We're only a month away from the official beginning of spring, so if the cold and rainy winter makes you want to hide out inside a movie theater, this weekend is a perfect time to indulge in that feeling. Our critics have picked the best options this weekend, from horror films like The Witch to Who Framed Roger Rabbit to How to Be Single. Zoolander No. 2 is also out this weekend, but, according to Elinor Jones, it's "a film about idiots, for idiots"...but at least they're familiar morons. If you need even more options, check out our complete movie times listings, or our film festivals calendar.
1. How to Be Single
"Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the filmmakers focus-grouped my approximate demographic of women and attached sensors to us to see what made our hearts, brains, and nether regions tingle, then checked what we hearted on Tumblr, and then crammed all that shit into one movie with a crowd-pleasing soundtrack. Is this a cheap grab at our base emotions? Yes. Is it effective? Abso-fucking-lutely." - Elinor Jones
After describing Race as both totally ordinary and kind of bonkers, Ned Lannamann writes that "as a basic history lesson, Race could have been a lot worse; as an investigation of social issues that are still with us today, it cracks open an interesting window—even if it can't do more."
3. Rolling Papers
"For anyone who gives a shit about journalism, weed, or both, Rolling Papers has got plenty of opportunities for knowing laughs. And, despite the many potheaded foibles and awkward moments, it does something very worthwhile: It reminds viewers that, novel though it may be, pot journalism is real journalism." - Tobias Coughlin-Bogue
4. The Witch
"The long wait for The Witch, the darling of last year’s Sundance Film Festival (which won Robert Eggers the best director award), has been worth it. If you like your horror smart, slow-burning, and suffused with allegorical dread, then you can’t do better than this dark folktale of colonialism, religion, family, and nature gone amok in 1630s New England." - Sean Nelson
Polanski's classic mystery/noir about California water rights and fucked-up family relations, starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and creepy, creepy John Huston.
6. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
How does a new generation of fighters for trans rights inherit Dr. Frank N. Furter of Transsexual, Transylvania (played by Tim Curry), in this campy 1975 horror musical? Susan Sarandon costars, along with ripped fishnet stockings, corsets, and the dreams of science fiction.
7. Son of Saul
"My experience of László Nemes's debut feature, Son of Saul, was very intense and confusing. My emotions went this way and that—horror to a deep state of sadness to anger. And then I would swell with guilt about this angry feeling. And then I would become angry about this feeling of guilt. And then another scene would sink me into sadness again. Altogether, I rate Son of Saul as one of the few masterpieces of 21st-century cinema.” - Charles Mudede
8. 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. This month: serial heroes and heroines.
9. The Third Man
This 1949 thriller classic, directed by Carol Reed and based on the novel by Graham Greene (who also wrote the screenplay), offers atmospheric depictions of Vienna and stellar performances by Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten.
10. We Are Twisted F***ing Sister!
"If one sign of a great music documentary is to sway people who are apathetic toward the subject to care about it, then Andrew Horn’s We Are Twisted F***ing Sister! probably fails. But at least it’s long (136 f***ing minutes). In overly thorough detail, Horn traces Twisted Sister’s struggle from mediocre glitter-rock group to their rise to the summit of the New York City-area club/casino scene in the 1970s to multi-platinum heavy-metal muthas who earned Lemmy’s respect in the 1980s." - Dave Segal
11. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
"Want to understand Los Angeles? One of the most important and engaging films about this city is Robert Zemeckis’ Who Framed Roger Rabbit, a live action/animated neo-noir about the exploitation at the heart of a LA’s biggest industry, Hollywood. The late Bob Hoskins plays the private detective who enters the maze of streets, image factories, and business offices to search for the solution to a mystery. The film’s rabbit happens to be married to a super-curvy femme fatale." -Charles Mudede
12. 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
13. 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
15. Hail, Caesar!
"It doesn't matter that Hail, Caesar! barely hangs together. It's too much fun to watch. With Hail, Caesar!, [Joel and Ethan Coen] have forgone the brow furrowing and decided to revel in their favorite topic of all—movies. In what amounts to little more than an extended string of cameos and hilarious set pieces, Hail, Caesar! is a firm, feature-length pinch on Hollywood's swollen, self-absorbed posterior.” - Ned Lannamann
16. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
”This adaption of Seth Grahame-Smith's 2009 parody novel of Jane Austen's classic is playing with a full deck of whist cards. It's funny, gory, and packed with moist-eyed Mr. Darcys (well, just one, but he's got moistness in spades). Guys, it's so much fun!” - Courtney Ferguson
17. 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
18. 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