5 can't-miss current films and classic holiday re-releases screening in Oakland this week

In the market for high-caliber entertainment? Read on for this week's lineup of acclaimed movies showing on the big screen in and around Oakland. 

Based on critical scores sourced from review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, here's a look at the highest rated films to catch. (Movie descriptions courtesy The Movie Database; showtimes via Fandango.)

This Is Spinal Tap

"This Is Spinal Tap" shines a light on the self-contained universe of a metal band struggling to get back on the charts, including everything from its complicated history of ups and downs, gold albums, name changes and undersold concert dates, along with the full host of requisite groupies, promoters, hangers-on and historians, sessions, and release events and those special behind-the-scenes moments that keep it all real.

With a 95 percent critical approval rating and an audience score of 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, this 1980s classic has garnered plenty of praise. The site's collation of critics agrees: "Smartly directed, brilliantly acted, and packed with endlessly quotable moments, 'This Is Spinal Tap' is an all-time comedy classic."

Catch it on the big screen at The New Parkway (474 24th St.) on Friday, Dec. 21 only. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

It's a Wonderful Life

A holiday favourite for generations... George Bailey has spent his entire life giving to the people of Bedford Falls. All that prevents rich skinflint Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town is George's modest building and loan company. But on Christmas Eve the business's $8,000 is lost and George's troubles begin.

With a critical approval rating of 93 percent and an audience score of 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, this vintage Christmas film comes highly recommended. According to the site's summary of critic reviews, "The holiday classic to define all holiday classics, 'It's a Wonderful Life' is one of a handful of films worth an annual viewing."

It's screening at The New Parkway (474 24th St.) for one day only on Sunday, Dec. 23. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

Blindspotting

Collin must make it through his final three days of probation for a chance at a new beginning. He and his troublemaking childhood best friend, Miles, work as movers, and when Collin witnesses a police shooting, the two men’s friendship is tested as they grapple with identity and their changed realities in the rapidly-gentrifying neighborhood they grew up in.

With a critical approval rating of 93 percent and an audience score of 85 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, Oakland-set "Blindspotting" has earned rave reviews from an array of viewers. The film's cowriter and costar, Daveed Diggs (of "Hamilton" fame), was also born and raised in Oakland. 

The site's critical consensus has it that, "As timely as it is overall impactful, 'Blindspotting' blends buddy comedy with seething social commentary, and rises on the strength of Daveed Diggs' powerful performance."

You can catch it at The New Parkway (474 24th St.) through Saturday, Dec. 22. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

Elf

When young Buddy falls into Santa's gift sack on Christmas Eve, he's transported back to the North Pole and raised as a toy-making elf by Santa's helpers. But as he grows into adulthood, he can't shake the nagging feeling that he doesn't belong. Buddy vows to visit Manhattan and find his real dad, and a workaholic publisher.

With a critical approval rating of 83 percent and an audience score of 78 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, "Elf" is a recent holiday classic with a strong following.

The site's critical concurrence notes that, "A movie full of Yuletide cheer, 'Elf' is a spirited, good-natured family comedy, and it benefits greatly from Will Ferrell's funny and charming performance as one of Santa's biggest helpers."

It's screening at The New Parkway (474 24th St.) today only. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

Fiddler on the Roof

This lavishly produced and critically acclaimed screen adaptation of the international stage sensation tells the life-affirming story of Tevye (Topol), a poor milkman whose love, pride and faith help him face the oppression of turn-of-the-century Czarist Russia. Nominated for eight Academy Awards.

With a critical approval rating of 82 percent and an audience score of 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, this '70s throwback has proven a solid viewing choice. It's screening just once in the coming week, on Christmas Day.

Catch it on the big screen at The New Parkway (474 24th St.) on Tuesday, Dec. 25. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

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