Going In Style
Release date: 7 April
Michael Caine: legend. Morgan Freeman: legend. Alan Arkin: legend. When a film headlines three Hollywood icons of this calibre, it needs to be seen. Going In Style also cheekily riffs on Caine’s Italian Job legacy, as he spends the movie planning a bank robbery with his two aged cohorts – it’s based in the US, however, not Turin, offering comment on the greediness of big corporations in the process.
The three men are faced with financial ruin when their pension plan falls through and, driven to desperation, they decide to stick it to The Man and steal back the money owed to them from a local bank. Funny, warm-hearted and oozing star-wattage.
I Am Not Your Negro
Release date: 7 April
Samuel L Jackson narrates this hugely affecting, critically acclaimed documentary detailing the way black people have been treated across the decades in the USA. It’s based on the notes for an uncompleted book that were left by writer James Baldwin after his death in 1987, a personal account of the lives and murders of his three activist friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. Director Raoul Peck has brought Baldwin’s words to life in searing, unforgettable form, making this an unmissable piece of filmmaking.
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki
Release date: 21 April
This delightful boxing flick is drenched in 1960s nostalgia as well as paying tribute to the grandaddy of all boxing films, Raging Bull, by shooting in black and white.
It’s the true story of Olli Mäki, a Finnish boxer who had a shot at the 1962 World Featherweight title against an American opponent -– propelling him into the spotlight just as he fell in love, causing his life to explode. It’s a perky, heartwarming feature debut from Juho Kuosmanen, and was justifiably rewarded with the Un Certain Regard Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
Release date: 28 April
This coming-of-age comedy is set in an Irish boarding school, where young Ned (Fionn O’Shea) is devastated to learn he’ll have to share a bedroom with the school’s star athlete, Conor (Nicholas Galitzine).
He’s not a fan of rugby, is our Ned, and so he’s not expecting this to end well – but the two gradually strike up an unorthodox friendship until everything gets turned upside-down. The always-excellent Andrew Scott plays a Dead Poets-style inspirational teacher in a charming film that’s been a hit with festival critics.
Release date: 12 May
Jessica Chastain stars in this hard-hitting drama which sees her play a ruthless and capable power-broker taking on the might of the US gun lobby. As anyone who follows American politics can already tell you, trying to curb the country’s gun laws is a Herculean challenge and Sloane finds the odds stacked heavily against her… particularly when her opponents turn things dirty. Chastain is brittle and brilliant in a similarly solid cast that includes Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, John Lithgow and Sam Waterston.
Release date: 5 May
A British thriller from former Bond director Michael Apted, Unlocked stars The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’s Noomi Rapace as an ex-CIA interrogator working in London who is drawn into trying to stop a terrorist attack.
She’s given able support by British spy head Toni Collette and amusing CIA chief John Malkovich, while Michael Douglas brings a dash of Hollywood royalty to proceedings. Rapace is on fine form as she hurtles across the capital hunting baddies, and there are plenty of twists to keep you gripped.
Release date: 12 May
Perhaps the last Alien film, Prometheus, wasn’t quite as good as we’d all hoped for, but nobody can deny that Michael Fassbender was the best thing in it… and we mean “thing” literally, as he played an android, David. He’s back again for the sequel, this time named Walter, alongside Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, James Franco and a few Prometheus alumni.
The plot? Hardly unfamiliar, as a colony ship arrives on a supposedly deserted planet and encounters a crashed spaceship containing some creepy-looking eggs. But with Ridley Scott at the helm, with a screenplay by the always reliable John Logan, this could be the best horror-thriller of the summer.
Release date: 25 May
“These guys were the Spitfire pilots of the 50s and 60s,” observes one of the interviewees on this documentary exploring the life, career and legacy of motor racing legend Bruce McLaren.
Directed by Roger Donaldson – who already explored the joys of speed in Anthony Hopkins-starrer The World’s Fastest Indian in 2005 – McLaren features contributions from Emerson Fittipaldi, Sir Jackie Stewart, Mario Andretti and many more. As we write this, it seems McLaren is scheduled for only a limited release, so keep an eye out for limited showings; it’s worth it.