Plus, join us for two incredible festival programmes presented by Queer East and Open City Documentary Festival.

Monkey Man’ image courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Starting the month in style, from Fri 5 Apr we welcome in Monkey Man, the acclaimed directorial debut of British gem Dev Patel (Lion, Slumdog Millionaire). In addition to writing and directing, Patel also stars as Kid, an anonymous young man who sets upon a journey of revenge to hunt those responsible for his mother’s death. Originally slated to be released on Netflix, Jordan Peele loved it so much that he saved it from streaming-jail and acquired it under his Monkeypaw Productions banner! Production aside, Monkey Man takes the inspiration from the frenetic action of John Wick, as Patel sublimely provides a playground for the oppressed to quite literally punch up.

Have a read of The Guardian’s glowing review, and check out the exhilarating trailer for Monkey Man.

Evil Does Not Exist’ image courtesy of Modern Films.

Also on Fri 5 Apr, we bring in the haunting stealth thriller Evil Does Not Exist, winner of both the Grand Jury Prize at Venice and Best Film at BFI London Film Festival. The film marks the return of Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s skillful directing since his formidable 2021 with Drive My Car and Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy.

His latest feature focuses on Takumi and his daughter who live in Mizubiki Village, near Tokyo; as one day, the village inhabitants become aware of a plan to build a camping site near Takumi’s house offering city residents a comfortable ‘escape’ to nature. The film acts as a vital addition to the canon of contemporary eco-thrillers such as Night Moves, The Beasts and How to Blow Up a Pipeline, playing as a meditative and engrossing fable about the encroaching – and then sudden – violence of urbanisation.

Check out Empire’s adoring review, and view the powerful trailer for Evil Does Not Exist.

Civil War‘ image courtesy of Entertainment Film Distributors.

The following week, from Fri 12 Apr, we bring Alex Garland‘s (Ex Machina, Annihilation) dystopian action film Civil War to our screens. The film takes place in the near future, where a Second American Civil War has broken out between the American government and the separatist Western Forces of Texas and California.

Portraying the U.S government as a dystopian dictatorship may be the most obvious example of the effect Trump has had on contemporary Hollywood cinema, but Civil War is not the heavy-handed right vs. left eye-roller than the trailers may imply. Garland, instead, has almost completely abstained from political specifics and directed a Heart of Darkness (1991) type road movie through the lens of war photographers as they travel through America.

The film raises important and timely questions about the impact of an image, desensitisation and makes us question why these characters go to lengths they do to capture these moments. Featuring phenomenal performances from Kirsten Dunst (The Virgin Suicides, Marie Antoinette) and Cailee Spaeny (Priscilla) – make sure that you experience Civil War on the big screen this month!

Have a read’s rave review and watch the thrilling trailer for Civil War.

Challengers’ image courtesy of Warner Bros.

Closing out the month we have Challengers, the hotly anticipated sports drama from visionary director Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name, Bones and All).

Starring Zendaya (Dune, Euphoria) as Tashi Duncan, a former tennis prodigy turned coach, who is married to a champion on a losing streak. Her strategy for her husband’s redemption takes a surprising turn when he must face off against his former best friend and Tashi’s ex-boyfriend. Co-starring Josh O’Connor (The Crown) and Mike Faist (West Side Story) as the other two sides in the love triangle, Guadagnino provides an unadulterated look at the clash between love and ambition with his latest masterwork.

See the love triangle in action in the pulse-racing trailer for Challengers.

Love Bound‘ image courtesy of Queer East.

We are also proud to welcome two exciting UK film festivals to our building this month.

Firstly, Queer East join us for the fifth edition of their festival from Sat 20 – Sun 21 Apr. The programme showcases boundary-pushing LGBTQ+ cinema from East and Southeast Asia and its diaspora communities, exploring notions of what it means to be queer and Asian today. Highlights include the UK Premiere of Love Bound + Q&A on Sun 21 Apr, which captures a compelling story about love, resilience, and the ongoing struggle for a better world.

Secondly, from Fri 26 – Sun 28 Apr we welcome Open City Documentary Festival to celebrate the art of non-fiction cinema. Join us to explore The Folk Memory Project programme – an ongoing filmmaking initiative that has been documenting personal histories of the Great Famine of 1959 – 1961 in China.

What did you think of this Film Fix? Let us know by tweeting us, or dropping us an email.

View our full cinema listings.