“Their Finest,” “Unforgettable,” “My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea,” “The Lost City of Z,” “Born in China,” “Free Fire,” “The Promise” and “Graduation” are being released in the Seattle area the week of April 21.
Eight movies open in Seattle-area theaters during the week of April 21. Here’s what our reviewers thought of them.
★★★½ “Their Finest” (R): Screen chemistry is an odd thing; often you only notice it when it isn’t there. But this utterly charming film set in World War II-era London contains a textbook example. Gemma Arterton plays a young advertising copywriter, Sam Claflin a wry fellow screenwriter. Watching them, you start noticing how he looks at her like she’s a fascinating puzzle that he’s trying to figure out, and how she blushes just a bit when he’s around, and how effortlessly these two actors convey that they belong together. Full review.
— Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times arts critic
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★★★ “My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea” (PG-13): Dash Shaw’s wildly creative animated comedy, “My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea,” is about exactly that: As sophomore pals Dash (voiced by Jason Schwarzman) and Assaf (Reggie Watts) are preparing for a truly awesome year of working on the school-paper-that-nobody-reads, Dash stumbles upon a cover-up involving the building’s seismic safety. Just like that, the earth moves and the school begins its descent into the ocean. Full review.
— Moira Macdonald
★★★ “The Lost City of Z” (PG-13): Filmmaker James Gray’s moody, speculative tale follows real-life adventurer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who wanted to go where no European had gone before. That would be the rain forest of Amazonia, where, from 1906 onward, he journeyed again and again searching for the legendary city of the title. Full review.
— Soren Andersen, Special to The Seattle Times
★★½ “Born in China” (G): The latest installment in the Disneynature documentary series, directed by Lu Chuan and narrated by John Krasinski, gets up close and personal with some of the unique species found in China — pandas, snow leopards, cranes, Chiru antelope and golden monkeys. Full review.
★★ “Free Fire” (R): What we have here is a down and dirty picture. Which is to say its entire cast (which includes Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer) is downed in a hail of gunfire whereupon, variously and continually wounded, they spend most of the movie crawling over the filthy warehouse floor, shooting the living bejabbers out of one another. It’s all the result of a gun deal gone badly wrong. Full review.
— Soren Andersen
★★ “The Promise” (PG-13): This sprawling and handsome epic is set during the extermination of 1.5 million Armenians in Ottoman Turkey. But despite the best of intentions, the film fails to properly explain and contextualize both what led to that disgraceful episode, which Turkey to this day denies, and why it escalated as it did. Instead, “The Promise” chooses to focus on an unsympathetic love triangle (Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon) that manages to trivialize the film overall. Full review.
— Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press
★★ “Unforgettable” (R): How about a little obsessively-hairbrushing scorned wife with your popcorn? In “Unforgettable,” we have Tessa (Katherine Heigl) vs. Julia (Rosario Dawson), the sweet-natured and clearly doomed new girlfriend of Tessa’s ex-husband David (Geoff Shults). In the middle: Tessa and David’s young daughter Lily (Isabella Kai Rice). This won’t end well, will it? Full review.
— Moira Macdonald
“Graduation” (R; subtitled): Cristian Mungiu’s Romanian drama, about a father (Adrian Titieni) with a heavy investment in his daughter’s success, is long and intense — at times feeling as claustrophobic and suspenseful as a horror movie. Full review. The New York Times does not provide star ratings with reviews.