Tribeca Film Festival 2016 Must-See List

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If you haven’t already noticed any brooding director-types or anxious producers hustling around New York City this last week, the Tribeca Film Festival is back in town. Running April 13 through April 24, this year packs a punch, with 77 world premiers and a dizzying schedule of back-to-back gems. Whether you’re using your TFF pass or buying seats à la carte, be sure to put the following films on your must-see list.

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High-Rise

Director Ben Wheatley brings J. G. Ballard’s 1979 novel to life in this visually stunning sci-fi nightmare of Kubrickian proportions. [Note the homage to Clockwork Orange in High-Rise’s poster.] Starring an excellent Tom Hiddleston, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elizabeth Moss, and James Purefoy.

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Wolves

We really don’t see enough of Michael Shannon. The stellar actor appears in Bart Freundlich’s Wolves as the unreliable father of a high school basketball star (played by relative newcomer Taylor John Smith) on the rise.

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Elvis & Nixon

And, yet, here Michael Shannon is again! This bizarre comedy-drama is shaped around an alleged meeting circa 1970 between Elvis Presley (Michael Shannon) and Richard Nixon (Kevin Spacey), in which the King presses the President to swear him in as an undercover agent for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

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Nerdland

Some of Hollywood’s heaviest comedic hitters–Paul Rudd, Patton Oswalt, Mike Judge, Molly Shannon–provide the voices for Chris Prynoski’s raucous animated feature film, Nerdland. Two nearly-thirtysomething losers embark on that age-old quest: finding fame in Hollywood.

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Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four

If you, like many others, binge-watched The Jinx and Making a Murderer, you’ll get hooked just the same in this new true crime documentary. The film explores the story of the so-called “San Antonio Four,” a group of four women who were convicted of sexual assault of two girls back in 1994. There’s witchcraft, homophobia, possible wrongful imprisonment–all the things that are sure to leave you screaming in frustration from your chair.

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Kicks

With the rise of sneakerhead culture reaching epic proportions, it seems almost natural that a film would one day use shoes as its central motor. Set in Oakland, Justin Tipping’s film follows Brandon (Jahking Guillory) and his friends as they embark upon a journey to find his stolen, well, kicks.

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Detour

Tye Sheridan is perfectly cast as the seemingly naive law student convinced his stepfather is responsible for the car crash that has left his mother in the hospital. Drunk at a bar, he accidentally brings two dangerous strangers (played by Emory Cohen and Bel Powley) into his story, snowballing the situation into something bigger than he imagined.

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Dean

Square-peg comedian Demetri Martin wrote, directed, and stars in Dean, a dramedy about family tumult in the wake of his mother’s death. The always-wonderful Kevin Kline stars as his dad.

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