Family-friendly movies reigned supreme in March, with Disney's live-action Cinderella and the animated DreamWorks adventure Home proving to be the biggest box office draws. Meanwhile, more intense fare like the "geri-action" thrillers Run All Night and The Gunman failed to make much of a splash with either critics or moviegoers. This month promises to bring more thrills to theaters and ramp up momentum before the summer movie season kicks off.
Here are the 6 films to watch for in April 2015:
Furious 7 (Release Date: April 3)
Following the highest-grossing installment of the franchise to date, Furious 7 faces an even tougher challenge in creating the perfect send-off for the late Paul Walker. The actor tragically passed away in a car crash in November 2013, so the production turned to his brothers to help complete the film - and bring the story of Brian O'Connor (a character who has appeared in all but one of the Fast and Furious films) to a satisfying conclusion.
This time around, Dom (Vin Diesel) and his "family" find themselves facing the wrath of Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), the vengeful older brother of Furious 6 villain Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). If the prospect of seeing the old crew together again doesn't lure in moviegoers, the idea of seeing Statham going up against not only Diesel but also returning star Dwayne Johnson should do the trick. At this point, fans know what to expect from this series - which is fast becoming a revolving door of big-screen action stars akin to The Expendables - and with all this star power, expect more record-breaking box office receipts from Furious 7.
Check out the latest trailer for Furious 7.
Ex Machina (Release Date: April 10)
Countless sci-fi films have tackled the complicated subject matter of artificial intelligence. It's a topic that can easily be mishandled onscreen, but Ex Machina has at least a solid chance at creating a memorable experience for moviegoers. The film marks the directorial debut of Alex Garland - writer of 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Dredd - and stars Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac, months before they'll share the screen again in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens.
The film - which is already gaining positive buzz - follows a young programmer (Gleeson) who becomes involved in an experiment involving a ground-breaking female robot (Alicia Vikander). With a premise concentrating on the promise and danger in developing technology, Ex Machina has the potential to be a thought-provoking piece of science fiction cinema. It could help propel its trio of up-and-coming stars to a devoted fanbase within the sci-fi genre - and beyond.
Check out the latest trailer for Ex Machina.
Kill Me Three Times (Release Date: April 10)
Through his ongoing collaborative relationship with writer/director Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg has already dabbled in several different genres - from zombie horror to buddy cop - while retaining his comedic chops. However, Kill Me Three Times promises to show a different side of the actor - who here, shares the screen with an ensemble cast that includes Teresa Palmer, Callan Mulvey, and Alice Braga.
Pegg plays Charlie Wolfe, a hitman who finds that his latest mission is far more complicated than it seems. The film looks to be far darker and more extreme than Pegg's previous releases, with an emphasis on the complex tales of deception and betrayal that his character gets caught up in. Kill Me Three Times is already available on demand, but fans hoping to see the film in theaters won't have to wait much longer.
Check out the latest trailer for Kill Me Three Times.
Unfriended (Release Date: April 17)
Horror films centered on modern technology are nothing new (anyone remember Fearddotcom?), and Unfriended aims to be the latest take of cyber scares for the social media age. Originally titled Cybernatural, the film follows a group of high schoolers who are haunted by a dark force using the Skype account of their dead friend one year after her death.
For most moviegoers, that premise probably sounds either intriguing or ridiculous. The fact that Unfriended takes a found-footage approach to tell its story will no doubt make it even more polarizing among audiences, by comparison. Starring a cast of fresh faces, this could be one horror film that may infuriate as many people as it entertains.
Check out the latest trailer for Unfriended.
Child 44 (Release Date: April 17)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Dark Knight Rises co-stars Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman share the screen once more in historical drama Child 44. Hardy plays a security officer investigating a string of child murders in the Stalin-era Soviet Union - and it looks like the film will continue the actor's string of impressive performances over the past few years.
Directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House), the film looks like it will bring a compelling mystery to life and make excellent use of history in the process. The stellar supporting cast includes Oldman, Joel Kinnaman, Noomi Rapace, Charles Dance, Vincent Cassel and Jason Clarke. Even if the film doesn't live up to its promise, that collection of actors may make the film a must-see.
Check out the latest trailer for Child 44.
The Water Diviner (Release Date: April 24)
Many actors have successfully transitioned from actors to directors (or balanced both careers simultaneously). Oscar winner Russell Crowe aims to be the next one to accomplish this feat, with The Water Diviner set to hit theaters this month. Crowe stars in and directs the film about an Australian man on a journey to locate his missing sons after the Battle of Gallipoli.
As the actor's directorial debut, the war drama sounds like it will give Crowe the chance to prove his mettle with a focused, intimate story - one of a father desperately trying to make amends for the past. Of course, it's anyone's guess how the film will come together - but with positive reviews already coming in, there's reason to be optimistic about The Water Diviner.
Check out the latest trailer for The Water Diviner.
As evidenced by the above list, April 2015 will bring a nice balance of thought-provoking science fiction, action thrill rides and historical dramas. This month is the last chance audiences will have to catch up on these releases before heading into the summer movie season next month - starting with Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1.
Once again, here are the 6 films to watch this April:
- April 3: Furious 7
- April 10: Ex Machina, Kill Me Three Times
- April 17: Unfriended, Child 44
- April 24: The Water Diviner
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