The 5 best movies screening around Denver this week

On the hunt for date night ideas? Take a look at this week's lineup of acclaimed movies showing on the big screen in and around Denver.

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.)

Grave of the Fireflies

In the final months of World War II, 14-year-old Seita and his sister Setsuko are orphaned when their mother is killed during an air raid in Kobe, Japan. After a falling out with their aunt, they move into an abandoned bomb shelter. With no surviving relatives and their emergency rations depleted, Seita and Setsuko struggle to survive.

With a Tomatometer Score of 97 percent and an Audience Score of 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, this 1988 release is a must-see. The New York Times's Glenn Kenny said, "One of the most startling and moving animated films ever," while James Berardinelli of ReelViews noted, "Some movies are such singular achievements that they deserve to be seen at least once by everyone who considers himself or herself to be a lover of film. Grave of the Fireflies falls into that exclusive category."

It's playing at Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake (4255 W. Colfax Ave.) on Monday, April 22. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

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 66 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, "Us" has become a favorite since its release on March 22.

"It achieves an insidious, lingering effect that's rarer in the horror genre," according to Ben Sachs of the Chicago Reader, while the Christian Science Monitor's Peter Rainer said, "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 filmmaking skills here and, in her dual role, Nyong'o is ferociously good."

Get a piece of the action at UA Denver Pavilions Stadium 15 & RPX (500 16th St.), UA Colorado Center Stadium 9 & IMAX (2000 S. Colorado Blvd.) and Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake (4255 W. Colfax Ave.) through Wednesday, April 24. 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" has a Tomatometer Score of 89 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 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."

Catch it on the big screen at UA Denver Pavilions Stadium 15 & RPX (500 16th St.) and Harkins Northfield 18 (8300 E. Northfield Blvd.) through Wednesday, April 24. 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 UA Denver Pavilions Stadium 15 & RPX (500 16th St.) and Harkins Northfield 18 (8300 E. Northfield 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 91 percent and an Audience Score of 88 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, "Shazam!" has racked up generally positive reviews 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."

It's screening at UA Denver Pavilions Stadium 15 & RPX (500 16th St.) and Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake (4255 W. Colfax Ave.) through Wednesday, April 24. 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.