What’s happening on Seattle’s movie scene this week.
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.)
★★★½ “The Third Murder” (not rated, for mature audiences; 124 minutes): Hirokazu Kore-eda’s elegant, deliberate legal drama presents itself not as a whodunit, but a whydunit. We see, in its opening minutes, a murder taking place, and we see the murderer’s face in closeup. And then … well, murder is endlessly fascinating, and this one is no different. Full review. In Japanese, with English subtitles. SIFF Cinema Uptown. — Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times movie critic
★★½ “Papillon” (R; 133 minutes): The new film version — based on Henri Charrière’s 1969 best-seller and its 1973 sequel, “Banco” — is prettily assembled but a little dull. It follows two convicts (Charlie Hunnam, Rami Malek) who eventually find themselves on the notorious Devil’s Island, from which no man has ever escaped. Full review. Multiple theaters. — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
★★½ “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood” (not rated, for mature audiences; 97 minutes): Was Scotty Bowers, who had a long career as a discreet hustler and pimp to the stars, a pioneer for sexual freedom, a damaged tall-tale-teller in denial, or maybe both? “Scotty” the documentary, entertaining as it is, leaves its hero’s surface mostly unscratched. Full review. SIFF Film Center, Seattle 10 (21+). — Moira Macdonald
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“Support the Girls” (R; 90 minutes): The marvelous Regina Hall enters in a flurry of tears and exits in a blaze of glory. That hard-won triumph isn’t hers alone; she shares it with Haley Lu Richardson and Shayna McHayle, both divine as the two best friends and employees a put-upon restaurant manager could have. But the soul of this wise and wonderfully loose-limbed comedy is Hall’s no-bull star turn as Lisa, who’s spent too long running the show at Double Whammies, a crummy Texas sports bar. The Los Angeles Times does not provide star ratings with reviews. Full review. Grand Illusion, through Sept. 5. — Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
“Minding the Gap” (not rated, for mature audiences; 93 minutes): Bing Liu’s astonishing debut feature is more than a celebration of skateboarding as a sport and a subculture. With infinite sensitivity, he delves into some of the most painful and intimate details of his friends’ lives and his own. The New York Times does not provide star ratings with reviews. Full review. Northwest Film Forum. — A.O. Scott, The New York Times
“A-X-L” (PG; 100 minutes): Oliver Daly’s sci-fi adventure, about a young man (played by Alex Neustaedter) who bonds with an top-secret robotic dog created by the government, opens at multiple theaters but did not screen in advance for review.