You Were Never Really Here

There are plenty of shows, films, and other events happening this week. Here’s what our critics say about what we recommend:

Mon 4/16: “There are many parallels between Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here and Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976). Each film explores the seedy underworld of its contemporary Manhattan through the fractured mind of a traumatized war veteran. In Taxi Driver, Robert De Niro plays Travis Bickle, a depressed, laconic cabbie who befriends a teenage prostitute and decides that saving her will be his salvation. In Ramsay’s film, Joaquin Phoenix is Joe, a depressed, laconic hit man who specializes in rescuing underage girls from white-collar sex rings and bonds with one child who reminds him of himself. Both movies contain jaw-dropping sequences in which the hero storms into a brothel to retrieve the girl and obliterates every complicit man in his path.” —Leah Pickett ★★★★ Directed by Lynne Ramsay. R, 89 min

Mon 4/16: Red Lobster Comedy aspires to more than providing stage time for unfiltered, odd stand-up comics. A staggering 34 producers serve hot dogs and have sent a cease-and-desist letter to Red Lobster for infringing on their “brand.” Don’t be surprised if the lawsuit actually goes through, a performing comic flops spectacularly, or the show moves to the Red Lobster in Midway Airport—the original venue of choice. 9:30 PM, L&L Tavern, 3207 N. Clark, 773-528-1303, free

Tue 4/17: “Chicago native Meg Remy began recording and performing noise collages as U.S. Girls roughly a decade ago, and through the years she’s inched her sound closer and closer to pop; her 2012 track “Work From Home” sounds like a doo-wop number that curdled during the recording process. Whatever the outcome, her songs serve as reminders of the dark underbelly that often hides beneath pop’s sheen.” —Leor Galil Tue 4/17, 8:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, sold out

Tue 4/17-Wed 4/18: “The concept for [Eric] San’s Art Institute performances grew out of a series he hosted in Montreal in which he invited fans to sketch or write in public while he spun cosmic, ambient-leaning original compositions he had made with synths, strings, and, yes, turntables. The songs appeared on his first non-sample-based record, last year’s Music to Draw to: Satellite (Arts & Crafts), and he devised a unique interactive live show. Those who join his orchestra in Chicago will be able to command one of 60 turntables and play along by following colored lights directing which records to spin.” —Leor Galil 7 and 9:30 PM, Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room, Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan, $25, $15 members, $10 students, all-ages


Wed 4/18: “Screenwriter Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton) set out to write an international thriller that harked back to John LeCarré but was properly scaled to the feature film [Beirut], and his script strikes a perfect balance between suspense and geopolitical context.” —J.R. Jones Directed by Brad Anderson. R, 109 min

Thu 4/19: ” [The new Second City E.T.C. show] Gaslight District doesn’t deal in caricatures. It isn’t Saturday Night Live, where Alec Baldwin can make a face, repeat the week’s Trumpisms, and win an Emmy. Nor is it one of the many late-night talk shows where writers scurry to make light of the day’s events. It constructs characters who are reeling from the whiplash that comes from trying to determine what’s actually true when they’re bombarded on all sides with opinions and assholes. The show lets them step back, peer beyond the headlines and the Facebook feeds, and take the time to get it right.” —Steve Heisler 8 PM, Second City E.T.C., 1608 N. Wells, 312-337-3992,, $21-$48