Weekly Watch List: The Underground Railroad, There Is No Evil, and More

The Best Movies Streaming and Playing in Seattle Theaters: May 13-19, 2021
May 12, 2021
A Barry Jenkins adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Underground Railroad comes to Amazon Prime on Friday. (Kyle Kaplan / Amazon Studios)

If variety is the spice of life, local theaters are heading into a very spicy week. Read on for the latest batch of streaming options (like a 4K restoration of the classic Melvin Van Peebles film The Story of a Three-Day Pass via Grand Illusion), as well as in-person screenings (like Ben Sharrock's Limbo at Regal Meridian and Tacoma's Grand Cinema) and other new releases hitting nationwide platforms (like Barry Jenkins's The Underground Railroad on Amazon Prime). Plus, if you're feeling spooky, the 2020 edition of The Stranger's horror short-film festival SLAY is now on-demand, and the next iteration is accepting submissions through September 15! For more options, check out our on-demand calendar or our guides to drive-in movies and other streaming events this week

Jump to:  Streaming: Local Connection | Film Festivals | Streaming: Nationwide | Playing in Theaters

Newly Streaming: Local Connection

Los Hermanos/The Brothers
Two Cuban-born brothers live on opposite sides of the geopolitical chasm that separates their birth country from the U.S., but their shared love of music (and their exceptional gift for playing it) keeps them connected and eventually reunites them. Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider's doc follows the brothers' parallel lives in New York and Havana while examining the changing relationship between the two countries. 
Northwest Film Forum
Starting Friday

Lynne Sachs Retrospective: Between Thought and Expression
The Museum of the Moving Image and the Northwest Film Forum will partner up for a series highlighting the experimental filmmaker Lynne Sachs. The program includes 2013's Your Day is My Night, which NWFF describes as "a seamless blend of closely observed verité footage, interpretive performance, and confessional monologues and interviews," and 2017's Tip Of My Tongue, in which the filmmaker responds to her 50th birthday, along with a collection of shorts filmed between 2001 and 2017. 
Northwest Film Forum
Starting Friday

The Story of a Three-Day Pass
You may know him better for his 1971 blaxploitation film Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, but Melvin Van Peebles's 1968 directorial debut The Story of a Three-Day Pass deserves equal attention in the canon. Shown here in 4K restoration, it follows a Black American soldier who's given three days' leave in Paris, where his romance with a French woman is dampened by his impending departure and an onslaught of racial prejudice all around him.
Grand Illusion
Starting Friday

There Is No Evil
Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof shot these four vignettes in secret, but the Golden Bear-winning film was discovered and consequentially banned in Iran for its open condemnation of the country's capital punishment system, which sees more executions per capita than anywhere else in the world. 
Starting Friday

Us Kids
Much like the fight for climate justice, teens have been leading the way on the gun-control movement in America, especially since the deadly 2018 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Kim A. Snyder (who also directed the Peabody Award-winning documentary Newtown) spotlights the young survivors and activists at the helm of March For Our Lives. 
Starting Friday

Film Festivals

HUMP! Greatest Hits - Volume 3
The HUMP! team is bringing back some fan-favorite amateur porn shorts from 2015-2018 in the third volume of the festival's streamable compilations.

Lunafest Film Festival
Lunafest (named after the women-aimed nutrition company LUNA Bar) is a traveling short film festival composed of films by and about women. This year's program will go virtual for the first time, and organizers are partnering with Kelnero to offer charcuterie and cocktails to viewers who live between Lynnwood and Kent or between West Seattle and Issaquah. All proceeds benefit children's literacy via the Junior League of Seattle.
Sunday only

SLAY 2020
The 2020 edition of The Stranger's own amateur horror short-film festival is available to watch any time you need a thrill and a chill. 

2021 Sundance Institute Indigenous Short Film Tour
Directed by Indigenous filmmakers, these seven short films span the fiction, documentary, animated, and experimental genres and were plucked from the most recent Sundance Film Festival. We're particularly excited to watch Canadian filmmaker Alisi Telengut's "The Fourfold," which explores Indigenous worldviews from Mongolia and Siberia through hand-crafted dreamscapes that resemble moving oil paintings.  
Northwest Film Forum
(All week)

Newly Streaming: Nationwide

Hacks: Season 1
Seattle native Jean Smart heads up the cast of this show biz comedy about a veteran entertainer who hires a young writer to help revive her career.

Ewan McGregor plays the iconic minimalist '70s fashion designer Halston, who some consider America's first celebrity designer, in this biopic. 
Starting Friday

Paying special attention to lesser-known trans rights activists like Christine Jorgensen, Flawless Sabrina, Ceyenne Doroshow, Susan Stryker, Kate Bornstein, Raquel Willis, and Dean Spade, this docu-series traces six decades of the LGBTQ+ rights movement in six episodes, each filmed by a different director. 
Starting Friday

The Underground Railroad
Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel—which follows a young slave named Cora (Thuso Mbedu) as she flees a cotton plantation in the antebellum South—gets a 10-episode adaptation courtesy of Moonlight director Barry Jenkins.
Amazon Prime
Starting Friday

The Woman in the Window
Slipping into the role of an agoraphobic psychologist, Amy Adams learns that with great power (spying on her neighbors through the window) comes great responsibility (solving a brutal murder witnessed in the home of said neighbors). This long-delayed thriller is based on Dan Mallory's debut novel.
Starting Friday

In-Person Screenings


In the Earth
The Earth gets its revenge in this slightly psychedelic horror story about a park scout and a scientist who, on a routine equipment run, witness lots of freaky activity deep in the forest. The film "Gnaws at the nerves and bludgeons the senses until submission," as The Daily Beast's Nick Schager has it. Oh, and it takes place while the world is scrambling for a cure to a deadly virus. 
Grand Cinema - Tacoma
Starting Friday

Recently nominated for two British Academy Film awards, Ben Sharrock's Limbo is set on a fictional remote Scottish island where a group of newly arrived Syrian refugees awaits the results of their asylum claims. It zeroes in on Omar, a young Syrian musician who is burdened by his grandfather's oud (a string instrument), which he has carried all the way from his homeland. 
Regal Meridian and Grand Cinema - Tacoma
Starting Friday

In an effort to expose a prolific ISIS scout, a British journalist pretends to be a recent convert to Islam who's flirting with the idea of becoming a Jihadi extremist. Over long video calls, she begins to develop complicated feelings for her hot recruiter, putting herself and her colleagues in danger. 
Various theaters
Starting Friday

A Quiet Place Part II
The survivors of the family from A Quiet Place leave their farm and find dangers both human and alien in the post-apocalyptic city.
Ark Lodge

Spiral: From the Book of Saw
A killer is on the loose, and Chris Rock is the detective at the center of his spree. 
Various theaters

Those Who Wish Me Dead
Angelina Jolie returns to her Salt-era days in this gritty Frontier thriller, in which she plays a firefighter forced to protect a teenage murder witness.
Various theaters and HBO Max
Starting Friday


BECU Drive-in Movies at Marymoor Park
This week: Ferris Bueller's Day Off (Tues May 11), Jurassic World (Wed May 12), Mamma Mia (Thurs May 13), Jaws (Tues May 18), Grease (Wed May 19)

Rodeo Drive-In
This week: The Wrath of Man & Unhinged (May 14-16) Godzilla vs. Kong & Mortal Kombat (May 14-16), the Waterman & Psycho Goreman (May 14-16)

Wheel-In Motor Movie Drive-In
Port Townsend

This week: Grease (May 14-16), An Officer and a Gentleman (May 14-16)


Demon Slayer: Mugen Train
Various theaters

Mortal Kombat
Various theaters and streaming on HBO Max 

The Father
Grand Cinema - Tacoma

Godzilla vs. Kong
Various theaters and streaming on HBO Max

Grand Cinema - Tacoma 

Ark Lodge and Grand Cinema - Tacoma (also streaming on Hulu)

The Paper Tigers
Cinemark Lincoln Square and Admiral Theater (and streaming via Northwest Film Forum and VOD)

Raya and the Last Dragon
Various theaters (also streaming on Disney+)

Regal Meridian

Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street
Grand Cinema - Tacoma

Together Together
Ark Lodge

The Truffle Hunters
Varsity Theatre & Grand Cinema - Tacoma