★ Baby Driver
Edgar Wright’s latest is wall-to-wall music, and it might take you a track or two to fall into the stylized rhythm that marks his work, from Shaun of the Dead to Hot Fuzz to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World—and drop-kicks naturalism to the curb. But once its tires grip pavement, Baby Driver becomes a full-throttle ballet of motion, color, and sound. The tunes are great, the getaway chases will leave you breathless, and the motley team of robbers—which includes Kevin Spacey, Eiza González, and an excellent Jamie Foxx—comes from the kind of screenplay you wish Tarantino still wrote. NED LANNAMANN Various Theaters.
★ The Big Sick
The Big Sick doesn’t sound like anything extraordinary. But that’s what makes it so enjoyable—this is the type of sweetly told, small-scale story that has all but evaporated from movie screens, and wouldn’t work as a TV show. It’s also got one or two things to say about being a Muslim in America, so it’s not only different from the usual white-bread romantic comedies, it’s very much connected to this political moment, too. Maybe this is putting too much significance onto a story this small. But I think The Big Sick is up for it. NED LANNAMANN Various Theaters.
Your opportunity to turn your phone into a weapon of textual comedic destruction, aimed directly at the live-action adaptation of Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, one of the silliest, stupidest, and therefore most accurate representations of the larger ’90s aesthetic. It is an awkward, ungainly, amazingly ugly fucking thing, burying most of its notable talent (Michael Jai White, Martin Sheen, Nicol Williamson) under tone-deaf posturing and a near-constant smear of visual effects whose quality is directly inverse to their ambition. The only actor to make it out of this superhero grease fire somewhat respectably is John Leguizamo, powered by digital fart clouds and a complete lack of shame. BOBBY ROBERTS Hollywood Theatre.
The Little Hours
Though nuns are often portrayed as beacons of purity, they’re anything but in The Little Hours, Jeff Baena’s film set at a convent in medieval Italy. These sisters unleash torrents of profanity, violently lash out at men, chug sacramental wine, and explore their sexuality with wild abandon. The Little Hours finds comedy in mundanity; its jokes, thankfully, make up for its unoriginality. CIARA DOLAN Cinema 21.
When it was released in 1987, Moonstruck was a thing you watched because Cher was at the height of her second (or third even?) stardom, and her performance as a widow caught in a love triangle was so good she was rewarded with Oscar gold. But 30 years later, you watch because Olympia Dukakis is devouring scenes like cannoli and the sweetly batshit nature of young Nicolas Cage is only surpassed in craziness by director Norman Jewison asking you to accept Cher would find herself engaged to Danny Aiello in the first fuckin’ place. BOBBY ROBERTS Laurelhurst Theater.
★ Night of the Living Dead
There are legends in film history, and then there are legends. George Romero is the latter. Horror as social commentary? He did that. Horror as art film? He did that. Horror as testing ground for some of the most innovative and stomach-churning visual and practical effects imaginable? He did all of that. There isn’t much in that world Romero didn’t pioneer in his career, and the genre resides in the darkness of his massive shadow. The inventor of zombies as we know them has passed away at the age of 77—celebrate his eye, his compassion, and his storytelling power with a screening of what is still a stunningly truthful look at how broken this country is when it comes to race: 1968’s Night of the Living Dead. BOBBY ROBERTS Laurelhurst Theater.
Noche de Película
A series of shorts presented by PDX Latinx Pride, celebrating Latinx and LGBTQ communities. Hollywood Theatre.
★ OMSI Sci-Fi Film Fest
Science-fiction films are often doomed to be forgotten—and given that most of them are cheap, half-assed cash grabs, that’s probably for the best. But when sci-fi is good, no other genre can match it—as evidenced by the lineup of enduring classics at OMSI’s Sci-Fi Film Festival, including The Thing, Children of Men, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Brazil, The Matrix, Stalker, and more. ERIK HENRIKSEN OMSI Empirical Theater.
★ Re-run Theater: Miami Vice Fest 6
Who belongs to the city? Who belongs to the night? You do, if you’re a stylish, smart, sophisticated aficionado of the fine arts—and art does not get any finer than Miami Vice, stubbled proof that grit and grime can come in pastel shades. The sixth annual celebration of “neon noir” returns to the Hollywood, with two episodes of the NBC drama that helped define a decade—a definition that includes a lot of fuckin’ cocaine, explaining how the canon of Vice can include both low-budget sleazemaster Abel Ferrara and the sounds of soft-rock demigod Phil Collins. BOBBY ROBERTS Hollywood Theatre.
Some body once told me the world is gonna roll me, I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed. She was lookin’ kinda dumb with her finger and her thumb in the shape of an L on her forehead. Well... Academy Theater.
And lo, by the hallowed word of the Hulka, nary a single manchild born with the name of Francis was allowed again to express any emotion not mild of heart, lest he be derisively, dutifully reminded by any and all with knowledge and love of the Hulka to “lighten up.” Clinton Street Theater.
★ War for the Planet of the Apes
War for the Planet of the Apes may not be a full-blown argument for the end of the human race, but the film does make the case that if a natural or unnatural calamity befalls our species, no one will be able to say we didn’t ask for it. SEAN NELSON Various Theaters.
MEANS WE RECOMMEND IT. Theater locations are accurate Friday, July 21-Thursday, July 27, unless otherwise noted. Movie times are updated daily and are available here.