REVIEW: La passion de Jeanne d’Arc [The Passion of Joan of Arc] [1928]

“His ways are not our ways” The history of Carl Theodor Dreyer‘s masterwork La passion de Jeanne d’Arc [The Passion of Joan of Arc] is almost too perfectly attuned to the subject matter itself. Here was a renowned director hired to craft a movie about France’s most famous Catholic despite being neither French nor Catholic. […]

REVIEW: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 [2017]

“We are creativity itself” It’s not easy to depict mental illness with honest clarity or art’s cathartic influence as therapy, but Frank Stiefel‘s look at Mindy Alper entitled Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 does both. It helps that Mindy is an open, self-aware subject despite crippling anxieties. She leads his camera through […]

REVIEW: Edith+Eddie [2017]

“Treat everybody right” You hear horror stories of people who foster children in order to pocket the money they receive from the state meant for that child’s wellbeing and want to hope they’re the exceptions rather than rule. It’s easy to be cynical, however, and believe the opposite in this world. The same can be […]

REVIEW: Dear Basketball [2017]

“I did everything for you” “Money” is a word used to describe Kobe Bryant the athlete because he was the guy you gave the ball to with no time on the clock. Everyone could rely on him whether coach, teammate, or fan because we knew the chances were that a good look at the hoop […]

REVIEW: 12 Strong [2018]

“There are no right choices here” War films generally come in two varieties: a gray introspective look at its emotional and psychological cost and black and white jingoistic propaganda. The former is generally acclaimed as award worthy while the latter is dumped during winter months so its target audience of NRA-loving Republicans in American flag […]

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: 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: Molly’s Game [2017]

“I’ll bet heavy on the favorite” There’s a common theme throughout much of Aaron Sorkin‘s work the past few years of focusing on the unlikely redeemable qualities of figures easily reduced and reviled by a general public quick to judge without all the facts. You see it in The Social Network and its quest to […]

REVIEW: Crown Heights [2017]

“Please don’t let it be a cell” It’s a horror story. Eighteen year-old black immigrant from Trinidad—not averse to such crimes as boosting cars for extra cash—is picked up on the street, handcuffed, and taken into custody for the murder of someone he’s never even heard of let alone seen to put a bullet in […]

REVIEW: មុនដំបូងខ្មែរក្រហមសម្លាប់ប៉ារបស់ខ្ញុំ [First They Killed My Father] [2017]

“We no longer speak of rich or poor” As the Vietnam War raged, the neutral country of Cambodia was thrown into chaos. The United States was bombing the countryside to destroy as many Viet Cong-backed forces (Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge) possible while the military dictatorship they backed (Lon Nol’s Khmer Republic) ruled after a 1970 […]

REVIEW: I, Tonya [2017]

“I mean those bitches didn’t know what hit ’em” You don’t get more American than 1994, a year when O.J. Simpson was arrested in conjunction with the brutal murder of his ex-wife and her friend just five months after Nancy Kerrigan made a stunning recovery to win silver at the Winter Olympics despite having her […]