★★★★ (out of four) “Barbarian” (R; 102 minutes): Bad things happen when basic horror movie safety rules are broken. But “Barbarian” — a must-watch for fans of “Black Mirror” and “The Twilight Zone” — may not be what you’d expect. The brilliance of “Barbarian” is in director/writer Zach Cregger’s engrossing, twisted, absurd and genre-bending script. It starts with what could have become a funny story or the beginnings of a meet-cute and ends with the eyes of evil and social commentary on what makes a monster. Full review here. Multiple theaters. — Qina Liu, Seattle Times features reporter

★★ “Medieval” (R; 126 minutes): It’s clear “Medieval” is meant to be a kind of Czech “Braveheart,” but the political machinations are so muddled that there’s no clear goal. It’s a film with an identity crisis, caught between its low-brow sword-and-splatter charms and grander ambitions. As a quick and dirty 90-minute corker, it could have been a nice and nasty slice of genre filmmaking, but director Petr Jakl aims for something more epic in scope, and the film drags, easily 30 minutes too long. Not even the electrifying Ben Foster is enough to zap some life into this tale of court intrigue and resulting clash of warriors. Full review here. Multiple theaters. — Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

“Brahmastra Part One: Shiva” (not rated; 163 minutes; in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam, with subtitles): A young man on the brink of falling in love gets his world turned upside down when he discovers he has the power to control fire and a connection to a secret society of guardians. Multiple theaters.