This month marks a year since the spread of Covid-19 ripped up the movie calendar.
While we’re still waiting on most of the blockbusters that were originally planned for release in 2020, there are plenty of viewing options headed our way, either to cinemas or streaming services.
Titles scheduled for the big screen during March include Golden Globe winners Nomadland (March 4) and Judas and the Black Messiah (March 11), Bruce Willis sci-fi actioner Cosmic Sin (March 11), Kathie Lee Gifford comedy Then Came You (March 11), Inuit sports tale The Grizzlies (March 18), documentaries on Gaza (March 11), Frank Zappa (March 18’s Zappa), a Romanian tragedy (March 25’s Collective) and Kiwi dragon boaters (March 18’s The Pinkies Are Back) and star-studded opioid trafficking drama Crisis (March 18).
For home viewers, Netflix’s line-up includes teen movie Moxie (March 3) and American College Admissions Scandal documentary Operation Varsity Blues (March 12). Apple TV+ has Tom Holland-starrer Cherry (March 12), Disney+ boasts the Macau-set documentary Own the Room (March 12), Amazon Prime Video unleashes The Bay of Silence (March 7), TVNZ OnDemand debuts Kiwi doco Six Angry Women (March 8) and Neon welcomes social experiment Fake Famous (March 20).
However, after looking through the schedules, Stuff has come up with this list of the 13 films we’re most excited about seeing over the next four weeks.
* Neon’s ZeroZeroZero, Disney+’s The Mighty Ducks series among March’s must see TV
* The Girl on the Train: Netflix’s wild Bollywood adaptation goes off the rails
* Twenty binge-watchable reasons why this week won’t be as bad as you think
* The Kid Detective: Neon’s dark comedy asks, what if a Hardy Boy never grew up?
* The best comedies to stream right now – and where you can watch them
* Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry: Apple’s controlled all-access pass
Blackbird (March 11, Cinemas)
A remake of the 2014 Danish movie Silent Heart, this US drama brings together an impressive ensemble (Sam Neill, Kate Winslet, Susan Sarandon, Mia Wasikowska) for a tale about a dying mother who gathers up her somewhat strained family for one final weekend together. “Director Roger Michell, screenwriter Christian Torpe…and a talented cast strike a delicate balance in a domestic drama that ably combines heartbreak and humour,” wrote IndieWire’s Kate Erbland. Previews will take place in select cinemas this weekend.
Chaos Walking (March 4, Cinemas)
Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley headline this sci-fi action-adventure inspired by the first of a trilogy of books by Patrick Ness.
Set in the not-too-distant future, it is the story of a young man living on a planet where all the women have disappeared and men are afflicted by a force that puts all their thoughts on display. His world is turned upside down when a mysterious girl crash lands into his life. Mad Mikkelsen, Cynthia Erivo and Nick Jonas also feature.
Coming 2 America (March 5, Amazon Prime Video)
Thirty-three years after the original romantic-comedy became a box office smash, Eddie Murphy reprises his role as Zamunda crown prince Akeem Joffer (as well as a cadre of other memorable characters).
This time around, he and his best friend and aide Sammi (Arsenio Hall) must return Stateside when Akeem discovers he has a son he never previously knew anything about.
Cousins (March 4, Cinemas)
Based on the 1992 novel by Patricia Grace, this Kiwi drama is the story of three Māori relations who spend a lifetime in search of each other. There’s introverted Mata, raised in an orphanage away from her whānau, Makareta, born to be the princess of her tribe, but a woman determined to make her own path, and Missy, the one left holding the family together.
The impressive ensemble includes Rachel House, Te Raukura Grey, Tanea Heke and writer-director Briar Grace-Smith.
The Dissident (March 11, Cinemas)
Documentary which takes a look at the 2018 disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen heading to the Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate in order to sort some paperwork for his impending wedding. When his fiancée and others around the world pieced together clues which they believed pointed to an assassination, they also exposed a global cover-up.
“This sinister story is told with the breakneck pacing and paranoid edge of a Tony Scott thriller,” wrote Time Out’s Philip De Semlyen.
French Exit (March 18, Cinemas)
Michelle Pfeiffer returns to the spotlight in this dramedy about a widowed New York socialite (Pfeiffer) and her aimless son (Lucas Hedges) who move to Paris after she spends the last of her husband’s inheritance.
”The sharpest Michelle Pfeiffer we’ve seen in years, in a role so handsomely form-fitted to her talent, style and attitude, it’s as if the movie had been written with that distinctive curl of her mouth,” wrote Rolling Stone magazine’s K. Austin Collins.
Godzilla v Kong (March 25, In Cinemas)
New Zealand’s own Julian Dennison is just one of the humans caught in the middle of an epic battle between two of the greatest icons in motion-picture history – the fearsome Japanese sea monster and Skull Island’s mighty ape.
Among the others facing death and destruction in this latest instalment of the Warner Bros’ Monsterverse are Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall and Kyle Chandler.
The Mauritanian (March 24, Amazon Prime Video)
Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim, Benedict Cumberbatch and Shailene Woodley star in this courtroom drama based on the real-life story of Mohamedou Ould Salahi. It details his fight for freedom after being detained and imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay without charge by the US Government for years in the wake of 9/11.
”An efficient procedural that condemns the Bush-era treatment of detainees more effectively than any other recent narrative film. It’s an affecting, but nevertheless tragic, watch,” wrote The Playlist’s Christian Gallachio.
Psycho Goreman (March 3, OnDemand Services)
Fans of 1980s horror-comedies like The Toxic Avenger and Re-Animator will get a kick out of this alien invasion tale. While the eponymous “Doomlord” is suitably menacing, the real scary star of the show is Earth’s unlikely defender, terrible tween Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna).
Quick with a one-liner and never taking a backward step, whether bullying her little brother, defying her parents or manipulating “the greatest threat to universe”, she’s one of the most memorable cinematic characters of the past 12 months.
Raya and the Last Dragon (March 4, Cinemas)
Disney’s 59th animated feature is a Southeast Asian adventure set in the mythical country of Kumandra. Once home to many dragons, they disappeared when they sacrificed themselves to save humanity from the sinister land-destroying Druun. It also resulted in the separation of the people into five tribes, who have been suspicious of one another ever since.
Now, as the Druun threaten to return, one young woman and her pill bug must journey to try and track down the last fire breather and unite the disparate clans.
The film will also debut on Disney+ the following day with the additional price tag (on top of your subscription) of $39.99.
Sentinelle (March 5, Netflix)
Quantum of Solace and Oblivion star Olga Kurylenko stars in this action-thriller about a French soldier who, having been transferred home after traumatising combat mission, uses her lethal skills to hunt down the man who hurt her sister.
Problem is, he’s the son of a powerful Russian oligarch.
Yes Day (March 12, Netflix)
Based on the 2009 children’s book of the same name by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld, this Jennifer Garner and Edgar Ramirez family comedy shows what happens when two parents, tired of having to say no all the time, decide to give their children 24 hours where they can make up all the rules.
What follows is a whirlwind adventure around Los Angeles.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League will debut on Sky Movies Premiere, Sky Go and Neon on March 18.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League (March 18, Neon)
Only confirmed by Sky TV on Monday, this hotly anticipated “re-imagining” of the deeply disappointing 2017 movie which brought together a supergroup of DC heroes will debut here on the same day as the US.
Director Zack Snyder, who was originally forced to hand over the reins to Joss Whedon after the death of his daughter, is back to deliver a cut that is apparently twice the length of the cinematic release and cost an additional US$70m, including some reshoots.