The saga comes to a highly anticipated climax in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Lucasfilm/Lucasfilm Ltd

Below, we've rounded up the biggest and best film openings and events you need to know about this season, including the re-release of the brilliant Jamaican British drama Babylon, the Safdie Brothers/Adam Sandler crime drama Uncut Gems, and of course Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Check out movie times and more film events on our EverOut Things To Do calendar, or check out the rest of our critics' picks from Seattle Art and Performance.


Jump to: Film Festivals & Series | Top Screenings and Releases




Film Festivals & Series



Through Sat Dec 21

The Jewish Soul: Classics of Yiddish Cinema Revisit unjustly neglected classics from Yiddish-language cinema around the world, whether shot in Manhattan, Poland, or Lithuania. (The Beacon)


Wed Dec 18

Curious about tea? Learn all about different types of tea at Tea Discovery!
Learn the history, myth and lore of tea while tasting different samples in a fun, interactive class!
Get Your Tickets For The First Ever Confinement Online Film Festival!
A fun night of solitary entertainment featuring films exploring social distancing and quarantine!
The 15th Annual HUMP Film Festival is now online, hosted by Dan Savage!
16 sexy films, showcasing a huge range of sexualities, shapes and sizes, streaming from your home!

Reel Rock Experience athletic adventures from the comfort of the indoors at this sampling of films from the Reel Rock Film Festival plus Hold My Beer, a barrel ski and snowboarding film. (Nectar)


Jan 9–March 12

SAM Films: The Films of Eric Rohmer This, for me, is the core pleasure of French director Eric Rohmer's cinema: the movement of (usually two) actors during a long (and usually heady) discussion. For example: As a man says something philosophical about love to a woman, he walks to a huge nearby rock and puts a hand on it; as she responds, saying something about how his ideas about love are self-serving, she steps away from the man and gazes at some trees in the distance. The flow of words is sequenced with the motion of bodies. Rohmer also manages to keep these movements as realistic as possible. They never stray from the zone between natural and artificial, walking and dancing. The art of this great French director, who died in 2010, is the ballet of a conversation. SAM and Alliance Francaise de Seattle are celebrating his centennial during this eight-film series. CM (Seattle Art Museum


Feb 14–20

Noir City 2020 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 lesser known movies in a genre that has lots of spiderlike women, lots of long knives, lots of rooms with dark curtains, lots of faces of the fallen, and lots of existential twists and turns. CM (SIFF Cinema Egyptian)


Feb 27–March 8

Children's Film Festival Seattle CFFS's slate of international films features visual storytelling centered on the experience of childhood, with organizers prioritizing stories that are underrepresented in the mainstream media and inspire "empathy, understanding, and a nuanced view of the world." Launched in 2005, curated by Northwest Film Forum, and dedicated to children ages 3-14, the fest presents animation, feature-length outings, and shorts from dozens of countries interspersed with kid-centric events. Last year's opening night party featured a sing-along presentation of 1979 Jim Henson staple The Muppet Movie, as well as a screening of the oldest existing animated feature, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, accompanied by a live performance of the film score by Miles & Karina. In sum, a fun time for the whole family. LP (Northwest Film Forum)


Mondays

Haunted Light The Beacon spookifies your bleak weekday with gorgeous horror classics like December's Kuroneko, Ringu, Black Christmas, and Curse of the Cat People. (The Beacon)


Film Openings and Runs



Dec 11–12

GLAS Presents: Animation Next See animated stories from "subterranean nightmares to sun-soaked coming of age stories" at this traveling showcase from the GLAS Animation Festival in Berkeley. (Northwest Film Forum)


Thurs Dec 12

The Last Action Hero with Andy Iwancio and Derek Sheen Two terrific local comedians will host this screening of a massive Arnold Schwarzenegger-starring flop. (The Beacon)

Nocturnal Emissions Dark-minded burlesque maven Isabella L. Price and Clinton McClung of Cinebago Events return with their cheeky, sexy, macabre series Nocturnal Emissions, which prefaces an unusual horror classic with "phantasmagoric" burlesque performances and other fun. The final film is the campy Vincent Price vehicle The Masque of the Red Death. (Northwest Film Forum)


Opening Fri Dec 13

Black Christmas Trailers for the remake of this 1974 slasher tease a feminist twist as sorority girls get sick of their sisters being stalked and murdered on campus. (Wide release)

Richard Jewell Clint Eastwood directs this based-on-a-true-story movie about an amateur security officer who, despite his heroic actions saving lives at the Olympics, is accused of terrorism. (Wide release)

The Two Popes Popes Benedict (Anthony Hopkins) and Francis (Jonathan Pryce) argue over doctrine and politics in 2013; from acclaimed director Fernando Meireilles (City of God). (Crest Cinema Center)


Dec 13–15

Mystery Science Theater 3000: Santa Claus There's no better holiday date for nerds than this Mystery Science Theater 3000 screening of Santa Claus, an astonishing Christmastime disaster that came out of Mexico in 1959. The plot, loosely: Santa Claus lives in an ice castle. Mrs. Claus is nonexistent but sometimes Merlin appears to help the man out... if you know what I mean. Also, the Devil sends a demon to fight Santa. Yes, a demon. Happy holidays! CB (SIFF Film Center)


Dec 13–18

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. Side effects include a deeply ingrained sense of whimsy and a proclivity for concentrated sugars. And Zooey Deschanel sings. (Central Cinema)


Dec 13–Jan 2

It's a Wonderful Life Paralyzing joys are the very heart of George Bailey's dilemma; they are, to borrow words from George's father, "deep in the race." The sacrifices George makes for being "the richest man in town" resonate bitterly even as they lead to the finale's effusive payoff. Those sacrifices are what make It's a Wonderful Life, in all its "Capraesque" glory, endure. SEAN NELSON (Grand Illusion)


Dec 14–15 & 18

The White Reindeer This gorgeous Scandinavian horror film, shot in Finnish Lapland in 1952, is probably your only chance all year to watch a movie about a sexually repressed vampire reindeer shapeshifter. (The Beacon)


Dec 14–22

Celebration We weren't supposed to see this doc on Yves Saint-Laurent. Filmed in 1998, the recording—suppressed for decades and almost sued into oblivion by Saint-Laurent's partner, who finally gave his blessing to screen the film shortly before his death in 2015—follows the designer during his final show, and depicts a different man than the one history remembers. Instead of a revered master, he is seen more like Daniel Day-Lewis's character in Phantom Thread—controlling, tormented. Seattleites recently had a chance to dive into his legendary fashion with Seattle Art Museum's enormous and reverent Yves Saint-Laurent: The Perfection of Style (2016-2017). SAM's exhibition, equipped with 100 of the designer's haute couture garments, was well-attended, and his new local fans may be surprised by director Oliver Meyrou's portrayal. CB (Northwest Film Forum)


Dec 17–18

They Shall Not Grow Old Peter Jackson has led a team of restorationists and lip-readers (!) to snatch back moments of World War I in living detail. Archival films from the era were colorized and repaired, and experts were called in to decrypt what the people in the shots were saying. The results, bolstered by interviews and reminiscences, are history as you've never seen it. (Various locations)


Opening Dec 18

Our Bodies, Our Doctors At the same time that states all across the US are making it harder, if not impossible, to get this basic health-care procedure, doctors are dutifully committed to serving their patients. Through the stories of abortion doctors in four different cities and towns, Our Bodies Our Doctors explores the stigma attached to this profession, the reality of working in an abortion clinic, and how a number of brave physicians continue to fight for their patients despite the cost to themselves. KATIE HERZOG (SIFF Cinema Uptown)


Fri Dec 20

White Christmas Sing-Along The screening of this holiday film classic opens with a Christmas sing-along. The plot's a little flimsy, but it's directed by Michael Curtiz (who did Casablanca), has songs by Irving Berlin, and stars none other than Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye (Singing in the Rain). (SIFF Film Center)


Opening Fri Dec 20

Bombshell When Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, and Margot Robbie all link up, what have you got? Well, a sizable chunk of the Fox newsroom, as it turns out. In this movie adapted from real life events, Bombshell follows three women who accused late Fox founder and CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment, and the fallout when their accusations are made public. Kidman portrays former Fox host Gretchen Carlson, Robbie plays a fictionalized producer, and Theron seemingly fully transforms into Megyn Kelly. Announced in the months following Ailes's death, the film will explore the toxic environment brewing over at the president's favorite news channel. JK (Wide release)

Cats This Christmas, give yourself the gift of uncanny-valley terror as you watch A-list movie stars cavort under layers of digitally generated fur. (Wide release)

A Hidden Life Franz Jägerstätter was a real-life Austrian farmer who refused to fight for the Nazis and...well, they were Nazis, so you can guess how they reacted to his humanity and courage. Terrence Malick directs this historical drama starring August Diehl and featuring the final on-screen performances of Michael Nyqvist and Bruno Ganz. (SIFF Cinema Uptown)

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker This film concludes the Skywalker Saga, which contains three prequels, three originals, and three sequels to the original. The Rise of Skywalker is the end of the saga, for now, according to Disney CEO Bob Iger, whose mega-entertainment corporation purchased the Star Wars brand from its creator, George Lucas, in 2012. The director of The Rise is also the director of the first sequel (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), J.J. Abrams. The big question that will be answered during the Christmas season, when the film opens, is whether Abrams's second directorial contribution to the saga is as good or better than his first, which, in my opinion, is the third best film in the series. First is, of course, The Empire Strikes Back, and second, A New Hope. I'm also of the opinion that Abrams directed the best Mission Impossible film (the third one). CM (Wide release)


Dec 20–21 & 24

Carol Carol is set in the 1950s, which was not a great time for gay people getting to live the lives they actually deserved. That makes it all the more remarkable that the film doesn't punish its characters by dooming them to misery or early death, like most of the nonhetero narratives Hollywood offers up. If creativity thrives within limits, Carol makes a pretty good case that love can, too—although it certainly shouldn't have to. ALISON HALLETT (The Beacon)


Sun Dec 22

Campout Cinema: The Matrix In the year 1999, a computer hacker named Neo learns from a mysterious figure, Morpheus, that the world he lives in is not real, but a sinister computer simulation designed by machines to keep humans content while farming their bodies for energy. He is also told the year is not 1999, but closer to 2199. After dealing with the shock of this revelation, Neo decides to leave the simulation and join the human rebellion against the machines. CM (Museum of Pop Culture)

Fanny and Alexander In Ingmar Bergman’s breathtaking turn-of-last-century tale, the eponymous siblings grow up in a loving and unorthodox household until their father, an easygoing man, dies young. Their mother remarries, making the mistake of choosing a martinet clergyman who clashes with the free-spirited children. This beautiful film, universally hailed as a masterpiece, captures the essence of childhood and its hunger for love, play, and autonomy in the face of authoritarianism. The Beacon is showing the TV version—312 minutes that go by surprisingly quickly. JZ (The Beacon)


Wed Dec 25

Fiddler on the Roof 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)

Kung Pao Xmas Film + Dinner: Abe A young boy from a half-Israeli, half-Palestinian family is inspired by a Brazilian chef to unite his sparring relatives through the power of delicious food. Watch the film over an (optional) dinner. (Stroum Jewish Community Center)


Opening Wed Dec 25

CTMG, Inc.

Little Women It's as if writer-director Greta Gerwig fancast Louisa May Alcott's iconic Little Women using a list of all the hottest (and most swoon-worthy) actors right now. Saoirse Ronan as Jo?! Emma Watson as Meg?! Eliza Scanlen (from HBO's Sharp Objects) as Beth?! Scream queen Florence Pugh as Amy?! The floppy-haired Timothée Chalamet as Laurie?! Meryl Streep AND Laura Dern playing Aunt March and Marmee March, respectively?! A film with a cast list of this caliber either buckles under the weight of its own star power or really shines. Though the Winona Ryder film version of the novel is the definitive interpretation for some, Gerwig's adaptation is sure to give it a run for its money. JK (SIFF Cinema Uptown)

Uncut Gems Adam Sandler hasn't made a good movie in a looong time. Like (checks IMDb filmography), since Punch-Drunk Love? I mean, I guess it depends on how you like your Adam Sandler, since romantic male lead or lead fool of an ensemble cast in a shitty lightweight comedy seem to be his fallbacks, with a few not-super exceptions (see: Reign Over Me). Uncut Gems has the potential to be Sandler's comeback-to-quality vehicle. Billed as a "black comedy crime film," it finds Sandler in a bind (he's a sleazy jewelry store owner and gambler who owes money to the wrong people), and has to figure out how to settle his debts before shit gets real. Also, the Safdie brothers (Good Time) are directing and it's an A24 film, which lends it automatic street cred. Hopefully Sandler can hold it up. LP (Various locations)


Opening Fri Dec 27

Clemency A psychologically tortured death row warden played by Alfre Woodard finds herself growing close to the man she's supposed to help kill in this Sundance Grand Jury Prize—winning drama by Chionye Chukwu. (Various locations)


Dec 27–31

My Neighbor Totoro Hayao Miyazaki's famed Japanese animation film studio, Studio Ghibli, has been pointedly unstreamable in the US for forever. If fans wanted to watch beloved favorites like Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro, they had to either buy them or go see one of Ghibli's regular theatrical showings. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), the entire Ghibli catalog will be available on the new streaming platform HBO Max in May. So, relish this chance to see My Neighbor Totoro in theaters. Opportunities like this may be rare in the future. CB (Central Cinema)


Tues Dec 31

Moulin Rouge! SIFF will continue its tradition of ringing in the New Year with Baz Luhrmann's ode to 19th-century Paris and 20th-century pop. You'll get a "bling ring," a drink, and the satisfaction of belting along with Kidman, McGregor, and co. (SIFF Cinema Uptown)


Opening Fri Jan 3

The Grudge The gargly ghosts of Takashi Shimizu's J-horror films are back! The cast is good: Betty Gilpin, Andrea Riseborough, John Cho, et al. (Wide release)


Jan 3–5

Kino Lorber

Babylon Set in Brixton (which is to London what Harlem is to New York City), starring Rasta singer Brinsley Forde (the frontman of reggae band Aswad), and cowritten by Martin Stallman (who also wrote 1979 UK cult favorite Quadrophenia), Babylon is a feature-length outing about black life, black music, and black struggles in early 1980s Britain. The economy is in the toilet, Margaret Thatcher has begun her assault on labor, and city after city is becoming what the Specials classically described as "a ghost town." The film is simply amazing. Every minute is rich with cultural information of a period and milieu that's rarely seen on film. Babylon also has a dub score that's dark, crackly, and deep. Those echoes, those old Brixton buildings, the dreads, the factory smoke, the street markets, the old ladies, the thick accents—all of this and more is just utterly wonderful. CM (Northwest Film Forum)


Jan 3–7

The Hunger Nothing beats the dark magic of seeing Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie and pre-Bernie-bonkers Susan Sarandon on a movie screen, nothing beats watching this erotic trio in the company of strangers. And then there is the beat of Bauhaus's gothic dub "Bela Lugosi's Dead." Are you feeling me? This is the 1980s in a state that's close to perfection. CM (Central Cinema)

Labyrinth It's the film that introduced the public to the yet-to-be-fully- dismissed theory that David Bowie is, in fact, a Jim Henson creation. (Central Cinema)


Jan 3–9

Midnight Family Both responding to a social need and out to make a buck, extralegal ambulance companies are essential in Mexico City, which only has 45 official ambulances. The Ochoa family strives to serve patients and stay afloat in the face of a corrupt police force. (Northwest Film Forum)


Opening Fri Jan 10

The Informer A disgraced Special Ops soldier is forced to go undercover to take down a New York crime boss. (Wide release)

Like a Boss Two best friends who run a beauty company (Rose Byrne and Tiffany Haddish) are suddenly at each other's throats when a corporate bigwig (Salma Hayek) offers them a buyout. (Wide release)

Underwater Kristen Stewart is working on the bottom of the ocean with Vincent Cassel and friends when something very mean emerges from the abysses. (Wide release)


Jan 10–12

Varda by Agnes The important French director Agnès Varda, whose career spanned from the 1950s to the 2010s, made one last film before her death in 2019, in which she traced the course of her life and career. (SIFF Film Center)


Opening Fri Jan 17

Bad Boys for Life Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are back for a sequel. (Wide release)

Dolittle Robert Downey Jr. talks to animals. (Wide release)

The Last Full Measure This film is based on the Vietnam experiences of the heroic Airman William H. Pitsenbarger, Jr. (Wide release)


Jan 17–19

Chulas Fronteras This 1976 film, recently selected for the Library of Congress's National Film Registry, is about the music of the Texas-Mexico border. (Northwest Film Forum)


Jan 17–22

Sundance

2019 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour This annual film tour of abbreviated features includes the best of the best out of Sundance, all gathered together in one place for your viewing convenience. The seven 2019 films in the 96-minute theatrical program include the awkward yet sweet romance of Sometimes I Think About Dying, whose painfully introverted protagonist goes from wondering how corpse flies might feel walking around on her dead skin ("like a billion tiny massages?") to thinking about the thread count of her colleague's sheets; Muteum, a charming animated short from Estonia about a visit to the museum that takes a funny turn; and Short Film Special Jury Award for Directing winner Fast Horse, a doc about our country's first extreme sport, Indian Relay, where jockeys ride horses bareback and jump from one horse to another amid racing. Also screening: Suicide By Sunlight, Brotherhood, The MINORS, and Crude Oil. LP (Northwest Film Forum)


Sat Jan 18

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live: The Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour Those irrepressible connoisseurs of godawful movies, Joel, Crow T. Robot, Servo, and Gypsy, will head out on Joel's last tour promising live riffs on a cinematic stinker. (Moore Theatre)


Mon Jan 20

Asia Films: Edo Avant Garde Linda Hoaglund's art documentary reveals the creativity and boldness of Edo-era Japanese artists by filming artwork in collections around the world in 4K. (Seattle Art Museum)


Jan 22–25

Redoubt Artist Matthew Barney's experimental film, shot in the snow on Idaho's gorgeous Sawtooth Mountains, tells the mythologically resonant tale of hunters "pursuing each other and prey." (Northwest Film Forum)


Opening Fri Jan 24

The Gentlemen Guy Ritchie's latest wisecracking shoot-em-up, about a British crime lord trying to make a deal with a rich Oklahoman pot kingpin, boasts a huge cast of likelies and unlikelies: Hugh Grant (!), Henry Golding, Colin Firth, Charlie Hunnam, Matthew McConaughey, and so on. (Wide release)


Jan 24–26

Always in Season Jacqueline Olive's harrowing documentary, focusing on the hanging death of 17-year-old Lennon Lacy in 2014, makes the case that lynching is still an American "pastime." (Northwest Film Forum)


Sun Jan 26

Mamboniks This documentary reveals how, in a segregated and anti-Semitic America, Jewish dancers went crazy for Latin dance. Come early for an optional dance class plus drinks and tapas. (Stroum Jewish Community Center)


Wed Jan 29

The Upstanders: Film + Panel on Bullying Watch and discuss this documentary about what makes young people bully others. (Stroum Jewish Community Center)


Opening Fri Jan 31

The Rhythm Section In this filmization of Mark Burnell's novel, a woman discovers that the plane crash that killed her family was not an accident. (Wide release)


Jan 31–Feb 6

Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project Matt Wolf's offbeat documentary chronicles the strange habit of Marion Stokes, a wealthy former civil rights activist who recorded 70,000 hours of news on VHS over a period of 30 years. (Northwest Film Forum)


Thurs Feb 6

Ask Dr. Ruth This documentary isn't about Dr. Ruth's advice, it's about Dr. Ruth. And damn, her story is long overdue for a good documentary. She is a pioneer—and a very funny one. CB (Stroum Jewish Community Center)


Opening Fri Feb 7

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), no more the Joker's abused handmaiden, teams up with some superheroes to protect a little girl. (Wide release)


Wed Feb 12

Merely Marvelous: The Dancing Genius of Gwen Verdon The amazing Broadway and Hollywood dancer Gwen Verdon gets the documentary she deserves. (Wide release)


Opening Feb 14

The Photograph Stella Meghie's romance stars Issa Rae as a woman investigating her deceased mother's life and LaKeith Stanfield as the hot journalist she falls for. (Wide release)

Sonic the Hedgehog The blue guy from the Sega game, altered from his initial CGI form to have less creepy teeth, flees from government agents. (Wide release)


Opening Fri Feb 21

Bloodshot The nanotech superhero Bloodshot tries to distinguish reality from his corporate overlords' brainwashing in this adaptation of the popular comic. (Wide release)

The Call of the Wild Chris Sanders brings the Jack London classic to the screen. (Wide release)


Opening Fri Feb 28

Invisible Man In a loose adaptation of H.G. Wells's novel, Elizabeth Moss finds herself pursued by something she can't see—something that may just be the ghost of her abusive ex. Men: even worse when you can't see them, oddly enough. (Wide release)


Opening Fri March 6

Onward Two bored suburban elf boys, voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, set out to find magic and bring back their father in this Pixar adventure. (Wide release)