This month: Elisabeth Moss is a rocker on the brink of a breakdown; Robert Pattinson plunges into deep space: Andrew Garfield takes a tour of the old, weird L.A.; and Terry Gilliam finally unveils a pet project that’s literally been decades in the making. And there are also teen-singer dramas, animated comedies and no less than three big superhero films coming out — perhaps you’ve heard of these crazy kids called “the Avengers?” Here’s what you need to see in April.
Avengers: Endgame (Apr. 26th)
When last we checked in with Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the rest of Marvel’s biggest super-team, half of their ranks had been blinked into nothingness with a snap of Thanos’s big, purple fingers. Now the surviving Avengers have no choice but to scrape themselves together and formulate a plan of counterattack. Lucky for them, Captain Marvel has appeared on the scene just in time. The whole gang gets together for the last go-round before Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans’ contracts expire. Lives will be lost. Tears will be shed. Hawkeye will get a new haircut.
Hellboy (Apr. 12th)
For those not hip to the comic book mythos: Hellboy is a half-human half-demon hybrid known as a Cambion, and a revered enforcer at the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. David Harbour dons the red horns formerly sprouted by Ron Perlman in this series reboot, with assistance from an orphaned fairy (Sasha Lane) and a man who can transform into a jaguar (Daniel Dae Kim), Their mission: to foil a sinister sorceress (Milla Jovovich) out to annihilate humanity. Director Neil Marshall (The Descent) picks up the franchise reins — judging from the redband trailer above, you should expect lots of hard-R language and carnage.
Her Smell (Apr. 12th)
An off-the-rails punk rocker named Becky Something (Elisabeth Moss) whirls through her own personal backstage psychodrama with the destructive force of a hurricane. She was a big deal back in the Nineties; now she’s high, drunk, burning bridges and way past the point of out-of-control. The unorthodox five-act structure of Alex Ross Perry’s new movie takes Something through self-immolation, rock bottom, recovery and a second chance; a uniformly excellent supporting cast including Amber Heard, Agyness Deyn, Eric Stoltz, Dan Stevens, Cara Delevingne and Ashley Benson help guide the rise and fall. Any resemblance to real-life rock stars from the era are, of course, completely coincidental.
High Life (Apr. 5th)
Space — the final arthouse frontier. A group of prisoners (Robert Pattinson, Mia Goth and Andre “3000” Benjamin, to name a few) carry out hazardous black-hole explorations in exchange for commuted sentences. But because this film comes from the unpredictable, unknowable Claire Denis — a strong contender for “the single best filmmaker working today”, full stop — it isn’t that simple. Never mind the Interstellar-lite logline; her space odyssey focuses instead on fatherhood, existential ennui and how human beings warp under extreme, hostile conditions. Bonus: It will undoubtedly be the only film to pass through theaters this year featuring Juliette Binoche straddling a metallic dildo-machine in the name of science.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (Apr. 10th)
Terry Gilliam spent the last three decades chasing the crazy dream of bringing Miguel de Cervantes’ cornerstone of Spanish literature to the screen. Along the way, a production so plagued by troubles it was said to be cursed has managed to turn into the story of a director (Adam Driver) gradually losing his mind while working on a calamitous production of Don Quixote in Spain. He also has periodical flashbacks to the student film — also about the Man of La Mancha — that he made in Spain years earlier. Enter the crazed oldster (Jonathan Pryce) he cast as Quixote back in the day, now completely unable to distinguish where art ends and reality begins. Who can blame him?
Missing Link (Apr. 12th)
Laika, a.k.a. the animation house of choice for kids too cool for Pixar (see: Coraline, Kubo and the Two Strings), take on the legend of Bigfoot … sort of. A kindly cryptid (Zach Galifianakis) prides himself on his polite manners and clean comportment. Adventure seekers Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) and Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana) blaze a path to the Pacific Northwest to capture this creature. The humans call him “Sasquatch”; the giant furry gent himself prefers to go by “Susan.” If you just laughed out loud at that, this may be the animated movie for you.
Pet Sematary (April 5th)
Like an unrestful feline that just refuses to stay dead, Stephen King’s notorious horror novel — about a family, a tragedy and a sacred burial ground — has returned from the grave for a second film adaptation. Co-directors Dennis Widmeyer and Kevin Kölsch bring on the sleekness and tap Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz to play the father and mother; John Lithgow stepping in to portray oddball neighbor. You’ll never look at those cute little kitties the same way again.
Teen Spirit (Apr. 5th)
Violet (Elle Fanning) doesn’t see a lot of opportunity for herself, living with her Polish family at their sleepy farm on the Isle of Wight and warbling tunes at the local pub. So when an international singing competition comes to town, she instantly recognizes it as a way out; did we mention there’s a grizzled vocal teacher (Zlatko Burić) in town as well. The actress did all her own singing for the performance, delivering more-than-serviceable renditions of Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own” and Ellie Goulding’s “Lights.” See the middle of that Venn diagram, the one that charts the overlap between American Idol and last year’s indie hit The Rider? That’s exactly where this movie falls.
Shazam! (Apr. 5th)
Think “Big meets Superman” and you’ve got the long and short of this playful addition to the DCEU. Troubled foster kid Billy Batson (Asher Angel) has a chance encounter with a wizard that leaves him with the ability to turn into a strapping, fully-grown adult superhero ((Zachary Levi)) simply by saying — wait for it — Shazam. Like any regular young teen plunked into a fantasy, he’s inclined to use his powers to nab free beer and blow shit up. Then bad guy Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) with the intention of forcibly extracting said magic powers and oh, it’s on! It’s light on the brooding and heavy on the goofy humor, so you know Zack Snyder had nothing to do with this.
Under the Silver Lake (Apr. 19th)
It Follows director David Robert Mitchell returns with a screwy pastiche of Californian noir, stoner paranoia, Gen-X nerd kitsch and hobo lore. Slacker wastrel Sam (Andrew Garfield) meets sandy-haired ingenue Sarah (Riley Keough). By the next morning, she’s vanished. He tries to find out what happened, which naturally leads to a labyrinthine conspiracy involving subterranean fortresses, the ghostwriter behind Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is” and codes embedded in old cereal-box games. It’s even weirder than it sounds.