Like February, March is also usually slow for wide theatrical releases. However, the dearth of quality wide releases seems to be compensated by quite a number of interesting looking indie films. The following seem worth checking out based on the trailers:

A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet (First Run Features) – Release Date: March 1 in Limited Release

This film is an environmental documentary made by Mark Kitchell, the director of the Academy Award nominated Berkeley in the Sixties. For those who know me personally, I am a staunch environmentalist and so it should be no surprise to see me recommending this film. Aside from this however, A Fierce Green Fire looks ambitious in scope and I am curious to see whether they can give the various topics covered in the film the sufficient coverage they deserve.

The Girl (Brainstorm Media) – Release Date: March 8 in NY and March 15 in L.A.

From the producers of the excellent Maria Full of Grace, this film stars Abbie Cornish and Will Patton and it is about a young struggling woman who gets involved in the business of smuggling illegal Mexican immigrants. Will Patton has never done much for me and the story hints at a Hollywood outcome, but the film looks tense and very compelling nonetheless.

The We and the I (Paladin) – Release Date: March 8 in Limited Release

Written and directed by Michel Gondry, I don’t need a further reason to see this. Gondry is one of this generations most innovative filmmakers and although I was not completely taken by this trailer, I trust Gondry’s skills enough to give this a chance.

From Up on Poppy Hill (GKIDS) – Release Date: March 15 in NY and March 29 in L.A.

This film is the latest Studio Ghibli animated epic and again, Miyazaki’s name alone is enough to place this one among my monthly picks. This time, the Japanese Walt Disney, Hayao Miyazaki, is the screenwriter and his son, Goro Miyazaki, directs. I have very high expectations for this film and the animation looks gorgeous.

My Amityville Horror (IFC Midnight) – Release Date: March 15 in NY

1.) I love documentaries. 2.) I love documentaries about the supernatural, Hollywood, and media events. I don’t know how self-serving this film is, but I’m nevertheless curious to hear the “inside story” of Daniel Lutz’s life with his famous parents.

Reality (Oscilloscope Laboratories) – Release Date: March 15 in NY and March 22 in L.A.

This Spanish film is being compared to Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita and Luis Bunuel’s work and based on the trailer, it indeed looks to be the case.

Reincarnated (VICE Films and Snoopadelic Films) – Release Date: March 15 in Limited Release

Snoop Dogg (or Snoop Lion as he likes to be called today) has always stood apart in the rapper community and not just for the quality of his music, but also for his lifestyle. This documentary chronicles his purported life transformation as he travels to Jamaica to record his new album. I hope this film does not end up merely being a marketing promo for his album.

The Croods (DreamWorks Animation) – Release Date: March 22

This is the only wide release film that I found worth recommending for March. I should disclose that I a former employee of DreamWorks Animation so I have some personal attachment to the films this studio releases. However, I am not recommending The Croods for this reason. Although I was not taken by the film’s animation style, the comedy in the trailer is funny and I have heard good buzz about the film.

Welcome to the Punch (IFC Films and Momentum Pictures) – Release Date: March 27 in Limited Release

Mark Strong as the villain and a little James McAvoy thrown in is a promising concoction for a pulse-pounding movie. This film is executive produced by Ridley Scott, which probably explains the film’s stylish, sleek look. Welcome to the Punch reminds me of a John Woo police action flick and if it can fulfill even half of what a great Woo movie delivers, then this could become a spring sleeper hit.

Room 237 (IFC Midnight) – Release Date: March 29 in NY

This is probably the film I am MOST looking forward to seeing this month. Like I said, I love documentaries about Hollywood and this is one of them. To top it off, it is about the making of Stanley Kubrick’s controversial masterpiece, The Shining. Creepy and wonderful teaser trailer.

The Place Beyond the Pines (Focus Features) – Release Date: March 29 in Limited Release

For some (mostly women), the name Ryan Gosling is enough to check this film out. Add to this the director of the beautifully depressing Blue Valentine, a fantastic cast that includes Bradley Cooper and Ray Liotta, and an interesting plot. What’s not to like?

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