The spring movie season is finally here, and even more than the weather, the movies are going to be great! Featuring documentaries about the music industry (The Boy Band Con, Carmine Street Guitars, Amazing Grace), some buzz-worthy film festival favourites (Her Smell, High Life) and the next instalments in major blockbuster franchises (Hellboy, Avengers: Endgame, The Curse of La Llorona) there’s a lot to look forward to this month. Welcome to our April 2019 movie preview, where we let you know about the noteworthy releases of the month and follow them up with 5 top picks. Hope to see you at the movies!
The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story – April 3rd (YouTube Premium)
A look at the rise and fall of boy band impresario Lou Pearlman, who not only discovered NSYNC and Backstreet Boys, but set up one of the largest ponzi schemes in US history. (IMDB)
Directed by Aaron Kunkel.
Featuring Ashley Parker Angel, Lance Bass, Aaron Carter, J.C. Chasez, Nikki Deloach, Brodi Hobbs and Dave Holmes plus archival footage of Lou Pearlman.
Pet Sematary – April 5th (Theatrical)
Based on the seminal horror novel by Stephen King, Pet Sematary follows Dr. Louis Creed, who, after relocating with his wife Rachel and their two young children from Boston to rural Maine, discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near the family’s new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his unusual neighbor, Jud Crandall, setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unfathomable evil with horrific consequences. (IMDB)
Directed by Kevin Kölsch and Jason Widmyer. Written by Jeff Buhler.
Starring Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz and John Lithgow.
Shazam – April 5th (Theatrical)
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word – SHAZAM! – this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult superhero Shazam. (IMDB)
Directed by David F. Sandberg. Written by Henry Gayden.
Starring Zachary Levi, Djimon Honsou, Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Asher Angel.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote – April 10th (Theatrical, One Night Only)
Toby, a disillusioned film director, becomes pulled into a world of time-jumping fantasy when a Spanish cobbler believes him to be Sancho Panza. He gradually becomes unable to tell dreams from reality. (IMDB)
Directed by Terry Gilliam. Written by Gilliam with Tony Grisoni.
Starring Adam Driver, Olga Kurylenko, Jonathan Pryce and Stellan Skarsgård.
Hellboy – April 12th (Theatrical)
Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge. (IMDB)
Directed by Neil Marshall. Written by Andrew Cosby.
Starring David Harbour, Ian McShane, Milla Jovovich, Daniel Dae Kim, Penelope Mitchell, Sasha Lane and Thomas Haden Church.
Stockholm – April 12th (Theatrical)
Based on the absurd but true 1973 bank heist and hostage crisis in Stockholm that was documented in the New Yorker as the origins of the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’. (IMDB)
Written and directed by Robert Budreau.
Starring Noomi Rapace, Ethan Hawke and Mark Strong.
Missing Link – April 12th (Theatrical)
Mr. Link recruits explorer Sir Lionel Frost to help find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight, this trio of explorers travel the world to help their new friend. (IMDB)
Written and directed by Chris Butler.
Featuring the voices of Zoe Saldana, Timothy Olyphant, Hugh Jackman, Emma Thompson and Zach Galifianakis.
Teen Spirit – April 19th (Theatrical)
Violet is a shy teenager who dreams of escaping her small town and pursuing her passion to sing. With the help of an unlikely mentor, she enters a local singing competition that will test her integrity, talent and ambition. Driven by a pop-fueled soundtrack, Teen Spirit is a visceral and stylish spin on the Cinderella story. (IMDB)
Written and directed by Max Minghella.
Starring Elle Fanning, Zlatko Buric and Rebecca Hall.
High Life – April 19th (Theatrical)
A father and his daughter struggle to survive in deep space where they live in isolation. (IMDB)
Directed by Claire Denis. Written by Denis with Jean-Pol Fargeau and Geoff Cox.
Starring Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Mia Goth and Andre Benjamin.
The Curse of La Llorona – April 19th (Theatrical)
Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm. (IMDB)
Directed by Michael Chaves. Written by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis.
Starring Linda Cardelinni, Raymond Cruz and Patricia Velasquez.
Avengers: Endgame – April 26th (Theatrical)
After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War, the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos’ actions and restore order to the universe. (IMDB)
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo. Written by Christopher Marcus and Stephen McFeely.
Starring Brie Larson, Scarlett Johansson, Karen Gillan, Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Winston Duke, Chris Evans, Josh Brolin, Evangeline Lilly, Robert Downey Jr, Pom Klementieff, Tom Holland, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Dave Bautista, Sebastian Stan, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jeremy Renner, Jon Favreau, Katherine Langford, Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tilda Swinton, Chadwick Boseman, Frank Grillo, Don Cheadle and the voice of Bradley Cooper.
Under the Silver Lake – April 26th (Theatrical)
Sam, intelligent but without purpose, finds a mysterious woman swimming in his apartment’s pool one night. The next morning, she disappears. Sam sets off across LA to find her, and along the way he uncovers a conspiracy far more bizarre. (IMDB)
Written and directed by David Robert-Mitchell.
Starring Andrew Garfield, Riley Keough and Topher Grace.
Dan’s Top Five Picks of the Month
5. Native Son – April 6th (HBO)
A young African-American living in Chicago enters into a seductive new world of money and power after he is hired as a chauffeur for an affluent businessman. (IMDB)
Directed by Rashid Johnson and written by Richard Wright.
Starring Nick Robinson, Margaret Qualley, KiKi Layne and Ashton Sanders.
Why You Should See It: A major Sundance acquisition with an ensemble cast, Native Son brings some of the world’s biggest up-and-coming actors into a story that, although without much known, sounds like an intense and twist-filled ride.
4. Her Smell – April 12th (Theatrical)
A self-destructive punk rocker struggles with sobriety while trying to recapture the creative inspiration that led her band to success. (IMDB)
Written and directed by Alex Ross Perry.
Starring Elisabeth Moss, Cara Delevingne, Dan Stevens, Ashley Benson, Dylan Gelula and Amber Heard.
Why You Should See It: Another big film festival favourite that has seen a lot of buzz, indie auteur Alex Ross Perry brings together one of the largest ensembles of the year to tell a story about a washed-up punk rocker with a unique structure. Word on the street is that Elisabeth Moss brings a career-defining performance to the table in this one.
3. Amazing Grace – April 12th (Theatrical)
A documentary presenting Aretha Franklin with choir at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles in January 1972. (IMDB)
Directed by Alan Elliott and Sydney Pollack.
Featuring archival footage of Aretha Franklin.
Why You Should See It: A film finished over 40 years ago that has faced a multitude of legal battles, this supposedly stunning concert film is finally being released this month, giving audiences the opportunity to see a legendary performance on the big screen with surround sound!
2. Carmine Street Guitars – April 5th (Theatrical)
Five days in the life of fabled Greenwich Village guitar store Carmine Street Guitars. (IMDB)
Directed by Ron Mann.
Featuring Bill Frisell and Jim Jarmusch.
Why You Should See It: Canadian documentary icon Ron Mann brings his light and fun documentary about an innovative New York guitar shop, featuring appearances from some of the biggest names in rock music. See it for the director, stay for some awesome tunes!
1. Unicorn Store – April 5th (Netflix)
A woman named Kit receives a mysterious invitation that would fulfill her childhood dreams. (IMDB)
Directed by Brie Larson. Written by Samantha McIntyre.
Starring Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Bradley Whitford, Joan Cusack and Karan Soni.
Why You Should See It: After premiering at TIFF 2017, brilliant actress Brie Larson (who can currently be seen in Captain Marvel) has her wacky directorial debut launching on Netflix this month. Seeing Larson’s name alone makes it such a major sell, but we also get Samuel L. Jackson in a pink tuxedo, so that’s a major sell too.