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April Movies Sneak Peek

By on March 31, 2016

New movies in April include a live-action version of “The Jungle Book,” Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth in “The Huntsman: Winter’s War,” and a stunning look at “A Beautiful Planet,” narrated by Jennifer Lawrence. Here’s a sneak peek at all the new movies in theaters in April. Note that release dates are subject to change.

By Jane Louise Boursaw

GOD’S NOT DEAD 2

MOV-Gods-Not-Dead-2 Rated PG for some thematic elements

In Theaters 4/1 | Ok for Kids 9+ |

Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels

 

This sequel to 2014’s “God’s Not Dead” centers on Grace (Melissa Joan Hart), a Christian teacher who’s forced before a judge for answering a question about Jesus in the classroom. With the principal and superintendent joining forces with a zealous civil liberties group, Grace faces an epic court case that could cost her a career she loves and expel God from the classroom.

Mr. Right

Mr-Right-PosterNot yet rated; likely PG-13 or R

In Theaters 4/8 (Limited, VOD, Digital HD)

Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

 

Hyperactive at the best of times, Martha (Anna Kendrick) has gone full-on manic since her latest breakup. She babbles, parties like a monster, cooks everything in sight, and is looking to do something terrible when she meets Francis (Sam Rockwell). To anyone else, Francis’s approach would come across as creepy, but Martha can’t help but be intrigued. They seem a perfect match: she’s bananas, he’s bananas … except he’s a deadly sort of bananas. He’s a professional assassin, and his services are solicited by a dubious client who’s being sought by an equally dubious FBI agent (Tim Roth). As the bodies pile up, Martha needs to decide whether to flee or join in the mayhem.

THE BOSS

MOV-Boss-PosterRated R for sexual content, language and brief drug use

In Theaters 4/8 | Ok for Kids 17+

Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

 

This comedy from director Ben Falcone stars Melissa McCarthy (who wrote the screenplay with Falcone and Steve Mallory) as “The Boss.” She’s a titan of industry who’s sent to prison after being nailed for insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, not everyone she wronged is so quick to forgive and forget. This movie also stars Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage and Kathy Bates.

HIGH STRUNG

MOV-High-Strung-1Rated PG for some thematic elements and mild language

In Theaters 4/8 (limited) | Ok for Kids 12+

Reel Preview: 3 of 5 Reels

 

Ruby Adams (Keenan Kampa) is a dancer from the Midwest with a scholarship to one of New York’s toughest performing arts schools. Johnnie Blackwell (Nicholas Galitzine) is an aspiring British musician, playing for money on subway platforms. Ruby’s world is classical and disciplined; Johnnie’s is improvisational and street smart. When these two young artists are thrown together, they immediately clash, but neither can deny the sparks that fly, or their shared ambition of trying to make it in the most competitive city in the world. When Ruby’s scholarship is threatened and Johnnie faces deportation, they join forces and enter a contest where winning – or losing – could change their lives forever. With the help of a dynamic dance crew called The SwitchSteps, they prepare to perform in a competition that unites their disparate worlds.

THE ADDERALL DIARIES

MOV-Adderall-Diaries-PosterRated R for language throughout, drug use, sexuality, and some aberrant and disturbing content | In Theaters 4/15 | Ok for Kids 18+ | A24 | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

 

Directed by Pamela Romanowsky, this drama from producers James Franco and Robert Redford is adapted from Stephen Elliott’s true crime memoir released in 2009. It centers on the real-life investigation into the 2007 murder trial of Hans Reiser, accused of killing his wife, and the ensuing confession of his friend Sean Sturgeon. This movie stars Amber Heard Depp, James Franco, Christian Slater, Ed Harris, Wilmer Valderrama and Cynthia Nixon.

 

THE JUNGLE BOOK

MOV-Jungle-Book-1Rated PG for some sequences of scary action and peril

In Theaters 4/15 (2D, 3D, IMAX)

Ok for Kids 7+ | Disney |

Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels

 

Directed by Jon Favreau and based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories, this live-action adventure centers on Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voiced by Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-mentor Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) and the free-spirited bear Baloo (Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire.

COLONIA

MOV-Colonia-PosterNot yet rated; likely R

In Theaters 4/15 (limited; VOD)

Ok for Kids 17+

Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

This political drama stars Emma Watson as Lena, a young woman whose husband (Daniel Bruhl) is abducted by Pinochet’s secret police during the 1973 Chilean military coup d’etat. Lena must join a dangerous cult in the sealed-off Colonia Dignidad area in order to rescue him. This movie also stars Mikael Nyqvist and Florian Gallenberger, who also directs.

NINA

MOV-Nina-1Not yet rated; likely PG-13 or R

In Theaters 4/22

Ok for Kids 16+

Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

She was one of the century’s most extraordinary talents, a 15-time Grammy nominee and Grammy Hall of Fame Recipient. Her mesmerizing songs and passionate politics combined to make her the unforgettable Nina Simone (Zoe Saldana). But fame and fortune came with a price, and her later years were riddled with depression, alcohol abuse and isolation. Rediscovering the meaning of her life and work took courage, strength and one true friend: Clifton Henderson (David Oyelowo), the man who started out as her assistant and eventually became her loyal manager. With Clifton’s encouragement, the “high priestess of soul” began a courageous journey back to her music and herself.

ELVIS & NIXON

MOV-Elvis-and-Nixon-1Rated R for some language

In Theaters 4/22

Ok for Kids 17+

Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels

 

Directed by Liza Johnson, “Elvis & Nixon” follows two men at the height of their powers who share one famous private moment in the Oval office. The film recounts the morning of Dec. 21, 1970, when the King of Rock ‘n Roll (Michael Shannon) showed up on the White House lawn to request a meeting with the most powerful man in the world, President Richard Nixon (Kevin Spacey). He had a very urgent request: to be sworn in as an undercover Federal Agent at large.

THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR

MOV-Huntsman-2Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence and some sensuality

In Theaters 4/22

Ok for Kids 13+

Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

 

Long before the evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) was thought vanquished by Snow White’s blade, she watched silently as her sister, Freya (Emily Blunt), suffered a heartbreaking betrayal and fled their kingdom. With Freya’s ability to freeze any enemy, the young ice queen has spent decades in a remote wintry palace raising a legion of deadly huntsmen, including Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and warrior Sara (Jessica Chastain), only to find that her prized two defied her one demand: Forever harden your hearts to love.

A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING

MOV-Hologram2Not yet rated; likely PG-13

In Theaters 4/22 | Ok for Kids 14+

Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels

 

 

Cultures collide when an American businessman (Tom Hanks) is sent to Saudi Arabia to close what he hopes will be the deal of a lifetime. Baffled by local customs and stymied by an opaque bureaucracy, he finds his footing with the help of a wise-cracking taxi driver and a beautiful Saudi doctor (Sarita Choudhury).

RATCHET & CLANK

MOV-Ratchet-and-Clank-1Rated PG for action and some rude humor

In Theaters 4/29 | Ok for Kids 8+

Reel Preview: 3 of 5 Reels

 

Based on the “Insomniac Games” franchise, this animated movie centers on two unlikely heroes as they struggle to stop a vile alien named Chairman Drek from destroying every planet in the Solana Galaxy. Ratchet is the last of his kind, a foolhardy “lombax” who’s grown up alone on a backwater planet with no family of his own. Clank is a pint-sized robot with more brains than brawn. The Ratchet and Clank characters were first introduced in 2002, and the games quickly became a successful series for Sony’s PlayStation consoles.

MOTHER’S DAY

MOV-MothersDayposterRated PG-13 for language and some suggestive material

In Theaters 4/29

Ok for Kids 14+

Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

 

“Mother’s Day” is the latest star-studded ensemble comedy from director Garry Marshall (“Pretty Woman,” “Valentine’s Day”). Bringing together Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts and Jason Sudeikis, it’s a celebration of mothers everywhere. This big-hearted comedy invites viewers to enjoy the laughter, tears and love as three generations come together in the week leading up to Mother’s Day.

KEANU

MOV-Keanu-1Not yet rated; likely R

In Theaters 4/29

Ok for Kids 17+

Reel Preview: 3 of 5 Reels

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, a.k.a. the popular comedy duo Key & Peele, star as Clarence and Rell, two cousins who live in the city but are far from streetwise. When Rell’s beloved kitten, Keanu, is catnapped, the hopelessly straight-laced pair must impersonate ruthless killers in order to infiltrate a street gang and retrieve the feline. But the adorable kitten becomes so coveted that the fight over his custody creates a gang war, forcing our two unwitting heroes to take the law into their own hands.

A BEAUTIFUL PLANET

MOV-Beautiful-Planet-1Not yet rated; likely G

In Theaters 4/29 (2D, IMAX 3D)

Ok for Kids 8+ | Disney |

Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

Directed by Toni Myers and narrated by Jennifer Lawrence, “A Beautiful Planet” is a breathtaking portrait of Earth from space, providing a unique perspective and increased understanding of our planet and galaxy as never seen before. Made in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the film features stunning footage of our magnificent blue planet – and the effects humanity has had on it over time – captured by the astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).


JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM

One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.


Jane Boursaw is the film critic and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Contact her at jboursaw@charter.net. Images used with permission of the studios and distributors.

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