CHEATIN’ Another victim claimed by Stovey, the Stove That Kills, and Also Cooks Meals, But Mostly Kills.

Adult Beginners
An advance screening of a new comedy starring Rose Byrne and Nick Kroll. Kroll in attendance. See next week's Mercury for our review. Living Room Theaters.

The Age of Adaline
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended Akira
The future Tokyo in Katsuhiro Otomo's 1988 Akira is even more stunningly gorgeous than you remember—although the plot, condensed from a 2,000-page manga, still doesn't make a lick of sense. NED LANNAMANN Hollywood Theatre.

Bigger Than Life: The Films of Nicholas Ray
See Film, this issue. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

Birdman
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 Laurelhurst Theater.

recommended Cheatin'
When a man suspects his wife is cheating on him, he begins to take up lovers himself. If you've seen a Bill Plympton movie, you can expect much of the same in Cheatin', a love story drenched with satire and surrealism. This is the seventh feature by the "King of Indie Animation," although it's fair to say Plympton is at his best when making shorts (he's directed videos for both Kanye West and Weird Al). Cheatin' could easily be broken down into smaller pieces; there are some beautiful stand-alone sequences, like when the wife, Ella, goes to a salon in a series of surreal close-ups where fake eyelashes are applied and eyebrows are drawn on endlessly. The film is wordless, and despite having no dialogue, you end up rooting for the Cheatin' couple—and for Plympton's commitment to his own loopy, unorthodox vision. JENNA LECHNER Cinema 21.

recommended Close Encounters of the Third Kind
See My, What a Busy Week! Academy Theater.

recommended Clouds of Sils Maria
See review this issue. Living Room Theaters.

recommended Conan the Barbarian
The gloomy, bloodthirsty tone of 1982's Conan the Barbarian is likely due to director John Milius, the gun-toting conservative who co-wrote Apocalypse Now and the first two Dirty Harry movies. Milius is a little daffy, yes. He's also the kind of filmmaker that doesn't exist any longer in Hollywood; his clarity of vision in Conan is undeniable. The film is shockingly violent and completely preoccupied with anarchic forms of behavior. Conan is not a redeemable figure, but rather a character driven by rage and hatred. There are ritual sacrifices, pagan chanting, and bizarre witchcraft rites not seen anywhere on film outside of the schlockiest of grindhouse horror. Milius and Schwarzenegger take the pulpy story of Conan incredibly seriously, and the result is not your typical swords-and-sorcery fantasy, but rather a fully realized depiction of the blood-soaked early epics that predate the English language. NED LANNAMANN Laurelhurst Theater.

recommended Essential Gus Van Sant (& His Influences)
See Film, this issue. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended Ex Machina
From Ex Machina's relatively realistic opening moments—it subtly calls to mind both Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs and David Fincher's The Social Network—things spiral to stranger, creepier places. It's not as if the themes explored in Ex Machina are new—from Asimov to Blade Runner, we've pondered them before—but they're handled here with a depth and intelligence that gives them jarring impact. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.

Flesh of My Flesh
Just the facts: Flesh of My Flesh is a low-budget zombie flick filmed in Portland and Tigard, in which semi-intelligent undead fight each other in cheesily soundtracked Bloodsport scenarios. The special effects are straight outta 1982. There is a zombie worm. You might see someone you know giving acting a try for the very first time. The facts speak for themselves. COURTNEY FERGUSON Joy Cinema & Pub.

From Bloomers to Lycra
Three short documentaries about and directed by women, including The Wind in Our Hair, The New Woman, and Georgena Terry. Clinton Street Theater.

recommended Furious 7
A big cartoony jumble of action and melodrama that zeros in on the movies' heartfelt core. Furious 7 isn't the first Fast & Furious movie that had me clapping and laughing throughout; it is the first that ended with me realizing I had a lump in my throat. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.

recommended A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
In horror movies, and sometimes in life, a girl alone at night is a victim. Shadows are ominous, noises are frightening. The night doesn't belong to her. Which is just part of why Ana Lily Amirpour's debut feature is so exhilarating. The Girl (Sheila Vand) is a taciturn, hijab-clad vampire in a tiny Iranian town called Bad City, gliding through the deserted streets like a not-so-friendly ghost. The night is her domain, though the men she encounters might assume otherwise. The Girl does what she wants, and usually what she wants is to drink somebody. ALISON HALLETT Laurelhurst Theater.

recommended Grindhouse Film Festival
See My, What a Busy Week! Hollywood Theatre.

Grindhouse Triple Feature
Back-to-back-to-back screenings of Dear God No, Time to Kill, and All Hell Breaks Loose. Clinton Street Theater.

Hecklevision: Bloodsport
Often, Hecklevision feels like an amateur comedy kumite: So many people, so many jokes, so many pretenders watching punchlines die mercilessly in front of them. How will your comic stylings fare when you're actually witnessing a kumite? This month's installment is Jean Claude Van Damme's magnum opus, Bloodsport. Hollywood Theatre.

recommended It Follows
Horror movies can be such a perfunctory, slapdash affair—make offscreen noise, throw cat at actress, repeat—that fans are understandably quick to crank the hype to 11 whenever something promising surfaces. When a film comes along that actually delivers, it's hard to hold back the hosannas. It Follows is one of those rare scary machines where everything just clicks together, with a ferociously single-minded rightness that keeps the nerves in a state of high, perpetual thrum. ANDREW WRIGHT Hollywood Theatre, VOD.

Jack to a King
Marc Evans' documentary tells the story of a community's efforts to save their soccer team, the Swansea City Association Football Club. Not screened for critics. Cinema 21.

La Vie en Rose
Even if you're like me and find most musical biopics depressingly formulaic, you might think Oliver Dahan's Edith Piaf movie is a slight cut above. Sure, it checks off all the genre's requisite ingredients (childhood trauma, drug addiction, troubled relationships), and is about as consistent as its heroine's mental and physical health. But stretches of the film, which traces Piaf's rise from Parisian poverty to international stardom, feel uncommonly—even thrillingly—intimate. JON FROSCH Fifth Avenue Cinema.

Little Boy
A WWII drama starring such acclaimed actors as Emily Watson, Michael Rapaport, and Tom Wilkinson. It also features Kevin James. It also was not screened for critics. Various Theaters.

The Longest Ride
The boy places a cowboy hat on the girl's head. Hand in hand, they regard the audience. Their eyes are hungry. And so you pour everything you have into The Longest Ride. You fill it with your hopes and dreams, your failures and successes. Your eighth grade dance. Your plans to go to the gym once in a goddamn while. Those books you used to like, about the horse—Flicka. She was a nice horse. The boy and girl ripen before your eyes. They grow bigger and bigger, swelling with everything you have to offer, and soon they're big enough—but to your horror you can't stop. Their skin is starting to stretch and tear. ALISON HALLETT (We think this is Alison's way of telling us she didn't like the new Nicholas Sparks movie. Maybe rewatch The Notebook instead?—Eds.) Various Theaters.

recommended Mad Max
See My, What a Busy Week! Hollywood Theatre.

A Man for All Seasons
All Classical Portland presents a screening of the 1966 Best Picture winner starring Robert Shaw as Henry VIII. Hollywood Theatre.

recommended Man from Reno
I would have sworn Man from Reno was adapted from a book. But it wasn't. It's an original screenplay—from director Dave Boyle and co-writers Joel Clark and Michael Lerman—that feels as thorough and intricate as a thick novel. Told half in English and half in Japanese, it's a film noir, of sorts, that builds to a fitting conclusion, but eschews any sort of resolution. It's a mystery that doesn't end when the movie does. NED LANNAMANN Fox Tower 10.

recommended Reel Feminism
POWFest's film series, featuring films "made by women that address issues of gender equality and the varied nature of women's lived experiences." This month: Trashborn. Clinton Street Theater.

The Salt of the Earth
French-Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado came to the attention of director Wim Wenders through a photograph of a blind Malian woman. Her face partly shrouded by a head covering, her exposed eye looks like a faceted jewel—not ugly, but strange and beautiful. In his narration, Wenders, who bought a print, says it still moves him deeply. That exchange led to a friendship, which led to this Oscar-nominated documentary. Wenders and codirector Juliano Salgado, Sebastião's son, track his career from social photography to nature photography in an uncritical portrait filled with majestic, painterly images. Wenders never mentions money, even though some of Salgado's books sell for as much as $10,000, but the man has spent most of his life photographing the world's poorest people, so it's hard not to wonder if he ever felt guilty that he had so much when they had so little; or maybe he thinks of himself more as an altruist than an artist, since he's helped to share their plight with the world. The matter goes unaddressed, which leaves this stunning-looking film feeling a little incomplete. KATHY FENNESSY Fox Tower 10.

True Story
A good story trapped inside a bad movie, True Story is about two assholes. One, Michael Finkel (Jonah Hill), was a writer for the New York Times until he got caught making shit up for a story; the other, Christian Longo (James Franco), was accused of murdering his wife and his three young children on the coast of Oregon. On the run, Longo used Finkel's name as an alias; on the outs, Finkel found out about Longo and decided to write a book about him. Done well, there can be a sleazy, skeevy appeal to true crime; done poorly, those same stories are little more than an excuse to leer at others' misfortune. Neither director Rupert Goold nor his actors seem sure where that line is. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.

recommended Unfriended
A tightly contained film that builds until every compromised video feed and ping make you prickle with fright. Two years from now, it'll probably seem outlandishly outdated, like The Net meets The Blair Witch Project. But for now, Unfriended is a fresh and timely horror flick full of economical scares. COURTNEY FERGUSON Various Theaters.

The Water Diviner
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended What We Do in the Shadows
A mockumentary (wait, keep reading) about vampire roommates (just a little further) from the Flight of the Conchords brain trust. Blissfully, consistently silly throughout (Jemaine Clement's virile Coppola posturing gets funnier with every frame) with some knowingly wobbly effects by Peter Jackson's gang that only enhance the giggles. ANDREW WRIGHT Cinema 21, VOD.

recommended While We're Young
Noah Baumbach takes what could have simply been Look at These Fucking Hipsters: The Motion Picture and transforms it into a hilariously sharp look at the generation gap. The movie distributes its scorn equally and with a rueful good humor. It gets as good as it gives. ANDREW WRIGHT Various Theaters.

recommended Wild Tales
Six short stories revolving around the micro-meltdowns of society. In each case, things fall definitively and spectacularly apart, as the gray areas of characters' motivations clash with bad luck, terrible timing, and, most of all, each other. Wild Tales is disaster porn for the socially scarred skeptic, and it restored my ability to laugh at the messy bullshit we all encounter in our pursuit of a nice life, which is all I'd dare to ask of two hours spent in a dark theater. MARJORIE SKINNER Living Room Theaters.

The Wisdom Tree
A "sci-fi mix of eastern mysticism, quantum physics, and sublime art," The Wisdom Tree follows a trio of characters who must "avert an imminent catastrophe and guide humanity towards the profound realization that the universe is multi-dimensional, strange, and harmonic." In other words: more What the Bleep Do We Know? new-age bullshit. In other words: NOPE. Fox Tower 10.


recommended MEANS WE RECOMMEND IT. Theater locations are accurate Friday, April 24-Thursday, April 30, unless otherwise noted. Movie times are updated daily and are available here.