Film Critics

Focus Films

The holidays are officially over and now, well, it's just a gray winter stretching ahead of us. Exhausted from the week back at the old grind? Tired of always being cold? Our Film Critics have some ideas for how you can relax — and stay warm — this weekend. 

Cynthia Haines 

Darkest Hour, R

Cohen Media Group

It's the last weekend of the holiday season and maybe you're looking to do that anti-New Year thing — you know, just kick back and relax. Well, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have some avenues of escape you can travel for a few hours. 

Steve Walker

Faces Places, PG 

Justina Mintz / A24 Films

If you've ever even driven past a theater on Christmas weekend, you know it's a huge one for movie fans and studios. But if the road to a big-money blockbuster is a little too well-worn for you, these recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics might be just the ticket. In the woods of silver-screen entertainment, these off-beat features are the path less traveled by, and it can make all the difference.

Cynthia Haines

Stigma Films Ltd.

Well, another year is drawing to a close, which means it's time to get the Up To Date Film Critics' picks for the best movies of the year. They also review what's currently showing on area screens, just in time for the holiday break. The titles include comedy, drama and a sci-fi romance: The Shape of Water,  Kaleidoscope, Wonder Wheel, Disaster Artist, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,​ and Lady Bird.  

Best Films of 2017:

Cynthia Haines:

Kerry Hayes / Twentieth Century Fox

People the world over will be rushing out to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi this week, but a select few will get to watch from space. NASA confirmed the movie will be screened for astronauts in-orbit on the International Space Station. If you can’t afford a ticket on a Soyuz rocket, hitch a ride on a SpaceX Dragon — or if endless strings of prequels just aren’t your cup of tea — Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have got you covered.

Steve Walker

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?

Shamley Productions

The Kansas International Film Festival begins this weekend.  Today, Up To Date's Film Critics talk with the filmmaker behind one festival entry, The Weight of Honor, that looks at the impact on families when wives and mothers of soldiers become caretakers for their catastrophically injured husbands and sons.  Then the critics review the best (and worst) indie, foreign and documentary movies now showing on area screens, including Jane, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Blade of the Immortal

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

CFI

If you’re planning a movie night but find yourself underwhelmed by plastic blocks or cannibal clowns, take heart! There are other cinematic options this fall: A man flees Leningrad and the Soviet secret police, a doctor wrestles with guilt and mystery, and more.

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

The Weinstein Company

After a long list of box office flops, this summer's blockbusters aren't looking so hot. But don't trade your cinephilia for cynicism yet, because there are still plenty of lesser-known flicks worth watching.

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

John Platt / IFC Midnight

Your local theater has a slew of cinema to choose from right now — from a romantic camping trip gone horribly wrong to a gritty documentary focused on the rising costs of prescription drugs.

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

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