★★ (out of four) “Fire Island” (R; 105 minutes): “Fire Island” doesn’t try to hide that it’s simply a gay, modern-day take on “Pride and Prejudice.” It’s a shame that, despite a few charming moments that show some depth, the film only offers the shallowest of dips into the ocean that is modern queer culture. Full review here. Streaming on Hulu. — Scott Greenstone, Seattle Times features staff writer
★★★ “Crimes of the Future” (R; 107 minutes): Pain is essentially a thing of the past for some in David Cronenberg’s “Crimes of the Future,” a dense, gorgeous and grotesque meditation on bodies, creation and art. It may be more mystifying than illuminating when all is said and done, but it is certainly a uniquely captivating experience with wildly imaginative creations, interesting performances, challenging ideas and one of the best scores of the year. Full review here. Multiple theaters. — Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press
“A Chiara” (R; 121 minutes; in Italian, with subtitles): In the neorealist tradition, “A Chiara” is a slice-of-life drama built around an idea and animated by a profound moral quandary. Chiara loves her family, but her drive to understand its true circumstances might cause her to lose it. She is caught between the sticky, sometimes lethal ties of blood and the impersonal, rational benevolence of the state. Full review here. (The New York Times does not provide star ratings with reviews.) Crest Cinemas. — A.O. Scott, The New York Times
“After Blue” (not rated; 127 minutes; in French, English and Polish, with subtitles): On a wild and untamed planet, a lonely teenager, Roxy, releases an assassin from the sands she was buried in. As soon as she’s free, the criminal sparks death all around, leading to Roxy and her mother being banished from their community and forced to track the murderer down. Grand Illusion Cinema.
★★★½ “Benediction” (PG-13; 137 minutes): “Benediction” isn’t the kind of biopic that lays out every detail and event of English war poet Siegfried Sassoon’s life, but rather it quilts together the major moments that made him, offering a deeply felt, poetic and profound character study. The blessing of Terence Davies’ film is the film itself, and the extraordinary grace that Davies extends toward his subject, a poet who made his pain public but had to keep his intimate life private. Alderwood Mall 16, Meridian 16. — Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service
★★★ “Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story” (PG-13; 95 minutes): Jazz Fest isn’t now and never was just about jazz. But just as the festival isn’t only about jazz, the movie — which documents the 50th-anniversary festival in 2019, before COVID shut it down for two years — also isn’t just about music. “Jazz Fest” briefly detours from a discussion of how music is woven into the fabric of New Orleans life to talk about “the best food in the world,” as one interview subject puts it. Full review here. Multiple theaters. — Michael O’Sullivan, The Washington Post
★★★ “Watcher” (R; 95 minutes): Working in the vein of ‘70s-style horror, Chloe Okuno’s “Watcher” is in dialogue with films like Roman Polanski’s “Repulsion” and “Rosemary’s Baby,” nods to Andrzej Zulawski’s “Possession” with its foreboding European setting, and features a Hitchcock blonde in heroine Julia (Maika Monroe). But those films about vulnerable women caught in voyeuristic traps were all directed by men, and with Okuno, a female writer/director, telling the story, it’s a very different result. Multiple theaters. — Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service