You know what they say about March, right? It comes in like a lion and out like an adorable flying elephant. But more about Dumbo later! After a ho-hum cinematic start to 2019 — anyone else still bummed about the disappointment that was Isn’t It Romantic? — we’re finally entering buzzy blockbuster territory. I mean it. At least one of these titles has a shot at a rare $100 million-grossing box office opening weekend, while others could very well contend at the Oscars in 2020. Here are your five reasons to be excited for March movies.
1. Two Words: Captain Marvel
What a tease! At the verrrrrry end of Avengers: Infinity Warlast year, we learned that Captain Marvel may be the one person able to save our favorite superheroes in distress. Let’s meet her, shall we? Brie Larson stars as Carol Danvers, a military officer who becomes a powerful force when she’s caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races in the 1990s. The hype is big and the stakes are bigger for Captain Marvel, as it’s the first female-fronted adaptation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She doesn’t have the legacy or mystique of DC’s Wonder Woman, but fingers crossed her movie will still fly. (In theaters Friday, March 8)
2. Ben (Affleck) Is Back
For his first non-Batman role in three years, Ben Affleck chose the wildly tense international- action-adventure-heist-thriller Triple Frontier. He plays a retired, down-on-his-luck Special Forces military operative cajoled into reuniting with his former cohorts for a private job. The guys’ mission: Head to South America, take down a drug lord and swipe his money. Shockingly, their plan soon spins out of control. Affleck, along with costars Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam and Garrett Hedlund, gutted through production in Colombia; you get to watch them in action from the luxury of your couch. (Available to stream on Netflix starting Wednesday, March 13)
3. This Is Us
Get Out . . . the security blankets. Jordan Peele, the Oscar-winning auteur who taught us about the sunken place in 2017, did not exactly return to his sketch comedy roots for his much-anticipated follow-up. The story of Us is shrouded in mystery — but based on its effectively scary-as-hell trailers, it revolves around a family’s serene beach vacation gone extremely awry. That’s because a group of doppelgangers begin to terrify them. Welp. Its cast includes Lupita Nyong’o, Elisabeth Moss and Winston Duke. (In theaters Friday, March 22)
4. Dumbo Drops
In case you haven’t watched Disney’s 1941 classic Dumbo since you were in kindergarten, it’s the triumphant tale about embracing your flaws and using those differences as an asset. (Granted, you probably didn’t pick up on those lessons as a kid and only remember the cutey titular baby elephant.) In this live-action version, the owner of a struggling circus (Danny DeVito) asks a man (Colin Farrell) and his two children to care for special baby elephant that can fly using its oversized ears. A few dark secrets emerge from underneath that circus tent as well. Expect nothing less than visual art and wistful melancholia from Beetlejuice, Big Fishand Batman director Tim Burton. FYI, I interviewed DeVito about Dumbo a few months ago and he said he was in love with his movie because it’s so wonderful. I choose to believe him. (In theaters March 29)
5. High, Matthew McConaughey!
Here’s the IMDB plot for the comedy Beach Bum: “A rebellious stoner lives life by his own rules.” Ok, sounds harmless enough. Now consider that said stoner is named Moondog and played by none other than Mr. Dazed and Confused himself, Matthew McConaughey. And that his costars include Snoop Dogg, Zac Efron, Jonah Hill, Martin Lawrence and Isla Fisher. And that Beach Bum is the work of writer-director Harmony Korine, whose last film — the insanely twisted cult-hit Spring Breakersin 2012 — gave us James Franco as a dreadlocked, low-rent coke kingpin named Alien. All right, all right, all right, indeed. (In theaters Friday, March 29)