The 10 movies to check out in March

By Paul Byrnes

Movies to see in March include (from left) Broker, Empire of Light and Living.Credit:Madman Films, 20th Century Studios, Ross Ferguson/Sony Pictures Classics

It’s March and still no Oscars. Never fear, by the afternoon of March 13 – almost the ides – we will know who’s in and who’s out. It’s always good to see recognition for unknown films, but let’s face it, the Academy voters usually cock it up somehow. Most of the contenders have been and gone, so we are now entering the period known as “the rest of the year”.

There are few blockbusters, as Hollywood is saving most of the CGI abominations for when the sun comes out in the northern hemisphere. That leaves a few bright stars in the firmament, such as Living, Broker and Of An Age. They look terrific.

For a shot of action and war, look to the loud sequels: Shazam! Fury of the Gods, John Wick 4, Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. Peaceniks might prefer Simone Veil: Woman of the Century. Veil survived Auschwitz to become a successful French politician.

Find out the next TV, streaming series and movies to add to your must-sees. Get The Watchlist delivered every Thursday.

Creed III

Michael B. Jordan, as Adonis Creed, comes out of retirement to fight a man who was once his best friend and is now his worst enemy, played by Jonathan Majors. Creed seems to punch everything in sight, including some big old trees, in what is technically the ninth film in the Rocky series. Hard to tell yet if this will be fresh or simply repetitive – but Jordan does what he does well, including direct himself. Opens March 2.

Empire of Light

Anything by Sam Mendes is usually worthy of attention, although this has had some ordinary reviews. Still, it has Olivia Colman, Colin Firth and Toby Jones in a story set in a beautiful old cinema in coastal Margate. That got me at hello. Colman, as a bipolar cinema employee, falls in love with the cute young black kid who has just started working there (Micheal West). Mendes wrote and directed. Roger Deakins is nominated for an Oscar for his cinematography. Opens March 2.


This is an English-language remake of a hit Spanish film. Woody Harrelson is a major league basketball coach sentenced to community service. He has to coach a team of kids with Down syndrome. It’s probably a bucket of sentimental tosh, but you never know. Bobby Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary, Shallow Hal, Dumb and Dumber To) directs, but without his brother. They have always specialised in outrageous comedy, so this should be funny – whatever else it is. Opens March 9.


Mamie Till was the mother of Emmett Till, a 15-year-old African American boy who was kidnapped and murdered in Mississippi in 1955, allegedly for being disrespectful to a white woman. His story helped to inspire the civil rights movement. The two white men who tortured and killed him were acquitted by an all-white jury. Curiously this is not the only film on this subject. Women of the Hill premiered on American ABC in January. This film is directed by Chinonwe Chukyu, a Nigerian-American woman who directed Clemency in 2019. Danielle Deadwyler plays Mamie Till, with Whoopi Goldberg as Till’s grandmother. Expect this to be harrowing. Opens March 9.

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

Nan Goldin is one of the leading photographers of her age, chronicler of the seedy side of life in New York. Here, Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras (Citizenfour) follows Goldin’s campaign against the Sackler family, whose Purdue Pharma manufactured OxyContin – and a crisis of opioid addiction. Goldin and friends campaign to remove the Sackler name from art institutions around the world. Opens March 9.


Way back in 1952, Akira Kurosawa made a very beautiful film called Ikiru (Living), about a man who tries to achieve something significant before he dies. This is a remake set in London in 1953, with Bill Nighy as the ailing bureaucrat. The adaption is directed by Oliver Hermanus, from a script by novelist Kazuo Ishiguro. The advance word is that this is crazy good, possibly the best work Nighy has done, so there’s no choice, is there? You’ve gotta go. Opens March 16.

Simone Veil, A Woman of the Century

In 1944, 16-year-old Simone Jakob, her mother and her sisters were deported from France to Auschwitz. She never saw her father and brother again. Simone survived, became a lawyer and eventually health minister under Jacques Chirac. As a legislator, she was responsible for better access to contraception and legalised abortion in France. She was also the first president of the European Parliament. This lavishly appointed biopic has Elsa Zylberstein playing her as a mature woman, Rebecca Marder as her younger self. Olivier Dahan (La Vie en Rose) is at the helm. Looks fascinating. Opens March 16.

Of An Age

And here we have an Australian gay drama, which premiered at the Melbourne Film Festival in August. Oddly, it opened in the US before here. Written and directed by Goran Stolevski, the story concerns a young Serbian emigrant (Elias Anton) who has a brief affair with the brother of his ballroom dance partner (Hattie Hook). Thom Green plays the brother. It looks like an accomplished piece of work. Opens March 23.


Of all the films of March, this is the one I am looking forward to most. Hirokazu Kore-eda has carved out an enviable reputation with his Japanese-language films (Maborosi, Like Father, Like Son, Shoplifters). This film is in Korean, but the film before that was in English and shot in France, so he does not seem to worry about language. Two Korean men run a dodgy business, selling unwanted babies on the black market. A young woman who left her baby in a church for adoption then returns, wanting her child back. The trailer makes this look sublime, like most of this guy’s films. Do yourself a favour. Opens March 30.


Jim Gaffigan, playing a middle-aged schlub in a small town in Ohio, comes alive when parts of a rocket fall into his garden. He has always dreamed about rocketry and space travel, so what can a man do? American critics can’t decide this is a heartfelt comedy or tragedy, which is a good sign. The film, written and directed by Colin West, has been getting a lot of love. Opens March 30.

Find out the next TV, streaming series and movies to add to your must-sees. Get The Watchlist delivered every Thursday.

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