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3 underrated movies you need to watch in April 2024

A female photographer stands in a street in Civil War.

In March, movies came back in a big way. Dune: Part Two started things off, and Kung Fu Panda 4, the Ghostbusters sequel, Love Lies Bleeding, and Late Night with the Devil all packed audiences in theaters or satisfied critics with their twisted takes on the horror, sci-fi, and crime genres.

April is going to be a bit slower in comparison, but if you look closely, there are some buried treasures lurking beneath the popcorn flicks. The month will offer not one, but two bloody revenge flicks, a controversial action movie that actually has a brain, and a spicy sports drama starring one of the most glamourous movie stars living today. That’s not a bad lineup, so make sure to seek these movies out before the summer movie season pushes them out of the multiplex.

Civil War (April 12)

A woman stands in front of lights in Civil War.
A24 / A24

No, this isn’t the MCU movie Captain America: Civil War or a historical drama about the American Civil War of the 1860s. Instead, it’s a fictional movie that imagines what it would look like if the modern-day U.S. split up among ideological lines. Like I said, totally fictional and not at all relevant to our current fractured political landscape! In this alternate reality, Texas and California have teamed up (!), Florida leads a Southern alliance (naturally), and the President of the United States is a third-term dictator.

Written and directed by Alex Garland, the mastermind behind such excellent genre films and TV shows as 28 Days Later, Ex Machina, and Devs, Civil War boasts indie studio A24’s highest budget yet ($50 million), has an impressive cast headed by Kirsten Dunst, and is being positioned as an intelligence cousin to those dumb Fallen movies starring Gerard Butler. The movie is not without controversy, but it also received an enthusiastic reception when it premiered at this year’s SXSW festival, with some calling it an impressive achievement that is both scary and unforgettable.

Challengers (April 26)

Two men kiss a woman in Challengers.

You may have heard of Challengers, the tennis drama starring Zendaya, The Crown‘s Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist. Originally set to debut in September 2023, the movie was pushed to April due to the actors’ strike. In that time, people on Twitter have dissected the movie’s somewhat risqué trailers and images, which promise plenty of action on the tennis courts and off. That shouldn’t be a surprise, as the movie was directed by Luca Guadagnino, the Italian provocateur behind Call Me by Your Name and Bones and All.

Zendaya stars as Tashi, a one-time tennis superstar whose career was prematurely halted by an injury. Now a coach, she’s wooed by two tennis rivals: the cocky Patrick (O’Connor) and the withdrawn Art (Faist). Years later, Tashi is married to Art and tries to coach him back to winning a Grand Slam. But first, they must both face the past and overcome the one impediment to Art’s comeback: Patrick, who still pines for Tashi. Does this sound melodramatic? Yes, but the creative team elevates the material, and the curiosity factor (how far does Guadagnino go with those love scenes?) is enough to make this a must-see movie for April.

Boy Kills World (April 26)

A man stands in an elevator in Boy Kills World.

April offers two movies with similar revenged-minded narratives, and while Dev Patel’s Monkey Man looks fantastic, Boy Kills World looks just as good. After a young boy witnesses his family get brutally slaughtered, he barely escapes with his life into the jungle. Rendered mute by his trauma, the boy teaches himself to become an expert fighter who, years later, grows into a buffed-up Bill Skarsgård, who’s ready to cut off a head or two in the name of familial justice.

Boy Kills World plays its bloody revenge tale for laughs, and it’s helped by having H. Jon Benjamin, the voice of Bob from Bob’s Burgers, narrate Boy’s inner thoughts. With The Crow and Nosferatu remakes lined up for later in 2024, Skarsgård is poised have a breakout year, and if he’s anything like his brother, Alexander, in The Northman, he’ll have a violent, ultra-masculine cult movie to call his own.

Editors' Recommendations

Jason Struss
Section Editor, Entertainment
Jason is a writer, editor, and pop culture enthusiast whose love for cinema, television, and cheap comic books has led him to…
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