Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

The Endurance (G)

This documentary by George Butler is a well-crafted chronicle of Sir Ernest Shackleton's perilous expedition to Antarctica in 1914. When his ship falls prey to glaciers, Shackleton makes Indiana Jones look like a Grade A sissy by braving subzero temperatures, tidal waves and treacherous terrain to bring his crew members to safety. Butler combines interviews, gorgeous color cinematography and black-and-white footage from the original voyage to bring this gripping yarn to life. (Stephen Blair)

Flophouse (NR)

Portland independent filmmaker Christopher Claridge, 33, is screening his indie film at the Mission Theater this week. The film is based on Claridge's experiences while living with some semi-employed dudes in a Los Angeles rental. Shot in Portland, 'Flophouse' details the misadventures of a bunch of beer-soaked layabouts about to get evicted. Prepare for gags such as drinking the dregs of last night's beer Ñ soggy cigarette butts and all Ñ and rat traps set inside cereal boxes to catch food-stealing roomies. (Michaela Bancud)

The Royal Tenenbaums (R)

There's no better actor in the movies than Gene Hackman, and this drolly eccentric family saga gives him his best role in years as the paterunfamilias of a family of former prodigies. The children (Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson) of Hackman's ne'er-do-well Royal Tenenbaum all had promising futures thwarted by the departure of their father. Now he is back to try to reclaim the love of those children and the wife (Anjelica Huston) who had to raise them alone. Directed by Wes Anderson ('Rushmore'), the film is one of the year's best. (Pat Holmes)

The Shipping News (R)

Kevin Spacey eschews his usual firecracker performance style to play a mopey sad sack, battered by love, who moves to a small Newfoundland fishing village. Surrounded by quirky townsfolk, he meets an improbably gorgeous single mom (Julianne Moore), gets life lessons from his crusty aunt (Judi Dench) and starts to grow a spine. Uplifting Oscar material for fans of Lasse Hallstršm ('What's Eating Gilbert Grape'). (Dawn Taylor)