A massive superhero epic, a clash of titans, and a new Disney adventure ensure that March is a major and action-packed month for movies
With movie theaters slowly beginning to open back up, studios are pushing their big releases forward. Nevertheless, this month is still ruled by the rising streaming competitor HBO Max, who has new major entries in both the MonsterVerse and the DCEU coming.
But smaller comedies and thrillers are still able to find some room, and their performances at the box office will likely determine the future that movies are headed in.
‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ March 31st (Theaters and HBO Max)
It’s radioactive lizard versus big monkey time. The showdown of titans is finally here, the long awaited culmination of the cinematic MonsterVerse. Starting with 2014’s Godzilla reboot and followed by Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, this latest entry promised to somehow be even bigger than what’s come before.
When Godzilla suddenly embarks on a rampage of destruction across the globe, humanity calls on King Kong to defend them. But a greater conspiracy may also be at play. You’re gonna wanna watch this one on the biggest screen possible.
‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ March 18th (HBO Max)
2017’s Justice League suffered an extremely troubled production. Director Zack Snyder, who had previously helmed the DCEU’s Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, left the project due to a family tragedy, and Joss Whedon was brought in to finish the film in time for its release. Whedon, who famously directed Marvel’s The Avengers and Age of Ultron, attempted to bring more humor and levity to the franchise.
But that approach clashed with the universe’s prior entries, which were usually grittier and more self-serious. The film was a disappointment for many, leading DC fans to start petitions and campaigns asking for Snyder’s original vision to be released. Their persistence won out. After millions of dollars spent on shooting new footage and completing visual effects, Snyder’s Justice League will be released on HBO Max with a whopping four-hour runtime. It’s likely to be the superhero event of the year.
‘Cherry’ March 12th (Apple TV+)
After successfully pulling off the biggest movie of all time, Avengers: Endgame, filmmaking duo Anthony and Joe Russo are looking to take a break from the sleek and polished look of Disney’s Marvel universe in favor of something a bit smaller and grimier. Spider-Man star Tom Holland, also looking for a change of pace, has been brought along for the ride. The result is Cherry, a gritty crime drama about an opioid-addicted Army veteran who begins robbing banks.
The film is based on the novel of the same name by Nico Walker and has been getting consistent buzz over Holland’s powerful performance.
‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ March 5th (Theaters and Disney+ Premier Access)
Disney Animation has a long and rich history of bringing timeless animated movies to the masses, many of which become staples of childhood and pop culture. With a slew of recent hits like Frozen, Moana, Big Hero 6, and Zootopia behind them, the studio’s next project is a return to fantasy realms and courageous princesses. It will also be the first major release for the studio to launch on Disney+ in conjunction with its theatrical release, although it will cost subscribers a bit of extra money.
Long ago, in the world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya (Kelly Marie Tran), and her pet pill bug companion Tuk Tuk (Alan Tudyk), to track down the last dragon (Awkwafina) in order to finally stop the Druun for good. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than dragon magic to save the world—it’s going to take trust as well.
‘Coming 2 America’ March 5th (Amazon Prime Video)
1988’s Coming to America was one of the films that proved the star power and comedy chops of Eddie Murphy, and has since become a cult favorite and solidified his legacy. It’s the story of Prince Akeem (played by Murphy), the next in line for the throne of the fictional African nation of Zamunda, who travels to the United States in the hopes of finding a woman he can marry.
Talks of a sequel have been ongoing for years, but it wasn’t until director Craig Brewer worked with Murphy on 2019’s hilarious Netflix flick Dolemite Is My Name that plans began to move forward. Coming 2 America has Prince Akeem returning to America once again when he learns of the existence of his son, a Queens native named Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler), and sets out to groom the young man to be the next crown prince.
‘Chaos Walking’ March 5th (Theaters)
Chaos Walking is based off a book trilogy of the same written by Patrick Ness; a young adult, high-concept science fiction saga set in a world where all living creatures can hear each other’s thoughts in a stream of images and sounds. The film was originally set to release over two years ago, but was continuously pushed back by reshoots and the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the not-too-distant future, Todd Hewitt (Tom Holland) discovers Viola (Daisy Ridley), a mysterious girl who crash lands on his planet, where all the women have disappeared and the men are afflicted by “the Noise” – a force that puts all their thoughts on display. In this dangerous landscape, Viola’s life is threatened – and as Todd vows to protect her, he will have to discover his own inner power and unlock the planet’s dark secrets.
‘Cosmic Sin’ March 12th (Theaters and VOD)
Bruce Willis and Frank Grillo star in this new epic sci-fi adventure set in the year 2524, four hundred years after humans started colonizing the outer planets. Retired Military General James Ford (Willis) is called back into service after soldiers on a remote planet are attacked by a hostile alien fleet. The threat against the human race escalates into an inevitable interstellar war. General Ford teams up with General Eron Ryle (Grillo) and a team of elite soldiers in a race to stop the imminent attack before it is too late.
There’s nothing too complicated here. For those looking to see Willis and Grillo take on hordes of aliens in schlocky B-movie action, it doesn’t get much more fun than this.
‘Violation’ March 25th (Shudder)
Violation has been making waves with its current festival circuit that includes the Toronto Film Festival, Sundance and SXSW, playing in the midnight sections due to its extremely graphic content and heavy subject matter. The film is a disturbing and gruesome tale of revenge that’ll leave you shaken to your core.
With her marriage on the verge of collapse, Miriam (co-writer and co-director Madeleine Sims-Fewer, The Substitute) returns to her hometown to seek solace in the comfort of her younger sister and brother-in-law after years apart. In one evening, a small slip in judgment leads to a catastrophic betrayal, leaving Miriam shocked, reeling and furious. She embarks on an extreme course of action to address the situation, but the price of revenge is high and she is not prepared for the toll it takes as she begins to emotionally and psychologically unravel. Co-written and co-directed by Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli (Chubby).
‘Happily’ March 19th (Theaters and VOD)
Happily stars Joel McHale and Kerry Brishé as a couple who, after 14 years of marriage, still can’t keep their hands off each other. But their constant public displays of affection lead to resentment from their friends, and they begin to question everyone’s loyalty, including each other’s. Then, a visit from a mysterious stranger thrusts them into an existential crisis, leading to a dead body, a lot of questions and a very tense vacation.
The one and only Jack Black acts as one of the film’s producers, and the cast is rounded out by Stephen Root, Natalie Morales, Paul Scheer, and Natalie Zea. Part dark comedy and part unexpected thriller, Happy needs to be on your must-watch list.
‘Nobody’ March 26th (Theaters)
Filmmaker and musician Ilya Naishuller is best known for his outrageously fun first-person action flick Hardcore Henry, as well as his work with Russian rock band Biting Elbows and other artists like The Weeknd and Serj Tankian. His latest film, Nobody, is an action thriller vehicle for Bob Odenkirk, an actor who feels long overdue for a cut-loose, kickass movie like this
Odenkirk stars as Hutch Mansell, an underestimated and overlooked dad and husband, taking life’s indignities on the chin and never pushing back. A nobody. When two thieves break into his suburban home one night, Hutch declines to defend himself or his family, hoping to prevent serious violence. His teenage son, Blake (Gage Munroe), is disappointed in him and his wife, Becca (Connie Nielsen), seems to pull only further away. The aftermath of the incident strikes a match to Hutch’s long-simmering rage, triggering dormant instincts and propelling him on a brutal path that will surface dark secrets and lethal skills. In a barrage of fists, gunfire and squealing tires, Hutch must save his family from a dangerous adversary (Aleksey Serebryakov) and ensure that he will never be underestimated as a nobody again.
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