LABYRINTH OF LIES “There are billions of spiders in here... I just know it.”

The Assassin
Hou Hsiao-Hsien's drama/wuxia film, starring Shu Qi as a young killer. Fox Tower 10

B-Movie Bingo
The Hollywood's film series where audiences check off a bingo card full of wonderful B-movie clichés. This month's entry: 1992's CIA Codename: Alexa. Hollywood Theatre

recommended Beasts of No Nation
The efficient dismantling of sentiment and structure is a trademark of writer/director/cinematographer Cary Fukunaga, who's best known for helming the first season of True Detective. The same deft hand and ghoulishly fecund aesthetic is on display in Beasts of No Nation—but while Detective floundered on the shoals of gnomic middle-class existentialism, Fukunaga trains his eye on a single African boy's descent into a single heart of darkness. This time around, there isn't a single wasted shot or extraneous monologue. BEN COLEMAN Netflix

recommended Bone Tomahawk
Bone Tomahawk lies somewhere between western and horror, and the less you know going in, the better. A magnificently bearded Kurt Russell plays a small-town sheriff who embarks on an all-but-doomed rescue mission; along for the ride are Patrick Wilson, Richard Jenkins, and Matthew Fox. S. Craig Zahler's film ebbs and flows, but it's strongest when relying on stark landscapes, Russell's grizzled charm, and moments of jarring violence. This thing wasn't released in Portland theaters, but if you're a fan of either of the aforementioned genres, it's well worth checking out. The most disappointing aspect is that Russell's character, tragically, is not named Bone Tomahawk. But that's okay. I hereby vow to bestow that name upon my firstborn child. ERIK HENRIKSEN On Demand.

recommended Bridge of Spies
Spielberg's first film since 2012's Lincoln is an exceptional job of work—a deliberately old-fashioned hybrid of courtroom drama and Cold War skullduggery that's so expertly put together that you may not realize the beauty of its construction until after the fact. ANDREW WRIGHT Various Theaters

Burnt
See review this issue. Various Theaters

recommended Crimson Peak
"It's not a ghost story," Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) says in Crimson Peak. "It's a story with a ghost in it." Edith isn't talking about Crimson Peak, though she might as well be. Guillermo del Toro's latest is a visually sumptuous gothic romance—one that, amidst all the melodrama, offers slivers of sly wit, loving nods to classic horror, and, by the time it's over, quite a bit of blood. It also has a ghost in it. Or two. Or three. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters

recommended Experimenter
Social psychologist Stanley Milgram worked on the "six degrees of separation" theory, but he's better known for an experiment that measured people's willingness to inflict pain on strangers. That's the subject of Experimenter, a playful, self-aware movie with a personality as eccentric as Milgram's. Played by a twinkly-eyed Peter Sarsgaard, Milgram breaks the fourth wall to narrate the story from the standpoint of one who has already lived it, while writer-director Michael Almereyda uses visual metaphors (an elephant in the room) and fake backdrops to remind us of the movie's—and the experiment's—inherent artificiality. He shrewdly avoids giving Milgram's entire biography, focusing instead on the more easily managed story of this experiment and the notoriety that followed. As Milgram, Sarsgaard is resourceful and optimistic, a trustworthy pal who's eager to let us in on his secrets. The study raised alarming questions, but the film is enjoyably relaxed, a humorous, upbeat account of a fascinating phenomenon. All social science should be this entertaining! ERIC D. SNIDER Hollywood Theatre

recommended The Fly
There are horrible things about Halloween—like children, for example, or those people who spell it "Hallowe'en"—but when it comes to theaters showing classic horror movies throughout October, you can't lose. This week, there's The Fly, which takes over the Fifth Avenue Cinema with all of its goopy, bloody, oozing, Cronenbergian, Jeff Goldblumian greatness. Or horribleness, if you're squeamish. ERIK HENRIKSEN Fifth Avenue Cinema

recommended From Dusk Till Dawn
"Alright, vampire killers. Let's kill some fucking vampires." Hollywood Theatre

Goosebumps
A greatest hits-collection of all the most memorable Big Bads from R.L. Stine's beloved Goosebumps series. Slappy the ventriloquist's dummy, the Invisible Boy, the Blob That Ate Everyone, those pissed-off garden gnomes—they're all here, and so is the author himself, a reclusive curmudgeon (played by Jack Black), who keeps his monsters locked away in books. (Until chaos ensues. Low-stakes, goofy, easily resolved chaos.) Stine has always been an author with a wry sense of humor, and Goosebumps' most adult-friendly gag sees the author bitterly comparing his success to Stephen King's. (It's an off-base comparison, though: Stine is the Dean Koontz of kids' horror novelists; Christopher Pike is the Stephen King. I have been waiting 20 years to write that sentence.) ALISON HALLETT Various Theaters

Grisly, Ghastly, Ghoulish Animated Horror
Spooky animated works from around the world, personally selected by Laika Brand Manager Mark Shapiro. Screens as part of the NW Film Center's Halloween Chills series. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium

I Walked With a Zombie
The makers of the classic Cat People reunited in 1943 for this creepy tale of a nurse plunged into a world of psychological horror. Screens as part of the NW Film Center's Halloween Chills series. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium

Labyrinth of Lies
The shock at the heart of this Holocaust drama is not the atrocities committed at Auschwitz. It's the revelation that, by the late '50s in an economically booming (West) Germany, the average young German had never even heard of the infamous concentration camp. Among them is Johann Radmann (Alexander Fehling), a composite character representing the real-life team of public prosecutors who charged former Nazis with murder in the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials of the 1960s. This stately, tasteful film captures the beauty of German life at the time—a lovely boat that nobody wanted to rock—as well as the institutionalized protection of a state that allowed most of these war criminals to simply blend back in. More commendable as a history lesson than a character study of Radmann (who nonetheless gets one), Labyrinth feels longer than its full two hours due to the understandable grandeur with which it delivers its gravitas. MARJORIE SKINNER Cinema 21

The Last Witch Hunter
Diesel plays Kaulder, a medieval fighter guy who becomes immortal when he kills a witch queen. Now Kaulder is an 800-year-old New Yorker, banging flight attendants whenever he's not out fighting witches. Look, they didn't have to make a masterpiece. All they needed were some grotesque-looking witches, some noisy fighting, and probably a few glowy magic spells. And they needed just a little bit of fun—a quip here, an over-the-top special effect there, a jump scare when you aren't expecting it. But The Last Witch Hunter doesn't just plod, it crumples in front of you. NED LANNAMANN Various Theaters.

Let the Right One In
This much-ballyhooed Scandinavian film is neither scary, teen angsty, nor spooky enough—but it is lovely, filled with austere, blue-hued snow and groves of haunting birch trees in the midst of Stockholm. And while Let the Right One In is by no means a poor entry in the vampire genre, it left me nearly as cold as the frozen landscapes, meting out little satisfaction on either a horror level or a character level. To be fair, the film doesn't pretend to scare you—it truly wants to succeed in an elegant, understated way, though it doesn't completely reach its goal. COURTNEY FERGUSON Hollywood Theatre

Love
See review this issue. Cinema 21

recommended The Martian
Set in a fantastical near-future in which America adequately funds its space program, The Martian is the best ad for NASA since Ahmed Mohamed's T-shirt. Just about every frame reinforces a core sentiment: It's time to start caring about space again. The fact that The Martian manages to sell this idea—convincingly and rousingly, with a fair amount of humor—is all the more impressive given that it follows a man who's been marooned 140 million miles away and is forced to spend his days desperately trying to delay his all-but-inevitable death. It's funnier than it sounds. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters

recommended Mistress America
Even if Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig's latest project together feels like an afterthought when compared to Greenberg and Frances Ha, it's also their most consistently amusing, cleverly self-critical film to date. KATHY FENNESSY Various Theaters

Norway
Greek director Yannis Veslemes' 2014 story of an out-of-date, steampunk lounge lizard vampire stalking the nightclubs of 1980s Athens. Screens with Jacques Tourneur's I Walked With a Zombie (1943). NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium

Our Brand Is Crisis
See review this issue. Living Room Theaters

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
This would've been better if it was called The G-G-G-G-Ghost Dimension! It isn't, though. It also wasn't screened for critics. Various Theaters

recommended The Phantom of the Opera
1925's Lon Chaney classic, featuring live organ accompaniment by Martin Ellis. Hollywood Theatre

recommended Room
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10

The Sea Behind You: Middle Eastern Migrants in French Cinema
Cinema Project presents two experimental documentaries "examining issues surrounding immigration from the Middle East to Europe"—Burn the Sea (screening Sun Nov 1) and And We Will Throw the Sea Behind You (Thurs Nov 5). More at cinemaproject.org. Hollywood Theatre

recommended Sicario
What's the opposite of evaporate? Whatever it is, that's what Sicario does. When so many movies and TV shows disappear from memory as soon as you're finished watching, Sicario lingers. It clots. Denis Villeneuve's new drug thriller is phenomenal. Its story is both personal and political, a scathing portrait of the drug war, as well as an elemental allegory in which moral dilemmas are depicted by characters crashing violently into each other. NED LANNAMANN Various Theaters

recommended Steve Jobs
A lesser film might have gone full biopic, with all the bloat and sentiment inherent to that genre, but with Steve Jobs, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin does audiences the favor of cutting out the bullshit. What remains is a story told in a few key sequences, each set in the moments preceding the launch of a new product: the Macintosh, the NeXT Computer, the iMac. As Sorkin writes it, just about every important conversation Jobs ever had took place in the frantic seconds leading up to these launches, when friends, family, and enemies would swarm, all sharing some phenomenal dialogue with Jobs before he went onstage. (If you guessed there's a lot of West Wing-style walking and talking through backstage hallways, CORRECT.) ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters

Truth
Truth tells the story of the news story that brought down CBS producer Mary Mapes and Dan Rather. It's compelling, and full of insight into the journalistic process, but falls too easily into the same old myth-making. The drama surrounds CBS's 2004 investigation into George W. Bush's record at the Texas Air National Guard—and the subsequent witch hunt that cost Mapes (Cate Blanchett) and Rather (Robert Redford) their jobs. It's brilliant at depicting the inherent paradox of journalism: that only a kind of sick, semi-masochistic addiction drives anyone to do it in the first place, and yet the public expects unbiased detachment, from people who are essentially adrenaline junkies. Truth has a big blind spot, however, when it comes to its own subjects. It never acknowledges that Mapes' and Rather's brand of journalism promoted the same misconceptions that brought them down—the idea of the mythical, authoritative, perfectly objective "News Man." The public might not have expected perfect objectivity if CBS hadn't been selling it. And even in this supposedly tell-all story about Rather, we never see him out of a suit, doing anything but dispensing fatherly advice. Its post-mortem on a failed story would've been more effective if it didn't also attempt to be a tribute to Dan Rather, America's Dad. VINCE MANCINI Fox Tower 10

The Winding Stream
In this inviting documentary from Vancouver, Washington, filmmaker Beth Harrington follows America's first family of music—the Carter Family—over the course of the 20th century. It's a well-constructed overview, with glimpses into the personalities of A.P., Sara, and Mother Maybelle, and the long shadow they cast over folk, country, and old-time music. It's perhaps too vast a legacy to be contained in one movie, but Harrington's film is the perfect entry point into the world of the Carters, and how they brought American rural music traditions to the forefront of 20th-century culture. NED LANNAMANN Hollywood Theatre

recommended Zombie Cats from Mars
The title didn't already sell you on Zombie Cats from Mars? Add to the glorious bounty: a squadron of cat actors who scratch, purr, and bat at each other's faces, Friday references, puns, and so many feline POV shots you'll want to chase your own tail. This is delightful and silly and LOL funny—finally, a local B-movie that nails it! COURTNEY FERGUSON Clinton Street Theater


recommended MEANS WE RECOMMEND IT. Theater locations are accurate Friday, October 30-Thursday, November 5, unless otherwise noted. Movie times are updated daily and are available here.