Friday night at the movies


Thinking about catching a flick this weekend? Here's what to see...


WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE: The adapted children's-book classic is visually a joy to behold. Some reviewers have labeled it an instant classic; others say its spirit is less adventurous and subversive than the book. (area theaters) City Pages: "The result isn't labored so much as well-behaved. What's best about Spike Jonze's movie is its kinetic feel for physical play. What's weakest is its blandness." Star Tribune: 4 stars Pioneer Press: 3.5 stars 67% positive

AMREEKA: A divorced and demoralized Palestinian bank employee leaves the West Bank with her teenaged son to find a new home in Chicago, only to find a new set of challenges. (Edina Cinema) City Pages: "The thriving subgenre of immigrant displacement dramedy gets a confident new spin from Cherien Dabis. Directed with impish wit and an open, conciliatory spirit that embraces the marginality that Arabs and Jews share in common." Star Tribune: 3 stars Pioneer Press: 3 stars 86% positive

STILL WALKING: A Japanese family's reunion is overshadowed by the memory of a son's death 15 years earlier. (Lagoon Cinema) City Pages: "Hirokazu Kore-eda imbues his story with such specificity, tactility, and humanity that yet another movie about a dysfunctional family reunion becomes a cinematic tone poem." Star Tribune: 3 stars Pioneer Press: 3.5 stars 100% positive


PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: The low-budget thriller has become a word-of-mouth sensation. Refreshingly blood-free, it demands to be seen in a crowded theater. The fact that its old-school scares is causing seemingly jaded twentysomethings to squirm in their seats suggests there may be hope for the world after all. (area theaters)


SECRET OF THE GRAIN: This remarkable French film, about a laid-off shipyard worker who tries to unite his family by opening an ill-fated couscous restaurant on a decrepit old ship, lets its deeply moving story unfold gradually, but by the end it will have viewers' pulses racing and their hearts in their throats. (Oak Street Cinema, Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m.; Monday and Tuesday at 7:15 p.m.)

HAUSU: Oak Street presents the Midwest premiere of this trippy Japanese cult classic by Nobuhiko Obayashi from 1977, in which a schoolgirl brings several of her friends to her grandmother's house for summer vacation, without realizing that grandma is dead and the house is haunted by a spirit that feasts on virgins. The experimentalist mix of comedy, nightmarish horror, and outrageously psychedelic visuals has often been described as unlike anything else on film. (Oak Street Cinema, Friday and Saturday at 9:30 p.m.)

JOEL AND ETHAN COEN: RAISING CAIN: Your last chance to catch the Walker's retrospective to Minnesota's own Coen brothers. The Hudsucker Proxy plays Saturday at 4 p.m., with The Big Lebowski screening Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. (Walker Art Center)

HALLOWEEN HORROR: If you're getting into the spooky spirit early, you can squirm through The Return of the Living Dead at the Uptown (Friday and Saturday at midnight), Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) at Mall of America Theatres (Friday and Saturday at midnight), or the decidedly headier thrills of David Cronenberg's Scanners at the Trylon Microcinema (Friday and Saturday at 7 and 9:10 p.m.)

For more film ideas, capsule reviews, and showtimes, click here.