John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum Mark Rogers

Amazing Grace
Even with Aretha Franklin’s album Amazing Grace firmly established as a classic, the movie is a staggering thing to behold, and is probably the greatest filmed document of American gospel music that has ever been captured. (Now playing, various theaters) NED LANNAMANN

Aniara
“Hell is other people,” goes the Sartre quote, a thought that gets thoroughly examined in the Swedish Aniara, a gorgeous and relentlessly bleak science-fiction film in which the sun-scarred residents of a climate-ravaged Earth board a massive spaceship to begin a “happy, new life on Mars.” Naturally, a collision promptly knocks the ship off course, sending it drifting into the infinite void. Based on Harry Martinson’s 1956 poem, and with echoes of Solaris and The Three-Body Problem, Aniara follows the doomed, miserable ship into the black abyss, where nothing really matters—but really, how’s that any different from living on Earth? For those onboard with its brutal fatalism, Aniara is remarkable—but for everyone else, here’s a reminder that Rocket Racoon and Captain Marvel are also on movie screens at the moment, exploring a cosmos that offers slightly less existential terror. (Now playing, Cinema 21) ERIK HENRIKSEN

Avengers: Endgame
If you have enjoyed the past 21 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you will probably enjoy this, the 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Especially the scene where Hulk gives Ant-Man some tacos. (Now playing, various theaters) ERIK HENRIKSEN

Casablanca
Yes, Casablanca is a bonafide classic. The name conjures up notions of prestige and film nobility. It’s the worst possible thing that could have happened to Casablanca. The movie is a classic because it’s not a stuffy, high-minded piece of cinema with a capital “C.” It’s low-budget, tossed-off studio leftovers, and that’s why its genius is so remarkable. (Fri May 10-Thurs May 16, Academy Theater) BOBBY ROBERTS

Cinema Classics: Summertime
To be clear: This is the 1955 romance starring Katharine Hepburn as an Ohio woman who gets caught up in Venice, and is not, in any way, related to the DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince classic “Summertime.” It’s not set in Philly, nobody goes to a park called the Plateau, which is where everybody goes. Guys out huntin’ and girls doin’ likewise, honkin’ at the honey in front of you with the light eyes. She turn around to see what you beepin’ at, it’s like the summer’s a natural aphrodisiac! And with a pen and pad I compose this rhyme to hit you and get you equipped for the summertime. (Sat May 11-Sun May 12, Hollywood Theatre)


Pokémon Detective Pikachu Warner Bros.

Dogman
Marcello (Marcello Fonte) has a nearly perfect life. He happily runs a dog-grooming shop in a rundown seaside village, and spends his days off scuba diving with his daughter. But this small, kind dog-lover has a big, mean problem: Simone (Edoardo Pesce), an enormous and enormously violent bully who forces Marcello into an accomplice role in his many crimes. Gomorrah director Matteo Garrone imbues this fable with dread and violence, taking the story into unpredictable and intensely suspenseful places, and Marcello’s tragic plight—he’s so good-natured that he can’t see this hulking brute as anything but his friend—is riveting and heart-rending. Plus, dogs! (Opens Fri May 10, Living Room Theaters) NED LANNAMANN

A Dog’s Journey
A tearjerker about a reincarnating dog with voice of Josh Gad. Sure! Avengers: Endgame just made $393 trillion and it stars a raccoon with the voice of Bradley Cooper, so maybe this is just what cinema looks like now? Whatever. Fuck it. (Opens Fri May 17, various theaters)

Elektro Moskva
A documentary following a small group of avant-garde rock musicians fascinated by the Space Age sounds conjured up via obsolete Soviet-era synthesizers. (Fri May 17-Sun May 19, Fifth Avenue Cinema)

Family
Isolated, work-obsessed Kate (Taylor Schilling) is forced to take care of her 11-year-old niece Maddie (Bryn Vale) during a family emergency. The twist in Laura Steinel’s formulaic comedy is that Maddie wants to be a Juggalo, and the film includes a sequence set at the Insane Clown Posse’s infamous Gathering of the Juggalos. Actually, there’s a bigger, better twist with the admittedly slender, sitcom-y Family: It’s legit hilarious, with a phenomenal supporting cast that includes Brian Tyree Henry, Kate McKinnon, Matt Walsh, and Natasha Lyonne as a Juggalette. Plus, Schilling is flat-out terrific, and the movie warmheartedly recognizes there’s more to being a Juggalo than face paint and Faygo. (Now playing, various theaters) NED LANNAMANN

Filmed by Bike
It might seem semi-ironic for a lifestyle that is literally on wheels to celebrate itself by asking cyclists to plunk themselves down in a theater seat and sit still for hours on end, but Filmed by Bike is a film fest that never stops moving—not only are the 74 selections in this year’s festival some of the most kinetic shorts, docs, and feature-length films the independent scene has to offer, but there’s also plenty of parties, themed rides, meet ’n’ greets, and more. See filmedbybike.org for a complete list of titles and showtimes. (Fri May 17-Sun May 19, Hollywood Theatre)

Hail Satan?
Like the Satanic Temple, director Penny Lane’s Hail Satan? isn’t quite what it seems: Yes, Lane’s affectionate and funny documentary does feature some pig heads getting slammed onto spikes, and yes, there are some naked writhing people. But Hail Satan? is more interested in the organization’s vision of “contemporary Satanism”—one that doesn’t include worshipping the Devil but does include progressive activism and providing a “socio-political counter-myth” in a country that’s too often characterized as a “Christian nation.” (Full disclosure: I am a member of the Satanic Temple, and I urge you to join me. But in a scary demon voice, like this: JOIN ME.) (Now playing, Cinema 21, Hollywood Theatre) ERIK HENRIKSEN

The Hustle
Ever sat down with a bag of Chex Mix and start eating, and realize that Chex Mix isn’t very good, and it just makes you thirsty and hungry for something else, but it’s better than nothing, so you eat the whole bag, and you don’t feel exactly bad after, but you don’t feel great either? That’s The Hustle, which stars Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway as two competing con-people and is a gender-swapped remake of the 1988 comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Like snack mix, you will enjoy this film on an airplane when it’s your only option. (Opens Thurs May 9, various theaters) ELINOR JONES

The Invisible Forest
Writer/director Antero Alli plays a writer/director who’s haunted by dreams about playwright Antonin Artaud, and must scour his subconscious in search of answers. Director in attendance. (Thurs May 23, Clinton Street Theater) DREW GEMMER

John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum
In the first few minutes of John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum, John Wick kills people with a library book, about fourteen zillion knives, and A HORSE. So yes, this installment is exactly as good and fun and batshit as it should be, with a bad guy (Mark Dacascos) who just wants to be John Wick's BFF, a bureaucrat known only as "The Adjudicator" (Asia Kate Dillon) who coldly lays out this world's nonsense rules (so, of course, Keanu can immediately crash and shoot and stab through them), Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, and a vision quest that may or may not be in search of... the world's very first assassin? It's not entirely clear, but it's excellent. (Opens Thurs May 16, various theaters) ERIK HENRIKSEN


Dogman Magnolia Pictures

Knock Down the House
Rachel Lears’ documentary about four women running for Congress in 2018—Las Vegas’ Amy Vilela, West Virginia’s Paula Jean Swearengin, St. Louis’ Cori Bush, and Queens’ GOAT Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—is simultaneously inspirational and sobering. Mostly inspirational, though? And, at a few points, profoundly moving? Knock Down the House’s greatest strength is in its fly-on-the-wall access to these tenacious candidates—we spend time with them everywhere from their campaign offices to their living rooms to their streets—as they offer passionate, desperately needed alternatives to the political mainstream, fighting their way into a system built to keep them out. In the case of AOC, it’s heart-stoppingly rousing to relive her victory—a triumph that jolted not only Trump’s spineless, goose-stepping Republicans but Pelosi’s ossified, cowardly Democrats. “If I was, like, a normal person, I would have dropped out of this race a long time ago,” AOC laughs early in the film, as she shlepps around a bucket of ice for her then-day job at Flats Fix bar in Union Square. She didn’t drop out, though, and thank god. Here’s hoping there are many, many more like her—and Vilela, and Bush, and Swearengin. (Now streaming, Netflix) ERIK HENRIKSEN

Long Day’s Journey Into Night
In this abstract, non-linear noir from Chinese director Bi Gan, a man wanders the city of his childhood, looking for a lost lover. The movie culminates in a nearly hour-long single take in 3D—yes, you put on the glasses midway through the movie—that feels like wandering through somebody else’s dream. It’s ravishingly pretty to look at, and almost impossible to make sense of. (Opens Fri May 10, Cinema 21) NED LANNAMANN

Long Shot
Thankfully, Long Shot isn’t another addition to the mid-2000s family of comedies where dude-bros are nagged to death into loving beautiful women. It’s maybe... 10 percent that. The other 90 percent is a reverse Pretty Woman, including lots of making out, amazing outfits, and yes, Roxette. Seth Rogen is fully competent as a funny schlub, and Charlize Theron destroys as a secretary of state and presidential hopeful, and the two of them together are—I know, this is weird—charming as hell. (Now playing, various theaters) ELINOR JONES

Lost in Translation
For relaxing times... make it Suntory time. (Mon May 20, Clinton Street Theater)

Maggie Lee’s Mommy
Maggie Lee’s experimental and internet-influenced documentary analyzing the life of her mother before and after her death. (Fri May 10-Sun May 12, Fifth Avenue Cinema)

Meeting Gorbachev
"Mikhail Sergeyevich, please allow me to explain myself," says Werner Herzog. "I am a German, and the first German that you probably met wanted to kill you." So begins Herzog's affecting documentary about Mikhail Gorbachev, built chiefly around three conversations with the former leader of the Soviet Union—a once-titanic figure who, at age 87, Herzog now describes as "a deeply lonesome man." Particularly given America's current relations with Russia, Meeting Gorbachev feels disarmingly affectionate—"Everything about Gorbachev was genuine," Herzog reflects—but the director never loses his usual clear-eyed gaze. ("Here, his home village as it looks today," Herzog narrates over drone footage of a dour rural town. "It is hard to imagine that from such a god-forsaken place in the middle of nowhere, one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century emerged.") Meeting Gorbachev also offers plenty of historical context, examining events that shaped not only the Soviet Union, but the world: Chernobyl, nuclear disarmament, perestroika and glasnost, an attempted coup, the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. (Since this is a Herzog film, there's also a sequence in which the director tells viewers how to kill garden slugs with open jars of beer. "This would attract the slugs, lovers of beer," Herzog says, "and if you were lucky, you might trap quite a number of them, up to 70 or 80.") Largely sticking to Gorbachev's accomplishments—and his belief in the benefits of governments operating, if not side-by-side, at least in concert with each other—these men largely avoid discussing the present. Some statements, though, groan under the weight of contemporary relevance: "People who don't understand the importance of cooperation and disarmament should quit politics. There should be no place for such people in politics," says Gorbachev. "But they're very much there." (Now playing, Cinema 21) ERIK HENRIKSEN


The Hustle Christian Black

The Owl’s Legacy
Chris Marker’s 13-part examination of the effects of Greek culture on modern life, and the ways in which both everything and nothing has changed in the last 2000 years. (Thurs May 7-Sun May 12, NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium)

Phoenix, Oregon
Gary Lundgren directs a murderer’s row of “that guys” (James LeGros, Jesse Borrego, Diedrich Bader, Kevin Corrigan) in this midlife crisis comedy about a group of smalltown men trying to rehab themselves by rehabbing a bowling alley and serving up the world’s greatest pizza. (Mon May 13 at Hollywood Theatre, Tues May 14 at Clinton Street Theater, Wed May 15 at Cinema 21, Thurs May 16 at NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium)

Pokémon Detective Pikachu
Detective Pikachu wears multiple hats over the course of its 104-minute runtime. Sometimes the film is a wholesome, Spielbergian coming-of-age adventure. At other points, it’s a buddy comedy teeming with self-referential, mic drop-y in-jokes, many of which are bound to fly straight over the heads of its target demographic. Or maybe you want your Pokémon movie to be science fiction with vague sociopolitical subtext? Hey, it can do that, too! More than anything, Detective Pikachu feels like Turner & Hooch on a combination of mescaline and speed. (Opens Thurs May 9, various theaters) MORGAN TROPER

Poms
Anjelica Huston shit all over this movie in an interview because she thinks “old lady cheerleaders” is a “humiliating” premise. Jacki Weaver, who is in this movie, thinks that Anjelica Huston can “go fuck herself.” Will anything in Poms be as entertaining as these two going off on each other? Probably not. (Opens Thurs May 9, various theaters)

Red Joan
A dull, floppy, and fictionalized account of the life of Melita Norwood, an Englishwoman who gave A-bomb secrets to Soviets after World War II. The virtually espionage-free Red Joan leaps haphazardly backward and forward through time, with old Joan played by Dame Judi Dench at her Dench-iest, with young Joan played by Sophie Cookson (Roxy from the Kingsman movies). Theater director Trevor Nunn doesn’t seem to have much of an eye for film, turning the story into a sub-par episode of Masterpiece. (Now playing, various theaters) NED LANNAMANN

Shadow
Once you get through the table-setting of Shadow’s first hour, the action kicks in, and the movie becomes every bit the equal of Zhang Yimou’s past triumphs Hero and House of Flying Daggers. Shadow’s breathtaking centerpiece—a rain-soaked, one-on-one duel, coupled with a stealth attack on a city—is nothing short of extraordinary. It’s pageant and poetry and ballet, except with super-sharp knives and umbrellas that kill people. Combined with the film’s grayscale palette—virtually the only other colors are flesh and blood—Shadow is something extraordinary to see. Make sure you do so on the biggest screen possible. (Opens Fri May 10, Fox Tower 10, Hollywood Theatre) NED LANNAMANN

Sonic Cinema: Stiv - No Compromise, No Regrets
A new documentary from director Danny Garcia about the life of Dead Boys frontman Stiv Bators. (Fri May 10, Hollywood Theatre)

Support The Portland Mercury

The Souvenir
Review forthcoming at portlandmercury.com. (Opens Fri May 17, various theaters)

The Sun Is Also a Star
An adaptation of the best-selling young adult novel about a quantum physics student who falls in love with an exchange student despite all her other problems, like quantum physics homework (which sucks) and, say... her family facing deportation. (Opens Fri May 17, various theaters)

Tolkien
The Tolkien family doesn’t want you to see this, and they really don’t even want this to exist at all. So now you’re probably thinking, “Oh shit, I bet that means Tolkien’s like, all fucked up on the Longbottom Leaf and gets his mast wet like a Middle-earth pimp, fuck yeah!” Firstly: Ewwww. Secondly: Tolkien was a lifelong linguistics nerd who—when not at war or parenting his children—basically spent every spare minute making up Elvish and writing stories about fuzzy-footed foodies eating multiple breakfasts a day. You’re not getting anything even close to saucy with this movie. You’re getting a boilerplate biopic with bad Lord of the Rings cosplay sprinkled in. Not screened for critics. (Opens Thurs May 9, various theaters throughout the Shire)

Trial by Fire
Trial by Fire is a the saddest movie I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It’s based on the real-life sad and depressing story of a Texas man, Cameron Todd Willingham (played here Jack O’Connell), who was sent to death row for allegedly starting the house fire that resulted in the deaths of his three young daughters. While in prison, Willingham is befriended by writer and do-gooder Elizabeth Gilbert (Laura Dern), who tries to help him with an appeal to save his life. This film hits the same outrage-with-the-system pressure points as Netflix’s Making a Murderer did a few years ago, and Making a Murderer is the only prestige series I’ve ever watched that, if given the chance, I would unsee, because it made me feel so irredeemably awful. So I want to warn the rest of you: Watching this film felt like having rocks thrown at my face. If you're ready for a gut-wrenching trip through some of the worst things around (the deaths of children, state-sanctioned murder, our failure of a justice system, Rick Perry), you can’t do better (or worse?) than this. (Now playing, various theaters) ELINOR JONES


The Souvenir A24

Trust and Amateur
Once upon the ’90s, there was a Hal Hartley film called Trust, and it was a charming, winsome, and ruthless subversion of every bit of bullshit the ’80s had just finished ramming down our throats, all wrapped in a romance between Adrienne Shelley and Martin Donovan. Imagine if Say Anything had a snottier, clove-smoking nephew. That’s Trust. Later that decade, actress Isabelle Huppert became aware of Hartley, and just knew she had to be in one of his movies. Upon their inevitably getting together, Hartley was like “How ’bout you play an ex-nun who now writes pornography, on a secret mission from the Virgin Mary herself, involving shadowy underworld authorities? Oh yeah, Martin Donovan is in this one too, I dunno, I just like that dude.” And Huppert was like, “Yeah, cool,” and then they made Amateur. True story. Films screen as a double feature in 35mm. (Fri May 17, Sun May 19, NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium) BOBBY ROBERTS

Tuca & Bertie
Despite my attempts to deny it, Broad City is seriously over. But, as usual, Netflix is right on time and here to save us from the crippling emptiness we’ve been left with. Enter Tuca & Bertie, a new animated comedy from illustrator Lisa Hanawalt (BoJack Horseman) about the friendship of two 30-year-old bird women who live in the same apartment building. Tuca and Bertie are voiced by Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong, both killer stand-up comics. This show couldn’t miss if it tried. (Now streaming, Netflix) JENNI MOORE

V for Vendetta
This 2006 blend of action and agitation has almost never gotten its proper due. Upon release, it was just an entertaining-yet-pretentious follow-up to the disappointing Matrix sequels, rumored to have been ghost-directed by writers/producers the Wachowskis. Less than a decade later, V’s iconography was so thoroughly hijacked by “anarchist” internet brats indulging in proto-Gamergate harassment tactics, that the (licensed, mass-manufactured) mask became the second-biggest marker of young male dipshittery next to the fedora. But V for Vendetta is one of modern cinema’s rarest flowers: a good adaptation of an Alan Moore comic. Even more extraordinary? It improves on the source! (Fri May 17-Thurs May 23, Academy Theater) BOBBY ROBERTS

Vagabond
The titular subject of Vagabond, Mona (Sandrine Bonnaire) is a young, wild, wolf-like drifter. Agnès Varda’s terminally cool 1985 film opens with the discovery of Mona’s body, frozen to death in a ditch, and then proceeds to trace her final months, in part through documentary-style interviews with those she has met along her journey. (Fri May 10, Hollywood Theatre) MARJORIE SKINNER

The White Crow
The story of legendary Russian dancer/defector Rudolf Nureyev as told by director/producer Ralph Fiennes, who also stars as Nureyev’s mentor Alexander Pushkin. (Opens May 17, various theaters)