Home Entertainment Ten films to watch in March

Ten films to watch in March

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No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage Mandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock (4851805e) Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice - Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (aka Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice) - 2016
Supernatural thrillers, magic realism and Oscar-nominated animation all make BBC Culture’s list of movies not to miss this month.
Midnight Special (Credit: Credit: Atlaspix / Alamy Stock Photo)

Midnight Special

The ubiquitous Michael Shannon stars as a father on the run with his uncommonly gifted eight-year-old son, aided by a sidekick (Joel Edgerton) and ex-wife (Kirsten Dunst). Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, the film’s car-chase plots morphs into a work of supernatural sci-fi with a large debt to Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. While the film generated some buzz at the Berlin Film Festival, some critics were less impressed: BBC Culture’s Nicholas Barber described it as “a conventional sci-fi with some very obvious antecedents”, while The Guardian’s Benjamin Lee called it “disappointingly lifeless”. Released 16 March in France and 18 March in Brazil and the US. (Credit: Atlaspix / Alamy Stock Photo)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Credit: Credit: Atlaspix / Alamy Stock Photo)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Watchmen and 300 director Zach Snyder returns with the follow-up to Man of Steel (2013). Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill square off as the caped crusaders in the first live-action film to feature both characters on screen – as well as other DC Comics favourites, including Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and The Flash. Support comes from a heavyweight cast (Amy Adams, Holly Hunter, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane), with villainous duties discharged by Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor) and Michael Shannon (General Zod). Released 23 March in Spain, 24 March in Australia and 25 March in Japan. (Credit: Atlaspix / Alamy Stock Photo)

The Program (Credit: Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo)

The Program

After two acclaimed documentaries on the subject (Alex Gibney’s The Armstrong Lie and Alex Holmes’ Stop at Nothing), the story of the incredible rise and spectacular fall of Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong gets a feature-film treatment. Stephen Frears (The Queen, Philomena) directs, with Ben Foster as the cyclist and Chris O’Dowd as the Sunday Times journalist David Walsh, who is intent on revealing the extent of doping in the sport. The Guardian’s Catherine Shoard called The Program “a fluid, nippy telling of a tale that still seems strangely urgent”, while Time Out’s Dave Calhoun was full of praise: “Foster does great work with rich ingredients, making the most of every eerie smirk and glance”. Released 2 March in the Philippines and 18 March in the US. (Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo)

Truth (Credit: Credit: Sony Pictures Classics)

Truth

The directorial debut of James Vanderbilt (the writer of Zodiac), Truth is adapted from the memoir of a former CBS 60 Minutes producer, Mary Mapes. After broadcasting a controversial programme investigating George W Bush’s military record, Mapes and a team of journalists come under intense scrutiny, and in the resulting firestorm both Mapes and the 60 Minutes anchor – and TV news legend – Dan Rather (Robert Redford) lose their jobs. As Mapes, Cate Blanchett impressed the critics – Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle said “Blanchett’s journey from the top to the bottom is spellbinding”, but overall, critics have been less effusive.The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy called it a “crackerjack journalism yarn”, while Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Nashawaty was unimpressed: “For a movie about the importance of objectivity, Truth feels like a biased and sanctimonious op-ed column.” Released 10 March in Singapore, 17 March in Italy and 24 March in Greece. (Credit: Sony Pictures Classics)

Cemetery of Splendour (Credit: Credit: Kick the Machine)

Cemetery of Splendour

Like much of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s work, Cemetery of Splendour (Rak Ti Khon Kaen) blurs the lines between reality, dream and myth. It follows a nurse, Jen (Jenjira Pongpas) as she tends to Itta, a soldier, one of many who are stricken with sleeping sickness. While housed in a temporary clinic, the soldiers experience coloured light therapy to help ease their dreams and raise them from their comatose state. The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin called it a “wondrous journey… inwards and downwards, to a place where the simplest rhythms of everyday life become hallowed and mythic. Hollywood Reporter’s Jordan Mintzer praised the film’s “unearthly qualities of a sustained reverie.” Released 4 March in the US and 26 March in Japan. (Credit: Kick the Machine)

They Will Have to Kill Us (Credit: Credit: Mojo Musique)

They Will Have to Kill Us

“It’s a rare and inspiring thing, in contemporary culture, to witness artists in action who are prepared to die for their art”, said the Times’ critic, Kevin Maher of They Will Have to Kill Us First. When Islamic extremists captured northern Mali in 2012, banning music and shutting down radio stations, one group of musicians decided to fight back. Johanna Schwartz’s documentary tells their story, described as “gripping and powerful” by Indiewire and “essential viewing” by Dazed and Confused magazine. Released 4 March in the US (Credit: Mojo Musique)

Anomalisa (Credit: Credit: Atlaspix / Alamy Stock Photo)

Anomalisa

Writer/director Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and Duke Johnson’s stop-motion animation follows the existential crisis of an author who finds that everyone around him has an identical face and voice; until he comes across Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a stranger who has a unique face and appearance. Anomalisa “finds the sublime and the tragic and the overwhelming in the everyday”, said Will Leitch of the New Republic – along with the glowing critical reception, the film was nominated for best animated feature at this year’s Academy Awards. Released 3 March in Denmark, 4 March in South Africa and 11 March in the UK. (Credit: Atlaspix / Alamy Stock Photo)

The Witch (Credit: Credit: Atlaspix / Alamy Stock Photo)

The Witch

“If you can survive it”, wrote Time’s Stephanie Zacharek, “The Witch is a triumph of tone”. The debut feature from writer/director Robert Eggers, The Witch is set in 1630s New England and concerns the terrifying unravelling of a family, as told by its young protagonist, Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy). The film made a splash at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, with reviews being largely positive – The New Yorker’s Anthony Lane called it “at once sticky with tangible detail and numinous with suggestion” while Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers warned: “It’ll scare the hell out of you”. Released 4 March in Mexico, 11 March in the UK and 17 March in Chile. (Credit: Atlaspix / Alamy Stock Photo)

Knight of Cups (Credit: Credit: Atlaspix / Alamy Stock Photo)

Knight of Cups

Reviews have ranged wildly from the gushing – The Evening Standard’s David Sexton called it “a rhapsody and an elegy; cinema as prayer” – to the grim: a “ludicrous self-parody”, wrote BBC Culture’s Nicholas Barber. But the critics were in agreement on one thing – that Terrence Malik’s woozy, dreamy film (ostensibly about a screenwriter’s existential crisis) is beautiful to look at. Christian Bale heads up a starry cast, along with Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Imogen Poots and Freida Pinto. Released 3 March in Portugal, 4 March in Turkey and 25 March in Finland. (Credit: Atlaspix / Alamy Stock Photo)

10 Cloverfield Lane (Credit: Credit: Paramount Pictures)

10 Cloverfield Lane

First things first – is this film Cloverfield 2? Rather than a sequel to the 2008 monster-horror movie, producer JJ Abrams has called 10 Cloverfield Lane its “spiritual successor” or “blood relative”. Mary Elizabeth Wanstead stars as a woman who wakes from a car accident to find herself in a cellar. It’s the cellar of a man who has saved her from a chemical attack – or has he? The directorial debut of Dan Trachtenberg, the three-hander co-stars John Gallagher Jr and John Goodman – in his most menacing role yet. Released 10 March in Denmark, 11 March in Canada and 30 March in Egypt. (Credit: Paramount Pictures)