IMDb Picks: March

by IMDb-Editors | created - 17 Feb 2015 | updated - 27 Feb 2015 | Public

Here are the movies and TV series IMDb's Editors are most excited to see in March.

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1. Battle Creek (2015)

44 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Two detectives with different views on the world team up and using cynicism, guile and deception, they clean up the streets of Battle Creek.

Stars: Josh Duhamel, Dean Winters, Aubrey Dollar, Edward Fordham Jr.

Votes: 7,614

The combined sensibilities of David Shore (creator of "House") and Vince Gilligan ("Breaking Bad") have created a breezy, entertaining procedural about the misfits of the Battle Creek police department, a unit so poorly funded that their Tasers might as well be hockey pucks.

When FBI Special Agent Milton Chamberlain (Josh Duhamel) gets thrown in with this crew, they're relieved to have the influx of talent and FBI resources -- all except for the department's scruffy star Detective Russ Agnew (Dean Winters), who's upset to have a polite pretty boy stealing his thunder.

Winter and Duhamel have created an enjoyable "odd couple" act, but the entire ensemble, including Kal Pennl, Grapevine, Liza Lapira, Aubrey Dollar and Janet McTeer as Commander Guziewicz, make this more than a buddy cop dramedy.

"Battle Creek" isn't breaking any new ground in television, but it doesn't have to. It merely has to be entertaining and fit in well with the CBS brand. At the same time, "Battle Creek" is better than the channel's typical crimetime show -- just as addictive, while also humming along with a sharp sense of humor and an effervescence that allows it to follow "The Good Wife" quite easily.

Series Premiere: 10pm Sunday, March 1 on CBS.

2. American Crime (2015–2017)

TV-14 | 43 min | Crime, Drama

Seasonal anthology series. Season 1: The lives of the participants in a trial with significant racial motives are forever changed during the legal process.

Stars: Felicity Huffman, Regina King, Timothy Hutton, Richard Cabral

Votes: 8,572

A few years ago, the idea of methodical storytelling like that employed on "American Crime" succeeding on television seemed impossible. Even in this era, in which "The Wire" is seen as one of the greatest shows on television and Serial a public radio podcast, can become a pop culture phenomenon, the show may yet be too slow, and too serious, to achieve the level of mass audience appeal that success on broadcast television.

But viewers who appreciate bold performances, artistic cinematography, and plots that inspire tough conversations about race and class -- all while expanding our perception of what broadcast television can be -- will have a wonderful new fascination with this new crime drama. --Melanie McFarland

Series Premiere: 10pm Thursday, March 5 on ABC.

3. Dig (2015)

60 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Peter, an FBI agent stationed in Jerusalem who, while investigating a murder of a young female archaeologist, uncovers a conspiracy 2000 years in the making.

Stars: Jason Isaacs, Anne Heche, Ori Pfeffer, Alison Sudol

Votes: 5,239

From the moment I heard that Gideon Raff and Tim Kring were teaming up to create a new series on the conspiracies of Armageddon, I was sold. I would watch the show on the subject matter alone, so the incredible cast, including Jason Isaacs, Anne Heche, Lauren Ambrose, and David Costabile, seems like a bonus. My DVR is already set.

  • Michelle


Series Premiere: 10pm Thursday, March 5 on USA.

4. Unfinished Business (I) (2015)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Drama

32 Metascore

A hard-working small business owner and his two associates travel to Europe to close the most important deal of their lives. But what began as a routine business trip goes off the rails in every way imaginable, and unimaginable.

Director: Ken Scott | Stars: Vince Vaughn, Dave Franco, Tom Wilkinson, James Marsden

Votes: 28,902 | Gross: $10.21M

At the risk of sounding like a wanker: broad comedy normally doesn't make me laugh, but everything that comes out of Dave Franco's mouth in the Unfinished Business trailers and clips has made me laugh, and I love the idea of Franco paired up with Vince Vaughn and Tom Wilkinson in a send-up of straight white male businessmen.

--Arno

Release Info: Opens in theaters on March 6th.

5. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015–2019)

TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

A woman is rescued from a doomsday cult and starts life over again in New York City.

Stars: Ellie Kemper, Jane Krakowski, Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane

Votes: 55,226

This comedy's title and premise sound like the perfect plotline for a grim, overwrought Lifetime movie about survival. True, there's more than a hint of darkness behind Kimmy Schmidt's whimsy and smiles, especially when she references life in the cult in passing moments. But series creators and executive producers Robert Carlock and Tina Fey make Kimmy insistent on looking forward, not backward, and imbue her with combination of strength, optimism and an inability to accept that failure is a possibility.

That spirit, channeled through the show's perfectly cast star Ellie Kemper, infects every moment in the series, including some of the show's bawdiest jokes.

Be glad, then, that the show ended up on Netflix, which is releasing the entire first season on one day, as opposed to staying at NBC, where we'd have to wait a week between new episodes. You'll want to binge every moment of this magical sitcom, and you'll feel better for having done so afterward. --Melanie McFarland

Series Premiere: Friday, March 6 on Netflix.

6. Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank (2014)

TV-14 | 87 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

A portrait of recently retired Congressman Barney Frank, one of America's most well-known and least understood political figures.

Directors: Sheila Canavan, Michael Chandler | Stars: Barney Frank, Spencer Bachus, Mike Barnicle, Neil Barofsky

Votes: 198

Throughout his political career, Barney Frank marginalized his private life and suppressed his sexuality; a public scandal that would have ended most anyone's career ultimately helped liberate Frank in his mid-40s. He gives Liberalism a good name because he has the intellect, conviction, and razor-sharp wit to back up his beliefs. Now, the thought of seeing one of my lifelong heroes settle into retirement with his hunk of a husband brings tears to my eyes.

--Arno

Release Info: Opens in select cities on March 6th

7. Cinderella (I) (2015)

PG | 105 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

67 Metascore

When her father unexpectedly dies, young Ella finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and her scheming stepsisters. Never one to give up hope, Ella's fortunes begin to change after meeting a dashing stranger.

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter

Votes: 141,712 | Gross: $201.15M

“I’m really, really excited about Cinderella.” That statement has been met with skeptical looks from my friends for the past few weeks. I’m a bit surprised about it, too – my reaction to Disney’s last three live-action fantasy movies have ranged from disappointment (Maleficent) to disgust (Alice in Wonderland). So why would I want to see this?

First, it seems like this movie has more-or-less avoided the kind of gaudy CGI work that dominated those previous installments. There are real sets here – and they look fantastic. The other main selling point is the movie’s cast. Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother? Yes please. It’s also nice to see Richard Madden playing royalty again (following his star-making role as Robb Stark on "Game of Thrones"). Finally, relative newcomer Lily James seems to be imbuing some energy in to the role of Cinderella.

Even if you’re not completely on board, I urge you to go out and see this: if this earns as much, or more, than some of those past fantasies, Disney may consider less CGI-heavy approaches to future fantasy movies as well.

--Ray

Release Info: Opens in theaters on March 13th.

8. Run All Night (2015)

R | 114 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

59 Metascore

Mobster and hit man Jimmy Conlon has one night to figure out where his loyalties lie: with his estranged son, Mike, whose life is in danger, or his longtime best friend, mob boss Shawn Maguire, who wants Mike to pay for the death of his own son.

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman, Vincent D'Onofrio

Votes: 93,911 | Gross: $26.44M

Liam Neeson acts tough and beats up bad guys – haven’t we seen this before? Many, many times. So why am I excited about Run All Night?

First, Run All Night reunites Neeson with the director of Non-Stop and Unknown, both of which are solidly entertaining entries in his recent action movie portfolio. Second, this one is rated R, which will allow Neeson to really let loose on the movie’s gangster baddies; two of his best movies in recent memory are The Grey and A Walk Among the Tombstones, both of which were also rated R.

The movie also has a really strong supporting cast. It’s going to be exciting to see Neeson face off against Ed Harris, who is probably his most interesting nemesis in quite some time. I also think Joel Kinnaman has the goods – he’s top notch in "The Killing" – but RoboCop didn’t really let him flex his acting muscles that much. Here’s hoping that Run All Night is the right showcase for his talents.

--Ray

Release Info: Opens in theaters on March 13th.

9. It Follows (2014)

R | 100 min | Horror, Mystery

83 Metascore

A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after a sexual encounter.

Director: David Robert Mitchell | Stars: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe

Votes: 181,840 | Gross: $14.67M

What appeals to me about this throwback horror movie is that it seems irony-free and focused on mounting a form of lingering terror that will remain after watching it. In terms of how it addresses the scariness of sex, the story brings to mind of one my favorite graphic novels: Black Hole by Charles Burns.

--Arno

Release Info: Opens in theaters on March 13th

10. iZombie (2015– )

TV-14 | 42 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A medical resident finds that being a zombie has its perks, which she uses to assist the police.

Stars: Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, Rahul Kohli, Robert Buckley

Votes: 53,527

If you think that a show about a zombie who eats brains to help her solve crimes sounds ridiculous, I don't blame you. Then again, consider that some of the smartest, most addictive series on TV were built on premises that sounded just as goofy -- like, say, an crime drama about a teenage detective who solves crimes, including a murder conspiracy.

"iZombie" owes a debt to "Veronica Mars," of course, and not just because that show's creator Rob Thomas is its executive producer, along with his co-EP Diane Ruggiero.

Like "Veronica," The CW's "zom-com-rom-dram" (as co-star David Anders cheekily describes it) is as witty as it is dark, and injects honest emotion into a storyline that, in other hands, really would not work.

"iZombie" is an unexpected midseason delight, completely enjoyable and -- yep, I'm going to say it -- brainy. Just watch. Regardless of how long the show lasts, you'll be glad you did your part to keep it alive. --Melanie McFarland

Series Premiere: 9pm Tuesday, March 17 on The CW.

11. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama

68 Metascore

A jaded Japanese woman discovers a hidden copy of Fargo (1996) on VHS, believing it to be a treasure map indicating the location of a large case of money.

Director: David Zellner | Stars: Rinko Kikuchi, Nobuyuki Katsube, Kanako Higashi, Ichi Kyokaku

Votes: 10,826 | Gross: $0.62M

Almost 20 years later, and we're all still talking about Fargo. For good reason: the TV show was a startling wonder, and now we get to watch Rinko Kikuchi bring to life one of the oddest true stories ever related to a film. I also kinda loved writer-director David Zellner's previous movie, Kid-Thing.

--Arno

Release Info: Opens in theaters on March 20th.

12. Get Hard (2015)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Crime

34 Metascore

When millionaire James King is jailed for fraud and bound for San Quentin, he turns to Darnell Lewis to prep him to go behind bars.

Director: Etan Cohen | Stars: Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Alison Brie, T.I.

Votes: 110,829 | Gross: $90.41M

Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart team up in Get Hard, a culture clash comedy that could be a big hit when it opens in late March. Ferrell plays a millionaire who is convicted of fraud, and enlists Hart’s character to help him “survive in prison, the way you did.” Of course, Hart hasn’t been to prison – a little fact he avoids bringing up when Ferrell offers a significant payday in exchange for his services.

This premise seems like fertile ground for plenty of entertaining scenarios, though the most exciting part of the whole thing is the opportunity to see Ferrell and Hart play off each other. These are two of the biggest, best comedy stars working today, and it’s hard to imagine that their chemistry is anything short of fantastic. In a spring season that’s fairly light on comedies, this seems like one of the best options for those looking for a few laughs.

--Ray

Release Info: Opens in theaters on March 27th.

13. Younger (2015– )

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy, Romance

After being mistaken for younger than she really is, a single mother decides to take the chance to reboot her career and her love life as a 26-year old.

Stars: Sutton Foster, Miriam Shor, Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar

Votes: 13,818

"Sex and the City" series creator Darren Star idealized a woman's thirties in the '90s and the 2000s.

Here, he takes the marketable idea that "forty is the new 20" for a test drive, casting the youthful looking Sutton Foster (formerly of ABC Family's "Bunheads" ) as a newly divorced middle-aged mom with a kid in college, who restarts her once-promising career by aging herself down to 26. In the process, she also gives the rest of her crumbling life a second wind.

Welcome to one of the first major examples of TV Land's rebranding effort. Bye bye, "Hot in Cleveland"; hello "Younger."

Change can be a good thing, though. "Younger" is smart, witty and hits the right emotional notes by never losing sight of the understanding that wisdom gained by life experience has just as much value as youth. If "Younger" represents TV Land's new outlook, I'll make it a point to visit more often. --Melanie McFarland

Series Premiere: 10pm Tuesday, March 31 on TV Land.



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