Film-Forward

Mohammad Assaf in The Idol (Adopt Films)

The Idol

A biopic of Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf, star of Arab Idol, and his bumpy road to success.

The Lobster

Rachel Weisz in The Lobster (A24)

Director Yorgos Lanthimos’s blackly comic satire—a discombobulating rush of inventiveness and imagination that doesn’t let up.

Love & Friendship

Chloë Sevigny, left, and Kate Beckinsale, in Love & Friendship (Roadside Attractions)

Whit Stillman’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Lady Susan, a posthumously published novella about a devious widow who goes husband-hunting for both herself and her daughter. It has intrigue, musings on marriage, and a fascinating female lead.

Eva Hesse

Eva Hesse, circa 1963 (Barbara Brown)

An introduction to the life and work of a groundbreaking artist and the 1960s art scene.

High-Rise

Tom Hiddleston in High-Rise (Magnet Releasing)

Director Ben Wheatley adapts J.G. Ballard’s dystopian and predictive novel into a strikingly stylish film, heightening the tone of the book and its excesses.

A Bigger Splash

(From left to right): Ralph Fiennes, Dakota Johnson, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Tilda Swinton in A Bigger Splash (Jack English/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.)

A hothouse drama and a refreshingly cynical thriller with two ace performers pushing edgy parts way over-the-top.

A Monster with a Thousand Heads

Jana Raluy in A Monster with A Thousand Heads (Music Box Films)

What starts as a cancer drama shifts to a thriller that plays out almost seemingly in real time.

Dheepan

Antonythasan Jesuthasan in Dheepan (Paul Arnaud/Sundance Selects)

Jacques Audiard’s moody heartbreaker, the winner of the Cannes Palme d’Or last year, daringly places a rough-and-ready, documentary-ish shooting style alongside confident, startling artistry.

Bridgend

BRIDGEND - Courtesy of Fandor(8)

Director Jeppe Ronde uses a real-life event as the basis for a haunting, ethereal film, a sort of inverted Rebel Without a Cause. These teens don’t lash out so much as cave in.

Beautiful Something

Brian Sheppard in Beautiful Something (Ariztical Entertainment)

Most gay independent films are forgettable, but every once in a while there are the rare gems that are the exception to the rule. Beautiful Something is one of them.