REVIEW: Motherless Brooklyn [2019]

“I’m chasing his footsteps” Frank Minna (Bruce Willis) was more than a boss to Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton). This man plucked him out of an orphanage wherein the nuns beat him because they believed his Tourette syndrome was a sign of wavering faith. Frank taught Lionel that anyone using God’s name to harm a child […]

REVIEW: 기생충 [Gisaengchung] [Parasite] [2019]

“This is so metaphorical” Min (Seo-joon Park) arrives unannounced at the semi-basement dwelling of his old friend Kim Ki-woo (Woo-sik Choi). The former is a college student about to study abroad, the latter an unemployed high school graduate doing his best to leech free wifi by the bathroom window since he, his sister (So-dam Park‘s […]

REVIEW: Paradise Hills [2019]

“There’s always a way to get what you want” It’s Uma’s (Emma Roberts) wedding day and everyone is excited. She sings a song while her affluent guests clap and dance, the conversations surrounding her making mention of how much work she’s put into making this whole occasion possible. The idyllic scene’s ornate beauty and plastic […]

BIFF19 REVIEW: Clover [2020]

“You don’t kill your friends” It wasn’t wise to borrow money from local mobster Tony Davolio (Chazz Palminteri), but brothers Mickey (Jon Abrahams) and Jackie (Mark Webber) didn’t have a choice. Running a bar isn’t easy these days and the added pressure of trying to keep one afloat after generations of family ownership forces their […]

REVIEW: Joker [2019]

“Don’t forget to smile” I would have bought writer/director Todd Phillips‘ line about bringing his gritty origin film Joker to the 1970s as a way of removing it from the existing DC Extended Universe (more than he already did by recasting the titular character after Jared Leto played him in Suicide Squad) if not for […]

REVIEW: Harpoon [2019]

“We need to promise not to kill each other” Writer/director Rob Grant wastes zero time getting us in the right frame of mind with Brett Gelman‘s perfectly sardonic voice narrating an auspiciously violent collision of three close friends caught in a lovers’ misunderstanding. Harpoon‘s first scene provides effect—a stranded yacht in the middle of the […]

REVIEW: Low Tide [2019]

“You ready to go exploring?” Just because writer/director Kevin McMullin‘s debut feature Low Tide centers on a trio of locals stuck in a New Jersey banks vacation town and forced to watch rich kids come every summer to treat them like one of the attractions with which to entertain themselves doesn’t mean it’s an “us […]

TIFF19 REVIEW: The Report [2019]

“It’s based on science” It matters that Diane Feinstein and other Senators (John McCain included) fought to make the Intelligence Committee’s report on “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” public because it held information the American people needed to know about how the CIA conducted itself after 9/11. While many would say the fact nobody has been prosecuted […]

TIFF19 REVIEW: Jallikattu [2019]

“Go straight for his heart” The day breaks and the rhythm of a community sparks with music, breathing, and rote action that keeps everyone in a familiar balance. They visit Varney the butcher (Chemban Vinod Jose), accept their pound of red flesh, and head to church. Everyone is happy. Everyone is at peace. Plans for […]

TIFF19 REVIEW: Knives Out [2019]

“The cow and the shotgun” No stranger to a good mystery—noir (Brick) or comedy (The Brothers Bloom)—Knives Out sees Rian Johnson getting back to a wholly original property before returning to the world of Star Wars. From the stellar cast to its Clue-esque estate (even he couldn’t resist that joke), this whodunit has looked impeccably […]

TIFF19 REVIEW: The Giant [2019]

“You can’t run from where we’ve been” Places, objects, sounds, and smells each retain shimmers of memory we long to hold and struggle to forget. This is what’s happened to Charlotte’s (Odessa Young) childhood home—the place where her mother took her own life. Whether she hasn’t thought of it in a long time or it’s […]