The very best movies screening in Santa Monica this week

Image: If Beale Street Could Talk/TMDb

In the age of streaming entertainment, it can be hard to leave the couch. But movie theaters still offer a special experience for those willing to get out of the house. Want to see what's out there? Check out this week's lineup of acclaimed movies showing on the big screen in and around Santa Monica.

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.)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse



Miles Morales is juggling his life between being a high school student and being Spider-Man. However, when Wilson "Kingpin" Fisk uses a super collider, another Spider-Man from another dimension, Peter Parker, accidentally winds up in Miles' dimension. As Peter trains Miles to become a better Spider-Man, they are soon joined by four other Spider-Men from across the "Spider-Verse." As all these clashing dimensions start to tear Brooklyn apart, Miles must help the others stop Fisk and return everyone to their own dimensions.

With a critical approval rating of 97 percent and an audience score of 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" has proven to be a critical darling since its release on December 14. The site's critical consensus notes that "'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 Santa Monica 7 (1310 Third St.) through Wednesday, Jan. 9. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

If Beale Street Could Talk



After her fiance is falsely imprisoned, a pregnant African-American woman sets out to clear his name and prove his innocence.

With a 95 percent critical approval rating and an audience score of 75 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, "If Beale Street Could Talk" has become a favorite since its release on December 25. Per the site's summary of critic reviews, "'If Beale Street Could Talk' honors its source material with a beautifully filmed adaptation that finds director Barry Jenkins further strengthening his visual and narrative craft."

You can catch it at ArcLight Santa Monica (395 Santa Monica Place, Suite 330) through Wednesday, Jan. 9. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

Barry Lyndon



In the 18th century, in a small village in Ireland, Redmond Barry is a young farm boy in love with his cousin Nora Brady. When Nora engages to the British Captain John Quin, Barry challenges him for a duel of pistols. He wins and escapes to Dublin, but is robbed on the road. Without any other alternative, Barry joins the British Army to fight in the Seven Years War.

With a critical approval rating of 94 percent and an audience score of 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, this '70s throwback has garnered plenty of praise. The site's critical consensus has it that "Cynical, ironic, and suffused with seductive natural lighting, 'Barry Lyndon' is a complex character piece of a hapless man doomed by Georgian society."

In the mood for popcorn? It's playing at American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre (1328 Montana Ave.) only on Thursday, Jan. 10. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

The Favourite



In 18th century England, the close relationship between Queen Anne and Sarah Churchill is threatened by the arrival of Sarah's cousin, Abigail Hill, resulting in a bitter rivalry between the two cousins to be the Queen's favorite.

With a 94 percent critical approval rating and an audience score of 60 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, "The Favourite" has become a favorite since its release on December 14, with a consensus that "'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 ArcLight Santa Monica (395 Santa Monica Place, Suite 330) through Wednesday, Jan. 9. Click here for showtimes and tickets.
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