Beat your end-of-summer doldrums with the power of movies this weekend. Find our critics' picks below, whether you're into international roaming and rambling improvisation (The Trip to Spain), comedy about revolutionizing marriage (I Do...Until I Don't), an ignominiously failed heist with RPattz (Good Time), or a bit of Native American rock history (Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World). Follow the links below for showtimes and trailers. Still searching? Find plenty of options in our movie times and our film events calendar.

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1. The Girl Without Hands
This French animation is based on one of the nastier of Grimms' fairy tales, in which a young girl is sold to the Devil and only escapes with the loss of her hands, but SĂ©bastien Laudenbach's gorgeous, shifting animation seems much more likely to astonish than depress. Fans of The Belladonna of Sadness are strongly encouraged to take a look.
SIFF Film Center

2. In This Corner of the World
There’s an elephant in the room throughout Sunao Katabuchi’s latest animated film. That elephant is the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima—an action that changed war forever and turned the world into the kind of place where a hundred thousand lives could be extinguished in an instant. So from the moment we meet Suzu, a dreamy girl who loves to draw stories, we watch her grow up in the seaside of Hiroshima, and we know where In This Corner of the World is headed. Meanwhile, the animation’s delicate, sketch-work style mirrors Suzu’s drawings. During one daytime firebombing, Suzu sees the explosions in the sky as flashes of paint. Yes, this is her way of coping with the constant danger all around her, but it’s also some sugar on the pill that Katabuchi is asking the audience to swallow—some artistry and beauty to keep us watching a film about a hard part of history that we shouldn’t ever forget. SUZETTE SMITH
SIFF Cinema Uptown

3. In Pursuit of Silence
This meditative documentary explores humanity's relationship to silence and noise, whether in art (like John Cage's composition 4'33"), tradition (like in a Japanese tea ceremony), or celebration (like in festivals in Mumbai). It also delves into the harmful effects of lack of silence. Jeannette Catsoulis at the New York Times commented: "Shot over two years and in eight countries, the movie has a quirky lightness that prevents it from slipping into lecture. Its arguments range wide without going deep, but its factoids about the medical benefits of hanging out in a forest — and the cognitive costs of a noisy school or hospital — are fascinating and persuasive." Producer/cinematographer Brandon Vedder will be at the Film Forum tonight.
Northwest Film Forum

4. Whose Streets
Most of us remember scrolling through news about the Ferguson protests on Twitter in 2014, but Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis’ directorial debut Whose Streets? fills in the blanks of the story, offering a humanizing, much-needed portrait of those involved. Dedicated to Michael Brown, the film captures the aftermath of the shooting of the unarmed 18-year-old—by a white police officer, while the Black young man had his hands in the air—using unflinching interviews with the still-grieving Ferguson residents who’ve seen their community unify against police brutality. Throughout Whose Streets?, citizen journalists and activists armed with cameras offer stunningly raw snapshots of human emotion, like when Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, waits with community members to hear that a grand jury decided not to indict Brown’s killer. Or when Brown’s memorial site was set on fire. Or when plain-to-see conflict plays out on the face of a Black female police officer as she’s involved in an intense standoff with protesters. Or when resistance leaders speak to crowds, making my arms break out in goose bumps and my eyes well-up with pride. JENNI MOORE
Northwest Film Forum

5. Automatic at Sea
A young Swedish woman travels to a rich American's private New England Island, the only guest on this isolated natural wonderland. But as other promised guests fail to arrive, she begins to realize that all is not well with her host. Is he dangerous—and does there lurk a hallucinatory horror beyond his strange behavior? We're betting "yes." Ben Umstead of Screen Anarchy called Automatic at Sea "a wonderfully weird and sensual melding of Dušan Makavejev antics and Ingmar Bergman anxieties”—high praise indeed. Meet the director at the Film Forum screening.
Northwest Film Forum

6. No Maps on My Taps / About Tap
Two upbeat classic dance documentaries by George T. Nierenberg reveal the history of an African American art form through the lives and performances of Sandman Sims, Chuck Green, and Bunny Briggs (No Maps on my Taps) and the legendary Gregory Hines (introduced in About Tap).
Northwest Film Forum

7. The Big Lebowski
If pressed to name my single favorite moment in my single favorite Coen brothers movie, The Big Lebowski, it would be a three-way tie between Jeff "the Dude" Lebowski's dumpster-bumping car crash, the sheriff's assault on the Dude with a coffee mug, and the Raymond Chandler–esque discovery of Jackie Treehorn's hard-on doodle. BRADLEY STEINBACHER
Central Cinema

8. I Do...Until I Don't
I Do...Until I Don’t starts with a brilliant suggestion: Marriage should be a seven-year contract, with an option to renew. I Do finds documentary filmmaker Vivian—the one with the excellent plan to GTFO after seven years—setting up shop in Florida to interview couples whose marriages may be teetering on the brink so she can exploit their pain and prove her point. These couples are semi-functional displays of average, including boring youngs, boring olds, and doomed reckless youngs. But then I Do... Until I Don’t cleverly reveals one of the biggest twists in the history of romantic comedies, straying from its central thesis of marriage being an evil and archaic institution and becoming something (spoiler!) kinda positive? Love-affirming, even? ELINOR JONES
AMC Seattle 10 & Pacific Place

9. Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World
Catherine Bainbridge’s important documentary traces the impact that Native American musicians have made on blues, rock, jazz, hiphop, and heavy metal. Using Link Wray’s menacing 1958 instrumental “Rumble” as its anchor (akin to Do the Right Thing’s use of Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power”), Bainbridge relates stories of several influential, distinctive performers, including the Band’s Robbie Robertson, activist folkie Buffy Sainte-Marie, Mildred Bailey, Charley Patton, and a cat named Jimi Hendrix. Rumble asserts the primacy and resiliency of Native culture despite the government’s concerted efforts to suppress and erase it. DAVE SEGAL
SIFF Cinema Uptown

10. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Somewhere between a western and a noir, this John Huston-directed parable of greed sets two down-on-their-luck Americans (Tim Holt and Humphrey Bogart) and an old prospector (Walter Huston) off on a backbreaking journey for gold in the mountains of Mexico. Yes, this movie is the source of the (mis)quote "We don't need no stinkin' badges!", but it's also frequently cited as one of the finest American adventure films ever made, and has influenced today's film artists like Vince Gilligan and Paul Thomas Anderson.
Central Cinema

11. The Trip to Spain
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon's latest rambling comedy tour, The Trip to Spain, like the previous films in the series, offers the right mixture of melancholia and laughter by poking fun at the grandiose, sometimes destructive tendencies of the central characters. The franchise, directed by Michael Winterbottom,, is based on a semi-improvised BBC2 TV program in which Coogan and Brydon (both British comedians, both great at impressions, one much cheerier than the other) go on gorgeous, literary-inspired food tours. Each of the three movies in the series is edited down from a six-episode television season. If you're truly interested in the details of regional cuisine, this series will be disappointing. But it works as a very funny take on the way comedians entertain themselves, an exploration of midlife crises, a meditation on history and meaning, a collection of strange but well-executed voices and impressions, and a decidedly un-sappy celebration of friendship. It's smart but light. If The Trip's high-strung chatter grated on you, give Coogan and Brydon another shot with The Trip to Spain—their formula is changing, and for the better. JULIA RABAN
SIFF Cinema Uptown


12. 70mm Film Festival
Put down your phone and surrender to the splendor of actually-epic-scale cinema in the cathedral that is the Cinerama. Not much unites the films in this 10-day festival other than a commitment to MAGNITUDE, but several are essential viewing. I know you’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again: Seeing a film in a darkened theater with strangers is a secular sacrament. The fact that you can't pause, talk, text, or tweet until it's over is a feature. Please enjoy it while it's still available. (And if you must pick one, the answer is always Lawrence of Arabia—a film that couldn’t be more timely.) SEAN NELSON

13. Annabelle: Creation
The setting: A mid-century Andrew Wyeth landscape with an Edward Hopper house. A busload of orphans and a kindly nun move into a mansion run by the saturnine Mr. Mullins and his recluse wife. We know why the Mullinses are so gloomy: Years earlier, their daughter Annabelle was killed in a car crash, and her old room remains stuffed with creepy vintage toys. Orphan Janice, crippled by polio and neglected by the other girls, is quickly lured into the room, where she finds an unpleasant-looking doll and winds up terrorized by a demonic force in the form of the dead daughter. Only her big-eyed, dorky friend Linda guesses what’s happening, and no adult believes her until people start getting ripped apart. This capable if conventional haunted house movie assumes a grave sweetness while it concentrates on the intense friendship between its two young protagonists, who deserve more screen time before the standard phantasmagoria of the Conjuring franchise crowds in—scary antiques, bone-snapping demons, malicious tea party dollies. JOULE ZELMAN
Meridian 16 & Admiral

14. Atomic Blonde
Atomic Blonde isn’t subtle. On about the 89th shot of Charlize Theron walking coolly down a Berlin street wearing sunglasses to an 1980s new wave hit, I wondered if it wasn’t a little excessive. Yes, of course—it’s absolutely excessive. But also: great! Excess is great! Sunglasses and Charlize Theron and 1980s jams are all great. Theron plays a British spy (OR IS SHE?) trying to out-spy some other spies (OR ARE THEY?) who murdered this one other spy (HRRMMM??) and there’s also a mega-list of spies to track down (SPY SPY SPY!). Look, no one can explain the plot of a spy movie without sounding dumb or crazy or both, and the hallmark of a good one is giving up and saying, “Whatever, it’s fun!” (This is what I am doing here.) ELINOR JONES
Meridian 16 & Pacific Place

15. Baby Driver
Once its tires grip pavement, Baby Driver becomes a full-throttle ballet of motion, color, and sound. The tunes are great, the getaway chases will leave you breathless, and the motley team of robbers—which includes Kevin Spacey, Eiza González, and an excellent Jamie Foxx—comes from the kind of screenplay you wish Tarantino still wrote. And a superbly villainous Jon Hamm shows there’s more to his post-Mad Men career than H&R Block ads. NED LANNAMANN
Various locations

16. The Big Sick
This film comes with a few red flags attached (rom-com set in the world of stand-up, etc.), but haters be damned. The true story of Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley, Portlandia) and his real-life wife Emily Gordon’s tumultuous courtship is hilarious, warm, and genuinely affecting—a best-case scenario in every department. The cross-cultural differences at the center of the story are written and played with empathy and truth, and the performances (especially from Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, and Adeel Akhtar) are deep, surprising, and bursting with multidimensional humanity. SEAN NELSON
Various locations

17. Columbus
Allow writer and director Kogonada to take you on a bizarrely fascinating, visually stunning, and subtly sensual tour of Columbus, Indiana’s modernist architecture. Besides churches by Eero and Eliel Saarinen, libraries by I.M. Pei, and Will Miller’s enviable living room interior by Alexander Girard, the film centers on intersecting stories of familial responsibility. Jin (played with authority by John Cho) is a middle-aged man who should care that his father is dying in a hospital, but he doesn’t. Casey (played by Haley Lu Richardson, who turns in a phenomenally good, sophisticated performance) is a recent high-school grad who needs to cut the cord, but that’s complicated. The two shouldn’t like each other in any sort of romantic way, but that’s also complicated. Kogonada includes all the troubles Indianans face—meth problems, having to work two manual-labor jobs to pay rent, racial tension—but he smartly builds it into the characters’ motivations and backstory. Elisha Christian’s cinematography and Kogonada’s story reveal the deep relationship between architecture and people that many might miss. RICH SMITH
SIFF Cinema Uptown

18. Dunkirk
From May 26 to June 4, 1940, the evacuation of Allied troops from the French port of Dunkirk and its surrounding beaches, known as Operation Dynamo, was a hugely important event in the history of World War II. After the war was over, the survivors of Dunkirk would almost all liken it to Hell. It was Hell on earth, a living Hell. The question is this: How do you present Hell on earth, Hell in the air, and Hell at sea on celluloid? For Christopher Nolan, much of the answer is do it in ultra-high-definition 70 mm IMAX film and show it in IMAX cinemas. Dunkirk is meant to be a nonstop 114 minutes of unalleviated spectacle, a massive collage of beautifully composed pictures, each one lasting for only a few seconds, of gunfire, flames, drowned corpses, exploding bombs, aerial dogfights with numerous plane crashes, and more, much more. Dunkirk shows a world full of terror, but Nolan goes to great lengths to ensure that his audience is never terrified. We sit in our seats munching popcorn and watch other people undergoing terrifying experiences. JONATHAN RABAN
Various locations

19. Good Time
Good Time has the keen eye for anthropology you find in a lot of Sundance movies—the casting feels both unconventional and authentic, and there’s an interest in subcultures that you don’t normally see on screen—but the beauty is that it packs this sensibility into a taut genre thriller. Robert Pattinson, previously of the Twilight series and clearly thrilled to be in a role that doesn’t require him to brood, smolder, or sparkle, plays Connie Nikas, a twitchy grifter who cadges money from his obnoxious, possibly mentally challenged girlfriend (Jennifer Jason Leigh), and gets his definitely mentally challenged brother, Nick (Benny Safdie, who also co-directed the film with his brother), caught up in a lamebrained heist. The crime goes bad and Nick gets pinched—sending Connie on a night-long odyssey through the wilds of Queens to try to make the money for Nick’s bail. VINCE MANCINI
Various locations

20. Gook
It's LA in 1992, and racial tensions are ready to combust—but two Korean American brothers find an unlikely oasis of friendship with an 11-year-old African American girl. Director Justin Chon won second place at SIFF, and Sundance awarded the film Best of Next.
Meridian 16 & AMC Seattle 10

21. Logan Lucky
Logan Lucky is a caper movie that combines the style and sensibility of Soderbergh's biggest crowd pleasers (Ocean's Eleven, Out of Sight) with the dusty Southern outlaw vibe of 1970s films like White Lightning or Moonrunners. The result is an odd hybrid of masterful filmmaking and a kind of culture jamming impulse that walks a tightrope between savviness and condescension. The red state drag show that Soderbergh has convened here feels not merely unconvincing, but a tiny bit uncomfortable, too. That is to say: a bunch of fantastically talented and beautiful movie stars (Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Riley Keough, Daniel Craig) working really hard to seem at home in NASCAR America, where the American flag battles camo for fashion primacy, where people play toilet seat horseshoes, and an interminably melismatic rendition of "America the Beautiful" by LeAnn Rimes as Blue Angels roar overhead brings grown men to tears. SEAN NELSON
Various locations

22. Patti Cake$
It’s a bleak setting many Americans will recognize: wide, treeless roads; trash-strewn strip mall parking lots; an inescapable sense of resigned hopelessness. But Patti perseveres, filling her notebooks with rap verses that she shares with her best friend Jheri (Siddharth Dhananjay). When she can’t rap with Jheri, Patti escapes into elaborate fantasies, floating through green clouds of Wizard of Oz–style haze and dreaming of winning the favor of her rap idols with her rhymes. Patti Cake$ could easily be labeled a feminist 8 Mile, and at first glance, it looks just about identical: the fights with mom, the working poverty, the white rapper seeking to break into a traditionally African American art form. Patti Cake$ only escapes the 8 Mile cliché—the idea that it’s somehow heroic for a white person to succeed in a marginalized person’s world—on the strength of its actors, the versatility of its director (Jasper also penned Patti’s lyrics), and the fact that its script packs so much heart. While 8 Mile struggled under the weight of trying to remain true to Eminem’s account of his life, Patti Cake$—a work of pure fiction—feels much more real. SUZETTE SMITH
Various locations

23. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Spider-Man: Homecoming isn't just the best Spider-Man film ever made—it might just be the current reigning champion in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. Instead of being crammed with typical action set pieces and clunky character development, Homecoming is actually a good-natured teen comedy in the vein of John Hughes's best work, rather than the action-packed blockbuster behemoths we've grown accustomed to. It's the closest a Spider-Man film has come to capturing the insecurity and bubbly effervescence displayed in the Marvel comics of the 1960s, and Tom Holland's earnest, engaging style has a lot to do with it. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
Meridian 16 & Pacific Place

24. Step
Recall Hoop Dreams, the 1994 documentary about two black American teenagers who dream of becoming pro-ballers and making millions. Step is not like that. Though having the same urban and class setting as Hoop Dreams (this time Baltimore and not Chicago), these black American teenagers are not dreaming of fame or riches. There are no such illusions for them. Their goals are more realistic: graduate from high school, get into college, obtain a degree, and secure stable employment. As for step dancing (which is not really at the center of the documentary), it provides pleasure, discipline, and a way to discharge a lot of inner-city pressure. Life for these young women is not easy at home or in the classroom. Sometimes there’s no food in the fridge; other times, homelessness is one unpaid bill away. The documentary is straightforward and powerful. CHARLES MUDEDE
Various locations

25. Wind River
Beginning with a scarily enigmatic midnight chase, the plot follows a Wyoming wildlife officer (Jeremy Renner) tasked with hunting predatory animals through the frozen high lonesomes. (Viewers with a fondness for wolves should be prepared to avert their eyes early on.) After discovering the corpse of a young Native American woman in the mountains, he teams with an inexperienced FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) to track down the killer—and as their path leads them to the local reservation, he must deal with his own ties to the deceased. As his previous screenplays have indicated, screenwriter/director Taylor Sheridan has a real gift for the tired wiseassery of lawmen, and his streak continues here, with the byplay between jaded professionals giving spark even to routine procedural scenes. (Graham Greene, as the reservation’s deadpanning sheriff, not only steals every scene he’s in, but possibly those of whatever is playing next door in the multiplex, too.) If Sheridan proves to be a little more indulgent toward moments of tough guys waxing poetic than the directors of his previous work, at least the extra words earn their keep. ANDREW WRIGHT
Various locations

26. Wonder Woman
In Wonder Woman, innocence is Diana’s foil. She’s read at great length about the world, but has never lived in it. And as Diana deals with her naïveté and her foes, Wonder Woman is exciting and fun—even though it devolves into typical blockbuster spectacle near its end, I’d recommend it to anyone who loves action films, and there’s also just enough subtext to feed a philosophical mind. How much harm does Wonder Woman do when she strides boldly into war? Is this what power looks like? Is it cool just because she’s a woman? Hopefully these questions will be answered in future films. For now, Wonder Woman is a thrilling start. SUZETTE SMITH
Meridian 16

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