• REVIEW: We the Animals [2018]

    “We wanted more” There are a lot of hard truths within We the Animals. Describing patriarch Paps (Raúl Castillo) as “loving but unpredictable” in the press notes gets right to the heart of that complexity since a more apt description could be “abuser.” He’s a man with a hot temper who inflames his wife (Sheila […]

  • REVIEW: Minding the Gap [2018]

    “We formed a family together” It begins as a film about self-created community, three young men coming together on their skateboards to escape the private turmoil experienced at home. The sport was a cathartic outlet more than some bid to act cool, helping them become close enough friends to share details about their individual demons […]

  • REVIEW: Widows [2018]

    “This isn’t your world” When the first trailer for Widows dropped, I thought, “Steve McQueen is branching out to genre fare now.” This wasn’t a slight, just an observation. I obviously wanted to see it, but thought I could wait before the notes out of TIFF declared it a must-see. Suddenly I needed to reevaluate […]

  • REVIEW: Wildlife [2018]

    “I feel like I need to wake up” The start of Paul Dano‘s directorial debut Wildlife depicts a happy household of mother (Carey Mulligan‘s Jeanette Brinson), father (Jake Gyllenhaal‘s Jerry), and son (Ed Oxenbould‘s Joe). They’ve just moved from Utah to Montana so Jerry can work as a country club’s resident “pro”—a job allowing Jeanette […]

  • TIFF18 REVIEW: First Man [2018]

    “It’s kinda neat” The non-controversy surrounding Damien Chazelle‘s First Man shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows how political parties have appropriated art into their agendas since the dawn of time. Of course they’d glom onto the decision to ignore the lunar flag planting as some “un-American” thing rather than read the script, watch the movie, or […]

contact me:
[email protected]


film reviews

REVIEW: Dark Money [2018]

“This is now the proving ground for the American experiment” The facts speak for themselves in director Kimberly Reed‘s Dark Money: Montana is our nation’s epicenter for corporate election donations. Her interviewees provide us a rundown of why (the copper mining industry’s interest in favorable policy-making leading them to put a corporate stooge onto the […]

REVIEW: Private Life [2018]

“Let’s get pregnant, shall we?” At forty-one and forty-seven respectively, Rachel Biegler (Kathryn Hahn) and Richard Grimes (Paul Giamatti) are against the proverbial clock when it comes to having children. With her novel about to be published, his pickle business sustaining him after his successful off-Broadway theater troupe disbanded, and a rent-controlled New York City […]

REVIEW: Hale County This Morning, This Evening [2018]

“Whose child is this?” Photographer RaMell Ross‘ feature debut Hale County This Morning, This Evening presents itself as an emotively academic endeavor that looks into the lives of two Black men in Alabama, projecting them through their humanity rather than simply race. The latter plays a large role too, but on a contextual level feeding […]

REVIEW: Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? [2018]

“This is a white nightmare story” It’s a provocative title for a murder mystery investigation into documentarian Travis Wilkerson‘s own ancestry: Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? He’s presenting a question before we even sit down and then supplies the answer straight away. The trick, however, is that the question is an abstract and […]

REVIEW: We the Animals [2018]

“We wanted more” There are a lot of hard truths within We the Animals. Describing patriarch Paps (Raúl Castillo) as “loving but unpredictable” in the press notes gets right to the heart of that complexity since a more apt description could be “abuser.” He’s a man with a hot temper who inflames his wife (Sheila […]

REVIEW: Vox Lux [2018]

“Simply put: it was a hit” America lost its innocence on 9/11. It wasn’t an overnight thing, though. The gradual degradation of humanity on an ever-shrinking global landscape stewarded us there as school shootings and terrorist attacks grew with their weak links towards violent videogames rather than an otherwise Puritan sense of sex being worse […]

REVIEW: The Favourite [2018]

“We’ve been laying very different games” This isn’t your parents’ period piece. If the name Yorgos Lanthimos under the header of director didn’t already give you that impression, there it is. The Favourite has everything you’d expect from one, though: real-life characters, powdered faces and wigs, wars discussed from perches miles away from the battlefield, […]

REVIEW: Shirkers [2018]

“I never imagined it would end this way” You’re nineteen and studying abroad in England when the stars and ambitions align to reunite with your best friends in Singapore and make a feature film on summer break. You all give your blood, sweat, tears, and money to the project in order to finish just in […]

REVIEW: Boy Erased [2018]

“Almighty Dog” I’ll never understand religion’s ability to shield believers from its inherent contradictions. I’ve seen faith help many in my family through its power for hope, healing, and positivity. But never have they been tested as far as making the choice to reject Catholicism’s rigidity where it pertains to subjects they’re simply happy to […]

REVIEW: Minding the Gap [2018]

“We formed a family together” It begins as a film about self-created community, three young men coming together on their skateboards to escape the private turmoil experienced at home. The sport was a cathartic outlet more than some bid to act cool, helping them become close enough friends to share details about their individual demons […]

REVIEW: At Eternity’s Gate [2018]

“I am my paintings” Vincent Van Gogh is quite the enigmatic figure in the art world as a man whose genius was ahead of its time. His greatest works were painted in the final two years of his life while combatting multiple psychotic breaks and asylum stays. People called his art ugly and dismissed his […]

REVIEW: L’empire de la perfection [John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection] [2018]

“Indeed, it seems he’s playing himself” Titled L’empire de la perfection [In the Realm of Perfection] for French audiences, it’s interesting to see the addition of the name John McEnroe for American release. That’s not to say it doesn’t belong since Julien Faraut‘s documentary is very much about the famed tennis player, but that its […]

REVIEW: 未来のミライ [Mirai no Mirai] [Mirai] [2018]

“I don’t like everyone!” Young Kun (Moka Kamishiraishi) is excited to welcome his mother (Kumiko Asô) home after giving birth to his baby sister. I single out “mother” because she’s whom he misses. Dad (Gen Hoshino) has never really been around due to constantly working so Kun doesn’t necessarily have any affinity for the man. […]

REVIEW: Support the Girls [2018]

“Sad dudes is my business” To mention an establishment like Hooters is to receive a broad spectrum of opinions. There are those who judge anyone that’s ever stepped foot in one for the way it demeans and objectifies women, those who see it as an effective means towards giving young women a living wage via […]

REVIEW: The Possession of Hannah Grace [2018]

“Green means go” Megan Reed (Shay Mitchell) is so intentionally drawn for the plot of The Possession of Hannah Grace that you can take bets before sitting down on whether she’ll prove the hero (itching for redemption as a former cop who froze when her partner was shot and killed in the field) or future […]