SOUL KITCHEN Guess who's not getting invited back to this party? Why yes, we are looking at you, dude against the wall.

American Grindhouse
See review this issue. Clinton Street Theater.

recommended The American
Beginning with a bang—or, more accurately, several bangs, of both the firearm and sexual varieties—The American starts off as the film it's being advertised as: an action thriller starring George Clooney. But then something interesting happens: Director Anton Corbijn (Control) slams on the brakes, revealing The American to actually be a patient, even poetic character study, less an action thriller than a film that just so happens to be about someone who occasionally gets some action and has some thrills. It's a film that recognizes and appreciates silence, that's confident enough to take its time and build its tone, that's more interested in the reasons why someone would pull a trigger than in the act of them doing so. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.

recommended Best Worst Movie
See Film, this issue. Hollywood Theatre.

Bollywood Bike-In
Bollywood flicks screened outside, with proceeds going to the Q Center and Mercy Corps. Q Center

Born Again Sage
A "feature about a heavy metal rebel who never grows up," starring and directed by local VJ Harold Nicholas Wells (AKA the Phantom Hillbilly) Laurelhurst Theater.

Cairo Time
Your mom might like Cairo Time. You will not. American Juliette wanders around Cairo like a wet blanket on vacation—mumbling, oblivious to why all the Arabs are staring at her, and checking her watch, waiting for her diplomat husband to finally meet her. You'd think it would help that the magnificent Patricia Clarkson plays Juliette; alas, it does not. You'd think it would help that she gets wined and dined by the dreamy Dr. Bashir from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine... but no. Nothing can save the slow and painful Cairo Time, not even when Juliette climbs up Dr. Bashir's great pyramid. COURTNEY FERGUSON Living Room Theaters.

recommended Centurion
See review this issue. Living Room Theaters.

Cyrus
The biggest film thus far from the mumblecore crowd, Cyrus has extremely high expectations attached to it. Those who've been cheerleading the films of this underground genre—not to mention fans of Cyrus' cult favorites John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, Jonah Hill, and Catherine Keener—want it to be the breakout film they've been waiting for. It is a legitimization of the style, at least, and the cast members' presences are a weighty endorsement, though the film seems to choke a bit on its good fortune. It's not a bad film, but we're familiar with stories about love triangles created by jealous, threatened mama's boys. This one just talks more. MARJORIE SKINNER Academy Theater, Kennedy School, Laurelhurst Theater, Mission Theater.

Going the Distance
For the most part, romcoms are interchangeable, and it's the fantasy that you select when you choose to watch one. Scottish countryside or Upper Eastside townhouse? Funny gay friend or funny married friend? Going the Distance doesn't really change the game, but it does bring a grubbier option to the table. This is a new fantasy for a new generation marked by 20-year adolescences and a taste for reality-based entertainment, an old formula inserted into a new skin. It talks dirty and wears ripped jeans, but the fantasy is still there, living a different dream as binge drinkers in the big city with creative careers and eventual prosperity in the distance. MARJORIE SKINNER Various Theaters.

I'm Still Here
See review this issue. Cinema 21.

recommended Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child
Comedy and TV director Tamra Davis (Billy Madison, Half Baked, that one movie starring Britney Spears) was a friend of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat when she filmed an interview with him two years before his drug overdose at age 27. Until recently Davis' footage, which also shows Basquiat goofing off in the studio, dancing, and playing with small dogs, was shelved—until Davis realized, after unearthing it, that she had the impetus for a definitive documentary of the tragic artist's life and work. Though clearly meant in tribute, and perhaps (not unnecessarily) glossing over some of the more sordid aspects of his last years, Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child undeniably achieves a convincing argument for Basquiat's artistic contributions, educating the viewer on his background, preoccupations, process, and flaws. MARJORIE SKINNER Various Theaters.

recommended Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
The result of years spent trying to reconstruct her face into relevance and shilling for any product that'll pay her, Joan Rivers' persona has come to overshadow her accomplishments. A Piece of Work gives her life and work a deserved re-contextualization—a reminder that behind the diva shenanigans and synthetic face is a performer who's legitimately influential, pioneering, and above all, pretty damn funny. ALISON HALLETT Laurelhurst Theater.

recommended Machete
"Jesus Christ, Machete! You're a fucking shit magnet!" immigration officer Sartana (Jessica Alba) shouts. It's true. Wherever Machete (Danny Trejo) goes, people seem to lose their arms, intestines, and/or heads; just by following the geysers of blood and blasts of gore, it'd be easy to track his sordid trail of vengeance. Gleefully violent and giddily hilarious, Machete—an action comedy inspired by one of Robert Rodriguez's fake trailers from Grindhouse—is utterly content in its role as a bit of faux exploitation. By the time we witness a climactic standoff between a terrified Minutemen militia and a phalanx of bumpin' lowriders, Machete's more than surpassed its goofy origins. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.

Middle Men
See review this issue. Living Room Theaters.

Mogwai: Burning
Mogwai's live concert film, shot in Williamsburg in 2009. Bagdad Theater.

Resident Evil: Afterlife
The 9,000th flick based on the videogame series. Perhaps not surprisingly, it was not screened for critics. Various Theaters.

recommended Sans Soleil
Chris Marker's arsty fartsy 1983 documentary "complex journey into time and memory." Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Bryan Lee O'Malley's comic book series is a fantastic epic: an earnest, heady, hilarious mashup of comics, videogames, and music, with doses of the confusion, enthusiasm, and melancholy that're embedded in the DNA of every twentysomething. The good news: The movie version, directed by Edgar Wright, lives up to expectations. The better news: Wright's film also does a few things nobody could've predicted. From its opening moments—when a Universal logo rendered in NES-era pixels appears—it's clear there hasn't been a movie like this before. Thanks to Scott Pilgrim, the lines between film, comics, pop music, and videogames have been blurred—in all of the best ways. ERIK HENRIKSEN Century Eastport 16.

Soul Kitchen
What kind of culture is the global culture that's emerging all around us at this moment? This film, which is directed by a German Turk and is set in Hamburg, answers that question with this answer: Global culture is one that is always on the verge of collapse, of falling apart and becoming a meaningless jumble of sounds, feelings, and faces. But somehow it holds together, and what we see is not a total mess but speeding trains, large lofts, bars, clubs, packed restaurants, and people—beautiful people from all of the races of the world—enjoying black American music. The tune at the end of Soul Kitchen is, appropriately (or ironically), Louis Armstrong with Leon Thomas performing "The Creator Has a Master Plan." CHARLES MUDEDE Living Room Theaters.

Takers
A thriller about a bunch of bank robbers, starring Hayden "Anakin" Christensen and Chris "Punchy" Brown. Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing, Century Eastport 16.

recommended The Tillman Story
See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre.

Troll 2
See Film, this issue. Hollywood Theatre.