February didn’t disappoint and March is looking to keep the trend going. Below are 18 films on our radar that showcase just how wide the offerings for theaters are going to be, even as March begins. It used to be that the early months of the year were dumping grounds for cinema, where films without much chance of making bank screened just to fill time before the Summer. Something tells me people are going to come out in droves for Pacific Rim: Uprising on the 23rd – a film that needs no explanation – but if you want a real surprise, check out the indie They Remain, opening in NYC on March 2nd. It’s the most unsettling psychological thriller of 2018 thus far (more to come on that soon). Want a little more inspiration and a lot less terror? Academy Award nominee director Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of the classic children’s story A Wrinkle in Time hits theaters on March 9th. Perhaps you’re a pop culture nerd, then acclaimed director Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the novel Ready Player One is rumored to be your dream come true, landing in theaters on March 30th.
Did we miss any you’re looking forward to seeing? Are there any on this list you hadn’t heard of before? Any you might recommend to others? Let us know and we’ll spread the word.
Director: Francis Lawrence.
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, and Mary-Louise Parker.
Dominika Egorova is many things. A devoted daughter determined to protect her mother at all costs. A prima ballerina whose ferocity has pushed her body and mind to the absolute limit. A master of seductive and manipulative combat. When she suffers a career-ending injury, Dominika and her mother are facing a bleak and uncertain future. That is why she finds herself manipulated into becoming the newest recruit for Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people like her to use their bodies and minds as weapons. After enduring the perverse and sadistic training process, she emerges as the most dangerous Sparrow the program has ever produced. Dominika must now reconcile the person she was with the power she now commands, with her own life and everyone she cares about at risk, including an American CIA agent who tries to convince her he is the only person she can trust. (Official summary from 20th Century Fox’s YouTube channel.)
They Remain (limited)
Director: Philip Gelatt.
Cast: William Jackson Harper and Rebecca Henderson.
Two scientists are sent into the wilderness by a company eager to examine and exploit the bizarre impact of a murderous cult on the land it once occupied. (Official summary from the They Remain Facebook page.)
Director: Eli Roth.
Cast: Bruce Willis, Elisabeth Shue, Camila Morrone, and Vincent D’Onofrio.
Dr. Paul Kersey (Willis) is a surgeon who only sees the aftermath of his city’s violence as it’s rushed into his ER – until his wife (Shue) and college-age daughter (Morrone) are viciously attacked in their suburban home. With the police overloaded with crimes, Paul, burning for revenge, hunts for his family’s assailants to deliver justice. As the anonymous slayings of criminals grabs the media’s attention, the city wonders if this deadly avenger is a guardian angel…or a grim reaper. Fury and fate collide in the intense action-thriller Death Wish. (Official summary from the MGM YouTube channel.)
A Wrinkle in Time
Director: Ava DuVernay.
Cast: Storm Reid, Levi Miller, André Holland, Rowan Blanchard, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, Zack Galifianakis, Mindy Kaling, and Oprah Winfrey.
From visionary director Ava DuVernay comes Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless classic which takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and, ultimately, the triumph of love. Through one girl’s transformative journey led by three celestial guides, we discover that strength comes from embracing one’s individuality and that the best way to triumph over fear is to travel by one’s own light. (Official summary from the Disney Movie Trailers YouTube channel.)
Director: Nash Edgerton.
Cast: David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, Diego Cataño, Rodrigo Corea, Carlos Corona, Amanda Seyfried, Sharlto Copley, and Thandie Newton.
An exhilarating mix of dark comedy, white-knuckle action and dramatic intrigue, Gringo joyrides into Mexico, where mild-mannered businessman Harold Soyinka (Oyelowo) finds himself at the mercy of his back-stabbing business colleagues back home, local drug lords and a morally conflicted black-ops mercenary. Crossing the line from law-abiding citizen to wanted criminal, Harold battles to survive his increasingly dangerous situation in ways that raise the question: Is he out of his depth — or two steps ahead? (Official summary from the Amazon Studios YouTube channel.)
Director: Cory Finley.
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Olivia Cooke, and Anton Yelchin.
Childhood friends Lily and Amanda reconnect in suburban Connecticut after years of growing apart. Lily has turned into a polished, upper-class teenager, with a fancy boarding school on her transcript and a coveted internship on her resume; Amanda has developed a sharp wit and her own particular attitude, but all in the process of becoming a social outcast. Though they initially seem completely at odds, the pair bond over Lily’s contempt for her oppressive stepfather, Mark, and as their friendship grows, they begin to bring out one another’s most destructive tendencies. Their ambitions lead them to hire a local hustler, Tim, and take matters into their own hands to set their lives straight. (Official summary from the Focus Features YouTube channel.)
The Hurricane Heist
Director: Rob Cohen.
Cast: Toby Kebbell, Maggie Grace, Ryan Kwanten, Ralph Ineson, Melissa Bolona, Ben Cross, and Jamie Andrew Cutler.
A crew of thieves plans the ultimate heist, to steal $600 million from the U.S. treasury facility located on the Gulf Coast of Alabama using a hurricane as their cover. When the storm blows up into a lethal CATEGORY 5 and their well-made plans go awry, they find themselves needing a vault code known only by one female Treasury Agent, a need that turns murderous. But the Treasury agent has picked up an unlikely ally, a meteorologist terrified of hurricanes but determined to save his estranged brother kidnapped by the thieves. He uses his knowledge of the storm as a weapon to defeat the bad guys in this non-stop action/thriller. (Official summary from the Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures YouTube channel.)
Director: Roar Uthaug.
Cast: Alicia Vikander, Hannah John-Kamen, Walton Goggins, Kristin Scott Thomas, Dominic West, and Nick Frost.
Lara Croft (Vikander), the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father disappeared. Tomb Raider is the story that will set a young and resolute Lara Croft on a path toward becoming a global hero. (Official summary from the Warner Bros. Pictures YouTube channel.)
Director: Greg Berlanti.
Cast: Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Jorge Lendeborg, Miles Heizer, Keiynan Lonsdale, Logan Miller, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, and Tony Hale.
Everyone deserves a great love story. But for seventeen-year old Simon Spier (Robinson) it’s a little more complicated: he’s yet to tell his family or friends he’s gay and he doesn’t actually know the identity of the anonymous classmate he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing. Directed by Greg Berlanti (Dawson’s Creek, Brothers & Sisters), written by Isaac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger (This is Us), and based on Becky Albertalli’s acclaimed novel, LOVE, SIMON is a funny and heartfelt coming-of-age story about the thrilling ride of finding yourself and falling in love. (Official summary from the 20th Century Fox YouTube channel.)
Director: Max Winkler.
Cast: Zoey Deutch, Kathryn Hahn, Tim Heidecker, Joey Morgan, Dylan Gelula, Maya Eshet, and Adam Scott.
Rebellious, quick-witted Erica Vandross (Deutch) is a 17-year-old firecracker living with her single mom Laurie (Hahn) and mom’s new boyfriend Bob (Heidecker) in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. When Bob’s mentally unbalanced son Luke (Morgan) arrives from rehab to live with the family, Erica finds her domestic and personal life overwhelmed. With Luke and her sidekicks Kala (Gelula) and Claudine (Eshet) in tow, Erica acts out by exposing a dark secret of high-school teacher Will (Scott), with perilous results; their teenage kicks become a catalyst for growing up in unexpected and unpredictable ways. Mixing dark comedy and teenage angst writer-director Max Winkler (CEREMONY) and co-writer Matt Spicer (INGRID GOES WEST) re-imagine an unproduced script by Alex McAulay, creating a star vehicle for blossoming talent Zoey Deutch (BEFORE I FALL, WHY HIM?) and elevating the teen movie to new heights. (Official summary from The Orchard Movies YouTube channel.)
Director: Steven Soderbergh.
Cast: Claire Foy, Jay Pharoah, Juno Temple, Aimee Mullins, Joshua Leonard, and Amy Irving.
A young woman (Claire Foy) is involuntarily committed to a mental institution where she is confronted by her greatest fear — but is it real or is it a product of her delusion? (Official synopsis from the Unsane website.)
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Director: Steven S. DeKnight.
Cast: John Boyega, Rinko Kikuchi, Scott Eastwood, Caille Spaeny, Burn Gorman, and Charlie Day.
Jake Pentecost (Boyega) is a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity’s victory against the monstrous “Kaiju.” Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through our cities and bring the world to its knees, he is given one last chance to live up to his father’s legacy by his estranged sister, Mako Mori (Kikuchi)—who is leading a brave new generation of pilots that have grown up in the shadow of war. As they seek justice for the fallen, their only hope is to unite together in a global uprising against the forces of extinction. Jake is joined by gifted rival pilot Lambert (Eastwood) and 15-year-old Jaeger hacker Amara (Spaeny), as the heroes of the PPDC become the only family he has left. Rising up to become the most powerful defense force to ever walk the earth, they will set course for a spectacular all-new adventure on a towering scale. (Official synopsis courtesy of the Legendary YouTube channel.)
Isle of Dogs
Director: Wes Anderson.
Cast: Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Greta Gerwig, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum, Live Schreiber, Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel, Fisher Stevens, F. Murray Abraham, Courtney B. Vance, and Ken Watanabe.
ISLE OF DOGS tells the story of Atari Kobayashi, 12-year-old ward to corrupt Mayor Kobayashi. When, by Executive Decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island, Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies across the river in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture. (Official summary from the FoxSearchlight YouTube channel.)
I Kill Giants
Director: Anders Walter.
Cast: Madison Wolfe, Zoe Saldana, Imogen Poots, and Jennifer Ehle.
From the acclaimed graphic novel comes an epic adventure about a world beyond imagination. Teen Barbara Thorson (Wolfe) is the only thing that stands between terrible giants and the destruction of her small town. But as she boldly confronts her fears in increasingly dangerous ways, her new school counselor (Saldana) leads her to question everything she’s always believed to be true. I Kill Giants is an intense, touching story about trust, courage and love from the producers that brought you Harry Potter. (Official summary from the RLJE Films YouTube channel.)
Ready Player One
Director: Steven Spielberg.
Cast: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, and Mark Rylance.
From filmmaker Steven Spielberg comes the science fiction action adventure Ready Player One, based on Ernest Cline’s bestseller of the same name, which has become a worldwide phenomenon. The film is set in 2045, with the world on the brink of chaos and collapse. But the people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Rylance). When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world. When an unlikely young hero named Wade Watts (Sheridan) decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger. (Official summary from the Warner Bros. Pictures YouTube channel.)
Lean On Pete
Director: Andrew Haigh.
Cast: Charlie Plummer, Travis Fimmel, Steve Buscemi, Chloë Sevigny, and Steve Zahn.
Fifteen-year-old Charley Thompson (Plummer) arrives in Portland, Oregon with his single father Ray (Fimmel), both of them eager for a fresh start after a series of hard knocks. While Ray descends into personal turmoil, Charley finds acceptance and camaraderie at a local racetrack where he lands a job caring for an aging Quarter Horse named Lean On Pete. The horse’s gruff owner Del Montgomery (Buscemi) and his seasoned jockey Bonnie (Sevigny) help Charley fill the void of his father’s absence—until he discovers that Pete is bound for slaughter, prompting him to take extreme measures to spare his new friend’s life. Charley and Pete head out into the great unknown, embarking on an odyssey across the new American frontier in search of a loving aunt Charley hasn’t seen in years. They experience adventure and heartbreak in equal measure, but never lose their irrepressible hope and resiliency as they pursue their dream of finding a place they can call home. (Official summary from the Lean on Pete A24 website.)
Director: Lynn Shelton.
Cast: Edie Falco, Jay Duplass, Kaitlyn Dever, and Ben Schwartz.
An ex-con adjusting to modern life forms an intense bond with his former teacher, who herself is struggling to connect with her daughter. (Official summary from The Orchard Movies YouTube channel.)
Director: Aaron Katz.
Cast: Zoë Kravitz, Lola Kirke, John Cho, and Greta Lee.
A heinous crime tests the complex relationship between a tenacious personal assistant and her Hollywood starlet boss. As the assistant travels across Los Angeles to unravel the mystery, she must stay one step ahead of a determined policeman and confront her own understanding of friendship, truth, and celebrity. (Official summary from the NEON YouTube channel.)