- Roadside Attractions
With over 100 films on tap, as well as interactive projects, TV premieres, and engaging talks with giants in entertainment, the Tribeca Film Festival has a lot in store for its 15th year when it kicks off on Wednesday in New York City.
Whether you’re there or not, movies and shows from the fest will be headed your way soon enough. To help you figure out what’s worth watching, we’ve highlighted the 15 most exciting projects making their way through Tribeca.
1. “Betting on Zero”
- Tribeca Film Festival
In this eye-opening documentary, we follow hedge-fund bigwig Bill Ackman as he attempts to bring down global nutritional titan Herbalife by making the case that it’s a giant pyramid scheme. The film not only gives a behind-the-scenes look at Ackman’s quest, but also highlights heart-wrenching testimonials from people who have lost thousands of dollars taking part in Herbalife’s business model. To this day, Herbalife has defended itself as being a legitimate business.
2. “Don’t Think Twice”
- Jon Pack
Following his acclaimed directorial debut “Sleepwalk with Me,” comedian Mike Birbiglia creates another funny and authentic story, this time delving deeper into the world of comedy. In “Don’t Think Twice,” we look at a close-knit comedy troupe (including Gillian Jacobs and Keegan-Michael Key) that breaks into dysfunction when a role on a hit TV show can only go to one of them.
3. “Elvis & Nixon”
- Steve Dietl
In 1970, Elvis Presley showed up at the White House unannounced to have a chat with President Nixon about becoming a Federal Agent for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. The meeting was immortalized in a photo of the two that has since become the most-requested photograph in the National Archives. Finally a movie has been made about the meeting. Michael Shannon takes on the role of Elvis with Kevin Spacey playing Nixon. The subject is ripe to become a cult comedy.
“Elvis & Nixon” opens in theaters April 22.
- Sony Pictures Classics
After being praised at the Sundance Film Festival (and bought by Sony Pictures Classics), this look at an investment banker’s (Anna Gunn) attempt to one-up her male counterparts by grabbing a coveted IPO will build more word of mouth at Tribeca.
“Equity” opens in theaters July 29.
- Aidan Monaghan
Acclaimed director Ben Wheatley (“Kill List”) adapts this novel from J.G. Ballard into a stylish drama inside a luxury hotel where newcomer Robert (Tom Hiddleston) finds that his digs have a powerful influence over the residents (including Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, and Elisabeth Moss).
“High-Rise” is available on demand April 28 and in theaters May 13.
6. “A Hologram for the King”
- Roadside Attractions
Visionary filmmaker Tom Tykwer (“Cloud Atlas”) teams again with Tom Hanks in this look at a failed American businessman (Hanks) as he travels to Saudi Arabia to get his career back on track.
“A Hologram for the King” opens in theaters April 22.
7. “King Cobra”
- Jesse Korman
This insane entry in the festival’s Midnight section starring James Franco, Christian Slater, Alicia Silverstone, and Molly Ringwald looks at the rise of gay porn star Sean Paul Lockhard (aka Brent Corrigan) before falling out with the producer who made him famous.
8. “The Last Laugh”
- Ferne Pearlstein
Is the Holocaust funny? No. But can the topic be used as a form of comedy like other taboo subjects such as AIDS or 9/11? That’s what this film explores through interviewing the likes of Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Larry Charles, and Rob Reiner.
9. “The Meddler”
- Sony Pictures Classics
This hilarious comedy is a must-see with your mother. Susan Sarandon gives one of her best performances in recent memory as she plays a widow who moves from New York to LA to live closer to her daughter (Rose Byrne). Antics then ensue as mom begins to infringe on her daughter’s life. “The Meddler” opens in theaters April 22.
10. “My Scientology Movie”
- BBC/BBC Worldwide
On the heels of Alex Gibney’s trailblazing expose on the Church of Scientology, the doc “Going Clear,” British filmmaker/broadcaster Louis Theroux now gives us his unique look at the controversial religion. With ex-members giving him insight, Theroux uses actors to reenact incidents former members of the church claim they experienced as members.
- Titmouse Inc.
This strange animated fever dream of a comedy stars Paul Rudd and Patton Oswalt, who lend their voices of two guys in LA who have just turned 30 and are determined to become famous by any means necessary. What unfolds is just plain strange.
12. “O.J.: Made in America”
- Sundance Film Festival
If you’re having withdrawal over the end of FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” fear not: ESPN has you covered. Its upcoming “30 for 30” documentary, “O.J.: Made in America,” is a five-part, seven-and-a-half-hour examination of O.J. Simpson from his rise at USC to his current incarceration. It’s a powerful work that doesn’t just look at Simpson but also race relations in LA.
ESPN will air the docuseries starting June 11 (the premiere will also air on ABC).
13. “Shadow World”
- Ronald Regan Library
This infuriating documentary investigates how weapons manufacturers and a group of politicians have helped to keep the US in a constant state of war since the early 1980s, with billions in profit at stake. Including interviews with arms dealers and former high-ranking military officers, it gives new insight into the crooked dealings behind the war on terror.
14. “Special Correspondents”
Ricky Gervais’ latest Netflix project (he’s star, writer, and director) follows a radio journalist (Eric Bana) and his technician (Gervais) who get more than they bargain for when they fake their own kidnapping in South America and hide out in New York.
“Special Correspondents” will be available on Netflix April 29.
- Juanmi Azpiroz
High school basketball star Anthony thinks he’s got it all as he’s cruising through his senior year and hopes for a scholarship to Cornell. But things get difficult when his father, Lee (Michael Shannon), begins to spiral out of control thanks to his gambling debts. Shannon is superb (as always) as the despicable father while newcomer Taylor John Smith as Anthony shows impressive talent.