L.A. Weekly's Movie Picks are your look at the hottest films in Los Angeles theaters this week — from indie art-house gems and classics to popcorn-perfect blockbusters and new movies garnering buzz. Check here every week before you make your big-screen plans.

Opening Friday, Feb. 15:

Alita: Battle Angel is a long-awaited, $200 million manga adaptation about a disembodied spirit (referred to in the film as a “core”) who retakes human form thanks to a scientist (Christoph Waltz) in a postapocalyptic future. Given the name Alita (Rosa Salazar), she becomes the defender of humanity against a race of murderous machines. The film was announced all the way back in 2003, but producer James Cameron was too busy with Avatar to give Alita the proper care and attention. Robert Rodriguez, no stranger to CGI action extravaganzas, eventually took the directorial reins. The empowered protagonist, an anime-like being with short hair and huge saucer eyes, is a creature straight from the uncanny valley.


Also opening Friday, Feb. 15:

Birds of Passage; Donnybrook; Fighting With My Family; Hotel by the River; Happy Death Day 2U; Isn't It Romantic; The Maestro; Mega Time Squad; Patrick; Ruben Brandt, Collector; Sorry Angel; A Tuba to Cuba; Virginia Minnesota

L.A. Weekly also recommends (still in theaters):
What Men Want; Miss Bala; Glass; The Favourite; If Beale Street Could Talk; Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; Vice; Roma; Bohemian Rhapsody; Ralph Breaks the Internet; Black Panther; Green Book; A Star Is Born