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 “Us” (R; 116 minutes): Two immediate things about Jordan Peele’s scary-as-hell “Get Out” follow-up: 1) If you love thoughtful horror films and don’t know much about this one, stop reading and get to the theater right now; this is one of those movies that you should allow to surprise you. 2) Lupita Nyong’o’s performance is … wow. Full review. Multiple theaters. — Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times arts critic
★★★½ “Gloria Bell” (R; 102 minutes): Julianne Moore lets us see, through her quietly shining performance, that her character, a middle-age divorcée, believes in love, in the way an old song can make you feel a little younger, and in the power of dressing up and hitting a dance floor by yourself, letting the music take you to a better place. Full review. Multiple theaters. — Moira Macdonald
★★★ “The Hummingbird Project” (R; 111 minutes): Kim Nguyen’s thriller — starring Jesse Eisenberg, Alexander Skarsgård and Salma Hayek — offers cogent, though complicated, commentary on the way unbridled avarice powers the search for even the smallest advantage in the cutthroat world of high finance. Full review. Multiple theaters. — Soren Andersen, Special to The Seattle Times
★★½ “Dragged Across Concrete” (R; 158 minutes): Writer-director S. Craig Zahler manages to coax out of Mel Gibson one of the actor’s best performances in years. Gibson plays Brett Ridgeman, a detective who, with his partner, Anthony (Vince Vaughn), is suspended after a video circulates that shows them using excessive force during a drug bust. Forced to turn in his badge, Brett struggles to provide for his family. Embittered, he persuades Anthony, who just bought his girlfriend an expensive engagement ring, to participate in a scheme to steal money from drug dealers. This isn’t as easy as he makes it sound, and this is no ordinary crime drama. What makes “Concrete” so strange — and, at times, frustrating — are its unexpected plot turns: seeming detours that inevitably lead us straight back to the story’s dark heart. Varsity. — Pat Padua, The Washington Post
“Out of Blue” (not rated, for mature audiences; 109 minutes): The murder of a leading astrophysicist and black-hole expert draws a detective (Patricia Clarkson) into an even larger mystery: the nature of the universe itself — and cosmic secrets that may hold the key to unraveling the crime. Varsity.
Seattle Jewish Film Festival: The documentary “Leonard Bernstein: Larger Than Life” will be featured at a centerpiece screening at the festival on March 31. Showcasing dozens of films at locations around Seattle and the Eastside, the festival runs from March 23-31 and April 6-7. For a preview, click here.