IMDb Picks: April 2014

by IMDb-Editors | created - 21 Mar 2014 | updated - 02 Apr 2014 | Public

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they recommend for April 2014.

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1. The Raid 2 (2014)

R | 150 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

71 Metascore

Only a short time after the first raid, Rama goes undercover with the thugs of Jakarta and plans to bring down the syndicate and uncover the corruption within his police force.

Director: Gareth Evans | Stars: Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Arifin Putra, Oka Antara

Votes: 106,133 | Gross: $2.63M

Technically a March 28th release, Indonesian action sequel The Raid 2 won’t be available outside of Los Angeles and New York until April. If you’re a fan of the original Raid, make sure to check this out when it does expand: The Raid 2 is bigger, crazier, and (arguably) better than its predecessor. It’s not for the faint of heart, though: it’s been described as the most violent movie ever, and I’m in no position to disagree.

The film expands on April 4th.

--Ray Subers

2. Dom Hemingway (2013)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

55 Metascore

After spending 12 years in prison for keeping his mouth shut, notorious safe-cracker Dom Hemingway is back on the streets of London looking to collect what he's owed.

Director: Richard Shepard | Stars: Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demián Bichir, Emilia Clarke

Votes: 24,714 | Gross: $0.52M

Having enjoyed I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale, The Matador and The Hunting Party, I was curious to see what big screen project Richard Shepard was working on next; the release of the poster certainly intrigued me, and I couldn't help but wonder if Law's performance as the title character would include faint traces of his Billy in Shopping. While I can absolutely understand many viewers tuning in just for Mr. Law and his prodigious mutton chops, the element that tipped this movie into "must-see" territory for me is co-star Richard E. Grant, a gentleman we don't see on the big screen anywhere near often enough for the collective good; the trailer and clips from the film make me suspect that Grant's sidekick turn here might just steal the film. Also of note for our "Game of Thrones" fans: Emilia Clarke plays Jude Law's daughter, and I'm looking forward to this chance to see her in a thoroughly modern, down-to-earth role.

The film opens in US theaters April 2nd.

--Heather Campbell

3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

PG-13 | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

70 Metascore

As Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world, he teams up with a fellow Avenger and S.H.I.E.L.D agent, Black Widow, to battle a new threat from history: an assassin known as the Winter Soldier.

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo | Stars: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford

Votes: 680,817 | Gross: $259.77M

I was fortunate enough to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier a few weeks ago, and I’m happy to report that it’s one of the better Marvel movies. Somehow, it manages to be an exciting, suspenseful standalone movie, while at the same time serving as a bridge between The Avengers and next May’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. It isn’t perfect – some plot points are legitimately baffling – but it is absolutely a good time at the movies.

The film opens in US theaters April 4th.

--Ray Subers

4. Game of Thrones (2011–2019)

TV-MA | 57 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Nine noble families fight for control over the mythical lands of Westeros, while an ancient enemy returns after being dormant for thousands of years.

Stars: Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Lena Headey

Votes: 1,587,823

This season's tagline is 'All Men Must Die.' Ain't that the truth: no man, woman or child is safe in Westeros, a place torn apart by war raging between the great Houses, wildlings raiding from the North, even more sinister supernatural force amassing beyond The Wall -- and across the Narrow Sea, quickly maturing dragons.

At this point, anticipation for new "Game of Thrones" episodes needs no explanation. However, I will add that this is a season sharply defined by a sense of reversal and decline, and executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss don't take very long to set key game-changing events in motion. Steel yourselves.

The fourth season premieres April 6th on HBO.

--Melanie McFarland

5. Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

79 Metascore

A depressed musician reunites with his lover. Though their romance, which has already endured several centuries, is disrupted by the arrival of her uncontrollable younger sister.

Director: Jim Jarmusch | Stars: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt

Votes: 82,503 | Gross: $1.88M

As a devoted fan of Jim Jarmusch's films, every single element of Only Lovers Left Alive has made waiting patiently for the film impossible. From the integral soundtrack-as-character (led this time by Jarmusch's own band SQÜRL), the careful, cool evocation of specific locations (including Detroit and Tangiers) and thoughtful, impressive chemistry through casting (Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Jeffrey Wright) - all signs point to a classic Jarmusch experience, something which just doesn't happen frequently enough for me.

The film opens in US theaters on April 11th.

-- Heather Campbell

6. Mad Men (2007–2015)

TV-14 | 47 min | Drama

A drama about one of New York's most prestigious ad agencies at the beginning of the 1960s, focusing on one of the firm's most mysterious but extremely talented ad executives, Donald Draper.

Stars: Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones

Votes: 185,007

While it's been fun examining the styles and settings in the photos teasing the look (the dawn of the harvest orange era has arrived, folks) and possible character arcs of the upcoming season, it's not a satisfying substitute for seeing the whole gang in action. Particularly enticing in the season ahead is SC&P's expansion into a truly bicoastal agency; Don's past California sequences have been some of the most revelatory of the series, and the opportunity for more West Coast-inspired changes, especially for characters that we haven't yet seen leave New York, is terribly intriguing. I can't wait to see how some of these seemingly immovable force-type characters impact and/or interact with the chaotic events and societal shifts of the late 1960s.

The seventh season premieres April 13th on AMC.

--Heather Campbell

7. Fargo (2014– )

TV-MA | 53 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Various chronicles of deception, intrigue and murder in and around frozen Minnesota. Yet all of these tales mysteriously lead back one way or another to Fargo, North Dakota.

Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks

Votes: 282,078

The flavor of The Coen Brothers's classic "homespun murder mystery" is deeply infused into this 10-episode limited series, which follows a new cast of characters trudging through a completely new true crime story that starts with a hit, and grows more bizarre due to a crime of passion with unforeseen complications in Bemidji, Minnesota.

An extraordinary cast helmed by Billy Bob Thornton as the ruthless, hilariously amoral hitman Lorne Malvo and Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard, a meek insurance salesman pushed to his limit, brings back the humor, shock and heart that originally won over film critics and moviegoers back in 1996.

Speaking of winning, "Fargo's" first four episodes are enough to convince me that we'll be hearing a lot of talk about it giving other shows some serious competition in Emmys and Golden Globes races. And if it doesn't get nominated...aw, geez, that sure would be a real shame, yah.

The series premieres on April 15th on FX.

--Melanie McFarland

8. Transcendence (I) (2014)

PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

42 Metascore

A scientist's drive for artificial intelligence, takes on dangerous implications when his consciousness is uploaded into one such program.

Director: Wally Pfister | Stars: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy

Votes: 206,553 | Gross: $23.02M

I am beyond excited to see Wally Pfister’s directorial debut. For those unfamiliar with his name, you will surely recognize his work as cinematographer of such films as Inception (which earned him an Academy Award), Moneyball, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight. For this feature debut, Pfister has compiled an amazing cast including Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman, and Cillian Murphy. It also will be nice to see Depp back in a dramatic role, rather than just playing another odd character in a funny hat.

The film opens in US theaters April 17th.

--Michelle Nelson

9. Orphan Black (2013–2017)

TV-MA | 44 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

A streetwise hustler is pulled into a compelling conspiracy after witnessing the suicide of a girl who looks just like her.

Stars: Tatiana Maslany, Dylan Bruce, Jordan Gavaris, Kevin Hanchard

Votes: 94,107

One of television's biggest surprises last year returns with a new layer of the clone conspiracy that takes viewers deeper into the malevolent Dyad Institute, which has been secretly monitoring Beth Manning and all her clone sisters (living and dead) -- all brought to life in a series of next-level performances by breakout star Tatiana Maslany.

The action ramps up significantly in season two which, given the first season's explosive developments, is really saying something. But if you have yet to be exposed to BBC America's sleeper hit, and you're a subscriber to Amazon Prime, you'll be happy to know that you can watch all ten episodes of season for free on Prime Instant Video right now.

The second season premieres April 19th on BBC America.

--Melanie McFarland

10. Salem (2014–2017)

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Supernatural horror loosely based on Salem's 17th century witch trials.

Stars: Janet Montgomery, Shane West, Seth Gabel, Tamzin Merchant

Votes: 20,937

I haven't seen any clips or promos yet, but I will definitely check out this new series. I have always been a fan of TV series involving witches from "Bewitched" to "Charmed" (although I could never really get into Sabrina). I'm in a bit of witch withdrawal since the end of "American Horror Story: Coven", so I'm excited to see this series definitely has more of a creepy dark magic vibe to it. It will also be cool to see Seth Gabel and Ashley Madekwe in leading roles.

The series premieres April 20th on WGN America.

--Michelle Nelson



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