It’s a black-and-white week, with a Chrome-plated Mad Max, Eyes full of horror, and a like-new Fear for fans of 1950s noir

Thursday, December 8

Writer-director George Miller has wanted to release a black-and-white Mad Max movie ever since The Road Warrior debuted, in 1981. Following the enormous critical and box-office success of last year’s visceral Mad Max Fury Road, he finally gets his wish. The Screenland Armour is showing the director’s preferred cut, Mad Max Fury Road: Black and Chrome Edition, tonight at 7:30 and Friday at 8:30.

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Miller says this version seems more “authentic and elemental.” I’m curious to find out if that’s true, but also just excited to experience it in a theater one more time. I’m sure it will be as big, as loud — and as subversive — as ever. In fact, now it plays as the ultimate anti-Trump fantasy: A group of pissed-off women seeks revenge against the misogynist dictator who hordes the wealth for himself and subjugates their bodies.

Friday, December 9 

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Two of the best films of 2016 open in theaters today (Manchester by the Sea and Nocturnal Animals). Also opening today — with a much more limited run — is the controversial Sundance horror flick Eyes of My Mother. Told in a muted tone, with matter-of-fact violence that makes it all the more terrifying, it follows a young woman who lives on a farm and has learned some bad habits from her mother — an, ahem, eye surgeon. Let’s just stop there. The black-and-white cinematography is arthouse beautiful, but also as debased as the grisliest slasher film out there. It starts tonight at Screenland Crossroads.

Saturday, December 10

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If you’re not watching Mozart in the Jungle, you’re missing one of the most delightful shows in the streamosphere right now. It took almost a full season for the show, set in the prestigious classical music scene of New York, to come into its own, but Golden Globe winner Gael Garcia Bernal’s eccentric young conductor and Lola Kirke’s oboe-playing protegée are now fully fleshed-out characters. Season 3 arrived yesterday on Amazon Prime, so bookmark all three for holiday-break viewing if you need to catch up. Otherwise, you should be able to binge all of the new season today and tomorrow.

Sunday, December 11

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In a desperate attempt to beat every other awards show to air, the 22nd Critic’s Choice Awards airs live at 8 tonight on A&E. Despite its name, however, the movies that win tonight won’t be actual critics’ choices, any more than Donald Trump was the winner of the popular vote. No, by moving the nominations date up to November, the organization made plain its priority: TV ratings. So a good many qualified films remain unseen by the voting body. Last year, two voting critics resigned (I was one of them) over a pandering, last-minute nomination exception, and this year four members of the executive committee resigned over a promo partnership. But, hey, T.J. Miller — an annoyance best-known as a Silicon Valley cast member — is hosting!

Monday, December 12

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Netflix continues to push the documentary form with the true-crime series Captive, executive-produced by director Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, The Bourne Identity) and producer Simon Chinn (Searching for Sugar Man, Man on Wire). Eight episodes will delve into kidnappings and hostage negotiations that occurred all over the world, some infamous and some relatively obscure. It looks like Netflix is trying to replicate the rollout for last year’s buzzy Making a Murderer, allowing an ideal window for discovery and hype-building. If you’re too busy with holiday madness to binge another show, add this to your watch list for some post-turkey couch time.

Tuesday, December 13

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Tonight, the Alamo Drafthouse continues its month of featuring contemporary Christmas classics. Tonight at 7, watch Billy get his former science teacher killed, see elderly Mrs. Deagle fly out the window to her death on a malfunctioning stair lift, and hear Phoebe Cates tell the saddest Santa-down-the-chimney story ever. Of course, I’m talking about Gremlins, one of two PG-rated 1984 movies that was so violent it forced the MPAA to create the PG-13 rating. (The other was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.) Gremlins is silly B-movie bliss with a dark sense of humor, and the practical creature effects have actually aged really well. File this one under: Crowd, more fun with a.

Wednesday, December 14

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Sudden Fear lures you in like any old ’50s-era melodrama for about the first 30 minutes. But when it becomes clear that newlywed Jack Palance is scheming to kill new wife Joan Crawford, the screws get tightened and the shadows lengthen. Though it’s been widely revered as a consummate film noir, the 1952 picture has until now been available only on crappy VHS tapes and a poor DVD transfer. A new 2K restoration and Blu-ray release from the Cohen Film Collection, out yesterday, remedies that, breathing new life into Charles Lang’s Oscar-nominated cinematography.  

Eric Melin is the editor of and president of the KC Film Critics Circle.