Our critics selected their favorite films this week, from wide releases to one-time showings, and we have the details on when and where to see all of them, from 45 Years to a documentary made from a book that was "indispensable" in Charles Mudede's film education to the continuing run of The Big Short. For even more movie times (The Finest Hours or Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, perhaps?), check out our complete movie times listings.
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1. 45 Years
"45 Years has little to do with class, but Haigh is a savvy filmmaker, and glimmers of his actors' past shine through their perfectly aligned performances. With a few strokes, he depicts a comfortable country marriage between retired professionals that develops fault lines when a revelation about Geoff's past comes to light." - Kathy Fennessy
"One part of Charlie Kaufman's Anomalisa is really great, and the other part is really predictable. The greatness has everything to do with its look (animated puppets and their world), and the not-so-greatness with its story. The good news is that the latter does not get in the way of the former." - Charles Mudede
3. Groundhog Day
Bill Murray stars in this surprisingly lighthearted yet existential classic about time and death and consequences with Punxsutawney Phil.
"The three indispensable books in my film education are Fritz Lang by Lotte Eisner, Sculpting in Time by Andrei Tarkovsky, and Hitchcock by François Truffaut. The last book has now been made into a documentary called Hitchcock/Truffaut. It’s directed by Kent Jones, features clips from relevant films, and has really superb interviews with David Fincher, Martin Scorsese, and, best of all, Arnaud Desplechin. The point of the documentary is the point of the great book: Hitchcock was a visual genius of the first order." -Charles Mudede
5. 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.
6. Terror Train
A horror movie, set in the "Greek scene" at a university, starring Jamie Lee Curtis. Shit goes down at a costume party on a train.
7. Young Frankenstein
Mel Brooks directs and Gene Wilder stars in this critically acclaimed depiction of Frankenstein as he begins his twisted experiments.
8. The 5th Wave
"In the science fiction movie The 5th Wave, the aliens are not nice but very destructive. They want all humans to be dead. They mean business. Earth has real value to them, and they do not want to share any of it with the "third chimpanzee" (let alone the second or the first). That's the whole story. And the people who bankrolled The 5th Wave, which stars Chloë Grace Moretz, hope that it "will do for aliens what Twilight did for vampires." - Charles Mudede
9. The Big Short
"The most important film in the 2016 Oscar race is The Big Short, which has five nominations, one of which is for best picture. The reason for its importance is the relevance of its subject matter—the greed, stupidity, and corruption that led to the collapse of the financial markets in 2008." -Charles Mudede
"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
11. 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
12. 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
13. Ride Along 2
"What's particularly effective here is the staging: both action and slapstick exist in solid, comprehensibly established spaces. That may seem like faint praise, but even prestige blockbusters these days get sloppy with that stuff, and it's nice to see good fundamentals in what could easily have been a cash-in sequel." - Ben Coleman