This weekend, instead of watching the goddamn garbage fire that is the new Point Break, check out one of these 24 noteworthy films picked by our critics. For even more movies, see our movie times listings.
1. The Revenant
"Judged on a scene-by-scene basis, The Revenant often feels like one of the most amazing movies ever made, with Emmanuel Lubezki's breathtaking cinematography capturing every vivid facet of nature's teeth and claws. Taken as a whole, however, the lack of tonal variance and unrelenting bleakness end up serving the director's monumental ambition more than the relatively sparse narrative. Still, even when it verges on self-parody—this is a movie where a character is listed in the end credits as Dave Stomach Wound—the sheer mad bravura on display makes it impossible to dismiss." - Andrew Wright
2. Beach Town
Filmmaker Erik Hammen stops by Grand Illusion for this screening of his film Beach Town, shot (surprisingly!) entirely in Seattle.
3. Ear as Other
Visiting filmmaker Kevin T. Allen presents this screening of Ear as Other, a collection of super-8mm films "that highlight his expanded sound recording techniques that employ binaural, hydrophone, and contact microphones."
4. Harold and Maude
Cult classic pairs Cort as a dead-pan disillusioned 20-year-old obsessed with suicide and a loveable Gordon as a fun-loving 80-year-old eccentric. They meet at a funeral, and develop a taboo romantic relationship, in which they explore the tired theme of the meaning of life with a fresh perspective.
5. Heart of a Dog
"If you've doubted Laurie Anderson's Renaissance woman credentials, her great new autobiographical film Heart of a Dog will convince you otherwise. She directed, wrote, scored, coproduced, coshot, and did the voice-over for this elegiac tone poem about love, death, and dealing with loss. That it also contains perhaps the best footage of a dog playing piano and painting that you will ever see may be a bonus to some. You don't have to be a canine-lover to appreciate Heart of a Dog, but it obviously helps." - Dave Segal
6. Learning to Drive
"Clarkson, the ultimate WASP (with skin so pale, it’s practically translucent) and Kingsley, born Krishna Pandit Bhanji, are very good together. Naturally, he teaches her about patience and she teaches him about poetry, but some predictability is a small price to pay for a film about ordinary Americans trying to get through the day without having to battle aliens, dinosaurs, or other forms of computer-generated conflict." - Kathy Fennessy
"By turns lyrical and wrenching, Mustang depicts the process by which five orphaned sisters relinquish freedom for a form of cultural bondage. Until then, they flirt with boys and play on the beach, but what looks like innocent fun to Western eyes earns reprobation from their insular Turkish community." - Kathy Fennessy
8. Noma, My Perfect Storm
"Noma is a restaurant in the city of Copenhagen. It focuses on foods that are specific to Scandinavia. The restaurant has won numerous awards, and it is praised by journalists from around the world. Noma’s co-owner and head chef René Redzepi is very passionate about food and the nature of the human body and its senses. He has a culinary philosophy that’s at once simple and profound: We do not just eat food, but we also eat the seasons. But the best part of this documentary is its cinematography. The images of Noma’s dishes are so stunning, it’s hard to believe they are objects you put in your mouth but you preserve forever with your eyes." - Charles Mudede
9. The Sprocket Society presents Saturday Secret Matinees
Watch the entirety of the highly regarded serial Spy Smasher over the course of twelve weekly installments. Each screening will feature one episode, plus a secret feature film that follows a monthly theme: classic comedies in January, serial heroes & heroines in February, and fantasy & adventure movies in March.
10. Turkish Star Wars
"If one were so inclined to want a bad, campy movie that may or may not be inflicting all kinds of copyright infringement on one of America's most successful and beloved franchises (a few franchises, actually; there is abundant use of the Indiana Jones theme as well as certain music from Scarface during an awe-inspiring training montage), ta-da, here is your next movie experience...I implore you watch Turkish Star Wars, and do so with a light heart. For the sake of world peace." - Jacob Lichty
11. The Big Short
"While The Big Short has all the nuance of a sledgehammer, it's a passionate, provoking film—and a very, very funny one. Gosling, in maybe his best performance ever, is scathing and hilarious, and the supporting cast is fantastic across the board. Sure, the movie almost unflinchingly fails the Bechdel Test, and many of its main characters never actually share screen time. But McKay's mixture of comedy and outrage is entertaining and infuriating—you'll find yourself laughing at the tackiness of Wall Street's avarice, before you're sickeningly reminded of what they got away with." - Ned Lannamann
"It's refreshing to see this largely internal, cerebral journey of an introverted young woman play out onscreen, and Nick Hornby's screenplay, never afraid of sentimentality, keeps such a contained narrative from feeling too cold or distant. That's right: Brooklyn is good because it's so wholesome, so emotive, so free of irony, without qualifiers, and your grandma will probably like it a lot." - Megan Burbank
"It's kind of strange that Todd Haynes—the director of Velvet Goldmine—has become a master of cinematic restraint, but Carol is perfectly attuned to the culture of mid-century repression it documents, and equally adept at showcasing the passions and prejudices that simmer below the surface." - Alison Hallett
"If you loved the original Rocky—and its heart, and the sometimes unbearable tension it provided—Creed is a fun and worthy film-going experience. And an exception to the rule that lightning never strikes in the same place twice." - Wm. Steven Humphrey
15. The Good Dinosaur
"A boy-and-his-dog story where the boy is a talking dinosaur and the dog is a little grunting caveman, The Good Dinosaur is one of Pixar's best." - Erik Henriksen
16. The Martian
"I don’t know how high you’d have to be to not want to see a Ridley Scott film about Matt Damon getting stranded on Mars, based on Andy Weir’s startlingly sharp novel, and costarring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Donald Glover, and Jeff Daniels, among others." - Sean Nelson
17. The Night Before
"The Night Before might be the only Christmas movie that offers both a whole lot of dick pics and the sad, lonely sense of desperation that defines the holidays. But then Seth Rogen throws up all over a midnight mass, and all is right with the world." - Erik Henriksen
"Room rewards a close viewing as well as a casual one—watch it as a sensitive and insightful character study, and notice the care Ma puts into turning the shed into a home for her son, the well-drawn family dynamics straining what should be a happy reunion with Ma's parents, the depression Ma suffers after she escapes. Or watch it for "Daring Escape from Rape Shed!"—the action sequences are about as tense and nail-bitey as it gets. Either way, it works." - Alison Hallett
"When so many movies and TV shows disappear from memory as soon as you're finished watching, Sicario lingers. It clots. In short, Denis Villeneuve's new drug thriller is phenomenal. Its story is both personal and political, a scathing portrait of the drug war, as well as an elemental allegory in which moral dilemmas are depicted by characters crashing violently into each other. The performances are terrific across the board. Know that Sicario is one of the smartest, most suspenseful movies you're likely to see. Good luck trying to shake it." - Ned Lannamann
"In Sisters, Poehler and Fey play against type: Fey's the irresponsible manicurist to Poehler's type-A nurse. They've traveled different paths in life, but when they host one final party slash awkward high school reunion in their parents' just-sold house, they find they aren't really so different after all. Spoiler alert: That house gets wrecked. Type A Lady finds the courage she needs (in a joint) to make bad choices. Loose Cannon learns that being responsible SUCKS. And if you're wondering, why yes, that IS basically the plot of Sam Shepard's classic True West. Except I liked Sisters better, because it's funny." - Megan Burbank
"Spectre has all the evidence that director Sam Mendes is trying to make a movie that is simultaneously both a good movie and a good Bond movie, despite those things being mathematically and mutually exclusive phenomena." - Sean Nelson
"It's one thing for a reporter to break a story few people know about. It's another thing entirely to tear the lid off a story everyone knows something about but whose true dimensions are too horrifying to imagine. Actor-turned-filmmaker Tom McCarthy's Spotlight, which re-creates the Boston Globe's 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning exposure of the Catholic Church's sex-abuse scandal, looks at a case of the latter with riveting results." -Kathy Fennessy
23. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
"The Force Awakens does not offer much of a new story but simply and brilliantly retells much of the old one. It's also very faithful to the images, the technologies, the economy, and the wardrobe of the founding films in the Star Wars series. Indeed, the more you know about the first three films, the more pleasure you will get out of The Force Awakens." - Charles Mudede
"Award season must be around the corner, because movies like Trumbo come out only when they can be considered. This kind of movie tends to be set in some yesteryear and plays jazz, smokes heavily, and wears a long silk dress as it approaches. Not to suggest that Roach doesn't do a quality job here—as biopics go, this representation of Dalton Trumbo, a golden age screenwriter, is up there with the best." - Jacob Lichty