Indie Film Release Guide: March 22nd [An ONTD Original]

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This week’s biggest release is Jordan Peele’s Us, and the other big studios are not putting up any new competition. The Sarah Michelle Gellar starring teen classic Cruel Intentions is getting a 20th anniversary theatrical re-release, giving folks like me whose moms decided it wasn’t “appropriate” to see as a teen a chance to see it on the big screen. In other indie news, Gloria Bell is expanding, so check your local theater to see if Julianne Moore is waiting for you.

The films listed are from studios other than the “Big Six” - Paramount, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Columbia and Disney. Note that some of the movies listed are in their first week or two of limited release in the USA, so it may take them a few more weeks (or months) to show up in your local arthouse theater or on VOD. Check out the posts from the past few weeks for more movies that may have just opened near you: March 15th, March 8th, and March 1st. And please add your letterboxd in the comments if you’d like!


Hotel Mumbai



Stars: Dev Patel, Nazanin Boniadi, Armie Hammer, Tilda Cobham-Hervey
Writer: John Collee, Anthony Maras
Director: Anthony Maras
Genre: Drama, History, Thriller
Plot: The true story of the Taj Hotel terrorist attack in Mumbai. Hotel staff risk their lives to keep everyone safe as people make unthinkable sacrifices to protect themselves and their families.
What you should know: A portion of the film’s dialogue was taken verbatim from recording of intercepted cell phone calls during the 2008 attack.
Opens in: Select cities



Maze



Stars: Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Barry Ward, Martin McCann, Aaron Monaghan
Writer/Director: Stephen Burke
Genre: Adventure, Crime, Drama
Plot: Inspired by the true events of the infamous 1983 prison breakout of 38 IRA prisoners from HMP, which was to become the biggest prison escape in Europe since World War II.
What you should know: The prison scenes were filmed in the recently closed old Cork Prison.
Opens in: Select cities


Ramen Shop



Stars: Tsuyoshi Ihara, Takumi Saitoh, Seiko Matsuda, Jeanette Aw
Writer: Fong Cheng Tan, Kim Hoh Wong
Director: Eric Khoo
Genre: Drama
Plot: A young man who is curious about his deceased parents' past takes a food journey to Singapore where he uncovers more than just delicious meals.
What you should know: It’s in Japanese, English & Mandarin.
Opens in: Select cities


Out of Blue



Stars: Mamie Gummer, Patricia Clarkson, James Caan, Aaron Tveit
Writer/Director: Carol Morley
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Plot: When Detective Mike Hoolihan is called to investigate the shooting of leading astrophysicist and black hole expert, Jennifer Rockwell, she is affected in ways she struggles to comprehend.
What you should know: Based on the novel by Martin Amis.
Opens in: Select cities


Relaxer



Stars: Joshua Burge, David Dastmalachian, Andre Hyland, Mahfuz Rahman
Writer/Director: Joel Potrykus
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy
Plot: With the impending Y2K apocalypse fast approaching, Abbie is faced with the ultimate challenge - the unbeatable level 256 on Pac-Man - and he can't get off the couch until he conquers it. A survival story set in a living room.
What you should know: Singer Adina Howard (“Freak Like Me”) makes her feature debut in this film.
Opens in: Michigan, expanding over the next few weeks


Sunset



Stars: Juli Jakab, Vlad Ivanov, Susanne Wuest, Levente Molnár
Writer: László Nemes, Clara Royer
Director: László Nemes
Genre: Drama
Plot: A young girl grows up to become a strong and fearless woman in Budapest before World War I.
What you should know: This was Hungary’s submission for the foreign film category at this year’s Oscars.
Opens in: Select cities


The Russian Five



Director: Joshua Riehl
Genre: Documentary, Sport
Storyline: In the late 1980s, the Detroit Red Wings worked to finally break their decades long Stanley Cup drought by extracting players from the Soviet Union, and in the process, changed the way North American hockey is played.
Opens in: Select cities


Buddy



Director: Heddy Honigmann
Genre: Documentary
Storyline: Explores the close bond between animal and human in this moving portrait of guide dogs and their owners.
What you should know: It’s in Dutch.
Opens in: Select cities


Triple Threat



Stars: Tony Jaa, Celina Jade, Iko Uwais, Michael Jai White
Writer: Joey O’Bryan, Fangjin Song
Director: Jesse V. Johnson
Genre: Action, Thriller
Plot: A hit contract is taken out on a billionaire’s daughter intent on bringing down a major crime syndicate. A down and out team of mercenaries must take on a group of professional assassins and stop them before they kill their target.
Opens in: Select cities


Trading Paint



Stars: John Travolta, Michael Madsen, Shania Twain, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers
Writer: Gary Gerani, Craig R. Welch
Director: Karzan Kader
Genre: Action, Drama, Sport
Plot: Veteran race car driver Sam Munroe and his son, a fellow driver from a small town overcome family and professional conflicts, balancing competition, ego, resentment and a racing nemesis to come out stronger on the other side.
What you should know: Yes, that’s definitely John Travolta’s real hair and hairline and idk why you would suggest otherwise.
Opens in: Select cities and available VOD


Also opening: Dragged Across Concrete (Trailer), One Great Love (Trailer), Kesari (Trailer)


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What have you been watching, ONTD? Planning to see anything soon?