The 5 best movies screening around Charlotte this week

In the age of streaming entertainment, it can be hard to leave the couch. But movie theaters still offer a special experience for those willing to get out of the house. Want to see what's out there? Don't miss this week's lineup of acclaimed movies showing on the big screen in and around Charlotte.

Here are the highest rated films to catch, based on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer Score, which reflects the opinions of hundreds of film and television critics.

(Movie descriptions courtesy The Movie Database; showtimes via Fandango. Movie ratings and showtimes are subject to change.)

Us

Husband and wife Gabe and Adelaide Wilson take their kids to their beach house expecting to unplug and unwind with friends. But as night descends, their serenity turns to tension and chaos when some shocking visitors arrive uninvited.

With a Tomatometer Score of 94 percent and an Audience Score of 67 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, "Us" has garnered plenty of praise since its release on March 22. The Chicago Reader's Ben Sachs said, "It achieves an insidious, lingering effect that's rarer in the horror genre," while Peter Rainer of the Christian Science Monitor noted, "Ambition in the horror genre can be a good thing, but the overreach in this movie detracts from both the horror and the ambition. Having said that, Peele shows a marked advance in film-making skills here and, in her dual role, Nyong'o is ferociously good."

It's screening at Cinemark Movie Bistro Charlotte (9630 Monroe Road) and AMC Carolina Pavilion 22 (9541 South Blvd.) through Wednesday, April 24 and Regal Stonecrest at Piper Glen IMAX & RPX (7824 Rea Road) and Regal Cinebarre Arboretum (8008 Providence Road) through Thursday, April 25. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

The Mustang

While participating in a rehabilitation program training wild mustangs, a convict at first struggles to connect with the horses and his fellow inmates, but he learns to confront his violent past as he soothes an especially feisty horse.

With a Tomatometer Score of 94 percent and an Audience Score of 67 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, "The Mustang" has garnered plenty of praise since its release on March 15.

"There's a Disney movie in here somewhere, but Clermont-Tonnerre has no interest in it. She's too busy steering her own course, and it works," according to Adam Graham of the Detroit News, while ReelViews' James Berardinelli said, "It's worth seeking out as both a portrait of a prison program few are aware of and a powerful character study."

In the mood for popcorn? It's playing at Regal Ballantyne Village (14815 John J. Delany Drive) through Thursday, April 25. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

Penguins

The story of Steve, an Adélie penguin, on a quest to find a life partner and start a family. When Steve meets with Wuzzo the emperor penguin they become friends. But nothing comes easy in the icy Antarctic.

Released on Wednesday, April 17, "Penguins" already has a Tomatometer Score of 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

"Just you try to resist the impossible adorableness offered up in the latest Disneynature documentary, 'Penguins,'" noted Christy Lemire of RogerEbert.com, while the Arizona Republic's Melissa Yeager said, "The result is an endearing documentary, capturing both the wonder of Antarctica and the drama of the everyday life of penguins."

You can catch it at Regal Stonecrest at Piper Glen IMAX & RPX (7824 Rea Road), Cinemark Movie Bistro Charlotte (9630 Monroe Road), AMC Carolina Pavilion 22 (9541 South Blvd.) and Regal Starlight-Charlotte (11240 US Hwy 29) through Thursday, April 25. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

As Hiccup fulfills his dream of creating a peaceful dragon utopia, Toothless’ discovery of an untamed, elusive mate draws the Night Fury away. When danger mounts at home and Hiccup’s reign as village chief is tested, both dragon and rider must make impossible decisions to save their kind.

With a Tomatometer Score of 91 percent and an Audience Score of 88 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" has become a favorite since its release on Feb. 22. The Atlantic's David Sims said, "So much of 'The Hidden World' is stuffed with filler material. But in certain wordless moments, this grand final entry really sings," and the New York Post's Johnny Oleksinski noted, "The movie could easily be called 'How To End Your Trilogy.'"

It's playing at AMC Carolina Pavilion 22 (9541 South Blvd.) through Wednesday, April 24. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

Shazam!

A boy is given the ability to become an adult superhero in times of need with a single magic word.

With a Tomatometer Score of 90 percent and an Audience Score of 88 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, "Shazam!" has been getting attention since its release on April 5. Time Out's Joshua Rothkopf said, "For a long, glorious stretch, 'Shazam!' plays like the anti-Nolan antidote it is," while Matthew Rozsa of Salon.com stated, "'Shazam!' is the funniest, sweetest and most innocent movie in the DC Extended Universe, a sign that it is at last ready to compete with Marvel."

Get a piece of the action at Regal Cinebarre Arboretum (8008 Providence Road), Regal Starlight-Charlotte (11240 US Hwy 29) and Regal Stonecrest at Piper Glen IMAX & RPX (7824 Rea Road) through Thursday, April 25. Click here for showtimes and tickets.


This story was created automatically using local movie data, then reviewed by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.