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Ammonite

As much a timeless love story as a document of a hidden historical chapter, Ammonite—Francis Lee’s eagerly anticipated follow-up to God’s Own Country—digs deep into the past to reveal truths ripe for unearthing. Self-trained paleontologist Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) knew the secret language of the wind-whipped seaside cliffs of Dorset, and only to her did the silent landscape reveal its past. In 19th century England, during an era when women could neither vote nor hold membership in the scientific societies of the day, Anning was obliged to sell foraged fossils to support her groundbreaking research, her mother, and herself. When she is hired on as a companion for Charlotte Murchison (Saoirse Ronan), the young wife of a visiting geologist, another secret language is born: of shared loneliness, intimacy, and unquenchable desire. Winslet’s simmering, understated portrait of Mary is as powerful as the landscape itself, and Ronan’s Charlotte provides the tidal force that unle
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The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart (Drive-In)

CLOSING NIGHT: It’s all about the harmony for the British-born, Australian-raised Gibb brothers—Robin, Barry, Maurice, and later on, Andy—who came to fame as the Bee Gees. Frank Marshall’s infectiously watchable film is a trip through their life and times, through their highs and lows. With harmonies as tight as their signature pants, the Bee Gees’ star ascended in the mid '60s, only to wane in the early '70s, their tours reduced to backwater bars. But then came Saturday Night Fever, that iconic, era-defining film—and their extraordinary soundtrack. The Bee Gees were back, and doing more than just Stayin' Alive. The eventual decline of disco found the multitalented brothers turn to producing and songwriting for the likes of Barbra Streisand and Dionne Warwick. What emerges in Marshall’s definitive Bee Gees story are their breathtaking talents, and a reminder of their amazing songbook.
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Blithe Spirit

OPENING NIGHT: Oscar® winner Judi Dench ascends to the astral plane as the unctuously inept spiritualist Madame Arcati in Edward Hall’s spectacular adaptation of Noël Coward’s 1941 theatrical hit. Blithe Spirit manifests itself in and around the palatial home of wannabe screenwriter/sponger Charles Condomine (a marvelous Dan Stevens), and his Hollywood-obsessed wife Ruth (a wondrous Isla Fisher). Suffering from a ghastly combination of writers’ block and genuine lack of talent and motivation, Condomine entreats Madame Arcati to conduct a séance in his home, receiving much more than he bargained for, in the shape-shifting form of Elvira (a spellbinding Leslie Mann), his ex-wife and American Dream-cum-nightmare. Add to the mix a guileless housekeeper and a cantankerous cook, and you’ve got a recipe for some otherworldly merriment and mayhem that stands the test of time after time, alongside timely jabs at male chauvinism.
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The Comeback Trail

From the writer of Midnight Run comes the ultimate, retro Drive-In movie! When you put a bunch of A-list actors into an irreverent romp that both lionizes and satirizes old-school Hollywood, you’re in for a fun ride. It’s 1974, and as his latest schlock-pic tanks, Max Barber (Robert De Niro) is deep in debt to the mob—specifically, Reggie Fontaine (Morgan Freeman) who has a certain flair that’s very ‘70s. He even uses movie references (think: Tony Perkins in Psycho) as threats. Barber devises a scheme to save himself and partner Walter Creason (Zach Braff) from ruin: they’ll make a picture where they set up their aging star in an insurance scam so they can save themselves. The star? Duke Montana (the indisputably great Tommy Lee Jones). If you’re up for a flick that flips stereotypes and tramples taboos, drive on over, tune in, and enjoy the ride. With De Niro, Freeman, Braff, and Tommy Lee Jones on board, isn’t that just what you need?
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The Evening Hour (Drive-In)

The autumnal mountains of southern Appalachia fill cinematographer Declan Quinn’s (Sylvie’s Love, MVFF43) frames with haunting power; they too set an evocative backdrop to Braden King’s (Here) beautiful adaptation of Carter Sickels’ compassionate novel The Evening Hour. Cole Freeman, empathetically portrayed by rising newcomer Philip Ettinger (First Reformed), struggles to reconcile a life built on serving the elderly members of his rural community, while also exploiting their excess wealth of prescription drugs to supply the rampant addiction that holds their bucolic town in a stranglehold. Complicating this delicate balance are relationships with two local love interests (Nymphomaniac’s Stacy Martin and Argo’s Kerry Bishé), a desperate childhood friend (Cosmo Jarvis, Lady Macbeth) eager to profit from Cole’s side hustle himself, and his estranged mother (a luminous Lili Taylor) in the wake of their family patriarch’s passing.
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Mainstream

Bored with her life both online and in the real world of Los Angeles, twentysomething Frankie (Stranger Things’ Maya Hawke) finds a new spark in life after a chance meeting in a mall with the strange and magnetic Link (a larger-than-life Andrew Garfield). Secretly filming Link deliver a public, anti-capitalist tirade (while wearing the bottom half of a mouse costume) and uploading it to the internet, Frankie turns her new uninhibited friend into a viral sensation. But as the two become closer and Link’s fame surges, Frankie starts to question whether she’s discovered a social media prophet for the ages or given a platform and an audience to a fraud. Following her exceptional 2013 debut Palo Alto, Gia Coppola’s sophomore feature is a vibrant and timely satire of celebrity in the influencer age, accentuating the significant imbalance between viable human connections and social media follower counts.
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Nomadland

Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern (Academy Award® winner Frances McDormand) packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. The third feature film from director Chloé Zhao (The Rider) and winner of the Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival, Nomadland features real nomads Linda May, Swankie, and Bob Wells as Fern’s mentors and comrades in her exploration through the vast landscape of the American West.
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Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Come celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back at the Drive In—as it was meant to be seen! “It is a dark time for the Rebellion.” Four decades later, these words still ring with delicious, ominous anticipation, promising exactly what they did when we first read them: the best sequel of all time to the most revolutionary sci-fi film in history, George Lucas’s Star Wars. Han and Leia kiss! Luke and Leia kiss! Yoda trains Luke! R2 fixes the hyperdrive! Luke discovers that Darth Vader—wait! Everyone raise your still-attached hand: Who hasn’t seen it? Okay, okay, no spoilers. Indeed, this 40th-anniversary Empire event is meant for the whole family. Come train your children in the ways of the Force.
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Take Me to the River New Orleans (Drive-In)

Featuring the final performances of the Neville Brothers and Dr. John, Take Me to the River New Orleans goes inside New Orleans recording studios and delivers performances that span the city’s broad musical landscape of jazz, brass, soul, hip hop, and funk. In this sequel to director Martin Shore’s 2014 feature Take Me to the River, which explored the musical legacy of Memphis, the director offers us an exquisite musical travelogue of The Big Easy, with remarkably candid and reverential portraits of the artists who keep its melodic history alive, with appearances from Snoop Dogg, Irma Thomas, Big Freedia, Ledisi, and Ani DiFranco among many others. The performances are unmissable, from archival footage to street performances to its rousing one-of-a-kind studio recordings. The true power of Take Me to the River New Orleans, however, lies in revealing the spirit of the city as one of collaboration and unwavering passion.
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