Starts April 2
Though the stereotypical image of the cowboy probably conjures images of the Marlboro Man, Black Americans have been sporting spurs and Stetsons long before Lil Nas X recorded a novelty hit. “Concrete Cowboy,” adapted from Greg Neri’s novel Ghetto Cowboy, is based on stories from the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club, which fostered cowboy culture and horsemanship in Black riders in Philadelphia. In the movie, which has the influential Lee Daniels as co-producer, a teenager from Detroit is sent to live with his distant father (Idris Elba), one of those urban cowboys, in Philly, where the boy is confronted by the local gang culture as well his father’s equine pursuits. Lorraine Toussaint and Method Man costar.
Starts April 9
“How can you not stop two chicks in their 40s?!” ponders the desperate villain in this new spin on the “ordinary people achieve otherworldly powers” variant of the ubiquitous superhero genre. Octavia Spencer plays a geneticist developing a novel program to, say, inject an average woman with super-strength; Melissa McCarthy is her estranged BFF and unwitting guinea pig. Comedic high jinks, explosions and buses launched through the air like javelins ensue, which, no matter how clichéd it might seem, is mercifully two hours shorter than “Zack Snyder’s Justice League.” Jason Bateman, Bobby Cannavale and Melissa Leo join the all-star supporting cast.
Starts April 22
It could happen to anybody, really: Maybe the GPS loses its signal, you take a couple of wrong turns, and you end up … on a space ship bound for Mars? That’s the premise, farfetched though it may seem, of the sci-fi thriller “Stowaway,” in which Shamier Anderson plays the title character, who finds himself an accidental tourist on a two-year, three-person mission to the Red Planet. His presence, and the oxygen and food he consumes, will put the entire project in jeopardy, not to mention the lives of the astronauts who surround him, played by Toni Collette, Anna Kendrick and Daniel Dae Kim. See how it’s all resolved, in a story that is inspired by recent ambitions to terra-form Mars for eventual human habitat.
Starts April 2
WeWork: Or The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn
The documentary world is recently flush with narratives about the meteoric rises and ignominious—or fatal—collapses of cult leaders. While David Neumann, co-founder of the shared-workspace pioneer WeWork, doesn’t qualify as the literal definition of a cult leader, his guru-like ambition and charisma snookered countless acolytes into buying what he was selling. The “cult” word even turns up in the trailer of this Hulu documentary directed by Jed Rothstein, which, with help from candid ex-WeWork employees, tracks the tech company’s staggering overvaluation and its precipitous drop—in a matter of some six weeks—to bankruptcy. Try to contain your schadenfreude.
ON AMAZON PRIME
Starts April 30
Murdering the pregnant wife of a U.S. Navy SEAL probably isn’t the best idea if you’re the kind of person with a 401k, plans for the future, and who generally enjoys life. Michael B. Jordan plays John Clark, wounded and newly widowed from such a brutal attack at the hands of Russian soldiers, who vows revenge and, in the process, uncovers a covert plot that could spark World War III. Ah, that old saw of U.S.-Russian conflict: It’s so 1965-slash-1987-slash-2016, isn’t it? “Without Remorse” is, after all, based on a 1993 non-Jack Ryan novel by Tom Clancy, whose taut writing has led to much success on the big—and, now, littler—screens.