The best movies to see this month

Six April films you need to know about

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  • Calvary

    Why we're excited
    Director John Michael McDonagh’s first film ‘The Guard’ was a spiky treat – a little shaggy, perhaps, but wonderfully wry and witty. His second, ‘Calvary’, keeps the small-town-Ireland setting, juicy dialogue and leading man Brendan Gleeson – this time playing a local priest who gets a death threat in the confessional. The cast is all-round excellent, with Aidan Gillen, Chris O’Dowd, Dylan Moran, Kelly Reilly and one of the great character actors, M Emmet Walsh.

    What could go wrong?
    Nothing. We’ve seen ‘Calvary’ and it’s terrific: intelligent and emotional, blackly funny and wise. It asks important state-of-the-nation questions and comes up with bitter, uncomfortable truths. Some may find its episodic structure and sprawling cast of characters a bit bewildering, but this is already one of the best movies of the year.

    ‘Calvary’ is out in UK cinemas on April 11.

    Read our review

    Calvary
  • Locke

    Why we’re excited
    
Eighty-five minutes of actor Tom Hardy driving down the M6 at night in real-time while talking on his phone. No car chases. No zombie attacks. No, it doesn’t sound like a thrill ride. But word is that 'Locke' is edge-of-the-seat gripping – thanks to a first rate performance from Hardy. He is ordinary bloke Ivan Locke, a Welsh building contractor on his way to sort out a mess in his private life (Olivia Colman and Ruth Wilson play the two women in his world).

    What could go wrong?
    Depends who you ask. Time Out film editor Dave Calhoun gives ‘Locke’ the four-star treatment, praising it as a ‘masterclass’ in taut, tight filmmaking. Over at the Guardian, Xan Brooks is not so impressed. He reckons ‘Locke’ is over-talky: ‘They make a classic error of overcompensation.’

    ‘Locke’ is out in UK cinemas on 18 April.

    Read the review

    Locke
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    Niko Tavernise

    Why we’re excited
    Andrew Garfield is back in the spandex and this time he’s got not one but three nemesis types on his case – all played by actors we love to watch. Dane DeHaan (the new James Dean if you believe the hype) is the Green Goblin. Paul Giamatti leaves all that Oscar-worthy character acting crap behind to strap into some seriously hardcore armour as The Rhino. Jamie Foxx completes the trio as Electro. Can’t wait.

    What could go wrong?
    With all those mortal foes creeping out of the woodwork, we’re hoping for some seriously crunchy action scenes. Trouble is, while we loved Andrew Garfield’s adolescently awkward Spidey, the setpieces were the weak link in the first film.

    ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ is out in the UK on 18 April.

    Read more

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • Transcendence

    Peter Mountain

    Why we’re excited
    There’s no arguing that we’re in a golden age of big-budget sci-fi, but much of it tends to involve whizzing spaceships, teen heroes and alien invasions. There’s nothing wrong with any of that. But every so often it’s nice to sink your teeth into a bit of brain food. ‘Transcendence’ looks like a chilly slice of intelligent futurism, as Johnny Depp’s messianic computer genius joins with his own artificially intelligent creation to battle luddite terrorists.

    What could go wrong?
    Three words: ‘The Lawnmower Man’. Yes, the last notable film about a man transforming into a machine promised much, and delivered little more than a lot of flashy (for 1992) graphics and excruciating dialogue. Still, ‘Transcendence’ is directed by Christopher Nolan’s regular cameraman Wally Pfister, features a terrific cast (Morgan Freeman and Rebecca Hall star alongside Johnny), and seems to be packing in more smart ideas than you can shake a mouse at.

    ‘Transcendence’ is out in UK cinemas on April 25.

    Read more

    Transcendence
  • We Are the Best!

    Why we’re excited
    Swedish director Lukas Moodysson won fans worldwide for his joyous, uncynical cinema treats ‘Show Me Love’ (1998) and ‘Together’ (2000). Then he went all weird, angry and arty, and many of us switched off. Well, now he’s heading back to his roots for the tale of three outcast 13-year-old girls in 1980s Stockholm who decide to form a punk band.

    What could go wrong?
    Very little. Moodysson is a pro at getting knock-out performances from kids. And we all love a tale of teenage rebellion against stuffy adult authorities. Anarchy!

    ‘We Are the Best’ is out in UK cinemas on April 18.

    Read the review

    We Are the Best!
  • Exhibition

    Why we’re excited
    Since Joanna Hogg directed her first film ‘Unrelated’, she has won ecstatic reviews and a highbrow following for her subtle, spot-on films about middle-class English families and their emotional baggage. Working with a mix of actors and non-professionals is a Hogg trademark. This time around, she casts Viv Albertine, of the punk band the Slits, and artist Liam Gillick as an artist couple living in a modernist west London house. Hogg regular Tom Hiddleston makes a brief appearance as an estate agent.

    What could go wrong?
    This is a question of taste. If you like Hogg’s Boden-classes drama (Martin Scorsese is a fan of her second film ‘Archipelago’), this is for you. But it’s safe to say that the filmmaker hasn’t exactly extended her range, so if you’ve found her previous films a tad on the humourless side (and some do), avoid.

    ‘Exhibition’ is out in UK cinemas on 25 April.

    Read more

    Exhibition

Calvary

Why we're excited
Director John Michael McDonagh’s first film ‘The Guard’ was a spiky treat – a little shaggy, perhaps, but wonderfully wry and witty. His second, ‘Calvary’, keeps the small-town-Ireland setting, juicy dialogue and leading man Brendan Gleeson – this time playing a local priest who gets a death threat in the confessional. The cast is all-round excellent, with Aidan Gillen, Chris O’Dowd, Dylan Moran, Kelly Reilly and one of the great character actors, M Emmet Walsh.

What could go wrong?
Nothing. We’ve seen ‘Calvary’ and it’s terrific: intelligent and emotional, blackly funny and wise. It asks important state-of-the-nation questions and comes up with bitter, uncomfortable truths. Some may find its episodic structure and sprawling cast of characters a bit bewildering, but this is already one of the best movies of the year.

‘Calvary’ is out in UK cinemas on April 11.

Read our review


Users say

3 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 .

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