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Ten new movie releases you need to know about this month

April's biggest, best and trending films

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1/10

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Back in 2013, we interviewed director Joss Whedon as he was hard at work on the script for this sequel of his superhero megahit. ‘I’ve been thinking about “The Godfather Part 2” and “The Empire Strikes Back”’ he told us. ‘Those are the stars by which I chart my course.’ If that’s not the best possible endorsement for ‘Age of Ultron’ – which will see Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk and sundry other Lycra-clad stalwarts teaming up to defeat a psychotic robot bent on world domination – then we don’t know what is.

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2/10

John Wick

The Keanu comeback starts here. This action drama, directed by a pair of stunt co-ordinators, has been credited with putting Keanu Reeves’s career back on track. He plays a retired hitman bent on revenging the death of his squishy-cute puppy. Keanu has complained that no one thinks of him for major roles anymore, but this was a surprise hit in the US late in 2014, and gets a three-star (qualified) thumbs up from Time Out’s Joshua Rothkopf for its throwback value and brilliant action sequences.

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3/10

The Good Lie

We’re enjoying Reese Witherspoon’s comeback from bad romcoms to movies with strong female characters. This drama comes with the tagline ‘inspired by the incredible true story’, and on paper it sounds a bit earnest. Witherspoon is a careers advisor in Missouri given the job of helping four Sudanese asylum seekers (played by real-life refugees) to find jobs. The recipe for sentimental mush? No so, according to the pretty solid reviews so far.

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4/10

While We’re Young

It’s been described as Woody Allen meets Judd Apatow. This is the latest – and some say best – talky comedy from director Noah Baumbach (‘The Squid and the Whale’). Naomi Watts and Ben Stiller star as mid-40-somethings not quite as successful as they’d dreamed of becoming, and whose mates are smugly settled. But instead of having kids they make friends with a mid-20s New York hipster couple played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried. Cue a sharp and painfully funny generation-clash comedy, according to our reviewer.

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5
5/10

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

Arthouse fans, rejoice. Sweden’s distinctive auteur Roy Andersson is back with film number three in his ‘living’ trilogy (the previous two are ‘You, The Living’ and ‘Songs from the Second Floor’). If you haven’t seen one of his surreal slices of weird deadpan before (he’s been called the ‘slapstick Bergman’), you’re in for a treat. This is like Monty Python sketches written by an existentialist philosopher and acted by the cast of ‘The Fast Show’.

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6
6/10

Cobain: Montage Of Heck

This is the first ‘authorised’ doc of the grunge legend, bringing together home video, diary extracts and family interviews. It tells how a kid called Kurt Cobain started a school band, took grunge global, met Courtney, imploded in the spotlight and shot himself to death at home age 27 in 1994. ‘Kurt Cobain’ picked up rave reviews at its premiere in Sundance, described as ‘definitive’ and ’the most intimate rock documentary ever’.

 

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7/10

Dark Horse: the Incredible Story of a Dream Alliance

We love the sound of this nags-to-riches horseracing doc. This is the true story of how the regulars in a pub in a tight-knit former Welsh mining community clubbed together to buy a racehorse. They raised him on an allotment – a syndicate of 30 paid £10 a week each for his upkeep – and their horse went on to win the Perth Cup. Expect your cockles to be well and truly warmed.

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8
8/10

A Little Chaos

The reviews have been so-so to middling. But we’re always excited to see what Kate Winslet’s up to. In this period drama she stars as a feisty, pioneering seventeeth-century gardener, a woman ahead of her time who brings the chaos of the title to the manicured gardens at Versailles. The film is directed by Alan Rickman, who also plays King Louis XVI. Word is that the chemistry between Kate and her co-star, the thinking woman’s Daniel Craig, Matthias Schoenaerts, is non-existent.

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9/10

Fast & Furious 7

When ‘Fast & Furious’ star Paul Walker died tragically in an off-set car accident in November 2013 – the passenger in a Porsche driven by a friend – ’Fast & Furious 7’ was a couple of months into filming. The shoot resumed with his brothers Caleb and Cody standing in as body doubles, and, according to industry sources, Peter Jackson’s special-effects company ‘reanimating’ his face. Now the film finally hits cinemas. But is there still fuel in the tank of the franchise? Yes, says Time Out’s Tom Huddleston.

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10/10

The Last Five Years

Anna Kendrick, of all-round awesome fame, has sung her heart out in movies before (‘Pitch Perfect’, ‘Into the Woods’). She’s at it again in this adaptation of an off-Broadway musical, the story of a failed five-year relationship between an actress (Kendrick) and an aspiring writer (Jeremy Jordan). Where you stand on it will probably depend on whether you love musicals or take the view that breaking out into song during a film is just plain weird and/or about as fun as sciatica.

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Comments

1 comments
Chris jones
Chris jones

Schoenarts is amazing in 'Rust and Bone' as well, with Marainne Cotillard. By the way he's Belgian, not Dutch, and it not too hard to pronounce if you ignore the spelling - shone (rhymes with bone) arts - shone-arts .