The Best Movies to Watch in Seattle This Weekend: October 15-18, 2020

Including at In-Person Movie Theaters, Which Reopen This Weekend
October 14, 2020

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Evan Rachel Wood and Gina Rodriguez star in Miranda July's latest comedy Kajillionaire, screening IRL at AMC Kent Station and Port Townsend's Wheel-In Drive-In this weekend (and streaming on VOD). (Focus Features)

West Seattle's Admiral Theater, Pacific Place's AMC 11, and a handful of other local theaters will be the first to reopen at limited capacity this weekend thanks to new Phase 2 allowances, bringing films like Miranda July's Kajillionaire and Christopher Nolan's Tenet to the big screen. (So long as you're wearing a mask and following new health protocols.) While other local theaters are hanging back for now, they're continuing to put out great stuff to stream at home, like an all-Black sequel to Night of the Living Dead and other George A. Romero rarities at the Northwest Film Forum and the Queer Film Festival. Find all your options for this weekend below, including some nationally streaming picks, like the filmed version of Heidi Schreck’s Tony-nominated and Pulitzer-finalist play What the Constitution Means to Me, plus The Stranger's SLAY horror film fest. For more options, check out our guide to drive-in movie theaters in the Seattle area this week, or our calendar of on-demand movies streaming through local theaters, and our fall guide to online film festivals.

Jump to:  In-Person | Streaming: Local Connection | Seattle Film Festivals | Streaming: National | Last Chance to Stream: Movies Ending This Week


The Broken Hearts Gallery
Executive-produced by Selena Gomez, this movie follows a 20-something NYC gal who copes with heartbreak by serendipitously becoming the co-proprietor of a gallery for people to air their lovelorn grievances.
Pacific Place and Wheel-In (Port Townsend)
Opening Friday

Honest Thief
Determined to change his bank-robbing ways for his true love, Liam Neeson decides to turn himself in and pay his dues. But when he realizes that the Feds are just as corrupt as his cohort of criminals, he decides to fight back. Don't expect any Oscar-worthy performances, but do expect mindless fun. 
Admiral, Pacific Place, and other theaters
Opening Friday

Rife with the eccentricities you'd expect from the director of The Future and You and Me and Everyone We Know, Miranda July's latest comedy stars Evan Rachel Wood as the youngest in a small family of grifters who parkours her way through Los Angeles avoiding security cameras and droning in a voice that hangs as low as her extremely long hair. The family's opposite is met in Melanie (Gina Rodriguez), an optician’s assistant who, through her endless optimism and comfort with displays of love, brings the family's insecurities to the foreground. 
AMC Kent Station and Wheel-In (Port Townsend), and streaming on VOD
Opening Friday

The Kid Detective
Adam Brody plays a former kid detective who's rescued from his burnt-out adult malaise when some teens enlist his help in solving a mystery. An alternate title to this dark comedy could be Spy Kids: Where are They Now? But... we're glad it's not. Especially since Adam Brody was never in Spy Kids. (Side note: If you're actually interested in where the Spy Kids are now, one of them is engaged to "All About That Bass" singer Meghan Trainor.)
AMC Kent Station
Opening Saturday

New Mutants
Supposedly the last film in the X-Men franchise (and if Dark Phoenix is any indication, the end can't come soon enough), The New Mutants is a superhero/horror hybrid about five young mutants held captive in a scary facility. With Anya Taylor-Joy as a teleporting mutant, Maisie Williams as a werewolf, Charlie Heaton as a kid who can sort of fly, Blu Hunt as a mutant who can weave illusions, and Alice Braga as their doctor and mentor.
Admiral, Pacific Place, and other theaters
Opening Friday

On the Rocks
Drawing from his own history of infidelity, Bill Murray susses out a fishy situation with his daughter's (Rashida Jones) seemingly perfect husband in this new Sofia Coppola comedy.
Rodeo Drive-In (Port Orchard)

Personal History of David Copperfield
We're hoping for some of that wry magic from director Armando Iannucci (The Death of Stalin, Veep), screenwriter Simon Blackwell (Veep, The Thick of It), and actors Dev Patel, Gwendoline Christie, Hugh Laurie, and Tilda Swinton in this adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel, which is finally ready for the big screen after being postponed this past spring. 
Lincoln Square (and streaming on VOD)
Opening Friday

Save Yourselves!
Seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn, a Millennial couple (Sunita Mani and John Reynolds) decide to ~go offline~ and head upstate to Ben Sinclair's (High Maintenance) grandpa's cabin, only to be accosted by a host of deceptively cute aliens.
Rodeo Drive-In (Port Orchard), and streaming on VOD
Opening Friday

In Christopher Nolan's action-packed thriller, John David Washington stars as a secret agent who manipulates time to try to save the world from World War III. It's got a complicated storyline that will have you "shush"-ing your theater-going companions and IMAX-worthy bangs and booms.
Admiral, Pacific Place, and other theaters
Opening Friday

Upgrade is a sort of schlock action sci-fi thriller that’s heavy on the viscera and light on the introspection. Written and directed by Australian Leigh Whannell, who helped write the original Saw short with James Wan, it stars Prometheus’s Logan Marshall-Green as “Grey Trace,” a beardy mechanic who makes a living restoring classic muscle cars even though it’s the future. He doesn’t understand these kids with their bleeping and blorping, their sexting and their self-driving AI cars, and that suits him just fine. Until the day he becomes the victim of a seemingly random act of brutality at the hands of cackling thugs straight out of The Crow. That’s when Eron, a boy genius who’s on the spectrum, makes Grey an offer he can’t refuse: to cure Grey’s disability with a microchip implanted in his spine. A chip that will not only restore him, but just might give him special powers. Upgrade becomes a sort of poor man’s RoboCop meets a basic cable Black Mirror. Whannell doesn’t have Paul Verhoeven’s gift for satire, but he does have a horror director’s facility for visceral gore and suspenseful compositions. VINCE MANCINI
Rodeo Drive-In
Opening Friday

War with Grandpa
Robert Kimmel Smith's beloved 1984 children's book The War with Grandpa gets the blockbuster treatment, with Robert De Niro as an aging man whose grandson throws an unholy fit when he moves into the child's bedroom at the behest of his family, who feels he's too old to live on his own.
Admiral, Pacific Place, and other theaters 
Opening Friday

The Wild & The Breach
In 2014's The Breach, director Mark Titus addressed the salmon crisis in the Northwest United States—in particular, in Bristol Bay in Alaska, where a Canadian mining company threatened the ecosystem where sockeye salmon thrived. When The Breach was screened, the battle seemed to be over; the mining company lost. But now Trump is in office, and Bristol Bay is threatened once again. The Wild tells this new story.
Paseo Drive-In
Friday only

Also Playing In-Person This Weekend

Cinemark Fright Nights
Lincoln Square/Cinemark (all weekend)

Burien Drive-In (Friday only)

Hocus Pocus & The Nightmare Before Christmas
Blue Fox Drive-In (all weekend) and Skyline Drive-In (Friday-Sunday)

Reefer Madness
Paseo Drive-In (Saturday only)

The Shining 40th Anniversary
Lincoln Square Cinemas (Saturday only)

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary
Century Theaters (opening Friday)

Pacific Place/AMC (opening Saturday) and Lincoln Square/Cinemark (opening Friday) 

Streaming: Local Connection

Belly of the Beast
A former inmate of the Central California Women’s Facility, the largest women's prison in the world, goes to court to seek reparations for the institution's horrific human rights violations—namely, forcing women (particularly women of color, our heroine included) to undergo forced sterilizations. Given similar crimes committed recently against immigrant women at an ICE detention center in Georgia, this documentary from Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning director Erika Cohn is a must-see. 
Northwest Film Forum
Opening Friday

George A. Romero Rarities with Adam Hart
Horror historian and former Northwest Film Forum Publicity Director Adam Hart will host this program of discoveries from the University of Pittsburgh’s George A. Romero Archival Collection of projects that the famed director never had time to complete—including an all-Black sequel to Night of the Living Dead (!!), Sasquatch sagas, Stephen King collaborations, and a "space rock sci-fi musical."
Northwest Film Forum
Opening Friday

Harry Chapin: When in Doubt, Do Something
The singer-songwriter and world hunger activist behind "Cats in the Cradle" is remembered by his friends Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Peter Seeger, Sir Bob Geldof, Kenny Rogers, Graham Nash, and others in this documentary from Rick Korn. SIFF will donate a portion of virtual ticket proceeds to WhyHunger and the Harry Chapin Foundation.
Opening Friday

Martin Eden
Based on the novel by Jack London, Italian director Pietro Marcello's Martin Eden uses both documentary and original footage to tell the story of a dissatisfied sailor who's inspired to become a writer after meeting a beautiful, fancy lady. That seems harmless enough, but his path to success is paved with disapproval from his working-class friends and family, which leads him to a political awakening.
Opening Friday

Pan's Labyrinth
Stream Guillermo del Toro's magical Pan's Labyrinth (it's available on Netflix) for an online watch-along with the Museum of Pop Culture. The film "picks up scraps and notions from scattered fairy tales—fear of sexual maturity, thirst for rules and the righteous urge to subvert them, doubtful reconciliation with death—and weaves them into an original fantasy of furious power," wrote Annie Wagner when it came out in 2006. 
Watch party available via MoPOP
Saturday only

Video Store Day Telethon
Join Scarecrow, one of the most comprehensive video libraries in the US and a cultural treasure, for an International Independent Video Store Day telethon promising a slew of deals, exclusive merch, and fun surprises on the internet.
Scarecrow Video
Saturday only

Seattle Film Festivals

Coalition of South Asian Film Festivals
Second only to Toronto, Seattle plays host to one of the largest South Asian-focused film festivals in the world. Things are a little different this year, and not just for the obvious COVID-related reasons—the online event will bring seven South Asian film festivals across North America together for two weeks of free online screenings and special events. We're definitely cueing up Behind the Bhangra Boys, about the Nova Scotia-residing Maritime Bhangra Group, who, when they're not delivering pizza or filling cars with gas to make a living, create joyous, viral dance videos set against the backdrop of bleak northern landscapes.

French Cinema Now
This festival of French and Francophone cinema culture that's usually crammed (effectively) into a single week will get over three months of attention at SIFF. Nine of this year's feature films, presented on TV5MONDE, are directed by women, including emerging filmmakers like Manele Labidi, whose Arab Blues follows a woman who, after years of studying abroad in Paris, returns home to Tunis to pursue her dream of opening up her own psychotherapy practice.

Friday Harbor Documentary Film Festival
The Friday Harbor Film Festival will spend its eighth year online, offering a weeklong program of documentaries, short films, and student-made films, as well as daily livestream Q&As with filmmakers. Some highlights include Shane Anderson's Chehalis: A Watershed Moment, about a salmon population on the brink of extinction, and Zach Carver's The Race to Alaska, about the annual 750-mile boat race through the Alaskan wilderness. 

Lunafest 2020
Named after women-aimed nutrition bar company LUNA Bar, this traveling short film festival composed of films by and about women will be hosted by the Zonta Club of Everett Foundation this year. Highlights of the seven-film lineup include Kristen Lester and Gillian Libbert-Duncan's Purl, about an earnest ball of yarn who gets a job at a start-up, and B. Monét's Ballet After Dark, about a young woman who creates an organization to help survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence through dance therapy.

Seattle Queer Film Festival 2020
Local shorts, indie features, and national or international releases will stoke and satisfy your appetite for gay, lesbian, bi, trans, enby, and otherwise queer-focused films, which will be available to watch for 72 hours once you hit play. This year's online event is expanding its screenings to include not just Seattle but the rest of Washington, as well as Oregon and Idaho. The Stranger's Jasmyne Keimig lays out some recommendations here, including Monsoon, starring Crazy Rich Asians leading man Henry Golding.

Seattle Latino Film Festival
This 12th annual Seattle festival of Chicanx and Latinx cinema will feature a whole week of independent movies, filmmaker panels, workshops, and more online. The opening-night film is Renato Barbieri's Pureza, in which a mother searching for her son discovers slave labor practices on Amazonian farms.

From the freaks who brought you the HUMP! and SPLIFF Film Festivals comes something new, fun, and totally terrifying: SLAY! SLAY calls for filmmakers to send in homemade short horror films—eight minutes or less—capturing what scares them most. From classic ghost stories and slasher films to dystopian cults and political nightmares, SLAY dares you to show us your darkest fears. We know reality is scarier than fiction right now. Let’s purge our fears together. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

Streaming: Nationwide

The Trial of the Chicago 7
Based on the conspiracy trial of the 1968 Democratic National Convention protest leaders, Aaron Sorkin's political thriller stars Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Jeremy Strong as the major players in this historic case. 

What the Constitution Means to Me
Wenatchee native Heidi Schreck’s Tony-nominated and Pulitzer-finalist play What the Constitution Means to Me premiered during Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings regarding the conservative Supreme Court Justice's alleged sexual assault of Christine Margaret Blasey Ford. Now, just in time for the upcoming election, the filmed version is available to stream online. 
Amazon Prime

Last Chance to Stream: Movies Ending This Week

At peace with death, a woman (Susan Sarandon) with a terminal illness summons her star-studded friends and family (including Kate Winslet and Mia Wasikowska) for one last hurrah before going through with an assisted suicide. If you're drawn to beach house/cabin-set reunion dramedies, you know exactly what you're getting into with this new feature from the director of Tea With the Dames.
Thursday only

Billy the Kid
Billy the Kid is a documentary about 15-year-old Billy Price, an adorable, hollow-chested eccentric who rules the downtown strip of a small town in Maine. If the camera is to be believed, he’s cheerily tolerated by his mainstream peers at school, and he easily befriends the twerps who ride their bikes in circles in front of the local diner. It’s only when he tries to date the twerps’ older sister that his program of systematic chivalry falters and his basic weirdness carries the day. Billy was diagnosed with Asperger’s after the film wrapped, and if you know anything about the autism spectrum, this will not come as a surprise. So were the filmmakers somehow exploiting Billy by not acknowledging they had a real disorder on their hands? I think not. This documentary is a totally refreshing look at a person dealing with autism. ANNIE WAGNER
Thursday only

Feels Good Man
Watching Feels Good Man does not feel very good. And it shouldn't. A film about the rise of online hate groups is probably not the most cheery way to spend an hour and a half. Yet with vibrant animations and an astute look at a complex subject, it is one of the most fascinating documentaries of the year. The remarkable directorial debut from Arthur Jones is a deadly serious look at hate speech, artistic ownership, Pepe the Frog, and memes. It's completely understandable if hearing the unironic pairing of the words "deadly serious" with "memes" immediately elicits a groan. But Jones makes it work. Not only does Feels Good Man get to the core of the vile hate that can spew from the dark recesses of the internet, it also works as a compelling character study. CHASE HUTCHINSON
Northwest Film Forum

Native Son
When it came to adapting Richard Wright's 1940 novel Native Son into a film, ex-patriate Frenchman Pierre Chenal and Argentinian producer Jamie Prades swooped in when American filmmakers and actors at the time abandoned the project out of discomfort surrounding the deep current of racism in America that the story reveals. With Wright himself in the leading role, it's a noir thriller about a Black man trying to survive in a white world. This is a brand-new restoration, preceded by a special introduction by film historians Eddie Muller (the "Czar of Noir") and Jacqueline Najima Stewart (co-curator of Kino Lorber's Pioneers of African American Cinema).
Thursday only

Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin
Honoring the memory of his late friend Bruce Chatwin, the travel journalist and adventurer who died of AIDS in 1989, legendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog takes the rucksack gifted to him by the writer and travels from Patagonia to Wales to Australia exploring Chatwin's favorite subjects: human restlessness and wandering, borders and exile, and art and objects.
Thursday only

Our Time Machine
Looking at the works of contemporary Chinese artist Maleonn, it's easy to see how much his father's former role as the artistic director of the Shanghai Chinese Opera Theater inspired him—Maleonn's conceptual pieces often center subjects in thespian-like costumes, surrounded by props, lit by warm spotlights. In this documentary, Maleonn undertakes a new project to connect with his aging dad through a couple of steampunk-ish mechanical puppets. "I want to use it to show my father how much I appreciate everything he's done for me," says the artist. You will absolutely sniffle and ponder your own mortality.
Northwest Film Forum
Ending Sunday

Looking for more ways to support local movie theaters? These on-demand streaming options through the Northwest Film Forum, SIFF, and elsewhere are available to watch anytime.