The major studios collectively decided to let Godzilla vs. Kong run away with another weekend - the next big studio release is next weekend’s Mortal Kombat, also from Warner Bros. But this weekend marks a notable shift in new releases - almost all of the films available this weekend in virtual cinemas or VOD are also available in select theaters. And while Los Angeles has lost a major indie release hub in Arclight Cinemas, Laemmle and Landmark are doing what they can to pick up the slack.
The films listed are from studios other than the “Big Six” - Paramount, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Columbia/Sony and Disney. All films listed will be available at their respective sources on Friday unless otherwise noted. Check out the posts from the past few weeks for more movies that may have already come to VOD: April 9th, April 2nd, and March 26th.
Chadwick Boseman: Portrait of an Artist
Plot: Viola Davis, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Phylicia Rashad and more invite us into a conversation to explore Chadwick Boseman’s extraordinary commitment to his craft in an intimate look at the Oscar-nominated actor’s artistry, and the acting process which informed his transformative performances.
What you should know: This documentary was a surprise release from Netflix, announced just a day before its debut.
Where to stream: Netflix, available globally for 30 days only
Stars: Sebastian Stan, Denise Gough, Dominique Tipper, Yorgos Pirpassopoulos
Writer: Rob Hayes, Argyris Papadimitropoulos
Director: Argyris Papadimitropoulos
Genre: Drama, Romance
Plot: A spark on a Friday can lead to a sizzling weekend fling, but what happens when you get to the inevitable Monday?
What you should know: This is writer/director Argyris Papadimitropoulos’s follow-up to 2016’s Suntan.
Where to watch: In theaters, and available VOD
Writer: Viktor Kosakovskiy, Ainara Vera
Director: Viktor Kosakovskiy
Plot: Chronicles the unfiltered lives of a mother pig, a flock of chickens, and a herd of cows with masterful intimacy.
What you should know: Garnered 21 nominations and four wins from the film festival circuit.
Where to stream: Virtual cinemas
In the Earth
Stars: Joel Fry, Reece Shearsmith, Hayley Squires, Ellora Torchia
Writer/Director: Ben Wheatley
Plot: As the world searches for a cure to a disastrous virus, a scientist and park scout venture deep in the forest for a routine equipment run.
What you should know: Director Ben Wheatley’s last film was 2020’s abysmally reviewed Rebecca remake.
Where to watch: In theaters, and available in virtual cinemas
Stars: Barbara Crampton, Larry Fessenden, Bonnie Aarons, Nyisha Bell
Writer: Kathy Charles, Mark Steensland, Travis Stevens
Director: Travis Stevens
Plot: Anne, married to a small-town Minister, feels her life has been shrinking over the past 30 years. Encountering "The Master" brings her a new sense of power and an appetite to live bolder. However, the change comes with a heavy body count.
What you should know: Premiered at SXSW 2021.
Where to watch: In theaters, and available on demand
Stars: Andrea Bræin Hovig, Stellan Skarsgård, Elli Rhiannon Müller Osborne, Alfred Vatne
Writer/Director: Maria Sødahl
Genre: Drama, Romance
Plot: The relationship between artist-partners Tomas and Anja is put to the test after Anja gets a life-threatening diagnosis.
What you should know: It’s in Norwegian and Swedish.
Where to stream: Virtual cinemas
We Broke Up
Stars: Aya Cash, William Jackson Harper, Sarah Bolger, Tony Cavalero
Writer: Laura Jacqmin, Jeff Rosenberg
Director: Jeff Rosenberg
Plot: Lori and Doug, a longtime couple who break up just days before Lori's little sister Bea's wedding to Jayson. In order to not disrupt the fun, the couple decides to pretend they're still together until the weekend is over.
What you should know: Director Jeff Rosenberg directs mainly for TV, including many episodes of the William Jackson Harper-starring The Good Place.
Where to stream: in theaters, and available via virtual cinemas
Stars: Ruby Rose, Morgan Freeman, Patrick Muldoon, Nick Vallelonga
Writer: George Gallo, Samuel Bartlett
Director: George Gallo
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Plot: A mother, Victoria, is trying to put her dark past as a Russian drug courier behind her, but retired cop Damon forces Victoria to do his bidding by holding her daughter hostage. Now, Victoria must use guns, guts, and a motorcycle to take out a series of violent gangsters — or she may never see her child again.
What you should know: Star Nick Vallelonga is also the guy who wrote and produced Green Book based on his father’s account.
Where to watch: In theaters, and available on demand April 20th
Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts
Writer: Fred Barron
Director: Jeffrey Wolf
Plot: This illuminating documentary explores the life of a unique American artist, a man with a remarkable and unlikely biography. Having witnessed profound social and political change during a life spanning slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation, and the Great Migration, Bill Traylor devised his own visual language to translate an oral culture into something original, powerful, and culturally rooted. He made well over a thousand drawings and paintings between 1939-1942. This colorful, strikingly modernist work eventually led him to be recognized as one of America’s greatest self-taught artists and the subject of a Smithsonian retrospective.
What you should know: Traylor died in 1949 in Alabama, the same state where he was born.
Where to stream: In theaters, and available via virtual cinemas.
Killer Among Us
Stars: Yasha Jackson, Imani Lewis, Bruce MacVittie, Angelic Zambrana
Writer: Daniel Lichtenberg, Charlie Scharfman
Director: Charlie Scharfman
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Plot: On the 4th of July, a rookie female cop partners with a veteran detective to save the life of a high-school student from a radicalized serial killer.
What you should know: This is writer/director Charlie Scharfman’s first feature film.
Where to stream: Available on demand
New to Digital
The Banishing (Trailer) on Shudder
Ride or Die (Trailer) on Netflix
Why Did You Kill Me? (Trailer)
New to Streaming
Synchronic (Trailer) on Netflix
Songbird (Trailer) on Hulu
Modern Persuasion (Trailer) on Hulu
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What have you been watching lately, ONTD?