Spring movie preview: Your guide to new movies this season
While the year's top releases typically roll out in the winter and summer months, there are still quite a few intriguing and potential-blockbuster films coming out this spring. Whether you're salivating for teen action-adventure, familiar heroes or smart indie comedies, there's certainly enough cinematic fare to keep you occupied this season. Here are the flicks we're keen on:
'The Hunger Games'
The beloved teen novel comes to the big screen with a loaded cast - Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, LiamHemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz and Donald Sutherland. Don't let the "teen novel" thing stop you - this is sure to be on par with a certain young wizard you loved for eight blockbuster films. (March 23)
'The Raid: Redemption'
This intense action film from Indonesia follows 20 super cops as they take down a mobster and his crew. Expect some awesome martial arts action, loads of fisticuffs and a whole lot of bullets. (March 23)
'The Deep Blue Sea'
Rachel Weisz plays a woman in London in the 1950s who leaves her husband, a judge (Simon Russell Beale), for a younger man in the air force (Tom Hiddleston). Based on the play by Terence Rattigan. (March 23)
This anti-abortion film follows a girl (Rachel Hendrix) who is the adopted survivor of an abortion as she seeks to find out about her origins. (March 23)
'Wrath of the Titans'
The underwhelming remake "Clash of the Titans" gets a sequel! Sam Worthington returns as the Greek hero Perseus to stop the Titans at the request of Zeus (Liam Neeson) in this special-effects-laden spectacle. I'm just wondering if there will be another "Release the Kraken"-type meme from this film. (March 30)
Seann William Scott throws down the gloves for this punchy sports comedy about Doug Glatt, a down-on-his-luck guy who gets signed to be the goon for his local minor-league hockey team. Expect a lot of mullets and mustaches. Co-written by Evan Goldberg ("Superbad") and Jay Baruchel, who also co-stars as Doug's best bud. (March 30)
This creepy thriller follows two children in different countries haunted by fears of a faceless intruder coming for them at night. Starring Clive Owen. (March 30)
This doc chronicles the issue of bullying, a huge problem among schoolkids, who sometimes feel terrorized enough to take their own lives. The film is in the midst of a ratings controversy (the MPAA has given it an R, but the producers want PG-13 so that kids can see it). (March 30)
Julia Roberts goes dark to play the Evil Queen in this new telling of "Snow White" from visionary director Tarsem Singh ("The Cell"). Lily Collins stars as Snow and Armie Hammer plays the prince in this over-the-top interpretation of the classic tale. And there's another "Snow White" film - "Snow White and the Huntsman," starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron - coming out this summer. (March 30)
'The Island President'
This documentary follows Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives, who fought global warming and other environmental challenges while in office. (March 30)
'The Cold Light of Day'
After his parents go missing while on vacation in Spain, a young American (Henry Cavill) gets caught up in a massive conspiracy. Also starring Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver. (April 6)
With the massive financial success of 3-D movies - especially those from director James Cameron - "Titanic" sets sail again in a whole new dimension. Now you can spend even more money seeing the film you saw 17 times in theaters back in 1997. (April 6)
'Damsels in Distress'
Indie actress Greta Gerwig, who made her big cinematic splash in Noah Baumbach's "Greenberg," stars in this new film by writer-director Whit Stillman ("The Last Days of Disco"), about a group of women who try to rehabilitate guys who "haven't reached their full potential or don't have any." Also starring Adam Brody. (April 6)
Willem Dafoe takes the lead in this primal story about a hunter on the prowl for the rare Tasmanian tiger, the last of its species. Also starring Sam Neill and Frances O'Connor. (April 6)
Jim, Stifler, Oz, Kevin, Finch and the crew are back for a (hopefully) final time as they look back on their younger selves and grouse about "kids these days." Most importantly, Jim's dad (Eugene Levy) is back, too. (April 6)
You'll probably never feel the same way about taking out some quick cash again after seeing this thriller about co-workers (including Alice Eve, Josh Peck and Brian Geraghy) trapped in an ATM booth by a murderer. (April 6)
'The Cabin in the Woods'
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" mastermind Joss Whedon co-wrote this horror flick with director Drew Goddard (who wrote for "Buffy" as well as "Lost"). It centers on five young folks who head on vacation to, well, a cabin in the woods that is not what it seems to be. Starring Chris Hemsworth, Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford. (April 13)
'Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan's Hope'
Morgan Spurlock heads off to the San Diego Comic-Con and films the monstrous spectacle for this documentary, which includes interviews with retailers, costumers and celebs such as Kevin Smith, Seth Rogen and Stan Lee. (April 13)
'The Three Stooges'
Strangely, this is not a biopic about the lives of the Three Stooges, but rather an all-new, recast version of the three slapstick bumblers: Larry (Sean Hayes, "Will and Grace"), Curly (Will Sasso, "MadTV") and Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos, "24"). Directed by the Farrelly brothers. (April 13)
Director Luc Besson ("The Fifth Element") tells the story of Aung San Suu Kyi (Michelle Yeoh, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"), who was instrumental in working to bring democracy to Burma, and her husband (played by David Thewlis, aka Professor Lupin in the "Harry Potter" films). (April 11)
'The Lucky One'
Based on a novel by "The Notebook" author Nicholas Sparks, "The Lucky One" is a tear-jerker about a soldier (Zac Efron) who fought in Iraq and is now searching for answers in North Carolina. Also starring Taylor Schilling and Blythe Danner. (April 20)
Guy Pearce stars as a hotshot government agent who is sent into space to save the president's daughter from an orbiting prison holding the planet's worst baddies. Also starring Maggie Grace and Peter Stormare. (April 20)
'Think Like a Man'
Comedian Steve Harvey's best-selling self-help book, "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man," comes to life in this story about women who use Harvey's book to improve their relationships with their men. Starring Regina Hall, Meagan Good, Gabrielle Union, Kevin Hart and Romany Malco. (April 20)
A woman (Diane Keaton) finds a dog on the side of the freeway and then her husband (Kevin Kline) loses him. So the two go in search of their four-legged friend. Directed by Lawrence Kasdan, and also starring Richard Jenkins, Dianne Wiest, Sam Shepard, Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss. (April 20)
'The Moth Diaries'
After Ernessa (Lily Cole) shows up at a boarding school, it causes problems for Rebecca (Sarah Bolger, "The Tudors") when she begins to bond with her friend Lucie (Sarah Gadon, "A Dangerous Method"). And Ernessa just might have a supernatural side to her. (April 20)
The new DisneyNature doc follows a group of chimpanzees in the rainforests of Ivory Coast and Uganda. (April 20)
Director Kevin Macdonald ("The Last King of Scotland") returns to his documentary roots - he won the Best Documentary Feature Oscar in 2000 for "One Day in September" - for this look at the life of the legendary reggae superstar Bob Marley. (April 20)
'The Five-Year Engagement'
Jason Segel and Emily Blunt star in this relationship comedy that's opening the Tribeca Film Festival. Segel's frequent collaborator, Nicholas Stoller - who co-wrote "The Muppets" - directed and co-wrote this. (April 27)
John Cusack takes on the role of Edgar Allan Poe as the writer investigates a killer who is using his stories as templates for his murderous crimes. (April 27)
'The Pirates! Band of Misfits'
This animated movie - based on the hilarious novels by Gideon Defoe - follows Pirate Captain and his band of ham-loving plunderers as he tries to win the Pirate of the Year contest. Unlike the later "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, this one's meant to be funny. From the makers of "Chicken Run." (April 27)
Everyone's favorite new action star, Jason Statham, shoots and kicks his way through this film as he faces off against the Russian mafia while trying to save a young girl. Also starring Chris Sarandon. (April 27)
'Sound of My Voice'
This Sundance Film Festival favorite follows a pair of journalists investigating a cult whose leader believes he is from the future. (April 27)
Jack Black plays the title role in a new film from writer-director Richard Linklater (who also directed Black in "The School of Rock"), about a mortician who begins a friendship with a grumpy old widow (Shirley MacLaine). And then he kills her. Also starring Matthew McConaughey. (April 27)
Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Christopher Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and other Marvel Comics superheroes come together at the behest of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to battle evildoers and save the world. Co-written and directed by Joss Whedon, the creator of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." (May 4)
'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'
"Shakespeare in Love" director John Madden helms this charming-looking comedy-drama about a group of British seniors who head off to India to "outsource" their golden years at the exotic Marigold Hotel. Starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy and Dev Patel. (May 4)
Six young women get ready for an international ballet competition in this documentary from first-time filmmaker Beth Kargman. (May 4)
Hey, Oscar viewers, remember the strange costume that Sacha Baron Cohen wore to the broadcast? That was his getup for his new comedy, in which he plays General Aladeen, a dictator trying to keep democracy out of his country. Also starring Megan Fox, Ben Kingsley, Anna Faris and John C. Reilly. (May 11)
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp reunite for this Gothic horror flick based on the cult soap opera that ran on ABC from 1966-71. Depp takes on the lead role of vampire Barnabas Collins, and the cast is rounded out by Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter and Jackie Earle Haley. (May 11)
B16? E11? From Disney - the studio that made movies based on theme-park rides - comes a movie based on a board game. This big-budget, explosion-laden action flick, directed by Peter Berg ("Friday Night Lights"), pits the U.S. Navy against an alien invasion. Starring Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna and Liam Neeson. (May 18)
When you think of a film set in the Victorian era, you might not expect it to be about vibrators. But this film, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, looks at how Dr. Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy) invented the first vibrator in order to cure female hysteria. Which, by the way, is not a euphemism. (May 18)
'What to Expect When You're Expecting'
Jennifer Lopez heads up this star-filled adaptation of the best-selling nonfiction classic about pregnancy. The film follows a whole bunch of couples - most of them pretty people such as Brooklyn Decker and Elizabeth Banks- as they cope with their upcoming kiddies. (May 18)
'Men in Black III'
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back in the dark suits and sunglasses for the third installment of the aliens-are-everywhere comedy. Smith's Agent J has to go back in time to the 1960s to stop his partner Agent K's younger self from getting murdered by an alien. In an inspired bit of casting, Josh Brolin plays the younger Jones, and he is spot-on capturing the grizzled star's mannerisms and vocal intonations. (May 25)
A new movie from Wes Anderson ("Rushmore") is always a reason to rejoice. His latest film is set in a small New England island town where a young boy and girl fall in love and run away together. The odd inhabitants of the town - including Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton and Frances McDormand - go in search of them. It's quirky, a little weird and a definite must-see. (May 25)