• REVIEW: Napszállta [Sunset] [2018]

    “It’s starting all over again” I felt as though I was running circles throughout László Nemes‘ sophomore effort Napszállta [Sunset]. It doesn’t help that we’re often inches from Írisz Leiter’s (Juli Jakab) face—if not looking through her very eyes—as she winds her way through an unfamiliar and just out of focus Budapest, Hungary. I speak […]

  • Top 100 Albums of 2018

    Honorable Mention: #100: Mindset by Vacationer #99: Bruce Wayne by Fetty Wap #98: 7 by Beach House #97: Castles by Lissie #96: Shift by Henry Green #95: Kyoto by Tyga #94: White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood by of Montreal #93: Trickster Blues by RF Shannon #92: I can feel you creepinto my private life by Tune-Yards […]

  • REVIEW: Transit [2018]

    “I won’t be writing anymore school essays” It took until the end of Christian Petzold‘s Transit and my reading the press notes to realize Georg’s (Franz Rogowski) story unfolded in the present day. I felt off-balance from the start as far as what the historical context for these events were because he was a German […]

  • REVIEW: Apollo 11 [2019]

    “The Eagle has landed” A black screen with the title Apollo 11 arrives for an instant before we’re whisked away to July 1969 as those in Mission Control and astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins prepare themselves for the first manned spaceflight to land on the moon. There’s no opening interstitial providing context, […]

  • INTERVIEW: Keith Behrman, writer/director of Giant Little Ones

    One of my favorite things about going to the Toronto International Film Festival is finding the time to see the smaller movies that aren’t on everyone’s must-see lists. While the gamble sometimes turns out to be a dud, the risk is easily justified when you’re able to discover a work as genuinely memorable as Keith […]

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film reviews

SUNDANCE19 REVIEW: The Last Tree [2019]

“You want to be free?” A child too young to understand the complexities of adulthood or desire to ask questions when the pain of their ramifications is still raw. A mother too proud to excuse the situation she created with the all too justifiable reasons able to imbue her with the strength necessary to offset […]

REVIEW: Black Sheep [2018]

“That could have been one of you guys” You hear it often: “Just fit in.” Parents say it to their children while friends wield peer pressure for similar goals. But those sentiments move beyond words when it comes to a world so ingrained with racism that some are deluded enough to believe it doesn’t exist. […]

REVIEW: Fauve [2018]

“First one to laugh is dead” Youthful thoughts of immortality have a way of getting children into trouble as well as teaching them lessons able to scar them for life. For Tyler (Félix Grenier) and Benjamin (Alexandre Perreault) it’s a seemingly innocent game of one-upmanship wherein an indefinable state of superiority earns each a point […]

REVIEW: End Game [2018]

“I feel better more than I feel bad” Two-time Oscar winner Rob Epstein and directing partner Jeffrey Friedman‘s short End Game bills itself as an intimate document of medical practitioners on the cutting edge of palliative care. Despite my believing the doctors onscreen are exactly that via trust, the film as presented doesn’t do this […]

REVIEW: A Night at the Garden [2017]

“You all have heard of me” On February 20, 1939, Fritz Kuhn—a naturalized American citizen of German heritage who would later be deported—held a pro-Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden under the auspices of “pro-America” sentiments for Gentile-Americans looking to escape the Jewish-led media and Jewish Moscow-directed domination of labor unions. Twenty thousand white men […]

REVIEW: Marguerite [2017]

“I won’t live forever, you know” Stereotyping is proven real when an elderly Marguerite (Béatrice Picard) asks her nurse Rachel (Sandrine Bisson) if the person she was talking to on the phone was her boyfriend only to hear, “My girlfriend” instead. The woman’s face drops in surprise with an, “Oh” before finding a smile and […]

REVIEW: Detainment [2018]

“Do you know what truth is?” Two ten-year old boys were placed into police custody in 1993 on suspicion of kidnapping and murdering the not-yet three-year old James Bulger in Merseyside, England. They were interrogated separately with parents present about their whereabouts on that fateful day and whether or not they were guilty of the […]

REVIEW: Lifeboat [2018]

“The heart is where your real thinking comes” Director Skye Fitzgerald‘s Lifeboat is the latest “human face” documentary to get an Oscar nomination. What might set it apart from others—for better or worse—is that it seeks to highlight the face of the man doing the saving as a beacon of hope more than the victims […]

REVIEW: Madre [Mother] [2017]

“Why hasn’t he come back?” A woman (Marta Nieto‘s Marta) and her mother (Blanca Apilánez) arrive at the former’s apartment talking about men. Marta speaks about friends, her mother leans into romanticism when the subject of a handsome gentleman comes up, and some jealousy arrives when it’s explained that he’s already attached to someone else. […]

REVIEW: Christine [1983]

“You have nothing to lose but your virginity” It shouldn’t be surprising to see parallels between John Carpenter‘s Christine and today considering we live in an era where phrases like “boys will be boys” are used to full stop sanitize the increasingly deplorable actions of young white American men. Back in the 1970s when this […]

REVIEW: Stan & Ollie [2018]

“Do we really need that trunk?” As someone completely unversed in the Laurel and Hardy oeuvre, I’m not sure there could have been a better introduction to the comedic duo than through their last year together. With Jon S. Baird and screenwriter Jeff Pope‘s Stan & Ollie (inspired by A.J. Marriot’s book Laurel and Hardy: […]

REVIEW: Destroyer [2018]

“Let’s see if it’s your time” It’s billed as a down and dirty revenge flick with some calling it a redundant variation on a theme “better” films already delivered. That’s not how I see it, though. No, Karyn Kusama‘s latest is about guilt. Erin Bell (Nicole Kidman) isn’t drowning herself in alcohol and pushing everyone […]

REVIEW: Braid [2019]

“Reality will never keep up with our dreams” Our lives consist of uncertainties. To progress forward is to confront each new possibility as the product of dream or nightmare—an open door to leap through and succeed or a closed window to surrender all hope of escape. We retreat within ourselves for the motivation to jump […]

REVIEW: Glass [2019]

“Why are we the only ones?” It began nineteen years ago with a tale about emotional and physical duress—byproducts of tortured lives being led by purportedly “great” men too defeated to reach their full potential until circumstances reveal the power possessed within. M. Night Shyamalan was playing with the notion of superheroes walking the thin […]

REVIEW: King of Thieves [2018]

“Stop talking shop. She’ll turn in her grave.” It’s not about the robbery. King of Thieves wouldn’t be worth telling if it was just watching these senior actors ranging sixty-years old to eighty-five fictitiously accomplish the “biggest jewel heist in British history” since there obviously won’t be any foot-chases or complex wire-suspended acrobatics. No, the […]