posts Next postJane Fonda: MacFarlane a 'boob' of a host
Here are 72 must-see movies this spring
Winter is in our rear view mirror, and with it, the sluggish film season. Spring brings renewed cinematic excitment, with a return to Oz, a new adventure in the final frontier and the next installment with our favorite armored Avenger.
Here are the big films we're excited to see this spring:
'Oz the Great and Powerful'
Director Sam Raimi helps this epic Oz fantasy starring James Franco as the wizard and featuring Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams as various witches. (March 8)
'Dead Man Down'
Colin Farrell, Terrence Howard and Noomi Rapace star in this revenge shoot-'em-up from Niels Arden Oplev, the director of the original Swedish "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." (March 8)
'Beyond the Hills'
Famed Romanian director Cristian Mungiu ("4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days") returns with this story about two women who have been friends since their time in an orphanage. This film won Best Actress and Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival this year. (March 8)
'The ABCs of Death'
This horror anthology has 26 chapters from 26 directors. Hey, 26, just like the alphabet! The trailer offers such joys as Claymation, archery, killer dogs, a dancing baby and a flamethrower. (March 8)
'Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey'
Follow the band Journey on this documentary as they go in search of a new lead singer, which brings them to the Philippines. There, they pluck Arnel Pineda, who had covered Journey songs on YouTube, to be the new lead singer of the band. (March 8)
Tommy Lee Jones plays Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Matthew Fox plays Gen. Bonner Fellers, who mull the fate of Emperor Hirohito after World War II. (March 8)
'The We and The I'
Director Michel Gondry ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind") helms this New York film about teens who share a bus route in the Bronx, and their emotions on the last day of school. (March 8)
'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone'
Steve Carell headlines this comedy about a magician, the aforementioned Mr. Wonderstone, dealing with a new Criss Angel type (played by Jim Carrey). Wonderstone meets with his magician hero (Alan Arkin) to try and rekindle his love of his art. (March 15)
A 911 operator (Halle Berry) believes that a frantic call is tied to a murder connected to her past. Also starring Abigail Breslin and Morris Chestnut. (March 15)
This black-and-white 1920s period piece transports "Snow White" to Seville in Spain and turns the title character into a female bullfighter. People will be talking about this film. (March 15)
'From Up on Poppy Hill'
Written by Studio Ghibli mastermind Hayao Miyazaki ("Spirited Away"), and directed by his son Goro ("Tales From Earthsea"), this Japanese animated film follows some students trying to preserve a clubhouse that is set to be knocked down to make way for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. (March 15)
'Ginger & Rosa'
The title pair of British teens (Elle Fanning and Alice Englert) in the 1960s find their friendship tested amid the ongoing threat of nuclear war. Also starring Annette Bening, Christina Hendricks and Oliver Platt. (March 15)
'If I Were You'
Marcia Gay Harden takes the lead in this dramedy about a woman who discovers her husband is having an affair. She then tries to make a fool of the other woman through a production of "King Lear." (March 15)
Follow rapper Snoop as he goes to Jamaica to transform from Dogg to Lion. (March 15)
This one is complicated, so pay attention: There are two worlds that are on top of each other, one of which is upside down. The upside down world has its own gravitational force, which keeps the populations from colliding. Jim Sturgess plays a man who falls in love with a woman (Kirsten Dunst) from the other world. He defies gravity, not to mention the law, to try and be with her. (March 15)
Director Matteo Garrone's film, his second to win the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, depicts an Italian fishmonger's obsession with the reality show "Big Brother." (March 15)
A Korean-American woman is forced into prostitution by human traffickers. (March 20)
Animated cavefolk go on an adventure. Featuring the voices of Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone. (March 22)
Tina Fey plays a by-the-books college admissions officer. A high school principal (Paul Rudd) encourages her to get to know a teen that he claims she gave up for adoption years ago. (March 22)
'Dorfman in Love'
A girl from the suburbs moves to the city and finds love. Starring Sara Rue. (March 22)
'Gimme the Loot'
Adam Leon makes his feature-length directing debut in this film festival favorite about a pair of NYC taggers out to leave their mark on the Mets' Home Run Apple. (March 22)
The synopses for this film makes little to no sense - something about very offensive apps and a tablet computer - but it stars Rob Schneider, Michelle Rodriguez, Lindsay Lohan and Adrien Brody. (March 22)
'Love and Honor'
Two soldiers serving in Vietnam ditch the service and go AWOL, heading back to the U.S. so that one of them can try to get his girlfriend to take him back. Starring Teresa Palmer and Liam Hemsworth. Surprisingly, this is not based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. (March 22)
'Olympus Has Fallen'
After the White House is attacked and the president (Aaron Eckhart) is taken hostage by terrorists, it's up to an ex-Secret Service agent (Gerard Butler) to save the day. From "Training Day" director Antoine Fuqua. (March 22)
Based on a true story, this Aussie film follows a talent scout (Chris O'Dowd, "Bridesmaids") as he guides a soul-singing aboriginal girl group. (March 22)
The latest from indie icon Harmony Korine follows a pack of college girls (including Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens) as they spend time with rapper Alien (James Franco with dreads), who takes them down a delinquent path. Justin Bieber would not approve. (March 22)
'G.I. Joe: Retaliation'
Finally, the new "G.I. Joe" is here. After a last-minute delay allegedly to convert the film to 3-D, the much anticipated sequel/semi-reboot of the toy franchise hits theaters, with new cast members Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis and Adrianne Palicki joining returning star Channing Tatum. (March 29)
'The Place Beyond the Pines'
A motorcycle stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) turns to crime to steal money and provide for his kid. An ambitious cop (Bradley Cooper) is after him in this epic generations-spanning drama. (March 29)
Remember "Twilight?" This is Stephenie Meyer's other literary gift to the world, adapted by writer/director Andrew Niccol ("Gattaca"). This one is about aliens, but I'm not sure if they sparkle. I do know they have creepy eyes. Starring Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger and William Hurt. (March 29)
'Tyler Perry's Temptation'
Tyler Perry writes and directs this adultery drama that will get a lot of buzz because Kim Kardashian has a supporting role in it. (March 29)
This documentary looks at Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" in more detail than you'd ever imagine. It's a cinephile's dream. (March 29)
This hilarious-looking French Canadian film is about a man who discovers that he's the father of 533 children after making countless sperm donations when he was younger. (March 29)
An ambitious politician (Anthony LaPaglia) commits his wife and then picks up a hitchhiker (Toni Collette) to be the new nanny for his five teen girls. Also starring Liev Schreiber. (March 29)
Quentin Dupieux - the odd director of the even odder horror film "Rubber," about a killer tire - returns with another strange one, about a man looking for his missing dog. (March 29)
No one asked for it, but here's a remake of the Sam Raimi classic. It's certainly not directed by Raimi or starring Bruce Campbell, though. This looks like another run of the mill horror flick. (April 5)
Director Danny Boyle's latest is a crime thriller about an art auctioneer who enlists a hypnotherapist to help get back a stolen painting. Starring James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel. (April 5)
'Jurassic Park 3D'
Steven Spielberg's dinosaur classic comes back to the big screen in 3-D, making for some even scarier raptors. (April 5)
'The Brass Teapot'
A comedy about, yes, a magical teapot, starring Juno Temple and Michael Angarano. (April 5)
'The Company You Keep'
Robert Redford stars and directs this thriller about a man hounded by a reporter who discovers a past secret. Also starring Susan Sarandon, Chris Cooper, Terrence Howard, Richard Jenkins, Sam Elliott, Julie Christie and Shia LaBeouf. (April 5)
I've watched the trailer and read a synopsis, but I still couldn't tell you what this indie film is about. But it did win the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Sound Design, so I guess it sounds good. Written and directed by Shane Carruth ("Primer") (April 5)
Just in time for Opening Day comes this flick about Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman). The film chronicles the Brooklyn Dodger's experience as the first black player in baseball. Also starring Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey. (April 12)
'Scary Movie 5'
Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan play themselves. Repetitive debauchery ensues. (April 12)
'It's a Disaster'
In this indie comedy featuring David Cross, America Ferrera and Julia Stiles, couples head over to a friend's home for brunch and are told that a dirty bomb was set off in town. (April 12)
This big budget, special effects laden sci-fi flick about a soldier exploring alien worlds stars Tom Cruise. Let's face it, this is the kind of film you want to see Cruise in. Really! No sarcasm here. He's generally pretty solid in these types of action flicks. (April 12)
'Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay'
The master of sleight of hand is profiled in this documentary. He's a very interesting figure. (April 17)
Jason Bateman and Alexander Skarsgard star in a flick about finding personal connections in our tech-savvy world. (April 19)
Ashton Kutcher stars as the late Steve Jobs in this biopic about the founder of Apple. (April 19)
This epic Norwegian film about an explorer taking a raft on a 4,300 mile ocean journey in 1943 was nominated for Best Foreign Language film this year. It sure looks amazing. (April 19)
'Stuck in Love'
Logan Lerman, Kristen Bell and Jennifer Connelly star in this complex love story about a writer and his family dealing with a tough year. (April 19)
'Pain & Gain'
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Mark Wahlberg star in director Michael Bay's latest flick, a kinetic thriller about Florida bodybuilders and extortion. Expect some quick cuts, loud noises and, if we're lucky, some huge explosions. Don't expect good directing. (April 26)
'The Big Wedding'
Based on the French film "Mon Frere se Marie," this comedy is about a divorced couple who pretends to still be married when their adopted son's very religious birth mother, who wouldn't approve of divorce, is set to come to his wedding. Starring Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Amanda Seyfried, Katherine Heigl, Ben Barnes and Topher Grace. (April 26)
In this dramedy, two people trying to leave their pasts behind them (Colin Firth and Emily Blunt) are drawn together, cycling through all sorts of new identities on a quest to find happiness. (April 26)
'At Any Price'
Much to his father's chagrin, a farm boy ditches the fields for life as a race car driver. When trouble arises at the farm, will the family come together? Starring Dennis Quaid, Zac Efron and Heather Graham (Remember her?). (April 26)
'The Lords of Salem'
Writer/director Rob Zombie shambles back with his new witch-centric horror fest. (April 26)
Matthew McConaughey plays a fugitive on the run living in the southern wilderness. He befriends two teens. This Cannes Film Festival favorite from director Jeff Nichols ("Take Shelter") also stars Reese Witherspoon, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland and Michael Shannon. (April 26)
'The Reluctant Fundamentalist'
From director Mira Nair ("The Namesake," "Monsoon Wedding"), this film follows a Pakistani man working on Wall Street who is caught between two worlds. (April 26)
'Post Tenebras Lux'
Director Carlos Reygadas landed the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival for this movie about a Mexican family from the city living in the countryside. (May 1)
'Iron Man 3'
The next wave of Marvel Comics movies begins with the third installment of "Iron Man," this one pitting the armored Avenger (a returning Robert Downey Jr.) against the many-ring-wearing villain The Mandarin (Sir Ben Kingsley). (May 3)
This film chronicles the true story of real-life contract killer Richard Kuklinski, who was also a guy with a family who had no idea what he did. Starring Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, James Franco, Ray Liotta and Chris Evans. (May 3)
'Love is All You Need'
Pierce Brosnan and Danish actress Trine Dyrholm star in this Italy-set romantic comedy. (May 3)
'The Great Gatsby'
Writer/director Baz Luhrmann ("Moulin Rouge") helms this long-awaited adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. Stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher and Tobey Maguire. (May 10)
Craig Robinson makes his debut as a romantic lead in this new film starring Kerry Washington and David Alan Grier, a spin on the "Meet the Parents" formula. (May 10)
'Star Trek: Into Darkness'
J.J. Abrams returns to the final frontier with the "Star Trek" sequel, which pits Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew against a new villain who may or may not be Khan, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. Also starring Karl Urban, Simon Pegg and Zoe Saldana. (May 15)
Katie Aselton directs and stars in this thriller about a trio of women being terrorized on an island. Also starring Lake Bell and Kate Bosworth. (May 17)
Director Noah Baumbach ("The Squid and the Whale," "Greenberg") and actress Greta Gerwig reunite for this indie film about a would-be dancer. (May 17)
'The Hangover Part III'
The Wolfpack is back for another film full of derivative comedy. Starring Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms and Justin Bartha. (May 24)
'Fast & Furious 6'
Following the events of "Fast Five," Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Agent Hobbs recruits Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and the rest of the driving crew to take down a band of vicious mercenaries, as well as an unexpected person from their past. (May 24)
"Ice Age" and "Robots" director Chris Wedge turns out another animated feature, this one about a girl getting drawn into an epic adventure in the forest with talking slugs and small soldiers. (May 24)
'We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks'
Master documentarian Alex Gibney ("Taxi to the Dark Side") turns his attention to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. (May 24)
Another 9 years have passed, so it's time to come back for the third installment of director Richard Linklater's "Before" series about Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine ("Julie Delpy). (May 24)
With crowded prisons, the government introduces 12-hour periods of lawlessness where nothing is illegal. I'm not sure how this solves anything, but there you go. The film centers on a family trying to protect their home. Starring Lena Headey, Ethan Hawke and Max Burkeholder. (May 31)
A woman working for an intelligence film has to find a way into an anarchist group. Starring Ellen Page, Alexander Skarsgard, and Patricia Clarkson. (May 31)