10 Cloverfield Lane
Some movies let you know you're in good hands with the very first shot. The latest mystery wrapped in an enigma from producer J.J. Abrams, 10 Cloverfield Lane takes an instantly fraught premise and never stops stripping the screws. Within its narrow self-imposed parameters, it's just about perfect. ANDREW WRIGHT Various Theaters.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
See review, this issue. Various Theaters.
Hey, wanna see a sweatsuit-clad gymnast masturbating to her own highlight reel? That's how The Bronze opens, and how you feel about that opening shot is probably a pretty good indication of how you'll feel about the film as a whole. The Bronze is good old-fashioned shock comedy, set in and around the world of professional gymnastics, helmed by a defiantly unlikeable protagonist who does lots of things that chipper little blonde girls aren't supposed to do—the aforementioned diddling; lines of pain medicine; anonymous drunken sex with strangers; soda that isn't diet. ALISON HALLETT Various Theaters.
City of Gold See review, this issue. Cinema 21.
Eddie the Eagle
An exuberant crowd-pleaser about ski jumper Michael "Eddie" Edwards (played by the unrealistically adorable Taron Egerton), who had his 15 minutes of fame at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. Despite all of its underdog clichés—the drunken coach, the stuffy officials, the unsupportive dad, the taunting Norwegians—Eddie the Eagle succeeds for the same reason the real Eddie did: optimism, good humor, and infectious, heart-on-sleeve enthusiasm. ERIC D. SNIDER Various Theaters.
An Evening with Jodi Darby
The director of Arresting Power spends some time with the NW Film Center sharing some of her earlier works, including Stonewall and Man Movie. Director in attendance. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Eye in the Sky
See review, this issue. Various Theaters.
When it released in 1997, Andrew Niccol's directorial debut was considered a slick sci-fi exercise, a mild tab of Phillip K. Dick-esque paranoia wrapped in high-gloss paper. A couple decades later, that hit has finally kicked in, taking the film to its always-deserved status as a modern sci-fi classic, one that might even have made Phil's jittery ass jealous he hadn't written it. BOBBY ROBERTS Laurelhurst Theater.
Getting to Know YouTube
Local presenters fire up YouTube and explore "the boundaries of what tubes and you were meant for." More at hollywoodtheatre.org. The Cleaners at the Ace Hotel.
It doesn't matter that Hail, Caesar! barely hangs together. It's too much fun to watch. Joel and Ethan Coen have given us more than their share of bone-chilling noir and ink-black comedy; they've made films that deal with morality and mortality and the divine absurdity of existence. With Hail, Caesar!, they've forgone the brow furrowing and decided to revel in their favorite topic of all—movies. NED LANNAMANN Various Theaters
Hello, My Name Is Doris
Oh, Doris. She's a jauntily dressed, late-middle-aged accountant played by Sally Field, crushing hard on a much younger coworker (New Girl's Max Greenfield, surprisingly charming), who finds herself drawn into the fold of Brooklyn's most insufferable hipster community. (They like her colorful, vintage style!) Field and Greenfield are awfully charming in Hello, My Name Is Doris' never-gonna-happen romance—so charming, in fact, that you really want said romance to happen... and then you realize the limits of a Michael Showalter film. Still, Doris' awkwardness and discomfort when she's thrown in among neon-clad young people earnestly searching for authenticity while also being deeply superficial will resonate with anyone alive. Like any pleasant, low-key crush, Doris is fun while it lasts. MEGAN BURBANK Various Theaters.
Jesus Christ Superstar
Celebrate the real reason for the season by watching the sassiest, flashiest accounting of that one time humanity responded really poorly to a bearded street magician and tacked his gentle ass to a giant T. Or you could stay home and pick the plastic grass off the 15th marshmallow peep pilfered from your kid's basket before pawing it into your gluttonous maw. Jesus loves you either way. Hollywood Theatre.
The King of Kings
Cecil B. DeMille's fantasy classic, presented with live organ accompaniment. Hollywood Theatre.
Knight of Cups
Leaning hard into Terrence Malick's trend toward abstraction, Knight of Cups—which deals with things as tangible as sex and earthquakes, but also spends time in orbit, watching auroras twist across the surface of the Earth—can feel like watching Malick try to out-Malick Malick. But what keeps Knight of Cups from feeling too confusing—too goofy, too wanky—is the sense that Malick knows what he's doing. On a plot level, Knight of Cups is yet another entry in the "sad white dude is sad" genre, but with each of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki's careful shots, and every time Malick submerges us into a rush of tumbling water, or strands us on a barren plain, Knight of Cups feels immersive and purposeful in a way few movies can. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
Light and Shadows: Masters of Cinematography
A talented director of photography can make a good movie and save a bad one; the list of movies nearly ruined by incompetent directors but salvaged by expert DPs is substantial. If talk about light, shade, color, framing, and depth of field doesn't get your juices flowing, though, simply enjoy the remarkable movies the Hollywood's showing in this series: McCabe and Mrs. Miller, The Godfather, Days of Heaven, Seconds, and Targets. Also see "The Hollywood's Cinematographer Series Celebrates a Bunch of Dead Cameramen," Film, March 2. NED LANNAMANN Hollywood Theatre.
Days after being released, the latest from Stephen Chow—the comic genius behind The God of Cookery and Kung Fu Hustle—became the highest-grossing film in China. But Sony fumbled the American release, dumping it in a scant few theaters with no notice, no ads, and not even an email to tell anybody it existed. That's too bad, because this frantic, sweet fable of a young mermaid (Lin Yun) sent to assassinate a money-grubbing business tycoon (Deng Chao) is a goddamn delight. Part romcom, part musical, part slapstick, and part ecological call-to-arms, the hilarious The Mermaid also serves as a reminder of how visually uninspired and thematically bland American comedies have become—especially when compared to something (anything) from the earnest, clever, wacked-out mind of Chow. This film also features a jetpack. ERIK HENRIKSEN Academy Theater.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
See review, this issue. Academy Theater.
Portland EcoFilm Festival
The environmentally focused screening series presents Taking Root, a documentary about Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize-winner who created the Green Belt Movement. Hollywood Theatre.
There's an almost inexplicable, shaggy, orange-hued allure to the 1970s, and Re-Run Theater is all about wallowing in that decade's cultural roadkill like a carefree stray dog. This month's installment of the Hollywood's cultural junk food buffet is a two-part Bionic Woman episode, featuring Jaime Sommers doing battle with the son of the nefarious Dr. Franklin and his army of new-and-improved fembot assassins stationed in Las Vegas. BOBBY ROBERTS Hollywood Theatre
The Saddest Music in the World
See Film, this issue. Director in attendance. Hollywood Theatre.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Bryan Lee O'Malley's comic book series is a fantastic epic: an earnest, heady, hilarious mashup of comics, video games, and music, with doses of the confusion, enthusiasm, and melancholy that're embedded in the DNA of every twentysomething. The good news: The movie version, directed by Edgar Wright, lives up to expectations. The better news: Wright's film also does a few things nobody could've predicted. From its opening moments—when a Universal logo rendered in NES-era pixels appears—it's clear there hasn't been a movie like this before. Thanks to Scott Pilgrim, the lines between film, comics, pop music, and video games have been blurred—in all of the best ways. ERIK HENRIKSEN Academy Theater.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Force Awakens starts like Star Wars, has a middle like Empire Strikes Back, and ends like Return of the Jedi. It's a best-of Star Wars mixtape. But one doesn't go to the seventh chapter in the most-watched series of all time seeking originality. It's not a question of whether there's a lot of new here, it's a question of whether director J.J. Abrams can do justice to one of cinema's best-loved pop songs. And thanks to stars Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, and the best work from Harrison Ford in decades, Abrams hits the notes he needs to, clearly and strongly. BOBBY ROBERTS Various Theaters.
You'd have to be kind of a monster to be cool with forcing a teenager who's been raped to travel hundreds of miles to an abortion clinic, only to be turned away because that clinic doesn't have the resources to provide the sedation she needs for her procedure, thus leaving her with two bad options: stay pregnant or cross state lines (or the Mexican border). That's unconscionable, right? But that's one real-life scenario shown in Trapped, and it's exactly what SCOTUS is currently arguing: whether targeted regulation of abortion providers, also known as TRAP laws, are actually anti-choice laws designed to shut down clinics through excessive regulation. MEGAN BURBANK Cinema 21.
Treasures from the UCLA Film & Television Archive
A whole slew of films culled from UCLA's Film & Television Archive, a media materials collection rivaled only by the Library of Congress. Films include Men in War (1957), John Ford's The Long Voyage Home (1940), Sam Taylor's My Best Girl (1927), and Douglas Sirk's First Legion (1951). More info: nwfilm.org. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Where to Invade Next
Michael Moore's latest isn't as laser-focused as something like Bowling for Columbine or Fahrenheit 9/11, which is both a blessing and a curse. The titular "invasion" refers to the sort of quip you might overhear at an NPR fundraising dinner: "What if instead of invading Arab countries to take their oil, we invaded European countries to take their progressive socialism?" Visually, this translates to Moore wandering around Europe with an American flag and interviewing people. His previous films covered a single issue with furious intensity, but Invade is more of a greatest hits album—exploring Iceland's finances, Norway's prisons, Germany's industrial middle class, and a dozen other topics. BEN COLEMAN Various Theaters.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Considering my longstanding affection for Tina Fey and the fact that I am a lady journalist who once dreamed of being a foreign correspondent, it would be deeply silly to pretend to be the stony-browed face of impartial judgment when it comes to Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, starring Fey (she also produced!) as a war correspondent in Afghanistan. I am clearly its focus group; pleased to meet you. While WTF is uneven, what's utterly convincing is that somehow, this good-but-not-great movie has accurately captured that particular moment when a reporter discovers the ineffable joy of chasing a high-stakes story for the first time. It's something that I suspect fellow Fey-appreciating journalists will delight in. Everyone else, you're on your own. MEGAN BURBANK Various Theaters.
Wild at Heart
See Arts, this issue. Hollywood Theatre.
There's a lot that can be said about The Witch, but what matters most is just how remarkable a horror movie it is. Aided by Mark Korven's droning marvel of a score, director Robert Eggers' film largely eschews the easy relief of jump scares, instead building a supercharged atmosphere that amps up whenever something new enters the immaculately composed frame, be it man or rabbit or goat. (Oh, that goddamned goat.) By the final enigmatic scene, a sustained state of magic terror has been achieved that more than justifies the acres of hype. Hype that includes, by the way, a rather lucid, well-reasoned endorsement from an organization known as the Satanic Temple. ANDREW WRIGHT Various Theaters.
In the alternate universe of Disney's Zootopia, animals have evolved—and have rejected the concept of "predator and prey," instead choosing to co-exist in relative harmony. However, strict societal roles still exist, with weaker animals being pigeonholed into secondary positions while larger beasts run the city. When tiny rabbit Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) joins Zootopia's brutish police force, her attempts to crack the city's most baffling missing animal case are squashed, forcing her to team up with Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), a local conman... errr... fox. Con-fox? One wouldn't be off-base comparing this flick to George Orwell's Animal Farm—though instead of targeting Stalinism, Zootopia's plot reflects America's current fear-based relationship with equality. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY Various Theaters.
MEANS WE RECOMMEND IT. Theater locations are accurate Friday, March 25-Thursday, April 1, unless otherwise noted. Movie times are updated daily and are available here.