“Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” (May 4)
This is the first authorized film about Cobain’s life and was made at the behest of Courtney Love. It follows the musician’s journey from childhood to his untimely death using, yes, a montage of home movies, interviews and Cobain’s own art. Whether you’re a fan of music, documentaries, pop culture or ’90s nostalgia, this is definitely one doc that will have people talking. Though Cobain passed away over 20 years ago, his life and songs continue to fascinate people to this day, as the well-received film shows.
“I Am Big Bird” (May 5)
A film about art, artists, creation…and talking puppets who teach kids the alphabet. Caroll Spinney has been the man behind (or under, or in) “Sesame Street” favorites Oscar The Grouch and Big Bird for decades. Now 80, Spinney reluctantly faces retirement and a life without the beloved characters he helped create. If you ever watched “Sesame Street” as a kid, it might be time to meet the people who made the show happen.
“Bravetown” (May 8)
Josh Harvest is a tough kid with a talent for DJing sent to live with his estranged father in North Dakota, but that’s only the beginning of the drama. The small town where his father lives is full of families who have lost someone to war, and the secrets they keep and resentments they hold onto are about to surface. Lucas Till (“The Hannah Montana Movie”) plays Josh, Kherington Payne (“Fame”) plays his dancer love interest, and Josh Duhamel is his therapist.
“Soul Boys of the Western World” (May 1)
If you think you don’t know any songs by Spandau Ballet, listen to the first ten seconds of “True” and think again. “Soul Boys of the Western World” is an archive-only documentary about the members of Spandau Ballet, how they grew in working class in London and went on to form one of the most successful bands of the ’80s. Set against the cultural-political backdrop of the era, the film also includes home movies and newly discovered material.
“Maggie” (May 8)
Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger were bound to team up on a project some day, so why not in independent horror flick “Maggie?” Breslin stars as the titular Maggie, who is slowly turning into a cannibal zombie because of an infectious disease. But that won’t stop her father (Schwarzenegger) from staying by her side. Weird? Kind of. Interesting? Definitely.
“Animals” (May 15)
Taking a page from the gritty realism of “The Panic In Needle Park,” (as opposed to the sometimes fantastical “Requiem For A Dream”) this SXSW hit follows two young lovers through the world of drug addiction as they steal, score and get sick, living in their car in Chicago. The film features heartbreaking performances by two up-and-coming dramatic actors: Kim Shaw (“The Good Wife”) and David Dastmalchian (“The Dark Knight”), who also wrote the screenplay.
“Good Kill” (May 22)
This timely drama explores the moral complexities of drone warfare. Ethan Hawke plays a conflicted Air Force officer who starts to question the rationale behind the strikes ordered on so-called terrorists. Written by Andrew Niccol (“Gattaca”), the film also stars Zoë Kravitz and January Jones.
“Bessie” (May 16)
Everything about this just feels right. Bessie Smith is a fascinating subject for a biopic. Her music is as evocative and emotional as any soundtrack could hope for. Queen Latifah is criminally underrated and underused. And Mo’Nique is back! Also, it was directed Dee Rees, who wowed with the Sundance coming-of-age smash “Pariah.”
“The Human Centipede 3” (May 22)
Writer-director Tom Six is back to gross you out with the third entry to his “Human Centipede” franchise. Titled “The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence),” the film reunites Six with the star of his original 2010 horror, Dieter Laser, who sat out on the last black-and-white installment, “The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence).” In the first film in the series, Laser played the creepy German doctor who kidnapped three unlucky souls to create his horrifying ass-to-mouth creation. “Final Sequence” finds him playing a prison warden in the U.S. who sets out on a mission to create a 500-person centipede using his inmates. Yes, you read that right.
“Results” (May 28)
Does money buy happiness, or do you have to work for it? The latest, most mainstream from Andrew Bujalski (“Computer Chess”) “Results” is an offbeat comedy about two gym trainers and the client who tests their positivity. Cobie Smulders, Guy Pearce and Kevin Corrigan are perfect as the alternately upbeat and unhappy main trio who get far too tangles up in each other’s messy personal lives.
“Nightingale” (May 29)
Peter Snowden (David Oyelowo) is an Iraq War veteran who frustrations manifest as anger, pathos, destruction…and monologues. Oyelowo is up to the challenge of making Snowden an utterly compelling character. No small feat considering he’s the only person in the whole movie.
“Miles to Go” (May 1)
“Miles to Go” is the debut feature from Quincy Rose, who also acts in the film. It premiered at the 2012 Hollywood Film Festival where it was nominated for Best Feature, and also played at the 2013 Indy Film Fest and the NuHo Online Film Festival. Rose plays a writer from Los Angeles who doesn’t believe that relationships can last for him. Stuck in a rut, he tries to rekindle the romance with his ex-girlfriend. “Miles to Go” is a characters study of a man suffering from loneliness and self-obsession.