The five movies you have to see in Madison: Oct. 17-23, 2014


1. “Fury” (all week, Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema, Sundance) — David Ayer is known for bruising L.A. cop movies like “End of Watch” and “Training Day,” but turns his attention to World War II with this “‘Saving Private Ryan’ in a tank” drama about a group of soldiers mopping up Germany at the end of the war. It looks great and is supposed to be brutally realistic — the question is whether Ayer can avoid the cliches in his screenplay.

2. “The Man From Rio” (7 p.m., Saturday, UW-Cinematheque, 4070 Vilas Hall) — I’d watch Jean-Paul Belmondo (“Breathless”) in anything, and he is just delightful in this caper film about a pilot who tries to rescue his fiancee from thieves who stole an Amazon figurine. The guy just couldn’t do anything uncool. FREE!

3. “Rudderless” (all week, Sundance) — Actor William H. Macy has directed plenty of theater, but this is his first film as a director, a scruffy but soulful mix of drama and comedy in this tale of a grieving father (Billy Crudup) who reconnects with his dead son through the music he wrote. Macy and Crudup both have an aversion to sentimentality that keeps the film from being mawkish, and the music is great.

4. “Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case” (9:30 p.m., Thursday, Union South Marquee Theatre) — I was a big fan of the documentary “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,” which showed how the pugnacious dissident Chinese artist used his work to both flip the bird at the Chinese government and draw attention to its crimes. A big blank spot in the film was what happened to Weiwei when he was placed under house arrest by the government — this follow-up documentary tells that story. FREE!

5. “Jealousy” (7 p.m, Wednesday, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art) — Spotlight Cinema presents the latest film from master Frnech director Philippe Garrel, a film that looks at several relationships through offhand moments and seemingly innocuous scenes — the scenes between the scenes we normally see in movies like this. The result is captivating and strangely intimate. FREE for museum members, $7 for all others.

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