If a film title ever warranted an exclamation point, it's Lukas Moodysson's We Are the Best! Not a second goes by in this vivacious coming-of-age story when the young characters aren't experiencing some kind of heightened emotion. But these aren't your normal tweens; political unrest and gender inequality spark their interest just as much as music and boys.
Set in Stockholm in the early 1980s, the film centers on Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara (Mira Grosin), two 13-year-old misfits obsessed with punk rock and starting a band. They have no experience with instruments, but that doesn't stop them from writing an angry and hilarious anthem inspired by their bullish gym teacher and hatred for sports. Hoping to be perceived as more professional, the girls recruit a third member, Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne), a devout Christian and an expert on the guitar.
Less hysterical than the typical American high-school melodrama, We Are the Best! is nonetheless lovingly attuned to the crazed cycles of adolescents who challenge societal conventions at every turn. The three friends go through their rough patches, especially when the opposite sex comes into the picture. But Moodysson always anchors their relationship around the power of music as a force for change. Late in the film, the trio performs for a mostly male-dominated audience at a recreation center, and the anti-establishment lyrics inspire a near riot.
Never trite and consistently measured, We Are the Best!—which runs for one week only starting Friday, June 13, at the Ken Cinema—unilaterally believes in the positive impact younger generations can have on their elders. The message may be loud and vulgar, but that doesnít mean it isnít worth listening to. Bobo, Klara and Hedvig have the right kind of teen spirit.
22 Jump Street: Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill return for more violent shenanigans as undercover cops trying to expose a drug ring at a local college.
Chinese Puzzle: French comedy starring Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou about a middle-aged man who moves to New York City to be closer to his children.
The Grand Seduction: Residents of a small harbor town try to woo a hot-shot young doctor with hopes of convincing him to relocate to their rural haven.
Heli: Amat Escalante’s violent art film explores the ramifications of one very bad decision by a police cadet that reverberates outward to affect the family of his young girlfriend. Screens through June 19 at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
How to Train Your Dragon 2: Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon Toothless encounter new challenges while trying to bring their species together in harmony. See our review on Page 25.
The Signal: A group of young friends is lured into an isolated area by a computer genius, only to find out they’re trapped in a waking nightmare.
We Are the Best!: Three young teenagers living in Stockholm during the 1980s start a band with the hopes of proving punk rock will never die. Screens through June 19 at the Ken Cinema. See our review on Page 25.
One time only
Double Indemnity: Barbara Stanwyck leads Fred MacMurray down a seedy path to murder and blackmail in what might be Billy Wilder’s best film. Screens at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 11, at the La Jolla Community Center.
Bark of Luck and Flower Power: Two short films produced as part of the Short Film Boot Camp at the 2014 San Diego Latino Film Festival. Screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 11, at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Hot Fuzz: Meticulous London policeman (Simon Pegg) is transferred to a rural town because he’s making his superiors look bad. But his “peaceful” new home hides some dark secrets. This is Edgar Wright’s (Shaun of the Dead) homage to 1990s action films. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 11, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
Gilda: Classic film noir by Charles Vidor about a sinister South American casino boss who discovers that his best employee already knows the boss’ sexy new wife, played by the alluring Rita Hayworth. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, June 12 and 13, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills, and at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 18, at La Jolla Community Center.
Don’t Follow Me (I’m Lost): Documentary takes a behind-the-scenes look at the life of rock musician Bobby Bare Jr., who must deal with the repercussions of spending most of his time on the road. Screens at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 14, at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
When I Saw You: A young boy and his mother attempt to survive in a Jordanian refugee camp in 1967. Screens at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 14, at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.
Jaws: Just in time for summer, Steven Spielberg’s ultimate anti-swimming PSA. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 14 and 15, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
The Room: Tommy Wiseau’s film about a love triangle gone wrong is so hilariously misguided that it’s earned the honor of being labeled “the worst film ever made.” Screens at midnight on Saturday, June 14, at the Ken Cinema.
Closure: Documentary that takes an in-depth look at the procedure and experience of adoption in modern America. Screens at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 15, at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
When I Walk: The amazing true story of Jason DaSilva, who sets out on a worldwide journey of self-discovery while suffering from the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 16, at San Diego Public Library in East Village.
Still Mine: An elderly couple fights the restrictive zoning laws of a small town in order to build their final home. Screens at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 17, at Point Loma / Hervey Branch Library.
Army of Darkness: Bruce Campbell’s badass zombie killer goes back to medieval times to kick some undead butt. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 17, at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Point Loma’s Liberty Station.
The New Black: Director Yoruba Richen takes the viewer to the front lines of the gay-rights movement within African-American communities around the country. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 18, at the Malcolm X Library in Valencia Park.
You Will Be My Son: The owner of a vineyard in Italy tries to reconcile the problematic relationship with his son and only heir to the family business. Screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 18, at the Scripps Ranch Library.
Viewer’s Choice: Come enjoy a festive summer film to be selected by you, the viewer. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 18, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
Edge of Tomorrow: Tom Cruise dies a thousand times in order to find the right info about an alien attack that will destroy Earth. It co-stars a very buff Emily Blunt.
Ilo Ilo: A family maid befriends the young son of a family living in Singapore immediately before the Asian recession hits the region. Screens through June 12 at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
The Fault in Our Stars: In a dramedy starring Shailene Woodley (Divergent), from the writers of (500) Days of Summer, young love is tested when a cancer-stricken teenager falls for her witty foil despite her serious illness.
Bugs!: Get up close and personal with the world’s most unique insects in this groundbreaking IMAX nature film. Opened last week. Screens at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia: Documentary on one of America’s greatest 20th-century provocateurs and writers, who challenged politicians and the media at every turn. Ends June 12 at the Ken Cinema.
Rigor Mortis: A horror film imported from Hong Kong about a public-housing tenant who comes across a dark secret in her building that could unleash a story of nefarious spirits.
Words and Pictures: Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche star as rival teachers who spark a competition between their students involving the importance of photography and prose.
A Million Ways to Die in the West: Seth MacFarlane’s follow-up to Ted is a star-studded satire that lays waste to the classic Western. There are sure to be a few penis jokes.
Cold in July: A middle-class homeowner (Michael C. Hall) kills a burglar during a home invasion, only to have his life turned upside down as a result. Ends June 12 at Hillcrest Cinemas.
The Hornet’s Nest: Using real combat footage, this immersive war film experiences some of Afghanistan’s most hostile valleys through the eyes of the soldiers fighting against Taliban insurgents.
Ida: Anna, 18, is about to become a nun in 1960s Poland. But a family secret dating back to the days of Nazi occupation threatens her faith. It’s directed by acclaimed filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski.
Maleficent: Angelina Jolie stars as the infamous sorceress who sets her sights on the nubile young Princess Aurora in this big-budget reboot of Sleeping Beauty.
Palo Alto: In Gia Coppola’s debut film, disaffected teens living in the titular Bay Area community grapple with social alienation and sexual confusion on the eve of graduation.
Blended: Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore try to rekindle their box-office magic with this fish-out-of-water comedy about dumb Americans causing havoc while on vacation in Africa.
Fed Up: This documentary addresses America’s obsession with food and how our obesity epidemic originated from corporate misconduct. Ends June 12 at La Jolla Village Cinemas.
The Immigrant: A Polish emigre (Marion Cotillard) arriving at Ellis Island is separated from her sickly sister and must trust a shady theater owner (Joaquin Phoenix) in order to get on her feet in early-20th-century New York City. .
X-Men: Days of Future Past: The latest installment of the popular Marvel franchise finds Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) going back in time to recruit his colleagues’ younger selves in order to save mankind from the evil Sentinels.
Belle: An illegitimate, mixed-race daughter (of a Navy admiral) being raised by aristocrats finds herself in a precarious social position in Victorian England.
Chef: Jon Favreau returns to comedy filmmaking with this story of a well-respected chef who opens a food truck after being fired by a posh restaurateur.
Godzilla: The gigantic mutant lizard is back and bigger than ever, ready to decimate a city near you.
Million Dollar Arm: On a mission to find the next baseball phenom in the unlikeliest of places, a sports agent (Jon Hamm) travels to India in hopes of convincing talented cricket players to play American baseball.
The German Doctor: A family traveling through Patagonia, Argentina, happens upon a mysterious German doctor hell-bent on continuing his radical experiments left over from World War II. Ends June 5 at La Jolla Village Cinemas.
Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return: Hollywood goes back to the well with this animated sequel to the classic Wizard of Oz, finding Dorothy whisked back to the magical land in order to save her friends from a new villain.
Neighbors: A newly relocated couple can’t enjoy their beautiful new residence after a rowdy fraternity moves in next door. Every homeowner’s worst nightmare comes true.
The Amazing Spiderman 2: Andrew Garfield returns as the high-flying web slinger to battle an assortment of new villains (Dane DeHaan and Jamie Foxx) while trying to save New York City and his beloved Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) from imminent destruction.
Fading Gigolo: A failed bookstore owner (Woody Allen) convinces his blue-collar friend (John Turturro) to start sleeping with wealthy women for money. Nothing could go wrong with this idea, right?
The Other Woman: Hell hath no furry like a woman scorned. In this case three women—Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton—bound together by one cheating bastard.
Heaven is for Real: Drama starring Greg Kinnear, whose young son dies on the operating table but is brought back to life. After waking up, the boy confesses to having been to Heaven, sharing his experience with those who are willing to listen.
The Railway Man: Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman star in this tense drama about a World War II vet who falls in love with a divorcée after meeting her on a train. In order to move forward, both must confront demons from their past and learn to forgive.
Captain America: Winter Soldier: Chris Evans reprises his role as the patriotic avenger who must now battle a mysterious super soldier who’s threatening to destroy Washington, D.C.
Divergent: The future is a world divided into factions based on tested virtues. A young woman (Shailene Woodley) threatens to topple this rigorous framework when she’s deemed “divergent”—an outsider who must be disappeared.
The Grand Budapest Hotel: Ralph Fiennes leads an all-star cast in director Wes Anderson’s latest film, which takes place inside an elaborate European hotel populated by eccentric characters.
Journey to the South Pacific: Let the glorious scale of IMAX take you to the tropical islands of West Papua, where life under the sea is just as lush and vibrant as it is on shore. Screens at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
Mysteries of the Unseen World: This amazing documentary uses high-speed and time-lapse photography to focus on things that are either too fast or two slow for the eye to see. Screens at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: The camp classic continues its ongoing run, Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.