• REVIEW: The Standoff at Sparrow Creek [2019]

    “One’s missing” The film begins in total silence to the point where you wonder if something went wrong with the sound. The camera pans through still trees until finding Gannon (James Badge Dale) on the ground with rifle ready to take out the deer we can assume is somewhere out of frame. It’s only when […]

  • Online Film Critics Society Ballot 2018

    Below is my December 27th ballot for the 22nd annual Online Film Critics Society Awards honoring movies released domestically in the United States during the 2018 calendar year. Group winners are highlighted in red. (No option to abstain was supplied this year.) Best Picture #1If Beale StreetCould Talk #2You Were NeverReally Here #3Hereditary #4Eighth Grade […]

  • REVIEW: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse [2018]

    “It’s just puberty” You have to hand it to Sony for thinking outside the box. Not long ago they had the number one cinematic superhero property with Tobey Maguire donning the Spidey-suit to take on the Osborns. They tried to strike gold twice with a new “Amazing” iteration starring Andrew Garfield, but the results simply […]

  • REVIEW: We the Animals [2018]

    “We wanted more” There are a lot of hard truths within We the Animals. Describing patriarch Paps (Raúl Castillo) as “loving but unpredictable” in the press notes gets right to the heart of that complexity since a more apt description could be “abuser.” He’s a man with a hot temper who inflames his wife (Sheila […]

  • REVIEW: Minding the Gap [2018]

    “We formed a family together” It begins as a film about self-created community, three young men coming together on their skateboards to escape the private turmoil experienced at home. The sport was a cathartic outlet more than some bid to act cool, helping them become close enough friends to share details about their individual demons […]

contact me:
[email protected]


film reviews

TIFF REVIEW: The Front Runner [2018]

“A lot can happen in three weeks” And so it began—sentiments that prove true only until the next example replaces it. We’re just two years removed from Donald Trump’s victory for president of the United States and already the art seeking answers about what went wrong and what went right have arrived. Much of it […]

TIFF REVIEW: The Predator [2018]

“Did I say that out loud?” Writer Shane Black had a good year in 1987. He burst onto the action screenwriting scene with Lethal Weapon. Co-wrote the cult classic children versus Universal monsters fantasy The Monster Squad with Fred Dekker. And landed a supporting role in the Arnold Schwarzenegger-starring Predator as an exfil team member […]

TIFF REVIEW: Mouthpiece [2019]

“This isn’t about you” Cassandra (played by Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava) reminds her mother (Maev Beaty‘s Elaine) that we (humans) used to only live until forty. I think we often forget this fact—subjectively rather than objectively. The disparity between my generation and my parents’ is a veritable canyon as far as notions of domesticity, […]

TIFF REVIEW: Les filles du soleil [Girls of the Sun] [2018]

“Women, life, liberty” It’s just like America to document ISIS as a fight we must combat—like the saviors we are. There’s a reason for this from our perspective, but our jingoistic thought process does detract from what’s occurring on the ground. People are engaged in a war that they have no way to avoid. They’ve […]

TIFF REVIEW: Loro [2018]

“Him, Him?” If you watch “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” you know Silvio Berlisconi. The Italian tycoon turned politician is mired in scandals, controversy, and populist excitement to the point of having a bizarre theme song declaring, “Thank Goodness for Silvio.” He smiles and waves, refuses to divest business interests while in office, and […]

REVIEW: The Miseducation of Cameron Post [2018]

“There’s no hiding from God” “Separation of church and state” has always fascinated me since the only consistency within is the ability to pick and choose when and how it’s enforced. We’re the “land of the free” and therefore shouldn’t impose certain laws and safeties upon religious communities trying to practice their faith. But when […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Fiore Gemello [Twin Flower] [2018]

“Shall we go?” Two strangers running from personal demons collide at the start of Laura Luchetti‘s Sardinia-set Fiore gemello [Twin Flower]. He (Kallil Kone’s Basim) is an Ivory Coast immigrant desperate for money yet unequipped with the correct paperwork to earn gainful employment. She (Anastasiya Bogach’s Anna) is desperate to escape a pursuer (Aniello Arena‘s […]

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 […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Jessica Forever [2018]

“Why wouldn’t you come with us?” Redemption is a tricky concept. Can you be redeemed without forgiveness from those you wronged? Are our actions in the aftermath enough to achieve some semblance of peace if they show we’ve learned through remorse? Everyone has a different opinion on the matter whether victim, loved one, stranger, or […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Where Hands Touch [2018]

“I want her to be like everyone else: unremarkable” Now is not the time to make a film romanticizing Nazism or allowing anyone who donned the swastika during World War II a modicum of sympathy. I’d argue there could never be such a time—at least not for those who say they felt bad but still […]

REVIEW: Predator [1987]

“I ain’t got time to bleed” I really hope the anecdote is true that Jim and John Thomas wrote their script for Predator based on a joke positing how the only opponent left for Rocky Balboa to fight after Ivan Drago was an alien. It’s a cheesy thought and cheesier premise, so the fact that […]

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 […]