★★ (out of four) “Don’t Worry Darling” (R; 122 minutes): There’s a sense of “look at me, look at this.” Points are made, then underlined, then hammered into the ground. There’s a “Twilight Zone” quality here. Actually, it’s more of a “Stepford Wives” vibe. Compliant wives. Fixed smiles. We’ve seen this sort of thing before. There’s a “Twilight Zone” quality here. Actually, it’s more of a “Stepford Wives” vibe. Compliant wives. Fixed smiles. We’ve seen this sort of thing before. There’s nothing original in the movie. Full review here. Multiple theaters. — Soren Andersen, special to The Seattle Times
★★★ “Blonde” (NC-17; 166 minutes): “Blonde” isn’t a Marilyn Monroe biopic, not in a familiar sense. It is not chronological, nor an attempt at a complete account. Most crucially, it’s not factual — it’s based on a novel, “Blonde” by Joyce Carol Oates. What “Blonde” IS is ambitious. Far-reaching, at times perhaps too far. And frequently gorgeous, especially in expertly rendered scenes of old-fashioned Hollywood glitz, mainly in black-and-white. But the thornier question involves the fine line between displaying the horrific exploitation of a character, and contributing to that exploitation. If it was Marilyn that initially saved Norma Jeane, the real person underneath, director Andrew Dominik is saying, it was also Marilyn that overwhelmed her, suffocated her and probably killed her. Full review here. Crest Cinema. — Jocelyn Noveck, The Associated Press
★★★★ “Catherine Called Birdy” (PG-13; 108 minutes): “Catherine Called Birdy” is Dunham’s best writing and directing work yet; it’s an easy breezy, emotional good time, and an instant teen classic, just like its predecessor, “Clueless.” With her two excellent 2022 films, including “Sharp Stick,” it’s clear that, even in a post-“Girls” world, Dunham will never be done inspecting the inner lives of girls, in all their playful, pragmatic and poignant complexities. Full review here. Lincoln Square Cinemas, Crest Cinemas. — Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service
★★★ “Funny Pages” (R; 86 minutes): Pick your mentors carefully: Without any overt lectures or lesson plans for the audience, that’s the ink- and blood-stained takeaway in “Funny Pages,” a bracingly harsh coming-of-age comedy from a debut feature filmmaker. The movie’s a little thin; it’s also on the glib side regarding what qualifies as something deeper than a crummy anti-social attitude. But “Funny Pages” does many things right, many of those things mixing pain and misery with the humor of pain and the punchlines of misery. Full review here. Grand Cinema — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
“Give Me Five” (not rated; 112 minutes; in Mandarin, with subtitles): In order to retrieve the memory of his father suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, Xiao Wu returns to his former house to look for clues, but his plan is disrupted by an accident. Meridian 16.
“On the Come Up” (PG-13; 115 minutes): Blurb. Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Facing controversies and with an eviction notice staring down her family, Bri doesn’t just want to make it, she has to make it. Southcenter 16.
“The Railway Children Return” (PG; 95 minutes): A group of children is evacuated to a Yorkshire village during the Second World War, where they encounter a young soldier who, like them, is far away from home. Multiple theaters.
★★★ “Sidney” (PG-13; 112 minutes): Sidney Poitier’s rise from that humble origin to become an Oscar-winning box office draw and civil rights figure who remade Hollywood seems almost scripted, almost too good to be true, but such was Poitier, a life well lived. The new documentary “Sidney” respectfully traces that life, delivering a portrait of a striver hoping to improve everything he did every day. It glows with respect for a man who earned it. Full review here. SIFF Cinema Uptown. — Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press