mud of the title is a felon, played by Matthew McConaughey. He’s hiding out on an island in the Mississippi River when 14-year-old Ellis (Tye Sheridan from The Tree of Life) and his best friend, Neckbone (Jacob Lofland), happen upon him. The boys eventually decide to help Mud reunite with his girlfriend Juniper, played by Reese Witherspoon. The impressive cast includes Nichols regular Michael Shannon, plus Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, and Joe Don Baker.

Pain & Gain Watch trailer
Directed by Michael Bay

Also by this director:

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) 42
Transformers: Revenge/Fallen (2009) 35
Transformers (2007) 61
The Island (2005) 50
Bad Boys II (2003) 38
Pearl Harbor (2001) 44
Armageddon (1998) 42
The Rock (1996) 59
Bad Boys (1995) 41

While every Michael Bay movie is in some ways a comedy, Pain & Gain is his first in quite some time to be intentionally funny. Shot on an un-Bay-like $25 million budget, the action-comedy centers on a group of bodybuilders at a Florida gym who hatch a plan to kidnap and ransom one of the gym's wealthy customers, only to find their scheme go horribly wrong. (It's based on a true story.) Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, and Anthony Mackie provide the muscle, Tony Shalhoub is the unfortunate victim, and Rebel Wilson, Ed Harris, Rob Corddry, and Ken Jeong also star.

The Big Wedding Watch trailer
COMEDY Divorced parents Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton must pretend to be a happily married couple when their adopted son's ultraconservative biological mother arrives in town for his wedding; the comedy (delayed from last fall) also stars Amanda Seyfried, Katherine Heigl, Robin Williams, Topher Grace, and Susan Sarandon.

Graceland LIMITED Watch trailer
THRILLER The latest release from Drafthouse Films is a twisty Manilla-set thriller about a kidnapping gone wrong; audiences at last year's Tribeca Film Festival loved it.

The Numbers Station LIMITED Watch trailer
THRILLER John Cusack stars as a CIA black ops agent tasked with protecting Malin Akerman, a code operator at a remote CIA encryption facility that comes under attack.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist LIMITED Watch trailer
DRAMA Based on the novel by Mohsin Hamid, Mira Nair's (Monsoon Wedding) first feature in four years looks at how the events of September 11th impact the life of a young, law-abiding Pakistani man trying to chase the American Dream on Wall Street.

What do you think?

Which films are you looking forward to over the next few months? Let us know in the comments section below. For a frequently updated listing of all upcoming film releases by date, including films arriving later in 2013, visit our Movie Calendar.

Comments (3)

  • mrmonster  

    The only one of those movies that looks good is Oz the Great and Powerful.

  • Meals  

    Actually FleshWorld, being from Harmony Korine, the writer of Kids having done the festival circuit with Venice Toronto, it's certainly not "lowest-common-denominator entertainment" at all. If anything, Korine intends to play up reality shows like "Girls Gone Wild" but is doing so in a violent, visually spectacular style with music by Skrillex and Cliff Martinez. Safe to say this won't be everyone's cup of tea.

  • FleshWorld  

    I love this feature, thanks for doing this every time of year! I can't believe we finally get to see Room 237 I'm a little freaked out to see some of the meanings underpinning that sequence at the Overlook. I hope The Place Beyond the Pines will be great, but I'm a little skeptical. And I'm sure Spring Breakers will be lowest-common-demoninator entertainment, but I'm I seeing it? You bet your ass.

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    2022 Oscars: Full Winners List + Reviews of the Show
    March 27, 2022 - 7 comments
    1. ManuelFranco : I just want to say Thank You to everyone who supported me through the years. My name is Manuel Franco, New Berlin,... Read »
    2. Sickandtired : Since Will Smith's wife Jada has screwed him over and let her rule the home and raise her children the way she is ,... Read »
    3. Christopher_G2 : Eh, a feel good movie better Green Book but weaker than The Artist or The King's Speech winning Best Pic. The Power... Read »
    4. FelicityFenwick : A little surprising that there were no "boos" following the assault on Rock, but Hollywood is gutless in that... Read »
    5. UncleWillard : Say what you will about Oscar viewship declining, but this show had the most interesting and genuine thing happen in... Read »
    6. gbarbosaf : I'm really disappointed at CODA's award as best picture. Next year perhaps they will choose a Hallmark movie. And the... Read »
    7. OlivierPiel : Disgusting. Will Smith pathetic speech is like the bully that retreats into cowardly justifications to justify his... Read »
  2. /feature/2022-academy-awards-picks-who-will-win Image
    2022 Oscar Predictions from Experts and Users
    March 23, 2022 - 2 comments
    1. rcc10galaxy : Well... First, users are just voting who they want to win, no who they think will win. That's becomes totally clear... Read »
  3. /feature/video-game-of-the-year-awards-tracker Image
    Best of 2021: Game of the Year Awards
    March 3, 2022 - 1 comment
    1. VidyaGaemAwards : Our voters awarded Metroid Dread the "Least Worst Award" for least worst game of the year, this is the equivalent of... Read »
  4. /feature/now-streaming-on-amazon-instant-video Image
    What to Watch Right Now on Amazon's Prime Video
    June 22, 2022 - 15 comments
    1. 1wifwaf : *puts on pedantic hat* documentary is misspelled as 'Documetnary' for the two March 25 entries (Luci and Desi; Dear... Read »