The Best Movies in Theaters Right Now
While we’re overwhelmed with what to watch at home with so many streaming services offering so many choices, not to mention the age of Peak TV, the theater can be somewhat forgotten. And yet we will always advocate for theaters because they’re unique settings where you can truly become lost in a story, free from distraction and letting a storyteller hold your attention for a couple hours.
We’ll be updating this article weekly, and we’ve compiled the best movies that are currently in theaters. Some of these are almost on their way out while others will be here for a few months, but until these films hit Blu-ray and DVD, we’ll be recommending that you get out, find them at your local theater, and lose yourself in the magic of the big screen.
Crazy Rich Asians
Even if you set aside how important Crazy Rich Asians is in terms of representation for Asians and Asian-Americans, it’s just a damn fine romcom. The film stars Constance Wu as Rachel Chu, an economics professor at NYU who doesn’t realize that her boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) is basically Chinese royalty, born into the upper echelons of Singapore’s wealthy elite and all that entails. When they travel to Singapore together for a friend’s wedding, Rachel must contend with Nick’s family, especially his commanding mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh). Director Jon M. Chu approaches his adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s novel with a poppy, effervescent sensibility that lets you get lost in the wealthy lifestyle of the characters without ever feeling guilty. While the wealth may make the movie fun, the movie gets its big heart from the relationship between the characters and the unique cultural texture between Rachel’s Chinese-American upbringing and the Chinese values Eleanor embodies. Crazy Rich Asians is further proof that romcoms can be lovely while still having depth. – Matt Goldberg
There’s a weird moment in the middle of watching BlacKkKlansman where you know for a fact you’re watching one of the best movies Spike Lee has made in his long career. Yes, it has all the hallmarks of a Spike Lee film, both for good and ill, but it also hits with a humor and intensity that makes it more immediate than some of his other work. The true story follows Colorado detective Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), who was able to infiltrate the local chapter Ku Klux Klan by using a white voice and the help of his fellow officer Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver). Despite the outlandish (but largely true!) events, BlacKkKlansman is as biting and as revelatory as any of Lee’s other works on race in America and it demands to be seen. – Matt Goldberg
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
The Mission: Impossible franchise has solidified itself as—pound for pound—the best franchise running right now, and Mission: Impossible – Fallout marks the greatest installment yet. Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie crafts not just one of the best action films ever made, but one of the best films of 2018 bar none. This film delivers everything you’ve come to expect from the Mission franchise—a dynamic team, jaw-dropping action, and plot twists and turns—but also mixes up the series in a unique way by going internal. For the first time, audiences are invited inside the heart and mind of Ethan Hunt, which results in a surprisingly emotional viewing experience that’s all the better for it. Henry Cavill is magnificent, Rebecca Ferguson continues to thrill, and Tom Cruise has never been better. See this big and loud. You won’t regret it. – Adam Chitwood
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Think of Teen Titans Go! To the Movies as a family friendly version of Deadpool. It’s as meta and self-aware as the R-rated superhero movie, and it’s just as hilarious. The film follows the Teen Titans—Robin, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy, and Cyborg—who are on a quest to get their own movies so that they’ll be taken seriously as superheroes. When they’re rebuffed, they figure that in order to get a movie, they’ll need an archnemesis, so they settle on Slade, but have more misadventures along the way as they try to make it to the big screen. The movie is consistently hilarious with some surprising bits of dark comedy that will likely fly over the heads of younger viewers. – Matt Goldberg
Tackling race relations is a very tricky prospect, but filmmaker Carlos López Estrada’s explosive feature film debut Blindspotting manages to bring something new and insightful to the table. The Do the Right Thing-esque story centers on two best friends, Collin (Daveed Diggs) and Miles (Rafael Casal), who navigate the ins and outs of Oakland against the backdrop of an officer-involved shooting. With a terrific script by Diggs and Casal, the film digs deep into universal truths about prejudice and how judging someone based on how they look affects how they interact with the world, but it does so in a way that avoids coming off as preachy or rote. This film is vibrant, dynamic, and at times extremely funny. – Adam Chitwood
Three Identical Strangers
Watching Three Identical Strangers is genuinely one of the most memorable viewing experiences I’ve ever had. This is one of those documentaries that’s better if you know as little going in as possible, but here’s the brief setup: Three 19-year-old men in 1980 discover that they are actually triplets separated at birth. Twists and turns ensue (boy do they), but if you’re at all interested in the “nature vs. nurture” debate, this is an easy must-see as these men were each raised in wildly different households. Director Tim Wardle brilliantly chronicles this experience in a way that feels organic but also cinematic, as the story begins with the tone of a Fast Times at Ridgemont High-like teen comedy before shifting into something much darker and more sinister. Steer clear of spoilers and see this one ASAP. – Adam Chitwood
Even if you’re not an Elvis fan, this one is worth watching to understand his place not only in American history, but how that history intersects with Elvis. When the film is focused on the trajectory of his life and career, it’s incredibly insightful, willing to invite conflicting viewpoints, and letting the audience figure out their own feelings on Elvis’ music and legacy. When director Eugene Jarecki expands his view to try and turn Elvis into a metaphor for America, the documentary becomes a bit more unwieldy, trying to find pat answers and comparison when the breadth and diversity of America make that nearly impossible through a single figure. The metaphor is at its most apt when it looks at Elvis through the lens of the American Myth/Dream and how he embodies both the best and worst that myth/dream has to offer. – Matt Goldberg
Although it doesn’t quite reach the high bar set by the original, Incredibles 2 remains a completely delight from start to finish. Writer-director Brad Bird breaks the narrative into two plotlines, one following Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) as she attempts to restore the good name of the Supers, and a second following Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) as he attempts to raise the kids. Although the Elastigirl plotline has all the colorful action thrills we want from a superhero movie, the film reaches a whole new level as Mr. Incredible struggles valiantly to raise a hyperactive Dash (Huck Milner), an angry Violet (Sarah Vowell), and a Jack-Jack who is bursting with superpowers. Pixar has been uneven with its sequels, but Incredibles 2 is easily a success for the animation powerhouse. – Matt Goldberg
If you’re in the mood for a horror film that will terrify you on a deep level, Hereditary is your jam. The feature debut from writer/director Ari Aster hails from A24, and it’s very much in the vein of that studio’s other critically hailed horror pic The Witch in that it uses the horror genre as a vehicle to tackle other issues. Toni Collette plays a woman whose somewhat-estranged mother has just died, and whose family begins to unravel as strange happenings start to occur. At heart, Hereditary is a family drama. A supremely dark family drama, but a family drama nonetheless. It’s certainly scary, and there’s definitely a horror element, but cinephiles will be delighted to find that this is a handsomely crafted film full-stop with striking cinematography and awards-worthy performances. Just don’t go in expecting a feel-good experience… – Adam Chitwood
Won't You Be My Neighbor?
Yes, this movie will likely make you cry, but as you’ll also see from Morgan Neville’s moving documentary about Fred Rogers, crying is more than okay. What makes Won’t You Be My Neighbor? such a powerful look at Rogers’ life is that it’s really about his ideas. Rather than simply doing a cradle-to-the-grave hagiography about the beloved children’s entertainer, Neville drills down into the ethos of Rogers’ work. While not all viewers will agree with Rogers’ conclusions, we respect them because we respect him because he taught us to respect each other. The most important question the documentary asks isn’t “What would Fred Rogers do?” but “What would you do?” So wipe away those tears and be the person Rogers knew you could be. – Matt Goldberg
If they came out with a new Ocean’s movie every two years, that would be more than okay with me. Instead, it’s been over a decade since the last installment in the Ocean’s franchise, but the new movie doesn’t miss a beat with its all-female cast led by a cool-as-a-cucumber Sandra Bullock as Danny Ocean’s sister, Debbie Ocean. After spending five years in prison, Debbie is determined to swipe a valuable diamond necklace off the neck of vainglorious movie star Daphne Kluger (a scene-stealing Anne Hathaway) with the help of six fellow criminals. Gary Ross’ movie plays by the beats you’d expect of an Ocean’s movie, and you just want to wrap yourself in those beats like a warm, luxurious blanket you stole from a rich person. – Matt Goldberg
First Reformed is not an easy movie by any stretch, but it is one of the best movies of the year. Paul Schrader’s meditation on faith and despair follows a priest (Ethan Hawke) of a small congregation who is begins falling further into hopelessness as he attempts to council a pregnant wife (Amanda Seyfried) and her activist husband (Philip Ettinger).
Schrader allows the audience to sink into the despair with its priest, but it’s never a punishing experience. Rather than try to emotionally eviscerate the audience with bleakness, First Reformed is almost a conversation with the elements that cause despair from global warming to institutions of faith that seem more designed for profit than for spiritual care. And yet despite its lofty ambitions, it’s never preachy or overbearing. First Reformed can be dark and disturbing, but there’s still light in the darkness. – Matt Goldberg
8/10 – We’ve added BlacKkKlansman.
8/3 – We’ve added Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.
7/27 – We’ve removed Isle of Dogs, added Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Blindspotting.
7/13 – We’ve removed A Quiet Place.
7/6 – We’ve removed Blockers.
6/29 – We’ve added Three Identical Strangers.
6/22 – We’ve removed Unsane and The Death of Stalin.
6/15 – We’ve removed Love, Simon and added Incredibles 2.
6/5 – We’ve removed Annihilation and added Hereditary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, and Ocean’s 8.
5/18 – We’ve removed Black Panther and added First Reformed.
4/27 – We’ve removed Paddington 2, which is now available on Blu-ray.
4/20 – We’ve removed The Post.
4/13 – We’ve removed Phantom Thread and added A Quiet Place and Blockers.
3/30 – We’ve removed Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
3/23 – We’ve added Isle of Dogs and Unsane.
3/16 – We’ve added Love, Simon, and removed The Shape of Water, Call Me by Your Name, The Disaster Artist, and I, Tonya because they’re now on Blu-ray/DVD.
3/9 – We’ve added The Death of Stalin, and removed Lady Bird and Thor: Ragnarok.
3/2 – We’ve removed Coco and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which are now available on Blu-ray/DVD.
2/23 – We’ve removed The Florida Project and added Annihilation.
2/16 – We’ve added Black Panther.
2/1 – We’ve removed Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, which is now available on Blu-ray/DVD.
1/19 – We’ve removed IT and Blade Runner 2049; we’ve added Paddington 2.
12/22 – We’ve removed Stronger, The LEGO Ninjago Movie, and Dunkirk; we’ve added The Post.
12/15 – We’ve removed Detroit and added I, Tonya and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
12/1 – We’ve removed Logan Lucky and added The Disaster Artist and The Shape of Water.
11/24 – We’ve removed Good Time and added Coco and Call Me By Your Name.
11/17 – Wind River and Brigsby Bear are now on Blu-ray/DVD.
11/10 – Your Name and Ingrid Goes West are now available on Blu-ray/DVD; we’ve added Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
11/3 – We’ve added Thor: Ragnarok and Lady Bird.
10/27 – War for the Planet of the Apes and Personal Shopper are now on Blu-ray and DVD, so they’ve been removed from the list.
10/20 – We’ve removed Spider-Man: Homecoming and The Beguiled, which are now on Blu-ray/DVD.
10/6 – We’ve added Blade Runner 2049 and The Florida Project.
9/22 – Wonder Woman, The Big Sick, Slack Bay, Raw, and Paris Can Wait are all now on Blu-ray/DVD so they’ve been removed; we’ve added The LEGO Ninjago Movie and Stronger.
9/8 – We’ve added IT.
8/25 – Guardians of the Galaxy. Vol 2 is now on Blu-ray, so we’ve removed it from this list.
8/18 – We’ve added Logan Lucky.
8/11 – We’ve added Ingrid Goes West and Good Time.
8/4 – Colossal is now on Blu-ray; we’ve added Detroit and Wind River.
7/28 – We’ve added Lady Macbeth and Brigsby Bear.
7/21 – Free Fire and Kong: Skull Island are now on Blu-ray; we’ve added Dunkirk.
7/14 – The Lost City of Z and A Quiet Passion are now on Blu-ray; we’ve added War for the Planet of the Apes.
7/7 – Song to Song is now on Blu-ray/DVD; Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Beguiled, and Paris Can Wait have been added.
6/28 – Get Out, Power Rangers, T2 Trainspotting, The LEGO Batman Movie, Logan, and John Wick: Chapter Two are now on Blu-ray/DVD, so they’re off the list. We’ve added Wonder Woman, The Big Sick, and Baby Driver.
5/3 – La La Land and Hidden Figures are now out on Blu-ray/DVD so they’ve been removed; we’ve added The Lost City of Z, Colossal, A Quiet Passion, Slack Bay, Free Fire, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.