• 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 […]

  • TIFF19 REVIEW: The Rest of Us [2019]

    “Feels Inside Not Expressed” Despite death being a definitive end, there’s still a chance for new beginnings in the aftermath. Sometimes it’s by necessity and sometimes by choice. In the case of Craig, however, it’s inevitably both thanks to his leaving behind two families: his first and his second. While he left Cami (Heather Graham) […]

  • 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: Sound of Metal [2019]

    “Will it come back?” The film opens with Riz Ahmed‘s Ruben sitting at a drum kit while guitar distortions deafen us. Eventually Olivia Cooke‘s Lou starts screaming as his sticks connect for a steady beat until all hell breaks loose. We’re in this venue with them, the in-close camerawork proving Ahmed’s lessons paid off because […]

  • TIFF19 REVIEW: Håp [Hope] [2019]

    “What do we tell the kids?” Tomas (Stellan Skarsgård) was married with three children when Anja (Andrea Bræin Hovig) met him. She didn’t want to fall in love, but twenty years and three more kids later show that’s exactly what happened. When Anja raised their babies, Tomas worked—a lot. When it was time for her […]

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film reviews

TIFF19 REVIEW: Love Me Tender [2019]

“Don’t talk about her” Seconda (Barbara Giordano) is the second born child of Augusto (Maurizio Tabani) and Dominique (Anna Galante) and she cannot leave the house. Her agoraphobia might be at its most potent now at thirty-two years old, this latest stint of seclusion hitting the nine-month mark despite her parents imploring her to go […]

REVIEW: Endless Dreams and Water Between [2009]

“We’re all seekers” Aria wants to reconnect with her far-flung friends Lyn, Mar, and Raya via correspondence as a way to dissect, share, and experience the art, geography, and philosophical ruminations their lives spark at any given moment. She labels this unofficial club the September Institute and begins her initial letter by talking about the […]

REVIEW: Tone-Deaf [2019]

“Maybe you should get out of the city for a bit” The kids just aren’t the same anymore and it’s slowly making Harvey (Robert Patrick) go insane. His son (Ronnie Gene Blevins‘ David) thinks it’s dementia and wants to put him in an assisted living institute, but that’s merely another example of America’s youth forgetting […]

REVIEW: The Comedy [2012]

“I need you” If a privileged white asshole acts racist and misogynist as a rule because of the emotional pain created by the slow death of a rich father he may not even really like, should we feel empathy for his plight? I think this is the question Rick Alverson is asking with his film […]

TIFF19 REVIEW: Boże Ciało [Corpus Christi] [2019]

“Silence can also be a prayer” Faith is inherently about putting your complete trust in something or someone without knowing whether the object deserves such blind allegiance. We have faith in God because believing there’s purpose to atrocities is easier than accepting a nihilistic outlook on life just like the presence of miracles proves good […]

REVIEW: Luce [2019]

“I can’t be perfect” So much of who we are and what we become relies on perception. Race, gender, religion, sexuality, language, culture, education, and socio-economic standing all play a role because we’re perceived by those like us and those not. We therefore exist in a tenuous bubble of expectations wherein normalcy is a razor-thin […]

REVIEW: Dogman [2018]

“You’ve got to solve your own problem” Would anyone miss Simone (Edoardo Pesce) if he disappeared? No. He’s a heavy that possesses no positive impact on the impoverished Italian community in which he resides. Addicted to cocaine and wielding a temper that always keeps fresh cuts and bruises on his face despite everyone knowing you […]

REVIEW: Maiden [2019]

“The ocean is always trying to kill you” There’s no better example of the patriarchy poisoning the word “feminism” than a woman explaining that she rejects the word before than saying she fights for a world where women can accomplish everything a man can instead … in other words: feminism. Despite what men want you […]

REVIEW: Buñuel en el laberinto de las tortugas [Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles] [2019]

“I think I’ve been lost since I got here” Before surrealist legend Luis Buñuel found himself directing multiple films a year during the 1950s on the way to creating French classics like Belle de Jour and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie in the 60s and 70s respectively, he became a persona non grata when […]

REVIEW: Riot Girls [2019]

“You feel me, bro?” Following her success helming a segment in the well-received, woman-directed horror anthology XX, former Rue Morgue editor Jovanka Vuckovic delivers her feature film debut with the high concept, post-apocalyptic teen actioner Riot Girls. Obviously borrowing from the underground feminist punk movement Riot grrrl for its title (with an appropriate aesthetic and […]

REVIEW: Un couteau dans le coeur [Knife+Heart] [2018]

“She’s playing with real life” Anne Parèze (Vanessa Paradis) has ruined her love. What she’s done to push Loïs (Kate Moran) away is unknown, but her desperation ensures we know she was dumped and not the dumper. Whatever happened hasn’t soured their relationship completely, however. Loïs still cares enough about Anne as a person and […]

REVIEW: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw [2019]

“How long have you worked here?” After eight movies and an increasing cast of characters latching on without letting go, the Fast & Furious franchise found itself overcrowded. While not a problem on a supporting level, an ego trip logjam at the top almost always gets broken up. Luckily for Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, […]

REVIEW: Les îles [Islands] [2018]

“Tell me you want me” Winner of the Queer Palm at Cannes 2017 for short film, Yann Gonzalez‘s Les îles [Islands] delivers eroticism in many forms. From one scene of intimacy to the next, he lets his camera follow characters into the throes of sex before pulling out to show how one’s pleasures are another’s […]

FANTASIA19 REVIEW: 8 [2019]

“I am the wanderer and you are mine forever” It’s a chicken and egg conundrum. Does a demon named Utuli roam the earth in search of souls to consume, feeding on the weakness of those who’ve endured lost to serve as its host? Or does it create turmoil and tragedy precisely to enlist those willing […]

FANTASIA19 REVIEW: Sator [2019]

“He will make you pure” Writer/director (and pretty much every other behind the scenes position a feature-length film demands) Jordan Graham‘s grandmother used to hear voices and write the words being spoken down as though they were messages she needed to both understand and follow. She called the orator Sator, “his” name scrawled upon the […]