Spring has officially sprung, and while we’re looking forward to dusting the cobwebs off our swim trunks and stepping outside into direct sunlight for the first time since November, we’re also looking forward to something else: Film. There are a ton of excellent titles coming to the big screen this spring. While we’re all expecting the typical action blockbusters and superhero movies (nothing wrong with that!), we’re also excited about a huge variety of understated comedies, hard-to-watch dramas, long-awaited sequels, and some incredible indie titles, too. So, throw a steak on the grill, sit back, and relax. But then also go to the theater.
Ready Player One
Let us start by saying this one is getting the Steven Spielberg treatment, which means it’s likely going to kick ass regardless of the plot. Even so, this science fiction adventure film takes places in the not-so-distant year 2045, where people rely heavily on a virtual reality world called OASIS to cope with the desolate mundaneness and ugliness of the real world (Sound familiar?). Following his death, James Halliday, creator of OASIS, leaves a game of sorts for his users, wherein they must embark on a quest and follow clues in order to solve a puzzle. The first person to do so will gain full ownership of OASIS. However, it becomes very clear very early on in the film that there are other entities at work trying to gain control of OASIS, and that some people are willing to go to great and terrifying lengths to ensure their victory.
Lean On Pete
Here’s the thing… Is Lean On Pete another iteration of the classic “a boy and his horse” story? Yes, technically. But it’s also filmed so brilliantly and with such compelling acting that it will render audiences speechless. Well, so say the critics, at least. Charley Thompson (Charlie Plummer) is a 15-year-old boy who has moved to Portland with his father. He finds work at a local racetrack, where he is tasked with caring for an aging racehorse named Lean On Pete. When Charley discovers that Lean On Pete’s owner, Del Montgomery (Steve Buscemi), plans to slaughter the old losing horse, Charley steals Lean On Pete and embarks on an epic journey across the American frontier in search of a long lost aunt he knows will keep him and his new friend safe. It’s both awe-inspiring and heart breaking, and it ultimately results in some incredible film work that we can’t wait to see.
You Were Never Really Here
You Were Never Really Here has been described by critics as “Taxi Driver meets Drive,” which is a hell of an honor, far as we’re concerned. Phoenix plays Joe, a traumatized Gulf War vet with a penchant for violence who has made a career out of tracking down missing girls. When he takes a contract to find a girl named Nina who’s been swept up into sex slavery, he discovers something much larger and much worse than he expected. And let it be known that it’s not an easy walk-in-the-park type of movie, but a bloody ball-peen hammer-fueled lesson in fear and consequence, led by a tortured man trying to bring justice to an ugly and unjust world. Phoenix is absolutely brilliant as Joe, and critics are already praising this difficult watch as one of the best films of the year.
If you ever wondered what life after Mad Men was going to look like for Jon Hamm, look no further than Beirut. This incredible period drama stars Hamm as Mason Skiles, a former U.S. diplomat who is asked to return to service ten years after leaving the job in order to help broker the release of his close friend, Cal Riley, who has been taken by terrorists looking to free one of their own. The problem for Skiles won’t be negotiating Cal’s release, but negotiating the release of the terrorist in question, Rafid Abu Rajal. Not only is he the man responsible for killing Skiles’ family, but he was also the mastermind between the Munich Olympics terror attack, bombings in Madrid, and the hijacking of Flight 305. Skiles must work against the clock to figure out how to appease everyone, make the deal work, and bring his good friend home alive.
Super Troopers 2
No, you’re not imagining this one. Super Troopers 2, the long-awaited sequel to the original, will finally make its way to theaters this spring—on 4/20, no less! Everyone from the original cast—including Horny, Jeff Foster, Mac, Rabbit, Farva, and even Captain John O’Hagen and Officer Ursula—will return in the sequel, and Super Troopers 2 will see special appearances by the likes of Rob Lowe, Will Sasso, Tyler Labine and plenty of others. You may even see Jim Gaffigan reprising his famous role as Larry Johnson. The premise for the sequel is pretty simple. The U.S. and Canada are fighting for ownership of a disputed area at the border, and everyone’s favorite Vermont State Police troopers are in charge of patrolling the area.
Avengers: Infinity War
We know we can always rely on the team at Marvel to give us the best superhero movies out there, and we’re huge fans of what they’ve done with the Avengers series so far, including The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. In the third installment of the series, the Avengers, still reeling from the events of Captain America: Civil War, must band together with the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop Thanos from collecting enough Infinity Stones to “bring balance” to the universe. More importantly, take all the fun chemistry that you saw in Captain America: Civil War, add everyone you love from Guardians of the Galaxy series, and put them all together under one roof. Yeah. It’s going to be great.
Since the release of the original Deadpool two short years ago, fans and critics have eagerly awaited the release of the sequel. Now, after months of teasers and ridiculous profanity-laden trailers, the wait is nearly over. Deadpool 2 hits theaters May 18, and it looks like audiences can expect more of what made the Box Office record shattering original so popular. Ryan Reynolds will return as Deadpool, and audiences will see the debut of Josh Brolin as Cable, an insane super villain hell bent on killing an innocent kid. Frankly, the plot probably doesn’t even matter, as we’re certain you could put Reynolds in a Deadpool suit and film the guy bowling for two hours and we’d still feel like we got our money’s worth by the end of it. Nevertheless, in the sequel, everyone’s favorite mouth-like-a-sailor antihero forms the X-Force, his own team of rogue mutants in order to stop Cable from succeeding.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the new crop of Star Wars franchise releases, and we’re just as hopeful for Solo: A Star Wars Story, the newest of the bunch. Solo is a stand-alone film that profiles one of the franchise’s main characters and fan favorite, Han Solo. Alden Ehrenreich stars as Solo, and the film is allegedly going to cover Solo’s life before he came to be the unlikely franchise hero fans know and love, including how he met his famed copilot and best friend Chewbacca, and how he navigated the dangerous criminal underbelly from which he came. Fans were nervous about the film because the trailer wasn’t released until a month ago, but they shouldn’t be. It looks like another hit in the making for the Star Wars fans.