“Beauty and the Beast,” “Personal Shopper,” “The Sense of an Ending” and “Wolves” are being released in the Seattle area the week of March 17.

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Four movies come to Seattle-area theaters on March 17. Here’s what our reviewers thought of them.

 

★★★½  “Beauty and the Beast” (PG): My skepticism about the necessity of Disney’s live-action remake of its beloved 1991 animated musical “Beauty and the Beast” lasted, oh, about 90 seconds. The new film’s opening moments include a giant 3D red rose that seemed on the verge of beautifully devouring the audience, the irresistible spectacle of Dan Stevens’ Prince (pre-Beast) sprawled louchely on a gleaming throne as throngs of exquisitely gowned women whirl on a dance floor, and the glorious gilded-bird trill of Audra McDonald’s operatic soprano. It was gorgeous, it was over-the-top to the point of absurdity — and just like that, I was all in. Full review.

— Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times arts critic

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★★★  “Personal Shopper” (R): It’s hard to be sure exactly what’s happening in Olivier Assayas’ elusive, shadowy drama — and that is, of course, the point. Kristen Stewart (so good in Assayas’ previous film, “Clouds of Sils Maria”) plays a young American in Paris whose habitual quiet masks a terrible loss — the recent death of her twin brother. She works as a personal shopper to a celebrity (Nora von Waldstätten), spending her days dutifully schlepping garment bags and choosing belts and purses. When night falls, her attention turns to her true avocation: as a “ghost whisperer.” Full review.

— Moira Macdonald

 

★★★  “The Sense of an Ending” (PG-13): This adaptation of Julian Barnes’ Booker Prize-winning novel, directed by Ritesh Batra (who made the lovely, gentle 2014 drama “The Lunchbox”), has an appealing quality of floating. Watching it, we slip back and forth in a 60-ish Englishman’s memories, watching them through his eyes. By his own reckoning, Tony (Jim Broadbent) has lived an unremarkable life. One day, the calm waters are disturbed by an official-looking letter: He’s been left a small inheritance by a woman he met only once. Full review.

— Moira Macdonald

 

“Wolves” (R): For two-thirds of the way, this is a decent high-school sports movie, thanks to actors (Taylor John Smith, Michael Shannon, Carla Gugino, Zazie Beetz) who are committed to its somewhat formulaic characters. But then it’s as if Bart Freundlich, who wrote and directed, loses confidence in the performances and decides he’d better throw in every cliché in the genre. Full review. (The New York Times does not provide star ratings with reviews.)

— Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times