On Screen: April 2021

Stay on the edge of your seat with a courtroom drama, an Internet predator exposé and a gritty Korean thriller this month.

By Yong Shu Chiang        6 April 2021

Just Mercy

Out now, HBO Go

Stars: Michael B Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson

Based on a true story, the film follows the efforts of idealistic young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) as he goes about fighting for justice for the poor and wrongfully accused. He meets a death-row inmate Walter McMillian (Foxx), a black man who was convicted for the murder of a white woman, and decides to take up his case. As he pieces together evidence to exonerate McMillian, Stevenson is threatened by those who would rather he drop his investigation.

Michael B Jordan: More Than An Adonis

Known for his roles in Creed and Black Panther, former child star Jordan will soon direct.

He’s recently been voted People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive.

But there’s more to Michael B Jordan than his good looks. A former child model and actor, Jordan paid his dues with numerous minor TV and film roles, before becoming known to a wider audience for his star turns in Creed (2015) and the Marvel superhero flick Black Panther (2018).

Jordan, 34, also chooses meaningful roles, such as his breakthrough performance in 2013’s Fruitvale Station, as a young black man shot and killed senselessly, and was named among the “100 Most Influential People of 2020” by Time magazine.

He has been likened by critics to a young Denzel Washington, the iconic actor-director who incidentally heaped praise upon him in Time and is directing him in the upcoming drama, Journal for Jordan. But Jordan is carving his own path without having to rely on comparisons.

One of his notable recent films was Just Mercy, where he plays a crusading lawyer seeking justice for the disenfranchised. He can soon be seen in the action thriller Without Remorse, based on the Tom Clancy novel of the same name.

Next, Jordan will again reprise his leading role as boxer Adonis Creed in Creed III (2022). This time, however, he takes on the additional credit of director, as he makes his debut behind the camera and adds another “super power” to his resume.

Caught In The Net

Out now, The Projector Plus

Stars: Tereza Tezka, Anezka Pithartova, Sabina Dlouha

In this Czech documentary, three young adult actresses pretend to be 12-year-olds as part of an experiment to understand the extent to which children are abused and groomed by predators on the Internet. Using fake social network profiles, doctored photographs, and scripted social media interactions, they uncover the shocking truth of how vulnerable children are and the ways men of all ages prey upon them, with some even resorting to blackmail.

Night In Paradise

Out 9 Apr, Netflix

Stars: Um Tae-goo, Jeon Yeo-been, Cha Seoung-won

A man with a chequered past (Um) tries to get back on the straight and narrow path. Having fled to Jeju Island, he meets a woman with nothing to lose (Jeon). Having once tried to leave his gang, with disastrous consequences for his loved ones, the man once again finds himself pursued with a vengeance. Only this time, he has some new company. Directed by Park Hoon-jung (New World), this 2020 thriller premiered at the Venice International Film Festival.

Ride or Die

Out 15 Apr, Netflix

Stars: Kiko Mizuhara, Honami Sato

A pair of women from different backgrounds meet one day and start to rekindle the friendship and love they had from their high school days. In their decade apart, one has had a privileged life, while the other has suffered abuse in hers. They hatch a scheme to help them both escape from their respective troubles, and soon find themselves on the run. As the world closes in on them, and a clean getaway seems futile, they only have each other to hold on to.

Secrets Of The Whales

Out 22 Apr, Disney+

Stars: Sigourney Weaver (narrator)

This four-part National Geographic series, executive produced by James Cameron (Avatar) and narrated by actress-conservationist Weaver, takes you deep into the world of whales. It charts the culture of five different whale species – the orcas, humpbacks, belugas, narwhals and sperm whales – and reveals the scientific discoveries behind their mysterious and beautiful oceanic existence. Filmed over three years in multiple locations all over the world.

The Mosquito Coast

Out 30 Apr, Apple TV+

Stars: Justin Theroux, Melissa George, Logan Polish

A brilliant inventor (Theroux) relocates to Mexico with his wife (George) and children, calling it the start of a new “adventure”. Soon, the man’s family question the purpose of this move, as they find themselves on the run from the US government. As they try to stay ahead of the authorities, they start to see his behaviour grow more erratic as the stakes get higher, and a safe haven becomes more elusive. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name.