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Movies in Tampa Bay theaters: ‘The Climbers,’ ‘Joker’

The Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival opens, plus the Carrollwood Cultural Center pays homage to popular flicks through song.

NOW OPEN

THE CURSE OF BUCKOUT ROAD

Witches burning at the stake, backwoods albino killers and a modern-day stalker prove to be more than urban legends on this New York state byway. With Evan Ross, Henry Czerny, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Colm Feore, Danny Glover. Written and directed by Matthew Currie Holmes. (95 minutes, NR)

THE CLIMBERS

A group of Chinese mountaineers set out to make a historic climb up Mount Everest, for a fifth time. With Jing Wu, Ziyi Zhang, Boran Jing, Yi Zhang, Ge Hu. Written by Alai, Ying Shang and Daniel Lee. Directed by Lee. (125 minutes, NR)

THURSDAY

JOKER

Joaquin Phoenix takes on the role of Gotham’s most notorious mad clown in this standalone character study. With Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Marc Maron, Bill Camp, Glenn Fleshler, Shea Whigham, Brett Cullen, Douglas Hodge, Josh Pais. Written by Todd Phillips and Scott Silver, based on characters from DC. Directed by Phillips. (122 minutes, R)

"Joker" stars Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck. [Niko Tavernise]

FRIDAY

IN THE TALL GRASS

Siblings on a cross-country trip stop at a field to help a young boy but soon discover a mysterious force is after them. The film hits the streamingverse through Netflix. Written by Vincenzo Natali, based on the novella by Stephen King and Joe Hill. Directed by Natali. (101 minutes, NR)

KICK OFF: TIGLFF

Check out the Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival’s opening night flick: Sell By. The crowd-pleasing rom-com is just one movie being shown as part of the 30th annual cinematic celebration, which presents 90-plus films that explore LGBTQ identity, community and history at both Metro Inclusive Health and Tampa Theatre for more than a week. Ranging from dramas to documentaries, the global mix of movies were made in 17 countries. “I’m so proud of how far the festival has come,” said co-president Ed Lally in a statement. “TIGLFF started as a three-day extension of Tampa Pride, and has grown into a preeminent nine-day celebration of global LGBTQ cinema.” Multiple films are featured each day. Runs through Oct. 12. $15. 7:30 p.m. Friday. Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St. tiglff.com.

SLIME IS OF THE ESSENCE: GHOSTBUSTERS

Ghostbusters, the classic comedy about a team of misfit paranormal investigators starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson, celebrates 35 years with an anniversary screening. Showings are at 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday and Oct. 10, but prices and times vary by theater. Citrus Park 20 and Highwoods 20 (Tampa), Park Place 16 (Pinellas Park), Woodlands Square 20 (Oldsmar) and Palm Harbor 10 (Palm Harbor). fathomevents.com.

SING ALONG: A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES

Reed Stricsek directs the Carrollwood Winds concert band for A Night at the Movies, a performance of songs that pay homage to popular geek-out-worthy films like The Avengers, Jurassic Park and Guardians of the Galaxy. $10-$14 in advance, $12-$16 at doors. 4 p.m. Sunday. Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road, Tampa. (813) 922-8167. carrollwoodcenter.org.

CRITICS’ PICKS

Downton Abbey: In this big-screen adaptation of the TV series, excitement runs high when the Crawley family and the Downton Abbey staff learn that the king and queen will be stopping by for a visit. Screenwriter Julian Fellowes, the creative soul of the show, has delivered a knottily plotted story as tasty (and probably as nourishing) as a Pimm’s Cup.

Hustlers: A movie about the seductions of the flesh and the satisfactions of a well-executed con, it reconfigures Jennifer Lopez’s cinematic image with brazen intelligence and purpose as she gives her most electrifying screen performance since Out of Sight. Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria.

Ready or Not: A new bride (Samara Weaving) is welcomed to her husband’s family in terrifying fashion by her new in-laws in this comic-horror effort at class-war commentary.

UPCOMING RELEASES

All dates subject to change.

Oct. 11: The Addams Family; Gemini Man

Oct. 18: Jojo Rabbit; The Lighthouse; Maleficent: Mistress of Evil; Torrance; Zombieland 2: Double Tap

Oct. 25: Black and Blue; Countdown; Western Stars

Nov. 1: Harriet; Motherless Brooklyn; Terminator: Dark Fate

Times staff writer Meaghan Habuda and Times wires

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