SAMURAI CINEMA: KILL BILL VOL. 1 Revenge is a dish best served in a peaceful Japanese garden.

recommended 12 Years a Slave
Solomon (the brilliant Chiwetel Ejiofor) is a free black man, living in the North, who is abducted into slavery in 1841. Twelve years later, he's released. During those 12 years, he is a slave, and something of a stand-in for the modern viewer: He's intelligent, he's educated, and most crucially, he's attuned to the horror and injustice that surrounds him. Our attempts to comprehend life under slavery parallel his own: We share his terror when he wakes up in chains after a night of heavy drinking with two friendly seeming white men. We understand his urge to fight back against those who have separated him from his family. We chafe to find him at the mercy of men who are his physical and intellectual inferior. And, through his eyes, the utterly schizophrenic nature of slavery is revealed. ALISON HALLETT Various Theaters.

recommended All Is Lost
Grim and melancholy, the latest from JC Chandor (Margin Call) focuses, with exhausting intensity, on a single man. (In the closing credits, he's listed only as "Our Man." He's played by Robert Redford—wrinkled, presumably, from both years and water.) When a yacht he's sailing hits a shipping container in the middle of the Indian Ocean, water rushes into his cabin with startling speed; everything that follows charts his attempts to stay alive. We're only given a few hints about who he is: he's rich (that's a nice boat); he's alone, in more ways than one; and when it comes to sailing, he's hardly an expert, though he seems to be, at least, competent. Whether competence will be enough, Redford's weary, determined face tells us, is profoundly doubtful. ERIK HENRIKSEN Fox Tower 10, Hollywood Theatre, Tigard 11 Cinemas.

recommended American Psycho
"Take the lyrics to 'Land of Confusion': In this song, Phil Collins addresses the problems of abusive political authority. 'In Too Deep' is the most moving pop song of the 1980s, about monogamy and commitment. The song is extremely uplifting. Their lyrics are as positive and affirmative as anything I've heard in rock. Christy, get down on your knees so Sabrina can see your asshole." Fifth Avenue Cinema.

B-Movie Bingo: Zero Tolerance
The Hollywood's series features B-movies, with the audience marking down clichés on a custom-made bingo card. This time around: Zero Tolerance, starring Mick Fleetwood. Hollywood Theatre.

Bad Grandpa
Jackass mastermind Johnny Knoxville dresses up like an old man and does things that old dudes aren't supposed to do, like perv on ladies and try to have sex with vending machines. And he's got a kid with him, and the kid does stuff that kids aren't supposed to do, like drink beer and say words like "asshole." And they do those things in front of unsuspecting passersby, who are horrified and amused and concerned, and some of it is funny and some of it is not. A fake penis is involved. A couple times. It isn't bad, exactly, but there's the thing: Johnny Knoxville is kind of old. His actual penis probably doesn't look so hot. And Bad Grandpa just seems a little tired. ALISON HALLETT Various Theaters.

The Best Man Holiday
A Christmas-themed sequel to 1999's The Best Man, starring Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, and Regina Hall. More importantly, the soundtrack features R. Kelly's beloved holiday ballad "Christmas I'll Be Steppin'." Century Eastport 16, Division Street, Fox Tower 10, Regal Cascade Stadium 16 Cinemas.

Black Nativity
If you've been crossing your fingers for an adaptation of Langston Hughes' play—one that stars Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Tyrese Gibson, Forest Whitaker, and Angela Bassett—you are in luck. Various Theaters.

recommended Blue Is the Warmest Color
Blue is three hours long, and it feels half that; it's a fantastically realistic and well-drawn love story between two women that ranks among the best I've ever seen. (Sorry, Better Than Chocolate.) It's about a high schooler, Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos), who falls for blue-haired college student Emma (Léa Seydoux) the first time she sees her. Adèle is needy and aimless, eager for sexual attention, and the two enter into a beautifully adolescent relationship, all hungry sexuality and deep, pseudo-intellectual conversations. As the years pass and the women age, beautiful, vague Adèle slowly begins to come into focus, but it's not until she screws things up with Emma that she—and we—understand how much the relationship really means to her. ALISON HALLETT Cinema 21, City Center 12.

The Book Thief
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended Chinatown
"I goddamn near lost my nose. And I like it. I like breathing through it." Hollywood Theatre.

Dallas Buyers Club
In addition to being an electrician and a part-time rodeo bull rider, Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) was also a career partier—a thorough user of drugs and a prolific fucker of women. When he contracted AIDS in 1986, the disease was still, in the public's eye, very much limited to the realm of gay men. Woodroof overcame not only his deeply ingrained homophobia but, for many years, the disease itself: He smuggled in non-approved medications from Mexico, Japan, and elsewhere, selling them to HIV-positive patients while the FDA remained in Big Pharma's thrall. The movie sputters at the end, as it attempts to draw tears from the audience while remaining true to the facts. It doesn't do either of those things very well, but for the first hour and a half, McConaughey's exceptional performance is riveting enough. NED LANNAMANN Various Theaters.

Dear Mr. Watterson
Bill Watterson wasn't interviewed for the new documentary Dear Mr. Watterson. That's really all you need to know about this friendly little film, which is sanguine about what it is (a love letter to Watterson's comic strip Calvin and Hobbes), and what it is not (a biopic of the famously private, reclusive Watterson). ALISON HALLETT Living Room Theaters.

Delivery Man
The quality control folks in the Hollywood schlock factory are a meticulous bunch: They know their craft, they execute it with pragmatism, and for all that they lack in ambition, they make up in consistency. Every now and again, though, the schlock factory's well-oiled mechanisms pump out the occasional defect—a film that, though decked out in the same sentimental blister pack as the rest of the celluloid bathos, is actually an ill-conceived, morally rudderless wolf in sheep's clothing. A film that, in all of its architecture, purports to be an innocuous collection of sentimental tropes and platitudes, but whose content is so wrongheaded that it verges on the uncanny. Delivery Man is such an aberration. ZAC PENNINGTON Various Theaters.

An Evening With Richard Tuohy
EFF Portland, Grand Detour, and PSU present eight short works from Australian experimental filmmaker Richard Tuohy and Dianna Barrie. More at cstpdx.com. Clinton Street Theater.

recommended Fresh French Shorts
A snapshot of contemporary French film, by way of a program of shorts on subject matters ranging from public transportation to the Chechnyan war to a young man who's deeply affected by a viewing of Brokeback Mountain. ALISON HALLETT Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended Frozen
It's been, like, 20 years—give or take a few—since I last gave a shit about one of Disney's bread-and-butter animated musicals. Maybe it's because I grew up? But that's too pat. (Because I didn't.) More likely, it's because most of Disney's musicals since the early 1990s have been utterly forgettable, if not terrible. I mention it because this is what landed in my brain midway through Frozen, the studio's latest song-and-dance number—and the first one, in a long time, that I can remember making me grin, laugh, and tear up, all while stunning my eyes with some of the most magical computer animation I've ever seen. Frozen is a bright adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen. And while it's true this is one more "princess" story—Elsa (Idina Menzel), attainted with seemingly uncontrollable frost magic, is forced by bubbly younger sister Anna (Kristen Bell) to thaw the fear choking her heart—it also nicely defies the obvious tropes. Princes and woodsmen are important, we find out. But they're hardly the only embodiment of fairy-tale love. DENIS C. THERIAULT Various Theaters.

The Great Beauty
After his 65th birthday, a man looks "past the extravagant nightclubs, parties, and cafés to find Rome in all its glory: a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty." Narrated by Kevin James. Living Room Theaters.

Homefront
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Disappointingly competent, 2012's The Hunger Games... well, at least it got the basics right. It was a fine adaptation—totally, forgettably, blandly fine. So it's a pretty excellent surprise that its sequel is an order of magnitude better: Catching Fire will please whatever it is that Hunger Games fans call themselves (Hangries? Katnips? Peetaphiles?), but also stands as something fun and intense and thrilling. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.

Le Joli Mai
A restoration of the 1963 documentary that explores Paris via man-on-the-street interviews. Pressing issues include work, housing, and the recent Algerian War; interviews on these subjects and more offer a slice of life, to be sure, but a fairly dry one—make sure you're committed in your interest in Parisian history. ALISON HALLETT Whitsell Auditorium

Life Is Beautiful
Roberto Benigni's 1997 Holocaust film. Your mom likes it! Laurelhurst Theater.

MarchFourth Marching Band in China
A documentary about when MarchFourth went to China! What's Mandarin for "aggressive whimsy"? Hollywood Theatre.

recommended Nebraska
See review this issue. Living Room Theaters.

Nicky's Family
A film about "Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II." Narrated by Kevin James. Living Room Theaters.

Oldboy
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended Philomena
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

Rush
Racing nuts are well acquainted with the bitter rivalry between Formula One champs James Hunt and Niki Lauda. Hunt was a stunningly handsome English playboy (the stunningly handsome Chris Hemsworth), a hard-partying adrenaline junkie who raced on pure instinct. Conversely, Lauda was the methodical Austrian (perfectly embodied by Daniel Brühl) who intricately planned every race, and knew his car better than his mechanics. He was also nicknamed the "Rat"—due to his less-than-stunning looks and general unlikeability. Both were dicks to each other, and their obsessive rivalry nearly pushed them to their deaths. And like Lauda's brilliant driving, director Ron Howard's film comes off as similarly methodical, expertly thought out, and gorgeous to watch. And also a little bloodless. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY Academy Theater, Jubitz Cinema, Kennedy School, Laurelhurst Theater, Liberty Theatre, St. Johns Theater and Pub.

recommended Samurai Cinema
See My, What a Busy Week! Whitsell Auditorium

recommended The Shining
"Hi, I've got an appointment with Mr. Ullman. My name is Jack Torrance." Hollywood Theatre.

The Story of Descendents/All
A doc about punk band the Descendents, featuring interviews with the likes of of Mike Watt and Dave Grohl. Clinton Street Theater.