The 3 Best Movies in Theaters Right Now: ‘Inside Out’ 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. Inside Out

Pixar has returned to form with their latest release, Inside Out. Recently, the studio has had some problems with their original stories, having leaned heavily on tried and true sequels instead of new properties. In many ways, Disney Animation Studios has out-paced their Pixar colleagues of late, with offerings like Big Hero 6 and Wreck-It Ralph dominating box offices to critical acclaim. The pre-release buzz for Inside Out though apparently has proven to be true: Pixar is back, and better than ever.

Rotten Tomatoes currently has it sitting pretty at a 99% positive rating, with a similarly stellar 98% “Want To See” rating. Scrolling through reviews, the consensus is fairly clear in noting Inside Out‘s tapping into that classic Pixar magic. The Star Tribune‘s glowing praise for the film embodies this best, calling it “uplifting and magical, impeccably crafted and cinematically arresting, emotional and humorous beyond measure.” Typically, these are words reserved for live-action Oscar bait we see in the Fall months, so it goes without saying that this is a must-see for the summer.

For the uninitiated wondering what Inside Out is about: The film follows the adventures of Riley, a girl whose adolescent emotions are embodied inside her head in physical representations residing in a control room. As it is with the best Pixar movies, it takes us deep into the nuance of growing up, and how the inside of our heads can be a chaotic and sometimes terrifying place. It really speaks the studio’s ability when they can encapsulate the complexity of emotions in what amounts to a kid movie.

2. Dope

As we head into summer, we reach that point in the year where low-budget movies that made the rounds at film festivals start making their way into wide releases. Dope is just that, having functioned first as a festival darling. Now that it’s going wide, critics everywhere are continuing to rave about it, and at 91% on Rotten Tomatoes it’s no wonder.

The movie has earned praise for its unique story and compelling acting, led by relative newcomer Shameik Moore as our main character. Moore plays Malcolm, a kid trying to balance his life among academics, his friends, and the difficulties of high school. It’s a plot that on the surface sounds familiar, but in its execution Dope is something entirely on its own. Per The Arizona Republic:

It almost goes without saying that “Dope” gives us a look at Black life and culture we see far too rarely. But we’ll say it anyway: It is a welcome point of view, and Famuyiwa and his actors make the most of it.

With plenty of action and adventure out there in theaters right now, Dope represents a welcomed journey into more of a character story and less of an explosion-filled popcorn flick that usually heralds the summer movie season.

3. The Overnight

Most of the time, sex comedies find themselves directed squarely at college or high school-aged males. But with Patrick Brice’s The Overnight, we have a decidedly adult direction at the genre. It stars Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) and Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black), as a reserved couple, invited to a dinner party slash orgy.

As they explore their sexual boundaries, Jason Schwartzman delivers a hilariously unbridled performance as their gracious host. It’s 87% Rotten Tomatoes score continues this weekend’s trend of solid releases, with no real duds in the bunch in terms of the must-sees. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone even goes so far as to label it “an indecently hot and hilarious sex comedy with quartet of playfully scrappy actors who couldn’t be better suited to their roles.”

In many ways, it’s another character piece disguised as a comedy, challenging even the audience as to their own preconceptions. With The OvernightDope, and Inside Out, this weekend has the potential to be a busy one if you find yourself at the movie theater even for a day.

Follow Nick on Twitter @NickNorthwest

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