NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Up To Date

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' December 8-10

Merrick Morton
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Frances McDormand plays aggrieved mother Mildred Hayes in 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.'

Kansas City has been blessed with an unseasonably warm fall this year, though you won't be able to tell by stepping outside during the first half of this weekend. While you wait for the return of 50-degree weather — and you won't have to wait long — take in a good indie, foreign or documentary movie. The latest recommendations from Up To Date's Film Critics may not make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, but they will keep you warm and cozy while you avoid the outside.

Cynthia Haines

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, R

  • When her daughter's murder isn't solved, Mildred Hayes, played by Frances McDormand, lets the local police department, and the fictional town, know how she really feels about it. 

The Florida Project, R

  • Featuring two breakout stars alongside award-winning familiar faces, this film looks at the wonderment of childhood alongside the less than magical parts a parent undertakes.

Lady Bird, R

  • Greta Gerwig's first solo effort as writer/director is a heartfelt dedication to her NorCal hometown, and a masterful, funny examination of the mercurial relationship between a mother and her high school-aged daughter.

Steve Walker

The Disaster Artist, R

  • James Franco directs and stars in this tongue-in-cheek recreation of the making of The Room, a movie which has achieved cult status for being, in the opinion of many, the best worst movie ever made.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, R

  • In Martin McDonagh's twisted black comedy, Frances McDormand piercingly plays a grieving mother who turns her despair into outrage at the local police who haven't solved her daughter's murder.

Lady Bird, R

  • This sublime, tart comedy, written and directed by Greta Gerwig, features flawless performances from Laurie Metcalf as a stressed-out mom and Saoirse Ronan as a bohemian high school senior circa 2002 wishing she was anywhere but Sacramento.
Since 1998, Steve Walker has contributed stories and interviews about theater, visual arts, and music as an arts reporter at KCUR. He's also one of Up to Date's regular trio of critics who discuss the latest in art, independent and documentary films playing on area screens.
Luke X. Martin is a reporter focusing on race, culture and ethnicity for KCUR 89.3. Contact him at or on Twitter, @lukexmartin.