TIFF19 REVIEW: The Report [2019]

“It’s based on science” It matters that Diane Feinstein and other Senators (John McCain included) fought to make the Intelligence Committee’s report on “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” public because it held information the American people needed to know about how the CIA conducted itself after 9/11. While many would say the fact nobody has been prosecuted […]

REVIEW: Captain Marvel [2019]

“I’m not what you think I am” With the snap of his fingers, Thanos made half of Earth’s population disappear. It was the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most harrowing climactic cliffhanger and it did possess an emotional response despite knowing most if not all of our beloved characters would find their way back before the war […]

TIFF REVIEW: Life Itself [2018]

“Tell them I’m nice” Morbid or not: I love when stationary characters turn to the camera only to be hit by a vehicle coming from offscreen. There’s something that’s just immensely satisfying about watching one step into that sweet spot of quiet, empty space with a hindered view on either side. I brace for impact, […]

REVIEW: 20th Century Women [2016]

“You wish you were crazy” There’s a lot to unpack in 20th Century Women, Mike Mills‘ look at lost souls adrift on paths towards happiness (if happiness even exists). For one he’s a man writing progressive feminists who in turn earnestly educate the two men in their lives how to be men. That alone takes […]

REVIEW: Rules Don’t Apply [2016]

“You’re an exception” Eighteen years after Bulworth and fifteen after Town & Country (his last time directing and acting for a feature film respectively), Warren Beatty returns to the big screen with a fictionalized biography of Howard Hughes forty years in the making. It’s a passion project and vanity project: two endeavors worthy of an […]

REVIEW: The Grifters [1990]

“He was so crooked he could eat soup with a corkscrew” My first Stephen Frears film was High Fidelity and I loved it. A couple years later came Dirty Pretty Things and my reaction was the same. Here was a director I must keep tabs on as well as peer back towards everything pre-2000 to […]

REVIEW: The Great Outdoors [1988]

“Let go of the rope” Most would probably call it lesser John Hughes—he wrote and produced with Howard Deutch taking the director’s chair—but The Great Outdoors will always hold a special place in my heart. If you asked me who John Candy was in 1990 I’d probably have said, “the guy from The Great Outdoors” […]

REVIEW: Ruby Sparks [2012]

“I will never write about her again” The debut screenplay from actress Zoe Kazan includes moments ringing absolutely true and others completely false. I can’t stop thinking about Harry Weir-Fields (Chris Messina) giving his brother Calvin (Paul Dano)—the film’s lead—notes on his new, very rough manuscript. Asking without a shred of patronization who the target […]

REVIEW: Mother and Child [2010]

“Sometimes when you fall, it’s hard to get up” The women inhabiting the ensemble drama Mother and Child from HBO veteran Rodrigo García are connected by blood, psyche, emotion, and, above all else, motherhood. The title is no coincidence; it succinctly encapsulates the subject matter. Beginning with a young boy and girl’s first sexual encounter, […]

REVIEW: The Kids Are All Right [2010]

“And then, ya know, my tongue started working again …” You can call writer/director Lisa Cholodenko’s new movie The Kids Are All Right a look into the world of a lesbian-raised family and you’d be correct. But it is so much more than just an exercise on showing the expansive definition of ‘nuclear family’. All […]

REVIEW: Running with Scissors [2006]

“Hug back” The trailers for this adaptation of Augusten Burroughs’ memoirs, Running with Scissors, looked like an offbeat, quirky comedy. I had heard good things about the novel and the cast looked amazing. However, I am very happy I didn’t spend the money to see it in theatres. This film ended up being a sprawling […]