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The 5 Films You Need To See In March

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Now that awards season has come to an end and all the glad rags have been shoved to the back of the wardrobe, cinema is starting to take itself a bit less seriously. Before we gear up for summer blockbuster season (which now starts in very un-summery April) we get the slightly off-beat movies.

This month will see a comedy about serial killing, a Short Circuit-esque spectacular about a bleak future, a quinquagenarian action star, a Spanish/Argentinian revenge flick and, just so you don't have to go completely cold turkey, one final Oscar-winner. But it's a really good one.

Chappie

Chappie

The first film by Neill Blomkamp was District 9, one of the best science-fiction movies of the past decade. Although his follow-up, the Matt Damon-starring Elysium, was not a match for its predecessor, it still contained enough incredible ideas to make his next film an essential watch. Simply, we just want to see what he'll do next.

Chappie is set in a future where robots police humans. When one of those robots, Chappie, is damaged and develops the ability to feel and think for itself it invites the attention of some very concerned government officials.

Oh, and Blomkamp is about to start work on a new Alien movie, so he is officially now A Very Big Deal in the sci-fi world.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: N/A

Released: March 6

Still Alice

Still Alice

Oscar season is well and truly over, but we haven't yet seen all the big winners here in the UK. Still Alice may profit from this bit of scheduling, given that it earned Julianne Moore a long-overdue Best Actress Oscar. 

Moore plays a respected professor with a happy family life who has everything shattered when she's diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. It's a story that will drag tears from the dryest eyes, and Moore knocks it way out of the park. She also gets fine support from Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth and Kristen Stewart.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 90%

Released: March 6

The Voices

The Voices

It's been a while since we've seen Ryan Reynolds in a really interesting movie, but The Voices takes him back to the days when he took chances on weird indies. Directed by Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis), this is the story of a rather lovable madman. Reynolds is Jerry, a well-meaning loner who has a crush on a woman at work (Gemma Arterton) but takes things in a very strange direction when he finally gets her to agree to a date.

Jerry, you see, is off his medication and hears strange voices, mostly emanating from his pet dog and cat, and they tell him to do extremely bad things.

The film's mix of bizarre comedy and bloody horror is a complicated thing to get right but Satrapi balances it brilliantly.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 76%

Released: March 20

The Gunman

The Gunman

Sean Penn appears so rarely on screen these days that any cinematic outing is to be savoured. His latest role is a bit lighter than the kind of Oscar-attracting fare we generally see from him.

In a move that has drawn comparisons with Liam Neeson in Taken, Penn plays an ex-Special Forces operative - aren't they always? - who wants to get out of the game - don't they always? - so he can settle down with the woman he loves. But before he can do that he has to - you guessed it - go on one more mission to clear his name. 

You've got Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, Mark Rylance and Ray Winstone in the support cast, so what further temptation could you possibly need?

Rotten Tomatoes rating: N/A

Released: March 20

Wild Tales

Wild Tales (aka Relatos salvajes)

Relatos salvajes is an Argentine/Spanish black comedy that was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at this year's Oscars. Though it ultimately lost out to the Polish drama Ida, Wild Tales has kept its profile up thanks to some glowing reviews. 

It probably also helps that the film is produced by hugely influential Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, who previously scooped up Oscars for 1999's All About My Mother (starring a nascent Penelope Cruz) and 2003's Talk To Her. Oh, and that it got nominated for the Palm D'Or at Cannes last year. 

Anyhow, it's worth watching if you're in a bad mood: Relatos is a series of six shorts which are linked by the themes of vengeance and violence. There are plane crashes, fast cars, explosions, unplanned pregnancies and - like any drama worth its salt - an almighty punchup at a wedding. 

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 93%

Released: March 27

Visit the Shortlist Film Club page to sign up for free tickets, watch the latest trailers and find out what's coming soon.

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