Art and Performance

The Best Films to See in Seattle This Spring

Picks from Seattle Art and Performance
March 2, 2016
On March 31, the EMP will play Donnie Darko as part of their Campout Cinema series, where you get comfy in the Sky Church with your pillow and sleeping bag, and there is a bar and snacks like hot dogs and s’mores.

See a list of all film events in Seattle this spring on our Things To Do calendar.


recommended Mulholland Drive

Naomi Watts steals this 2001 David Lynch masterpiece that can only be referred to as "psychoerotic" noir.

Central Cinema

recommended Wim Wenders: Portraits Along the Road

This six-week film retrospective offers screenings of 12 of German filmmaker and European Film Academy president Wim Wenders's most influential films, spanning audience and genre with dramas, documentaries, and art-house favorites.

SIFF Film Center/Northwest Film Forum


recommended Glam Rock Movie Night: Velvet Goldmine

A 1998 drama about a glam rocker who fakes his own death, starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Christian Bale, and Ewan McGregor.

Central Cinema

recommended Salam Neighbor

Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci spent a month in Jordan with Syrian refugees in the making of Salam Neighbor, their new documentary that tells individual stories from some of the 81,000 inhabitants of the refugee camp Za'atari.

SIFF Film Center


recommended Army of Darkness

The third installment of the Evil Dead series continues to follow Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams, battling dead people in the Middle Ages.

Central Cinema

recommended The Club

This 2015 drama centers on four priests, a nun, and a clerical counselor. It was put forth as the Chilean entry for best foreign language film at the Academy Awards.

SIFF Cinema Uptown

recommended The Wave

Norway's best foreign language film entry at the Academy Awards, The Wave is a 2015 disaster film about a geologist who accidentally creates a tsunami.

SIFF Film Center


recommended Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story

Take a look at a part of the film industry that often goes overlooked in this documentary about storyboard artist Harold Michelson and film researcher Lillian Michelson.

Northwest Film Forum

recommended Love Between the Covers

This documentary takes an investigative look at the creation and consumption of romance novels.

Northwest Film Forum


recommended The Joy of Man's Desiring

I have a very strong feeling that this might be Denis Côté's best film. All signs point in that direction. Côté is a French Canadian and, in my opinion, he has a consistently hit-or-miss record. His new film takes on factory labor. It looks very closely at the relationship between humans and their machines without making any judgments about it. The human is the tool-making animal par excellence. Nothing compares to us. In the factory, we and our tools are almost one. CM

SIFF Film Center

recommended The Mask You Live In

The director of Miss Representation takes on American masculinity. How does it work? What is its language? Why is it so relentless? How is it reinforced by popular culture? The movie also looks at the close relationship between masculinity and mass shootings. All of this sounds very, very relevant. CM

SIFF Cinema Uptown


recommended Bridesmaids

The fast-paced script with amazing drunken airplane scenes and surprisingly funny poop jokes will lift up any dreary day.

Central Cinema

recommended Embrace of the Serpent

Ciro Guerra's Embrace of the Serpent was nominated for best foreign language film at this year's Academy Awards.

SIFF Cinema Uptown

recommended Eye in the Sky

See Alan Rickman in a new release, alongside Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, and Barkhad Abdi.

Wide Release

recommended Puget Soundtrack: Lori Goldston Presents Echoes of Silence

Cellist and composer Lori Goldston will create a live soundtrack for Peter Emmanuel Goldman's Echoes of Silence.

Northwest Film Forum


recommended Nosferatu (With Live Soundtrack by The Invincible Czars)

The Invincible Czars will provide a rock/orchestral live soundtrack to F.W. Murnau's 1922 vampire film Nosferatu.

SIFF Cinema Uptown


recommended Krisha

Despite its astonishingly low budget, this family drama blew audiences away at the SXSW Film Festival in 2015.

Wide Release

recommended Theory of Obscurity: A Film About The Residents

Featuring observational footage and interviews, this documentary conveys the life and work of an extremely secretive sound and video collective.

SIFF Film Center


recommended Better Off Dead

Black comedy Better Off Dead stars John Cusack as a teenager driven mad with something like love.

Central Cinema

recommended Kiki's Delivery Service

A 1989 animated film by Hayao Miyazaki, about a young witch earning her keep with her broomstick.

Central Cinema


recommended Who Took Johnny

A documentary about the first child to ever appear on a milk carton, Iowa paperboy Johnny Gosch, and the subsequent search for him that would last decades.



recommended Ran

Inspired by King Lear and centered on a Sengoku-era warlord, this critically acclaimed 1985 film directed by Akira Kurosawa is considered his last epic.

SIFF Cinema Uptown

recommended The Silence of the Lambs

David Schmader called Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the Lambs "the scariest movie ever to win a best picture Oscar."

Central Cinema

recommended The Wizard of Oz

The beloved tale of a young girl who travels to a faraway land and kills the first person she encounters.

Central Cinema


recommended Campout Cinema: Donnie Darko

Having studied Donnie Darko carefully a few times, I still can't tell if the plot's weird calculus—what actually happens, to whom, and where, and when—actually adds up to anything more than a semi-random sequence of related but unconnected events. What I can say, however, is that the film resonates with a uniquely American kind of sadness. SEAN NELSON



recommended The Dark Horse

The drama The Dark Horse, about a brilliant Maori chess player with bipolar disorder, swept the 2014 New Zealand Film Awards, and in 2015 won best film at SIFF.

Wide Release

recommended Keeping Up with the Joneses

Boring suburban white people become exciting spies in Keeping Up with the Joneses, starring Jon Hamm, Zach Galifianakis, and Isla Fisher.

Wide Release

recommended The Last Dragon

This cult classic martial-arts musical from 1985 follows a martial-arts student in New York City.

SIFF Cinema Uptown

recommended Take Me to the River

Martin Shore's Take Me to the River explores the musical history of Memphis through the creation of a new, collaborative album.

SIFF Film Center


recommended Barbershop: The Next Cut

When the whole #OscarsSoWhite storm hit, Ice Cube, a founding member of the hiphop crew NWA, said that it was wrong for blacks to boycott the Oscars because movies were not about the awards but the fans. Who knew Cube had become such a Republican? (I hear LL Cool J is one too.) But clearly Cube is in the one percent and makes sure his bread is always buttered on the right side. Barbershop: The Next Cut was made with one function in mind: to put that extra butter on his slice of bread. CM

Wide Release

recommended Everybody Wants Some

Richard Linklater is unstoppable. He makes movie after movie. But here is the big question: Are any of them interesting? This really is an important question. Why do we watch his movies? They are rarely beautiful, they rarely say things that are out of the ordinary. So, why Linklater? I can't answer that here, but his new movie, Everybody Wants Some, is a sports comedy drama. All of us, including myself, will watch it. CM

Wide Release

recommended The Jungle Book

The newest version of The Jungle Book promises a live-action Mowgli alongside fantastical, expressive animals, and includes talents like Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, and Lupita Nyong'o.

Wide Release


recommended Puget Soundtrack: Corespondents present House

Instrumental band Corespondents will perform an original soundtrack to the 1977 Japanese horror movie House.

Northwest Film Forum


recommended Men & Chicken

A slightly ominous-sounding Danish comedy from 2015 that explores the strange, terrifying, and potentially even funny ramifications of interspecies genetic engineering.

SIFF Cinema Uptown


recommended Puget Soundtrack: Erin Jorgensen Presents Daisies

Marimbist Erin Jorgensen will perform an original soundtrack to the 1966 Czechoslovak comedy-drama Daisies.

Northwest Film Forum

MAY 13

recommended Snowden

Snowden tells the story of controversial public figure/activist/computer professional Edward Snowden, and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Wide Release

MAY 19

recommended Seattle International Film Festival

The 42nd year of SIFF brings 150,000 attendees to 25 days of more than 450 films from 90 countries.

SIFF Theaters

MAY 20

recommended Belladonna of Sadness

A psychedelic 1973 anime film with a dragging tempo that still manages to provide plenty of sex, violence, and intrigue.

Northwest Film Forum

MAY 22

recommended Campout Cinema: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

EMP presents this screening of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (considered by some the best in the Star Trek franchise).


MAY 27

recommended Alice Through the Looking Glass

This sequel to Tim Burton's 2010 Alice in Wonderland, this time directed by James Bobin, promises returning actors including Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, and Helena Bonham Carter, and new cast members like Sacha Baron Cohen.

Wide Release