2005 Academy Award Nominated Shorts
Containing both the live action and animated shorts from the 2005 awards, you're going to see some good and bad, but no uglies. The goodies come from the animation program, like Anthony Lucas' The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello, which is a futuristic/Victorian tale of blood-sucking monsters and sailing in the briny sky—all beautifully and moodily animated. Badgered revolves around the sleep deprivation of a fat badger whose enemies are two (cute-as-hell) crows. Meanwhile, the live-action shorts just deliver knockoffs of The Office and The Sixth Sense. (Courtney Ferguson) Whitsell Auditorium

Amelie & The City of Lost Children
An excellent Jean-Pierre Jeunet double feature. (Erik Henriksen) Mission Theater

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Rad! Episodes 4-6 of Buffy! Rad. So, so rad. (Erik Henriksen) Mission Theater

The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari
Like a dream that seems too real or reality that seems too surreal, this 1920 film is an early study in surreal filmmaking.With live musical accompaniment. Hollywood Theatre

Cars' greatness isn't due to its story, which is pretty rote: A hotshot racecar, Lightning McQueen (voiced with boyish exuberance by Owen Wilson), gets stranded in the podunk town of Radiator Springs, and, after some initial whining, learns Important Life Lessons. No, Cars' success is thanks to its vibrant, jovial personality; the film's visceral sense of fun, heart, and adrenaline starts in the first scene and never quiets down. Plus, the film's gorgeous. (Erik Henriksen) Regal Cinemas, etc.

District B 13
France's District B 13 is probably the first film to combine George Orwell, parkour, and kung fu, but what's more surprising than that unlikely amalgamation is how well it works. (Erik Henriksen) Fox Tower 10

The Face of Another
Hiroshi Teshigahara's "chilling psychological thriller" about a horribly disfigured man who gets a new face. Whitsell Auditorium

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
See review this issue. Regal Cinemas, etc.

Following Sean
See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre

Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties
It's funny how sometimes just looking at a title can cause physical pain. Regal Cinemas, etc.

Hard Candy
The story of 14-year-old Hayley (Ellen Page) and 32-year-old perv Jeff (Patrick Wilson), Hard Candy takes enough twists and turns that the audience can't help but squirm—and not necessarily for the reasons one would think. (Erik Henriksen) Laurelhurst, Kennedy School, Mission Theater

An Inconvenient Truth
An Inconvenient Truth is workmanlike and clumsy at times—but it's also hugely invigorating. Tracking Al Gore's global-warming lecture as he schleps his Apple laptop across the country and to China, it's a collection of scientific facts and correlations made urgent through human drama and low-tech slide-show magic. It should be required viewing for every American citizen. (Annie Wagner) Regal Cinemas, etc.

The Lake House
See review this issue. Regal Cinemas, etc.

The Lost City
Andy Garcia's drama about a man who gets caught up in Fidel Castro's Communist Revolution. Not screened for critics. Fox Tower 10

The Mid-Valley Video Festival
If you're brave enough to sit through all of these lame short films... well, at least there'll be beer on the premises. You're gonna need it! (Christine S. Blystone) Bagdad Theater, St. Johns Pub, Kennedy School

Nacho Libre
See review this issue. Regal Cinemas, etc.

The Omen
John Moore directs this remake of 1976's horror masterpiece. Amazingly, this Omen achieves both a stale approach and insulting jump frights/voyeuristic gore. (Jenna Roadman) Regal Cinemas, etc.

Hiroshi Teshigahara's "documentary fantasy" about a man in a white suit who commits a series of murders in a small mining town. Whitsell Auditorium

Places in Pieces, Vol. 2
Set in Western Europe, this is the second installment in a documentary series that records both everyday minutiae and the unusual to essay a location's sense of place, motion, and aesthetic. Food Fight! grocery and Herbivore Magazine are hosting this one as a benefit for SHAC7 (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty) defendant Josh Harper, an animal rights activist indicted as a "terrorist" under the shady-as-fuck Federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which punishes anyone who "physically disrupts" an animal testing facility. (Adam Gnade) Newspace

A Prairie Home Companion
Back when The Simpsons was funny, they had a great gag about PBS' A Prairie Home Companion, hosted by Garrison Keillor. Homer, et al., were sitting on the couch, watching Keillor tell his supposedly comedic stories. Stone-faced, the Simpsons couldn't figure out why the TV audience was in fits over Keillor; finally, Homer stood up and banged on the TV: "Be more funny!" he shouted, confused and angry. So let's give Homer the benefit of the doubt: If broken technology is why A Prairie Home Companion is so dull on PBS (and equally so on NPR), then that means there are a whole bunch of lousy projectors in America's movie theaters—because Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion film is even duller. (Erik Henriksen) Century Eastport 16, Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing, Cinema 21

The Proposition
The Wild Bunch set in the Australian outback, The Proposition is a grisly, fly-infested nightmare of violence and revenge. Though unrelentingly dour, the acting and cinematography is reason enough to see the "anti-feel good movie of the year." (Wm. Steven Humphrey) Lloyd Mall

Psychopathia Sexualis
We all know why you're interested in this movie... some softcore T&A. Sorry to disappoint, but it's more clinical than sexy. Bret Wood's interpretation of Richard von Krafft-Ebing's Victorian-era medical text (which served to scientifically define sexual desires) is full of red velvet boudoirs and voyeuristic glimpses of what gets people's boats floating. From exploited puppet masters to vampires to brainwashed homosexuals, you see it all—and the overall feeling is one of wasted lavishness. The sets, music, and costumes are beautiful, but the emotional experience of watching this movie is lacking in contrast. (Courtney Ferguson) Clinton Street Theater

The Puffy Chair
An amalgamation of Garden State and... well, any road-trip movie you've ever seen, The Puffy Chair is a late-20s quarter-life crisis journey. Which, I know, sounds like it'd be awful to sit through. Okay, let me start over: This film is cute, yet bittersweet, pulling off 20-something angst in a genuine, lighthearted (yet not irreverent) fashion. (Amy Jenniges) Fox Tower 10

Say Uncle
Okay, okay! We say "uncle" already! Please, just don't show us a movie with Kathy Najimy in it! Please! Mercy! Have mercy! UNCLE! Director in attendance. Hollywood Theatre

Sisters In Law
A film about a prosecutor and court president in Cameroon who stand up for the female victims of family abuse. Whitsell Auditorium

The Tea Film
A work-in-progress screening that follows a "legendary American tea importer" as he searches for "the finest handmade teas in the world." We promise that we are not making this up. Whitsell Auditorium

Twelve and Holding
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10