You Were Never Really Here (out 4/6)
Joaquin Phoenix may just be the best male actor working today. After growing from child actor to interesting leading man, he nearly derailed his career with the jumbled and puzzling faux-documentary, I’m Still Here, his 2010 collaboration with Casey Affleck. Sooner than expected, he emerged from the borderline catastrophe with a three year run of performances that any actor should dream to accomplish. 2012’s animalistic WWII vet Freddie Quell in The Master, 2013’s mild-mannered seeker of digital love Theodore in Her and 2014’s oddball stoner detective “Doc” in Inherent Vice collectively display a range rarely seen in so short a span. Now he’s back in a film directed by indie darling Lynne Ramsay that’s been described as a modern Taxi Driver and earned awards for screenplay and actor, along with a reported seven minute standing ovation, at the Cannes Film Festival. Neither Ramsay nor Phoenix is shy about being provocative, yet both strive to emotionally justify the situations and character decisions they portray. Ramsay will surely employ her leading man’s range to its fullest, so expect an intense journey that will leave you frantically searching for someone to discuss it with.
A Quiet Place (out 4/6)
John Krasinski directs and co-stars alongside wife Emily Blunt in this horror thriller about a family struggling to survive among creatures that hunt down anyone they can hear. The premise could easily stray into implausibility, but the trailer is intense and early reviews are positive.
Lean On Pete (out 4/6)
Director Andrew Haigh’s underrated 45 Years portrayed an aging couple whose seemingly happy marriage is upset by a revelation from their past. His new film is the story of a young man who befriends an aging racehorse and looks to rely on the same subtle emotional storytelling of his previous work. Steve Buscemi, Chloe Sevigny and Steve Zahn lend their strong credentials as the supporting cast.
The Rider (out 4/13)
After making the festival rounds, Chloé Zhao’s story of a cowboy seeking a new life after an injury, opens commercially with good word of mouth.
Avengers: Infinity War (out 4/27)
While it’s certainly not poised to be the cultural touchstone Black Panther was, this next installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still promising for fans. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo also helmed Captain America: Winter Soldier, often hailed as the best in the MCU while their follow-up, Captain America: Civil War, proved they could juggle a multitude of characters and egos.
Disobedience (out 4/27)
Director Sebastián Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman won the most recent Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and is already among the best US commercial releases of the year so far. Now he teams with Rachels McAdams and Weisz to tell a story of rekindled forbidden love.
Also of Note (for better or worse):
- Borg vs McEnroe
- Let The Sunshine In
- Super Troopers 2
- Where Is Kyra?
J. McVay also hosts the BreakThru Radio Weekly podcast, which features reviews of new and recently released movies each week. Check out future episodes to hear reviews and discussions of some of these releases.