Mary Poppins Returns—starring such notables as Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, and Lin-Manuel Miranda—opens in December.

Below, we've rounded up the top film events and openings for the season, like Welcome to Marwen and the Nordic Lights Film Festival. You can also find a complete list of film events in Seattle this winter on our Things To Do calendar, or check out the rest of our critics' picks from Seattle Art and Performance.

Stay in the know! Get all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app (available for iOS and Android), or delivered to your inbox.


Pr0n 4 Freakz ScumTrust Productions and NWFF are partnering to bring you queer and trans smut every two months. Also included: a “sexy witch market” and post-screening Q&As on sex, pleasure, queerness, and gender. (Northwest Film Forum)

The Magic Lantern of Ingmar Bergman The Swedish visionary film director Ingmar Bergman would have been 100 this year. His deeply introspective, unabashedly emotional, despairing yet strangely life-affirming oeuvre will once again be onscreen at SAM (in association with the Nordic Museum). (Seattle Art Museum)

Get Tickets Now For A Virtual Bicycle Film Festival, Northwest Edition: October 23-25!
Bicycle Film Festival NW celebrates bicycles through art, film & music with 3 programs of short films!
Watch the SLAY Film Fest online OR at the SLAY Drive-In Movie Show at On the Boards!
What better way to spend the Halloween season than watching horror films at a drive-in movie?
Earshot Jazz Festival | Oct 16 – Nov 8
This week: Amy Denio, Tarik Abouzied, Johnaye Kendrick, Tarbaby, John Hollenbeck, and Eugenie Jones

JAN 12–13
Whidbey Island Film Festival: Femme Fatales of Film Noir Catch up with those crafty dames in classics like Gilda (starring Rita Hayworth), Double Indemnity (with a magnificently evil Barbara Stanwyck), The Killers (featuring Ava Gardner), and The Maltese Falcon (with Mary Astor as Brigid O’Shaughnessy to Humphrey Bogart’s Sam Spade). (Whidbey Island Center for the Arts)

JAN 16–18
Sundance Short Film Tour Short film may be something of a neglected art for your average filmgoer, but there's a lot to be said for the brief format—not least of all because it's a way for emerging talent to get noticed. These shorts from Sundance, grouped into live-action and animated categories, are always a treat. This year's films include an animated musical in a bleak shopping center, a horror movie about white vampires sucking black culture, another animation about a butt birthmark, and more.  (Northwest Film Forum)

Nocturnal Emissions Local horror maven Isabella Price will host this series on third Thursdays of classic slashers and supernatural chillers with a burlesque performance before every screening. On offer are the bizarre mortuary zombie flick Phantasm, the landmark black indie horror film Ganja & Hess, Wes Craven’s cannibal satire The People Under the Stairs, and the woman-directed Slumber Party Massacre II. Each night also will feature special treats like body part gummies or a pillow fight. (Northwest Film Forum)

JAN 24–FEB 9
Children's Film Festival Seattle The Children’s Film Festival is founded on two premises: 1) Children are not stupid and 2) they deserve beautiful world cinema just like us grown-ups with underused film degrees. (Northwest Film Forum)

Silent Movie Mondays The theater presents five silent-era masterpieces and rediscovered treasures from Austria, Norway, Germany, and Sweden with live musical accompaniment: Variety/Variété (scored by the Amy Denio Ensemble), A Man There Was/Terje Vigen and Laila (with Tedde Gibson on the Mighty Wurlitzer organ), Asphalt (with Donna Parker on the Wurlitzer), and The City Without Jews/Die Stadt Ohne Juden (with a commissioned score by Gunter A. Buchwald performed by Music of Remembrance). (Paramount Theatre)

FEB 15–16
Everett Film Festival When it was created in 1997, the Everett Women’s Film Festival was dedicated to “highlighting the strength, humor, and creativity of women through provocative and entertaining films.” Over the years, the festival has expanded its vision by presenting films not only made by women, but also those that shed light on the lives of women from various cultures, times, and experiences. (Everett Performing Arts Center)

FEB 15–21
Noir City 2019 If you love cinema, then you must love film noir. And if you love film noir, then you must love the Noir City festival, which will feature a number of known and less known movies of the genre. CHARLES MUDEDE (SIFF Cinema Egyptian)

Cine Mexicano: ‘70s Art House See very different Mexican art house films from the 1970s on third Sundays, including Juan Manuel Torres’s The Other Virginity, Raúl Araiza’s The Rattlesnake, and Alberto Isaac’s Tívoli. Co-presented with Consulado de México en Seattle. (Northwest Film Forum)

FEB 22–24
Seattle Asian American Film Festival Featuring films by and about Asian Americans. The fest always includes diverse features and short films about the rich, varying experiences of these populations, particularly in Seattle and the PNW. (Northwest Film Forum)

Nordic Lights Film Festival The Nordic Museum will take you on a cinematic tour of Scandinavia with films from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and perhaps even the Faroe Islands. (SIFF Cinema Uptown)

MARCH 8–10
ByDesign Film Festival This annual cross-disciplinary festival is all about “design in motion”: film, documentary, and multimedia devoted to design and architecture. (Northwest Film Forum)

MARCH 8–14
Animation Show of Shows 2019 Celebrate the art of animation over six days with enchanting films from the US, France, Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands, and Spain. (SIFF Cinema Uptown)


DEC 7–27
It's a Wonderful Life The sacrifices George Bailey makes for being “the richest man in town” in this 1946 Christmas classic resonate bitterly even as they lead to the finale’s effusive payoff. SEAN NELSON (Grand Illusion)

An Evening with 'Auntie Mame' Long before “safe space” was a commonly used/abused term, Auntie Mame’s Beekman Place apartment offered a safe space for the fabulous. The classic 1958 film about an independent socialite in the 1920s is worth recommending based on its costumes alone—get stoned and gawk at Rosalind Russell in feathers! But the real magic in Auntie Mame has always been its ability to transport audiences into a world where anything goes, a place where outcasts can don a nice frock and be praised. Celebrate its 60th-anniversary screening with this annual holiday fundraiser for Three Dollar Bill Cinema. CHASE BURNS (AMC Pacific Place)

Mary Queen of Scots I can’t think of a film that’s more Oscar-baity than this one, with Margot Robbie, riding high off I, Tonya, and Saoirse Ronan, who won everyone’s admiration after Lady Bird, facing off in an epic battle of the queens. We’re going to be talking about this film all winter, so just go and see it now. CHASE BURNS (Wide release)

Mortal Engines Peter Jackson is the big name behind this ultra-big-budget ($100 million) postapocalyptic steampunk adventure based on the novel of the same name by Philip Reeve. Fans of PJ’s work are likely already on board, and at the very least it will look really good. LEILANI POLK (Wide release)

The Mule Director/lead Clint Eastwood plays a senior citizen cocaine runner who’s about to do one last job before going straight. The character is based on Leo Sharp, a real-life courier for the Sinaloa cartel. Bradley Cooper co-stars. (Wide release)

Shoplifters The family in Shoplifters lives in a small home in some forgotten quarter of Tokyo. The father is unable to work because of an accident at a construction site. The mother was laid off from a crummy job at a factory. The mother's sister works in the sex industry. The children shoplift to make ends meet. The family's only sure source of income is the grandmother's pension transferred to her from her dead husband. (The grandmother also has a taste for gambling.) One day, the family adopts a stranger—a girl from an abusive home. She is a runaway. She joins the family and soon also learns the art of shoplifting. There is a good reason why Shoplifters won the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival. It is a carefully and beautifully crafted work that appears to be about one thing (the strong bonds of family life), but is really about something else—the way a city forces us to invent our lives. CHARLES MUDEDE (SIFF Cinema Uptown)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse Adapted from a relatively recent story arc, based on a Spider-Man character created in 2011, the animated film follows the (SPOILER ALERT) death of Peter Parker, and finds the Spider-Man mantle picked up by a young Afro-Latino teen, Miles Morales; the writers drew inspiration for Morales from Barack Obama and actor/rapper Donald Glover. LEILANI POLK (Wide release)

DEC 14–16
People's Republic of Desire Westerners, and especially Americans, should know about YY, the Chinese social network that’s something like YouTube and Instagram Live, but on cocaine. Hao Wu’s documentary is a rare dive into the network, which sports more than 300 million active users (Snapchat reports 187 million users) who exchange virtual roses as a currency, with top users making as much as $20K a month for apparently doing nothing more than cam-girling without getting naked. CHASE BURNS (Northwest Film Forum)

DEC 14–18
Die Hard Bruce Willis plays John McClane, a white NYC cop whose estranged white wife not only lives in LA but appears to have gone to the other side. While McClane visits his wife at Nakatomi Plaza, things go crazy and we enter the world inside of the building: its elevator shafts, air ducts, and structural spaces. Here, postmodern architecture meets Reagan-era Hollywood cinema and makes lots of movie magic. CHARLES MUDEDE (Central Cinema)
Die Hard will also play at the Museum of Pop Culture on Saturday, December 22.

DEC 14–18 & 22–23
Elf Will Ferrell plays a grown man who has spent his entire life laboring under the delusion that he’s one of Santa’s elves. The side effects of this include a deeply ingrained sense of whimsy and a proclivity for concentrated sugars. (Central Cinema)

Mary Poppins Returns In this sequel to the five-decades-old original, the titular role is filled by ever-charming Brit Emily Blunt, who, as Mary Poppins, returns to help her former charges, Michael and Jane Banks (played by Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer, respectively), after the former experiences a loss that he can’t seem to recover from. Notable guest spots include Meryl Streep and Dick Van Dyke. It’s supposed to be fun and full of optimism—both things we are in dire need of these days. LEILANI POLK (Wide release)

Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan Chor Yuen’s slightly kinky wuxia classic from 1972 stars Lily Ho as a beautiful young woman trained in a secret style of kung fu by her smitten madam. This pulpy, stylish treat is brought to you in part by the Confucius Institute of the State of Washington. (Northwest Film Forum)

Aquaman The son of a lighthouse keeper and a sexy sea-maiden discovers he’s heir to Atlantis. All hail Jason Momoa! Can you save us from climate change, too? James Wan directs. (Wide release)

Welcome to Marwen The inspirational drama from Robert Zemeckis is a true-life tale about a man, Mark Hogancamp (played by Steve Carell) who, after getting so violently assaulted he suffers brain damage, constructs a miniature World War II village in his yard to help in his recovery and deal with his mostly lost memories, populating it with dolls that represent himself, his friends, and even his attackers. It’s a mix of live action and stop-motion-style animation, and is probably not for anyone who has emotional attachment to the 2010 documentary, Marwencol, about the man on whom this film is based. LEILANI POLK (Wide release)

Holmes and Watson Who better to play the genius detective and his doughty sidekick than Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly? (Wide release)

If Beale Street Could Talk If Beale Street Could Talk is Barry Jenkins’s third film. His first, completed in 2008, Medicine for Melancholy, is a poem to San Francisco. His second, Moonlight, completed in 2016, is a poem to Miami. This film, completed this year, is a poem to New York City by way of a 1974 novel by the great American writer James Baldwin. The film premiered at Toronto Film Festival and is considered by many to enhance Jenkins’s reputation as one of the most important directors of our post-Obama times. CHARLES MUDEDE (SIFF Cinema Egyptian)

On the Basis of Sex You’ve been waiting on this biopic about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s early pre-SCOTUS life, as a lawyer working alongside her husband to bring a groundbreaking gender discrimination case before the U.S. Court of Appeals. You’re going because you need some hope in these dark times, where we seem to be going backwards and repeating past mistakes, and you’re going despite the fact that British actress Felicity Jones (as RBG) has an awful American accent. LEILANI POLK (Wide release)

Fiddler on the Roof Sing-Along Join SIFF’s holiday tradition of belting along with Tevye and family in Norman Jewison’s 1971 adaptation of the beloved musical. It’s a bittersweet story of a poor shtetl milkman as his daughters come of age and fall in love—and anti-Semitic feeling rises. Your ticket will include Chinese takeout from Leah’s Gourmet Kosher Food and pre-film klezmer music by Orkestyr Farfeleh. (SIFF Cinema Uptown)

The Rocky Horror Picture Show—Holiday Edition Fill the void between Xmas and New Year’s with some naughty mad science antics courtesy of Vicarious Theatre Project’s shadowcast screening. (Central Cinema)

Moulin Rouge! New Year's Eve Sing-Along If you’re anything like me, the hardest part of watching Moulin Rouge on the big screen for the first time was not getting to sing along. Now all the musical-theater nerds who love this movie will get their chance. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE (SIFF Cinema Uptown)

JAN 4–6
The Trouble With Wolves This documentary is mostly set in Montana and concerns the growing conflict between ranchers (capitalists) and wolves (nature). The latter were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park about 20 years ago to balance its ecosystem. But nature cannot be contained. The wolf packs increased, and began hunting and killing cattle. The ranchers hate the wolves because they are literally eating their profits. CHARLES MUDEDE (Northwest Film Forum)

JAN 4–7
Labyrinth The film that introduced the public to the yet-to-be-fully-dismissed theory that David Bowie was, in fact, a Jim Henson creation. Pay tribute to the musical alien on his birthday week as he embodies the somewhat inappropriately sexy Goblin King. (Central Cinema)

JAN 4–9
Pan’s Labyrinth Pan’s Labyrinth picks up scraps and notions from scattered fairy tales—fear of sexual maturity, thirst for rules and the righteous urge to subvert them, doubtful reconciliation with death—and weaves them into an original fantasy of furious power. ANNIE WAGNER (Central Cinema)

JAN 4–10
On Her Shoulders A young Yazidi woman escaped sexual slavery at the hands of ISIS and now campaigns to make the world pay attention. This documentary about Nadia Murad reveals the pains of being a survivor, activist, and representative of a brutalized people. (Northwest Film Forum)

JAN 11–15
The Man Who Would Be King The great John Huston directs Sean Connery and Michael Caine in Rudyard Kipling’s adventure tale about two swindlers in search of treasure in Kafiristan. (Central Cinema)

JAN 11–16
The Royal Tenenbaums About an extended family of neurotic geniuses whose bastard of a patriarch wants to bring them closer together. Too bad they hate his guts. The film is hilariously funny, dryly tender, and impeccably designed. SEAN NELSON (Central Cinema)

JAN 18–23
The Warriors If you love pleather vests, Molotov cocktails, and all-out gang battles in ’70s-era NYC, you’re in luck. (Central Cinema)

The NightingaleMichelle MacLaren (Game of Thrones) adapts the novel by Kristin Hannah about two sisters resisting German occupation in France. (Wide release)

JAN 25–29
Akira In this dystopian 1988 cyberpunk animation, a teenage gang member is granted psychokinetic powers in a government experiment, but the transformation process doesn’t stop there—and all Neo-Tokyo is in danger. The film melds body horror, moto gangs, and a Godzilla-style creature in a fever dream of animation and taiko drums. (Central Cinema)

Fantastic Mr. Fox Mr. Fox is a happily married husband and uncertain father torn between 9-to-5 domesticity and the thrill of raiding the henhouse. Toss in a neurotic son who wears a towel like a superhero cape, a sewer rat who dances like a West Side Story extra, a rock-and-roll soundtrack, and drily funny dialogue, and you’ve got a Wes Anderson storybook. SEAN AXMAKER (Central Cinema)

Capernaum A 12-year-old boy, played by real-life Syrian refugee Zain Al Rafeea, sues his parents for the “crime” of giving him life in this awful world. This film from director Nadine Labaki reportedly does an incredible job of dramatizing life for refugee children condemned to non-personhood by their lack of identity papers. (Cinemark Lincoln Square)

Kimya Dawson and Clyde Petersen: Performance, Film Screening, and Discussion An irresistible DIY-animation classic that doesn’t need words to beguile. Dawson and Petersen will kick off the evening with a musical performance. (Bellevue Arts Museum)

Alita: Battle Angel If you are like me, you are starved for a cyberpunk film. The world just does not make enough of them. While we wait for an adaptation of William Gibson’s Neuromancer, we can watch Alita: Battle Angel, which is based on a manga of the same name by Yukito Kishiro. Expect Cartesian puzzles, confused cyborgs, thrills, and a big city with millions of humans and machines. CHARLES MUDEDE (Wide release)