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.
A Quiet Place
Director, co-writer, and star John Krasinski has crafted a powerful little horror film with A Quiet Place by using an ingenious scenario of a world where everyone must remain quiet lest they get destroyed by monsters. But the monsters are really secondary to the story Krasinski is trying to tell, which is about a family trying to weather tragedy. Yes, they’re also trying to survive against monsters, but the far more effective narrative is about the day-to-day life of a family in crisis and against insurmountable odds. Krasinski does an outstanding job as does his fellow actors in a movie that demands to be seen in a theater as you can feel the tension of your fellow moviegoers in every moment of silence. – Matt Goldberg
Blockers could have gone horribly wrong if it had been about parents who hate sex trying to stop their teenage daughters from having sex. But Kay Cannon’s raunchy comedy works not only because of the hilarious cast, but because it uses the sex as a proxy for deeper issues. One parent wants to stop her daughter from having sex because she believes it will be the first step in her child moving away and leaving her alone; another parent wants to stop it because he’s estranged from his daughter and wants to be a more active part of her life. With the motives better established, Blockers is free to be painfully funny and it’s got plenty of great gags along the way to make it one of 2018’s best comedies. – Matt Goldberg
Isle of Dogs
At this point, you probably know whether your like Wes Anderson or not. However, the director hasn’t stopped evolving, and while his signature style is unmistakable in Isle of Dogs, he continues to pursue richer themes. His latest movie takes place twenty years into the future on the Japanese archipelago where dogs have been banished to Trash Island due to fear of an outbreak of “dog flu.” A young boy comes to the island looking for his missing dog, and a pack of wandering canines agrees to help him. Buried in this dog-and-his-boy story is a surprising metaphor about immigration, demagoguery, and the shortcomings of democracy. But if you just want to see a gorgeously animated movie about very good dogs, you can have that too. – Matt Goldberg
Although Steven Soderbergh’s new thriller Unsane initially touches on the psychological trope of “How do you prove sanity?” it eventually seizes on a more specific subtext. The story follows Sawyer Valentini (Claire Foy), who has recently uprooted her life after having it ruined by her stalker David Strine (Joshua Leonard). However, when she finds herself involuntarily committed, she can’t discern if David has followed her again or if she’s hallucinating. Once the movie establishes a firm reality, it makes the outside world even more terrifying. Some viewers may be put off by the use of an iPhone, but the banal reality of the camera only serves to heighten the tension and further cement the theme that abuse is commonplace. – Matt Goldberg
A movie that’s this funny, sweet, charming, and moving is an easy recommendation. The story follows Simon (Nick Robinson), a closeted gay teen who learns about another closeted gay kid at his high school through an anonymous Tumblr post. The two begin e-mailing back and forth and start up a unique love affair. However, when a creepy guy finds the e-mails, he blackmails Simon into helping set the guy up with one of Simon’s friends. Watching Simon try to hold his life together with both hands may seem stressful and daunting, but director Greg Berlanti makes it look effortless while never losing any of the emotional impact. The movie has a lot of love for its protagonist and all the other closeted gay teens who deserve a love story of their own. Love, Simon delivers it. – Matt Goldberg
The Death of Stalin
If you liked the first four seasons of Veep or the 2009 comedy In the Loop, chances are you’ll go for director Armando Iannucci’s new film, The Death of Stalin. The movie takes place in the days following the death of Joseph Stalin and the ensuing bickering and power plays among his likely replacements. Like Iannucci’s previous work, there’s a clear disdain for politicians and a lot of fun at their absurdity and stupidity. Where The Death of Stalin gets its edge, aside from the comic bickering, is how pitch black it goes in exploring authoritarianism. It’s about what you’d expect from someone who already doesn’t think much of democratic government, but tempered by hilarious performances from the outstanding cast. Of all people, Rupert Friend almost walks away with the movie in his brief scenes as Stalin’s idiot son. – Matt Goldberg
Annihilation is not a sci-fi action movie, but it’s so much better than that. The new film from Ex Machina director Alex Garland is a cerebral, horrifying look at self-destruction, decay, and coming to grips with both. Natalie Portman plays a biologist who, along with a team of fellow scientists, goes to investigate an unexplained phenomenon called “The Shimmer” in order to find out what happened to her husband (Oscar Isaac). The imagery in the movie is stunning, and it features some truly horrifying creatures. At times the film plays like “What if Kubrick and Tarkovsky had a baby, and that baby made The Thing?” It’s riveting, mesmerizing, and an experience you won’t soon forget. – Matt Goldberg
Ryan Coogler’s Marvel movie might end up being one of the most influential films of the decade. Black Panther fearlessly puts politics at the center of a blockbuster, and celebrates black men and women who are able to change the world. Although it occasionally has to stick to the superhero script, following the rise of King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) as he grapples with what kind of country he wants Wakanda to be is compelling stuff, especially when matched against the alluring villain Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). Beautifully crafted with outstanding costume design, art direction, and cinematography, Black Panther is a wonder to behold, and you’ll want to return to Wakanda moments after the credits roll. – Matt Goldberg
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.