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.)
★★★ “Arctic” (PG-13; 98 minutes): Director Joe Penna’s film arrives in Seattle theaters at a time when many of us might not feel like settling in for a tale of survival against frozen elements. But Mads Mikkelsen makes this man-against-nature arm-wrestling story compelling. Full review. — Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times arts critic
★★★ “Isn’t It Romantic” (PG-13; 89 minutes): Rebel Wilson makes a funny, sardonic heroine in a movie where much of the fun is in picking out the rom-com homages. Full review. Multiple theaters. — Moira Macdonald
★★½ “Happy Death Day 2U” (PG-13; 100 minutes): The 2017 thriller “Happy Death Day” took a “Groundhog Day”-like concept — a young woman must relive the same day, over and over — and put it in service of a largely uninspired college-set horror movie. The sequel may seem unnecessary — and it is — but it actually does a bit more than just regurgitate the premise of the first film. Full review. Multiple theaters. — Pat Padua, The Washington Post
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★★ “Alita: Battle Angel” (PG-13; 122 minutes): Rosa Salazar stars as the digitally enhanced title character, a cyborg living in the post-apocalyptic Iron City. Director Robert Rodriguez brings a go-for-broke sense of world-building and wildly fantastical style that can be intoxicating, but the manga adaptation is failed by a weak script. — Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service
“Tito and the Birds” (not rated, for mature audiences; 73 minutes): The adventure plot in this Brazilian animated feature is no great shakes, but visually, the movie leaves room for the viewer to synthesize, and to dream. Combining work in oil paint with digital artistry, the film is unafraid to let brush strokes or impasto show. The plot finds the world gripped by an epidemic: A virus is paralyzing people with fear, shrinking them into blobs and eventually turning them into rocks (or so we’re told). The only cure rests in the research of an eccentric scientist, and whose son, Tito (Pedro Henrique), longs to carry on his father’s work with birds. “Tito and the Birds” is more macabre than the average cartoon, though it contains nothing that anyone familiar with Tim Burton or Roald Dahl couldn’t handle. The New York Times does not provide star ratings with reviews. In Portuguese, with English subtitles. Varsity. — Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times
★★½ “Donnybrook” (R; 101 minutes): Anchored by a quartet of fierce performances, Tim Sutton’s drama — based on a novel by Frank Bill — is an intense, visceral tone poem, a rumination on money and drugs and bloodshed as a means of making ends meet in the heartland of modern America. Jamie Bell, Frank Grillo, Margaret Qualley and James Badge Dale star. Grand Illusion. — Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service