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 […]

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: Nocturama [2016]

“It was bound to happen” What if a devastating act of violence was committed without purpose? Does it still have meaning? The answer of course is “yes” since such an attack leaves victims whether dead or psychologically scarred. Consequences reverberate well past borders of the town, country, and continent in which they occur because of […]

REVIEW: この世界の片隅に [Kono sekai no katasumi ni] [In This Corner of the World] [2016]

“Was I always daydreaming?” It’s starts as a cutely surreal slice of life in 1930s Japan as Suzu (Non) and her flights of fancy take the spotlight. The young girl loves to draw and daydream—the latter often leaving her with time lost in a place unknown. At one point she even finds herself with a […]

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: Aus dem Nichts [In The Fade] [2017]

“Don’t ever say that about my husband” Writer/director Fatih Akin makes sure we get a sense of the potentially volatile world he’s created (with co-writer Hark Bohm) from the first frame of Aus dem Nichts [In the Fade]. It starts with a handheld video recording of a wedding wherein the groom (Numan Acar‘s Nuri Sekerci) […]

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 […]

REVIEW: Their Finest [2017]

“Authenticity, optimism, and a dog” As the Blitz raged and British soldiers continued to pour into Europe to try and push the Germans back, those left at home to take cover during air raids and do their part in factories still needed something to keep morale high when it all looked so futile. One such […]

REVIEW: Hostiles [2017]

“You’re no angel your own self” The fact that America’s past isn’t without its horrific nightmares of misguided violence and oppression shouldn’t be lost on anyone, especially not with everything that’s going on here today. Our history runs red with the blood of men, women, and children who fought to survive against a force that […]