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Us
Photo: Claudette Barius Us

Nine conversation starters for this spring’s movies

This season’s cinematic onslaught—from Jordan Peele to sexy French sci-fi—gives us plenty to talk about.

By Joshua Rothkopf
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You know how it goes: Everybody’s already seen the hot new movies and (show-offs) have their opinions pre-sculpted. You could always talk about Game of Thrones again. Or complain about your salad. But we say be bold. Bring up these nine questions. Embrace your inner film geek. Here are the burning issues that will spur the most discussions this spring. Who knows? You might even love the films, too.

2019 spring movies

Photo: Marvel Studios

“Aren’t we expecting too much from these superhero movies?”

Movies Action and adventure

Captain Marvel (March 8)
Maybe so. They’re not going to bring world peace, and, unless you’re a Disney stockholder, the box office shouldn’t keep you up at night. Then again, representation is important: As the Marvel Cinematic Universe mounts it first female-led offshoot, hopes are high for star Brie Larson and codirectors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (of the moving indie Half Nelson).

“Am I ready to go back to the Sunken Place?”

Movies Horror

Us (March 22)
You ought to be, because Get Out’s Jordan Peele is a once-in-a-generation talent. He’s our Rod Serling—really, he’s hosting the new Twilight Zone on CBS—and not everyone wins a screenwriting Oscar their first time out. (He did.) Peele’s much-buzzed follow-up is another “social thriller,” as he calls them: a horror movie that draws juice from real-life racial tensions.

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Photo: Atsushi Nishijima

“Isn’t the McConaissance over at this point?”

Movies Comedy

The Beach Bum (March 29)
Judging from recent evidence, yes. Matthew McConaughey’s Lincoln commercials only mystify us, and don’t get us started on his gawdawful January flop Serenity. But if anyone can push the bronzed icon out of his comfort zone, it’s Harmony Korine, director of Gummo and the immortal Spring Breakers. We’re praying for a trashterpiece.

“Can we get a real film about real people?”

Movies

Diane (March 29)
Big time, and we can thank New York Film Festival’s Kent Jones for that. In his first foray into narrative drama, the writer-director chronicles an upstate New York community plagued by the opioid crisis in a story dominated by complex middle-aged women (including the fiercely committed Mary Kay Place).

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“What is the Fuckbox, and how do I get inside it?”

Movies Science fiction

High Life (April 5)
It’s a chamber of sexual stimulation that exists for space prisoners in director Claire Denis’s arresting sci-fi art flick. You’ll want to see it for the sight of Juliette Binoche getting freaky solo and Robert Pattinson deepening his post-Twilight career in one of the strangest projects he could find.

Photo: Kerry Hayes

“Do I miss my cat that much?”

Movies Horror

Pet Sematary (April 5)
Or, in the original words of Stephen King’s 1983 novel (his scariest): “Sometimes, dead is better.” His tale of reanimation has already been turned into a terrible 1989 flick, but it’s time to bury that one. This new attempt, with a rumored plot revision that has superfans pre-terrified, may finally get the job done.

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Photo: Donald Stahl

“Don’t you miss Courtney Love?”

Movies

Her Smell (April 12)
It’s not like she disappeared or anything. But, undeniably, the grunge icon has retreated. So it’s almost sweet to see Elisabeth Moss take a break from her Hulu dystopian struggles to embody a thinly veiled version of the alt rock queen herself. Obnoxious, abrasive and loud, Her Smell is the anti–Bohemian Rhapsody, with a last act that veers into tenderness.

Vengadores: Endgame
Vengadores: Endgame
Photo: Marvel Studios

“When they say Endgame, they mean this is the last one, right?”

Movies Action and adventure

Avengers: Endgame (April 26)
Of course not. Do you really think they’ll let half the team blow away in a cloud of brown leaves? Expect plenty of avenging in years to come from characters you thought were dead. But, as for Josh Brolin’s bling-collecting supervillain Thanos, this installment will likely be his final outing.

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