How are we still here? March madness has taken on new meaning for those of us who’ve been in our tiny bubbles since this time last year. Thankfully, the vaccine rollout means we can almost smell freedom, but until the world reaches that safety threshold, many will happily hunker down with a magical movie or seven. Thanks to all the streaming services and a few studios that are simultaneously releasing their offerings, we have plenty of options to keep cozy with on a cold, almost-spring night. Take your pick of the lot and stay safe, friends.
March 3, 2021 (Netflix)
Directed by Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation); written by Tamara Chestna (After) and Dylan Meyer (XOXO, Miss 2059); starring Poehler, Hadley Robinson (I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Little Women, Fosse/Verdon), Lauren Tsai, Patrick Schwarzenegger, and Josephine Langford. Smash the patriarchy and burn it all down! Based on Jennifer Mathieu’s novel about a fed-up 16-year-old who, inspired by her rebel mom (Poehler), starts a school Ezine that sparks a revolution.
March 5, 2021 (Hulu)
Directed by Joe Carnahan (The Grey, Narc); written by Carnahan, Chris Borey, and Eddie Borey (Open Grave); starring Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Endgame, Billions), Naomi Watts, Ken Jeong, Michelle Yeoh, Annabelle Wallis, Selina Lo, Will Sasso, and Mel Gibson (sorry). Grillo is retired Special Forces soldier Roy Pulver, who’s caught in a time loop reliving his death over and over and …well, you get it, and can’t we all relate? Doesn’t your March (aka A Year in Quarantine) need a crazy action/sci-fi outing that breaks out of the same old-same old with Michelle Yeoh teaching a hot guy how to swordfight? Mine most definitely does.
March 5, 2021 (Theaters, VoD)
Directed by Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, The Bourne Identity); written by Christopher Ford (Spider-Man: Homecoming); starring Mads Mikkelsen, Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, Cynthia Erivo, David Oyelowo, Demián Bichir, Nick Jonas, Kurt Sutter. Based on Patrick Ness’s award-winning science fiction novel, Ridley and Holland lead the brilliant cast into the bizarre Prentisstown on an alien planet where there are no more women, and men’s thoughts are on display for all to hear. Mikkelsen plays a wicked fur-clad mayor; what more do you need to know?
Raya and the Last Dragon
March 5, 2021 (Theaters, Disney+)
Directed by Don Hall (Big Hero 6, Moana), Carlos López Estrada (Summertime, Legion), Paul Briggs, and John Ripa; written by Qui Nguyen (Dispatches from Elsewhere, The Society) and Adele Lim (Crazy Rich Asians, Reign); starring Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Sandra Oh, Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Benedict Wong, Dichen Lachman, Alan Tudyk, and Gordon Ip. Star Wars’ Tran voices Raya, a warrior princess on the hunt for Kumandra’s last dragon to help save her world from the monstrous Drunns. This gorgeously animated adventure is just the bright cheer we need to get us through the last of winter’s dark grip.
Coming 2 America
March 5, 2021 (Amazon Prime Video)
Directed by Craig Brewer (Dolemite Is My Name, Empire); written by Eddie Murphy, David Sheffield (Coming to America, The Nutty Professor), Kenya Barris (Blackish, Girls Trip), Barry W. Blaustein, Justin Kanew; starring Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, Shari Headley, Teyana Taylor, Jermaine Fowler, and Wesley Snipes. Eddie and Arsenio! Arsenio and Eddie! Akeem and Semmi return to the U.S. to find the prince’s long-lost son Lavelle (Fowler) and prepare him for the royal heritage he’s never known. We need this kind of transport-us-away-from-quarantine comedy like never before. Just grab the popcorn, say “Yes, please” and “Thank you” and prepare to laugh your ass off (I mean, I could stand to drop a pandemic pound or two).
March 12, 2021 (Theaters, VoD)
Directed and written by Anthony Scott Burns (Our House); starring Julia Sarah Stone, Skylar Radzion, Landon Liboiron, Tiffany Helm, and Chantal Perron. If you’re having trouble sleeping maybe skip this science fiction/horror investigating a young girl’s dreams. When Sarah (Stone) agrees to take part in a university sleep study she has no idea the trouble she’s stepping into, nor what is real or nightmare anymore. For those who love a good mindfork, this looks like it’s right up our alley.
The Human Voice (short)
March 12, 2021 (Theaters, VoD — TBA)
Directed by Pedro Almodóvar; written by Almodóvar (based on the Jean Cocteau play); starring Tilda Swinton. If you’ve only half an hour to spare you could hardly do better than to watch Swinton in the throes of despair after her lover leaves her for another woman. My gods, even the trailer is stunning, as is everything these two masters of film gift the world.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
March 19, 2021 (Theaters, VoD)
Directed by Tom Gormican (That Awkward Moment, Ghosted); written by Gormican and Kevin Eaton; starring Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal, Sharon Horgan, Tiffany Hadish, and Neil Patrick Harris. Nicolas Cage plays…Nicolas Cage in this comedy with a killer cast that finds the actor hired to entertain a superfan who turns out to be a drug lord. When things get complicated, Cage plays out some of his actual roles (please, please, Sailor Ripley!) to protect his wife and child. If this is half as crazy as the plot sounds (unfortunately there’s no trailer), it could be the best thing we see all year.
March 19, 2021 (Theaters, VoD)
Directed by Dominic Cooke (The Hollow Crown, On Chesil Beach); written by Tom O’Connor (The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Fire with Fire); starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel Brosnahan, Jessie Buckley, Angus Wright, and Merab Ninidze. Get your Cold War spy movie on with this historical drama that tells of the British everyman (Cumberbatch) who aided MI-6 in ending the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis by gathering intelligence on the Soviet nuclear program.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League
March 19, 2021 (Theaters, HBO Max)
Directed by Zack Snyder; written by Snyder, Chris Terrio (Argo, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker), and Will Beall (Aquaman, Gangster Squad); starring Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jared Leto, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Willem Dafoe, Amber Heard, Jason Momoa, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, J.K. Simmons, Ezra Miller, and Ciarán Hinds. Righting Whedon’s wrongs (well, some of them), Snyder gets his 4-hour (yes, you read that correctly) director’s cut and DC fans get a lot of pretty superheroes. The studio spent $70 million on reshoots to get this right so there must be something worth watching here!
March 26,2021 (Theaters, VoD)
Directed by Ilya Naishuller (Hardcore Henry); written by Derek Kolstad (the John Wick series); starring Bob Odenkirk, Connie Nielsen, Christopher Lloyd, RZA, and Aleksey Serebryakov. Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul’s Odenkirk gets his inner Liam Neeson on in this thriller about a family man gone wild after a break-in at his home. Seems like despite his secret past, nobody (ahem) saw Daddy’s dark side coming. Never, ever take the kitty bracelet.
Godzilla vs. Kong
March 31, 2021 (Theaters, HBO Max)
Directed by Adam Wingard (The Guest, Death Note, V/H/S (now on Plex!), A Horrible Way to Die); written by Eric Pearson (Black Widow, Thor: Ragnarok, Agent Carter), Max Borenstein (Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla , The Terror), Terry Rossio (Shrek, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest), Michael Dougherty (Trick ‘r Treat, Krampus), Zach Shields (Godzilla: King of the Monsters); starring Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Bryan Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Lance Reddick, Kyle Chandler, Demián Bichir, and Julian Dennison. When you need protection from an iconic Japanese monster, there’s only one creature for the job: Koooooong! What more do you need to convince you than the title and a king-sized cast?