A number of new movies will hit theaters this week, including the following films opening in wide release:

‘Penguins’

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Narrator: Ed Helms
  • Directors: Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield and Jeff Wilson
  • Rated: G

Narrated by Ed Helms, Disneynature’s all-new feature film “Penguins” is a coming-of-age story about an Adélie penguin named Steve who joins millions of fellow males in the icy Antarctic spring on a quest to build a suitable nest, find a life partner and start a family.

None of it comes easily for him, especially considering he's targeted by everything from killer whales to leopard seals, who unapologetically threaten his happily ever after.

“Penguins” continues Disneynature’s conservation tradition: For every ticket sold opening week (April 17-23, 2019), Disneynature will make a donation to the Wildlife Conservation Network to help protect penguins across the southern hemisphere.

Founded in 2002, WCN invests in a select network of on-the-ground conservationists, including top experts in the field of penguins like the Global Penguin Society. The worldwide leader in science-based penguin conservation, GPS champions specific programs that align with Disneynature’s conservation mission. Conservation is a key pillar of the label and the films empower the audience to help make a difference, with each film supporting wildlife featured in the films.

‘The Curse of La Llorona’

  • Genre: Thriller and horror
  • Cast: Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, Sean Patrick Thomas and Patricia Velasquez
  • Director: Michael Chaves
  • Rated: R

Set in 1973 Los Angeles, the film tells the story of Anna Tate-Garcia (Linda Cardellini), a social worker and widowed single mom struggling to balance the two roles while still coping with the loss of her husband.

As a skeptic serving a city of believers, Anna has navigated a multitude of phantoms and superstitions in her job, usually finding personal demons lurking beneath. When she’s called to the home of Patricia Alvarez (Patricia Velasquez) and finds her two young sons locked in a closet, she interprets their terrified mother’s desperate efforts to keep them locked away as a dangerous sign of abuse. Though Anna is determined to get Patricia the help she needs, her first concern is the safety of the children. But, because she is unaware of the very real danger they face, Anna has no idea what she’s about to unleash — or the devastation it will cause — when she places a psychiatric hold on their mother and takes the kids into protective custody.

In the deepest hours of the night, a haunting cry echoes through the corridors of the children’s shelter where the two boys sleep. When their bodies are later pulled from the river, their distraught mother lays the blame at Anna’s feet, and leaves her with an eerie warning: La Llorona has her children now — but Anna’s own could be next.

When darkness descends and her kids hear the weeping woman’s ominous cries, Anna is forced to confront the reality of Patricia’s claims: This legendary spirit is hunting children in modern-day Los Angeles, and her own small kids are her prey.

With nowhere else to turn, Anna puts her faith in Rafael Olvera (Raymond Cruz), a former priest-turned-curandero who has been preparing for this battle all his life. Bringing his powerful faith and arsenal of spiritual totems, Rafael bands together with Anna and her kids as they batten down the hatches and arm themselves for the onslaught when night falls and La Llorona unleashes the full force of her furious supernatural wrath.

The following will open in limited release. It may be several weeks before these films appear in local movie theaters.

‘Under the Silver Lake’

  • Genre: Drama, thriller and crime
  • Cast: Andrew Garfield, Riley Keough, Dakota Johnson and Topher Grace
  • Director: David Robert Mitchell
  • Rated: R

From the dazzling imagination that brought you “It Follows” comes a delirious neo-noir fever dream about one man's search for the truth behind the mysterious crimes, murders, and disappearances in his East L.A. neighborhood.

Sam (Andrew Garfield) is a disenchanted 33-year-old who discovers a mysterious woman, Sarah (Riley Keough), frolicking in his apartment’s swimming pool. When she vanishes, Sam embarks on a surreal quest across Los Angeles to decode the secret behind her disappearance, leading him into the murkiest depths of mystery, scandal, and conspiracy in the City of Angels.

‘Little Woods’

  • Genre: Thriller
  • Cast: Tessa Thompson, Lily James, Luke Kirby, James Badge Dale and Lance Reddick
  • Director: Nia DaCosta
  • Rated: R

Little Woods, North Dakota: a fracking boomtown well beyond its prime.

Ollie is trying to survive the last few days of her probation after getting caught illegally running prescription pills over the Canadian border. But when her mother dies, she is thrust back into the life of her estranged sister Deb (James), who is facing her own crisis with an unplanned pregnancy and a deadbeat ex. The two find they have one week to settle the mortgage on their mother’s house or face foreclosure.

As bills and pressure mount, Ollie faces a choice: whether to return to a way of life she thought she’d left behind for just one more score or to leave it all behind. A taught and affecting thriller about sisters pushed to extremes from award-winning director Nia DaCosta.