5 don't-miss dramas worth checking out in Phoenix before the Oscars

Want to be moved by a stirring story? Don't miss this week's lineup of dramas showing on the big screen in and around Phoenix.

Here are the best drama films to catch in theaters, based on critical scores sourced from review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. (Movie descriptions courtesy The Movie Database; showtimes via Fandango.)

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

When bestselling celebrity biographer Lee Israel is no longer able to get published because she has fallen out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack.

Boasting a critical approval rating of 98 percent and an audience score of 84 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" has gotten stellar reviews since its release on October 19.

Oscar nominations for both Melissa McCarthy (Best Actress) and Richard E. Grant (Best Supporting Actor) support the raves: "Deftly directed and laced with dark wit, 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?' proves a compelling showcase for deeply affecting work from Richard E. Grant and Melissa McCarthy."

It's screening at AMC Ahwatukee 24 (4915 E. Ray Road) through Wednesday, Feb. 6. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

BlacKkKlansman

Colorado Springs, late 1970s. Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer, and Flip Zimmerman, his Jewish colleague, run an undercover operation to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan.

With a critical approval rating of 95 percent and an audience score of 82 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, "BlacKkKlansman" has garnered plenty of praise since its release on August 10. It recently received six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for auteur Spike Lee.

The site's critical consensus has it that "'BlacKkKlansman' uses history to offer bitingly trenchant commentary on current events — and brings out some of Spike Lee's hardest-hitting work in decades along the way."

Get a piece of the action at AMC Arizona Center 24 (565 N. Third St.) through Wednesday, Feb. 6. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

The Favourite

In 18th century England, the close relationship between Queen Anne and Sarah Churchill is threatened by the arrival of Sarah's cousin, Abigail Hill, resulting in a bitter rivalry between the two cousins to be the Queen's favorite.

With a critical approval rating of 93 percent and an audience score of 62 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, "The Favourite" has garnered plenty of praise since its release on December 14. It recently received a whopping ten Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress or Supporting Actress for all three main actresses.

The site's critical consensus indicates that "'The Favourite' sees Yorgos Lanthimos balancing a period setting against rich, timely subtext — and getting roundly stellar performances from his well-chosen stars."

It's playing at AMC Dine-In Esplanade 14 (2515 E. Camelback Road) through Wednesday, Feb. 6. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

Stan & Ollie

With their golden era long behind them, comedy duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy embark on a variety hall tour of Britain and Ireland. Despite the pressures of a hectic schedule, and with the support of their wives Lucille and Ida – a formidable double act in their own right – the pair's love of performing, as well as for each other, endures as they secure their place in the hearts of their adoring public

With a 92 percent critical approval rating and an audience score of 88 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, "Stan & Ollie" has become a favorite since its release on December 28.

The site's critical consensus has it that, "'Stan & Ollie' pays tribute to a pair of beloved entertainers with an affectionate look behind the scenes — and a moving look at the burdens and blessings of a creative bond."

You can catch it at Harkins North Valley 16 (3420 E. Bell Road) through Thursday, Feb. 7. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

Green Book

Tony Lip, a bouncer in 1962, is hired to drive pianist Don Shirley on a tour through the Deep South in the days when African Americans, forced to find alternate accommodations and services due to segregation laws below the Mason-Dixon Line, relied on a guide called The Negro Motorist Green Book.

With an 82 percent critical approval rating and an audience score of 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, "Green Book" has been getting attention since its release on November 16.

Five Academy Award nominations back up a critical consensus that, "'Green Book' takes audiences on a surprisingly smooth ride through potentially bumpy subject matter, fueled by Peter Farrelly's deft touch and a pair of well-matched leads."

Interested? It's playing at Harkins Christown 14 (1620 W. Montebello) through Thursday, Feb. 7. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

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