Pick of the Litter – March 2018


BLOCKBUSTER OF THE MONTH

Ready Player One

(Warner Brothers) Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg. By the year 2045 the world has fallen into an epic malaise. There isn’t much hope, there isn’t much happiness – except in the Oasis, a virtual world that belongs to the most profitable corporation in the world. When the recently deceased founder of the company initiates a contest that will give gamers the opportunity to inherit control of the company and of the Oasis, it initiates a scramble to find the hidden Easter Egg and win the Oasis. However, there are forces at work that will stop at nothing to get that prize. Directed by none other than Steven Spielberg, the film is based on the pop culture masterpiece by Ernest Cline. March 29

INDEPENDENT PICKS

Foxtrot

(Sony Classics) Lior Ashkenazy, Sarah Adler, Yonathan Shiray, Shira Haas. At a desolate army outpost in the Israeli wilderness, tragedy strikes as it often will there. The family left behind of a young soldier stationed there must come to terms with their grief and loss in the wake of these events. This was Israel’s official submission for the 2018 Foreign Language Academy Award. March 2

Submission

(Great Point Media) Stanley Tucci, Kyra Sedgwick, Addison Timlin, Janeane Garofalo. A professor of writing at a university struggles with his own writer’s block and that creeping feeling that his best work and happiest days are behind him. He takes an interest in one of his students whose work is sensual and erotic, and who apparently has a major crush on him. However, he discovers that the attention comes at a terrible price. March 2

The Vanishing of Sidney Hall

(A24) Logan Lerman, Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler, Michelle Monaghan. A gifted young writer creates a book that becomes a national phenomenon – and a national controversy – and then he disappears completely from view. A detective with murky motives goes on the trail of the missing author, digging up unsavory secrets about his past in the process. March 2

The Death of Stalin

(IFC) Steve Buscemi, Rupert Friend, Andrea Riseborough, Michael Palin. When the dictator Joseph Stalin died in 1953, the Soviet Union was plunged into chaos as various factions fought for control. Master satirist Armando Iannucci (In the Loop) turns these events into a wicked comedy that is both irreverent and perhaps, a look at what modern politics have devolved into.  March 9

Itzhak

(Greenwich) Itzhak Perlman, Toby Perlman, Alan Alda, Billy Joel. One of the greatest violinists to have ever lived certainly wasn’t  a sure bet for greatness when he started out. A polio victim, he fought to be taken seriously as a musician when teachers and others only saw his crutches. He rose nonetheless to become one of the greatest musicians of our time and a man whose passion for life is as infectious as his violin playing. March 9

The Forgiven

(Saban) Forest Whitaker, Eric Bana, Jeff Gum, Morné Visser. After the end of apartheid in South Africa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu meets with a brutal murderer in a notorious prison; one seeking answers in a murder forgotten by the authorities, the other seeking redemption. Based on actual events, this story was a powderkeg of controversy in the early years of Nelson Mandela’s presidency; veteran director Roland Joffe was behind the camera for this one. March 9

Maineland

(Abramorama) Miao Wang. There has been an enormous wave of affluent children sent by their parents from mainland China to study at private schools in the United States. Some of the expectations of the kids, buoyed by American movies, are not terribly reasonable but the reality of their Chinese schooling sends them to a country far away from their home with great hopes nevertheless. March 16

Back to Burgundy

(Music Box) Pio Marmaï, Ana Girardot, François Civil, Jean-Marc Roulot. Master director Cédric Klapisch returns with this heartwarming tale of a young prodigal son, who left his family vineyard in Burgundy to see the world, returning when his father falls ill. Reuniting with his sister and brother, the three must rebuild their relationship and their trust in one another if they are to weather this crisis. March 23

Getting Grace

(Hannover House) Daniel Roebuck, Madelyn Dundon, Marsha Dietlein, Dana Ashbrook. A teenage girl who is in the final stages of terminal cancer befriends a socially awkward funeral director in an effort to find out what will happen to her after she dies. Her zest for life and unconventional attitude give him the courage to be himself. Roebuck, who plays the funeral director, also directed the film. March 23

Beauty and the Dogs

(Oscilloscope Laboratories) Mariam Al Ferjani, Ghanem Zrelli, Noomen Hamda, Mohamed Akkari. A film based on actual events, this follows the fight for justice by a young Tunisian woman who undergoes a terrifying ordeal after leaving a student party with a mysterious young man. Her battle will be uphill since the law favors the side of those who torment her. March 23

Caught

(Cinedigm/Great Point) Mickey Sumner, Cian Barry, April Pearson, Ruben Crow. A couple, both journalists, living in the idyllic English countryside, go out for a walk on the nearby moors and snap some pictures of apparent military activity there. Not too long afterwards, a strange couple dressed similarly show up at their door asking what seem to be polite questions at first but as the questions grow more bizarre and personal, they soon realize this isn’t an ordinary man and woman and the two journalists will have the scoop of the century – if they live to file it. March 30

The China Hustle

(Magnolia) Jed Rothstein, Alex Gibney. Wall Street is at it again. Chinese companies, based in America, have been attractive to investors since the Chinese economic boom of the last decade. Hoping to make up their losses from the 2008 recession, there has been heavy investment in these 500 or so companies. The trouble is that they are paper companies – they don’t actually produce anything. Fraud is being perpetrated on a massive scale and the government knows about it. As one of the financial experts says grimly, “Hold on to your wallets.” March 30

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March 2018


Tomb Raider

MARCH 1, 2018

The Lullaby (Siembamba)- Limited
Werewolf – Limited

MARCH 2, 2018

Death Wish
Red Sparrow

Chasing Great – Limited
Dance Academy: The Comeback – Limited
Don’t Talk to Irene – Limited
Foxtrot – Limited
Goldstone – Limited
Hondros – Limited
Let Yourself Go – Limited
Midnighters – Limited
Mohawk – Limited
Oh Lucy! – Limited
Pari – Limited
Pickings – Limited
Ravenous – Netflix
Souvenir – Limited
Submission – Limited
The Vanishing of Sidney Hall – Limited

MARCH 6, 2018

Bieber Generation – Limited/VOD
The Terrible Two – Limited/VOD

MARCH 8, 2018

Mabel, Mabel, Tiger Trainer – Los Angeles

MARCH 9, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time
Gringo
The Hurricane Heist
Strangers: Prey at Night
Thoroughbreds

1:54 – Limited
3 Storeys – Limited
Bent – Limited
Claire’s Camera – Limited
Dead Bullet – Limited
The Death of Stalin – Limited
The Forgiven – Limited
The Happys – Limited
Hello & Goodbye – Limited
Itzhak – Limited
Juggernaut – Limited
Laung Laachi – Limited
Leaning Into the Wind – Limited
The Leisure Seeker – Limited
Los Angeles Overnight – Limited
Our Blood is Wine – Los Angeles
The Princess and the Matchmaker – Limited
Sheep and Wolves – Limited
Shining Moon – Limited
Where Have You Gone, Lou DiMaggio – Limited

MARCH 11, 2018

The Sunday Sessions – Limited

MARCH 13, 2018

Monsters at Large – VOD/Limited
To the Beat! – VOD

MARCH 14, 2018

I Am Gary Johnson – Limited

MARCH 15, 2018

Terrifier – Limited

MARCH 16, 2018

7 Days in Entebbe
Love, Simon
Tomb Raider

12 Days – Limited
Allure – Limited
Apocalypsis – Limited
Augie – Limited
Benji – Netflix
Dear Dictator – Limited
Demon House – Limited/VOD
Flower – Limited
Furlough – Limited
I Can Only Imagine – Limited
Journey’s End – Limited
Keep the Change – New York City
Maineland – Limited
No Light and No Land Anywhere – Limited
Ramen Heads – Limited
Steel Rain – Netflix
Take Your Pills – Netflix
Us And Them – Limited
Yesterday Went With Yesterday – Limited

MARCH 17, 2018

Shelby’s Haus – Amazon Prime

MARCH 20, 2018

10 Billion: What’s On Your Plate? – VOD

MARCH 21, 2018

Backyard Wilderness – Limited

MARCH 22, 2018

What We Started – Miami

MARCH 23, 2018

Midnight Sun
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Sherlock Gnomes
Unsane

What We Started – Expands to Limited Release
A Bag of Marbles – Limited
A Normal Life – Limited
Arthur Miller: Writer – HBO/Limited
Baaghi 2 – Limited
Back to Burgundy – Limited
Barren Trees – Limited
Beauty and the Dogs – Limited
Elis – Limited
Final Portrait – Limited
Game Over, Man – Netflix
Getting Grace – Limited
Hichki – Limited
I Kill Giants – Limited
Isle of Dogs – Limited
Ismael’s Ghosts – Limited
Madame – Limited
March of the Penguins 2: The Last Step – Hulu
Paradox – Netflix/Limited
Pyewacket – Limited
The Redeemed and the Dominant: Fittest on Earth – Limited/VOD
Sajjan Singh Rangroot – Limited
Shifting Gears – Limited
Status Update – Limited
Summer in the Forest – Limited
The Workshop – New York City

MARCH 28, 2018

Paul, Apostle of Christ
The Gardener – Limited

MARCH 29, 2018

Ready Player One

MARCH 30, 2018

God’s Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness
Tyler Perry’s Acrimony

A Suitable Girl – Amazon/iTunes
All I Wish – Limited
After Louie – Limited
Birthmarked – Limited
Caught – Limited
The China Hustle – Limited/VOD
Finding Your Feet – Limited
FourPlay – Limited
Gemini – Limited
Happy Anniversary – Netflix
King in the Wilderness – Limited
Kuleana – Limited
Love After Love – Limited
Outside In – Limited
Rapture – Netflix