We’re still buzzing after last week’s premiere of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other amazing movies to see. Check out our staff picks for this weekend’s top new releases in theaters and start planning now!
1. Everybody Wants Some!!
Richard Linklater is most known for being the creative force behind Dazed and Confused, the iconic 1970s-centric romp that launched a young Matthew McConaughey’s acting career. For Linklater’s latest, he’ll be moving forward a decade, offering up a coming-of-age story set in the ’80s. Everybody Wants Some!! appears to run in a similar vein to its spiritual predecessor if early returns are to be believed. Over on Rotten Tomatoes’s 93% positive rating, the movie comes with a consensus dubbing it “nostalgic in the best sense.” Translation: It’s Richard Linklater at his very best.
2. Miles Ahead
Miles Ahead may have its fair share of issues as a biopic. The whole affair is made worth your while though by Don Cheadle’s fantastic performance as Miles Davis. The story picks up in Davis’s latter years, frequently flashing back to his days circa “Sketches of Spain,” set to the backdrop of a rollicking mission to track down a stolen session recording. It’s Cheadle’s first try at directing, writing, and starring all at once, and with that in mind, it’s a strong effort. Existing in a post-Dewey Cox world as a biopic is tough, and Miles Ahead achieves that to mixed, albeit impressive, results.
Critically, most reviewers seem to agree that the film succeeded in its main goals. Rotten Tomatoes currently has it sitting at a generally positive 68% rating, putting it firmly in “worth your time” territory. Even if it struggles at times to make the story being told feel important, Miles Davis is nothing if not a fascinating human being, and Cheadle conveys that to a tee for his stellar performance.
3. The Dark Horse
Of all the releases this weekend, The Dark Horse is the one that can boast its credentials as a prestige piece of cinema. Cliff Curtis stars in the true story of a Maori speed-chess champion coping with bipolar disorder. After his release from an institution, he takes it upon himself to coach a team of young, aspiring kids, in an effort to redeem both himself and his legacy as a legend of the game.
The Dark Horse has already become a film festival darling, and critics have lauded it already as one of 2016’s best movies. It’s already netted a sky-high 97% Rotten Tomatoes score, tackling “complex themes with a richly layered, unpredictable, and deeply affecting story.” It’s easy to lose sight of the quieter, more human side of cinema in the din of comic book movies, and here we have a film that brings us back down to Earth. There’ll always be a place for bombastic blockbusters, but it’s important to not let truly great stories like The Dark Horse get lost in that shuffle.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NickNorthwest