The first quarter of 2018 is behind us, and by far, Black Panther remains the year's biggest and most culturally impactful release thus far. Sure, last month brought some high-profile challengers in Tomb Raider, Red Sparrow and A Wrinkle in Time. Yet, director Ryan Coogler's Marvel adventure has remained affixed atop the box office chart, only to be unseated by Pacific Rim: Uprising. So it's ironic now that T'Challa's vibranium grip is beginning to slip that we enter a month pretty well defined by the lead-up to his next big-screen appearance, the game-changing Avengers: Infinity War.
But don't let your excitement for Earth's Mightiest Heroes' long-awaited showdown with Thanos overshadow your entire moviegoing experience in April. This month has plenty more in store for movie fans, from buzz-heavy comedies and horror films to promising indies. So, before you settle in for that last-minute Marvel Cinematic Universe marathon, let's review the 10 films we're looking forward to in April 2018.
10. Chappaquiddick (Release Date: April 6)
Historical dramas are typically scheduled for later in the year, but Chappaquiddick might stand out from this month's releases anyway. The film chronicles the incident in 1969 in which Senator Ted Kennedy (played here by Jason Clarke) drove his car into a lake on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts, killing passenger Mary Jo Kopechne (played by Kate Mara).
The film comes from director John Curran, who has previously impressed with low-budget dramas Tracks and The Painted Veil. So Chappaquiddick — originally set for a theatrical release late last year, following its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival in the fall — marks yet another chance to see his particular brand of character-based drama come to life onscreen.
Check out the latest trailer for Chappaquiddick.
9. Truth or Dare (Release Date: April 13)
In recent years, few brand names have developed such a strong track record in horror as Blumhouse Productions. The Paranormal Activity, The Purge and Insidious franchises all derived from its halls, as did last year's one-two punch of Split and Get Out (the company's two biggest hits to date). Needless to say, all eyes are on Truth or Dare this month.
A simple round of the titular party game goes way too far in this entry from director Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2), which stars Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey and The Flash's Violett Beane. Will the film buck the trend of disappointing game-inspired horror films (Blumhouse's own Ouija, for example) or be the latest one to fall prey to it? If the genre has taught us anything, it's to always expect the unexpected, after all.
Check out the latest trailer for Truth or Dare.
8. You Were Never Really Here (Release Date: April 6)
Filmmaker Lynne Ramsay made quite the impact with her provocative 2011 thriller We Need to Talk about Kevin. But years passed, and she never made a subsequent film, leaving fans wondering when they'd see her return to the director's chair. Now she's finally back with You Were Never Really Here, a new thriller starring Joaquin Phoenix that hits limited release this month.
Phoenix stars as a trauma-ridden war veteran who makes it his business to track down missing girls, but when his latest mission goes off the rails, he makes a discovery that might lead to his downfall. Considering Ramsay's skill and Phoenix's go-for-broke commitment to his craft, there's literally no way of knowing which way You Were Never Really Here will go. But we can't wait to see it for ourselves.
Check out the latest trailer for You Were Never Really Here.
7. I Feel Pretty (Release Date: April 20)
Love her or hate her, Amy Schumer has precedent as a major movie star. Her first leading role, 2015's Judd Apatow-directed Trainwreck, brought in $140 million worldwide against a production budget of just $35 million. So I Feel Pretty has a real shot at capitalizing on that very same audience and delivering a strong message about self-empowerment, especially among women.
In the film, Schumer stars as an insecure woman who awakes from a fall with a newfound confidence in her appearance and her ability to handle life's obstacles. With this, writer/directors Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein (making their directorial debut) look to deliver the same social commentary and relatable laughs they brought to their scripts for films like Never Been Kissed and How to Be Single.
Check out the latest trailer for I Feel Pretty.
6. Super Troopers 2 (Release Date: April 20)
The comedy troupe Broken Lizard has created some cult classic comedies over the years, with both Beerfest and Club Dread having amassed devoted followings. However, neither of those compared to the popularity of their most enduring film, 2001 comedy Super Troopers. So, naturally, director/star Jay Chandrasekhar has reunited with co-stars/co-writers Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske.
Read More: Sequels You Didn't Know Were Coming in 2018
Super Troopers 2 sees the titular crew tasked with establishing a Highway Patrol station at the border between the United States and Canada, but we all know that's just an excuse for a hilarity to ensue. Thanks in part to a crowdfunding effort on Indiegogo, the sequel finally came together after years of development, giving devoted fans the chance to revisit Thorny and his friends in theaters once more.
Check out the latest trailer for Super Troopers 2.
5. Lean on Pete (Release Date: April 6)
Considering how much genre fare we typically cover, it's always a nice change of pace to highlight some other, quieter releases that bring something completely different to the table. Based on the Willy Vlautin novel, Lean on Pete — the latest film from director Andrew Haigh (45 Years) — certainly fits the bill, as it begins playing in select theaters this month.
A coming-of-age drama centering on the bond between a teenage boy (Charlie Plummer) and an aging racehorse who lends his name to the film, Lean on Pete has gained critical praise since its premiere at the Venice Film Festival last fall. Moreover, it marks the latest release from lauded production and distribution house A24, a company known for its diverse and intriguing taste in projects of all genres.
Check out the latest trailer for Lean on Pete.
4. Rampage (Release Date: April 13)
Video game movies may have a less than stellar history. But setting that sad legacy aside, we're still curious to see how Rampage makes the transition to the big screen. Perhaps it's simply the chance to see Dwayne Johnson headline another crazy-looking action/adventure. The man has proven as recently as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle that he can turn even the most skeptical ideas into a fun night at the movies.
So a film adaptation of a video game series that is essentially just a celebration of giant monsters and the destruction they leave in their wake feels right up his alley. Director Brad Peyton has proven to be a frequent collaborator of Johnson's (San Andreas, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island), and however it turns out, we're hopeful that Rampage will turn out at least to deliver the pure escapist entertainment we crave.
Check out the latest trailer for Rampage.
3. Blockers (Release Date: April 6)
John Cena is really taking Hollywood by storm, isn't he? Once upon a time, the wrestler was relegated to mid-level action films but seems to have really found his niche in comedic roles. Take Blockers, for instance, which sees Cena playing a father who teams up with two other concerned parents (Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz) to prevent their daughters from losing their virginity on prom night.
Kay Cannon — best known for writing the Pitch Perfect films — makes her directorial debut, and if her sensibility is any indication of what moviegoers can expect from Blockers, the film could very well be one of the month's biggest hits. Add to that the strong reviews already coming in, and Blockers could be a pleasant comedy surprise in the same way that this year's Game Night proved to be.
Check out the latest trailer for Blockers.
2. A Quiet Place (Release Date: April 6)
Whether or not that fan theory about its alleged connection to the Cloverfield franchise is true, it's hard to deny the taut appeal of A Quiet Place. The film — which follows a family living in silent fear of surrounding creatures — stars John Krasinski (who also co-writes and directs) and real-life wife Emily Blunt, and it has been gaining positive buzz, especially since its rapturous reception at South by Southwest.
Low-key horror has been making a major comeback in recent years, with films like The Witch and last year's Get Out receiving critical acclaim and/or impressive box office takes. With such strong word of mouth and two popular stars, A Quiet Place could be poised to be the next big horror film to sweep both audiences and critics off their feet. Don't let that PG-13 rating fool you.
Check out the latest trailer for A Quiet Place.
1. Avengers: Infinity War (Release Date: April 27)
For a while, it seemed like Avengers: Infinity War was destined to top our May 2018 edition, but that was before Disney shifted its release date up a week, steadily making the concept of a summer movie season even more obsolete. At this point, there's little about Joe and Anthony Russo's latest Marvel entry — their third after the latter two Captain America films — that we haven't already covered.
With Josh Brolin's Thanos finally heading to Earth, Avengers: Infinity War promises to pay off long-simmering storylines in the MCU and claim a few fan-favorite characters along the way. The film is so shrouded in mystery that Marvel Studios still hasn't announced a title for its sequel, the project formerly known as Avengers: Infinity War — Part 2. It won't be long now until a payoff a full decade in the making.
Check out the latest trailer for Avengers: Infinity War.
There you have it, folks. The films above are sure to dominate the conversation in the coming weeks, and we can't help but wonder which will live up to the hype and which will turn out to be the A Wrinkle in Time-style disappointment. In any case, there's a fair balance of spectacle and more muted fare hitting theaters this month. So moviegoers looking for a particular genre should be able to find something to their liking. With so many hotly anticipated films in the queue, it does feel like 2018 is just warming up.
- Blockers (2018) release date: Apr 06, 2018
- A Quiet Place (2018) release date: Apr 06, 2018
- You Were Never Really Here (2017) release date: Apr 06, 2018
- Rampage (2018) release date: Apr 13, 2018
- Truth or Dare (2018) release date: Apr 13, 2018
- Super Troopers 2 (2018) release date: Apr 20, 2018
- Chappaquiddick (2018) release date: Apr 06, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018