You have a lot of choices when it comes not only to which movies you’re going to watch each month but also where and how you’re going to watch them. Blu-ray, DVD, streaming, cable, Laser disc – the future is now, and the options are endless. All of this variety is great, but the best way to see a film remains on the big screen in a quality theater.
With that in mind we’re going to offer up our suggestions for the five films each month that you should seek out at the movie-house near you. Some we’ve already seen and loved, others we simply suspect and hope will be worth the trip. Keep reading to see our picks for the top five movies to watch in theaters this month.
5. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Release Date: March 25th
Director: Zack Snyder
Writers: Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer
Cast: Amy Adams, Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Jesse Eisenberg, Laurence Fishburne, Gal Gadot, Holly Hunter, Jeremy Irons, Jason Momoa
Why is it a must-see? There’s a lot riding on this epic superhero mash-up for Warner Bros., namely a couple hundred million dollars and the possible fate of their DC cinematic universe, but for most of us the only concern is a good time at the movies. It’s tough nailing this one down though as there are so many conflicting factors – Snyder’s track record, the first big-screen appearance of Wonder Woman, the bad taste left by Man of Steel, and, for me at least, the nonsensical nature of anyone lasting more than a few seconds against Superman in a fight. As someone who’s a fan of the dark tone and the idea of Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman though I’m cautiously optimistic.
4. 10 Cloverfield Lane
Release Date: March 11th
Director: Dan Trachtenberg
Writers: Josh Campbell & Matthew Stuecken and Damien Chazelle
Cast: John Gallagher Jr., John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Why is it a must-see? Leaving the title and production company aside for a second, this looks to be a terrifically-cast, single-location thriller involving abduction, misdirection, and a villainous Goodman. That’s more than enough to have us interested, but add in the title and production company? Oh boy. Both all but confirm a direct connection of some kind to 2008’s found-footage Godzilla riff, Cloverfield, but the question remains as to how far this film will take that connection. My guess is that it’ll play out like a claustrophobic little thriller until the third act where it’s revealed that the city above is in lock-down due to monsters, and voila, it’s already an improvement over Cloverfield.
3. Midnight Special
Release Date: March 18th
Director/Writer: Jeff Nichols
Cast: Adam Driver, Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton, Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard
Why is it a must-see? Two words – Take Shelter. Nichols’ 2011 drama about a man at war with the apocalyptic visions in his head is an absolute stunner, and while I wasn’t as taken with his follow-up (Mud) as the rest of you were it revealed him to be capable of guiding child actors to greatness. His latest looks to be focused on a child again, but this time he’s paired with Nichols’ not-so secret weapon – Shannon. Combining these elements with something resembling an Amblin vibe – kids, sci-fi/fantasy, on the run from authorities – marks this as a film we are very excited to experience.
2. Mountains May Depart
Release Date: March 11th
Director/Writer: Zhangke Jia
Cast: Jing Dong Liang, Yi Zhang, Tao Zhao
Why is it a must-see? Jia has been an acclaimed filmmaker for nearly two decades, but his 2013 feature, A Touch of Sin, is the only one of his seven films I’ve seen. It was enough – as evidenced by its inclusion on our Best of the Year lists – to make his next one of my most anticipated of 2016. His latest appears to leave the violence and action behind, but Jia’s focus on China’s present and future remains.
1. London Has Fallen
Release Date: March 4th
Director: Babak Najafi
Writers: Creighton Rothenberger & Katrin Benedikt and Christian Gudegast and Chad St. John
Cast: Angela Bassett, Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Robert Forster, Jackie Earle Haley, Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell
Why is it a must-see? Where were you when the world was forced to choose sides back in 2013 between competing “Die Hard in the White House” movies? I was straddling the line between Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down, happily enjoying the hell out of them both. The latter is more of an upfront comedy, but the former makes room for a few laughs amid the gloriously over the top violence and ridiculous plotting. The follow-up is more of the same as London crumbles and Butler shoots, stabs, and breaks his way through dozens of terrorists, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Other releases of note this month: The Brothers Grimsby, Cemetery of Splendor, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, Eye in the Sky, Knight of Cups, The Wave, Whisky Tango Foxtrot, Zootopia