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

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. Dope

Dope has actually showed up on our list of movies to see once before, and it surfaces once again for its wide release (it’s previous run was limited to a few major cities). Having now been circulating around for a couple months, its wide release will continue to build the hype for the early Oscar contender. The film itself is a poignant look inside racial America and the black youth experience. Already, it’s made the rounds at various festivals, gathering accolades everywhere it’s been screened.

As of this publishing, Dope sits at a lofty 87% Rotten Tomatoes score, having continued to sit well with critics and audiences alike during its limited run in theaters. Per RT’s critical consensus:

Featuring a starmaking performance from Shameik Moore and a refreshingly original point of view from writer-director Rick Famuyiwa, Dope is smart, insightful entertainment.

The hype has only continued to build for both lead actor Shameik Moore and director Rick Famuyiwa, with this acting as a vehicle to vault them into the collective consciousness of Hollywood and viewers alike. For an entertaining take on racial issues told in a visually appealing way, we highly recommend giving Dope a shot now that it’s officially gone wide.

2. Dragon Blade

This one falls decidedly in the “so bad it’s good” category, starring Jackie Chan, John Cusack, and Adrien Brody in the Chinese-made Han Dynasty-centric Dragon Blade. In it, Cusack plays a Roman general that teams up with Jackie Chan to fight off fellow a fellow Roman officer, played by Brody. Despite the impressive personnel, it appears to be a movie short on substance and heavy on overwrought battle scenes and odd acting choices. That’s not to say it completely lacks entertainment value, with io9 having the following to say about it:

This is a movie where the brilliant action-comedy star Jackie Chan is playing it straight, and meanwhile Cusack sort of stands around looking puzzled in his Roman soldier armor—while Brody is busy UNCAGING THE BEAST WITHIN, with the sort of performance that makes you wonder if the man prepared for this role by making Tarzan noises in the shower

If that’s not enough to motivate you to see this tortured mess of a war movie, we’re not entirely sure what will. Brody spends a solid 90 minutes screaming like a cartoonish villain from your favorite Saturday morning cartoon, while Cusack looks he accidentally wandered on set is generally puzzled by what’s happening around him (so par for the course for him at least). For the hate-watchings among us, Dragon Blade is the way to go this weekend.

3. Creep

In the spirit of terrifying found footage movies, we have the latest product from a genre that’s blown up over the last decade. Creep stars Mark Duplass as a man who’s contracted our protagonist to film a video diary of him in, all set in his creepy remote house in the woods. While found footage jump scares have largely run their course in Hollywood, early reviews have been largely positive, placing it at a whopping 95% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Duplass himself has been showing up just about everywhere lately, from his starring role on FXX’s The League, to his increasing presence as a writer/director for various projects both in film and on television. For Creep, he plays a decidedly less humorous role than we’re used to seeing him in, as an unhinged psychopath whose sinister motivations are only revealed before it’s too late for our main character, played by Patrick Brice (who incidentally is also the writer and director of the film).

Follow Nick on Twitter @NickNorthwest

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