With the heyday of awards season behind us and summer movies yet to arrive, April can be a bit of a dry month for new releases. But there’s plenty of new movies, TV shows, on-demand series and podcasts coming your way – here are our top picks.
French Exit – 2 April
Adapted from the novel by Patrick DeWitt, French Exit makes its way to the UK this April with the story of a New York heiress who abruptly moves to Paris with her son using the little money that they have left. Already earning critical acclaim and prestigious nominations, including a Golden Globe nomination for its star, Michelle Pfeiffer leads a cast including Lucas Hedges, Imogen Poots and Danielle Macdonald.
Night In Paradise – 9 April
K-Drama fans rejoice because Netflix is bringing Night in Paradise to its international streaming audiences. Written and directed by Park Hoon-Jung, the film debuted at the Venice Film Festival in 2020, where its streaming rights were bought by Netflix. The story follows a gangster named Tae-Soo who is attempting to leave his gang, resulting in tragedy. So, he flees to Jeju Island, where he finds the company of a terminally ill woman with little left to live for.
Thunder Force – 9 April
Written and directed by Ben Falcone (The Boss, Life of the Party), this Netflix original superhero comedy follows Viola Davis as a brilliant scientist who accidentally gives her friend, played by Melissa McCarthy, superhero abilities. With their newfound powers, the pair must then team up to help rescue the city of Chicago from an evil villain. Also starring Jason Bateman, Bobby Cannavale and Pom Klementieff.
Monday – 16 April
Starring two-time Olivier Award winner Denise Gough and Sebastian Stan, this American-Greek romantic drama had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2020 and is now being released straight to streaming. Written and directed by Argyris Papadimitropoulos, the film follows two young Americans living in Athens who have an intense, passionate weekend fling – only for things to get complicated when Monday morning arrives.
Mortal Kombat – 16 April
Based on the popular video game, the latest instalment in the Mortal Kombat cinematic world arrives in April 2021, acting as a reboot to the previous franchise. Starring Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson and Hiroyuki Sanada, it follows an MMA fighter named Cole who, fearing for the safety of his family, engages a group of fighters who have sworn to defend the Earthrealm from danger.
Without Remorse – 30 April
Premiering exclusively on Amazon Prime due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Without Remorse marks the latest adaptation of a Tom Clancy thriller heading for the screen. Led by Michael B Jordan (Black Panther) as John Clarke, a former Navy SEAL, the story follows his attempts at vengeance following the death of his wife – only to find that the truth goes all the way to the top of the federal government. Jamie Bell and Jodie Turner-Smith also star.
TV / ON-DEMAND
The Nevers – 11 April (Sky Atlantic)
Blending science fiction, history and fantasy into one show, this high-concept HBO drama follows a gang of Victorian women who discover they have supernatural, extraordinary abilities – and must use them to maintain the balance of their world. Laura Donnelly will lead a cast including James Norton, Ben Chaplin, Nick Front and Eleanor Tomlinson. The show was initially conceived by Joss Whedon, but he left the project in November 2020 following allegations of sexual harassment, with British screenwriter Phillippa Goslett taking over as showrunner.
Big Shot – 16 April (Disney+)
John Stamos stars in Disney’s continued foray into original programming with a sports dramedy. With the cast also including Jessalyn Gilsig and Yvette Nicole Brown, the show follows a volatile basketball coach who suffers a career embarrassment and is fired, forcing him to start coaching at an all-girls private school. With the success of the scheduling of Wandavision, Big Shot will release new episodes every Friday, beginning on 16 April.
Romeo & Juliet – 23 April (Sky Arts)
This all-star made-for-TV production of Romeo and Juliet, made as a collaboration between the National Theatre, Sky Arts and PBS Performances, sees Shakespeare’s classic tragedy transformed from the stage to the television screen. As religious tensions in modern-day Verona collide, two young people from opposite sides of the conflict fall in love, only for their entanglement to become more dangerous by the day. Led by Josh O’Connor (The Crown) as Romeo and Jessie Buckley (Wild Rose, Judy) as Juliet,
the cast also includes Fisayo Akinade, Tamsin Greig, Deborah Findlay and Lucian Msamati.
Shadow and Bone – 23 April (Netflix)
Adapted from the Grisha Trilogy and Six of Crows duology, a series of young adult fantasy books by author Leigh Bardugo, this lavish Netflix fantasy series follows a soldier named Alina who is brought to train with the Grisha, an elite army of magical soldiers. Jessie Mei Li stars as Alina, with Ben Barnes, Freddy Carter, Amita Suman, Kit Young and Archie Renaux rounding out the rest of the main cast.
The Mosquito Coast – 30 April (Apple TV+)
Adapted from the novel of the same name by Paul Theroux (father of Louis Theroux), this Apple+ series gives an updated version of the 1986 film, which starred Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren. Led this time by Theroux’s nephew, Justin Theroux, the story follows a man who moves his family to Latin America, hoping to avoid the corruption and greed of the modern world. Melissa George, Gabriel Bateman and Kimberly Elise also star.
39 Ways to Save The Planet (BBC)
Tom Heap and Tasmin Edwards from King’s College London present a brand-new podcast with 39 specific ways to help us save the planet, with expert advice from scientists, climate activists and designers. Discussing international problem solving, the podcast is produced in collaboration with the Royal Geographical Society.
The Battersea Poltergeist (BBC)
The BBC brings another true-crime drama to life, this time exploring the mystery of the Battersea Poltergeist that haunted the Hitchings family in the 1950s and 1960s. Featuring performances by actors Toby Jones and Dafne Keen.