Robin Hood

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

recommended The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
The Coen brothers’ first project for Netflix was initially rumored to be an episodic series—erroneously, it turns out—but appeared last week in your Netflix account as a single anthology film that contains six discrete stories. They’re all set in the Wild West with varying degrees of realism, and they all tackle, in that sideways Coen brothers style, the mythology and iconography of frontier America, as expressed through western books, films, and songs. Oh, and they’re all—either obliquely or directly—about death. It’s the Coens’ longest and most unwieldy film to date, but like everything the Coens have committed to celluloid it’s both confounding and profound, doling out morbidity and hilarity in equal doses and standing up to repeat viewings and argumentative theorizing. It’s a strange, brilliant, inexplicable thing. In other words, it’s a Coen brothers movie. (Now streaming, Netflix) NED LANNAMANN

Border
An unsettling Swedish film about a Scandinavian border security guard with a supposed chromosome deformity, Border has garnered buzz for being based on a short story by Ajvide Lindqvist (author of Let the Right One In), being awarded the Un Certain Regard award at the 2018 Cannes, and for the promise of a shocking, mid-movie troll penis. Lindqvist’s involvement tells you everything you need to know about the tone, while the subtle, shaking handheld cinematography of director Ali Abbasi combines discomfort and wonder in captivating ways. (Opens Fri Nov 23, Cinema 21) SUZETTE SMITH

recommended Boy Erased
Joel Edgerton might not be the first person you’d expect to make a movie based on Boy Erased, Garrard Conley’s memoir of his experience in gay conversion therapy. While Edgerton gives himself a juicy role as a slightly deranged leader of a conversion therapy program, he gives center stage to the film’s timely and important story. It stars Lucas Hedges as Conley’s stand-in, Jared Eamons, and Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman as his well-meaning but conservative parents who send him away in a misguided attempt to turn him straight. The film is subtle and heartfelt in showing how good intentions—when they’re based on rancid, bigoted philosophies—can affect even the families that truly love each other. (Now playing, various theaters) NED LANNAMANN


Conan the Barbarian

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. (Mon Nov 26, Clinton Street Theater) NED LANNAMANN

Creed II
See review. (Now playing, various theaters)

Dietrich & Garbo in the 1930s
A 35mm retrospective of the most notable movies in the careers of two women—sometimes rivals, sometimes colleagues—whose combined legacies cemented the very notion of film stardom itself. (Sat Dec 1-Sun Dec 30, NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium)

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE if you are not a Harry Potter nerd. If you aren’t going to immediately go home to consider plot developments while your movie date reads you random opinions from the deep internet, do not go and see this movie. The thing is 134 minutes long, and the plot is thick and almost excruciatingly detailed. Luckily, some truly remarkable cinematography and delightful cast of magical folk and beasts make the ride an enjoyable one, even when you’re feeling overwhelmed. I recommend seeing it at a theater with extremely comfortable seating, and not skimping on snacks. (Now playing, various theaters, but not that one sketchy theater in Knockturn Alley! They only show... different kinds of movies) JENNI MOORE

Fassbinder Double Feature
Chase away all sense of self-satisfaction and fullness you earned on Thanksgiving by spending time in a darkened room being hollowed out by the casually melodramatic cruelty of director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, a man who made dank visual poetry out of disaffection, misery, and weaponized ennui. This weekend’s one-two punch is 1971’s Beware of a Holy Whore and 1972’s The Merchant of Four Seasons, both on 35mm. (Fri Nov 23-Sun Nov 25, Fifth Avenue Cinema)

The Front Runner
The Front Runner doesn’t really know what to make of Gary Hart. That’s to the movie’s credit, I think—the Colorado senator who made a bid for the presidency in 1987 is neither hailed as a mistreated, martyred political genius nor condemned as a sleazebag whom the press caught cheating on his wife. Played by Hugh Jackman, Hart’s just kind of a blank slate, so director Jason Reitman focuses on the campaign staffers and journalists who surround him. That large, great cast makes The Front Runner worth watching—Mamoudou Athie as the Washington Post’s A.J. Parker and Steve Zissis as the Miami Herald’s Tom Fielder are especially good—so long as you ignore the movie’s promotional campaign that insists Hart’s downfall was the moment American history changed forever, marking the precise instant politics devolved into tabloid sensationalism. Now that’s a bullshit headline. (Now playing, various theaters) NED LANNAMANN


Green Book

Green Book
A lot of people are going to like Green Book. It’s a good holiday movie, ideally suited for seeing with family members who might need a little prodding to be open minded; it makes its obvious case for tolerance and friendship, then bows and leaves. Sure, it’s got some substantial problems, and it elides a lot of racial issues and nuances in order to sell a feel-good story. It probably wouldn’t have flown in the Obama era. But in the Trump era? Maybe we should take what we can get. NED LANNAMANN (Now playing, various theaters)

recommended Grindhouse Film Festival: Vanishing Point
1971’s Vanishing Point stars Barry Newman as the fearless driver Kowalski and a 1970 Dodge Challenger as Kowalksi’s 1970 Dodge Challenger. It’s a car-chase movie so pure and visceral that you can smell burning rubber. Screens on 35mm. (Tues Nov 27, Hollywood Theatre) ERIK HENRIKSEN

Innocents Abroad
Greg Hamilton hosts this annual celebration of filmmaker Les Blank, with a special screening of Blank’s Innocents Abroad, a look at how Europe and America stereotype each other through the experiences of passengers on an overseas tour bus, scored by Mozart, Bob Dylan, Sandy Denny, Jonathan Richman, and more. (Fri Nov 23, Hollywood Theatre)

Mondo Trasho: Blood Rage
This month’s installment in the Hollywood Theatre’s series of mostly irredeemable trash “classics” is 1987’s Thanksgiving-set slasher Blood Rage, which you know is of questionable moral fiber and taste because distributors kept giving it different names in the hopes of tricking unsuspecting audiences into pouring this four-years-stale filth (it was shot in ’83 but wasn’t released until ’87) into their eyes. Starring Louise Lasser as the fucking bizarre half of a mother-and-child reunion that includes a murderous son freshly escaped from an institution. (Fri Nov 23, Hollywood Theatre) BOBBY ROBERTS

recommended Pipe Organ Pictures: Nosferatu
Behind the giant movie screen in the Hollywood Theatre’s main auditorium, in a room accessible only by a steep climb up a metal ladder, are dozens of pipes and dusty percussion instruments that once connected to the theater’s Wurlitzer organ. For the better part of a decade, the Columbia River Theatre Organ Society has been meticulously rebuilding and refurbishing the pipe organ that dates back to 1926, and on Saturday, they'll let Portland movie lovers hear the results for the first time, with a screening of the 1922 horror classic Nosferatu, featuring a live soundtrack played by Dean Lemire. (Sat Nov 24, Hollywood Theatre) ROBERT HAM

recommended Overlord
While carrying out a vital pre-D-Day mission, a ragtag bunch of American dogfaces stumble across a small French village that’s just packed to the rafters with secret gestapo experiments. (Note: In what may be a controversial move in this day and age, the Nazis are unequivocally depicted as the bad guys.) Genre mashups are often content to rest on their high-concept laurels, but this J.J. Abrams production is very willing to do the grunt work, solidly establishing its war movie bonafides—an early paratrooper sequence is genuinely alarming—before transitioning into full-tilt body horror. (This is an extremely moist movie.) If this sounds even remotely like your sort of thing, Overlord’s combination of heavy artillery and horrid creatures should prove to be pretty irresistible. When it comes to B-movies, nasty, brutish, and short all count as positive traits. (Now playing, various theaters) ANDREW WRIGHT

Portland Latin American Film Festival: Something Like That
PDXLAFF presents a screening of Esmir Filho and Mariana Bastos Something Like That, a film that looks at a 10-year relationship through the prism of three key moments that test its strengths and boundaries. (Wed Nov 28, Hollywood Theatre)

A Private War
Rosamund Pike plays Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin in Matthe Heineman’s biographical drama. (Now playing, various theaters)


Ralph Breaks the Internet

Ralph Breaks the Internet
The second installment of the hit film series that was supposed to be, at some point, kind of a Roger Rabbit riff that was also a loose Tron remake about classic video game characters bumping into each other in hilarious ways, but never actually became that, and is now something more like a subversive (really!) Disney Comic-Con panel with a plot, featuring special guest stars the Disney Princesses. That doesn’t mean it can’t be entertaining! Comic-Con panels are (kinda) fun, right? Bonus: This movie won’t end with an interminably awkward Q&A! (Now playing, various theaters)

Robin Hood
The new Robin Hood, starring Taron Egerton, is very, very bad. It is meant to be an of-the-times modernized update of a familiar story—Egerton goes by “Rob”—but feels like a movie for teens made by someone who dislikes teens and thinks they are idiots. Also, Jamie Foxx’s character loses his hand early on, so when he gets to Nottingham, he goes to the ironworks and forges himself a hoof! For the rest of the movie, one of Jamie Foxx’s hands is a metal hoof. I am not joking about this. NED LANNAMANN (Now playing, various theaters)

Suspiria
There’s so much to love about Daria Argento’s 1977 giallo horror film Suspiria: the oversaturated color palette; the melodramatic, opulent gore; Goblin’s twinkling score; and viscerally disturbing images of stuff like maggots falling from the ceilings, which will never not make me frantically comb my fingers through my hair. The whole thing feels like a tormented fever dream—intoxicating and at times barely coherent. But that’s why it’s great. Argento’s Suspiria sucks you in and traps you within, woozy and disoriented from some unknown spell. Call Me by Your Name director Luca Guadagnino’s reinterpretation of Argento’s film is a precisely choreographed mindfuck, but it’s also frequently bogged down by overcomplicated subplots and distracting details. (Now playing, various theaters) CIARA DOLAN

recommended West Side Story
If you wanna be a reductive little snot about it, yeah, you could describe West Side Story as a silly ’60s exercise in slathering Shakespeare with hyper-sentimental song ‘n’ dance. And yeah, there’s never not going to be something unintentionally comedic about watching two ruthless street gangs going to war via snaps and twinkle-toed dance steps. But there’s a fuckin’ reason this film has been considered a top-tier musical for the past 50-plus years, and it’s because director Robert Wise, choreographer Jerome Robbins, composer Leonard Bernstein, and stars Rita Moreno (goddamn!), Natalie Wood, and Richard Beymer essentially perfected the form with their work in this picture. West Side Story is a triumph of slick, vivid artifice and a legitimate American epic. (Fri Nov 23-Thurs Nov 29, Academy Theater) BOBBY ROBERTS

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Widows

recommended Widows
Widows is an overflowing plateful of entertainment, piled high with juicy plot, buttery performances, and plenty of sweet genre pie. Director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) co-wrote the twisty script with novelist Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl, Sharp Objects), and while the interconnected webs of Chicago’s crime underworld and its racially charged local politics contain more than enough intrigue, the performances are what’ll grab you. Standout performances include Cynthia Erivo and Elizabeth Debicki as women who discover their own agency in this world of crime and Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) as a crime boss turned politician, but Daniel Kaluuya as his enforcer brother is fearsomely magnetic, tearing into his role with brutality and delight. (Now playing, various theaters). NED LANNAMANN

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Boy that kooky candy maker sure does maim and kill a lot of kids, doesn’t he? But you know what they always say: You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, and you can’t create an everlasting gobstopper without, uhh... (checks notes) drowning a child in chocolate, or burning a child alive, or transforming a child into a giant bladder to be rolled into the torture chambers beneath your factory manned by the enslaved race you employ as wage-free labor. Enjoy your boat ride to hell, you rubes! (Fri Nov 30-Thurs Dec 6, Academy Theater) BOBBY ROBERTS

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SLAY Film Fest
In person at the Clinton St. Theater 10/29 & 10/30