The musical montage is a disparaged and mostly abandoned trope, and maybe its rarity makes it more powerful—the two films that most affected me this year both worked their magic with it. Drive, which opens its first run this weekend (see review here), enchants audiences with synth-heavy '80s cruising and a swooning Europop song by College called "A Real Hero." The Tree of Life, which opens its second run this weekend, is nothing but musical montage—Terrence Malick's childhood reveries and sacred visions are like abstract stained glass that allows high-Romantic compositions (especially Bedrich Smetana's swooning "Vltava") to shine through. These movies feel like dances. Academy, Laurelhurst.

  • Best paired with: Ninkasi Radiant Summer Ale.
  • Also showing: Showgirls (Mission, 10 pm Saturday).