March is set to be an exciting month at the cinema. We are now almost free of the worthy biopics that accompanied the 2014 Oscars and, with Marvel back on the scene, blockbuster cinema is making its 2014 comeback.
So with a bountiful supply of films out this month, I’ve distilled it to the ten essential movies.
10. Labor Day (Mar 21)
Snubbed by the 2014 Oscars, Labor Day is set to finally get its UK release in March. Adapted from a best-selling novel, it tells the story of Josh Brolin’s convict, who imposes himself on Kate Winslet’s broken family. Then, of course, they start to bond.
It looks a bit schmaltzy and it’s covered in “give me awards please” gloss, but it could be a decent drama if Winslet and Brolin are at the top of their games. And we all love sentimentality sometimes, right?
9. Need For Speed (Mar 12)
There was a sad inevitability, given the recent success of Fast & Furious, that the Need For Speed video game franchise would make its way to the big screen. The project was initially met with cynicism… right up until it was announced that Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul (who will appear again on this list) was to lead the film.
Trailers show a high-octane thrill ride of a movie, with the wonderful Imogen Poots helping Paul and indeed the film along with her reliable presence.
For big, dumb action movie fans, this could be one of the best films of the year.
8. 300: Rise Of An Empire (Mar 7)
Zack Snyder’s 300 is far from universally loved, but it was an action-packed, gory romp that certainly left a mark with its unique visual style. A lot of the publicity for the sequel has focused squarely on the fact that there is an ass-kicking female at the centre of Rise of an Empire in the shape of Eva Green.
It looks like the film is going to be just what fans will expect. Blood, carnage and characters kicking some serious rear end.
7. The Zero Theorem (Mar 14)
Terry Gilliam is back, with what many are describing as his most accessible film. There will still, however, be a sizeable dollop of what makes the Monty Python comic a unique filmmaker.
The Zero Theorem focuses on Christoph Waltz’s eccentric scientist, who is working on the titular formula that could show the true meaning of life.
Gilliam has described it as the final part of an informal dystopian satire trilogy (Brazil and 12 Monkeys) and it looks set to be the first of 2014’s thinking man’s sci-fi successes.
6. A Long Way Down (Mar 21)
It seems like Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots can’t stay away from each other. As well as Need For Speed, they are set to appear together in A Long Way Down, which is a dark comedy about four people who bond when they all try to jump off the same roof.
There’s plenty of room to mine laughs from this premise, so my fingers are crossed for a fun comedy with a bit of enjoyable blackness at its heart.
5. Under The Skin (Mar 14)
Scarlett Johansson (also set to appear later on this list) filmed many portions of Under The Skin whilst in disguise so as to maintain the low-key profile of the movie. She plays an alien sent to earth to pray on hitchhikers in what is one of March’s more interesting movie premises.
There’s a lot of critical acclaim surrounding the film, with five star reviews pouring in. As well as this, it has polarised opinion, with one critic calling it “laughably bad”.
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Mar 7)
Wes Anderson films are always an event and The Grand Budapest Hotel looks like one of his most interesting films. Broadly comedic, with Anderson’s trademark slice of quirk, it has one of the coolest ensemble casts seen in years, from Ralph Fiennes to Willem Dafoe and Bill Murray.
Early reviews are very positive and, with Anderson at the helm, the film looks set to be great.
3. Starred Up (Mar 21)
The gritty prison drama is a staple of British cinema, from the sublime to Green Street 2. Arriving with a raft of solid reviews under its belt is Starred Up, starring Jack O’Connell and Ben Mendelsohn. O’Connell is a violent young man transferred to a prison where someone stands up to him – his father.
The premise sounds deliciously ripe and it’s always good to see a dark Brit drama in cinemas with a brilliant young talent at its centre.
2. Muppets Most Wanted (Mar 28)
When The Muppets were rebooted in 2012, something amazing happened and a whole new generation were introduced to Kermit, Miss Piggy and the gang. It was one of the most purely joyous films released in years, full to the brim with self-aware humour and hilarious songs.
And now comes the inevitable follow-up in the shape of Muppets Most Wanted. The casting of Ricky Gervais is concerning, but it was never going to be about the humans.
With Gervais involved, that’s definitely a good thing.
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Mar 28)
For the last few years, Marvel have shown why their superhero movies are the best. Last year pitted the ludicrously entertaining Thor: The Dark World against the drab, noisy Man of Steel. Marvel, of course, came out on top heading into Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
There’s Nick Fury, Black Widow, Anthony Mackie as The Falcon and, of course, Chris Evans as Cap. It looks set to be the latest success for the greatest superhero franchise ever, leading us brilliantly into the latest team-up Age of Ultron.
Let me know which of these films you have seen or plan to see in the comments section below. Are there any exciting releases I haven’t mentioned?