5 Oscar-nominated films worth checking out in Chicago this week

Image: The Favourite/TMDb

Want to catch some re-released Oscar nominees before next month's ceremony? Check out this week's lineup of acclaimed movies showing on the big screen in and around Chicago.

Here are the highest rated films to catch, based on critical scores sourced from review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. (Movie descriptions courtesy The Movie Database; showtimes via Fandango.)

Free Solo



Follow Alex Honnold as he attempts to become the first person to ever free solo climb Yosemite's 3,000 foot high El Capitan wall. With no ropes or safety gear, this would arguably be the greatest feat in rock climbing history.

Boasting a critical approval rating of 98 percent and an audience score of 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, "Free Solo" has gotten stellar reviews since its release on September 28 -- and now an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary.

The site's critical consensus has it that "'Free Solo' depicts athletic feats that many viewers will find beyond reason -- and grounds the attempts in passions that are all but universal."

Get a piece of the action at AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St.) through Sunday, Jan. 27. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?



When bestselling celebrity biographer Lee Israel is no longer able to get published because she has fallen out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack.

Boasting a 98 percent critical approval rating and an audience score of 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" has gotten stellar reviews since its release on October 19.

Acting nominations for Melissa McCarthy (Best Actress) and Richard E. Grant (Best Supporting Actor) back up the site's critical consensus that, "Deftly directed and laced with dark wit, 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?' proves a compelling showcase for deeply affecting work from Richard E. Grant and Melissa McCarthy."

In the mood for popcorn? It's playing at ArcLight Chicago (1500 N. Clybourn Ave.) through Wednesday, Jan. 30. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse



Don't miss this Oscar-nominated animated film centered on Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales. He's juggling his life as a high school student and as a new Spider-Man. But his life is about to get even more complicated when Kingpin uses a super collider to access a parallel dimension. Other Spideys from across the Spider-Verse are transported to Miles' world.

With an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature, a 97 percent critical approval rating and an audience score of 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" has been a must-watch since its release on December 14.

The site's critical consensus declares, "'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' matches bold storytelling with striking animation for a purely enjoyable adventure with heart, humor, and plenty of superhero action."

You can catch it at AMC Dine-in Block 37 (100 N. State St.) through Wednesday, Jan. 30. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

BlacKkKlansman



Colorado Springs, late 1970s. Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer, and Flip Zimmerman, his Jewish colleague, run an undercover operation to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan.

With a critical approval rating of 95 percent and an audience score of 82 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, "BlacKkKlansman" has garnered plenty of praise since its release on August 10. It can now also boast six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for auteur Spike Lee.

The site's critical consensus notes, "'BlacKkKlansman' uses history to offer bitingly trenchant commentary on current events -- and brings out some of Spike Lee's hardest-hitting work in decades along the way."

Interested? It's playing at ArcLight Chicago (1500 N. Clybourn Ave.) through Wednesday, Jan. 30. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

The Favourite



This must-see film snagged 10 Oscar nominations, including Olivia Colman's turn as Queen Anne for Best Actress. Set in 18th century England, this dark comedy centers on the close relationship between the ailing Queen and her friend, Sarah Churchill. That relationship is threatened by the arrival of new servant Abigail Hill, who happens to be Sarah's cousin. The two cousins end up as rivals vying to be the Queen's favorite.

With a 93 percent critical approval rating and an audience score of 62 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, "The Favourite" has become a favorite since its release on December 14. It earned a whopping ten nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress or Supporting Actress for all three leads.

The site's critical consensus raves, "'The Favourite' sees Yorgos Lanthimos balancing a period setting against rich, timely subtext -- and getting roundly stellar performances from his well-chosen stars."

It's playing at AMC Galewood Crossings 14 (5530 W. Homer St.) through Thursday, Jan. 31. Click here for showtimes and tickets.
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