• TIFF18 REVIEW: First Man [2018]

    “It’s kinda neat” The non-controversy surrounding Damien Chazelle‘s First Man shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows how political parties have appropriated art into their agendas since the dawn of time. Of course they’d glom onto the decision to ignore the lunar flag planting as some “un-American” thing rather than read the script, watch the movie, or […]

  • TIFF18 REVIEW: If Beale Street Could Talk [2018]

    “Flesh of each other’s flesh” Fonny Hunt (Stephan James) puts out his arms for a hug upon seeing an old friend in Daniel (Brian Tyree Henry) after too much time and too many men their age have passed. Smiles and laughter enter the scene before they are soon replaced by beers and reminiscing. And then […]

  • TIFF18 REVIEW: Aniara [2018]

    “The utter nonsense of living” So much of our desire to exist is based in control. We have the ability to move our homes, restart careers, and work towards a future of our choosing. No matter how difficult things become, there’s always a hope for better or an avenue towards change. It’s only when we’re […]

  • REVIEW: Night Comes On [2018]

    “I don’t think you’re like him” When the parole board asks seventeen-year old Angel Lamere (Dominique Fishback) why she hasn’t seen her younger sister (Tatum Marilyn Hall‘s Abby) in two years despite only being incarcerated for one, her reply was an honest yet simplistic, “I wasn’t a good influence.” The fact that she is where […]

  • REVIEW: Sorry to Bother You [2018]

    “More like apples and the Holocaust” If you’re still unsure about whether capitalism brought the United States to its current position with extreme political divisiveness and the fallacy of what’s left of the “American Dream,” rapper-turned-writer/director Boots Riley is here to break it down via a debut as satirically sound as it is insanely, absurdly […]

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film reviews

TIFF18 REVIEW: Hölmö nuori sydän [Stupid Young Heart] [2018]

“Nobody knows” It was fun to laugh back in January when Donald Trump spoke to the media about how he wanted fewer immigrants from “shithole” countries and more from the likes of Norway. We laughed because it was obvious what the difference between the two was for him—my ignorance towards Scandinavian politics stopping at the […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: The Truth About Killer Robots [2018]

“We will not consider the question of the robot’s guilt” The title to Maxim Pozdorovkin‘s documentary The Truth About Killer Robots is intentionally sensationalized for the same reasons a real newspaper article about the death by machine of a Volkswagen factory worker would be accompanied by a photograph of a terminator. James Cameron put a […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Das schönste Paar [The Most Beautiful Couple] [2018]

“Stay cool. Okay?” It starts with a rape. I won’t lie: I sighed thinking Sven Taddicken‘s Das schönste Paar [The Most Beautiful Couple] was going to end up another drama about coping and retribution like most others wherein Liv (Luise Heyer) struggles as Malte (Maximilian Brückner) protects. So it was a welcome surprise when we’re […]

REVIEW: Searching [2018]

“Mom would be too” While it’s been done before (Unfriended and Open Windows to name two recent features), Aneesh Chaganty‘s all-on-digital-screens thriller Searching has earned a lot of buzz namely because it arrives with a genre pedigree beyond “schlock.” The vast majority of critics, filmgoers, and distributers still find it easy to dismiss horror despite […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Cascos Indomables [Helmet Heads] [2018]

“There’s a spot on your face” If Broken Lizard were Central American and deadpan, they might make something akin to Ernesto Villalobos‘ Cascos Indomables [Helmet Heads]. Think an extremely droll Super Troopers meets Office Space starring a sextet of bike messengers desperately trying to break the monotony of their stagnant lives while also staying afloat […]

REVIEW: 2001: A Space Odyssey [1968]

“This conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.” The opening chapter of Stanley Kubrick‘s seminal 2001: A Space Odyssey is entitled “The Dawn of Man” and depicts the evolution of apes from animal to wielder of tools—a transition marked by the mysterious appearance of a black monolith standing upright to frame the moon at its […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: The Dig [2018]

“He’s on my land” After fifteen years in jail for murder, Ronan Callahan (Moe Dunford) returns home to find his victim’s father caught in a loop. Every day spent behind bars was a day Sean McKenna (Lorcan Cranitch) languished in the bog behind the Callahans’ property, digging holes along a carefully marked grid in search […]

REVIEW: The Little Stranger [2018]

“Well you’re forgiven now” Novelist Sarah Waters said her intent with The Little Stranger was never to write a ghost story, but instead speak about the rise of socialism in the United Kingdom and how those of affluent stature just below the nobility dealt with the decline of their legacies in its aftermath. I haven’t […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Lof mér að falla [Let Me Fall] [2018]

“Then you’ll get the kick” Films about addiction can be tough to endure depending on how authentically harrowing the experience is drawn. They can only end in one of two ways: death or sobriety. The former can be literal or figurative depending on how deep the drug of choice has its claws fastened and the […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Les salopes ou le sucre naturel de la peau [Les Salopes or the Naturally Wanton Pleasure of Skin] [2018]

“In the end there are only human experiments” Can skin tell the difference between love and desire? It’s an intriguing question Marie-Claire (Brigitte Poupart) can’t help but want to answer as a dermatology professor and lover of sex if only to supply a reprieve from the usual carcinoma studies her doctorate students tediously gravitate towards. […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Blindsone [Blind Spot] [2018]

“Remember to breathe” The boldness of Tuva Novotny to choose to make her directorial debut a one-shot film of harrowing emotion cannot be understated. Her Blindsone [Blind Spot] takes us through the wringer as tragedy befalls a small, (seemingly) happy family without warning. These characters are distraught, confused, and falling to pieces as ambulances race […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Endzeit [Endzeit – Ever After] [2018]

“Go out and bury what haunts you” What if humanity’s apocalypse wasn’t the world’s end? We’ve become so used to treating ourselves as rulers of this planet despite knowing so little about it and the surrounding universe while also doing our best to destroy everything we touch. So what are we truly besides another in […]

REVIEW: Brimstone & Glory [2017]

“This one has gunpowder in his blood” The concept of The National Pyrotechnic Festival in Tultepec, Mexico is insane. For two days the town responsible for 90% of all fireworks in the nation plans an elaborate celebration in honor of their patron saint San Juan de Dios wherein they literally run into fire. First is […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Kingsway [2018]

“I’ve been on speaker?” Love and suicide. Those are the words director Bruce Sweeney says inspired him to write Kingsway and are very much at the forefront of his dramedy about the dysfunctional Horvat family. And both are treated with humor despite never in a way that belittles their respective import. It’s not about laughing […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Un ange [Angel] [2018]

“I’d rather consider myself a gazelle” Two lost souls struggling to reconcile their image meet in Senegal by chance. One’s a prostitute—although she rejects the label and the registration card that’s as much a means to procure wealthy clients as a permanent brand upon her skin. The other is a world famous cyclist just recovered […]