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Things to do in Chicago today

The day's best things to do in Chicago—including free and cheap activities, concerts, screenings, shows, parties and more. It's your social emergency savior.

Photograph: Matthew Bowie
One of the iconic views of the Chicago skyline from Willis Tower.

Looking for something to do this evening? Have a friend coming into town who wants to see the sights? You're in luck, because Chicago is a city filled with attractions and things to do (including some that cost absolutely nothing). Seize the moment with our list of today's best concerts, shows, activities and more.

Zoolander 2

It's far from deep, but this sequel delivers what fans will be after: ample celeb cameos and an equal amount of lunatic plotting

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Deadpool

For teenage fanboys only, Marvel's latest superhero effort is self-satisfied and willfully offensive

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The Choice

Romance, tragedy, toned bodies, conservative values: It can only be the latest from Nicholas Sparks

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Hail, Caesar!

The Coens return to making elaborate yuks in a backstage Hollywood comedy that's fast and funny

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The Finest Hours

The true story of a 1952 Cape Cod blizzard and subsequent sea rescue gets solid if square treatment

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Release date: Monday February 29 2016 Now Showing

Ride Along 2

Shoddy and exhausted from the start, this painfully unfunny buddy-cop comedy lands with a plop in the January sewer of failed Hollywood castoffs. Tim Story’s 2014 original seemed better plugged into the tensions between exuberant motormouth Ben (Kevin Hart) and his girlfriend’s brother, the perpetually scowling James (Ice Cube), an ice-cold Atlanta cop he hopes to impress. We return to their story with Ben now a rookie on the force, one week away from his wedding. Once again, crime looms—this time in the form of a silky voiced Miami drug lord (Benjamin Bratt)—and even before the bickering duo heads south, you can accurately predict every bikini-babe-adorned plot twist. Jokes range from fashion faux pas (Ben dresses like he’s ready for his cameo on Miami Vice) to Asian bashing (The Hangover’s Ken Jeong is never given the chance to cut loose with his wicked tongue) or ogling female detective Maya (Olivia Munn, introduced in a sports bra). On purely technical grounds, a couple of action scenes transcend the mundanity and there’s one surreal sight: an Apocalypse Now gag with the determined Hart rising out of the water in slo-mo to the strains of Wagner. But mostly, this is the definition of a waste of time, aggressively derivative yet barely digestible. Eddie Murphy, please come back and show these clowns how it’s done. Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf

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Dirty Grandpa

So it's come to this. The title says all you need to know about this embarrassing Robert De Niro comedy

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The Revenant

After the playful, urban and contemporary vibe of Birdman, this bleak 1820s-set Western sees Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu return to the darker worldview of his earlier films like Babel and 21 Grams. Based on a 2002 Michael Punke novel about real-life folk hero Hugh Glass, The Revenant stars Leonardo DiCaprio (gruff, committed, unreadable) as a fur trapper and frontiersman left for dead by his colleagues in a wintry American landscape after being shredded by a bear. Glass survives, and he hauls his damaged body through snow, across rivers, up rocks and over plains in pursuit of John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy, savage with a dash of much-needed black humor), the man responsible for abandoning him and forcing him to watch his young son of mixed-race parentage being murdered. So, it’s not a happy tale. But what survives from Birdman is a compelling, forward-moving, simple approach to storytelling that grips us through stretches of silence and misery. There are times when the film feels like one long and unforgiving act of sadism, mostly directed at its lead character, but occasionally at us. (A warning: The film is long, the dialogue is minimal and the violence is sharp.) There are moments, too, that feel like parodies of awards-hungry acting, such as when we see DiCaprio chomping on raw animal meat or climbing into the steaming carcass of a dead horse. But what makes this more than just a punishing, fearful, expertly crafted thriller focused on one man’s endurance i

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45 Years

A haunting, troubled look at marriage and what it means to love someone over many years, this eerie drama gives us a retired English couple, Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff (Tom Courtenay), whom we meet in the days leading up to their 45th anniversary party. It begins with the arrival of a letter at the pair’s rural home: A body has been discovered. Geoff’s first serious girlfriend, Katya, whom he knew before Kate, fell off an Alpine mountain more than 50 years ago while they were hiking. Now she’s been found, encased in ice. It’s a small earthquake in the couple’s life, and the aftershocks rumble, often painfully, through the week to come. They continue to prepare for the party, but questions bubble up. Resentment and fear surface. What did Katya mean to Geoff long after her death? Has he been honest with Kate? Can you be jealous of a dead woman? Writer-director Andrew Haigh, adapting a short story by David Constantine, casts a dark shadow of time and mortality over this restrained, thoughtful tale: a ghost story with no ghost, an infidelity tale without a mistress. Can you betray someone with just your memories? This is a triumph for Haigh, whose acclaimed second film, Weekend (2011), was a brief, fun romance between two young men. (There’s much less sex here.) Yet Haigh’s search for meaning in everyday, ordinary behavior, underlined this time by the past and the future suddenly coming into sharp focus, remains the same. So does his sensitive concern for exploring the

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Comments

2 comments
Leo M
Leo M

To Hank, Now we know what the A stands for Hank.

Hank A
Hank A

Really....you can only tell me one thing to do today, May 16th in Chicago, DOH!!!  


Good luck in your future endeavors.