REVIEW: The Woman in the Window [2021]

It’s not really therapy if there’s a knife at your back. No one seems to have been under any illusion that what they were making was in any way original. Director Joe Wright wouldn’t have his old movie lover lead character watching Alfred Hitchcock‘s Rear Window in the opening scene if he did. Much like Disturbia, however, comparing one work to another because of similar basic premises is usually just a way of proving your inability to realize all art is pretty much an amalgam of references anyway. We champion…

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REVIEW: La Dosis [The Dose] [2020]

Important decisions are never easy to make. Despite being a film about euthanatizing ICU nurses at a provincial hospital in Argentina, Martín Kraut‘s directorial debut La Dosis [The Dose] actually begins with a miraculous attempt to bring a patient back to life after doctors had already declared her dead. That’s the kind of man Marcos (Carlos Portaluppi) is, though. On the job for two decades and counting, he knows when someone is beyond help and when their time has yet to arrive. He therefore grabs the paddles, shocks her two…

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IFFR21 REVIEW: Death on the Streets [2021]

You know we’re here. There’s a question looming above the entirety of European Johan Carlsen‘s film about a self-destroyed American man entitled Death on the Streets: Is Kurt (Zack Mulligan, one of three subjects from Bing Liu‘s Minding the Gap delivering his acting debut) a failure? To anyone who sees his life with wife Sarah (Katie Folger), two young sons, and an expansive (albeit intrusive) support system, the answer is a resounding “No.” To Kurt himself, however, there’s zero wiggle room when it comes to believing the opposite. He’s allowed…

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REVIEW: Port Authority [2021]

Players don’t tell the truth. When Paul (Fionn Whitehead) left Pittsburgh for New York City, he believed he had family ready to welcome him with open arms. His half-sister Sara (Louisa Krause) wasn’t at the station when he arrived, though, and Aunt Mary didn’t give him a phone number or address with which to contact her. So he went on a train to sleep the night only to get accosted by two men and saved by another. Lee (McCaul Lombardi) was a stranger, but he lent a helping hand and…

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REVIEW: Dream Horse [2021]

The pigeons keep coming back. A film about a Welsh horse named Dream Alliance doesn’t get made unless the ending holds a cup, but a horse like Dream Alliance doesn’t get the chance to win if not for the loveable band of small-town eccentrics who decided to set ten quid aside each week. For Jan Vokes (Toni Collette), Daisy Vokes (Owen Teale), and Howard Davies (Damian Lewis)—who had the idea, the breeding experience, and knew the racing world respectively—this was more than some hairbrained scheme to make money. They were…

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REVIEW: De forbandede år [Into the Darkness] [2020]

So what happens next? The irony of neutrality is that you must have a formidable army to sustain it. It’s therefore cute to watch as the aristocracy looks aghast when a foe such as Adolph Hitler comes knocking because they thought they were safe. Talk about privilege and naiveté. The people attending Karl Skov’s (Jesper Christensen) anniversary party are actually incredulous when German planes drop leaflets onto their heads. They wonder how their king could just surrender as though they ever stood a chance once Hitler began moving west and…

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REVIEW: The Dry [2021]

Out shooting rabbits. Aaron Falk (Eric Bana) wasn’t ever planning on coming back. Leaving wasn’t his choice, but at a certain point the present replaces the past. Hearing that his best friend from high school killed his wife and son before turning the gun on himself wasn’t therefore going to change his mind. If anything, knowing that truth and the fact that Luke was gone might have been the final nail as far as never returning at all. But that’s when the card came with a cryptic message more or…

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REVIEW: The Killing of Two Lovers [2021]

You need to fight for us. It was supposed to be a surprise—just not on him. David (Clayne Crawford) and Nikki (Sepideh Moafi) are trying to work on their marriage via a separation, but the distance between them can never be too far considering their small town puts his father’s house (where he’s currently staying) just around the corner. So David decides to walk over early before escorting their four kids to the bus-stop. He enters the house, moves to the bedroom, and sees Nikki asleep with another man (Chris…

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REVIEW: Silo [2021]

‘They’ say a lot of stupid things. The After School Special vibe at the back of Marshall Burnette‘s Silo isn’t a bug. It’s a feature. Because beyond creating a captivatingly suspenseful premise with which to build a plot, grain entrapment is a significant enough issue to demand a path towards awareness as much as cinematic entertainment. As the text that appears right before the end credits states: one person has been victim to such incidents approximately every fifteen days since the 1960s. That’s a crazy stat and yet those of…

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REVIEW: Four Good Days [2021]

All I have left is hope. There’s a moment late in Rodrigo García‘s Four Good Days where Deb (Glenn Close) pounds on her ex-husband’s door to unleash the pent-up rage building within thanks to what appears to be yet another false start on their daughter Molly’s (Mila Kunis) road to recovery from an almost two decades-long battle with opioid addiction. She chastises his ambivalence (justified considering this is the fifteenth time Molly has attempted to detox) by screaming, “We’re doing the work!” But he’s having none of it. He screams…

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REVIEW: Moffie [2020]

You are no longer someone. There’s no better propaganda machine than the military. But while that institution generally wields its power upon those who willingly embrace its messaging, not every country relies on volunteers to fill their ranks. For countries like South Africa during Apartheid, conscription became a way to retain white minority control. Why? Because it ensured that every able white male would receive a steady dose of its racist and bigoted rhetoric for at least two years. Rather than preach to the choir, the Afrikaners could brainwash every…

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