Film Critics | KCUR

Film Critics

The King / Oscilloscope

According to the "Farmer's Almanac," we're in the throes of the so-called "dog days of summer." Basically, summer is here and it's hot. But how to stay cool? If you're tired of finding relief at an overcrowded pool, we suggest the coolness of your local movie theater. Luckily, the Up To Date Film Critics are here to help you out with their suggesions for the latest and greatest in indie, foreign and documentary films showing this weekend. 

Steve Walker

"The King," R

Scott Green / Sundance Institute Pro

In the middle of another blockbuster summer you may find yourself feeling entertainment fatigue. Up To Date's Film Critics, though, have a remedy for the mainstream movie circuit. They've got recommendations for the best indie, foreign and documentary flicks with a cerebral punch that you can catch this weekend in your local cinema. 

Steve Walker

"Leave No Trace," PG

Sundance Selects

It's a First Fridays weekend in Kansas City, which means there is no shortage of art-centric activities to fill up the next few days. But if the thought of people packed into a very hot and humid Crossroads Arts District makes you wince, we have another idea for how to get your fill of artsy content. The Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have selected the best in cinematic offerings playing on the city's art-house movie screens.

Kuno Lechner / Wikimedia Commons

With summer temperatures nearing the triple digits, this weekend's activites may be best suited to the indoor variety. Avoid the heat by swinging by the concession stand for an Icee and then grabbing a seat at one of the local arthouse cinemas. But what to see? Luckily, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have a few suggestions for you.

Steve Walker

"Won't You Be My Neighbor?," PG-13

Luke Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Former Kansas state senator Jim Barnett is throwing his hat back in the political arena.

In 2006, Jim Barnett wanted to be governor of Kansas, but lost the job to Kathleen Sebelius. Now, he's campaigning again for the highest office in the state, this time with a new running mate. Today, we learned how he feels about school finacing, medical marijuana legalization and found out why he picked his wife to be his running mate.

The Orchard

Animated superhero sequel "Incredibles 2" has stormed box offices, raking in the highest-grossing opening weekend of all time for an animated film. But if you're not in the mood for a theater packed with kids (and young adults trying to reconnect to their childhood), Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics assure us there are still plenty of things to see on area screens this weekend.

Steve Walker

"American Animals," R

A blonde woman is pictured against a neutral wall. The image shows her from the shoulders up.
Rockhaven Films

Father's Day is on Sunday. What are you and dear ol' dad getting up to this weekend? If you don't feel like rushing out to a department store to get him yet another tie (we're pretty sure he already has too many), an afternoon at the movies could be just the thing — tickets and popcorn on you, of course! He should probably get to pick the flick, too, but there's no shame in nudging him toward a movie that's bound to be good, at least according to Up To Date's Film Critics. 

Steve Walker

Robert Viglasky / Bleeker Street

There's always something fun to do over the weekend in Kansas City, and this one is no exception — especially if you love ethnic food, beer or sweet air guitar riffs.

Sony Pictures Classics

In a summer movie scene of genetically engineered dinosaurs and ultra-violent comic book blockbusters, it’s easy to lose sight of some of the subtler films coming to the silver screen. Fortunately, Up To Date's indie, documentary, and foreign Film Critics have picked out some of the lesser known gems worth seeing this weekend.

Steve Walker

“The Rider,” R

Two women stand in a hallway. One woman touches the face of the other woman.
Bleecker Street

It's Memorial Day weekend and, while many will venture out to a lake for celebrations, there are some who don't want to risk returning to work with a scathing sunburn. For those folks in the latter group, what better way to spend the long weekend than taking a well-deserved break at the local theaters? But what to see? The latest set of recommendations from Up to Date’s indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics are always a good place to start.

Cynthia Haines

"Let the Sunshine In," not rated

Ruth Bader Ginsburg works at a cluttered desk.
Magnolia Pictures

Social media is abuzz with news of this weekend's royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. If, like a lot of us, you're sick of hearing minute details about floral arrangements and napkin rings, you may be looking for a distraction. Lucky for you, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics have just the solution: Go see a movie. Here are their top picks, available at local theaters this weekend.

Bob Butler

​"Let the Sunshine In," not rated

Charlize Theron sits with a pregnant belly.
Focus Features

Segment 1: Will Missouri lawmakers move to impeach Governor Eric Greitens?

This evening, the Missouri legislature will convene for a historic special session to determine whether to bring forth articles of impeachment against Gov. Eric Greitens. But how complicated is the process, and how will it unfold in the coming weeks? We sat down with two political watchers to ask what could be next for the governor.

Magnolia Pictures

Graduation season is upon us, which means long trips, awkward family gatherings and unbearable ceremonies. Looking for a break from the tedium? You're in luck. Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics can't change your weird relatives, but they can recommend which movies to catch around town this weekend. Here are their picks to help you make small talk at the next commencement dinner.

Cynthia Haines

"Itzhak," not rated

Greenwich Entertainment

Warmer weather in Kansas City means it's time to start prepping some small-talk fodder for this spring's weekend barbecues. That means it's time to head to the movies! Up To Date's indie, documentary, and foreign Film Critics have picked out their favorites for you, and we're betting they'll inspire lots of grill-side chats.

Cynthia Haines

"Itzhak," not rated

Samuel Maoz / Sony Pictures

Spring has sprung! Sure, that means you can spend more time outside, but did you forget about the havoc wreaked by allergies? What about the blinding brightness of the sun? Have you ever met a bee you liked? We probably haven't convinced you not to welcome the warm weather with open arms, but Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics are making a valiant effort to keep you inside for at least a few hours with this weekend's movie recommendations.

Cynthia Haines

"Foxtrot," R

Roadside Attractions

With such a variety of themes and characters on display this month at area cinemas, there's no telling what you might see. From talking dogs to road-tripping senior citizens, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics caught us up on what's showing now, including "Finding Your Feet," "Beirut," "1945," "The Leisure Seeker," "Isle of Dogs," and "Leaning Into the Wind."

Fox Searchlight Films

It's a good time of year for lovers of independent movies. Local cinemas are offering a bevy of intriguing plots, including a much-anticipated release from the symmetrically-inclined mind of Wes Anderson that features dogs you can comprehend and humans you can't (unless you understand Japanese). If stop-motion's not the fare for you, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have plenty more to recommend.

Steve Walker

"Finding Your Feet," PG-13

Menemsha Films

This time of the month comes with so many opportunities for entertainment that it's hard to pick just one. There's First Fridays, the Kansas City Ballet's Celebration of Dance, a footrace from Kansas City to Lawrence, even mixed martial arts and tribute-band blowout.

Thomas Reidelsheimer / Magnolia Pictures

With sunshine showing up Friday and possible snow appearing on Sunday, it feels like spring is teasing us. Throw in April Fool's Day at the end of the weekend and it may feel like everyone and everything is out to trick you. There is something you can trust, though, and that's Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics' weekend flick picks. 

Steve Walker

"Loveless," R

Oscillioscope

With March coming to a close, Up To Date's Film Critics returned to get us caught up on the flicks showing around town. But first, we met the writer and director of "Into the Night: Portraits of Life and Death," which chronicles how nine individuals, including a Prairie Village surgeon, reconcile themselves with their own mortality.

Sony Pictures Classics

If you're not one of the college basketball fans focused on NCAA tournament games this weekend, take to your local theater for moving pictures with equal drama but fewer sweaty athletes. Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have plenty to recommend, including stories of a love lost too soon, potty-mouth party leaders and the most beautiful woman in the world.

Bob Butler

"A Fantastic Woman," R

Diaphana Films

Trying to avoid a certain green-saturated, Irish-themed event parading through midtown Kansas City this weekend? You're in luck! This weekend's movie recommendations from Up To Date's Film Critics will lead you to the dark haven of a local movie theater.

Cynthia Haines

"Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story," Not rated

Zeitgeist Films

As spring inches closer and the weather warms up, it's time to escape from under the blankets and venture into the world outside. After all, there are only so many films to stream for free from your couch. Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics share their three must-see movies to get out and watch this weekend.

Steve Walker

"A Fantastic Woman," R

Bleeker Street Media

With the Oscars on Sunday, this weekend is your last chance to catch some of this year's nominees before winners are announced. If you've already seen them all and want something new to view, Up To Date's independent, foreign and documentary Film Critics have that covered, too, in this week's recommendations.

Steve Walker

"Nostalgia," R

Melissa Hillier / Flickr - CC

The Oscars are just over a week away, and your attention span may be a little brief after all the hype. Fortunately, Up To Date's Film Critics have short films at the top of their lists of movies not to miss. Feel like staying in this weekend? TV Guide has put together a list of streaming options for this year's Academy Award nominees.

Cynthia Haines

2018 Oscar-nominated short films: Animated

Corlew
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Segment 1: Political implications of felony indictments against Gov. Eric Greitens.

The big news in Missouri government yesterday was an indictment against Gov. Eric Greitens, who admitted to an extra-marital affair in 2015, but refutes accusations that he took compromising photos of his paramour without her consent. We got reaction from state lawmakers and political watchers about how the charges might affect the governor's ability to lead.

Sony Pictures Classics

This week, folks around the world have turned their attention toward Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the Olympic Winter Games, but you can only watch athletes slide themselves across frozen water for so long. If you need a break from breakneck turns, twists, and tricks over snow and ice, Up To Date's Film Critics have a handful of indie, foreign and documentary movie recommendations to freeze your go-for-gold fatigue.

Cynthia Haines

2018 Oscar-nominated short films: Animated

Off Road Films

Production companies and movie studios may have laid low during Super Bowl week, but the Eagles victory in Minneapolis means more folks will be watching movies again. Along with a suite of stories set overseas, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics suggest seeing some superb short films this weekend.

Focus Features

Nobody should experience the anxiety associated with broken relationships, secret romance, or a life thrown into turbulence, but it does make great film fodder. Cinemas this weekend are full of characters who must face down their fears or perish, and Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics think more than a couple are worth seeing. Given their recommendations, movie-goers who like watching others suffer should strongly consider a trip to the theater.

Cynthia Haines

Merrick Morton / Fox Searchlight Pictures

This year's Oscar nominees were announced on Tuesday and social media has been buzzing with opinions and predictions. To help you catch up on the contenders you might have missed, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics recommend a few movies to see this weekend.

Steve Walker

The Road Movie, Not rated

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