Steve Walker

Freelance Arts Reporter

Since 1998, Steve Walker has contributed stories and interviews about theater, visual arts, and music as an arts reporter at KCUR. He's also one of Up to Date's regular trio of critics who discuss the latest in art, independent and documentary films playing on area screens. 

In addition, Walker has taught creative writing and film criticism classes at the Kansas City Art Institute and currently teaches at the University of Kansas. His writing has appeared nationally in The Sondheim Review, The Advocate and Theater Week, and locally in The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Business Journal, Ingram's, The Pitch and Review.

Merrick Morton / Fox Searchlight Pictures

Kansas City has been blessed with an unseasonably warm fall this year, though you won't be able to tell by stepping outside during the first half of this weekend. While you wait for the return of 50-degree weather — and you won't have to wait long — take in a good indie, foreign or documentary movie. The latest recommendations from Up To Date's Film Critics may not make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, but they will keep you warm and cozy while you avoid the outside.

Gloria Baker Feinstein / Argot Pictures

It's December, which means the holiday season is well underway. We've passed the Thanksgiving turkey, racked up those Black Friday credit card charges and driven by the now-illuminated Country Club Plaza. It seems like there's no hiding from this jolly time of year. For those looking to hold off on watching It's a Wonderful Life and Elf for a few more weeks, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have a few recommendations.

Steve Walker

Sony Pictures Classics

After the turkey day hubbub settles down (but before heading back in to work on Monday), get back in the swing of things with a movie. Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics each have three suggestions for your weekend. They may not include dangerous car chases, big explosions or political intrigue but — hey! — didn't you get enough of that during Thanksgiving?

Cynthia Haines

Lady Bird, R

A24 Films

Thanksgiving is a time for family, but sometimes a break from all that togetherness can be a good thing. This weekend's recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics will give you a great excuse to get away for a few hours, and an "R" rating means the wee ones won't be able to go. (Darn!) From wistful to just plain weird, these off-beat movies are a great way to squeeze in a little personal time before the holiday season.

Steve Walker

A24 Films

It's starting to feel a lot like ... winter. With lower evening temps driving you inside, you might as well cozy up in a local theater with a good film, right? No worries! Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics are here to help you pick the best flicks to keep you company while you stay warm this weekend. 

Cynthia Haines

Jane, PG

National Geographic Studios

The world is a complicated place full of important decisions and things beyond our control. Which way to vote on the KCI single-terminal ballot question? Will Amazon HQ2 come to the metro or not? Will they ever open all the lanes on I-435?

Amazon Studios and Participant Media

Galloping gargoyles, wicked witches and frightful fiends! If the haunts and terrors of an approaching All Hallow's Eve have you hiding under the sheets, be brave! Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary film critics are here to treat you with a trick to ward off menacing ghouls and goblins. Let their recommendations help you plan your escape to an area theater featuring the best films now showing.

Steve Walker

Human Flow, PG-13

Good Deed Entertainment

With Royals' season at a disappointing end, and the Chiefs having gotten their game out of the way on Thursday, sports fans might be looking for other things to do. This weekend's a perfect chance to check out recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics. They won't get our boys in blue into the playoffs or make up for two painful losses on the gridiron, but they might help you forget.

Cynthia Haines

78/52, Not rated

Focus Features

If Friday the 13th has you feeling down on your luck, Up To Date's  indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics are here to set you back on the path to good fortune. From a royally heartwarming tale of unlikely friendship to an in-depth documentary about one of the largest public libraries in the United States, checking out any of these recommendations are sure to undo bad mojo accumulated from walking under ladders, breaking mirrors, or even opening your umbrella indoors.

Steve Walker

Music Box Films

KCUR prides itself on the breadth of our coverage, but Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics are really pushing the envelope with this weekend's recommendations. From the slow creep of Nazism in the 1930s to the partition of India to a shoemaker whose name is regularly dropped by fashion editors, movies stars, and rappers alike, this batch of movies is all over the map. We'll leave it up to you to find a through line.

Cynthia Haines

13 Minutes, R

Sundance Selects

From Puerto Rican devastation and despair to the political caterwauls playing out on football fields, there are plenty of reasons people may want to tune out for a few days. For those looking to pause and pardon themselves from current events, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics present the following movie recommendations, which will provide some respite and, hopefully, perspective.

Steve Walker

The Unknown Girl, Not rated

IFC Films

It's going to be another long, hot weekend in Kansas City. If you need an excuse not to mow the lawn or trim the hedges, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have you covered. Their weekend movie recommendations are a perfect way to keep cool, even if you won't be as productive as you might have liked.

Cynthia Haines

Letters From Baghdad, Not rated

Anguille Productions

Eyeballs across Kansas City will be glued to the TV this Sunday for the Chief's home opener, but if you need something to help you forget about the anxious wait  — or maybe you're not a sports fan and in need of weekend plans — Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have you covered. Their weekend movie recommendations are a perfect way to make the time fly by.

Cynthia Haines

Viceroy's House, Not rated

A24 Films

Everyone needs a break now and then from the quotidian, which is why this week's recommendations from Up To Date's independent, foreign and documentary film critics are chock-full of characters attempting extraordinary things. Whether or not you follow in their footsteps is up to you, but their stories are sure to stretch your perspective and shift your paradigm.

Cynthia Haines

Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story, Not rated

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Labor Day weekend is upon us! If you're still searching for something to do during your extended weekend, why not try an off-beat movie or two? Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary film critics have a list of recommendations sure to keep you entertained and relaxed. After all, that's what the holiday is all about, right?

Steve Walker

Patti Cake$, R

Neon

August is almost over and, as students across metro Kansas City head back to school, free time has become a luxury once again. If you're searching for an escape that's truly worth a trip to the theater, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary film critics' latest set of movie recommendations is a sure bet. You'll be glad you did.

Steve Walker

The Unknown Girl, Not Rated

Music Box Films

If preparations for Monday's total solar eclipse kept you from planning for the perfect weekend, don't fret! Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have you covered. While the movies they recommend might not be as dramatic as watching the moon blot out the sun for minutes at a time, they're still worth watching.

Steve Walker

Paramount Pictures

If the "fire and fury" of this week's political tension has you seeking relief, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have suggestions for the perfect movie to keep your mind off earthly crises. Well, except for the first item on the list which, coincidentally, is about Earth's environmental problems (it's still worth watching though!)

Steve Walker

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, PG

Roadside Attractions

Some people believe they were born in the wrong era. If you just can't seem to find your place in the age of Big Data, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have a set of recommendations to take you back to your spiritual time span. Whether you're pining for the Victorian 1850s or the bullish 1990s, take a break this weekend from push notifications and iPads, and enjoy the simplicity of bygone days.

Steve Walker

Landline, R

A24

Did you know July is National Anti-Boredom Month? (No, we're not kidding.) If you're looking back in remorse at an uneventful last four weeks, it's time to get off the couch and get into your local theater! Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics are back to recommend the least-boring flicks playing now. Finish off the month in style with a movie that's sure to keep you entertained.

Cynthia Haines

Score: A Film Music Documentary, Not rated

Epicleff Media

As the summer heat stretches on, fatigue sets in. If you're getting a little exhausted from road trips, swimming pools, or just hiding at home in the air conditioning, why not watch a movie? Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary film critics have a few suggestions to keep this weekend from going stale. 

Steve Walker

Maudie, PG-13

IFC Films

The ancient Greeks divided storytelling into two major pillars: drama and comedy. Thousands of years later, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary film critics continue to apply their wisdom to the movie reviewing process. Whether it's a movie that will leave you crying from laughter or sobbing genuine tears, you won't want to miss these films.

Steve Walker

Band Aid, Not rated

Johan Voets / A24

The Fourth of July has passed and the fireworks have died down, but you can still simulate the experience of watching glowing stuff in the dark. How, you ask? Why, with a visit to a local movie theater! Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics offer their top movie picks, sure to bring some sparkle to your weekend.

Steve Walker

The Big Sick, R

Wilson Webb / TriStar Pictures, Inc.

In between your barbeque duties and watching fireworks light up the night sky, wouldn't it be nice to cool off with a hot flick? Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have some recommendations for what to watch between your Fourth of July festivities. Give one or more of them a crack — it's sure to be a blast!

Cynthia Haines 

The Exception, R

Netflix

Summer has officially arrived. While the heat has been tame so far, Kansas City natives know it likely won't stay that way for long. This weekend, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary film critics have a whole new set of movie recommendations, just in case you're already hankering for the air-conditioned comfort of a local independent theater.

Steve Walker

The Exception, R

Jacob Yakob / Dogs of War LLC

If the father figure in your life has more than enough golf clubs, tools and those weird plaques adorned with plastic singing fish, why not consider giving him the gift of great cinema? Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics are here with a new batch of movie recommendations that any dad would enjoy.

Cynthia Haines

I, Daniel Blake, R

Joss Barratt / Entone Group

If you're tired of all the politics on television this week, you may want to try watching something on a different, slightly bigger screen. Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary film critics are here with a new batch of weekend suggestions. They're sure to get you off that mind-suppressing couch and into an enthralling local independent theater. 

Steve Walker

I, Daniel Blake, R

Norma Productions

June has arrived, liberating children from schools all over Kansas City and vexing adults with the impossible task of keeping them entertained. If you're looking for a mental escape from this annual phenomenon, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics suggest sheltering your mind in the safety of a good movie.

Steve Walker

The Wedding Plan, PG

Music Box Films

What do America's first celebrity chef, a poetry biopic and a heavyweight boxing drama have in common? Hint: They are your weekend plans, courtesy of Up To Date's independent, foreign and documentary film critics. With an extra day off from work comes more time to lay low and take in a film — or four! It'll be well worth your while.

Steve Walker

A Quiet Passion, PG-13

IFC Films

City planning flare-ups, folk-rock, and a poetry biopic ... if these aren't movie topics appropriate for a public radio audience, nothing is. This weekend's recommendations from Up To Date's independent, foreign and documentary film critics will give you the chance to revel in your nerdy-ness, and learn a little history in the process. We'd be lying if we claimed to be too cool for some popcorn and a well-crafted flick that features zero actual explosions.

Steve Walker

Pages