SXSW Film kicks off on March 8 and stretches all the way through the festival, ending on March 16. Whether you’re actually attending SXSW or simply curious about what’s playing, it’s good to know which films are generating the most buzz.
From directorial debuts to anticipated follow-ups (cough, cough, Jordan Peele), these are the five flicks we guarantee you'll be hearing about long after SXSW ends.
The Beach Bum
The Beach Bum marks Harmony Korine’s first film since 2012’s Spring Breakers, and is sure to be a truly trippy time. The comedy is led by Matthew McConaughey, who plays a rebellious, burned-out writer named Moondog, and also features Isla Fisher, Snoop Dogg, Zac Efron, and Martin Lawrence. Catch the world premiere of the film at 6 pm on March 9 at the Paramount Theatre.
Olivia Wilde makes her directorial debut with Booksmart, a film that follows two brainy high school seniors (played by Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein) who decide to jam four years of missed partying into one night. Early word is that this could be one of the year’s better comedies. See the world premiere at 9:30 pm on March 10 at the Paramount.
Director Jonathan Levine and Seth Rogen’s anticipated third film together (the two previously collaborated on 50/50 and The Night Before) is romantic comedy Long Shot. Charlize Theron plays a diplomat who finds herself falling for the right guy (Rogen) at what may be the wrong time. With Levine and Rogan at the helm, it should be a funny, heartfelt ride. Catch the world premiere of the film at 9:30 pm on March 9 at the Paramount.
Thirty years after the first adaptation of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary hit theaters, a remake starring Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, and John Lithgow is hitting theaters. The story is ostensibly the same — a tragedy befalls a family, which puts a variety of terrible things in motion — but the vibe is decidedly scarier than what was put on screens in 1989. This world premiere will close out the festival at 8 pm on March 16 at the Paramount.
Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, and more, Us is a thriller centered around a family who encounters unsavory doubles of themselves while on vacation. Being the opening night film at SXSW is more than enough to make it buzzworthy, but Us is also Jordan Peele’s anticipated follow up to Get Out, which earned him an Oscar for best original screenplay in 2018. The world premiere takes place at 6:30 pm on March 8 at the Paramount.