What's happening on the movie scene during the week of Feb. 9.
Here are snapshots of what our movie reviewers thought of most of the movies opening this week in the Seattle area. (Star ratings are granted on a scale of zero to four.)
★★★★ “Big Sonia” (not rated; suitable for general audiences; 93 minutes): Filmed with great respect and palpable love for its subject, this is one of those documentaries that seems to bring its own light — just like the woman at its center, 90-year-old Holocaust survivor Sonia Warshawski. Full review. SIFF Film Center. — Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times arts critic
★★★ “2018 Oscar-Nominated Short Films” (not rated, for mature audiences; animated program, 83 minutes; live-action, 99 minutes). These two showcases of Oscar-nominated short films, animated and live action, are a good and varied crop, with subjects ranging from a historic outrage in Mississippi to a Roald Dahl parody of folk tales. Full review. SIFF Cinema Uptown, Dine-in Seattle 10 (21+ only). Note: The Oscar-nominated documentary shorts, which did not screen in time for review, are showing at Dine-In Seattle 10. — Tom Keogh, Special to The Seattle Times
★★★ “The Cage Fighter” (not rated; 80 minutes): In this powerful documentary, a devoted family man from Kent struggles with an addiction to the mixed-martial-arts sport of cage fighting that sunders his marriage, devastates his kids and damages his health. Full review. Northwest Film Forum. — Soren Andersen, Special to The Seattle Times
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★½ “Fifty Shades Freed” (R; 103 minutes): There are a couple of ways to watch the final installment of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy, or any other movie from the heavy-breathing E.L. James universe devoted to the accessory-laden love story of Ana (Dakota Johnson) and mysterious Seattle gazillionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). But the only one that works for me is to see it as a comedy, in which two entertainingly clueless people toss non sequiturs at each other while wearing lovely clothes in beautiful rooms. Several theaters. Full review. — Moira Macdonald
★★★ “The Insult “ (R; 113 minutes): In director Ziad Doueiri’s provocative film, which became Lebanon’s first foreign-language Oscar contender, a minor conflict over a gutter between two ordinary men in Beirut spirals and escalates to the level of national significance with the stability of the country hanging in the balance. The rub is that one (Kamel El Basha) is a Palestinian refugee. The other (Adel Karam) is a Lebanese member of the Christian Party. Everyday offenses and clashes of egos aren’t just annoyances. In this context, they take on the weight of everyone’s history, prejudices and traumas. It’s quite a riveting and thought-provoking journey, with compelling and nuanced performances all around, and, although it is quite serious, not without moments of levity. Grand Illusion, through Thursday. — Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press
★★½ “Peter Rabbit” (PG; 93 minutes): This adaptation of “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” ups the ante significantly in the Garden Wars, pitting naughty Peter (voiced by James Corden) and his crew against the fastidious Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson). The animation technology is top-notch, but the gentle spirit of Beatrix Potter’s books is subsumed into a chaotic, violent mayhem, manically soundtracked to the day’s hits. Several theaters. — Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service
★★ “The 15:17 to Paris” (PG-13; 94 minutes): Director Clint Eastwood decided to take a leap and go further in his biographical depiction of three young Americans who tackle a man cocking an AK-47 aboard a train en route to Paris, casting the major players as themselves in this blend of documentary and narrative filmmaking. It’s a risk that doesn’t quite pay off. While the three friends do have their charms, their performances in the feature film are essentially an argument for hiring professional actors. However, the amateur performances aren’t the biggest problem. For a true-life incident that took about a minute or two, expanding the story to feature length is a stretch, and Dorothy Blyskal’s script doesn’t know where to focus. Several theaters. — Katie Walsh
“Entanglement” (not rated; 85 minutes): A man accidentally falls in love with a woman who was almost his sister in this romantic comedy/drama starring Thomas Middleditch and Jess Weixler. Gateway 8.
“Permission” (not rated; 96 minutes): Rebecca Hall and Dan Stevens play first loves who venture out of the monogamous boundaries of their relationship. Varsity.