Just Booked at The Nightlight: Green Room (2016), Opens 5/13

Sir Patrick Stewart may have been knighted by Queen Elizabeth, but all that British virtue is set aside for his new movie, “Green Room.” … Fans of genre films should appreciate the fast pace and edge-of-your-seat moments that don’t pull punches.

~~ Edward Douglas, New York Daily News

Green Room (2016), Opens May 13th

A punk band on the road find themselves besieged by neo-Nazis in a backwoods Oregon club, in this nail-biting thriller from the director of the cult hit Blue Ruin.

Life on the road is tough for The Ain’t Rights. Broke, tired, and at each other’s throats after a cancelled gig, the DIY punk band accepts one more sketchy matinee show, at a compound in the backwoods of Oregon, just so they won’t have to keep siphoning gas for the long drive home to Virginia. The booker assures them things will go fine as long as they “don’t talk politics” — which seems easy enough, until they take the stage facing an audience of neo-Nazi skinheads. The Ain’t Rights’ decision to kick off the set with a cover of the Dead Kennedys’ “Nazi Punks F* Off” does not go over well. Amazingly, the rest of their set does.

It’s not until they’re backstage that our plucky punk quartet — bassist Pat (Anton Yelchin), guitarist Sam (Alia Shawkat, also at Midnight Madness in The Final Girls), singer Tiger (Callum Turner), and drummer Reece (Joe Cole) — stumbles upon something truly gruesome. Ensnared in a deadly standoff with club owner/​​Gruppenführer Darcy (Patrick Stewart, relishing the chance to play a baddie), his steely eyed fixer (Macon Blair), and some very nasty white supremacists, it’s clear that the band — joined by an unexpected ally with a Chelsea haircut (Imogen Poots) — will need their wits, and whatever weapons they can scrounge, in order to stay alive.

On the heels of his acclaimed revenge drama Blue Ruin, writer-director Jeremy Saulnier shifts gears for this nail-biter of a siege thriller. Spattered throughout with sharp dialogue, toggling between wry humour and sledgehammer bombast, Green Room elevates a deceptively simple cat-and-mouse premise into a terrifying and beautifully constructed odyssey.

Just Booked at The Nightlight: Everybody Wants Some!! (2016), Opens 5/6

Nostalgic in the best sense, Everybody Wants Some!! finds Richard Linklater ambling through the past with a talented cast, a sweetly meandering story, and a killer classic rock soundtrack. (88%, Rotten Tomatoes)

Everybody Wants Some!! (2016), Opens May 6th

Richard Linklater follows his highly acclaimed films Boyhood and Before Midnight with a pure delight, this “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Confused. Set in the world of 1980s college life, Everybody Wants Some!! follows a group of friends navigating their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood. “Linklater’s most sustained comic bliss-out,” raved Justin Chang (Variety). “Linklater indulges his characters’ antics with such wild, free-flowing affection that you might miss the thoughtful undertow of this delightful movie: Few filmmakers have so fully embraced the bittersweet joy of living in the moment—one that’s all the more glorious because it fades so soon.”

Just Booked at The Nightlight: Marguerite (2016), Opens 4/8

“‘Marguerite'” achieves what the protagonist herself never managed: perfect pitch. ~~ Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune (96%, RottenTomatoes)

Marguerite (2016), Opens April 8th

The recipient of eleven César nominations, MARGUERITE is loosely based on the life of Florence Foster Jenkins (also the source for an upcoming Stephen Frears film with Meryl Streep), a wealthy American soprano whose passion for singing opera was matched only by her ear-splitting lack of talent. Her story is transposed to Paris in the 1920s, where her clueless self-delusion is embraced by the Dadaists and sustained, whether out of tact or self-interest, by those close to her, including her philandering husband (Marcon) and devoted butler (Denis Mpunga). Director Giannoli (SUPERSTAR) and actress Frot (THE PAGE TURNER) collaborate on a delicately balanced, non-snarky portrait that is poignant and hilarious at the same time.

Just Booked at The Nightlight: Network (1976), Opens 4/1

I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!

Network (1976), Opens April 1st

Considered to be one of the best media commentary films of all time, Sidney Lumet’s NETWORK does seem particularly prescient in the age of “edu-tainment” and the 24-hour news cycle. The failing United Broadcasting System is fourth out of four in the ratings and the flagging popularity of their once star news anchor, Howard Beale (Finch) is partly to blame. When Beale is given his walking papers, he goes on an on-air tirade that leads to a boost in ratings and a new show overseen by a cynical young executive (Dunaway). Winner of 4 Oscars – including acting nods for both Finch and Dunaway, and a screenwriting award for scribe Paddy Chayefsky.

Just Booked at The Nightlight: Total Recall, Opens 4/1

And, no, it’s not an April Fool’s joke! “Just because it made loads of money, stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, and features a three-titted mutant doesn’t mean Total Recall isn’t ruggedly individualistic art.”

Total Recall, Opens April 1st

Just look at its outsider pedigree: Total Recall was loosely based on a 1966 short story from the flushed mind of Philip K. Dick, produced by the buccaneer Hungarian/Lebanese producers behind Carolco Pictures, and directed by Paul Verhoeven, the Dutch émigré who’d just profitably spoofed America’s security-industrial complex with 1987’s RoboCop.

Here is precisely the dichotomy at the heart of Verhoeven: He is a debunker who exuberantly confirms the intoxicating power of myth while he debunks. “[Verhoeven’s] Starship Troopers doesn’t mock the American military or the clichés of war,” the New Wave director Jacques Rivette said of Verhoeven in a 1998 interview, “that’s just something Verhoeven says in interviews to appear politically correct. In fact, he loves clichés, and there’s a comic strip side to Verhoeven.” Too true—and Verhoeven’s blissfully ambivalent Bang! Pow! artwork has never reached a higher level than it does here.

Just Booked at The Nightlight: APRIL AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD, Opens 4/15

In an alternate history where Napoleon’s heirs rule France, scientists and scholars have gone missing for years, leaving behind a world deprived of their technological innovations. In this land powered by coal and steam, young April searches for her missing scientist parents.

April and the Extraordinary World, Opens April 15th

In an alternate reality, Napoleon doesn’t die at the Battle of Waterloo. Instead, while attempting to engineer an indestructible super soldier, he meets his demise in an accidental laboratory explosion. In the wake of this catastrophe, his heirs maintain control of France, and by 1941 it’s Napoleon V who has come to power. Ever since the death of Napoleon I, however, scientists and scholars have mysteriously gone missing, leaving behind a world deprived of their technological innovations. A thick cloud of pollution hangs over Paris, a result of the use of coal and steam power. Operating in secrecy, a young teenage girl named April, together with her sharp-tongued talking cat Darwin (long story), searches for her abducted scientist parents while attempting to continue their research. But the police, led by the boorish but tenacious Detective Pizoni, are also interested in April’s whereabouts. With the shortage of great minds, all non-abducted scientists are forced into labor for the state war machine. If she can stay one step ahead of Pizoni and his goons, April may just hold the key to the world’s salvation. Then again, she might also trigger its destruction.

Beautifully animated, APRIL AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD is an adaptation of the work of famed French comic artist Jacques Tardi, creator of Adele Blanc-Sec among other works. Drawing inspiration from everything from Dickens to Jules Verne to Miyazaki, APRIL AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD is colorful and funny, but with more than a hint of melancholy and sociopolitical commentary. The greed and gluttony from those in power has trickled down creating an overwhelming cloud of sadness and despair, not unlike the thick pollution that hangs over the city. APRIL’s titular character may wallow in this dark, grimy soot-stained world, but she maintains a bright and shiny hope for the future.

Just Booked at The Nightlight: THE MERMAID, Opens 3/25

“The Mermaid” will make you laugh. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like subtitles. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never heard of the director. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never seen a Chinese movie in your life. It will make you laugh. Guaranteed.

~~ Simon Abrams, Rogerebert.com

The Mermaid, Opens March 25h

Filmmaker Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle, Shaolin Soccer, CJ7, Journey to the West) returns with the spectacular and hilarious romantic fantasy The Mermaid. Deng Chao stars as a wealthy real estate developer whose new project involves reclamation of the sea, threatening the livelihood of the residents who rely on the sea to make a living. This forces a shoal of mermaids to dispatch Shan (Lin Yun) to stop him, but during their encounters, they fall in love with each other. “Packed with slapstick action, fantastical special effects and silly and often off-color humor consistent with Chow’s oeuvre, Mei Rén Yú (The Mermaid) also finds the Hong Kong comedian-turned-auteur contemplating the environmental and conservational ramifications of man-made islands such as the ones built in the South China Sea…Original, inspired, immersive and entertaining…it makes a wonderfully adult bedtime story.” (Los Angeles Times) (Fully subtitled)

Just Booked at The Nightlight: EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT, Opens 3/18

Tracking two parallel odysseys through the Amazon three decades apart, this visionary adventure epic from Colombian director Ciro Guerra offers ethno-botanical adventure, mysticism, and a heart-rending depiction of colonialism laying waste to indigenous culture.

Embrace of the Serpent, Opens March 18th

In 1909, an ailing German explorer enlists the help of a young shaman in his search for a rare flower that he believes could cure him of his fatal illness. Their journey takes them through rivers and jungles ravaged by European interference, climaxing at a mission where a sadistic Spanish priest lords over a huddle of young indigenous orphans. Meanwhile, in a parallel narrative set in the same region in 1940, an American explorer conducts his own search for the elusive flower in the company of the same, now aged shaman in a landscape brutalized by the rubber trade. Recalling such visionary films as Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man and Werner Herzog’s Aguirre, the Wrath of God, this elegiac adventure story surveys a vanishing way of life and the natural world that we neglect (and abuse) at our peril.

Just Booked at The Nightlight: 45 YEARS, Opens 3/11

“[Michael] Moore’s latest movie is not just funny and touching, but it has a lot to say about what we settle for as Americans citizens, and how much better our lives might be if we raised some hell.”

~~ Stephanie Merry, Washington Post

Where to Invade Next, Opens March 18th

Where are we, as Americans? Where are we going as a country? And is it where we want to go, or where we think we have to go? Since Roger & Me in 1989, Michael Moore has been examining these questions and coming up with answers that are several worlds away from the ones we are used to seeing and hearing and reading in mainstream media, or from our elected officials. In his previous films, Moore has taken on one issue at a time, from the hemorrhaging of American jobs to the response to 9/11 to the precariousness of our healthcare system. In his new film, he shifts his focus to the whole shebang and ponders the current state of the nation from a very different perspective: that is, from the outside looking in. Where To Invade Next is provocative, very funny, and impassioned—just like all of Moore’s work. But it’s also pretty surprising.

~~ Film Society of Lincoln Center

Just Booked at The Nightlight: 45 YEARS, Opens 3/11

“Composed with rigour and exactitude and performed with a repressed, heartfelt passion.”—Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

45 Years, Opens March 11th

The devastating new drama 45 Years poses the question, “Can you still have your heart broken in old age?” British married couple Geoff and Kate Mercer (Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling) are a week away from their 45th wedding anniversary party when a long-buried secret threatens to unravel their enduring union. Geoff receives a letter notifying him that the body of his lover, who disappeared 50 years prior in the Swiss Alps, has just been discovered perfectly preserved, stirring up old feelings and provoking jealousy from Kate. While both of them shake it off at first, the revelation summons a formidable ghost from the past that threatens to come between them. The film follows the pair during the week leading up to their celebration, as they grapple with this unexpected late-life marital crisis.

Andrew Haigh (Weekend) miraculously elicits career-best performances from master thespians Courtenay and Rampling, and approaches this delicate story with subtlety and restraint. 45 Years incisively puts the complexities of the human heart under the microscope, examining the challenges of allegiance and life-long partnership; in particular, the consequences of the past’s relentless ability to emerge without a moment’s notice.