ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD
Mere weeks away from the release of All the Money in the World, director Ridley Scott decided to erase every trace of Kevin Spacey from his movie following disturbing allegations of that actor’s sexual assault and harassment. Scott quickly re-filmed large sections with Christopher Plummer, who replaced Spacey in the role of J. Paul Getty, founder of Getty Oil and one of the richest men of the 20th century. I can see why Scott went to such extremes: He knew he was sitting on top of a taut, exciting thriller about the 1973 Italian kidnapping of Getty’s grandson, John Paul Getty III, and damned if he was gonna let Spacey torpedo it. That Scott pulled off the switcheroo relatively seamlessly is an achievement unto itself; that All the Money in the World works on its own merits is another altogether. NED LANNAMANN Various Theaters.
In 1980, Ken Russell adapted Paddy Chayevsky's novel about a man who believes you can access other states of consciousness via flotation tank. Here in 21st century Portland, you can pay someone $30 an hour to do this so you don't stress out about rising rents or whatever. But back in 1980, William Hurt would do this and physiologically devolve into freaky lumps of "what-in-the-living-fuck-am-I-looking-at" on a semi-regular basis. And if that's not weird enough, keep an eye out for Dan Fielding from Night Court and Commandant Lassard from Police Academy. They're in here too. BOBBY ROBERTS NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium.
★ CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
There aren’t many films that can paint a picture of the extravagant turmoil of young romance without lapsing into clunky cliché. But Call Me by Your Name is such a film—and it succeeds by seamlessly juxtaposing the lush Italian countryside with the burgeoning desires and tumultuous emotions of a lovesick teen, creating a sumptuous world of dreams and romantic loss. WM.™ STEVEN HUMPHREY Fox Tower 10.
Once upon a time, children’s films had teeth and weren’t afraid to use them. As time passed, anything overtly aimed at kids got its crusts cut off, forced to assume the shape and feel of an overstuffed pillow. That is not the story of Coraline, LAIKA’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s beautifully sharp fable, which has bite strong enough to leave marks on any smart, inventive child’s imagination. BOBBY ROBERTS Academy Theater.
JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
This movie wasn’t made for me. I’m an adult, and this movie is for children. I’m also not a huge fan of Kevin Hart or the Rock, but a lot of people are—they’re very popular! Many humans whose blood runs as red as mine could find a lot to enjoy in this movie. Did this movie need to be made? No, but does any movie need to be made? Or like, hey, maybe call this something other than Jumanji, since it’s OBVIOUSLY something different (Jumanji was a board game, and now it’s a video game, and there’s barely even any animals in this thing). And doesn’t this all seem like a cynical exploitation of our nostalgia for ’80s books and ’90s movies? Sure! But if they’d called it something different, they’d have to use a different font for the posters, and it’s a good font, so why not? Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle harms no one. ELINOR JONES Various Theaters.
★ KING: A FILMED RECORD—FROM MONTGOMERY TO MEMPHIS
A digital restoration of Sidney Lumet and Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s 1970 documentary, using testimonials from well-known supporters (including James Earl Jones, Ruby Dee, and Paul Newman) to supplement the mountain of archival footage tracing the man’s arc from regional activist in the ’50s to leader of the Civil Rights movement in 1968. Clinton Street Theater.
★ LADY BIRD
Watching Lady Bird is kind of like reopening your high school yearbook for the first time in years, wincing and smiling in equal measure. Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is sweet, tragic, and sentimental, which is exactly how a coming-of-age movie should be. CIARA DOLAN Various Theaters.
After writing several wordy screenplays and a few endearingly verbose TV shows, Aaron Sorkin sits down in the director’s chair for an uneven but entertaining lark about Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), a former Olympic hopeful who puts off law school and ends up running a high-stakes underground poker game. It is every inch An Aaron Sorkin Film. Walking and talking? Earnest speeches? Social justice? Daddy issues? You bet! ERIC D. SNIDER Various Theaters.
One would think an action-thriller starring Taraji P. Henson as a devoted mom and a deadly assassin would be cause for excitement, right? One of the best actors currently working gets truckload of bullets and a bunch of bad guys to mow down! It worked for John Wick and Atomic Blonde, didn’t it? But Proud Mary is getting jack shit for marketing, and the studio isn’t screening it for anybody before it opens this Friday. Not even one of those cattle-call preview screenings where a too-small screening room is packed full of radio station contest “winners” and that one guy who snuck in a whole rotisserie chicken from Safeway and slowly eats it throughout the movie. Various Theaters.
★ THE RAID: REDEMPTION
The Raid: Redemption has a character or two, I’m sure; it has some plot, I think. But none of that matters, because in The Raid, those things are mere interludes in a nearly nonstop parade of stunning action sequences. The Raid is an action movie; it is about nothing more than action. And good action. The sort that used to be dealt by John Woo, before America ruined him. Or Tony Jaa, when he teased us with Ong Bak before going insane. Or Jackie Chan, by which I mean Drunken Master II Jackie Chan. That sort of action. ERIK HENRIKSEN Laurelhurst Theater.
★ THE RED TURTLE
A nearly perfect movie for kids (and adults) of almost any age. If you’re too young to appreciate it, you probably shouldn’t be in a movie theater, and if you’re too old to appreciate it, you probably need medical attention. MARC MOHAN NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium.
★ THE SHAPE OF WATER
Guillermo del Toro’s latest is strange, sweet, and wonderful, and easily the greatest film ever made about a mute cleaning lady who falls in love with an amphibious fish man. Also see “Guillermo del Toro Discusses the Tragedy and Delight of The Shape of Water,” Film, Dec 13. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
SIGHTED EYES/FEELING HEART
Tracy Heather Strain’s documentary on Lorraine Hansberry, writer of A Raisin in the Sun, friend of James Baldwin, and a gone-too-soon presence in the civil rights movement. Director in attendance. NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium.
★ STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
Nostalgia can only get you so far, even when wookiees are involved. While 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens succeeded in rescuing the franchise from the doldrums of its prequels, it also practiced a frustrating form of risk aversion, putting the next generation of characters through some very familiar paces. Thankfully, The Force Awakens’ thunderously hyped sequel, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, takes a much more proactive tack, fully honoring the touchstones of the series while zigging and zagging in satisfying, provocative ways. If the previous entry presented a respectably staid melding of old and new, this one wires everything up, cranks the juice, and lets her rip. It’s escapism on a grand scale—the kind of experience that reminds you why you fell in love with movies in the first place. Believe the hype, and then some. ANDREW WRIGHT Various Theaters.
STUDIO GHIBLI FILM RETROSPECTIVE
People talk about Pixar when they discuss artistic and financial dominance in the film industry, but Pixar ain't got shit on Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki's animation empire responsible for roughly 73 percentof all the world's current magic. This January, OMSI's Empirical Theater devotes its screen to Ghibli's features and little-seen animated shorts, with titles including Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky, Grave of the Fireflies, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Porco Rosso, and more. Of all the film festivals that will hit Portland in 2018, this one's gonna be hard to top for sheer value. BOBBY ROBERTS Empirical Theater.
★ MEANS WE RECOMMEND IT. Theater locations are accurate Friday, Jan 12-Thursday, Jan 18, unless otherwise noted. Movie times are updated daily and are available here.