Here are snapshots of what our reviewers thought of the movies opening this week in the Seattle area. (Star ratings are granted on a scale of zero to four.)
★★★★ “Amazing Grace” (G; 89 minutes): What a gift this movie is. The concert documentary puts us in a room where something magical happened: Over two days at Los Angeles’ New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in 1972, Aretha Franklin recorded the legendary gospel album “Amazing Grace,” her voice floating with notes that dangle like dewdrops, and soaring crescendos that the vast room can barely hold. SIFF Cinema Egyptian. Full review. — Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times arts critic
★★½ “Little” (PG-13): Marsai Martin, who at age 10 came up with and pitched the idea for this movie (she’s now 14), carries the body-switching comedy on her small, resolute shoulders. Regina Hall co-stars. Full review. Multiple theaters.
★★½ “Missing Link” (PG; 94 minutes): Unlike “Coraline” and “Kubo and the Two Strings,” movies tinged with darkness and mystery, the stop-motion animation studio Laika has gone brighter and simpler with director Chris Butler’s Sasquatch adventure. Full review. Multiple theaters. — Soren Andersen, Special to The Seattle Times
★★ “Hellboy” (R; 120 minutes): Fans of the comic book should be pleased at the depth and breadth of the lore in this reboot, with David Harbour taking over the lead role. But those who are less familiar with the Hellboy canon might be overwhelmed. You don’t so much as watch this movie as submit to being pummeled by it. Full review. Multiple theaters. — Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service
“High Life” (R; 113 minutes): Robert Pattinson stars in Claire Denis’ art-house space odyssey. The story — a dying ship, a doomed crew and a deranged experiment — may sound like the stuff of “Alien” and countless gory imitators, but rarely have you seen these elements reconfigured with such an exquisite commingling of tenderness and brutality. (The Los Angeles Times does not provide star ratings with reviews.) Full review. Multiple theaters. — Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
★★★½ “The Brink” (not rated, for mature audiences; 91 minutes): “Know thine enemy.” It’s an aphorism that may come to mind for a viewer of a certain political tendency while watching Alison Klayman’s engrossing documentary about conservative operative and former Trump Svengali Steve Bannon. It’s at least a justification for watching this portrait, which is as troubling as it is revealing about the man, who seems hellbent on disrupting the establishment by mobilizing white working-class voters through dog-whistle identity politics. But one has to question Bannon’s motivation. Is it wealth? Power? Anarchy? Frustratingly, it seems to be just because he can. Seattle 10. — Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service
“Ruben Brandt, Collector” (R; 96 minutes): Milorad Krstic’s film is a curiosity that wants to be more than that. The conceit is rather ingenious: to use a graphically inventive style of animation to manufacture a caper involving the theft of famous paintings. A psychiatrist (voiced by Ivan Kamara) dreams that figures in paintings come to life and attack him, and a group of his patients try to cure him by stealing the works in question. At shorter length, with a less cluttered story, the film might have been a small masterpiece instead of a minor diversion. (The New York Times does not provide star ratings with reviews.) In English and Hungarian, with subtitles. Grand Illusion. — A.O. Scott, The New York Times
“A Dark Place” (not rated, for mature audiences; 89 minutes): When a young boy goes missing in a sleepy backwoods town, a local sanitation-truck driver (Andrew Scott) plays detective. Varsity.
“After” (PG-13; 106 minutes): A young woman (Josephine Langford) falls for a brooding rebel (Hero Fiennes Tiffin) who makes her question all she thought she knew about herself. Multiple theaters.
“Long Day’s Journey Into Night” (not rated, for mature audiences; 133 minutes): A man searches for a mysterious woman he has never been able to forget. In Mandarin, with English subtitles. SIFF Cinema Uptown.
“Mary Magdalene” (R; 120 minutes): Rooney Mara portrays the title character, who follows Jesus of Nazareth (Joaquin Phoenix) all the way to the Resurrection in director Garth Davis’ biblical drama. Varsity.
“Master Z: Ip Man Legacy” (not rated, for mature audiences; 107 minutes): A martial-arts expert tries to lead a normal life in Hong Kong until triad leaders draw him back into fighting. Jin Zhang, Dave Bautista and Michelle Yeoh star. In English, Cantonese and Mandarin, with subtitles. Multiple theaters.