Los Angeles, US (BBN) – BBC Culture picks nine films come out this month, including the latest Fast and Furious blockbuster, a monster comedy and an erotic psychological thriller from the director of Oldboy, reports BBC.
director Terence Davies (House of Mirth, The Deep Blue Sea) delivers what The New Yorker describes as “an absolute drop-dead masterwork” and “an urgent outpouring of pent-up creative energy” with this biopic of the 19th-Century poet Emily Dickinson.
Cynthia Nixon stars in a drama that is “both a celebration of the creative spirit, and a poignant reminder of its fragility” – although portraying a life that was outwardly uneventful, it reveals “a fiery, passionate figure who questioned every aspect of the patriarchal society in which she lived”.
Nixon’s Dickinson “seems to rise outward from the bone”, and Davies achieves more than a straightforward depiction of the poet’s life: instead, “he creates a world that is, above all, her inner world”.
Released 14 April in the US, 15 April in Hong Kong and 3 May in France. (Credit: Hurricane Films)
Helen Mirren joins the cast for the latest instalment of the Fast and the Furious franchise, as the mother of two brothers played by Jason Statham and Luke Evans.
Director F Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) said that Mirren brings “a little bit of humour and fun” to her role.
Another newcomer to the series, Charlize Theron, appears as the villain Cipher alongside Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Statham and Scott Eastwood.
The follow-up to Fast and Furious 7 – which became the sixth-highest-grossing film of all time worldwide – promises to be just as high-octane: in one scene revealed by the trailer, Dwayne Johnson pushes a torpedo away from his car with his bare hands. On general release from 12 April. (Credit: Universal Pictures)
The latest from Danish director Lone Scherfig (An Education) is “a relentlessly charming romantic comedy” that is “broad and rib-nudging when it wants, understated and dignified when it needs to be”, according to Variety.
Adapted from a novel by Lissa Evans, Their Finest takes its name from a speech by Winston Churchill, and stars Gemma Arterton as a copywriter hired to script propaganda films during World War Two.
Sam Claflin co-stars as a fellow screenwriter in an ensemble cast including Richard E Grant, Helen McCrory and Bill Nighy. Arterton’s performance has been praised by the Hollywood Reporter for its “grace and understatement” and Claflin “reveals maturity and dry humour… in a film that celebrates old-fashioned screen storytelling with infectious fondness”.
Released 7 April in the US, 13 April in Australia and 14 April in Canada. (Credit: BBC Films)
Described by the Independent as “a comedy-inflected horror story about what it means to be black in America”, Get Out has provoked much discussion, including claims of racist reviews.
Jordan Peele’s directorial debut stars Daniel Kaluuya, who meets the rich parents of his white girlfriend (played by Allison Williams) in a weekend visit that takes a terrifying turn.
Time magazine praises Peele for making “an agile entertainment whose social and cultural observations are woven so tightly into the fabric that you’re laughing even as you’re thinking”, while Sight and Sound describes the film as “a surreal satire of racial tension” and “a modern genre classic”.
Released 7 April in Norway, 20 April in Hungary and 21 April in Turkey. (Credit: Blumhouse Productions)
Anne Hathaway stars as “a train wreck so obliviously selfish that she accidentally wills a rampaging kaiju into the world” in what one review describes as “a film so strange its very existence seems a miracle… a low-budget monster comedy that is silly, satirical and stupendous”.
Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes) writes and directs a twist on the genre that sees Hathaway send up her sometimes prim persona: “Colossal is one of those movies with the amount of creativity that some directors never produce in their whole lives,” according to RogerEbert.com.
“Fans of seeing films that are like never before should seek it out.”
Released 7 April in the US, 13 April in Australia and 27 April in Russia. (Credit: Toy Fight Productions)
Park Chan-Wook (Oldboy) transposes Sarah Waters’ crime novel Fingersmith, which was set in Victorian Britain, to 1930s-era colonial Korea and Japan in this erotic psychological thriller.
It tells the story of a Korean woman engaged as a maid who becomes involved in a conman’s plot to defraud her mistress of a large inheritance.
It’s one of the best films yet from “the master of classy trash”, according to The Chicago Sun-Times: “There’s artistry in his film-making, but also a lot of blood, plenty of sick humour and moments of sheer lunacy.”
It’s also a visual treat, winning a prize for art direction at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
“Kinky by design, artful by intent, the film draws visual inspiration from Gothic erotic art,” says the Toronto Star.
“Come for the sexy mystery, stay for the immaculate production design.”
Released 7 April in Norway, 12 April in Denmark and 14 April in Ireland. (Credit: Moho Film)
Ben Wheatley (Sightseers, High-Rise) steps into Tarantino territory with a drama that brings two opposing gangs together in a shootout and game of survival in a deserted warehouse: but this is no Reservoir Dogs.
“The kind of glamorous ‘clean kills’ on which the entire tradition of the Hollywood shoot-out has been built are conspicuous by their absence,” says the Telegraph.
“Pop-culture monologues come in for equally short shrift.” According to Empire, “this is a sleeker and more violent film”.
Despite a sprawling cast that includes Cillian Murphy, Brie Larson and Armie Hammer, the action is masterfully controlled – Sight and Sound argues that “What might be messy in less capable hands is simply dynamic here.” This is a “crime caper steeped in blood and banter”.
Released 6 April in Germany, 21 April in the US and 27 April in Russia. (Credit: Film4)
This documentary feature about the Nasa team that guided early US astronauts into space combines archive footage with interviews.
The founder of the agency’s mission control centre, flight directors and the space explorers themselves recall Mercury and Gemini flights, the Apollo 1 fire and the moon landings.
The film reveals the contributions of people from all backgrounds, including students straight out of college and soldiers who had experienced military service.
“I used to sit outside at night and gaze up at the moon,” says one Mission Control member in the trailer.
“It never occurred to me that we would land people there.” Released 14 April in the US. (Credit: Haviland Digital)
This low-budget anime has gained momentum since its release, becoming the highest-grossing Japanese film in history.
However director Makoto Shinkai (The Garden of Words) is uncomfortable with the success of his time-shifting, body-swapping supernatural love story.
He told the South China Morning Post that “It’s not healthy. I don’t think any more people should see it.”
He has also rejected comparisons with master animator Hayao Miyazaki, saying “I am absolutely not at Miyazaki’s level”.
Yet some critics gave it five-star reviews while also praising Shinkai for finding his own unique voice:
The Observer’s Mark Kermode claims that “this rip-roaring, heartbreaking YA adventure is very much its own beast, as different from Miyazaki’s ageless Studio Ghibli animations as it is from live-action western romps”, and according to The Independent “Shinkai manages to combine romance, gender politics, a quest saga, a story of adolescent angst, and a time travel yarn while addressing post-Fukushima fears of disaster”.
Released 7 April in Spain and the US and 12 April in Sweden. (Credit: CoMix Wave Films)