THE ZERO THEOREM Following a VOD release, Terry Gilliam’s excellent latest hits the big screen.

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended Do the Right Thing
See My, What a Busy Week! Hollywood Theatre.

recommended The Drop
DOGS! What's better than dogs? Nothing! Dogs are the greatest creatures that have ever existed or will ever exist on this planet. All movies should feature dogs—or, barring multiple dogs, at least one dog, provided that dog is suitably great. Good news! In The Drop, there's a dog named Rocco! He's a pit bull puppy, and I'm here to tell you that he's great! Sure, there's other stuff that's great about The Drop: a solid, noir-ish script from Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone author Dennis Lehane, subtly sharp direction from Michaël R. Roskam, and fantastic performances from Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, and the late James Gandolfini. But the best thing about The Drop is Rocco. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.

I Live For Art
A dense, conversational documentary that examines the process and importance of creative endeavors, as told through the experiences of composers, sculptors, and festival producers, with added insights from philosophers and storytellers. For all its exhortations, it's a straightforward, academic, talking-head piece—and while the art created by its subjects isn't (to my taste, anyway) particularly appealing, there's reassurance in seeing people who've enjoyed real-world success frankly acknowledge the anxieties and weaknesses in their work. If you concentrate less on the Burner tastes that are the film's focus (or do, if that's your sandbag), there are some interesting, encouraging ideas here. Directors and subjects in attendance. MARJORIE SKINNER NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

A Life in Dirty Movies
A documentary examining the life of director Joe Sarno and his place in sex film history. Screens as part of the Clinton Street Theater's 100th anniversary celebration; for more screenings, see cstpdx.com. Clinton Street Theater.

The Maze Runner
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended Mood Indigo
At first, Michel Gondry's film blurs by with inconsequential joy: In a Paris infested with stop-motion animation, wealthy Colin (Romain Duris) revels in a world where dancing legs turn to rubber; where a "pianocktail" squirts out cocktails tuned to the notes struck on its keys; where, when characters experience euphoria, Gondry shoots them suspended underwater, smiling and slow as the world speeds on. Everything changes when Colin meets Chloé (Audrey Tautou), and everything changes again when Chloé becomes ill. As she sleeps near a broken window, a snowflake drifts into her open mouth, Gondry's camera following it as it comes to rest near her slowly beating heart. It's easy to think of that shot as one more moment of whimsy in a film full of them, but this is something more sinister. ERIK HENRIKSEN Laurelhurst Theater.

My Darling Clementine
A digital restoration of the John Ford classic, starring Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp and Victor Mature as Doc Holliday. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

My Old Lady
It's hard to get too invested in this overwritten, overdetermined tale of a grinchy, money-grubbing American (Kevin Kline) whose heart grows two sizes when he moves to Paris and befriends an old lady (Maggie Smith). (There's more to the story than that, but I'll spare you the real estate-related details.) Throw in Kristin Scott Thomas to round out the pedigreed cast, and you've got a film whose actors are far better than their material. ALISON HALLETT Various Theaters.

recommended Noir City
See Film, this issue. Hollywood Theatre.

recommended The Omega Man
"There's never a cop around when you need one." Laurelhurst Theater.

Oregon Independent Film Festival
Eugene's film festival—featuring animation, shorts, documentaries, student films, and more—takes over the Clinton for the weekend. Clinton Street Theater.

Portland EcoFilm Festival
A monthly series of "films covering topics of nature conservation, environmental activism, agriculture, and community wellness." This month's selection: Tiny: A Story About Living Small. Hollywood Theatre.

Portland Humanist Film Festival
A free, day-long series of films aiming to offer an "expansive window into many of the aspects of existence, morality, history, science and philosophy that reflect the Humanist perspective." More info: humanistfest.com. Lucky Labrador Beer Hall.

Reel Feminism
A film series sponsored by In Other Words Feminist Community Center. This month's film: Uphill All the Way. Clinton Street Theater.

Second Opinion
In the 1970s, an idealistic PR man for cancer heavyweight Memorial Sloan Kettering Institute came across something that seemed life-changing: Findings—produced by the institute's most venerable researcher—that teased the potential of a new cancer drug made from amygdalin, a chemical normally found in the pits of an apricot. That cheaply produced drug, called laetrile, was hardly shaping up as a miracle cure. But then, that was never the point. It was one more treatment option. And in tumor-ridden mouse after tumor-ridden mouse, laetrile was found to have worked far better than standard chemotherapy. So what happened when that PR man, Ralph W. Moss, tried to tell the world about what Sloan Kettering's researcher found? The kibosh apparently came down. And hard. Largely based on a interview with Moss, but also backed by source documents, Second Opinion convincingly accuses administrators of manipulating tests and distorting and hiding results so that laetrile might remain forever tainted with quackery. It's an interesting story (with flashes of derring-do, like how Moss started a secret zine to spread the word about laetrile). But Second Opinion stops just short of knocking you over. Any good coverup ought to have a motive, and while we can smell the smoke of a nebulous big pharma profit motive, we're never shown the flames. Nor does director Eric Merola ever manage to track down anyone else, aside from Moss' wife, who shares his passion for laetrile. In fact, Second Opinion opens with a disclaimer warning people not to rely on laetrile for their cancer—and to keep seeking mainstream medical help. DENIS C. THERIAULT Cinema 21.

The Shawshank Redemption
"They run this place like a fucking prison!" Academy Theater.

Sing-Along Sound of Music
A reckless abomination; a slack-jawed insult; an infected and insane parody of cinema and all that it represents. Cinema 21.

This Is Where I Leave You
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

Tusk
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended A Walk Among the Tombstones
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended The Zero Theorem
Terry Gilliam's latest will undoubtedly remind you of Terry Gilliam's Brazil. You'll either be frustrated or delighted by the blatant similarities. I, for one, was thrilled. Because Gilliam—a madman visionary whose talent has historically been strafed by budget problems and studio interference—hasn't made nearly as many movies as he should have. He's a challenging director who makes unconventional, ambitious work, and his micro-budgeted but effectively gorgeous The Zero Theorem has barely been given a release. (It was originally made available via the usual channels of a digital release, but those waiting to see it on the big screen have finally been rewarded with a limited theatrical run.) That a film this full of vision, ideas, and dark humor, from one of the world's greatest living filmmakers, has been sidelined to the margins should tell you everything you need to know about the current state of cinema. NED LANNAMANN Hollywood Theatre, VOD.


recommended MEANS WE RECOMMEND IT. Theater locations are accurate Friday, September 19-Thursday, September 25, unless otherwise noted. Movie times are updated daily and are available here.