"And we're back to the crushing." Central Cinema, Fri-Sat 1:15, 3:30 pm.

The Blue Angel
The original German version of the film that launched the very fruitful (ahem) partnership between Marlene Dietrich and Josef von Sternberg. Dietrich's Lola is one of the most enduring (and male-terror-based) icons of screen history. Movie Legends, Sun Nov 20 at 1 pm.

Delivering the Goods
A global-health documentary about getting life-saving drugs to the people who need them. Capitol Hill Library, Wed Nov 23 at 6 pm.

recommended The Electric Diaries
Personal video diaries from Lynn Hershman Leeson, anticipating later work by Sadie Benning and other feminist videomakers. Exhibition curator Robin Held will introduce the screening. Free with museum admission. Henry Art Gallery, Thurs Nov 17 at 7 pm.

A Japanese movie about, among other things, furry alien goo that can possess people. Gowan Hall #201, UW campus, Thurs Nov 17 at 7:30 pm.

Hidden Blade
A minimalist samurai drama by Yamadi Yoji. Gowan Hall #201, UW campus, Tues Nov 22 at 7:30 pm.

recommended Hollywood and the Radical Spirit
Film critic Robert Horton discusses the effect of radical '30s politics on Hollywood. To be considered: Wild Boys of the Road, I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang, 42nd Street, and Our Daily Bread. Frye Art Museum, Sun Nov 20 at 2 pm.

I Love You Again
Myrna Loy stars in this movie about how getting bonked on the head makes you way more interesting. Grand Illusion, Weekdays 9 pm, Sat-Sun 5, 9 pm.

In Memory Of...
A movie by local filmmaker Todd Redenius. Rendezvous, Sat Nov 19 8:30, 9:30 pm.

Iron Ladies
What happens when a band of Thai cross-dressing volleyball players with a lesbian coach make it to the national championships? Why, they take it to the top, of course! Based on a true story, this rip-roaring film is a natural heir to movies like The Bad News Bears (team with heart beats slick professionals) and Priscilla Queen of the Desert (gays convince others that humanity is sexual preference-less). With a hilarious and supremely pretty cast of characters, including Nong (a soldier with the brimming eyes and bewilderment of an actress accepting an Oscar); the super-flamboyant triplets April, May, and June; and Chai, the obligatory straight-guy-who-learns-a-lesson (and happens to look a lot like an Asian Keanu Reeves). There's a bit of indulgence toward the end in sanctimonious lecturing, but I'll allow it; hell, if I were a transvestite volleyball player, I'd preach, too. (EMILY HALL) Central Cinema, Thurs-Sat 7, 9:15 pm.

recommended L'Inferno
A silent adaptation of Dante's Inferno, with visuals inspired by Gustave Doré. With full male frontal nudity! Bil Horist and the Metal Men (Nosferatu) provide a live score. Central Cinema, Sun Nov 20 at 7 pm.

recommended Libeled Lady
A screwball comedy about a newspaper editor's scheme to prevent a libel suit. Spencer Tracy, Myrna Loy, and William Powell star. Grand Illusion, Weekdays 7, 9 pm, Sat-Sun 3, 7, 9 pm.

The Muppet Movie
"You, you with the banjo, can you help me?" Egyptian, Fri-Sat at midnight.

New York Doll
Created by a crew of local filmmakers, New York Doll is a love letter from friends of Arthur "Killer" Kane to fans of the legendary rocker. As the bassist for proto-glam punks New York Dolls, Kane tasted fame at a young age—and, as this documentary shows, spent the rest of his years pining for the chance to reclaim that crown. Doll shows his transformation from depressive alcoholic to devout Mormon, interviewing him in his final years (Kane died unexpectedly of leukemia last year at age 55) and giving a taste of the Dolls' indulgent history and recent comeback show along the way. (JENNIFER MAERZ) Northwest Film Forum, Fri-Wed 7, 9 pm. Through Dec 1.

recommended The Passenger
Director Michelangelo Antonioni cemented his rep with the type of artsy foreign film—chock full of pregnant pauses, opaque stares, and cryptic mumblings from beautiful women—that easily lends itself to parody. (The climax of his 1970 Zabriskie Point alone, in which suburbia explodes in a delirious series of slow-mo bangs, would prove to be an oft-dug goldmine for Monty Python and SCTV). As pretentious as his movies could often be, though, there's an almost mystical core to his work that begs and rewards closer examination. He's a master, even if it's not always easy to appreciate.

The Passenger, Antonioni's 1975 collaboration with Jack Nicholson, stands as one of the clearest representations of the director's worldview, in which the epic landscapes and camera movements eerily mirror a character's inner life... or lack of one. Nicholson, admirably toning down the eyebrow thing, stars as a beyond-burned-out photojournalist languishing in a seedy hotel in the North African desert. After discovering a corpse next door, he promptly switches passports, oversees his own burial, and leaves his old life in the dust. Hooking up with a gorgeous student (Last Tango in Paris's Maria Schneider, smokin'), he begins a shady journey across Europe, with interlopers both old and new in hot pursuit.In other hands, this premise could be a crackerjack thriller, but director and star both seem more interested in exploring why their central chameleon does what he does—ditching wife, kid, and successful job in the blink of an eye. The results prove hard to explain, or shake. And then there's that simply magnificent ending shot: an unbroken seven-minute gaze through a window that finally locates this determinedly enigmatic film as a profound, mordant comedy. The landscape surrounding the main character may be increasingly vast, but damned if he doesn't keep bumping up against himself. (ANDREW WRIGHT) Varisty, Fri-Sun 1:30, 4:15, 7, 9:35, Mon-Tues 7, 9:35 pm, Wed-Thurs 1:30, 4:15, 7, 9:35.

Platinum: The Legendary Banked Slalom
A movie about the annual snowboarding race at Mt. Baker. Fremont Studios, Fri Nov 18 at 7:30 pm.

Talk About A Stranger
Coming-of-age story meets film noir in this 1952 movie about the malice of little boys. Seattle Art Museum, Thurs Nov 17 at 7:30 pm.

The Unexpected Film Festival
Short films featuring the cast and alumni of the improv theater group Unexpected Productions. Market Theater, Fri-Sat 8 pm.

Waiting Game/Chasing Home
Two ski film premieres. Evo, Thurs Nov 17 at 8 pm.

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price
Robert Greenwald (Outfoxed) directs this agit-doc about Sam Walton's evil empire, complete with an expose about ultra-low wages, foreign factory-made products, and other insults to the lefty worldview. Grand Illusion, Sat-Sun 1 pm. Also at Keystone Church, Fri Nov 18 at 7 pm.

recommended We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen
The hardcore Minutemen appreciation society will most likely appreciate the little details that come out of the film's extensive scope—like how Boon and Watt met as kids when Boon fell out of a tree, or how Watt went into a music store not knowing what a bass was (somehow) after already starting to play the instrument. (JENNIFER MAERZ) Northwest Film Forum, Fri-Sat 11 pm.

recommended Winter Soldier
This documentary about the the Winter Soldier Investigation is both horrifying (when the former soldiers stoically recount the ingrained culture of callousness they encountered in Vietnam) and heartbreaking (some of the young men can barely bring themselves to utter 10 words about why they've come to bear witness). More than thirty years after the hearings, the details of the Vietnam War atrocities described by these witnesses are obviously relevant today. But what makes the documentary truly fascinating is the way it depicts debates raging in the margins of the anti-war movement then. (ANNIE WAGNER) Northwest Film Forum, Fri 7, 9 pm, Sat-Sun 5, 7, 9 pm, Mon-Wed 7, 9 pm.

The Yungling
The group JIBANGUS bills itself as a "Wisconsin collective of filmmakers and funny guys." The Yungling is their Eraserhead-inspired no-budget flick about a lump of a man named Roger Elephant who may or may not be receiving messages from creatures from another dimension. Along the way he encounters a stranger with giant hands, a scientist with an appallingly fake beard, and visions of his own evisceration—all of which adds up to very little beyond half-baked ideas and unbaked special effects. Why this film is even making the rounds remains a mystery, but since the screener DVD they sent includes "special features" they're apparently taking the enterprise very, very seriously. (BRADLEY STEINBACHER) Grand Illusion, Fri-Sat 11 pm.


recommended The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Surprisingly smart and unashamed of a little jolt to the heartstrings, it's a sly movie, happy to shock occasionally, but happier still to bless its characters with the intelligence sorely lacking from most comedies. (BRADLEY STEINBACHER)

Broken Flowers
Jarmusch's best films have always been built around an amicably aimless spirit, but Broken Flowers is undermined by a lack of drive comparable to that of its main character (BRADLEY STEINBACHER)

The Brothers Grimm
The Brothers Grimm seems tailor-made for director Terry Gilliam, yet it suffers from general incoherency, murky cinematography, and, frankly, irretrievably bad performances from the two lead actors. (SEAN NELSON)

recommended Capote
Despite its limited scope—it addresses only the years that Truman Capote was writing his groundbreaking In Cold Blood, about a Kansas robbery turned quadruple murder—you want to call the film, after the fashion of ambitious biographies, "A Life." Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Truman Capote, and his is an enveloping performance, in which every flighty affectation seems an invention of the man rather than the impersonator. His pursed lips and bons mots and the ravishing twirls of his overcoat become more and more infrequent until all that's left is alcohol and a horrible will to power. (ANNIE WAGNER)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The moment Willy Wonka makes his big entrance, cheering as an "It's a Small World"-style diorama bursts into flames, it's plain to see that Johnny Depp is in a world, and indeed a film, all his own. Unfortunately, director Tim Burton either doesn't know or doesn't care that the source material is being undermined by Depp's inventions. (SEAN NELSON)

Chicken Little
Really this movie is about the cutest chicken ever and an effing hilarious goldfish who doesn't even talk but does some of the funniest shit. (MEGAN SELING)

recommended The Constant Gardener
Heavily reworked by director Fernando Meirelles, the stripped-down screenplay retains John le Carré's basic thrust: following the disappearance of his activist wife, a middle-rung foreign ambassador goes proactive on a global scale, uncovering all sorts of corporate malfeasance before eventually zeroing in on illegal drug testing in the slums of Kenya. As in the best adaptations, there's a sense that The Constant Gardener is hijacking the source material in order to feed the filmmaker's personal obsessions. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

recommended Corpse Bride
The wicked characters aren't nearly as wicked as they could've been, and the songs aren't particularly memorable, but the animation is classic Tim Burton (and absolutely stunning at moments—his use of shadow and light has vastly improved). (MEGAN SELING)

recommended Derailed
Once one of the most rock-solid and easily distinguishable of genres, film noir has degraded over the decades to become a blanket term for just about any movie featuring people with hats and/or guns. Derailed shows a gratifying fidelity to the B&W filmmakers of yore, with an ideal lead performance by Clive Owen as a poor schlub all too aware of the source of his personal quicksand. Man and woman (Jennifer Aniston, showing some surprising brass) meet on a train, am-scray to a cheap hotel in order to violate their respective wedding vows, and get caught mid-thrust by an armed baddie (Irreversible's Vincent Cassel, laying on the sleaze with a trowel), who proceeds to use his knowledge of the infidelity to drain Owen of his life savings. Desperate plans, triple-crosses, and severe bodily trauma quickly ensue. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

Video game becomes movie becomes ballet... no, wait. Just movie.

As Kurt Russell (the smartest man alive!) surveys an injured horse shaking on the track, a heartless and beady-eyed bastard (who also happens to be a RACIST!) demands that they kill Horsey Horse: "She's broken! Kill it!" But creepy Dakota Fanning (Russell's daughter) doesn't want to see Horsey Horse die, so in a desperate attempt to avoid teaching a kid a painful lesson about life (which is: Everything dies, bitch), they let Seabiscuit... uh, I mean Horsey Horse, live. (MEGAN SELING)

The Dying Gaul
The Dying Gaul is Seattle playwright Craig Lucas's film debut, an adaptation of his 2001 play. The film is blessed with an all-star cast, but even their noble exertions can't plug the massive plot holes. The film is about a trio whose gullibility, malice, and greed reach frankly incredible dimensions. And nothing punctures a thriller like ridiculousness. (ANNIE WAGNER)

While traveling to Kentucky to retrieve his father's corpse, Orlando Bloom's disgraced shoe designer discovers an adorable stewardess (Kirsten Dunst). This basic love story occasionally recalls some of Crowe's old magic, particularly an impromptu all-night cell-phone conversation (complete with recharge), but the film's insistence on giving full attention to even the smallest quirk or emotional beat soon knocks things completely off-kilter. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

Despite Jodie Foster's beyond-the-call conviction in the lead role, Flightplan can't quite deliver on its promise, squandering some major paranoia with a disappointingly mundane third act. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

The Future of Food
A documentary about genetic engineering. Opens Wed.

Get Rich or Die Tryin'
The movie isn't flawless—the female roles are especially stereotypical—but Get Rich works as a suspenseful tale of street-entrepreneur-turned-marketing-goldmine, a story the savvy 50 Cent will keep reworking into infinity. (JENNIFER MAERZ)

recommended Good Night, and Good Luck.
Documenting the Red Scare clash between Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) and Joseph McCarthy, George Clooney's second trip behind the lens is a largely terrific picture: a scathing social document submerged within a deeply pleasurable entertainment. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

recommended A History of Violence
There's a horrible splendor in Viggo Mortensen's performance as a man in whom will and instinct merge into a simultaneously humane and amoral machine. (SHANNON GEE)

recommended In Her Shoes
Introduced with a lulu of a thong shot, Cameron Diaz's barely literate Philly party girl clashes with her type-A attorney sister (Toni Collette), as she lifts cash, boyfriends, and clothes at every opportunity. After a final transgression banishes Diaz to the Florida doorstep of her estranged grandmother (Shirley MacLaine, still possessing atomic-clock timing), the irradiated family unit must find a way to reunite. Character arcs are broad but reasoned, plot devices are conveniently timed, yet never annoyingly so, and there isn't a single damned group sing-a-long to be found. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

Jarhead follows third-generation marine (Jake Gyllenhaal) on his downward slide toward would-be killing machine. Once he arrives in the desert, boredom quickly sets in, as he and his fellow roughnecks find themselves wandering around looking for something to shoot at. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

recommended Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Shane Black's directorial debut, is a riotously meta piss-take on Hollywood excess. Shifting his sights to the detective story, Black creates a vulgar wonderland chock-full of body parts and snappy patter. If, as some have speculated, Satan is involved in Black's career, Satan deserves a raise. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

The Legend of Zorro
The story is pure retread (of Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious, specifically), involving an evil Frenchman (of course), a crackpot scheme (of course), and a dangerous soap (huh?). Swords clang, the music swells, and things go boom—with pulse-deadening results. (BRADLEY STEINBACHER)

March of the Penguins
The only animal worth making a documentary about is the human. (CHARLES MUDEDE)

MirrorMask, Dave McKean's much-anticipated feature-length directorial debut, shows that whatever his gifts, moving pictures may not yet be his medium. Taken on a shot-by-shot basis, McKean's talents for design are more than evident, with bizarro cityscapes and oddball characters rendered even more impressive by the miniscule $4 million budget. On a whole, however, the results are less Lewis Carroll and more Labyrinth. Working again with Gaiman, McKean has crafted a curious oddity: a unique new world, crammed to the gills with invention, that comes off as almost completely static. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

North Country
As a miner who endures constant sexual harrassment, Charlize Theron rarely makes it through a scene without her eyes filling with bravely suppressed tears, and the film keeps flashing forward to the courtroom drama that will bring her vindication. Unfortunately, the film blows its trial-by-jury conceit early, with a truly climactic showdown in the miners' union hall. The actual court dramatization (involving wanton witness-badgering, spectators rising in unison, etc.) is melodramatic and contrived. (ANNIE WAGNER)

Paradise Now
Filmed in the volatile West Bank, Paradise Now follows Palestinian mechanic Said (superb newcomer Kaid Nashef) and his amiably goofy friend as they are chosen to carry out a terrorist act in Tel Aviv. As zero hour approaches, Said makes his peace with his unknowing family, resists the distractions of a beautiful pacifist, and prepares to meet his destiny. It becomes frighteningly easy to grasp the nature of his rage and to see how people can be pushed by their environment until they literally become bombs. As this terrific film makes clear, the fuse was lit long before any device was fashioned. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

recommended Pride and Prejudice
In her early novel Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen makes it clear that Elizabeth Bennet has little respect for her friend Charlotte's pragmatic view of marriage. And though Elizabeth loves her older sister, Jane, she can't exactly endorse her lovesick moping either. With practicality and sentiment out of the picture, what can possibly make Elizabeth fall for the proud Mr. Darcy? Austen is decorously evasive on this question, and so the filmmakers responsible for this grimy and immensely enjoyable new adaptation have some wiggle room. According to director Joe Wright and screenwriter Deborah Moggach, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy aren't so much in love as they are erotically enthralled. Their famous clash of wits isn't the cause of their affection; it's sublimation at its most sublime. (ANNIE WAGNER)

As far as the main girl-boy-mom love triangle goes, Prime has a surprisingly light touch. The film isn't guilt-free entertainment, but with some nice Manhattan locations and a "Palestinians Do It Better" T-shirt to sweeten the deal, it isn't unpleasant either. (ANNIE WAGNER)

Though it's not as grossly heavy-handed as A Beautiful Mind, this film suffers from a similar failure of specificity. Of course Jake Gyllenhaal isn't convincing as a math graduate student—but it's not because he's sexy. It's because his character never talks directly about math. Proof resonates emotionally, but the real achievement would have been sneaking some real math into a math movie. And no, name-dropping Sophie Germain doesn't count. (ANNIE WAGNER)

Saw II
Saw II thinks it has something to say—some hack philosophy about yelling at your kids and being a junkie and taking life for granted—but don't be fooled. It's really just about all the worst things you can do to an eyeball. (LINDY WEST)

Adapted by Steve Martin from his novella of the same name, Shopgirl is a film with strangely divided loyalties. The old-fashioned values the film espouses (gallantry, attention to a woman's needs) feel like a cover for historical sins (sexism, annoyingness) that I'd rather time would forget. (ANNIE WAGNER)

recommended The Squid and the Whale
Writer/director Noah Baumbach's semi-autobiographical tale of a disintegrating Park Slope family unit in the '80s is one of those rare films in which everything feels right, from period detail, to sympathetic yet unsentimental characterizations, to the way that family conversations can shift from funny to sad to terrifying. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

recommended Ushpizin
Ushpizin, I think I can say with confidence, is the only film I've ever seen in which every emotional climax is the result of an answered prayer. Part fable and part broad Yiddish comedy, this delightful Israeli movie is like nothing I've ever seen. (ANNIE WAGNER)

recommended Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Wallace and Gromit have invented the Bunny Vac 6000, a large vacuum that humanely sucks up the cutest frickin' bunnies in the whole wide world, and safely releases them to another location. Hooray! But you know how bunnies like to, ahem, breed, so of course the rabbit population keeps rising and rising despite Wallace's efforts. The humor is just as funny as the classic Looney Tunes (which were funny!) but even smarter because it's not actually American-made. (MEGAN SELING)

The Weather Man
An odd, slowly simmering little character study, with a tonal palette that wavers somewhere between About Schmidt and Taxi Driver. (In one of the more worrying subplots, the main character develops an intense interest in archery.) Nicholas Cage and director Gore Verbinski deserve credit for going all the way into their subject's doldrums, but their commitment doesn't exactly make for a fun view. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

Wedding Crashers
Seemingly conceived, shot, and edited during a four-day weekend, Wedding Crashers, while occasionally amusing, is lazy enough to make '80s ass-gas-or-grass comedies like H.O.T.S. or Hamburger: The Motion Picture look like models of precision timing. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

recommended Zathura
I was in the basement and I found this awesome game about rocket ships and all of a sudden—BOOM! POW! These meteors started shooting everywhere! And my brother and I looked out the window and we were totally FLOATING IN SPACE! (MEGAN SELING)