L.A. Weekly’s Movie Guide is your look at the hottest films in Los Angeles theaters this week — from indie art house gems and classics to popcorn-perfect blockbusters and new movies garnering buzz. Check here every week before you make your big screen plans.
Birds of Prey—the eighth film in the DC Extended Universe—gives Harley Quinn, Joker’s gleeful ex, her own movie. Its star, Margot Robbie, a compellingly strange sight in her cotton candy-dipped pony tails and lunatic grin, also serves as producer in this follow-up to Suicide Squad in which Harley teams up with three other badass babes (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Rosie Perez) in order to take down local kingpin Black Mask (Ewan McGregor). Cathy Yan directs a screenplay by Christina Hodson.
In the French countryside during the Second World War, a young shepherd boy (Noah Schnapp) witnesses the Nazis usurp his quiet village. With his father away, he befriends a Jewish hermit (Jean Reno) living in the forest who reveals he is responsible for smuggling Jewish children across the border into Spain. Based on a 1990 novel by Michael Morpurgo, Waiting for Anya is an earnest, straightforward drama that appeals directly to the heart. Anjelica Huston lends her formidable presence to the role of the widow who also leads the dangerous expedition. Ben Cookson directed. Galaxy Mission Grove, 121 Allessandro Blvd., Riverside; Fri., Feb. 7, various showtimes; $11.25-$13. (951) 780-4379, galaxytheatres.com.
Canadian goaltender Terry Sawchuk played 21 seasons in the NHL and attained Hall of Fame status just a few months after his untimely death in 1970 at the age of forty. Goalie, a new biopic starring Mark O’Brien, is one of the best looks at the life of a professional athlete to come around in years, with equal time spent in the home as in the arena. (Sawchuk had seven children with his wife Anne.) Kevin Pollak and Georgina Reilly carry their share of the dramatic weight in this film directed by Adriana Maggs from a screenplay by Maggs and her sister Jane Maggs. Arena Cinelounge, 6464 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Feb. 7, $16. (323) 924-1644, arenascreen.org.