Wildlife

MEANS WE RECOMMEND IT. Theater locations are accurate Friday-Thursday, unless otherwise noted. Movie times are updated daily and are available here.

recommended All-Night Horror Marathon
The unknown is literally a scary thing tonight—or rather, it’s four scary things. If you wanna know what horror classics from the 1970s and ’80s are getting screened in 35mm tonight, you’ll have to enter the Hollywood Theatre first in order to discover what bloody treasures await you... alongside the more mundane treasures of pizza, beer, and coffee. (Sat Oct 27, Hollywood Theatre)

Anna and the Apocalypse
A musical set in a high school when it’s Christmas and also when there’s a zombie outbreak. That certainly checks off all the boxes for somebody out there. (Fri Oct 26, NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium)

Beautiful Boy
I’ve never been a parent or a junkie (yet!), but I found a lot that resonated in Beautiful Boy, a low-key film based on a pair of interconnected memoirs from father and son David and Nicolas Sheff. Even during its most sentimental moments, it lets the viewer decide how to feel. NED LANNAMANN (Now playing, various theaters)

recommended Beetlejuice
For its 30th anniversary, the Hollywood Theatre presents the Tim Burton classic in 35mm... and on Halloween, it’ll be preceded by tarot readings and followed by a LIVE SÉANCE! Betelgeuse would approve. (Tues Oct 30-Wed Oct 31, Hollywood Theatre)

Bohemian Rhapsody
See review. (Opens Fri Nov 2, various theaters)

Can You Ever Forgive Me?
In Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Melissa McCarthy stars as real-life best-selling biographer Lee Israel. But this isn’t a life of literary glitz and glamour that you're imagining after such a juicy introductory sentence! After falling on hard biographer times, Israel turned to a life of writerly crimes, forging letters from long-dead authors to make just enough cash to pay her rent, take her cat to the vet, and aggressively drink. This all sounds sad, I know, but there’s warmth underneath, thanks to Israel’s friendship with the charming, equally self-destructive Jack Hock (Richard E. Grant). McCarthy, who’s made a career of portraying loud women, is a different kind of jerk here—a real person who lashes out not for laughs, but because life is hard and she knows she’s making bad choices. ELINOR JONES (Opens Fri Nov 2, various theaters)

recommended Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s new Netflix series based on his graphic novels works on a number of levels, including as a sneaky parody of organized religion, a soapy teen drama, and a horror enthusiast’s wet dream—but primarily it’s entertaining, dark, and blisteringly pro-feminist. Half-human/half-witch Sabrina (an excellent Kiernan Shipa) is torn between her mortal friends and her Satan-worshipping coven, and yet she still speaks loudly and clearly whenever her sense of self is threatened by men or any other patriarchy-adjacent group. While her confidence is enthralling, it’s also used against her in later episodes, showing the diabolical lengths society will take in order to keep centuries-old systems in place—and this is what makes Chilling Adventures of Sabrina such a groundbreaking work. It also has great writing, fantastic acting, and it’s fun and creepy as fuck. I can’t wait for season two. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY (Streams Fri Oct 26, Netflix)

Collide-O-Scope Halloween
A Halloween-themed installment of Collide-O-Scope, the half video art installation and half stoner gawkfest created by Michael Anderson and Shane Wahlund, Seattle men who bonded over a love of oddball video—news bloopers, educational films, B-movie gems—then joined forces to bring the treasures of their exploration to the public. DAVID SCHMADER (Mon Oct 29, Hollywood Theatre)

Dracula: Dead and Loving It
Mel Brooks made some phenomenal and groundbreaking comedies! This is not one of them. (Sun Oct 28, Hollywood Theatre)

First Man
The space stuff is great. When La La Land director Damien Chazelle’s biopic about Neil Armstrong focuses on NASA’s insanely ambitious and dangerous plan to put a man on the moon, it thrums with thrill and threat. Ryan Gosling offers an excellent turn as Armstrong, but even Gosling can’t liven up the story’s more pedestrian elements. ERIK HENRIKSEN (Now playing, various theaters)

The Fog
A digital restoration of John Carpenter’s 1980 movie about... fog. It’s creepier than it sounds? (Fri Oct 26, Hollywood Theatre)

From Beyond
Stuart Gordon’s Lovecraftian story from 1986, about scientists who meddle with powers beyond their comprehension and... you see where this is going. C’MON, SCIENTISTS. STOP MEDDLING. (Fri Oct 26-Thurs Nov 1, Academy Theater)

The Great Buster: A Celebration
Peter Bogdanovich ventures into the Buster Keaton archives to pay tribute to the filmmaker—and also talks to everyone from Werner Herzog to Quentin Tarantino to Johnny Knoxville about Keaton's work and influence. (Opens Fri Nov 2, Fox Tower 10)

Halloween
Watching the original Halloween in 2018, it can be hard to appreciate exactly what was so scary about it in 1978. We’ve seen so many derivations of it and we’ve seen it referenced, analyzed, parodied, and homaged so many times that going back to the source is bound to be a little anti-climactic. It certainly was for me, a guy who had not yet been born in 1978. John Carpenter’s Halloween wasn’t the goriest, the trashiest, or the kitschiest. Yet it essentially spawned an entire genre: the slasher film. And here we are in 2018, still making Halloween movies. Or at least, David Gordon Green and Danny McBride have made a Halloween movie. It’s an unlikely combination of content and creator, but an intriguing one. Also see “The ‘North Carolina Mafia’ Do Horror: Danny McBride Explains How He Ended Up Writing Halloween” (Movies & TV, Oct 11). VINCE MANCINI (Now playing, various theaters)

The Hate U Give
Compared to Angie Thomas’ YA novel, this adaptation of The Hate U Give has a decidedly “edutainment” bent. The story—about the activism of Starr (Amandla Stenberg), a young Black woman, after she witnesses the shooting of her childhood friend by a police officer—feels co-opted, and Starr, as she mourns, is subjected to a series of teaching moments. One of the film’s most ??!? moments involves a monologue Starr’s Uncle Carlos (Common) delivers from a policeman’s point of view. The whole affair feels aimed at non-Black viewers who have only just started paying attention to the struggle Black people face, and who have never needed to have a talk with their parents about how to survive a routine traffic stop. SUZETTE SMITH (Now playing, various theaters)

Hunter Killer
See review. (Now playing, various theaters)

Johnny English Strikes Again
Mr.-Bean-as-James-Bond is not the lousiest idea in cinematic history, but Rowan Atkinson’s dim-bulb secret agent is showing real wear and tear in this third and entirely unnecessary installment. While Atkinson is as pleasant a screen presence as ever, and everything here is as comfortingly congenial as a warm cup of cocoa, Johnny English Strikes Back only just makes the bare minimum of qualifying as a “movie.” NED LANNAMANN (Opens Fri Oct 26, various theaters)

Johnny English Strikes Again
Mr.-Bean-as-James-Bond is not the lousiest idea in cinematic history, but Rowan Atkinson’s dim-bulb secret agent is showing real wear and tear in this third and entirely unnecessary installment. While Atkinson is as pleasant a screen presence as ever, and everything here is as comfortingly congenial as a warm cup of cocoa, Johnny English Strikes Back only just makes the bare minimum of qualifying as a “movie.” NED LANNAMANN (Opens Fri Oct 26, various theaters)

London Fields
See review. (Now playing, various theaters)


Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.
Steve Loveridge’s long-awaited documentary on M.I.A. charts the controversial artist’s “rise” from living on a council estate in London to dominating the international music stage to becoming a maligned political figure in pop culture. Relying on a mixture of media footage and extensive home videos that she shot herself over the past 20 years, Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. makes it clear that the rapper struggles to reconcile her expansive and contradictory history, exploring what happens when a pop star embraces the complexity of what it means to be a person, a woman, an immigrant, a mother, a refugee, and an outsider that the world isn’t quite ready for. If the documentary is unsatisfying, it’s because it gives us no definite answers about identity, about a reconciliation of self, about how to live in this world as many contradictions, belonging everywhere and nowhere. JASMYNE KEIMIG (Fri Oct 26-Mon Oct 29, NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium)

recommended Mid90s
See review. (Opens Fri Oct 26, various theaters)

Mondo Trasho: Scream Blacula Scream
A “newly appointed voodoo queen” (Pam Grier) faces off against a vampire prince, a “spurned voodoo priest,” and a racist sheriff in this 1973 Blaxploitation film. (Fri Oct 26, Hollywood Theatre)

A Nightmare on Elm Street
1984’s pop horror flick, starring Johnny Depp before Johnny Depp became the world’s most irritating human. (Fri Oct 26-Thurs Nov 1, Academy Theater)

Nobody’s Fool
The latest from Tyler Perry, starring Tiffany Haddish. Not screened for critics. (Opens Fri Nov 2, various theaters)

recommended The Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival
The time of year when the Pacific Northwest’s gorgeous wilderness can be explored has ended. All those places are now underwater. So what else is this area of the country good for? That’s easy: We have a ton of independent filmmakers making good films! Now in its 45th year, the Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival boasts shorts, documentaries, and features, and kicks off with the John Hughes-inspired My Summer as a Goth, from Portland filmmakers Tara Johnson-Medinger and Brandon Lee Roberts. It’s a likeable film, despite its awkward pacing and its teen characters’ extremely... teenagery performances. Joey (Natalie Shershow), a 16-year-old girl with wacky grandparents who’s mourning the loss of her father, meets a tall goth stranger (Jack Levis) and sets off on a journey/makeover of black hair dye and white face powder, all against a backdrop of recognizable Portland haunts. More at nwfilm.org. SUZETTE SMITH (Wed Oct 31-Mon Nov 5, NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium)

recommended Not Sorry: Feminist Experimental Film from the 1970s to Today
“Experimental film is a kind of haven for marginalized groups that need an alternative way to express themselves,” says Mia Ferm, the education program manager at the NW Film Center. “But some people, when presenting the history of this work, are like, ‘Oh, I just show some Stan Brakhage and call it a day.’” Each Sunday this month, the Film Center is providing an alternative to that narrow view with the series Not Sorry: Feminist Experimental Film from the 1970s to Today. ROBERT HAM (Through Sun Oct 28, NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium)

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
See review. (Opens Fri Nov 2, various theaters)

The Oath
The Oath’s titular agreement is a document that the film’s fictional authoritarian president has asked all Americans to sign by the day after Thanksgiving... a request that’s accompanied by veiled threats. While its very of-the-moment message—recognizing the dangers of authoritarian rule without falling victim to it emotionally—is a must-hear, The Oath doesn’t work as a comedy... even a dark one. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY (Now playing, various theaters)

recommended The Old Man and the Gun
Based on a true story, the latest from David Lowery (Aint Them Bodies Saints, A Ghost Story, and the 2016’s under-appreciated Pete’s Dragon) reteams the filmmaker with Robert Redford, who plays Forrest Tucker, the charming leader of a trio of geriatric bank robbers. Watching Redford have this much fun is, as always, a goddamn delight. ERIK HENRIKSEN (Now playing, various theaters)

The Other Side of the Wind
See review. (Streams on Netflix Fri Nov 2, plays at Hollywood Theatre Sat Nov 3)

recommended PDX Native Film Night
The “PDX” is short for “Pretty Damn X-traordinary” at this free showcase of short films by Indigenous filmmakers. The night also features a screening of PBS’ documentary Nature to Nations and a panel discussion, and aims to share “the diversity of Native peoples, perspectives, and stories from across the Northern Continent.” More at hollywoodtheatre.org. (Thurs Nov 1, Hollywood Theatre)

recommended Pipe Organ Pictures: The Phantom of the Opera
1925’s silent classic starring Lon Chaney and featuring live organ accompaniment by Martin Ellis. (Sat Oct 27, Hollywood Theatre)

Portland Film Festival
In past years, this weeklong festival’s programming has overflowed with generic, forgettable indies and awkward vanity projects; this year, festival organizers are promising over 150 films (including “more than 35 films from local filmmakers”), along with their usual workshops and networking events. More at portlandfilmfestival.com. (Through Wed Oct 28, Custom Blocks)

recommended The Quay Brothers
Christopher Nolan’s short documentary about stop-motion animators Stephen and Timothy Quay screens on 35mm, along with a Nolan-curated selection of the Quays’ films In Absentia (2000), The Comb (1991), and Street of Crocodiles (1986). (Fri Nov 2-Sun Nov 4, Fifth Avenue Cinema)

A Star Is Born
I’d hoped this new version of A Star Is Born would somehow challenge the destructive narrative that a woman is worthless until a man deems her worthy of love, validation, success, or fame. Hahah, nope! CIARA DOLAN (Now playing, various theaters)

Suspiria
See review. (Now playing, various theaters)

Wildlife
The past year has offered a couple of big surprises from actors-turned-directors; Jonah Hill's excellent work on Mid90s was almost as unexpected as Jon Krasinski's phenomenal A Quiet Place. Now comes Wildlife, based on the Richard Ford novel and directed by actor Paul Dano, and it's... well, let's just say it's no Mid90s or A Quiet Place. That's not to say Wildlife is bad, necessarily, as it carefully, patiently tells the story of Jeanette (Carey Mulligan) as she deals with an unpredictable husband (Jake Gyllenhaal) and an earnest son (Joe Brinson). Dano proves adept at capturing the story's setting, in chilly 1960 Montana, and just about every shot from cinematographer Diego García is beautiful. But the whole thing feels deflated and streeeeetched, with the story just kind of laying there—it all plays out about how you'd expect, and even watching Mulligan and Gyllenhaal carefully, skillfully reveal different facets of their characters isn't enough to make Wildlife feel alive. ERIK HENRIKSEN (Opens Fri Nov 2, various theaters)