This week, the film festival that Bobby De Niro and Jane Rosenthal built after September 11th has taken over most of downtown New York and some of uptown with its eclectic programming line-up. But there's more to do in town, movie-watching wise than just at Tribeca. So get out your TFF schedules, some snacks and some comfortable shoes to walk between screening spaces, there's movies to be seen this weekend.

passengers.jpgUnited 93, the narrative retelling of events on the crashed airplane hijacked by Al Qaeda terrorists, opened the Tribeca Film Festival this week and also hits regular theaters for its theatrical run. Directed by Paul Greengrass, who also did the Bourne Supremacy, it's a movie which will visually and emotionally grab you by the throat. Movies as social catharsis can be a powerful thing.

If you want something fluffier and more family oriented this weekend, Akeelah and the Bee starring Laurence Fishburne as an inspirational spelling bee coach is out. Also Stick It, otherwise known as Bring It On but with gymnasts should lure in the pre-teens and RV starring Robin Williams about a wacky cross-country family vacation gone awry, are both out now.

Three indie films Gothamist has been anxious to see for quite some time all get released this weekend. French director Olivier Assayas's newest picture took a long time hitting US theaters but Clean starring Maggie Cheung and Nick Nolte is finally out. Cheung plays a musician trying to clean up her act for the sake of her kid and it features a few interesting rock cameos from bands like Metric and trip-hop pioneer Tricky. Nolte is surprisingly low-key in his performance and his chemistry with Cheung is really great, definitely worth seeing.

The Indian film Water also had a tough struggle getting to movie screens near you, the filmmakers battled the censorship board for years. We've heard great things about actress Lisa Ray's performance as a widowed woman during Gandhi's time. Also, Taiwainese master filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien's Three Times is worth catching. Gorgeous actress Shu Qi (The Transporter) plays three characters in love in three different vignettes which occur during different time periods. While Hsiao-hsien's movies are notoriously slow and art film-ish, they're always rewarding.

Gothamist Pick: Tribeca Film Festival

The glut of films at Tribeca this year can be daunting to even the heartiest movie goer. Gothamist thinks some of our viewing will be decided by just sticking our finger in the schedule with our eyes closed. Here's a couple of flicks to try to see this weekend, though it doesn't begin to scratch the surface of what the festival has to offer.

- The TV Set mocks the making of TV sitcoms and stars David Duchovney and Sigourney Weaver (Friday @ 6 pm, Tribeca Performing Arts 1; Saturday @ 2 pm, Regal Cinemas Battery Park 5).
- She loves New York's Latin community and isn't afraid to shout it from the rooftops, actress Rosie Perez's documentary Yo Soy Boricua about growing up Puerto Rican is a part of the festival (Friday @ 8:30 pm, Pace U Schimmel Center).
- Ed Burn is back from wherever he was and is making more movies about relationships -- his newest The Groomsmen is playing (Saturday @ 6 pm, Tribeca Performing Arts 1).
- The NY Times really loves the Iraq war documentary, The War Tapes about three young men fighting in the Middle East and their family left behind (Friday @ 3 pm, Tribeca Performing Arts 1; Sunday @ 4 pm, Regal Cinemas Battery Park 11).