This weekend, embark on a voyage to dreamy cinematic realms with Cinerama's Summer Trip Film Series, which includes movies like The Big Lebowski and The Wizard of Oz, or get an eyeful of the "Liberace of lucha libre" with Cassandro, the Exotico! Plus, revisit time-tested classics like Point Break and Halloween. Follow the links below to see complete showtimes, tickets, and trailers for all of our critics' picks. If you're looking for even more options, check out our film events calendar and complete movie times listings (which are now location-aware!), and don't forget to see where outdoor movies are playing.
Note: Movies play Thursday–Sunday unless otherwise noted
Colton Van Til's debut film, made in the PNW, follows a young female sports journalist who discovers a terrible secret in the high school sports scene in her hometown. A quote from the director: "Sexual assault on college campuses, #MeToo, PEDs, LGBTQ+ acceptance, and toxic masculinity. I was 18 years old when I wrote this film, 19 when I directed it, and all of these issues were swirling around me, directly impacting communities I was a part of."
Northwest Film Forum
Angels Are Made of Light
Oscar-nominated documentarian James Longley (Iraq in Fragments) turns his camera to the Daqiqi Balkhi School in Kabul, Afghanistan, as students learn amidst the ruins and scars of war. On Friday, Longley will appear in person for a Q&A.
SIFF Film Center
Cassandro, the Exotico!
"We don't say 'break a leg' in lucha libre. We say 'good luck.'" The line comes from Cassandro, a famous and flamboyant lucha libre wrestler known as an exotico, which is a wrestler who fights in drag. He's talking to Marie Losier, the documentarian behind Cassandro the Exotico!, a brisk and shimmering 16-millimeter film about Cassandro's radical success as the "Liberace of lucha libre." Lucha libre, as Cassandro explains, has included exoticos since the 1940s. In the past, exoticos performed mostly as clowns, but Cassandro says he's changed the game. In 1992, Cassandro won the Universal Wrestling Association World Lightweight Championship as an exotico, which he claims not only changed the Mexican sport, but also "changed the Mexican culture." Thanks to Cassandro, exoticos now get to beat the shit out of people. CHASE BURNS
Northwest Film Forum
Comedy Gold from the American Cinema
This summer, let the silver screen wash over you and enjoy old-school cool with comedic classics like The More the Merrier, a wartime romantic comedy about two men sharing an apartment with a female subletter in the midst of a housing shortage.
Seattle Art Museum
Soooo...is this movie about gigantic bloodthirsty alligators wreaking havoc on hurricane-flooded Florida...good? According to reviews, no. But it's a lot of fun, like any dumb B-movie ought to be, says critic Jake Wilson (The Age): "It lives up to its schlock promise — delivering jokey shocks with a degree of expertise while retaining enough seeming naivety to let viewers have fun mocking its shortcomings." Aaron Yap of Flicks.co.nz is blunter: "You want big alligators attacking people? You’ll definitely get big alligators attacking the shit out of people."
A Faithful Man
The actor Louis Garrel—one of the most beautiful men in French cinema, and also one of the stars in a film (Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers) with two other beautiful humans, Michael Pitt and Eva Green—is also a fine director. His second film, A Faithful Man, is straightforward, restrained, and short—only 75 minutes, people. For those who enjoy simply watching attractive French people dealing with the twists and turns of love, this is a movie you should not miss. CHARLES MUDEDE
Northwest Film Forum
If you had a fatal disease, would you want to know? This question lies at the heart of a 2016 This American Life segment called “What You Don’t Know” by Lulu Wang. Her 80-year-old grandmother, known as Nai Nai, had been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and given three months to live. Her family decided not to tell her she was sick at all. Now Wang has written and directed a film, The Farewell, based on her family’s experience. It features Awkwafina, the wonderful rapper and actor, in her first starring role. GILLIAN ANDERSON
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
The first of the Fast & Furious spinoff films, the ampersand-fueled Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is exactly as goofy and fun as it should be. Free of the core saga’s melodrama, the buddy cop comedy finds Dwayne Johnson’s tough guy Hobbs and Jason Statham’s tough guy Shaw flex-bickering and secretly loving each other as they work with Shaw’s super-spy sister (Vanessa Kirby, AKA the sister on The Crown) to fight Brixton Lore (Idris Elba), who, notably, has a robot motorcycle. (In the first five minutes, somebody asks Lore who he is, and he says, “Bad Guy,” which is almost as good of a name as “Brixton Lore.”) If you thought F&F couldn’t get any sillier, Hobbs & Shaw is happy to prove you wrong (the Rock fights a helicopter), and if you thought F&F couldn’t get more emo, Hobbs & Shaw is also happy to prove you wrong (once again, we learn that families, both those we inherit and those we create as we flip dune buggies through the air, are Very Important). In conclusion, vote Hobbs and Shaw in 2020. ERIK HENRIKSEN
Let’s put film noir into two distinct categories: surface noir and deep noir. A great example of surface noir: Double Indemnity. A great example of deep noir: Gilda. What makes Gilda deep? The film is not about how sexual desire can lead to a crime, as in Double Indemnity, but about how sexual desire can generate a great (and poisonous) amount of tension, in this case between Glenn Ford and the gorgeous Rita Hayworth. CHARLES MUDEDE
SIFF Cinema Uptown
Part of Dressed to the Nines.
Watching the original Halloween in 2018, it can be hard to appreciate exactly what was so scary about it in 1978. We’ve seen so many derivations of it (from Friday the 13th to A Nightmare on Elm Street) and we’ve seen it referenced, analyzed, parodied, and homaged so many times (in Scream and everything else) that going back to the source is bound to be a little anti-climactic. It certainly was for me, a guy who had not yet been born in 1978. Michael Myers didn’t kill the most people. John Carpenter’s Halloween wasn’t the goriest, the trashiest, or the kitschiest. Yet it essentially spawned an entire genre: the slasher film. VINCE MANCINI
Celebrate National Cat Day with a screening of Ceyda Torun's Kedi, a documentary about the multitude of cats that roam the streets of Istanbul. Stranger contributor Kathy Fennessy writes: "Enchanting! Kedi works triple time as a nature documentary, a travelogue, and a meditation on the human-animal bond."
SIFF Cinema Uptown
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Inspired by a true story, The Last Black Man in San Francisco is about the city’s rapid gentrification and those crazy looks white folks give Black and brown people for daring to feel at home in their own neighborhoods. It centers on carpenter Jimmie Fails, who becomes obsessed with his massive childhood home in the city and sets out on a mission to buy it. These days, it’s going for a cool $4 million. Fails plays a fictionalized version of himself in the film, which he cowrote with his best friend, director Joe Talbot. Almost right off, there are hints the film was directed by a white person. In this San Francisco, white neighbors don’t call the cops, but rather use the threat of calling the cops as a weapon in order to get Black people to scram. A breath of fresh air: There’s no romantic subplot or “classic” nuclear family. Instead, the film’s emotions stem from Jimmie’s fixation on his childhood home, his friendship with the autistic aspiring playwright Montgomery, and his complicated relationship with his city. But after finishing the film, I was left with questions about these characters’ lives: How does Jimmie find time to make money? Where do these Black San Franciscans get their food? It adds another level of too-smooth glaze to the film to never see its main characters working or doing any other life stuff. JENNI MOORE
Last Year at Marienbad
You will never make sense of this 1961 film. It is a maze without a center. You enter the work and simply marvel at the way director Alain Resnais has arranged each section of the maze with an architect’s eye for shapes, lines, and the positions of objects. If you think there’s a crime in all of this that needs to be solved, kill that thought right away. You must simply exist within the film’s moments in much the same way a fly exists in a room in one of those novels by Alain Robbe-Grillet. CHARLES MUDEDE
In their final cinematic collaboration, director John Cassavetes and his wife Gena Rowlands play a pair of somewhat unhinged siblings that find themselves relying on one another as the rest of their lives unravel. According to the theater's write-up, the dreamlike climax plays like "Powell and Pressburger guest directing a scene from Inland Empire." If you're enough of a movie buff to get those references and haven't yet seen this film, go!
This German horror film has, according to critics, redefined the low-budget shocker with its narrative tricks, out-of-left-field frights, and intriguing soundscapes. Plot summaries have been bare-bones, but the film follows the police investigation of a young Chilean cab driver who bursts into their station with a strange confession. Bonus: It was shot on actual film (16mm)!
When we meet college student Dani (Florence Pugh), she's isolated, enduring a nerve-shredding family crisis behind a mask of feminine selflessness and apparently afraid to reveal her emotions to her distant and manipulative boyfriend, Christian. But once an affection-starved Dani, along with Christian and his bros, follow their friend Pelle to his cultish village in rural Sweden for a mysterious pagan festival, Midsommar blossoms into a flower of a different color. The Americans respond to their surroundings in varying ways: Christian and fellow PhD student Josh try to probe the village's secrets for academic glory, while douchey Mark ogles long-tressed local girls. Dani, meanwhile, wavers between unease with the cult's weird rituals and attraction to its sense of unshakable fellowship. Soon, they're all swept up in rites involving dancing, feasting, and tripping out, unaware that far more transgressive acts are being prepared. The ensuing narrative is expansive, a bit funny, full of elaborate invented culture, and overall less exhausting (and exhilarating) than director Ari Aster's Hereditary. Where Hereditary is about losing a family, Midsommar is about gaining one, a process that's a lot less wholesome than it sounds. JOULE ZELMAN
For a brief respite from the breaking news of the present, Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound will dig up a collection of stories and programming from pivotal points in local history. Starting with On Cue, a program that aired on the first anniversary of KIRO-TV's inaugural broadcast on 1959, they'll present more pieces from MOHAI, the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Municipal Archives, the Wing Luke Museum, and many more.
Northwest Film Forum
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Far in the future, after an apocalyptic conflict has devastated much of the world's ecosystem, the few surviving humans live in scattered semi-hospitable environments within what has become a "toxic jungle." Young Nausicaä lives in the arid Valley of the Wind and can communicate with the massive insects that populate the dangerous jungle. Under the guidance of the pensive veteran warrior, Lord Yupa, Nausicaä works to bring peace back to the ravaged planet.
Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood
Once Upon a Time doesn't have the self-conscious, This Is a Quentin Tarantino Film™ feel of the filmmaker's past few movies. Make no mistake: Nobody besides Tarantino could have made Once Upon a Time—it's a singular thing, uniquely dialed in to his obsessions and quirks. But like Tarantino's best movies, it feels neither reliant nor focused on those obsessions and quirks. We spend the bulk of our time with three people: Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), an earnest, anxious, B-list actor whose career is right about to curdle; Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), Rick's toughed-up, chilled-out former stuntman and current BFF; and Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), a bubbly, captivating actress who's just starting to enjoy her first taste of success in show business. How Tarantino plays with history in Once Upon a Time is one of the more intense and surprising elements of the film—and, thankfully, it's also one of the best. ERIK HENRIKSEN
The past 27 years have not been kind in most important respects, but one good thing has happened: Kathryn Bigelow’s film about a football-playing FBI agent named Johnny Utah who infiltrates a gang of crypto-Buddhist surfers who rob banks has, at long last, been recognized as the utter masterpiece of kinesthesia that it has always been. Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Lori Petty, and Gary Busey never looked or acted better than they do here, and the stunts—from curl shooting to aerial ballet—are utterly breathtaking. If anyone tries to tell you that Point Break is just a big dumb action movie instead of an assertion of the power of cinema, just tell them to back off, Warchild. Seriously. SEAN NELSON
Also playing on Thursday at Peddler Brewing
Reports on Sarah and Saleem
An affair between a Palestinian Arab and a Jewish Israeli married to an army colonel attracts the attention of security forces, who exploit the clandestine couple and inadvertently drive them closer together.
SIFF Cinema Uptown
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Rather than go the goofy Goosebumps route, André Øvredal (The Autopsy of Jane Doe) seems to have gone full Creepypasta-spooky (though still PG-13) for his adaptation of the '80s children's chillers. Øvredal has proven himself a talented scaremaster, and Guillermo del Toro worked on the screenplay, so, given the powerful pull of millennial nostalgia for childhood frights, this has a shot at being a hit. On the other hand, the trailer boasts such lines as "You don't read the book, the book reads you!", which sounds an awful lot like a line from Blumhouse's 2018 schlocky Truth or Dare, so... JOULE ZELMAN
Spider-Man: Far from Home
For those who have been salivating for a sequel to 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming—and more Spider-Man than we got in the last two Avengers movies—you can relax. Spider-Man: Far from Home is pretty freaking good! It has almost everything you loved from Homecoming, plus better action sequences. That said, while Homecoming crackled with originality, Far from Home is far from what made its predecessor so great. Sure, it’s got snappy jokes, terrific characters, top-notch action, and loads of delicious teenage awkwardness. But it lacks the one thing Homecoming had in abundance: a laser-sharp focus on the emotional horror of being a teen. And yet? I still loved it. It’s better and more emotionally resonant than the vast majority of superhero flicks, and Far from Home is an excellent sequel that will occasionally illicit ear-to-ear grins. WM STEVEN HUMPHREY
A quintessential exemplar of Seattle filmmaking is returning to the theater in a new restoration. This collaboration by Martin Bell, Mary Ellen Mark, and Cheryl McCall peered into the lives of street youth in the 1980s and stands now as a testament to a community forgotten and rejected by the rest of the world.
Summer Trip Film Series
It's summer! Time to take a trip down to the shore (Us), to a sunny woodland paradise (Mandy), or to a scrummy chocolate factory run by a psychopath (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)! Actually, not all of the films in this series about vacations and jaunts, which will be presented on Cinerama's gigantic screen, have to do with mayhem and death. Or rather, they do, but it's funny (The Big Lebowski) or fantastical (The Wizard of Oz). Grab a bag of chocolate popcorn and be whisked away to the dream or nightmare of your choosing!
Sword of Trust
The charm of America's favorite deadbeat uncle, Marc Maron, is a fine line. It’s either offensive or sexy. Where you fall on that line depends on your drunkenness and/or daddy issues. What secrets does his pornstache hold? How many regrets are hidden in those hairs? I was thinking about this ’stache throughout Sword of Trust, directed by Seattle’s own Lynn Shelton. This is the first time Shelton has shot a film outside of Washington State, in Alabama, but you wouldn’t know it, as it’s set almost exclusively in a pawnshop owned by Maron’s character, Mel. There are other excellent actors in the film, and there is a loose plot about a questionable Confederate relic and the conspiracy theorists who want to buy it. But the story is so clumsy that it doesn't really matter. Go for Maron’s wry ’stache. CHASE BURNS
SIFF Cinema Uptown
Them That Follow
Olivia Colman isn't in Them That Follow a whole lot, but whenever she's onscreen—as Sister Slaughter, the dour, hardened matriarch of a small, isolated Appalachian community of snake-handling Pentecostals—she's all but unrecognizable from all of her other remarkable turns. She's always great, and she's great again here. Sister Slaughter's just one of the authority figures keeping a stern watch on Mara (Alice Englert), a young woman who's all but betrothed to the dorktacular Garrett (Lewis Pullman), an eager follower of Mara's glare-y, shouty father, Pastor Childs (Walton Goggins, predictably excellent). One problem with the whole betrothal thing, though: Neither Sister Slaughter, nor Garrett, nor Pastor Childs know that Mara's pregnant with the child of of the guy she actually loves, Augie (Thomas Mann), who can't wait to get the fuck out this ass-backwards place and never see a snake again Though it presents a hypnotic vision of Appalachia—one where quiet woods, winding roads, and leaf-strewn hills are poisoned by nests of vipers, both literal and metaphorical—Them That Follow probably takes too much time getting to its core drama. But the performances carry it: Not only are Englert, Goggins, and Colman phenomenal, but even with smaller parts, actors like Jim Gaffigan and Kaitlyn Dever somehow embody rich characters who are trapped in a zealous, all-or-nothing faith. ERIK HENRIKSEN
AMC Seattle 10
Toy Story 4
How can Pixar continue a peerless run, without turning on autopilot or trumpeting the same themes in movie after movie? The Toy Story franchise is the best example of how Pixar has avoided those pitfalls. Each is about the adventures of a gaggle of charming kids’ playthings, but as the franchise has carried on, the ideas underpinning those high jinks have gotten richer and darker. By Toy Story 3, the first Toy Story's simple message of tolerance became, in part, an exploration of accepting death. The fourth installment eases up a bit, with a much simpler theme of not being afraid to grow up. That’s the challenge facing Bonnie, the little girl who was gifted all of these toys. But with a little help from Woody, she makes a new friend: Forky, a spork with glued-on googly eyes, popsicle sticks for feet, and a pipe cleaner for arms. This strange crafts project becomes Bonnie’s new favorite plaything—which means Woody must protect and mentor this bundle of nervous energy, which only wants to return to the trash from whence it came. ROBERT HAM
The latest from director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire), Yesterday is about a musician, Jack, who, after a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, wakes up to a world where the Beatles never existed (but Ed Sheeran—who plays himself—does?). Jack remembers the Fab Four, however, and finds rocketing fame and fortune (and a sense of dwindling creative self-worth) performing their songs as if they were his own. LEILANI POLK
Our critics don't recommend these films, but you might be interested in them anyway.