If the dreary weather has you in the mood for a little escapism this weekend, we're here for you: Our critics have chosen the movies that are worth your while. You could catch up on Golden Globes winners and nominees like The Post and Lady Bird, check out new movies like Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread, or immerse yourself in the Nordic Lights Film Festival. Follow the links for complete showtimes, tickets, and trailers, or, if you're looking for even more options, check out our complete movie times listings or our film events calendar.
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The Florida Project
The real reason The Florida Project is a breakout success, and the reason everyone should see the film, is the rowdy, previously unknown seven-year-old actor Brooklynn Prince. Moonee, played by Prince, is a mischievous tyrant who spends her days terrorizing the Orlando hotel she calls home. Like director Sean Baker’s Tangerine, the characters in The Florida Project don’t want anyone’s pity. Prostitution, drugs, arson, assault—it all goes down in the Magic Castle, the purple hotel (or project) where Moonee lives. Prince—with considerable help from her costars, Baker, and screenwriter Chris Bergoch—resonates beyond the twee and cute. At the film’s climax, Prince delivers a performance that would make even the surliest curmudgeon cry. CHASE BURNS
Ark Lodge Cinemas
Pitch Perfect 3
The Pitch Perfect universe feels like a 1989-era Taylor Swift Instagram experience, before she deleted all her 'grams to get all self-serious and boring. It’s a shiny, flawless, and highly-edited world of pretty girls having curated fun, and if I could live in it, you bet your ass I would, because it is a delightful land to inhabit for a fast-paced, totally ridiculous 90 minutes. Pitch Perfect 3 trusts that its audience has seen the first two movies and banks on the characters’ established charm. It also crams in as much singing and silly choreography as it can, and leaves scant time for dialogue (who cares!) or character development (whatever!) or any male characters aside from a couple of minor romantic interests and some disappointing father figures (who needs 'em?! ). But the film makes up for what it lacks in normal human interaction with sequins, yachts, and an excellent application of Britney Spears’s "Toxic." Oh, and John Lithgow! All that stuff is way more fun than regular people having any sort of plausible life anyway. ELINOR JONES
Postcard from the Badlands Presents: Moon
For obvious reasons, the live-music experiments of Puget Soundtrack work best when the movie has very little dialogue. Duncan Jones’s sci-fi masterpiece Moon is such a film. You can turn off the movie’s sound and watch in silence the strange moon-work of its one character, as he moves up and down the surface of the moon in a rover, or chills in the moonbase. Tonight, this silence will be filled by the ghostly music of the local band Postcard from the Badlands. The success of a Puget Soundtrack is entirely determined by the skill with which the musicians capture and infuse the silent images on a screen with new and unexpected feelings. CHARLES MUDEDE
Northwest Film Forum
Winter Light: The Films of Ingmar Bergman
I know. It’s Ingmar Bergman. I know, most of his films are very slow. I know, you want to see lots of action and explosions and all of that sort of thing. I know, I know, I know. But you must still watch Bergman's films. Look at it this way: A film like The Commuter, which must not be missed, is your fat-rich steak, and a movie like Bergman’s Through the Glass Darkly or Silence or Persona is your broccoli. You just can’t eat steak all of the time. You will die from just eating steak. You need your veggies. You can almost live forever on a diet of just films of the great Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. CHARLES MUDEDE
Seattle Art Museum
The series kicks off on Thursday with the lust-soaked, angst-filled 'Summer with Monica.'
Every family has a secret or two. During the course of their twisty documentary, Aida's Secrets, Israeli filmmakers Alon and Shaul Schwarz uncover several, all revolving around a Polish woman named Aida. First, there's their uncle, Izak Szewelwicz, who grew up in Israel with what he thought was his biological family until a neighbor told him the truth: he was adopted. In the wake of World War II, his mother, Aida, had deposited him at the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp and emigrated to Canada. His adoptive parents encouraged him to reach out to her, and they formed a bond, but she refused to talk about his father. With the aid of a genealogical researcher, Alon and Shaul lead Izak to answers—and to Shep, the Winnipeg-based brother whose existence comes as a welcome surprise. Once reunited, Izak and Shep, who is visually impaired, find that the truth of their parentage is more complicated than they expected. In the end, this isn't just a story about one family fractured by the Holocaust, but about the German nurse and the South African kindergarten teacher who would affect the trajectory of the clan. KATHY FENNESSY
Northwest Film Forum
D.O.A.: A Right of Passage
If you're looking for a persuasive artifact to demonstrate punk-rock's cultural vitality, D.O.A.: A Rite of Passage will leave you wanting. Lech Kowalski's 1980 documentary about the Sex Pistols' only US tour in 1978 captures some rough footage of the British punk icons onstage and their American fans. Live performances by those groups (save for the last named) as well as the wildly different responses by audience members of the Pistols’ show remain the highlights of D.O.A., though Kowalski tries to imbue the film with social and political commentary and context, rarely to riveting effect. The absence of any interviews with Johnny Rotten—who is absolutely on fire throughout the tour and totally worth the price of admission alone—stands as the movie’s most blatant misstep, though surely there was a good reason for this omission. Right? Still, D.O.A. is valuable as a necessarily raw and flawed depiction of punk’s impact in the UK and US, how the authorities and youths of both countries could and couldn’t handle it, and how even a mega-corporation like Warner Bros. wanted a slice of the action. DAVE SEGAL
Northwest Film Forum
Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
It’s difficult to gauge whether the picture’s evolution away from timelessness has more to do with its familiarity—its centrality, even, to the contemporary sense of humor—or with the inconvenient complexity of the current state of international affairs. Either way, Dr. Strangelove has changed. Or maybe it’s just gotten impossible to stop worrying. SEAN NELSON
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
The miasmically disturbing Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the version with Donald Sutherland and Evil Mr. Spock) is about human-mimicking aliens taking over hippie San Francisco. Catch an extraordinarily baby-faced Jeff Goldblum as an impoverished, snarky writer caught up in the invasion.
Much like Jordan Peele folded acidic commentary and comedy into the shocks and dread of Get Out, Joachim Trier’s fourth feature, Thelma, is a lot more than it appears: as a thriller about a young woman with kinetic abilities.Our introduction to Thelma is as a lonely university student, who, when not fielding weirdly invasive phone calls from her parents, shuffles quietly between classes and the library. As she studies one afternoon, she finds herself gazing longingly at a female classmate, Anja (Kaya Wilkins), then suffering a seizure that sends her falling to the floor and sends crows thumping into a nearby window.As the friendship and attraction between the two women deepens, Thelma reels with fantasies and increasingly dangerous seizures, not to mention an existential crisis, as she begs God to remove this desire from her heart. There’s much more to Thelma, but I hesitate to unpack it and risk ruining the film’s slow-build tension. It keeps you waiting for the dam to burst—and makes the eventual deluge all the more satisfying. ROBERT HAM
I Am Not Your Negro with Jane Elliott
You may know Jane Elliott as the first person to conduct the horrifying Brown Eyes/Blue Eyes experiment, which, on the day after Martin Luther King, Jr.'s murder, showed how easily children can be induced to self-segregate and discriminate. Elliott has continued her educational activities as a feminist, LGBTQ, and anti-racist activist. She'll host a screening of I Am Not Your Negro, a documentary on James Baldwin, then moderate a discussion on institutionalized prejudice.
Seattle First Baptist Church
Saturday Secret Matinees
Grand Illusion and the Sprocket Society will continue their tradition of pairing an adventure serial with a different secret matinee movie every week. This year, the serial is Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, and the theme of the feature film will change every fortnight (maybe they stole the idea from the Stranger's new printing schedule. Though probably not). These themes include "Alien Invasion!" (this week's theme), "Swashbuckling Heroes!," "Very Bad Deals," "Twisted Intrigues," "Atomic Monsters," and "Widescreen Thrills." The coolest part, from a film buff point of view? Everything will be presented on 16mm.
The Future Perfect
The Future Perfect, a mere hour long, is a coming-of-age tale more concerned with posing philosophical questions than with hitting plot points. The film is neatly structured around Spanish language exercises among Chinese students in an Argentinian classroom. We hear their initially stumbling conversations, then see similar scenarios play out in the life of one of the students, 18-year-old Xiaobin, who’s just come from China to join her controlling family. Her first interactions, mirrored by her early attempts with the language, are painful. With each new Spanish lesson she masters, her boundaries fall away. She invents new identities, calling herself Beatriz or Sabrina. She begins a stilted romance with an Indian programmer. But she doesn’t really blossom until she grasps the conditional. Director Nele Wohlatz lets her story grow from the life of her lead actor, Xiaobin Zhang, and a group of actual students. As in the films of the mid-century French director Robert Bresson, the nonprofessional players’ awkward screen-innocence offers an escape from artifice even as Wohlatz teases us for taking what we see literally. The charm of this experimental film lies in its intellectual complexity, its gentleness, and the obvious intelligence and strength of Xiaobin—the character and the real woman. JOULE ZELMAN
Northwest Film Forum
In John Sayles's intelligent, naturalistic 1983 drama, a dissatisfied wife (Linda Griffiths) has an affair with a female colleague and realizes that she's a lesbian. According to Noel Murray (A.V. Club), "Sayles indulges a few movie-of-the-week clichés as Griffiths suffers the scorn of her children and friends, but he smartly focuses on her excitement as she figures out how to be more open, and learns that a stronger sense of self won't prevent loneliness."
It's time again for SHRIEK!, the class on women and minorities in horror films, which includes a screening and discussion led by Clarion West alum and author Evan J. Peterson, "Seattle's Film Maven" Heather Marie Bartels, and "strident intersectional feminist" Megan Peck. This time, watch the recent hit It and analyze its depiction of Beverly and Mike, among other things. (Plus, take advantage of Naked City's happy hour.)
Naked City Brewery
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
If you like movies, if you like dramatic thriller capers, if you like anything good in life, it seems strange that you haven’t already seen John Huston’s immortal story of greed, futility, and “what gold does to men’s souls.” In addition to being totally satisfying on its own merits—with Humphrey Bogart and Walter Huston in peak form—The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is also the template for countless films that followed in its footsteps, from Star Wars to Die Hard to half of the Coen brothers’ oeuvre. It’s essential. SEAN NELSON
All the Money in the World
It sounded crazy: Mere weeks away from the release of All the Money in the World, director Ridley Scott decided to erase every trace of Kevin Spacey from his movie following disturbing allegations of that actor’s sexual assault and harassment. Scott quickly refilmed large sections with Christopher Plummer, who replaced Spacey in the role of J. Paul Getty, founder of Getty Oil and one of the richest men of the 20th century. I can see why Scott went to such extremes. He knew he was sitting on top of a taut, exciting thriller about the 1973 Italian kidnapping of Getty’s grandson, John Paul Getty III, and damned if he was gonna let Spacey torpedo it. All the Money in the World is as fun to watch as a lit fuse. The story primarily focuses on Paul III’s mother, Gail (Michelle Williams), who teams up with Getty’s security man, former CIA agent Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg), to negotiate with the Italian kidnappers. The script adroitly handles themes of money and family, and Scott’s virtuosic skill in building suspense serves him well in a handful of excellent, nail-biting sequences. This thing should have been a disaster. In Scott’s hands, it’s anything but. NED LANNAMANN
Meridian 16 & AMC Seattle 10
Call Me By Your Name
As I sat watching the story of unexpected passion between a teenage boy and a slightly older male grad student staying with his family at their palatial Northern Italian villa during the languid, dappled, decadent summer of 1983, I thought three things: (1) James Ivory (Maurice, The Remains of the Day, Howards End), who wrote the screenplay based on André Aciman's novel, is the laureate of agonizingly slow-burning love shared by inexpressive people in stately houses, (2) Guadagnino seems able to make the air around this family actually swoon with intellectual fecundity and erotic possibility, and (3) honestly, what is Armie Hammer doing there? Hammer plays Oliver, the American grad student who captivates the imagination and emotions of young Elio, a musical prodigy poised at the frustrating age when you're supposed to start choosing a path but you can't seem to take a step in any direction. Timothée Chalamet (recently seen as the pretentious indie-rock rich kid boyfriend in Lady Bird) is perfect as Elio. He's coltish one minute, graceful the next, and always one step ahead of everyone. Intelligence streams out of him as convincingly as lust and longing. The question then becomes: Is Oliver, as embodied by Hammer, worthy of Elio's adoration? I just can't see it. This leaves a hole at the center of what would otherwise be—and still, semi-miraculously, is—a very involving, melancholy film. SEAN NELSON
SIFF Cinema Uptown & AMC Seattle 10
The “Coco” in question is the oldest living relative of the film’s young protagonist, Miguel, but the story is driven by Miguel’s passion for becoming a musician—and the conflicted relationship he has with his family, who label music as “bad” for reasons he has yet to learn. But Miguel is tenacious when it comes to performing and after his abuelita smashes his guitar, Miguel steals the guitar of a famous ancestor. Since taking from the dead is a big no-no, Miguel crosses over into the Land of the Dead. Coco ends up being an exceedingly tender kids’ film with deep themes about mortality, ancestry, and memories—and any adult with a soul will be moved, too. JENNI MOORE
One of the most productive and entertaining collaborations in Hollywood today is that between Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra and the Irish actor Liam Neeson. They have made three excellent action thrillers. They are about to release a fourth, The Commuter, which in tone and setting is much like the duo’s masterpiece—their second collaboration, Non-Stop. This film also stars the underappreciated actress Vera Farmiga. She plays a baddie. She brings bad news to Liam, who is 65 and not getting younger. Liam must get out of yet another tough situation. He is on a commuter train, the love his life (his wife) seems to have been kidnapped, he must do something he doesn’t want to do or lose everything. This is what we call a movie, my man. A bloody fucking movie. CHARLES MUDEDE
Meridian 16 & AMC Seattle 10
The Disaster Artist
Even if you have never seen The Room, Tommy Wiseau’s infamous masterpiece of shocking artistic poverty, there’s plenty to recommend James Franco’s re-creation of its conception and creation. Much like Tim Burton’s Ed Wood, this film makes the case that a complete lack of talent and vision are not necessarily bars to entry for a life in show business, as long as you have an unlikely friend, and the strangest accent since Martin Short in Father of the Bride. Littered with hilarious cameos from the likes of Seth Rogen, Megan Mullally, and Bryan Cranston, The Disaster Artist is funny, sweet, and strange, with a central performance by Franco that rises to the level of either high camp or high art. SEAN NELSON
Meridian 16 & SIFF Cinema Uptown
Tonya Harding was considered a freak, even though she was arguably the most technically skilled skater of her time. In the wake of the infamous 1994 attack on Nancy Kerrigan (which she may or may not have had a hand in), Harding was further ostracized, transformed by the nascent 24-hour news cycle into a white-trash demoness—so it’s important that any fictional depiction of her life acknowledge that she was also a real person who suffered. I, Tonya, is a solid attempt, largely thanks to Margot Robbie’s portrayal of a very human, very sympathetic Tonya. Without sugarcoating Harding’s personality (which could be caustic) or her tragic life (which was full of abuse and abandonment), I, Tonya tells a familiar story of a woman whose life was ruined by hapless, cruel men and sexist gatekeeping. It has been criticized for its stylized, darkly comic depiction of abuse, but it’s also one of the only portrayals I’ve seen that presents Harding as a person, and that acknowledges she was abused. It’s hard not to root for her in the film—she's a talented weirdo surrounded by bad men, whose raw determination can’t be blunted by an equally abusive and narcissistic mother (an excellent, unnerving Allison Janney) who teaches her to conflate being loved with being hit. It’s impossible not to empathize with Harding, and to imagine what her career and life might have looked like had she been able to make a clean break from her abusive family. MEGAN BURBANK
SIFF Cinema Uptown & AMC Seattle 10
Lady Bird (Saoirse Ronan, never better) is a teenage girl striving to find a self she can live in while stranded in moribund, lower-middle-class Sacramento, "the Midwest of California." Her efforts begin with that name, which she bestowed upon herself—Christine was too normal—and loudly demands that everyone call her at all times. The crusade also manifests in the form of hair dye, petty crime, habitual lying, sexual experimentation with unworthy boys, and musical theater. Though Lady Bird will perform for anyone, the only audience she truly wants is her exasperated, judgmental, sharp-tongued mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf, almost certainly the greatest living actress). It's an exquisitely observed portrait of a mother and daughter so intractably at war that they can't see how close they are until it's too late. SEAN NELSON
It does not matter that this film is based on a real story. Reality sucks if it is not fucked with, which will certainly be the case in this crime drama about a woman (Jessica Chastain) who was a world-class ice skater and also happened to run a world-class underground poker joint. The Russians were in on the action just like the 2016 election. The FBI bust her shit up. What did she do wrong? Girls just want to have fun. The over-acclaimed screenwriter Aaron Sorkin decided that this would be the first film he directed. Expect to enjoy parts this film that are devoted to crime, and expect to be bored by the parts devoted to redemption. CHARLES MUDEDE
AMC Seattle 10 & Meridian 16
Nordic Lights Film Festival
The Nordic Heritage Museum will take you on a cinematic tour of Scandinavia with films from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and even the Faroe Islands. The lineup includes Borg vs. McEnroe (starring Shia Labeouf, about the famous tennis match), The Day Will Come (about two brothers rebelling against the cruel headmaster of a boys' home), Reykjavík (a "bittersweet romantic drama"), the Sami rap doc Arctic Superstar, and the Golden Globe-nominated The Square.
SIFF Film Center
The alleged news that this will be Daniel Day-Lewis’s final outing as an actor would only be reason enough to see this film if you actually believe he truly won’t ever act again once he’s finished cobbling or whatever he’s doing this time. But really, all you need to know is that he’s in it. Boom, it’s a don’t miss. But then you see the trailer, in which obsessive jealousy burns slowly, causing terrible damage as it mounts, and you see the makings of a Paul Thomas Anderson gem, and another brilliant performance by Day-Lewis, one of the finest actors who ever drew breath. SEAN NELSON
SIFF Cinema Egyptian
The Post is Spielberg’s clear and passionate ode to the adversarial press, and not only is it a refreshing departure from his past work, it also turns out to be a good fit for his slick storytelling style. Spielberg is, at his core, a populist—a guy who wants to make crowd-pleasers so badly that his name has become synonymous with them. With The Post, Spielberg’s skills are put to a purpose. Tom Hanks plays Ben Bradlee, the chain-smoking, gray-suited editor of the Washington Post. Hanks is the perfect choice for a character who’s juuust enough of a salty old sumbitch to keep things from turning into mushy hagiography. In one of the first scenes, Bradlee tells Katharine “Kay” Graham—the owner of the newspaper, played by grand dame of cinema Meryl Streep—to “keep your finger out of my eye.” t’s 1971, and the drama of the day concerns the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret history of the United States’ disastrous involvement in Vietnam and the lies the government told the American people along the way. Daniel Ellsberg (The Americans’ Matthew Rhys, who has a great cloak-and-dagger face) has started leaking the report to the New York Times, which gets slapped with an injunction. With the New York Times silenced, The Post follows the Washington Post’s journey to (1) acquire the Pentagon Papers and (2) decide whether to publish, risking lawsuits and jail time. The story has obvious contemporary parallels, with the press risking it all to check the president’s power—and Spielberg, surprisingly, rises to the challenge. In a lot of ways, The Post is the movie Oliver Stone wanted Snowden to be. VINCE MANCINI
The Shape of Water
The Shape of Water is strange, sweet, and wonderful, and easily the greatest film ever made about a mute cleaning lady who falls in love with an amphibious fish man. A fairy tale set in 1962, it finds Elisa (Sally Hawkins) working the graveyard shift at the Occam Aerospace Research Center—a cold institution that marks a time, del Toro says, “where America is looking forward. Everything [is] about the future... and here comes a creature from the most ancient past.” That creature—wide-eyed, gilled, and played with strength and inquisitiveness by Doug Jones—is imprisoned at Occam. Locked in a tank and chained in a pool, he’s prodded by a reverent scientist (Michael Stuhlbarg) and tortured by a dominating military man (Michael Shannon). When Elisa finds him, she recognizes a kindred spirit—and feels an attraction that’s met with varying degrees of enthusiasm from her dubious coworker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) and her artist neighbor, Giles (Richard Jenkins). Whether they’re human or... whatever the hell the creature is, The Shape of Water’s characters are played by some of the best actors working today—all of whom give whole-hearted, nuanced performances, anchoring a story that can feel bigger (and weirder) than life. The characters’ depth is reinforced by del Toro: his stories are marked by an earnest affinity for outcasts—which, in the falsely idealized America of the 1960s, includes the mute Elisa, the closeted Giles, and the Black Zelda. ERIK HENRIKSEN
The Swedish director Ruben Östlund is a rising star in European cinema. And judging from the buzz about his latest film, The Square, it is only a matter of time before he conquers the United States. At the center of the film is Christian (Claes Bang), the head curator of X-Royal, a huge and powerful modern art museum in Stockholm. One day, three con artists on a city street lure Christian into a clever trap and mug him. He loses his wallet and slick smartphone. Back at the office, and still in a state of shock from what happened to him in broad daylight, he locates his smartphone on the web. It is in a place that we in the US would call the projects. Encouraged by a friend, he decides to take matters into his own hands and does something that changes his life. Before the act, the art was just about names, money, and academic concepts concerning the human condition in a world that has no alternative to neoliberal capitalism. After the act, the art is directly about his life, clothes, car, job, relationships, and city. The art asks: Why is there so much poverty in a rich city? Why is it so easy to ignore beggars? Why is wealth so unfairly distributed? And if it were fairly distributed, would crime vanish? What kind of animal is the human? CHARLES MUDEDE
No showing on Friday.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
The spectacles in Star Wars: The Last Jedi are some of the most powerful and believable in the franchise—Luke Skywalker's dark island, the interiors of the First Order’s battleships, the space battles. The audience is completely immersed in this distant galaxy with its operatic narrative. But what do we find once we get there? A scene that's recognizably pro-vegetarianism; a sophisticated critique of the destructive, elitist principles of the Jedi religion; a feminist rejection of male impulsiveness and a celebration of rational, thoughtful female leadership; and a political economy that springs from the idea that many of the problems of this galaxy might be related to its laissez-faire market. All of this is in the new Star Wars film, which may disappoint Trump supporters but will certainly be enjoyed by every other human in this galaxy. CHARLES MUDEDE