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The best movies to see this month

Our film critics highlight the 10 best movies released in U.S. theaters for the month of April

1
1/10

Lambert & Stamp

Why we’re excited
Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp weren’t just the band managers for the Who—they had a scrappiness and a cinematic vision that was leagues ahead of most concert bookers and talent handlers. Their story is equally as deserving as the band’s itself; James D. Cooper’s footage-rich profile is a fun way into a familiar subject.

What could go wrong?
Those expecting plenty of live footage will leave frustrated: The music is definitely in support of a backstage tale, one that’s rivetingly told.

Lambert & Stamp opens Apr 3.

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2
2/10

Furious 7

Why we’re excited
An unexpectedly durable franchise (despite the premature death of costar Paul Walker), the Furious movies continue to push CGI-crafted action sequences to deliriously dumb heights. The latest installment has a sports car crashing out of a skyscraper’s penthouse window into another building—then through that building into a third.

What could go wrong?
You might have an allergic reaction to lunkheads like Vin Diesel, Jason Statham or Dwayne Johnson. Or possibly you prefer your street poetry a little grittier.

Furious 7 opens Apr 3.

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3
3/10

Ex Machina

Why we’re excited
Screenwriter Alex Garland wrote 28 Days Later and Sunshine; he’s apparently learned a lot from director Danny Boyle about stylish futurism. For Garland’s first foray behind the camera, he takes on the topics of artificial intelligence and corporate greed.

What could go wrong?
Movies about AI are extremely hit and miss: For every heart-wrenching Her, there’s a Transcendence. Also, why are people still trying to make dull Domhnall Gleeson a star?

Ex Machina opens Apr 10.

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4
4/10

Clouds of Sils Maria

Why we’re excited
Kristen Stewart recently became the first American to win a César, France’s equivalent of the Oscar, for her supporting performance in this backstage psychodrama about an aging theater star (Juliette Binoche) who agrees to a tricky role. The movie won’t remind you of Twilight.

What could go wrong?
It’s a challenging subgenre, the femme-on-femme power play, and juicier examples like The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant and Persona definitely eclipse this movie for sizzle.

Clouds of Sils Maria opens Apr 10.

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5
5/10

Dior and I

Why we’re excited
In the wake of John Galliano's toxic departure from Christian Dior, soft-spoken Belgian designer Raf Simons assumed the mantle of the label's creative design, but with only weeks to complete his first collection. Frédéric Tcheng's suspenseful documentary is a study in coolheaded leadership that Project Runway wanna-bes should consider homework.

What could go wrong?
If the Zoolander–like anxieties of exquisite tailoring, floral arrangements and inflated egos don’t grab you, this doc might be a fashion fail.

Dior and I opens Apr 10.

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6
6/10

True Story

Why we’re excited
Jonah Hill has evolved into one of the most slippery actors of his generation. In his latest, he plays a fact-bending New York Times reporter—a perfect match for his talents. Hill's character forges an unconventional bond with an imprisoned child murderer (James Franco), himself a bit of a truth bender. If the screenplay gives them time to interact, we expect something weirdly compelling.

What could go wrong?
Though itself based on a true story, the movie takes plenty of dramatic license—does it stray too far? Also, Franco fatigue is very much a real thing.

True Story opens Apr 17.

7
7/10

Unfriended

Why we’re excited
Why has it taken so long for catty high-schoolers and shame-making social media to combine into a found-footage horror movie about a vengeful ghost in the machine? For the concept alone, we’re tempted to line up—this could be some choice hate-watching.

What could go wrong?
Hate-watching only goes so far and early response at the Fantasia and South by Southwest film festivals was mixed.

Unfriended opens Apr 17.

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8
8/10

Child 44

Why we’re excited
You liked Tom Hardy in The Drop, you couldn’t understand him as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises and you simply can’t wait to see his leather-clad warrior in this summer’s Mad Max: Fury Road. Here’s how to get your Hardy fix in the meantime: a Russian-set Cold War thriller.

What could go wrong?
Can Hardy pull off the accent? And child abduction doesn’t exactly scream “fun night at the movies.”

Child 44 opens Apr 17.

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Now Showing
9
9/10

Adult Beginners

Why we’re excited
Already, we’re missing Kroll Show, which recently concluded its third and most frenetic season. But you can see its mercurial star Nick Kroll in this comedy about a failed entrepreneur who moves in with his sister and becomes an all-thumbs nanny to a three-year-old.

What could go wrong?
Can Kroll possibly improve on C-Czar and Dad Academy? Even for those who don’t know his TV work, the plot seems a little tired.

Adult Beginners opens Apr 24.

10
10/10

Iris

Why we’re excited
A 93-year-old style icon, Iris Apfel combines impeccable taste with witty barbs and an energy that would be envied by folks a quarter of her age. This profile is one of the final films by late vérité master Albert Maysles, who lets Apfel tell her own story in a winning way.

What could go wrong?
Little to nothing, if you love a compelling one-of-a-kind subject, confident filmmaking and the message that old age is only in your head.

Iris opens Apr 29.

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