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Here Are All the Movies Opening Today, April 17; What Will You See?

Here Are All the Movies Opening Today, April 17; What Will You See?

Here are the films opening theatrically in the U.S. the week of Friday, April 17. [Synopses provided by distributor unless listed otherwise.]


Child 44
Director: Daniél Espinosa
Cast: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Gary Oldman, Joel Kinnaman, Paddy Considine, Jason Clarke, Vincent Cassel, Fares Fares
Synopsis: “Set in Stalin-era Soviet Union, a disgraced MGB agent is dispatched to investigate a series of child murders — a case that begins to connect with the very top of party leadership.”

Monkey Kingdom
Director: Mark Linfield & Alastair Fothergill
Synopsis: “A nature documentary that follows a newborn monkey and its mother as they struggle to survive within the competitive social hierarchy of the Temple Troop, a dynamic group of monkeys who live in ancient ruins found deep in the storied jungles of South Asia.”

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
Director: Andy Fickman
Cast: Kevin James, Molly Shannon, David Henrie, Raini Rodriguez, Eduardo Verástegui, Nicholas Turturro, Gary Valentine
Synopsis: “Security guard Paul Blart is headed to Las Vegas to attend a Security Guard Expo with his teenage daughter Maya before she departs for college. While at the convention, he inadvertently discovers a heist – and it’s up to Blart to apprehend the criminals.”

Director: Leo Gabriadze
Cast: Shelley Hennig, Renee Olstead, Jacob Wysocki, Courtney Halverson
Synopsis: “Ushering in a new era of horror, Universal Pictures’ Unfriended unfolds over a teenager’s computer screen as she and her friends are stalked by an unseen figure who seeks vengeance for a shaming video that led a vicious bully to kill herself a year earlier.”
Criticwire Grade Average: B- (8 reviews)


Director: Alec Mouhibian & Garin Hovannisian
Cast: Simon Abkarian, Angela Sarafyan, Sam Page, Nikolai Kinski, Debra Christofferson, Jim Piddock, Courtney Halverson, Mercy Malick, Myles Cranford, Sunny Suljic, Robert Hallak, Lory Tatoulian, David Imani
Synopsis: “Exactly 100 years after the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey, a mysterious director is staging a play at the Los Angeles Theatre to honor the victims of that tragedy – a horrifying crime forgotten and denied for an entire century. But as protesters surround his theatre, and a series of strange accidents spread panic among his producer and actors, it appears that the director’s mission is profoundly dangerous, and the ghosts of the past are everywhere.”
Theatrical Release: Southern California (opens in New York April 22nd)

Alex of Venice
Director: Chris Messina
Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Messina, Don Johnson, Derek Luke, Katie Nehra, Skylar Gaertner
Synopsis: “Workaholic environmental attorney Alex has always relied on her husband George to take the reins at home. But when he unexpectedly asks for a break, his departure forces Alex to reevaluate her life as she juggles the care of her son and needs of an aspiring-actor father (Don Johnson), all amid the most important case of her life.” [Tribeca Film Festival]
Criticwire Grade Average: B- (9 reviews)
Theatrical Release: Various (including New York and Los Angeles, Houston, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Scottsdale and Tampa)

Antarctic Edge: 70° South
Director: Dena Seidel
Synopsis: “In the wake of devastating climate events like Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina, oceanographer Oscar Schofield teams up with a group of researchers in a race to understand climate change in the fastest winter-warming place on earth: the West Antarctic Peninsula. For more than 20 years, these scientists have dedicated their lives to studying the Peninsula’s rapid change as part of the National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecological Research Project. Filmed in one of the most perilous environments on the planet, Antarctic Edge brings to us the stunning landscapes and seascapes of Earth’s southern polar region, revealing the harsh conditions and substantial challenges that scientists endure for months at a time. While navigating through 60-foot waves and dangerous icebergs, the film follows the team as they voyage south to rugged, inhospitable Charcot Island to study the fragile and rapidly declining Adelie Penguin. For Schofield and his crew, these birds are the greatest indicator of climate change and a harbinger of what is to come.”
Theatrical Release: New York (opens in Los Angeles on May 15th)

Below Dreams
Director: Garrett Bradley
Cast: Rebecca Matalon, Jamaine Johnson, Leanne Miller, Elliott Ehlers
Synopsis: “A reverie of images and sound, Below Dreams loosely follows the narratives of three very different people returning to New Orleans for the promise of a better life. But as each character experiences the city’s realities, it becomes clear that their individual hopes and dreams may no longer be possible, and that with change must also come sacrifice. Shot documentary style, but with dreamlike qualities melding fiction and reality, this is a hypnotic tribute to both the socially marginalized and to the city of New Orleans itself.” [Tribeca Film Festival]
Theatrical Release: New York

Beyond the Reach
Director: Jean-Baptiste Leonetti
Cast: Michael Douglas, Jeremy Irvine, Hanna Mangan Lawrence, Ronny Cox
Synopsis: “Ben is a young tracker living in the southwest with his girlfriend Laina. When she leaves for college on a scholarship, Ben makes the difficult choice to remain behind, a decision that he will come to regret. Madec is a rich, powerful international businessman, who is hunting for a bighorn to add to his trophy collection. He hires Ben as his guide through the Reach, a vast and hostile desert basin. The hunt goes tragically wrong as Madec, too eager for a kill, pulls the trigger quickly, and accidentally kills an old prospector. Attempting to cover up his crime, Madec tries to bribe Ben to dispose of the body and forget the incident, but Ben staunchly refuses to play along. Now, Madec must eliminate his only witness.”
Theatrical Release: Various (including New York and Los Angeles, Baltimore, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Tampa)

Closer to the Moon
Director: Nae Caranfil
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Mark Strong, Harry Lloyd, Joe Armstrong, Christian McKay, Tim Plester
Synopsis: “A Romanian police officer teams up with a small crew of bank robbers to pull off a heist by convincing everyone at the scene of the crime that they are only filming a movie.”
Theatrical Release: New York

The Dead Lands
Director: Toa Fraser
Cast: James Rolleston, Lawrence Makoare, Te Kohe Tuhaka, Xavier Horan, Rena Owen, Raukura Turei
Synopsis: “Hongi, a Maori chieftain’s teenage son, must avenge his father’s murder in order to bring peace and honour to the souls of his loved ones after his tribe is slaughtered through an act of treachery. Vastly outnumbered by a band of villains led by Wirepa, Hongi’s only hope is to pass through the feared and forbidden ‘Dead Lands’ and forge an uneasy alliance with a mysterious warrior, a ruthless fighter who has ruled the area for years.”
Criticwire Grade Average: B- (6 reviews)
Theatrical Release: New York and Los Angeles, Toronto and Winnipeg (expands to Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Ottawa)

Felix and Meira
Director: Maxime Giroux
Cast: Hadas Yaron, Martin Dubreuil, Luzer Twersky, Anne-Élisabeth Bossé
Synopsis: “Félix is an eccentric and penniless French Canadian whose wealthy father is dying. Meira is a married Hasidic woman with a family, searching for something new. They were not meant to meet, let alone fall in love. Félix and Meira tells the miraculous love story between two strangers from two distinct communities, who attempt to love each other despite what separates them.” [Toronto International Film Festival]
Criticwire Grade Average: B (9 reviews)
Theatrical Release: New York (opens in Los Angeles on April 24th and expands to various cities nationwide through the end of May)

The Human Experiment
Director: Dana Nachman
Cast: Sean Penn
Synopsis: “With thousands of untested chemicals in our everyday products, have we all become unwitting guinea pigs in one giant human experiment? The powerful and inspiring new documentary The Human Experiment goes behind the scenes in the fight to protect us from these toxic products before they cause irrevocable harm to our health.”
Theatrical Release: Various (including New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC)

Monsters: Dark Continent
Director: Tom Green
Cast: Johnny Harris, Kyle Soller, Nicholas Pinnock
Synopsis: “Seven years on from the events of Monsters, and the ‘Infected Zones’ have spread worldwide. Humans have been knocked off the top of the food chain, with disparate communities struggling for survival. American soldiers are being sent abroad to protect US interests from the Monsters, but the war is far from being won.”
Theatrical Release: Select Cities

The Road Within
Director: Gren Wells
Cast: Robert Michael Sheehan, Robert Patrick, Zoë Kravitz, Dev Patel, Kyra Sedgwick
Synopsis: “Vincent, a young man with Tourette’s Syndrome, faces drastic changes after his mother dies. Because his politician father is too ashamed of the disorder to have Vincent accompany him on the campaign, Vincent is shuttled off to an unconventional clinic. There he finds unexpected community with an obsessive-compulsive roommate and an anorexic young woman, and romance eventually–and uneasily–follow.” [LA Film Festival]
Criticwire Grade Average: C+ (4 reviews)
Theatrical Release: New York and Los Angeles (expands to Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland and San Francisco)

The Squeeze
Director: Terry Jastrow
Cast: Jeremy Sumpter, Christopher McDonald, Jillian Murray, Michael Nouri, Jason Dohring, Katherine LaNasa
Synopsis: “A young golf phenom, Augie Baccus, struggles to provide for his mom and sister in rural Texas. When a flashy gambler, Riverboat, rolls into town, he instantly sees the potential for a big payout using Augie’s outstanding skills. They join forces and start hustling all the way to Las Vegas, where the infamous mobster Jimmy Diamond is looking for fresh blood. Diamond sets up a million-dollar match and quietly threatens Augie with a lead boot fitting if he doesn’t throw the game. When Riverboat finds out, he makes the same threat, but only if Augie does throw the game. Augie is totally out of his element as he contemplates his chances… win or lose, it’s bad news for him. His only chance is to pull off the biggest sting in the history of golf, with a little help from his loyal friends back home. But can he outwit two of the shrewdest minds in the corrupt world of gambling?”
Theatrical Release: Various (including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando, Phoenix and Tampa)

Director: Zaza Urushadze
Cast: Giorgi Nakashidze, Misha Meskhi, Elmo Nüganen, Lembit Ulfsak
Synopsis: “War in Abkhazia 1990. An Estonian man Ivo has stayed behind to harvest his crops of tangerines. In a bloody conflict at his door, a wounded man is left behind, and Ivo is forced to take him in.”
Criticwire Grade Average: B+ (4 reviews)
Theatrical Release: New York (opens in Los Angeles on April 24th)

True Story
Director: Rupert Goold
Cast: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Felicity Jones, Ethan Suplee, Gretchen Mol, Robert John Burke, Maria Dizzia
Synopsis: “On-the-rise New York Times Magazine writer Michael Finkel receives troubling news from his editors that he is accused of falsifying part of an investigative piece on child laborers in Africa. Jobless and disgraced, Michael retreats from the city and falls into a depression. One day, he hears startling news that a fugitive accused of murdering his family was captured in Mexico claiming the identity of ‘Michael Finkel of The New York Times.’ Intrigued by the story, he travels to interview the accused, identified as Christian Longo, to help save his name.”
Criticwire Grade Average: B- (22 reviews)
Theatrical Release: Select Cities

Missed last week? Here are all the releases from the weekend of April 10.

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