As the Oscar train gets closer and closer, it's the time of year to catch up on some of the Best Picture nominations and see if what the critics are saying line up with your own thoughts. Knoxville is carrying many of the nominations with a handful of new releases and re-releases that should pique the interest of everyone looking for a cinematic escape this weekend.
Spike Jonze's fantastic drama is showing at the Downtown West theater and is a must-see for those looking for 2013's finest. The best film I saw all year, "Her" is an emotional romance that leaves you with many questions to ask yourself but can also be a spark or challenge to do more in life. Joaquin Phoenix is in his most vulnerable role yet and completely sells the role, but Scarlett Johansson steals the show with her voice work as the OS device that Phoenix's character falls in love with. If you are looking to take in one of the year's best films, this is one you can't miss.
Theater(s): Downtown West
2) "Frozen" Sing-Along
While "Frozen" has gone on to dominate the box office and become one of 2013's biggest hits, it will make a triumphant return to cinemas in the form of a sing-along version of the film. If that doesn't say their fans know the songs too well already, then I don't know what it means. This version of the film is exactly the same but will allow the Broadway star in all of us the opportunity to show our stuff in the midst of complete strangers, so sing at your own risk.
Theater(s): West Town Mall, Carmike 10 on Millertown Pike, Carmike Foothills 12 in Maryville
3) "Lone Survivor"
A hit with both critics and audiences, "Lone Survivor" seems to be a movie that doesn't care about the stigma of bad products coming out in January. Led by Mark Wahlberg, the cast includes Ben Foster, Taylor Kitsch and Eric Bana in the story of four Navy SEALs on an ill-fated covert mission to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative who are ambushed by enemy forces in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. The action is intense and the story is incredibly powerful and is one not to miss.
Theater(s): Carmike Wynnsong on North Peters Road, Carmike Foothills in Maryville
4) "Inside Llewyn Davis"
A film that I will continue to try and promote because it has been grossly under seen to this point, "Inside Llewyn Davis" is one of the best representations of a struggling musician to ever hit the screen. One of the best work by some of America's best directors, the Coen Brothers, "Inside Llewyn Davis" is a driving force of melancholy that coupled with an amazing soundtrack is one of 2013's best films. Oscar Isaac was snubbed at the Oscars for his work in this film as he completely sells the sad sack Llewyn as not all the bad that people think he is. Add in scene-stealing turns by John Goodman and Justin Timberlake and you have an amazing film.
Theater(s): Downtown West
5) "Gravity" IMAX Experience
In a return to theaters to help with its Oscar push, "Gravity" is once again gracing IMAX screens, which is the best way to see one of 2013's best films. An ambitious masterpiece by director Alfonso Cuaron, "Gravity" is a film that was made for the giant screen and is well worth the high price to go see it in IMAX 3D. The scenes feel real and the feeling of being space is not something that is overstated about the experience. Unlike anything you've experienced at a movie theater, "Gravity" is worth the money.
Theater(s): Regal Pinnacle at Turkey Creek
Edited by Jennifer Brake