• Online Film Critics Society Ballot 2017

    Below is my December 24th ballot for the 21st annual Online Film Critics Society Awards honoring movies released domestically in the United States during the 2017 calendar year. Group winners are highlighted in red. (We were only allowed to vote for one nominee per category this year, but I ranked them all like previous years […]

  • REVIEW: Call Me By Your Name [2017]

    “‘Cause I wanted you to know” It wasn’t until three-quarters of the way through Luca Guadagnino‘s Call Me By Your Name that I finally began to understand the almost universal praise bestowed upon it since debuting at Sundance. Up until then it merely felt like a familiar coming-of-age film wherein the teenager in question was […]

  • REVIEW: The Work [2017]

    “Go inside to go outside” It’s one thing for a maximum-security prison full of violent offenders like Folsom to offer the type of in-depth therapy sessions it does, but it’s another to see the number of inmates with the courage and desire to attend. To be willing to leave your gang affiliations at the door […]

  • REVIEW: Unrest [2017]

    “I just thought I would have more time” You can tell a lot about someone with the question: “What are your thoughts on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)?” The answer is “Yes” or “No” and yet the latter has the potential of holding an infinite number of biases stemming from the likes […]

  • REVIEW: Coco [2017]

    “Seize your moment” Disney and Pixar have lately begun to tell more stories that aren’t intrinsically linked to their white male sensibilities (even if they have a tendency to push out voices that should be talking for their characters like Brenda Chapman on Brave). It’s definitely an evolutionary process—one that might actually be helped with […]

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film reviews

REVIEW: All the Money in the World [2017]

“‘Thank you’ is for strangers” It’s impossible to see a disclaimer at the end of an “inspired by” film reiterating with more direct language about how the “truth” has been altered without assuming the majority of what I just saw never really happened. Ridley Scott fades to black on a seething Michelle Williams before two […]

REVIEW: Proud Mary [2018]

“No one leaves” The first trailer for Proud Mary hit the internet in July of 2017. After that came a few badass 70s-style James Bond-like posters with star Taraji P. Henson in shadows, gun drawn. It was hard not to get excited for what appeared to be a stylized assassin flick in the vein of […]

REVIEW: River of Grass [1995]

“Murder is thicker than marriage” I wasn’t sure what to expect from Kelly Reichardt‘s debut feature River of Grass considering I’ve never quite been able to appreciate her films’ glacial pacing. It’s never made me hate anything of hers that I’ve seen, but it definitely had me checking out of Wendy and Lucy too often […]

REVIEW: This Giant Papier-Mâché Boulder Is Actually Really Heavy [2017]

“Water is life” Sometimes the only way to get a story off the ground is shooting it whether the finances are there or not. And if that project is a science-fiction film—a genre with historical precedent in low budget effects and shoddy production value—you can even spin your lack of money as an intentional aesthetic […]

REVIEW: Paddington 2 [2017]

“Where all your dreams come true” In true children’s book fashion, Paddington’s (Ben Whishaw) continuing adventures in London alongside the Brown family (Hugh Bonneville‘s Henry, Sally Hawkins‘ Mary, Madeleine Harris‘ Judy, Samuel Joslin‘s Jonathan, and Julie Walters‘ Mrs. Bird) would of course stem from something as seemingly innocuous as procuring a birthday present for his […]

REVIEW: Paddington [2014]

“Does anyone know where I can find a home?” I remember reading Michael Bond‘s Paddington Bear books when I was a kid and might have even had a duffle coat-wearing stuffed animal too. But I couldn’t tell you a thing about those stories if you put a gun to my head and asked. I recall […]

REVIEW: The Road Movie [2018]

“Did we record?” I’d like to know the regulations for automobile tires in Russia because Dmitrii Kalashnikov‘s dash-cam compilation documentary The Road Movie has too many violent fishtails and gravity-enforced overturns to not have its audience infer the country as being riddled with bald tires. Some incidents occur in snowy conditions, but others don’t. Speed […]

REVIEW: Marwencol [2010]

“I didn’t know who I was” A thirty-eight year old drunk leaves his local bar only to be jumped by five teenagers who proceed to beat him into a coma. This is the beginning of Mark Hogancamp‘s life as he knows it. The incident left him with brain damage to the point where he had […]

REVIEW: Future ’38 [2017]

“Watch this classified film strip briefing” If you ask how scientists are smart enough to invent time travel yet can’t find a way to defeat Hitler without needing time travel to augment their weapon’s power, Jamie Greenberg has succeeded. He’s succeeded if you don’t ask that question too because you’ll have given yourself fully to […]

REVIEW: アンチポルノ [Anchiporuno] [Antiporno] [2017]

“Go on without me” Escape while you’re young because the longer you wait the more trapped you become. In this way we’re all lizards encased in glass bottles—a motif that runs throughout Sion Sono‘sアンチポルノ [Anchiporuno] [Antiporno], the director’s entry into Nikkatsu’s “Roman Porno” reboot forty years after giving birth to the genre. It’s during adolescence […]

REVIEW: Stratton [2017]

“I’m thinking that the only two people in the universe we can trust are you and me” It must have been a tough blow to see the newly minted Man of Steel bow out of a project that potentially had franchise capabilities five days before shooting was to commence, but that’s exactly what happened when […]

REVIEW: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle [2017]

“Find the missing piece” The end of Jumanji shows Alan and Sarah chaining up the board game before throwing it over a bridge into water. Later we see it washed ashore on a beach, buried in the sand with chains removed as people walk by speaking what sounds like French. So we wonder how long […]

REVIEW: 120 battements par minute [BPM (Beats per Minute)] [2017]

“You can’t split responsibility” At one point during Robin Campillo‘s 120 battements par minute [BPM (Beats per Minute)] a high school girl tells a group of ACT UP Paris members that she doesn’t have to worry about AIDS because she’s not gay. It’s a horrific glimpse at the unconscionable lack of information sexually active teenagers […]

REVIEW: Girls Trip [2017]

“Better recognize ya blessings” The narrator of Girls Trip has a new book called “You Can Have It All,” a title describing her ability to be both a powerful entrepreneurial woman and a loving wife simultaneously. It’s a message that Ryan Pierce (Regina Hall) has embraced as a brand alongside her former football player husband […]

REVIEW: Una Mujer Fantástica [A Fantastic Woman] [2017]

“You didn’t have to treat me like a criminal” One of the worst experiences we endure is the loss of a loved one. It’s inevitable and yet no amount of preparation can truly soften the blow when it occurs. And it will occur more than once as parents, friends, spouses, and children grow within a […]