Tomorrowland is the major contender in this week’s trailer roundup, but if you ask us, the emotional standout is The Little Prince. Ex Machina also stepped back into the ring this week with yet another pulse-pounder, which is a little weird since our overall impression of the movie was more “thoughtful” than “high octane.” But it wasn’t just new trailers for known properties this week, either. Johnny Depp’s fantastic-looking crime thriller Black Mass finally stepped onto the scene, and we’ve got a host of sci-fi thrillers and creeptastic horror entries to round out the bunch. Oh, yeah, and M. Night Shyamalan showed up with something that doesn’t look completely horrible. Rejoice! Because every edition of trailers is the first day of the rest of your life.
The One More People Should Talk About: Tomorrowland (Above)
Tomorrowland has rolled out story details very gradually, keeping a lot of mystery in tact. This latest trailer keeps with that trend, but is much more action-oriented than its predecessors. Men with guns! Or are they robots?! Explosions! So much running! It’s not that we don’t like a new look at the movie, but it feels like someone said “Guys, we really need to upsell this one. Give the people some more red meat to chew on!” Are they worried that people are losing interest? Are people losing interest? Are we just over-reacting? This movie looks really good, and it’s an original fantasy story with a major budget, so we really hope it turns out well.
Pause at: 1:20 and 1:31 for explosions and future tech. At 1:32 and 1:54 we’ve got a robot problem.
Essential Quote: “When I touched this pin I saw this place, someplace amazing, and it felt like anything was possible.”—Casey Newton (Britt Robertson)
The One You Wish Everyone Would Talk About: The Little Prince
Wow. This is adorable! It looks touching and wondrous and unique and the voice cast is incredible, including Jeff Bridges, Mackenzie Foy, Rachel McAdams, James Franco, Marion Cotillard, Benicio del Toro, Paul Giamatti, Paul Rudd, Budd Cort, Ricky Gervais, and Albert Brooks. Like we said: Wow! The stop-motion animation adds to the already high level of charm. Even though they’ve got a tall order here in satisfying legions of people grew up with The Little Prince, it looks like director Mark Osborn (Kung Fu Panda) is up to the challenge.
Pause at: 0:48, 0:54, 1:08, 1:13, 1:46, 1:52, 2:00, 2:15, and 2:28 for so many sentimental tears.
Song: Gabrielle Aplin, “Salvation”
Essential Quote: “What is essential is invisible to the eye.”—The Fox (Franco)
The Biopic One: Black Mass
Helloooooo, Mr. Depp! It’s been a long, long time since we saw Johnny Depp in a role that let him stretch his legs as a real, live actor, but this biopic about the real live—and real dangerous—gangster Whitey Bulger looks like the picture to put him back in the credibility conversation. This clip is mostly just intense, but it’s entirely effective. The story is set in the 1970s when an FBI agent convinces Bulger to partner with the Bureau to take down the Italian mob—the shared enemy of the state and Bulger, and Irishman. Obviously, Bulger took advantage of the situation and things spiraled out of control. Also, this cast is unreal: Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon, Dakota Johnson, Peter Sarsgaard, Jesse Plemons, Corey Stoll, Rory Cochrane, Sienna Miller, and Adam Scott. Please be amazing!
Pause at: 0:53, 0:57, and 1:53 for an Oscar-worthy makeunder.
Essential Quote: “‘Just saying’ gets people sent away. ‘Just saying’ got me a nine-year stretch in Alcatraz. You understand? So, ‘just saying’ could get you buried real quick.”—Whitey Bulger (Depp)
The AI One: Ex Machina
Ex Machina has gotten another trailer to herald its wide release into theaters, and this one takes a different approach from the others, using the words of real-life tech luminaries and legends to scare the hell out of us about AI. We can’t say we disagree! If Ava marched through our doors tomorrow, it’s 99 percent certain she’d either be able to persuade us into giving her whatever she wanted, or she would just kill us and take it. In case you haven’t made up your mind yet: Go see Ex Machina!
Pause at: 0:20, 0:48, 1:02, 1:17, and 1:50 for humanity’s final invention.
Essential Quote: “Caleb, you have to help me.”—Ava (Alicia Vikander)
The Sundance One: The Overnight
Here’s a fun one. Of all the so-called “sex comedies” at Sundance this year, Overnight managed to be the warmest. Taylor Schilling, Adam Scott, and Jason Schwartzman (and even the mostly unknown Judith Godréche) were unsurprisingly hilarious and possessed of a fantastic on-screen chemistry, but it also had a lot of heart. Schilling and Scott are a married couple recently relocated to Los Angeles, and Schwartzman and Godréche are the seasoned neo-hippy locals. A welcome-to-the-neighborhood evening starts as a play date for the kids, but turns into a majorly adult affair once the little ones are put to bed. To explain any of what happens would rob you of the gleeful surprises peppered throughout the movie. But we feel confident saying you’ll have a lot of fun.
Pause at: 0:30. This hat is so right. Note the closeness at 1:00.
Song: Pearls, “Big Shot” and Northeast Party House, “The Haunted”
Essential Quote: “Give me 20 minutes and I will give you parental bliss.”—Kurt (Schwartzman)
The Scary One: The Visit
All right, all right. We’ve got a lot of mixed feelings about this one. Scratch that, we’ve got one mixed feeling: This movie looks great, but it’s written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Four years ago, that might not have been such a damning assessment, but thanks to a string of insultingly bad movies (The Happening, The Last Airbender, After Earth), the would-be man of mystery’s goodwill is pretty well spent. However, this trailer looks genuinely scary, and presents better material in two minutes than any of his last three movies did across their entire cumulative run time. Two kids are off to spend the weekend and grandma and grandpa’s house, but it looks like their kindly relatives have some huge secrets they’re keeping. Who knows what the twist will be, because there’s always a twist, but this movie looks damn scary.
Pause at: 1:00, 1:16, 1:19, 1:24, 2:01, 2:04, and 2:08 for all kinds of messed up.
Song: Fiona Apple and Jon Brion, “Everyday”
Essential Quote: “Bedtime here is 9:30. It’s probably best you two shouldn’t come out of your room after that.”—Grandpa (Peter McRobbie)
The Action One: Yakuza Apocalypse
Pause at: 0:12, 0:29, 0:45, 0:52, 0:53, and 0:58 for a bunch of stuff!
Essential Quote: ?
The Alien One: Area 51
The first rule of Area 51: Don’t break into Area 51! If what you think is being kept under wraps behind its walls is actually there, then you are definitely not equipped to deal with it! Now, this project was initially announced back in 2009 and it was supposedly almost finished in 2011. When movies get hung up in turnaround for, you know, years, it’s typically a bad sign. But, hey, aliens and horror and Area 51? We’ll turn out for that.
Pause at: 1:07, 1:15 for scary non-alien things. Then stop at 1:35, 1:37, 1:43, 1:58, 2:04, 2:10, 2:23, 2:30, and 2:33 for scary, probably alien things.
Essential Quote: “I didn’t think it was actually gonna get this far. Are you really ready for the consequences?”—Fred (Michael Caine)
The Off-World One: Infini
Sometimes you just need a B-level science fiction thriller featuring the third Hemsworth brother, you know? A search and rescue team is sent to the Infini mining facility to save the only survivor of a biological outbreak. We foresee things falling apart very quickly.
Pause at: 0:24, 1:12, 1:25, 1:33, and 1:40 for extra terrestrial zombie disease horrors.
Essential Quote: “I promise you I will come home.”—Whit Carmichael (Daniel MacPherson) with those famous last words
The Thriller One: Estranged
Families are a bitch, am I right?
Pause at: 0:29 for totally normal unfrightening people. Right? Mom is packing at 0:51. More completely non-threatening lovely parents at 1:05. 1:29 is so gross.
Essential Quote: “We are your family. You don’t need anyone else.”—Albert (John Cosmo)
The Teen Comedy One: Barely Lethal
What more could you want from a frivolous action comedy? Hailee Steinfeld, actress and delightful young woman, is a teen assassin named Megan who’s been raised to be one thing: a weapon. Her trainer is Samuel L. Jackson (obviously); her arch-rival is Sophie Turner, and Jessica Alba is her nemesis. Are we having fun yet? When Megan realizes she’s missing out on having an actual life she fakes her own death after a mission and takes the identity of Canadian exchange student. Her host mom is played by Rachael Harris and the boy she will probably eventually learn to love is played by Thomas Mann, who’s oh so hot right now with the festival success of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Steinfeld had a respectable Sundance as well, appearing as a pregnant teen in Ten Thousand Saints, and she’s about to go boffo with Pitch Perfect 2. For as much as we’ve seen Hailee around and as much as she’s been working since her breakout in True Grit, she’s still been a little under the radar since Ender’s Game. But with two releases coming up next month, we are fortunately going to be swimming in Steinfeld soon enough. It’s gonna be May.
Pause at: 0:06 and 1:25 for girl power. Oh, hey there Steve-O at 1:41. Glam squad Sophie Turner at 1:52. The usual at 1:58.
Song: Tod + Teufel feat. St. Pauli, “Kapitel 6″ and Machine 22, “A Million Things”
Essential Quote: “Mission high school was a Go.”—Megan (Steinfeld)