A Viewer's Guide to Weekend Movies: To Lego or to Clooney?

In between the moguls and the luge, you may want to take a break this weekend for some movies. We're here to guide you through your many options. 

This article is from the archive of our partner .

It's Winter Olympics time, it's true, but in between the moguls and the luge, you may want to take a break this weekend for some movies. We're here to guide you through your many options.

In Theaters

If we told you a year ago that a weekend would offer a) a movie directed by George Clooney and starring Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett, b) a cheeky vampire/bitchy girls comedy from the director of Mean Girls, and c) The Lego Movie, would you have in a million years predicted that The Lego Movie would be the clear must-see of the bunch? And yet here we are. And it's a beautiful day.

The Lego Movie currently sits at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the clear critical favorite of the weekend (and probably the year so far). As we mentioned this week, you should not be as surprised by this as you are, because the movie comes from the people who made Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs21 Jump Street, and Clone High.  Meanwhile, The Monuments Men is proving that its move out of awards season at the end of last year wasn't entirely devoid of red flags. Kenneth Turan calls it inert, while Manohla Dargis says Clooney "slips into pandering mode." If you do go see it, do your homework first.

As for Vampire Academy, which, yes, looked like a mess, but maybe the kind of mess that could turn out to be fun and diverting ... it did not screen for critics. So buyer beware.

In Limited Release

The early months of the year are pretty lean on limited-release movies that will get everybody talking. December kind of exhausts everyone's supply of limited-release gems. But there are a few this week, chief among them A Field in England, which comes from Ben Wheatley, director of the well-regarded Kill List and Sightseers. Based on the word of mouth—and an insane-looking trailer—A Field in England is a black-and-white mushroom trip among English crusaders in the 1600s. Seems like potentially the most frustrating viewing experience since Upstream Color, but there's likely no more boundary-pushing movie opening this week. [Playing at Silent Movie Theater in Hollywood and Cinema Village in New York City.]
Also opening this weekend: Simon Pegg as a cowering children's book author in the also strange-looking A Fantastic Fear of Everything, and the long-awaited pairing of Jean-Claude Van Damme and recent New Girl guest star Adam Brody in Welcome to the Jungle.

Video on Demand

If you're into watching all of this year's Oscar nominees, VOD is here for you this week, with debuts for Dallas Buyers Club (iTunes link) and The Broken Circle Breakdown (iTunes link). Alternately, you could lower your expectations considerably and fire up Naomi Watts as the title role in Diana (iTunes link).

Of course, if you're in the mood for a good solid cry, the choice is easy, with Richard Curtis's messy but lovely About Time (iTunes link). If you're not already misty after watching Bill Nighy and Domhnall Gleeson trade "my son" / "my dad" declarations in the trailer, you may be beyond help.

Streaming Online

Netflix debuted a bunch of streaming options this week—The Usual SuspectsM*A*S*H—including a pair of interesting double-feature opportunities. If Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns are your thing, you can stream A Fistful of Dollars and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly—though strangely enough, not For a Few Dollars More, the middle film of that particular trilogy, which is currently only available on the DVD plan.

Then there's the Golden Age of Spoof movies, with The Naked Gun and Airplane! reminding you of the comedic goldmine that once was Leslie Nielsen.

Of course, the real win this weekend is that A&E's Bates Motel is now streaming its first season, which is very good news if you're looking to catch up in preparation for season two.

Movies on TV

HBO's Saturday night premiere is 42 (8:00 pm), starring newly minted Vanity Fair cover model Chadwick Boseman. Meanwhile, on Showtime, you could spend your Saturday with the music of Inside Llewyn Davis, with Another Day/Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis (8:30 pm)a concert of the music from the film featuring Avett Brothers, Joan Baez, Marcus Mumford, Patti Smith, and Jack White, not to mention Oscar Isaac himself.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.