Whether you’re trying to avoid the releases this week or augment them with even more movie, Your Alternate Box Office offers some options for movies that would play perfectly alongside of (or instead of) the stuff studios are shoving into the megaplex this weekend.

This week features a foul-mouthed alien, proof that taking pills making you better, Matthew McConaughey refusing to leave his vehicle to practice law, and a schlubby wrestling coach.

THE WIZARD (1989)

Double Feature With: PAUL

The Pitch: There have been a lot of alien movies to pair with lately, so it all seemed a little exhausting. Instead of the other-worldly tip, here’s another road trip movie with just as much if not more geek cred. Fred Savage and Jenny Lewis (the Simon Pegg and Nick Frost of their day) take young Luke Edwards on the road to a massive video game competition where he inexplicably knows how to grab warp whistles before Super Mario 3 was even released.

How to See It: Requires a Rental

REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (2002)

Double Feature With: LIMITLESS

The Pitch: If there’s going to be a movie where a pill makes you unlock your full potential, there has to be a counterpoint (for the kids) that shows the dangers of drug use. Those dangers involve becoming obsessed with Christopher McDonald, losing an arm, and being nominated for an Oscar. Just say no.

Plus, for newer fans of Darren Aronofsky, this flick deserves at least one good, long, sober look.

How to See It: Requires a Rental

TIPTOES (2003)

Double Feature With: THE LINCOLN LAWYER

The Pitch: There’s nothing wrong with curling up with Amistad or A Time To Kill because Matthew McConaughey rocking a nice suit and difficult court case is where the man belongs acting-wise. However, it’s much more fun to see him cringe-face his way through a drama about dwarfism that stumbles along ineptly while looking like it was made in the 80s. As usual, the movie is crap, but Gary Oldman gives a tour-de-force performance as a little person.

You just can’t make this sort of thing up. Next week, I’ll be suggesting Toys Are Not For Children.

How to See It: Requires a Rental

THE VISITOR (2007)

Double Feature With: WIN WIN

The Pitch: Never heard of Tom McCarthy? You should. He’s acted in some terribly awful, broad-based comedies, but he’s also directing some phenomenally humane movies. The Station Agent was his first, but The Visitor might be a better starting point for the non-initiated. Richard Jenkins delivers a hell of a performance as a college professor traveling for a conference who discovers a couple living in his apartment. You’ll find that chance encounters turning into life-shaping relationships are a theme with McCarthy’s work. You’ll also love it all because the man has talent and surrounds himself with incredible actors.

How to See It: Requires a Rental

Come back next Friday for more alternative box office tips


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