3. Monsieur Lazhar
Why Is It a "Must See"? The second consecutive film from Quebec to nab an Academy Award nomination for best foreign language film, Philippe Falardeau's "Monsieur Lazhar" is hitting American theaters this April. It follows Bachir Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag), an Algerian immigrant who is hired to replace a teacher at a Montreal elementary school who kills herself. Honest and sincere in a manner rare to the teacher-classroom subgenre, "Lazhar" is a powerful little film that effectively takes on a multitude of issues permeating today's society. (April 13; Music Box Films)
What Do Critics Think? "Monsieur Lazhar" has a B+ average on its Criticwire page.
Why Is It a "Must See"? What better way to celebrate 4/20 than with Kevin Macdonald's documentary about legendary reggae icon (and marijuana enthusiast) Bob Marley. A two-and-a-half hour chronicle that takes us from Marley's impoverished Jamaican roots through his stardom and onto his final days battling cancer, the film is a considerable tribute to the man largely credited with spreading both Jamaican music and the Rastafari movement to a worldwide audience. (April 20; Magnolia Pictures)
What Do Critics Think? "Marley" has a B average on its Criticwire page.