• 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 […]

  • REVIEW: Leave No Trace [2018]

    “We can still think our own thoughts” It’s easy to depict PTSD-suffering war veterans as unstable, dangerous, and beyond help from inevitable tragedy. This depiction has sadly become the Hollywood norm to conjure volatile dramatics devoid of the empathy those struggling to combat their demons deserve. If anyone could supply the necessary humanity to portray […]

  • INTERVIEW: Xavier Legrand, writer/director of Custody

    It’s always a treat to see a director whose work you’ve enjoyed in short form make the leap to features—especially when the latter debuts at a venue as auspicious as the Toronto International Film Festival. This is exactly what happened with Xavier Legrand last year. Less than half a decade after earning his first Oscar […]

  • Top 100 Albums of 2017

    Honorable Mention: #100: Talking by Elderbrook #99: Carnival III:The Fall and Rise of a Refugee by Wyclef Jean #98: Somewhere in Between by VÉRITÉ #97: The World We Built by The Wild Reeds #96: Lines by Charlie Cunningham #95: Ti Amo by Phoenix #94: Confidently Lost by Sabrina Claudio #93: Last Place by Grandaddy #92: […]

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film reviews

REVIEW: Le Redoutable [Godard Mon Amour] [2017]

“I was lucky enough to admire my lover” We’re introduced to Emile (Marc Fraize) halfway through Michel Hazanavicius‘ Le Redoubtable [Godard Mon Amour]. He’s a local Frenchman with a car and the means to procure enough gas to drive an argumentative Jean-Luc Godard (Louis Garrel), his wife Anne Wiazemsky (Stacy Martin), and their friends (Micha […]

REVIEW: Tully [2018]

“You’re empty” After loving their first collaboration (Juno) and disliking their second (Young Adult), I didn’t know what to expect with director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody‘s third pairing behind the camera. The best I could do was enter the theater unprejudiced and hopeful for the best since I do like most of their […]

REVIEW: Isle of Dogs [2018]

“You’ve heard the rumor, right?” I feel like the twee sensibilities of writer/director Wes Anderson might be catching up to him. Moonrise Kingdom was a sort of rejuvenation proving both exactly like his oeuvre and wholly unique as its child’s perspective lent a fresh voice to his usual brand of artificial melodrama. But rather than […]

REVIEW: Revenge [2018]

“Elizabeth and the kids ok?” The front half of Coralie Fargeat‘s debut feature Revenge provides audiences the sort of sensory overload that hits like a sledgehammer. You might not think this will be the case considering things start off with a serenely static shot of desert expanse while a helicopter approaches from the center of […]

REVIEW: Measure of a Man [2018]

“This time I had something to prove” The coming of age dramedy is a crowded genre with many seminal works established in the 70s and 80s. It’s tough to therefore see any entries without comparing them to what came first. Some can still find their niche and win audiences over before earning a place besides […]

REVIEW: And Then I Go [2018]

“Ours is a group of two” The Columbine massacre happened in 1999. It’s crazy to think it’s been over twenty years because we seem to have a new school shooting every month now. And as they grew in prevalence, the conversation surrounding them shifted from tragedy to politicization. Gus Van Sant‘s Elephant arrived in 2003 […]

REVIEW: The Longest Game [2018]

“These are elderly gentlemen. Some get very emotional very quickly.” When director Camille Thoman calls the octogenarians at the center of her documentary The Longest Game charming, she’s describing their initial, surface appeal. At a time when everyone’s aging parents and grandparents are proving how out of touch with the twenty-first century they are in […]

REVIEW: Avengers: Infinity War [2018]

“He’s never fought me twice” It’s been ten years since we met Tony Stark on the big screen. Ten years of serial storytelling with massive budgets, character crossovers, television offshoots, and Stan Lee cameos that took Hollywood and the box office by storm. Not even steward Kevin Feige could have predicted that type of longevity […]

REVIEW: Super Troopers 2 [2018]

“Happiness in the household” To look at Broken Lizard is to see the ever-changing landscape of mid-range studio cinema at the turn of the century. These five guys (Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske) formed a comedy troupe in college before taking their first film Puddle Cruiser on a campus […]

REVIEW: You Were Never Really Here [2018]

“I must do better, sir” An unparalleled exercise in economy, Lynne Ramsay‘s You Were Never Really Here cements her status as a cinematic master. This brutalist thriller runs a deliberate yet swift 89-minutes, its central character a man of few words with violence bubbling just beneath a too large heart for the hostile world that’s […]

REVIEW: Love After Love [2018]

“She was a person of real consequence” A father is sick and then he dies. There’s nothing too original in that progression of events or in how those left behind cope. Sometimes this type of tragedy makes people retreat within themselves and others see themselves lash out for attention. Sometimes it’s a foregone conclusion loved […]

REVIEW: A Wrinkle in Time [2018]

“Love is the frequency” While waiting outside the bathrooms after A Wrinkle in Time finished, I saw a white couple with their two young, fair-haired daughters walking out of the theater. Mom and Dad were explaining to one how movies are interpretations. They were reminding her that she had an idea of what the characters […]

REVIEW: Lean on Pete [2018]

“I’d rather them never see me again than see me like this” Loneliness is a tough concept to cope with as a child, especially when it begins to seem as though you’re to blame. That’s hardly the case, though, since people who leave do so out of selfishness rather than “just cause.” You may think […]

REVIEW: 火垂るの墓 [Hotaru no haka] [Grave of the Fireflies] [1988]

“Please stay home with me” Everything I read and heard about Isao Takahata‘s Hotaru no haka [Grave of the Fireflies] appeared to want to prepare me for a solemnly tragic tale that couldn’t be completed without tears streaming down my face. I took this train of thought as a badge of honor—preparing its emotionality and […]

TFF18 REVIEW: Phantom Cowboys [2018]

“Give it hell. Turn left.” It would be easy to dismiss Nick Reyes, Larry Young, and Tyler Carpenter as three variations on the same thing: poor American youth. The simple fact their stories are combined within Daniel Patrick Carbone‘s poetic look at nature, nurture, opportunity, and struggle in rural areas of our country entitled Phantom […]