3 Best Movies in Theaters Right Now: ‘The Big Short’ and More

There are plenty of notable new films set to hit the big screen this week. Can’t decide which option to buy tickets for first? Here are our staff’s picks for the top three flicks to check out in theaters this weekend.

1. The Big Short

Years after the fact, we’re still feeling the effects of the financial collapse of the late ’00s. It’s not merely a financial backlash we’re experiencing today, but one in the entertainment industry as well. Wall Street bankers and CEOs have become the villains of our TV and movies, and it’s largely tied to the anger and frustration surrounding the rampant greed of corporate America. What many people don’t understand even to this day though, is how our investment banks brought our economy to its knees.

Michael Lewis sought to explain this in his 2010 book, The Big Short. In it, he profiled the men on Wall Street who actually profited from the financial collapse, by identifying and exploiting a housing market that only they predicted would go up in flames. Never to be outdone, Hollywood stepped in to adapt The Big Short into a full-on movie, featuring the star power of Brad Pitt, Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, and Christian Bale. It’s currently sitting at an impressive 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, with all signs pointing to it being a faithful and well-executed adaptation.

2. In the Heart of the Sea

It’s been a couple years since we’ve seen Ron Howard in the director’s chair, with his last film being the 2013 racing movie Rush, starring Chris Hemsworth. Hemsworth returns to Howard’s side with In the Heart of the Sea, the true story behind Herman Melville’s iconic novel, Moby Dick. We’re all familiar with Melville’s book, as one of the greatest pieces of maritime literature ever written. The inspiration behind it though is rooted in a tale that we know all too little about.

Howard brings that story to life, as we learn all about the crew originally terrorized by the whale we’d later know as the titular obsession of Captain Ahab. Critical reception has been mixed in the wake of the release, with Rotten Tomatoes pegging it at a middling 52%. That being so, it’s easy to see that this was a labor of love for all involved, especially when you consider the fact that Chris Hemsworth went through a Christian Bale-esque transformation for his role.

3. Don Verdean

In a year that’s been short on high-quality comedies, Don Verdean arrives just in time to finish out 2015. Directed by Jared Hess (Napolean Dynamite), it follows the story of an archaeologist played by Sam Rockwell, who orchestrates an elaborate hoax, claiming he’s unearthed the skull of Goliath. As the lies begin to stack up, he’s forced to dig himself even deeper, becoming more and more accountable to the religious groups he’s fooling into believing his story.

Don Verdean carries with it that peculiar ’80s vibe you see in all of Jared Hess’s work, a strategy that’s proven to be fairly hit or miss in the past. It’s produced everything from the brilliance of Napolean Dynamite, to the disappointment that was Gentleman Broncos. This offering seems to lie somewhere in between those two films, sitting at a 41% Rotten Tomatoes score, albeit with 17 total reviews to its name.

Follow Nick on Twitter @NickNorthwest

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