Unapologetically hopeful about progressive viewpoints, Matthew Warchus' Pride revolves around a grassroots LGBT group that raises funds for striking miners in the Welsh countryside. On the surface, these two entities have seemingly very different moral views, but throughout the course of this rousing and delicately handled narrative, Warchus seamlessly weaves them together as a single community.
Set in 1984 during the height of Margaret Thatcher's political dominance, Pride begins with Mark (Ben Schentzer) recruiting members for a new activist pop-up named "Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners." He's inspired to help after witnessing the particularly brutal clashes between coal workers and ruffian police brigades on the picket lines. Initially, the rural collectives representing the struggling miners want nothing to do with the fringe group, until one town agrees by accident due to bad telephone reception.
From this point, Pride —which opens Friday, Oct. 10—takes a predictable fish-out-of-water scenario and elevates it with charming characterizations and earnest relationships. Mark and his band of Londoners head for the hills in Southern Wales to deliver the money, and there they find some malcontents, but mostly open arms from the backwater townsfolk.
Warchus leans heavily on his excellent cast of British players to communicate a level of complexity in what could have been a rote melodrama of clashing ideologies. Paddy Considine, the great actor who usually plays psychotics or fools, tones down the volatility to inhabit a sincere and earnest blue-collar grunt who can see past the surface of stereotype. Imelda Staunton and Bill Nighy are also effortlessly perfect as cheeky seniors who staunchly resist convention.
While it showcases a number of rousing solo acts performed in the name of tolerance (Dominic West's disco dance performance is lovely), Pride ultimately understands that no matter your level of passion or determination, one cannot exact change by going it alone.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day : A boy lives through a calamitous day, and the bad luck spreads to his other family members.
Art and Craft : Prolific art forger and eccentric recluse Michael Landis discusses his obsession with duping museums and dodging investigators after he's finally exposed. Screens through Oct. 16 at the Ken Cinema.
Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity : Extreme-action architect Elizabeth Streb defies gravity to walk on walls, dive through glass and fly through the air in this exciting documentary. Screens through Oct. 16 at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Dracula Untold : This will suck.
Kill the Messenger : An investigative reporter (Jeremy Renner) exposes the CIA's involvement in arming the Contra rebels in Nicaragua, only to find himself the victim of a smear campaign.
Meet the Mormons : Six members of the Church of Latter Day Saints are profiled in this documentary that spans the globe.
One Chance : Paul Potts, a shy, bullied shop assistant, goes on to become an amateur opera singer and winner of Britain's Got Talent . It's based on a true story.
Pride : A newly minted LGBT group lends support to striking Welsh miners in this charming fish-out-of-water 1984-set dramedy from the United Kingdom.
The Guest : The family of a fallen soldier welcomes a mysterious stranger into their home after he claims to be a friend of their son.
The Judge : Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) returns to his childhood home to defend his embittered father (Robert Duvall), the town's judge, who's been accused of murder.
One time only
Rope : Sometimes the perfect crime is hiding right under your nose. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, at Reading Gaslamp Cinemas.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde : A calm and collected man uses scientific experiments to bring out his violent alter ego. Screens at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, at The Whaley House in Old Town.
The Big Lebowski : "Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules." Walter abides in the Coen brothers' comedy of acidic errors. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
American Mustang : Shot and presented in 3D, this epic film charts the debate raging between activists and ranchers over the migration of wild horses through the Midwest. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, at AMC Mission Valley.
Addicted: Live with Zane : An art curator risks her family and career when she begins an affair with a mysterious painter. Screens at 5 and 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, at various theaters. Get details at fathom
To Catch a Thief : Cary Grant's reformed jewel thief has to steal again in order to prove his innocence. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, at Reading Town Square Cinemas.
It's Gonna Blow!!!: San Diego's Music Underground 1986-1996 : A documentary chronicling the music community that flourished in San Diego during the 1980s and '90s. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, at the Victory Theatre in Grant Hill.
Spellbound : Gregory Peck stars as a psychiatrist suffering from amnesia who protects the identity of another amnesia patient (Ingrid Bergman) who's accused of murder. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, through Saturday, Oct. 11, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
Horrible Imaginings Film Festival: The dead will rise again when this festival celebrating horror, science fiction and the grotesque arrives for its fifth annual edition. Runs Friday, Oct. 10, through Sunday, Oct. 12, at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
The Undersea Film Festival: Now in its 15th year, this showcase of short films celebrates the beauty and wonder of rivers, oceans and lakes. Starts at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 10 and 11, at Qualcomm Hall in Sorrento Valley. Get details at sdufex.com.
German Currents: A four-piece collection of new films from Germany that run the gamut in genre and form. Runs Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 11 and 12, at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park. Get details at germancurrents.org
The Room : Infamous for being a really, really bad movie. Screens at at midnight on Saturday, Oct. 11, at the Ken Cinema.
Chef : Jon Favreau plays a chef who quits his posh restaurant job to open a food truck and cook his own version of comfort food. Screens at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, at the Point Loma / Hervey Branch Library.
They Came Together : Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler fall in love despite being bitter rivals in this dark romantic comedy by director David Wain. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13, at the San Diego Public Library in East Village.
Fracture : An ambitious attorney (Ryan Gosling) gets manipulated by the cagey criminal (Anthony Hopkins) he's about to prosecute. Screens at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, at the Point Loma / Hervey Branch Library.
Web Junkie : Go inside a Beijing treatment center where web-addicted patients are treated for what the Chinese government deems a clinical disorder. Screens at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Psycho : Norman Bates has a thing for showers. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, at Reading Gaslamp Cinemas.
The Cat and the Canary : An eccentric family encounters madness and murder when they visit their deceased uncle's mansion in a remote area. Screens at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, at The Whaley House in Old Town.
Locke : When a man receives a mysterious phone call while driving, his life starts to unravel. Screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, at the Scripps Ranch Library.
American Hustle : A con man (Christian Bale) works secretly with an FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) to entrap criminals in 1970s New Jersey. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
Annabelle : The creepy murderous doll from The Conjuring gets its own prequel.
Gone Girl : David Fincher adapts Gillian Flynn's bestselling novel with Ben Affleck in the lead as the suspicious husband whose beautiful wife (Rosamund Pike) suddenly goes missing.
Hero of Color City : Crayon aficionados rejoice. Your dream movie has arrived.
Kelly & Cal : Juliette Lewis stars as a punk-rocker-turned-suburban-mother who starts to doubt her life change. Ends Oct. 9 at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Left Behind : Nicolas Cage does his best Kirk Cameron in this reimagining of the famous rapture novels from Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.
The Human Body : This amazing IMAX adventure goes inside the human body to explore the many dynamic changes that occur as we age. Screens at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
The Liberator : The story of Simon Bolivar (Edgar Ramirez), who fought more than 100 battles against the Spanish throughout South America, liberating indigenous people from European colonialism.
The Two Faces of January : Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst are on the run in Europe and get entangled with another mysterious American (Oscar Isaac) with a shady past.
Hector and the Search for Happiness : Simon Pegg plays a conflicted psychologist who leaves his humdrum life in London to travel the globe and research what makes people happy.
Jimi: All is by My Side : Andre Benjamin takes on the role of legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix in this biopic about the musician's rise to fame. Ends Oct. 9 at Hillcrest Cinemas.
Last Days in Vietnam : Documentary that uses archival footage and interviews to explore the timeline of the United States' military withdrawal at the end of the Vietnam War. Ends Oct. 9 at the Ken Cinema.
The Boxtrolls : An evil exterminator threatens a community of cave-dwelling trash collectors who've raised a young, orphaned boy as their own.
The Equalizer : Denzel Washington takes names and kicks ass in this remake of the 1980s television show.
Tracks : Mia Wasikowska plays a young woman who goes on an epic journey across the deserts of western Australia with her animal companions.
A Walk Among the Tombstones : Liam Neeson scours the dark underbelly of the city in Scott Frank's ghoulish crime film, looking for the killer of a drug kingpin's beautiful wife.
My Old Lady : Kevin Kline plays an American who inherits an apartment in Paris that houses a mysterious resident. It co-stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Maggie Smith.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them : James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain play a couple who try to reclaim their relationship after experiencing a traumatic event.
The Maze Runner : In this science-fiction film, a community of boys tries to escape an elaborate maze after being kidnapped and having their minds erased.
The Skeleton Twins : Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig play estranged twins who reunite after both escape death on the same day.
This is Where I Leave You : Four grown siblings are forced to return home after their father passes away and states in his will that they must all live under the same roof for a week. It stars Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Jane Fonda.
Tusk : In this horror film by Kevin Smith, a writer goes missing after interviewing a mysterious seafarer, causing his best friend and girlfriend to follow in search.
Dolphin Tale 2 : Even a dolphin needs to find love.
No Good Deed : Idris Elba plays an ex-con with dangerous intentions who seduces Taraji P. Henson's devoted housewife in Sam Miller's erotic thriller.
The Drop : When a robbery goes wrong, a low-level thug (Tom Hardy) must lean on friends and enemies alike to survive. It's the final film starring James Gandolfini.
The November Man : Pierce Brosnan returns to super-spy duty, this time as a top CIA assassin facing off against his best protégé.
If I Stay : After a car accident, a young woman has an out-of-body experience that leads her to a life far different than she ever imagined.
When the Game Stands Tall : Jim Caviezel plays high-school football coach Bob Ladouceur, who took the De La Salle Spartans from obscurity to an amazing 151-game winning streak.
Let's Be Cops : Two goofball friends posing as cops for a costume party get sucked into a night of debauchery and danger.
The Giver : Lois Lowry's classic young-adult novel about a not-so-utopian future gets the big-screen adaptation starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep.
The Hundred-Foot Journey : The proprietor of a famous French restaurant (Helen Mirren) clashes with the family running a new Indian eatery down the street.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles : Watch out for Raphael. He's a party dude.
Guardians of the Galaxy : American pilot Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and his rowdy alien crew become objects of a manhunt after stealing a valuable orb that belongs to a diabolical space villain.
A Most Wanted Man : Director Anton Corbijn ( The American ) adapts John le Carré's famous novel about a web of spies operating in the shadowy confines of Hamburg, Germany.
Lucy : Thanks to a drug-smuggling operation gone bad, Scarlet Johansson miraculously begins to use 100 percent of her brain and seeks revenge against the bad guys who put her on the spot.
Boyhood : Richard Linklater's epic drama follows the life of Mason (Ellar Coltrane) from age 6 to 18, charting all the highs and lows in between. Ends Oct. 9 at Hillcrest Cinemas.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes : Ten years after a virus outbreak pitted apes against men, the two factions forge a fragile peace that's tested by fear and aggression. It's directed by Matt Reeves ( Cloverfield ) and stars Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman and Andy Serkis.
Hidden Universe : Blast off into the stratosphere with this documentary that uses real images captured from telescopes to examine the vast reaches of space. Screens at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 : Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon Toothless encounter new challenges while trying to bring their species together in harmony.
Journey to the South Pacific : Let the glorious scale of IMAX take you to the tropical islands of West Papua, where life under the sea is just as lush and vibrant as it is on shore. Screens at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: The camp classic continues its ongoing run, Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.