3 Best Movies in Theaters Right Now: ‘The Jungle Book’ and More

best movies in theaters

Every week, the Cheat Sheet Entertainment staff selects the top three movies to catch in theaters. Here are our top picks for this week.

1. The Jungle Book

Our top movie to catch in theaters this weekend is The Jungle Book, a live-action remake of the beloved animated classic of the same name. While we’ve previously wondered whether Disney’s ever-expanding schedule of remakes, reboots, and sequels is negatively impacting creativity in the industry, director Jon Favreau (Iron Man) has knocked this live-action remake out of the park. The film already boasts a 93% Tomatometer approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus describes The Jungle Book as “the rare remake that actually improves upon its predecessors — all while setting a new standard for CGI.”

Chicago Sun Times critic Richard Roeper was even more effusive with his praise of the technical achievements on display in the film:

[T]hanks to director Jon Favreau’s visionary guidance and some of the most impressive blends of live-action and CGI we’ve yet seen, “The Jungle Book” is a beautifully rendered, visually arresting take on Rudyard Kipling’s oft-filmed tales. Every drop of rain, every cracking tree branch, every swaying tree and (most impressively) every jungle creature in the film looks amazingly real — and yet this entire movie was filmed in a studio in downtown Los Angeles. That’s a jaw-dropper right there.

Of course, all this skillful technical wizardry alone doesn’t make a good movie unless there is an equally well-told story to back it up (just ask the makers of the photorealistic CGI flop Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within). Fortunately, The Jungle Book seems to have that in spades as well. Here’s The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw rhapsodizing about how the film already feels like a classic, despite its cutting-edge special effects:

It handsomely revives the spirit of Disney’s original film, while also having something of old-school family movies about animals like The Incredible Journey (1963) – it almost feels like something I could have watched as a kid on TV. Yet also, weirdly, there’s a touch of Mel Gibson’s jungle nightmare Apocalypto (2006).

As Bradshaw hinted with his Apocalypto reference, the only fault that most critics could find with The Jungle Book is that there are a few moments that may be too intense for young children. The Jungle Book stars Neel Sethi as Mowgli (one of the few non-CGI characters in the film), and features the voice talents of Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, and many others.

The Jungle Book opens in theaters April 15, 2016.

2. Green Room

The Jungle Book may have a few mildly scary moments for children, but if you’re looking for a film with some real blood-curdling moments, then you may want to check out the horror-thriller Green Room this weekend. In the film, a band of down-and-out punk rockers land an unexpected gig at a roadhouse run by white supremacists. While the band handles the uncomfortable show with defiant humor, things soon take a turn for the much worse when one of the band members finds a murdered woman in the venue’s green room. As a result, the band is soon forced into a battle for survival against a murderous crowd of white supremacists.

Green Room stars Patrick Stewart in a type-defying role as a Nazi skinhead leader, and Anton Yelchin, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole, and Callum Turner as members of the besieged punk band. Directed and written by Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin), Green Room has been garnering high marks from the critics and currently has a stellar 91% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes.

Green Room lands in theaters on April 15, 2016.

3. Sing Street

From director and writer John Carney (Once, Begin Again) comes another feel-good musical drama. Set in 1980s Dublin, Sing Street tells the story of a 14-year-old boy who starts a band (called Sing Street) in order to impress a girl (why else?). Filled to the brim with classic hits from ‘80s bands like A-ha, Duran Duran, and Spandau Ballet, Sing Street is a charming love letter to the era that feels fresh despite its somewhat clichéd storyline. Sing Street has garnered positive early reviews from the critics, and the film currently has a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sing Street opens in theaters on April 15, 2016.

All movie cast, crew, and awards information courtesy of IMDb.

Follow Nathanael on Twitter @ArnoldEtan_WSCS

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