The Best Movies in Theaters This Weekend: ‘Spectre’ 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. Spectre

There’s been a fair amount of talk concerning Daniel Craig’s decidedly controversial stance on James Bond, as well his unwillingness to play the character in the future. That being so, it hasn’t slowed down the hype for Spectre, the fourth movie in Craig’s run as 007. The lead-in to its release has led to many questions as to whether Christoph Waltz is secretly iconic Bond villain Blofeld, along with what exactly Spectre is actually about in terms of story.

Rotten Tomatoes currently has the movie rating out at 64%, and if that holds, it would mark the lowest score for any Daniel Craig Bond film. RT’s critical consensus notes that its main flaw is the fact that it’s “reliant on established 007 formula,” although it does credit it as a “glorious, action-driven spectacle,” so there are definitely plenty of reasons to tune in. At a runtime of over two-and-a-half hours, you’d best be sure your bathroom and concession trips are out of the way before the curtain goes up, so be prepared on that front.

2. Spotlight

Oscar season continues to roll on, and with this comes yet another release that could challenge for Best Picture this year. Spotlight focuses on the true story of the Boston Globe team that unraveled the allegations against the Catholic Church in a number of high-profile child abuse cases. It was one of the first true reveals of the massive levels of corruption that existed within the Church to allow these unspeakable acts to happen, and now we’ll see it from the side of the reporters who broke the story.

Spotlight is releasing as a critical darling, sitting pretty at a 95% Rotten Tomatoes score. Many are lauding the film as one of the most true-to-life portrayals of the journalism industry, with AV Club going so far as to call it a “rare breed of newspaper drama whose admiration for the profession is rooted in a real understanding of it as a profession.” It’s never easy balancing a high-profile scandal with strong characterization of a complex industry, and Spotlight hits the nail right on the head.

3. Trumbo

Spotlight isn’t the only film coming out this weekend that’s angling for an Oscar. Trumbo, starring Bryan Cranston, seeks to achieve a similarly lofty status, shining the light on one of our country’s most shameful decades. The Hollywood Blacklist existed as a direct result of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Communist witch hunt, putting some of the most creative and inspiring talents the industry has ever seen out of work. Dalton Trumbo was one such talent, and is widely regarded as one of the best screenwriters Hollywood has ever seen.

Currently, Trumbo is scoring fairly well at 71% on Rotten Tomatoes, with critical consensus calling it a “well-acted tribute to a brilliant writer’s principled stand.” We’d be shocked if Cranston didn’t enter into the Academy Award discussion for Best Actor for his role as the iconic screenwriter, forever cementing him as one of Hollywood’s top A-listers.

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