new movies April Renfield

New movies to watch in April

Nicolas Cage as Dracula in Renfield, the new Ari Aster film Beau Is Afraid, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon reunite in the Nike movie Air and more.

Unsurprisingly, this month’s big releases are all based on existing properties. Among the new movies to watch in April, we have The Super Mario Bros. Movie (April 5), featuring limp voice work by Chris Pratt as everyone’s favourite Italian plumber. (Read our Super Mario review here.) Nicolas Cage stars as a predictably eccentric Dracula in the horror-comedy Renfield (April 14), about the count’s devoted servant, played here by Nicholas Hoult. We also have Evil Dead Rise (April 21), reviving the popular horror franchise and transplanting the typical cabin in the woods narrative to an apartment complex in Los Angeles. 

beau is afraid new movies april
Beau Is Afraid (new movies to watch in April)

One of the year’s most anticipated films was also shot in Montreal. Ari Aster (Midsommar, Hereditary) is back with Beau Is Afraid (April 21), about the epic odyssey of a terrified man to reunite with his mother. Joaquin Phoenix stars as Beau in this epically strange and horrific dark comedy about a man searching for meaning.

Air Ben Affleck new movie April

Reuniting with Matt Damon, Ben Affleck stars in and directs Air (April 5). Based on a true story, the film is about Sonny Vaccaro and Nike pursuing basketball rookie Michael Jordan, creating a partnership that revolutionizes the world of sports and contemporary culture. In other strange pursuits, we have Kelly Reichardt’s latest, Showing Up (April 14), starring Michelle Williams as an artist on the verge of a career-changing exhibition — a desperate and sometimes funny portrait of the life of a working artist. (For our interview with Reichardt about this film and more, please see our April issue.)

How to Blow Up a Pipeline

Are you feeling revolutionary? Be sure to check out How to Blow Up a Pipeline (April 14), an eco-thriller inspired by the famous Verso manifesto. From the writer and co-director of the tech-thriller Cam, the film is about a crew of young environmental activists who execute a daring mission to sabotage an oil pipeline.

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

For other dreamy arthouse films, Human Flowers of Flesh (April 16) is one of the most beautiful films to screen at festivals last year. Living with a crew of five men on a sailboat, Ida becomes fascinated with the French Foreign Legion and decides to sail to its former headquarters in Algeria. For something more animated (literally), Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (April 21) is about a lost cat, a giant talkative frog and a tsunami who help a bank employee without ambition, his frustrated wife and a schizophrenic accountant to save Tokyo from an earthquake and find meaning in their lives. If you’re still in Oscar mode, Pakistan’s official selection for Best International film, Joyland (April 21), is about a patriarchal family yearning for the birth of a baby boy to continue their family line; their youngest son secretly joins an erotic dance theatre and falls for a transgender starlet.

new movies April mon crime
Mon Crime

For some light but highbrow French cinema, check out François Ozon’s latest, Mon Crime (April 7). In 1930s Paris, Madeleine, a pretty, young, penniless and talentless actress, is accused of murdering a famous producer. Helped by her best friend Pauline, a young unemployed lawyer, she is acquitted on the grounds of self-defence. A new life of fame and success begins until the truth emerges.

Bungalow new movies April

Closer to home, the critically acclaimed Queens of the Qing Dynasty (April 7) is the latest from Ashley McKenzie, one of the foremost cinematic voices from Atlantic Canada. The conversational film is mostly set in a hospital and features extended talks between two outsiders: Star, a suicidal teen, and An, a student from Shanghai. (Read our interview with McKenzie here.) With her latest, Bungalow (April 7), Lawrence Côté-Collins brings a comedy of contemporary anxieties to the screen as a young couple buys a rotting house in the hopes of turning it into a dream home. The more their renovations go on, the more their life becomes a nightmare. 

The Pope’s Exorcist (new movies to watch in April)

Look no further for trashier new releases with big stars than The Pope’s Exorcist (April 14) and Mafia Mamma (April 14). The Pope’s Exorcist stars Russell Crowe as the titular exorcist investigating a centuries-old conspiracy the Vatican has tried to keep secret. Toni Collete stars in and Catherine Hardwick directs Mafia Mamma, a crime-comedy about a suburban American woman who inherits her grandfather’s Mafia empire. ■

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This article was originally published in the April issue of Cult MTL.

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