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 Bookshop” (PG; 113 minutes): If you love films that involve bookstores, English villages, 1950s fashions and Bill Nighy having wistful realizations — well, my friend, have we got a movie for you. Full review. SIFF Cinema Uptown. — Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times arts critic
★★★½ “Searching” (PG-13; 102 minutes): This pleasantly gimmicky movie — pieced together via text messages, Skype calls and other online interactions — gets its power from something that isn’t a gimmick at all: an actor’s ability to simply and movingly tell a story. It’s a great showcase for John Cho, as a father desperately searching for his daughter. Full review. Multiple theaters. — Moira Macdonald
★★★”Juliet, Naked” (R; 98 minutes): Based, somewhat loosely, on Nick Hornby’s charming novel, director Jesse Peretz’s romantic comedy is basically what would happen if you put “Almost Famous” and “You’ve Got Mail” in a blender and then poured the contents out in a picturesque English seaside town. Rose Byrne, Chris O’Dowd and Ethan Hawke star. Full review. Multiple theaters. — Moira Macdonald
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★★★ “The Little Stranger” (R; 111 minutes): It’s a haunted-house movie, but not one with cheap scares. In fact there are few scares at all — it’s mostly just an atmosphere of lingering, musty dread — and horror-movie fans should be warned that it’s all quite subtle. But it’s haunting, in its quiet way. Full review. Multiple theaters. — Moira Macdonald
★★★ “Operation Finale” (PG-13; 126 minutes): Conversations with evil lie at the core of director Chris Weitz’s well-made spy thriller, a dramatization of the hunt for and capture of Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley) by Israeli undercover operatives in Argentina in May of 1960. Full review. Multiple theaters. — Soren Andersen, Special to The Seattle Times
1 Reel Film Festival: Now in its 23rd year, the fest, which emphasizes short works made locally and around the world, unspools at Bumbershoot Friday through Sunday, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, at the SIFF Film Center, Seattle Center. This year’s offerings, curated by the Seattle International Film Festival, are divided into six packages: “Films4Families,” “Local Melange” (films that show the history and spirit of Washington state), “SIFF 2018 Audience Award Winners,” “SIFF 2018 Jury Award Winners,” “Fly Films” (shorts on visual arts, fingernail painting and more) and “Sonic Shorts” (music videos). For more information and a full schedule, go to siff.net. A Bumbershoot ticket is required to see the film programs.
“Big Brother” (not rated; 101 minutes): Martial-arts legend Donnie Yen stars as a former soldier recruited for his toughest mission yet — teaching a class of teen delinquents. In Cantonese, with English and Chinese subtitles. Pacific Place.
“Kin” (PG-13; 102 minutes): This dark and confounding young-adult thriller follows a 14-year-old boy (Myles Truitt) as he goes on the lam with his adopted ex-con brother (Jack Reynor). In pursuit is a psychopathic drug dealer (James Franco) out for vengeance and a pair of futuristic soldiers on a mission to repossess a mysterious gun that the boy found in an abandoned building. The violence in the film’s third act is shocking. It’s a devastatingly sad and terrible story about two brothers who make bad choices and suffer the consequences. Multiple theaters. — Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service
“Love, Cecil” (not rated; 98 minutes): Was Cecil Beaton — the photographer, artist, diarist and theatrical designer — the last dandy? This documentary, directed with energy and affection by Lisa Immordino Vreeland and narrated by Rupert Everett, doesn’t grapple with that question, and doesn’t have to; almost 40 years after Beaton’s 1980 death at age 76, no aesthete has come close to duplicating his output or his impact. In addition to spectacular still images of his portfolio, the film includes clips from the classic films “Gigi” and “My Fair Lady,” which Beaton art-directed. Vreeland was wise to display Beaton’s art so generously. The New York Times does not provide star ratings with reviews. Northwest Film Forum, through Thursday. — Glenn Kenny, The New York Times
“Skate Kitchen” (R; 100 minutes): A teenager (Rachelle Vinberg) secretly treks out to Manhattan to check out a skateboarding session for girls and quickly makes some friends. The group she falls in with is diverse, tough, funny. “Skate Kitchen” is not a movie that’s interested in building up a whole lot of narrative momentum. More weight is given to the characters and their environment, both of which director Crystal Moselle’s camera practically luxuriates in. SIFF Cinema Uptown. — Glenn Kenny, The New York Times