• REVIEW: A Hidden Life [2019]

    “We lived above the clouds” With notoriously long post-production periods due to his uniquely poetic editing style, Terrence Malick‘s three-hour WWII romance A Hidden Life may have actually benefited from its three-year delay as far as thematic relevance to current events is concerned. As a rising tide of fascistic totalitarianism takes hold of world governments […]

  • REVIEW: Marriage Story [2019]

    “The pie was just a pie” It’s crazy how love changes the way we see things. Ambition can look like genius when we’re there as a supportive cheerleader and narcissism when we begin to recognize our sacrifices in seeing it get fulfilled. Success can be construed as a mutually beneficial byproduct of a union when […]

  • REVIEW: For Sama [2019]

    “I don’t regret anything” After five years of footage depicting the rapid decline in Aleppo as college protests turn to rebellion with a dictatorial regime finding friends in Russia to decimate innocent civilians it intentionally refuses to differentiate from soldiers and extremists, Waad Al-Khateab realizes that the snippets she’s uploaded to expose these atrocities to […]

  • REVIEW: Waves [2019]

    “All we have is now” Ronald Williams (Sterling K. Brown) tells his son Tyler (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) what so many parents do: “You don’t know how lucky you are.” What are those words besides a pat on the adult’s back for providing a decent life for their child, though? To me they’re often a source […]

  • REVIEW: Honey Boy [2019]

    “Why am I here?” The bane of childhood stardom is that nothing you do will ever be a secret again. Your success will be written in black and white in the trades. Personal relationships will be speculated upon in the tabloids. And mistakes—large or small—will trend like wildfire on the internet until they become the […]

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film reviews

REVIEW: Portrait de la jeune fille en feu [Portrait of a Lady on Fire] [2019]

“Don’t regret. Remember.” An eighteenth century Italian countess (Valeria Golino) still residing at the French estate of her late husband has decided she’d like to return home. The best way to accomplish this is marrying off one of her daughters to an affluent Milanese suitor since doing so would secure both their futures while also […]

REVIEW: Richard Jewell [2019]

“I’m me” There’s a major difference between fact (Richard Jewell is currently being investigated as a potential suspect) and editorial conjecture meant to carry your byline and publication into the national spotlight (Richard Jewell epitomizes the lone bomber profile and the FBI are nearing an arrest). Some journalists can’t unfortunately spot the difference. Why? Because […]

REVIEW: プロメア [Puromea] [Promare] [2019]

“Oil and water as one!” Its mechs vs. monsters storyline starts pretty straightforward. The latter are born from a mysterious mutation that gives a select percentage of the Earth’s population combustion powers that they simply couldn’t control at the time of the “Great World Blaze” en route to causing a mass genocide it’s taken three […]

REVIEW: Atlantique [Atlantics] [2019]

“The spirits are scared of me” French writer/director Mati Diop made a documentary short ten years ago about a group of Senegalese friends who risk their lives to sail along the coast of Africa into Spain with the hope of better lives upon their arrival. It almost seems natural then that her first feature length […]

REVIEW: The Feeling of Being Watched [2019]

“No. I’m not paranoid.” Public radio journalist Assia Boundaoui was awake at her mother’s home at three in the morning when she saw men on a telephone poll with bright lights working. She went across the hall to wake-up Rabia Boundaoui, unsure what to think and desperate to figure out what was happening. Her mother’s […]

REVIEW: J’ai perdu mon corps [I Lost My Body] [2019]

“You can’t always win” I think Netflix is doing J’ai perdu mon corps [I Lost My Body] a disservice by using the word “romance” to describe it wherever I look. Jérémy Clapin‘s animated film is most definitely not that. While Guillaume Laurant‘s novel Happy Hand—which he and Clapin adapted—might have been (I haven’t read it), […]

REVIEW: A Hidden Life [2019]

“We lived above the clouds” With notoriously long post-production periods due to his uniquely poetic editing style, Terrence Malick‘s three-hour WWII romance A Hidden Life may have actually benefited from its three-year delay as far as thematic relevance to current events is concerned. As a rising tide of fascistic totalitarianism takes hold of world governments […]

REVIEW: One Child Nation [2019]

“I wondered if the thoughts I had were my own or if they were simply learned” Death is inevitable in war. That’s what a former government official who’s still loyal to China’s communist party tells co-director Nanfu Wang during her (and Jialing Zhang‘s) documentary One Child Nation. While the sentiment is correct, I’m not certain […]

REVIEW: Clemency [2019]

“I am alone and no one can fix it” Stories about death row inmates are so often shown from the convict’s perspective and his/her question of guilt that it’s easy to look past certain details concerning the other side. I don’t mean the prosecution, though. I mean those whose careers force them to carry out […]

REVIEW: Little Women [2019]

“Fight to the end and be loud” Despite letting its sordid content embarrass her to the point of pretending to be a writer friend’s messenger, Jo March (Saoirse Ronan) can’t hide the excitement of earning twenty dollars her family desperately needs for a story she composed. With one sister married to a husband of modest […]

REVIEW: Marriage Story [2019]

“The pie was just a pie” It’s crazy how love changes the way we see things. Ambition can look like genius when we’re there as a supportive cheerleader and narcissism when we begin to recognize our sacrifices in seeing it get fulfilled. Success can be construed as a mutually beneficial byproduct of a union when […]

REVIEW: Dark Waters [2019]

“You think they’re gonna show me?!” It’s crazy how our country protects for-profit businesses in ways that allow them to accrue astronomical profits with little to no oversight. There’s this notion that what they provide our economy outweighs the damage they inflict on our society. But who reaps that financial benefit? Rather than collect millions […]

REVIEW: For Sama [2019]

“I don’t regret anything” After five years of footage depicting the rapid decline in Aleppo as college protests turn to rebellion with a dictatorial regime finding friends in Russia to decimate innocent civilians it intentionally refuses to differentiate from soldiers and extremists, Waad Al-Khateab realizes that the snippets she’s uploaded to expose these atrocities to […]

REVIEW: The Two Popes [2019]

“We need someone to blow the ash away” I’m a lapsed Catholic who cynically wonders why the Pope isn’t considered a false idol—a direct result of my loathing of the church as a corrupt and hypocritical institution. I adopted this position years ago for the same reasons many others have. Catholicism has constantly proven itself […]

REVIEW: Frozen II [2019]

“Do the next right thing” I have to give directors Jennifer Lee (who also wrote the script) and Chris Buck credit for not simply jumping at the chance to follow up a cultural phenomenon for the paycheck. People wondered on opening weekend when a sequel to Frozen would arrive and these two held fast to […]