See LGBTQ+ films from around the world, like Billie and Emma, at the Seattle Queer Film Festival.

The Seattle Queer Film Festival kicks off this weekend! So do the Orcas Island Film Festival and the Seattle Polish Film Festival, but if you're not in a fest-going mood, there are lots of other great options, particularly in the horror department. From Alien to Night of the Creeps to The Spirit of the Beehive, there's plenty to make your blood run pleasantly cold. See all of our film critics’ picks for this weekend below, and, if you're looking for even more options, check out our film events calendar and complete movie times listings (which are now location-aware!).

Note: Movies play Thursday–Sunday unless otherwise noted

The 42nd Film Noir Series: The Breaking Point
Don't miss the museum's annual revisitation—billed as "the world's longest-running film noir series"—of some of America's darkest cinematic delights, full of crime, smoke, and sex appeal. This week's feature is The Breaking Point (tagline: "Screaming Off the Pages of the Hemingway Story!"), in which John Garfield plays a financially struggling ship captain who agrees to transport four criminals on the lam.
Seattle Art Museum
Thursday only

Ad Astra
Writer/director James Grey's follow-up to 2016's excellent, underrated The Lost City of Z is a clunkier affair, with sad-sack Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) embarking on an almost-certainly doomed voyage through the solar system to track down his MIA astronaut father (Tommy Lee Jones). Along the way, he fights battles both external (space pirates!) and internal (daddy issues!), and he also spends a whole lot of time monologuing, thanks to an unnecessary, on-the-nose voiceover that rivals Harrison Ford's awkward ramble in Blade Runner. But it's when the movie shuts up—when Gray's camera skims the plains of the Moon, when an antenna towering into Earth's atmosphere begins to shudder, when the screen is filled by the shadow-blue rings of Neptune or the churning storms of Jupiter—that Ad Astra hits the profundity and scope that all McBride's monologuing fails to get at. ERIK HENRIKSEN
Wide release

Halloween film premiere – Oct. 31st at 5pm & 9pm
BeautyBoiz go BOO at home with an original film about a mysterious cult where no one is safe.
TONIGHT! Last chance to watch The Stranger’s 1st Annual SLAY Film Festival!
Ghosts, zombies, slashers, witches, Eldritch beasts, gore-- SLAY has something for every horror fan!
Earshot Jazz Festival | Oct 16 – Nov 8
This week: Ahamefule J. Oluo, Charles Lloyd, Reggie Goings, Bill Frisell, John and Gerald Clayton

Alien (40th Anniversary)
When I was 10 years old, I read in a newspaper that a new film called Alien was so terrifying that people were not only fainting out of fear during screenings but also taken out of the theater on stretchers. I badly wanted to see this movie: one that was so terrifying it could send a person to the emergency room. But Alien was rated R. "You too young to watch this movie," said the man in the box office of the theater that was near my school, Janney Elementary, in Washington, DC. I begged and begged; he said no and no and kept telling me that this film was only for grown people because it had an evil alien that was fucking scary. "But I just want to see people fainting and screaming," I pleaded. "The alien won't scare me none," I promised. He said no for the final time, and I, wearing tube socks and carrying a Charlie Brown backpack, walked slowly and sadly back to my elementary school. This happened 40 years ago. CHARLES MUDEDE
AMC Pacific Place & Thornton Place
Sunday only

All That Heaven Allows
When people say something is "like a Douglas Sirk movie" they usually mean it's like this. Because basically everything that's come to define Douglas Sirk's career is right here in this one film, the domestic melodrama of all domestic melodramas. BOBBY ROBERTS
The Beacon
Sunday only

Army of Darkness
With Bruce Campbell’s smartassery, a goofy time-travel plot, and hordes of pissed-off Deadites, this is the best of Sam Raimi’s beloved Evil Dead trilogy. The heroic Ash winds up in the year 1300 somehow and, in his attempts to return to our times using the Necronomicon, he accidentally triggers an army of dead people to arise. This screening is presented by the Reef pot store.
SIFF Cinema Egyptian
Friday only

The Beacon Guide to Unsolved Mysteries
Explore the deepest and darkest corners of the '80s-bred television series Unsolved Mysteries.
The Beacon
Sunday only

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Cinema scholars have long agreed on the fact that the three finest films ever made are, in no particular order, Orson Welles' Citizen Kane (1941), Federico Fellini's (1963), and Stephen Herek's Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989).
Central Cinema
Friday-Sunday

Brittany Runs a Marathon
Me, for the first 70 minutes of Brittany Runs a Marathon: “This is some fat-shamey nonsense and I hate it.” When Brittany (Jillian Bell in a freakin’ fat suit) visits a doctor in hopes of scoring Adderall, she instead gets a lecture on her weight—despite the doctor knowing nothing else about her health. But anyway, Brittany decides to get her life together by losing weight and training for a marathon. I’m happy this wasn’t actually a feature-length film about how losing weight can change your life (vomit), because once she's out of the problematic prosthetics, Bell is hilarious. There are plenty of enjoyable things in this movie, but I can't recommend it to anyone who's struggled with disordered eating. ELINOR JONES
AMC Seattle 10

Candyman
Slashers aren't particularly known for things like nuance, or thoughtfulness, or tendencies towards social progressivism and empathy—so seeing all those elements foregrounded in Bernard Rose's adaptation of horror master Clive Barker's short story is startling—and that's before you get to the macabre artistry lent to the numerous (and fucked-up) kills, perfectly underscored by the stark compositions of Philip Glass. BOBBY ROBERTS
The Beacon
Friday-Saturday

The Dead Center
A psychiatrist tries to treat a new patient who claims to be a resurrected victim of suicide...and to be harboring something horrifically evil that hitchhiked with him from the other side. This smart, scary horror movie is admired by genre maven Kim Newman as well as Village Voice, Guardian, and Houston Chronicle critics.
Grand Illusion
Friday-Sunday

Desolation Center
You could classify director Stuart Swezey's Desolation Center documentary as a vanity project, as it focuses on his efforts as an events organizer and includes him on camera talking about the logistics and meaning of throwing off-the-grid concerts in the '80s. But in this case, the vanity is earned. From his Southern California home base, Swezey facilitated some of the most extraordinary multimedia extravaganzas of the pre-internet/pre-smart-phone era. The five shows he memorializes in Desolation Center went on to inspire such well-known festivals as Lollapalooza, Coachella, and Burning Man. And he did it with no corporate sponsorships. Swezey and crew were true DIY entrepreneurs, and their risks paid off much more in cultural capital than actual currency. DAVE SEGAL
Northwest Film Forum
Thursday only

A Field in England
Let's see how easy it is to talk you out of seeing A Field in England. First of all, it's in black and white. Second, it takes place in the 17th century, and all the characters speak in impenetrable dialect while being covered in varying degrees of filth and shit. Finally, it's a self-consciously arty, virtually plotless exercise that's capped by a bug-nuts trip-out sequence in which one of the characters shovels handfuls of psilocybin mushrooms into his mouth like they're Girl Scout Cookies. Now let me try something harder: persuading you that A Field in England—the fourth feature from English director Ben Wheatley (Kill List, Sightseers)—is not merely worthwhile, it's among the most challenging and astonishing pieces of cinema around, transcending any "drug movie" clichés in favor of something fascinating, terrifying, and unique. NED LANNAMANN
Grand Illusion
Thursday only

First Love
There’s a budding relationship at the heart of First Love—a tender, tentative romance between Leo (Masataka Kubota), a boxer with a brain tumor, and Monica (Sakurako Konishi), a young, drug-addicted woman forced into prostitution to pay off the debts of her abusive father. And as it progresses, First Love follows the traditional beats of a cinematic love story, starting with a meet-cute and ending with a happily ever after. But this is a Takashi Miike movie, after all, so there's also an ongoing war between Japanese and Chinese gangs, along with a bumbling gangster, a crooked cop, and stolen drugs. Which means every moment of the duo’s courtship is punctuated by a moment of violence. Here for the romance? Great. Not here for the romance? Brush it aside, and focus instead on every other tense, brutal moment. Either way, you won’t be disappointed. ROBERT HAM
SIFF Cinema Uptown
Friday-Sunday

The Host
An absolutely corking giant monster movie, told with more panache and verve than anything since the lean and hungry glory days of Spielberg. ANDREW WRIGHT
SIFF Cinema Egyptian
Saturday only

Hustlers
Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, Hustlers is based on the true story documented in "Hustlers in Scores," a 2015 New York magazine article by Jessica Pressler. The movie kicks off in 2007, before the effects of the recession were fully felt, and when things were still fun and business was still good. Wall street guys were making bank, and a considerable amount of that dough made it into the hands of strip club workers. But in 2008, the financial crisis started to affect the club’s clientele, which also meant a decline in the dancers’ pay. Hustlers shows how an all-out class war ensued, with a group of four stripper friends (played by Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Keke Palmer, and Lili Reinhart) targeting their rolodex of wealthy clients, drugging, and guiding them to a club where the women had negotiated a percentage of their spending. Once there, the women would easily persuade their drunken victims to hand over their credit cards, racking up thousands of dollars in expenses. Ultimately, the funny, fleshy Hustlers is solid because the strippers are uniquely portrayed as real women with full lives, but also, let’s be honest: It’s just fun to watch Wall Street pervs get taken advantage of for their money. JENNI MOORE
Various locations

It: Chapter Two
It: Chapter Two gets better as it goes, but be warned that it goes for 169 minutes. It’s hard to argue with the film’s length, given the complicated, sprawling underbelly of lore and symbolism in Stephen King’s novel, but what does director Andy Muschietti do with all this time? Like the first film, Chapter Two has high points, but Muschietti also drags scenes out for far too long. This is an above-average blockbuster, and audiences who go to Chapter Two looking for a monster movie will find something much better than usual. But King fans will be left wanting—though perhaps in a way that makes them want to reread It and remember why they loved it so much in the first place. SUZETTE SMITH
Various locations

Joker
Joker isn’t really the story of a good man gone bad; clown for hire Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is troubled from the outset. He’s barely scraping by, living with his mother (Frances Conroy), and coming undone due to cuts in social services. Sure, Phillips overdoes it with long, panning explorations of Fleck’s bruised, skinny ribs, but then again, men with insecurities about being skinny are presumably the film’s target audience. The first half hour unfolds like a dog-whistle symphony for insecure guys who think they have it bad. Fleck berates his black social worker (Sharon Washington) for not listening to him when she’s obviously doing her best. He fixates on a black single mother (Zazie Beetz) after the briefest sign of camaraderie. Yet there are a series of trap doors throughout Joker that unexpectedly drop its audience into new perspectives. Early on, an obvious foreshadow shifts Fleck onto a new path, and as that plotline plays out, Joker offers some surprisingly rewarding reflections on the relationship between the villain and Batman. (Oh yeah! This is a Batman movie, remember?) Both men, Joker suggests, might be equally deranged, making sweeping moves against the world without regard for those who become collateral damage for their respective manias. SUZETTE SMITH
Various locations

Judy
A biopic about the last months of famed entertainer and Wizard of Oz star Judy Garland, Judy features an uncanny, spot-on performance from Reneé Zellwegger that’s unfortunately paired with a script that veers from affecting to eye-rollingly ham-fisted. Bouncing back and forth from Judy’s famed London Palladium gigs six months before her death and her childhood that was crushed under the abusive thumb of Louis B. Mayer while filming The Wizard of Oz, Zellwegger gives an honest, raw performance that lays bare Garland’s crippling depression and addiction. However, her valiant attempts at subtlety are betrayed by a shallow script that relies too heavily on emotional manipulation. That aside, Zellwegger’s gloriously accurate hair and makeup is almost reason enough to see this film, and when she belts out “The Trolley Song,” you'll long for the days when consummate pros like Garland pushed past their personal demons to bring audiences to their feet. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
Various locations

Loro
The laureled team of director Paolo Sorrentino and Toni Servilio (The Great Beauty) have gotten back together to depict former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi and his world of debauchery, corruption, insane wealth, and the terrible void behind all of them.
SIFF Cinema Uptown
Friday-Sunday

Memory: The Origins of Alien
Erik Henriksen of the Portland Mercury wrote: "Alongside archival interviews with Scott and the late artist H. R. Giger, Memory boasts a dude-heavy lineup of film scholars, filmmakers, and actors, many of whom offer smart contributions, even as others suggest theories that can charitably be described as stretches. Memory never acknowledges the existence of Alien's increasingly lousy sequels (and it barely acknowledges Scott's increasingly lousy prequels), but only one omission is truly unforgivable: While Memory's talking heads are happy to discuss the movie's brutal, discomfiting reflections on gender, hardly anything is said about Sigourney Weaver's Ripley—Alien's unmistakable backbone, and the reason for much of the film's success." Absolutely true, and a big disappointment, but Memory is still worth catching for diehard fans of the first and best installment in the franchise.
Grand Illusion
Thursday only

Morgiana
If you're craving a film that epitomizes 1970s-era stylistic excess—swooping cameras, Freudian set decoration, swooning women in heavily embellished dresses—you've arrived at the right place. Morgiana, directed in Czechoslovakia by the underappreciated auteur Juraj Herz, casts Iva Janzurová as a virginal beauty and her jealous, Mrs. Danvers-esque sister who's slowly poisoning her to death. In both roles, she wears enough makeup to provision a small army of drag queens. Morgiana's either a ridiculous, hallucinatory melodrama or a Jungian parable of self-destruction. Either way, it's a lot of fun. JOULE ZELMAN
The Beacon
Saturday only

Ms. Purple
Writer/director Justin Chon (Man Up, Gook)’s low-key family drama, set in Los Angeles’ Koreatown, deals with childhood traumas of abandonment. A woman working a depressing job as a karaoke host and her estranged brother have to mend their relationship in order to care for their dying father, who left the family when they were growing up. Andee Tagle of NPR writes, "This newest endeavor is just as ambitious as Gook in its portrayal of the Asian American family outside of the 'the model minority' stereotype, and is more focused, if not always balanced."
SIFF Cinema Uptown
Thursday only

Nekromantik
A man brings home a corpse as a present for his girlfriend. Recommended only because John Waters praised it, calling it "the first erotic film for necrophiles," and only for people who might be into gross-out junk.
Grand Illusion
Saturday only

Night of the Creeps
College nerds in the 'burbs, joined by a squeaky sorority girl and a hard-bitten cop, take up arms against an infestation of alien slugs and their douchey human hosts, including one named Bradster. Ugh, Bradster. This horror-comedy, loosely based on Plan Nine from Outer Space, has aged surprisingly well and may be one of the most anti-bro films ever.
Central Cinema
Friday-Sunday

NY Dog Film Festival
It's a one-day film festival dedicated to dogs and those who work with and love them!
SIFF Cinema Egyptian
Saturday only

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
Regal Meridian 16 & Ark Lodge Cinemas
Thursday only

Orcas Island Film Festival
The festival has done it again—put together a fantastic lineup of films, that is. Now in its sixth year, the fest’s organizers have curated 39 feature films (five more than last year) that consist of internationally lauded titles and encompass more than 60 screenings overall. Attendees will have the chance to see some films twice or catch a film they might’ve missed the first time, as OIFF is expanding onto three screens this year. In particular, keep an eye out for Mati Diop’s Senegal-set sci-fi romance Atlantics (winner of the jury prize at Cannes); Pedro Almodóvar’s somewhat autobiographical drama starring Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory (Spain’s Oscar submission for best international film); and newcomer Levan Akin’s And Then We Danced, a Georgian film about a dancer’s sexual awakening in a homophobic country (Akin won OIFF’s Vanguard Award and will be present at the festival to accept the prize). JASMYNE KEIMIG
Orcas Island

Picnic at Hanging Rock
A gaggle of beautiful Australian schoolgirls and one of their teachers disappear during a Victorian-era Valentine's Day picnic in Peter Weir's sexually charged, animistic, unsettling meditation on the power of place.
The Beacon
Thursday only

Psycho
Do you know why everyone acts like Psycho is so great? Because it IS. A fun experiment while you're watching the film in a room crowded with people who know what's coming is to imagine it's 1960, when 95 percent of the film's likely audience would have been literally incapable of imagining that Norman Bates was anywhere near as fucked up as he turns out to be. Remembering that recasts Hitchcock's technique as a willful erosion of human innocence, which makes the whole thing even more powerful. SEAN NELSON
The Beacon
Thursday only

Seattle Latino Film Festival
This year's Seattle festival of Chicanx and Latinx cinema will feature 10 days of independent movies, filmmaker panels, workshops, and more, beginning with a splashy opening gala. The organizers say that this year's festival will feature "110 titles from 22 countries: films, short films, documentaries, and animation." There will be a special focus on young Latinx filmmakers in the US.
Various locations

Seattle Polish Film Festival
The Seattle-Gdynia Sister City Association will mark its 27th year of co-producing a festival of Polish films, which will no doubt continue to show the strength of this cinematically important country. This weekend, be sure to check out the suspenseful 53 Wars (Sunday), a psychological thriller about the unraveling wife of a war correspondent.
SIFF Film Center

Seattle Queer Film Festival
Local shorts, indie features, and national or international releases will stoke and satisfy your appetite for gay, lesbian, bi, trans, enby, and otherwise queer-focused films, from historical romances to incisive documentaries to perverse suspense flicks. This year, catch the opening film, the Judy Garland doc Sid & Judy (Thurs); the coming-of-age romance Billie and Emma (Sat), the centerpiece documentary For They Know Not What They Do (Sun), and much more.
Various locations

Snowpiercer
Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer takes its name from the futuristic super-train in which everyone left on earth lives—the film introduces the train as the "rattling ark" that's keeping humanity alive. In the middle of the 21st century, the grubby masses are forced to live in the rear cars, in near-darkness and the filth that comes from putting too many humans in a too-small box. The wealthy few live in the luxurious, sprawling cars at the front, and the 99 percent are kept in line with threats, reminders that things are exactly as they should be, and an imposing cadre of armed, paramilitary types. This world died not with global warming, but in ice; a last-ditch effort to curb rising temperatures with an airborne cooling agent called CW7 resulted in the entire world freezing to inhospitable temperatures (CW7 must be a close cousin to Ice-nine from Kurt Vonnegut's novel Cat's Cradle). Only the Snowpiercer, a perpetual-motion machine of a train on tracks that stretch across the entire world, survives. It's a lunatic premise, but Snowpiercer manages to get everything exactly right. This is a world-class science fiction movie, an ambitious, overstuffed epic that will influence young directors for years to come. PAUL CONSTANT
SIFF Cinema Egyptian
Saturday only

Social Justice Film Festival
This film festival highlights fierce and powerful progressive movements around the world. As social justice provides the only throughline, many of the movies have little in common. But the selection skews toward limber, on-the-ground filmmaking in the midst of protests and conflicts. This edition's theme is "Courage."
Various locations

The Spirit of the Beehive
At the close of the Spanish Civil War, a little girl is deeply frightened by a screening of Frankenstein. When she comes across a wounded soldier from the defeated Republican army, she cultivates a secret bond with him, perceiving him as a sort of dangerous but pitiful Frankenstein's monster. Victor Erice's 1973 film is considered one of the greatest films ever produced in Spain.
The Beacon
Friday-Saturday

The Thing From Another World
Does it surprise you that the director of Casablanca also produced the movie on which John Carpenter's The Thing was based? Needless to say, the special effects are a little less over-the-top, but it's still a skilfully scripted, intriguing reflection of Cold War fears.
The Beacon
Friday-Sunday

Valhalla Rising
Before the emptiness of Only God Forgives and Neon Demon, Nicolas Winding Refn collaborated with gracefully feral Mads Mikkelsen on some critically acclaimed dramas. Mikkelsen plays an 11th-century pagan held captive in bestial conditions. When Viking Christians invade, One-Eye and his only friend, an enslaved boy, join them on the Crusades. But the bloodshed, not surprisingly, is far from over.
Grand Illusion
Friday-Sunday

Where's My Roy Cohn
The once-famous Roy Cohn has faded from the public consciousness, but the lawyer had a hell of a career, beginning with doing his part to destroy America alongside Joseph McCarthy and ending with doing his part to destroy America by representing a young Donald Trump. The documentary Where’s My Roy Cohn? spends much of its runtime examining Cohn’s arrogant, confrontational, and self-promoting public image, making a strong case that Cohn’s shiftiness and shittiness paved the way for today’s political belligerence. Cohn was also gay, though he never came out (he died from AIDS-related causes in 1986, shortly after being disbarred for unethical conduct), and his relationship with Ronald Reagan, even as Reagan ignored the AIDS crisis, is just one of a dozen eye-widening, stomach-sinking elements in director Matt Tyrnauer’s film. But by the time Cohn’s crazy, furious tale ends, one’s feeling isn’t of enlightenment so much as weary resignation: Terrible people have always existed, and they’ve always helped other terrible people be terrible, and a whole lot of these terrible people are also very powerful. Ugh. Sigh. Fuck all these motherfuckers. ERIK HENRIKSEN
SIFF Cinema Uptown
Friday-Sunday

Wrinkles the Clown
Director Michael Beach Nichols’ documentary about the internet’s favorite creepy clown has a few tricks up its polka-dotted sleeve. According to Wrinkles the Clown, the man beneath the Wrinkles mask is a 65-year-old retiree who lives in a van; enjoys fishing, Natty Ice, and strip clubs; and occasionally terrorizes both random Floridians and naughty kids whose parents hire him to provide “behavioral services.” (Those services, a developmental psychologist says in Wrinkles, are “really misguided,” while another interviewee, the very earnest Funky the Clown, mourns that thanks in part to Wrinkles, “there’s a whole generation growing up with no positive image of a clown whatsoever.”) “You gotta problem with it, you can take it up with mom and dad, ’cause I’m just doin’ my job!” Wrinkles growls from behind the wheel of his van. But a little more than midway through, Wrinkles takes a turn and starts digging into the shakiness of online celebrity and the spread of digital folklore; while everyone can agree Wrinkles is creepy as fuck, opinions will differ about the effectiveness of his movie. ERIK HENRIKSEN
SIFF Film Center
Friday–Sunday

Also Playing:

Our critics don't recommend these films, but you might like to know about them anyway.

Black Death

Downton Abbey

The Flying Phantom Ship

Gemini Man

Rambo: Last Blood

Ready or Not

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