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.)
“2020 Oscar Nominated Shorts” (not rated; animated program, 83 minutes, equivalent of PG-13; live-action program, 104 minutes, equivalent of R): “Melancholy” is the word that best describes most of the Oscar-nominated animated and live-action shorts Academy voters have to choose from this year. But there are some sweet ones, too. Full review. SIFF Cinema Uptown. — Tom Keogh, Special to The Seattle Times
“Cunningham” (PG; 93 minutes): Alla Kovgan’s 3D documentary on Merce Cummingham — the revolutionary choreographer and Centralia-born alum of Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts — is a visual wonder that’s involving from start to finish. (The Los Angeles Times does not provide star ratings with reviews.) Full review. SIFF Cinema Uptown. — Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
★½ “The Rhythm Section” (R; 109 minutes): “Not very good” is a very charitable description of Reed Morano’s oddly paced revenge thriller. You watch wondering what good actors like Blake Lively, Jude Law, Raza Jeffrey and Sterling K. Brown saw in the muddy screenplay. Full review. Multiple theaters. — Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times arts critic
“Citizen K” (not rated, for mature audiences; 126 minutes): Russian oligarch Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, who became a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin and is now seen as a reformist voice, is profiled by Alex Gibney. The documentary has long, engaging stretches, but there is something slightly unsatisfying about the whole. (The New York Times does not provide star ratings with reviews.) In English and Russian, with subtitles. Full review. Grand Illusion. — Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times
“Gretel & Hansel” (PG-13; 87 minutes): A girl (played by Sophia Lillis) and her younger brother (Sammy Leakey) stumble upon the house of an evil witch in the dark woods. Multiple theaters.
“Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project” (not rated, for mature audiences; 87 minutes): Director Matt Wolf’s documentary delves into the life of a woman who, for more than 30 years, obsessively and privately recorded American television news 24 hours a day. Filling 70,000 VHS tapes and capturing wars, triumphs, catastrophes and more, she sought to protect the truth by archiving everything. Northwest Film Forum.