The 3 Best Movies in Theaters Right Now: ‘The Martian’ 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 Martian

2015 has been a year defined by superheroes and massive summer blockbusters. It’s seen the release of movies like Jurassic World and Avengers: Age of Ultron, showing us the fantastical side of science fiction everywhere we look. Here to show us the other side of this spectrum is The Martian, brought to us by a creative powerhouse of a team. Ridley Scott directed, while Drew Goddard adapted the screenplay, and together they make a hard-to-match duo.

The Martian, based off of a novel by the same name, follows the exploits of a fictional manned mission to Mars. Things go south, as they often do in space movies, when astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is left for dead on the surface of the planet. Watney is then forced to survive the four years it takes to mount a return mission, with only a month’s worth of supplies and food available to him. As Watney says in the initial trailer for the film, “I’m going to have to science the shit out of this.”

The movie itself is already debuting to stellar reviews, holding down a 92% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Critical consensus calls it “smart, thrilling, and surprisingly funny,” telling us one thing: The Martian is a must-see. We’re entering into the thick of Oscar season, and already it looks like this one is an early contender.

2. The Walk 

In terms of documentaries, Man on Wire numbers itself among some of the best ever. Released in 2008, it told the story of French daredevil Philippe Petit’s daring high-wire walk across the World Trade Center towers in New York City. The Walk is essentially that same story, only told in a more dramatic format. Joseph Gordon-Levitt dons blue contacts and a wig to play Petit, as he pursues his lifelong (and death-defying) dream of walking a wire hundreds of feet in the air.

You can see from the trailers the The Walk indulges in breathtaking cinematography, putting viewers on the wire right with Petit. The movie’s being shown in 3D and IMAX, even leading to some audiences experiencing nausea and vomiting induced by the 1300-foot high tightrope walk (per GQ).

Those with vertigo should obviously avoid going anywhere close to this one, but for everyone else, it’s more than worth your time. Rotten Tomatoes currently has it at an 87% positive rating, giving you the perfect companion to The Martian for a double-feature this weekend.

3. Partisan

The beginning of October marks a decided increase in the quality of releases, as studios begin rolling out the best they have to offer for the end of the year. Partisan represents that level of quality, as a cerebral indie drama starring Vincent Cassel. It’s an odd story to say the very least, about a leader of a commune led by a charismatic leader named Gregori (Cassel).

It only gets stranger from there. Gregori raises a host of children to learn to read, write, and be world-class assassins. One child named Alexander begins to question Gregori’s tightfisted rule over the commune, subsequently going rogue and threatening everything his father-figure built. It’s reviewed fairly positively at 67% on Rotten Tomatoes, albeit among just 15 total reviews. San Francisco Chronicle calls it a “date movie for sadists,” so consider yourself warned if you bring along a significant other.

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