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“Everything Everywhere All at Once” releases on March 25 by A24.

By Connor Dziawura

With the number of tentpole film releases increasing, theaters have been gradually picking up traction as audiences flock back to their local cinemas.

While there are surely plenty of exciting big-screen choices in theaters’ classic series (Harkins is bringing back titles like “The Big Lebowski,” “Dirty Dancing,” “10 Things I Hate About You” and “Leprechaun,” for example), it’s the following six new titles and multi-film showcases — representing major producers and independent distributors alike — that we’re most excited for in the month of March.

“After Yang”

OPENS MARCH 4

Filmmaker Kogonada is back with his follow-up to 2017’s critically acclaimed “Columbus” — and it looks to be similarly quiet and introspective.

A humanistic sci-fi drama, “After Yang” stars Colin Farrell as Jake, a man searching for a way to repair his young daughter’s malfunctioned companion android, Yang (played by Justin H. Min). In the process, according to the synopsis, he discovers the life that has been passing in front of him and reconnects with his wife (Jodie Turner-Smith) and daughter (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja) across a distance he didn’t know was there.

Haley Lu Richardson, Ritchie Coster, Sarita Choudhury and Clifton Collins Jr. are also in the film, which releases in limited theaters this March (though it will mostly be viewable on Showtime) before expanding its presence in early April, including as part of the Phoenix Film Festival (stick around for more information later in this column).

Rated PG for language and some thematic elements.

Streaming on Showtime, local theatrical release soon, a24films.com/films/after-yang

“The Batman”

OPENS MARCH 4

Reportedly taking more of a noir, detective angle, writer-director Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” features an all-star supporting cast of Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne, the caped crusader; Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman; Paul Dano as Edward Nashton, aka the Riddler; Jeffrey Wright as GCPD’s James Gordon; John Turturro as Carmine Falcone; Peter Sarsgaard as Gotham District Attorney Gil Colson; Jayme Lawson as mayoral candidate Bella Reál; Andy Serkis as Alfred; and Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot, aka the Penguin.

Rated PG-13 for strong violent and disturbing content, drug content, strong language and some suggestive material.

In theaters, thebatman.com

Best Picture Film Fest

MARCH 11 TO MARCH 24

Ahead of the 94th Academy Awards, set for March 27, nine of the 10 Best Picture nominees will be screening at participating Harkins Theatres locations. Films include “Belfast,” “Don’t Look Up,” “Drive My Car,” “Dune,” “King Richard,” “Licorice Pizza,” “Nightmare Alley,” “The Power of the Dog” and “West Side Story.” The final nominee, “CODA,” is available to stream on Apple TV+.

Individual tickets cost $5, or an All-Access Pass — which includes one ticket to each film — is $30.

Various Harkins Theatres locations, harkins.com, $5-$30

“X”

OPENS MARCH 18

Ti West, the filmmaker behind the 2009 cult classic “The House of the Devil,” is back with “X.” And judging by its trailer, the film harks back to the sleazy atmosphere and rural Texan setting of the original “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.”

Set in 1979, Mia Goth, Jenny Ortega, Brittany Snow and Scott Mescudi (aka Kid Cudi) star in the film, which is about a group of young filmmakers fighting for their lives after their reclusive, elderly host catches them making an adult film.

Rated R for strong bloody violence and gore, strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language.

In theaters, a24films.com/films/x

“Everything Everywhere All at Once”

OPENS MARCH 25

From the brilliantly confounding minds of Daniels (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), the writer-director duo behind the quirky “Swiss Army Man,” this film seems to up things to a whole new level.

Synopsized as “a hilarious and big-hearted sci-fi action adventure about an exhausted Chinese American woman (Michelle Yeoh) who can’t seem to finish her taxes,” its trailers reveal it as something much bigger — a high-concept martial arts epic spanning the multiverse.

The cast also features Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr., James Hong and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Rated R for some violence, sexual material and language.

In theaters, a24films.com/films/everything-everywhere-all-at-once

Phoenix Film Festival

MARCH 31 TO APRIL 10

The Phoenix Film Festival is back, tied in with the International Horror & Sci-Fi and Arizona Student film festivals.

On the road to normalcy after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic the past couple years, this year’s event is planned to feature over 200 feature and short films, not to mention parties, panels, awards and Kids’ Day.

Check out our feature story, which goes into more of the details.

Harkins Scottsdale 101, 7000 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix, 480-513-3195, phoenixfilmfestival.com, horrorscifi.comazstudentfilmfestival.org, see websites for times and prices