April showers bring May flowers – and films? I don’t know, middle-of-the-year intros become so difficult. But we’ve got some good movies to explore let’s month – let’s go!
Starting out the month in super fashion, get ready for The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Based on the Mario franchise of video games from Nintendo, the computer-animated film sees several mainstays, including Mario (Chris Pratt), Luigi (Charlie Day), Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Toad (Keegan-Michael Key) take on Bowser (Jack Black) and his army of minions. This will be the first film based on Mario since the universally panned (slash cult classic) live-action Super Mario Bros. film, released in 1993. Although the voice cast has been extremely divisive – particularly since Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario for over thirty years, is being relegated to cameos – the animation looks absolutely wonderful and the plot seems to be going for ultimate nostalgia when it hits theaters on April 5.
If you’re a fan of anime, you’ll want to see Suzume on the big screen. The story focuses on a high school girl and a mysterious young man who try to stop a series of disasters from happening in Japan. Directed by Makoto Shinkai, known for other well received anime films like Your Name and Weathering with You, the film will likely cover similar ground in terms of character beats and story (involving teens in Japan doing supernatural stuff and falling in love), but the animation looks so beautiful that it almost certainly won’t matter. It was released in Japan last year, but the States will finally get it on April 14.
For your action fix, check out The Covenant. Starring Jake Gyllenhall as Sergeant John Kinley, the story revolves around his mission to rescue his interpreter from behind enemy lines. The trailer abandons all the normal jokes and pizzazz director Guy Ritchie’s films are known for. Instead, it looks to be a very serious thriller with gritty undertones and stoic performances. We’ll see if Ritchie can make the turn when it releases on April 21.
If you need a coming-of-age story, look no further than Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Based on the eponymous 1970 Judy Blume book, the story follows sixth-grader Margaret Simon as she begins a quest of religious self discovery. Blume rejected several offers to adapt the book over the years until director Kelly Fremon Craig (The Edge of Seventeen) came along. The film stars newcomer Abby Ryder Fortson alongside Rachel McAdams and releases on April 28.
Lastly, the surreal comedy horror Beau Is Afraid will be a must-see for any A24 fans. Set in an alternate present, Beau (Joaquin Phoenix) travels home after his mother suddenly dies, and he experiences supernatural elements on his journey. The trailer is, in my opinion, wholly bonkers and feels like a fever dream of insane proportions. The stacked cast also includes Nathan Lane, Amy Ryan and Patti LuPone. Written and directed by Ari Aster, known for Hereditary and Midsommar, this film will unquestionably be an unhinged voyage when it drops on April 21.