All Hell Breaks Loose
The story of a mousy man, a perverted priest, and a shit-kicking sheriff going up against a vicious biker gang. Director in attendance. Clinton Street Theater.
The Hollywood's series features B-movies, with the audience marking down clichés on a custom-made bingo card. This month's schlockfest: Deadly Target, starring Gary Daniels as a Hong Kong cop transported to LA to capture a Chinese drug lord. Hollywood Theatre.
There's no doubt that Alejandro González Iñárritu's latest is very clever about what it says. The question is if it has anything to say. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
An exhaustive profile of several families in Indonesia who practice polygamy (the sort with multiple wives, not multiple husbands, in case you were foolishly hoping). Even the happiest among these women appear to be faking it out of fear, and many speak candidly about the abuse they suffer and carry tales of having been tricked or even kidnapped into their arrangement. "Honey" is the term used to refer to these additional wives, so the film's title tells you where the filmmakers stand in their intentions. What follows belabors itself more than necessary, but it's a sensitive, revealing examination of a little-pondered human rights issue. Director in attendance. MARJORIE SKINNER Hollywood Theatre.
Broken Heart Land
A documentary about the suicide of Zack Harrington, a gay teen trying to make a difference in his small Bible-belt town. Clinton Street Theater.
Critic's Choice: Cronos
Films selected and introduced by Portland film critics. On Thurs Dec 4, the Mercury's Erik Henriksen presents Guillermo del Toro's Cronos (1993); on Thurs Dec 11, the Oregonian's Marc Mohan presents Alan Arkin's Little Murders (1971); on Fri Dec 12, KGW's Shawn Levy presents John D. Hancock's Bang the Drum Slowly (1973); and on Wed Dec 17, Willamette Week's AP Kryza presents Roman Polanski's The Tenant (1973). Hollywood Theatre.
Dear White People
The central conflict in Dear White People is driven by Sam (Tessa Thompson, AKA Jackie from Veronica Mars!), a fired-up young activist who hosts a satirical radio show where she instructs white people on the nuances of how to behave in a multiracial world. There's entirely too much plot, but Dear White People shines interpersonally, as its characters navigate how race factors into relationships, self-presentation, and group identification. And it doubles as a catalog of how creepy even the most well-intentioned white people can be—if you haven't yet gotten the "don't touch black people's hair" memo, there are some skin-crawlingly effective scenes that will drive the point solidly home. ALISON HALLETT Cinema 21.
Partial immigration reform is on the way, which is something. But even for documented citizens caught up in the brutal grind of this country's farm system, life is often untenable. You vaguely know that. Food Chains is a good opportunity to know it better. It's a worthwhile account of the fight for fair wages, trekking from depressing Florida tomato fields to depressing Napa Valley vineyards. When the film's over, you're left still knowing corporations like Wal-Mart and Wendy's are numb, stingy monoliths—just knowing it better. Also: Eva Longoria's in it. Pretty much for no reason. DIRK VANDERHART Clinton Street Theater.
Good Will Hunting
"Do you like apples?" Laurelhurst Theater.
Goodbye to Language 3D
See review this issue. Cinema 21.
A series where the audience texts their best jokes directly onto the screen. This month, Sylvester Stallone literally drags a tree up a mountain of jingoistic propaganda to destroy communism all by himself in Rocky IV. Hollywood Theatre.
Horrible Bosses 2
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
The Hunger Games:
Mockingjay Part I
Mockingjay Part I is The Empire Strikes Back of The Hunger Games, which is to say that things don't look good for anyone. Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss finds herself in the cone-shaped underground city of District 13, where the seemingly trustworthy but definitely shifty President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) is in charge, assisted by game-master Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose presence is reassuring, then sad). MEGAN BURBANK Various Theaters.
To say too much about the journey of Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and his small team of astronauts—Amelia (Anne Hathaway), Doyle (Wes Bentley), Romilly (David Gyasi), and two friendly robots (!)—would kneecap Interstellar's eye-widening moments of fear, excitement, melancholy, and above all else, discovery. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
A Little Noir
See Film, this issue. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Buster Keaton's silent comedy, accompanied by a live score from organist Dean Lemire. Hollywood Theatre.
Judy Irving (The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill) has cornered the filmmaking territory for birds of the Bay Area. When an un-well juvenile pelican wound up staggering around a lane on the Golden Gate Bridge, Irving used it as an excuse to poke her camera into the world of these seabirds. We meet a few wildlife rehabilitators and their charges, and Irving nabs some choice footage of the birds' life cycle. It's a film made out of simple, curious affinity, and while it could do with a little less sentimentality, it's lovely viewing for anyone who enjoys exploring the crossroads between human and animal existence. MARJORIE SKINNER Cinema 21.
Penguins of Madagascar
Hey, this should shut your kid up for a few hours. Various Theaters.
The Theory of Everything
A romance about Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and his first wife, Jane (Felicity Jones), and a not-that-smart movie about a really smart guy. ELINOR JONES Various Theaters.
Sometimes I wish they'd put "found footage" back where they found it. Take V/H/S: Viral, the latest in the horror anthology series: It's a collection of four short films that share the gimmickry of simulated found footage, which at a brisk 82 minutes still feels tedious, artless, and strewn with hissing video-cassette feedback. Even the best of the viral video-themed films—Dante the Great and Parallel Monsters—can't get out from under the trembling thumb of the shaky-cam framing device. Shaky, indeed. COURTNEY FERGUSON Hollywood Theatre.
MEANS WE RECOMMEND IT. Theater locations are accurate Friday, November 28-Thursday, December 4, unless otherwise noted. Movie times are updated daily and are available here.