Alien vs. Predator: Requiem
Can you believe they didn't screen this for critics? Various Theaters.

recommended Atonement
The first hour of Atonement, based on the book by Ian McEwan and set in a pre-war English country house, is faultless: a pungent stew of pleasure and dread, shrill suspicions, and pouting revenge. The film's casting is brilliant, the production design impeccable, the point-of-view switchbacks beautifully turned. Sloughing off the novel's pretentious narration, the film nonetheless bows to his conceit by weaving the sounds of a typewriter into the score. And even if the second half of the film is disappointing, relative to the first, it's not entirely wrongheaded. ANNIE WAGNER Various Theaters.

recommended The Big Lebowski
See My, What a Busy Week!. Clinton Street Theater.

Charlie Wilson's War
See review. Various Theaters.

Chuck Close
This portrait of Chuck Close, whose prints are currently on view at the Portland Art Museum, features an impressive slew of old guard artworld big shots singing Close's praises. In other words, it's a serviceable-to-good artist documentary in that familiar, polite, and formulaic way. CHAS BOWIE Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended Diva
See review. Cinema 21.

Dr. Akagi
Shohei Imamura's charismatic film tells the story of an eccentric WWII doctor obsessed with curing hepatitis. While slow-paced, Imamura's cast of misfits keeps things interesting—including Akagi's nurse (a former prostitute) who, in one scene, entertains a soldier who likes his eggs prepared just so. Eeeeewww. KIALA KAZEBEE Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended The Eel
Winner of the Palm d'Or, Shohei Imamura's 1997 film follows a man who gets out of prison and opens a barbershop. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

Faithless Marijka
A Czech film from 1934, about a woodcutter who has to leave his wife with another man when he goes into the woods. Yep, that'll go well. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

The Great Debaters
See review. Various Theaters.

I Am Legend
I Am Legend is at its best when it's most poetic or frightening: An unabashed horror flick, the film's strongest moments, aside from director Francis Lawrence's painterly shots of a decomposing New York, are the Fresh Prince of Bel Air's genuinely frightening encounters with hives of vampires. And then it all kind of goes to shit, with labored Bob Marley references (?!), rubbery CG bad guys, and sloppy deus ex machinas. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.

recommended Juno
There's a perfect little gem of a movie buried inside of Juno, an offbeat-yet-honest portrayal of a precocious high school girl, Juno (played by an acerbic Ellen Page), who gets pregnant, finds herself unable to go through with an abortion, and decides to give the baby up for adoption. Unfortunately, it's not enough that Juno is funny, well written, and perfectly acted; director Jason Reitman seems determined to get his piece of the saccharine twee-cinema pie, and the film has a too-precious lacquer that can distract from its best moments. ALISON HALLETT Various Theaters.

The Kite Runner
See review. Fox Tower 10.

recommended Kurt Cobain About a Son
See review. Hollywood Theatre.

National Treasure: Book of Secrets
This movie looks almost as terrible as Nicolas Cage's creepily botoxed face. Anyway, not screened in time for press; see our film section for Lindy West's review. Various Theaters.

recommended No Country for Old Men
Joel and Ethan Coen's unforgettably stylish paean to risk, violence, and resourcefulness, based on the throbbing, violent thriller by Cormac McCarthy. No Country's conflict is as lean and primal as they come: one badass chasing another through the the unforgiving landscape of Southwest Texas. Few contemporary directors are as well suited to the task: Through meticulous editing, sound design, and cinematography, the Coens pace and manipulate the narrative tension to masterly effect. When that tension's relieved, it's through the two channels that they know best: violence and humor. They've teased out the wry, deadpan pathos from McCarthy's novel, and use it mostly to decompress the audience, only so they can begin the process again. CHAS BOWIE Various Theaters.

The Open Screen
A brand-spankin'-new open screening night. Bring your short works (under 15 minutes) to show off to people, and check out other people's work. Nine Muses Acoustic Tavern.

The Perfect Holiday
The Perfect Holiday opens with some animated credits in which cartoon Terence Howard (grinchy!) repeatedly attempts to murder cartoon Queen Latifah (jolly!), using a saw, a blowtorch, and some sort of military defoliant. Then Latifah coaxes "the first snowflake of the season" into her giant mouth. "Come in, li'l fella!" she says, "Mmmm, buttery, supple, and with a clean finish. Just like Christmas is supposed to taste!" Um, ick. LINDY WEST Division Street, Vancouver Plaza 10.

P.S. I Love You
See review. Various Theaters.

recommended The Red Balloon & White Mane
Director Albert Lamorisse takes anthropomorphism to new heights with The Red Balloon, his classic tale from 1956 about a little French boy and the red balloon that loyally follows him wherever he goes. It sounds silly, and it kind of is—but lovingly filmed against a misty Parisan backdrop, it's also absolutely gorgeous and surprisingly moving. Also showing: Lamorisse's similarly themed White Mane (1953), about a boy who tames a wild stallion. ALISON HALLETT Cinema 21.

The Savages
See review. Various Theaters.

Silent Night, Deadly Night
It's no Black Christmas, but 1984's inevitable Santa-turns-slasher bloodbath Silent Night, Deadly Night has a few likeable qualities nonetheless: You've got your sex with nuns, you've got a multitude of arbitrary victims introduced and subsequently murdered in roughly one half of one scene, not to mention a smattering of increasingly ludicrous Christmas songs that all seem to be composed specifically for the movie. On the downside, you've got the needlessly expository first two-thirds of the movie, plus perhaps the least convincing horror villain of all time: A dashing, doe-eyed WASP-y dude in a Santa suit who's creepy one liners alternate between the equally un-scary "Puuunish!" and "Naaaw-tee!"—delivered in a nearly unintelligible monotone. ZAC PENNINGTON Hollywood Theatre.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
See review. Various Theaters.

A Czech film from 1937, and the basis for The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
See review. Various Theaters.

Warm Water Under a Red Bridge
Shohei Imamura deftly mines the world of hentai to bring us an evocative, if silly, fable about the magically redemptive power of female ejaculation. More like Warm Watersports Under a Red Bridge! Ha! Tip your waitresses! KIALA KAZEBEE Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

The Water Horse
See review. Various Theaters.

West Side Story
This is that one movie really lonely people like! Hollywood Theatre.