REVIEW: Sorry We Missed You [2019]

I never thought it would be this difficult. Companies lure you in with the prospect of “being your own boss,” sweeten the pot with the added incentive of “making your own schedule,” and then profit off your labor from the comfort of their office. And you buy-in because the potential is there if you put your head down, work hard, and pray there aren’t any unforeseen setbacks completely outside your control. The capitalist dream is built upon this idea that success happens for those who “earn” it and yet the…

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REVIEW: Endings, Beginnings [2020]

I’m not trying to make you feel better. This isn’t a love triangle romance. Daphne (Shailene Woodley) hates feeling like the star of “The Bachelorette” upon learning the two men she sparks connections with at a party (Jamie Dornan‘s Jack and Sebastian Stan‘s Frank) are best friends. If she could, she’d walk away from both since this period of her life was supposed to revolve around a self-prescribed six-month sabbatical from all vices: alcohol and men alike. That’s not who she is, though. She’s never dealt with being alone well…

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REVIEW: The Quarry [2020]

You’re not the one who can forgive. Reverend David Martín’s (Bruno Bichir) fate wasn’t set in stone while driving down a Texas highway with a bottle of wine in his hand. He still had choices. Should he stop to assist a man (Shea Whigham) found face down in the dirt? Should he offer a ride to the place that will serve as his own new beginning? Should he confront him about a dark truth his conscience won’t ignore? You might say that being a man of God did seal his…

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REVIEW: Extra Ordinary [2019]

The fragrant aroma of purity. When weird, unexplainable happenings occur—it’s probably a ghost. At least that’s what Vincent Dooley (Risteard Cooper) based a career of dealing with the paranormal upon. A producer of VHS tapes that taught audiences about these experiences as a group of phenomena he coined “Talents,” he also spoke with the dead. Alongside his young daughter Rose (who possessed the gifts necessary to deal with the more practical aspects such as incantations and guiding spirits into the afterlife), Vincent toured Ireland with the hope of helping those…

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REVIEW: Never Rarely Sometimes Always [2020]

A positive is always a positive. The title to Eliza Hittman‘s Never Rarely Sometimes Always has a specific meaning in that those are the choices a Planned Parenthood counselor (Kelly Chapman) provides seventeen-year old Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) as answers to a difficult yet crucial line of questioning about her psychological and physical wellbeing. Hittman films the scene as a continuous take with the camera never leaving this teen girl’s face as each query hits home for us to interpret her tears as the unspoken truth of life experiences too many…

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REVIEW: La Gomera [The Whistlers] [2019]

The package arrived safely. A Romanian detective named Cristi (Vlad Ivanov) just landed on La Gomera in the Spanish Canary Islands. Because he’s unsure who’s supposed to meet him or where he’s going, he enters Kiko’s (Antonio Buíl) car with trepidation despite the man seemingly knowing everything about him. Only when they arrive at their destination to find Gilda (Catrinel Marlon) does Cristi relax since she’s the one who asked him to come and gave him the plane ticket. The reason is to teach him how to use an ancestral…

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REVIEW: Beach Rats [2017]

I don’t really know what I like. Frankie (Harris Dickinson) has a lot on his mind. His father (Neal Huff‘s Joe) is dying of cancer in his living room. His little sister (Nicole Flyus‘ Carla) just got her first boyfriend. And his mother (Kate Hodge‘s Donna) is struggling to keep everything from falling apart. It’s no wonder that Frankie finds himself stealing a few of his dad’s pain pills each night to get high on the boardwalk with a trio of friends (Frank Hakaj‘s Nick, David Ivanov‘s Alexei, and Anton…

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REVIEW: Papa, sdokhni [Why Don’t You Just Die!] [2019]

It’s surprising how everything evil can be justified. Matvey (Aleksandr Kuznetsov) just wants to take his girlfriend Olya (Evgeniya Kregzhde) on a date. At least that’s what he tells her father Andrey (Vitaliy Khaev) when he opens the door. We know it isn’t quite true, though, considering his pulse is racing and his grip on the hammer hidden behind his back is tightening. Because a neighbor is walking to her apartment across the hall to provide way too compelling a witness, he can’t just take a swing and leave. So…

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REVIEW: Slay the Dragon [2020]

The people did not want this. It’s been depressing to watch America fall so far since I have been able to vote. Every passing year has seen the issues grow partisan to the point of rendering debate impossible. We lean into screaming matches instead because neither side is willing to listen. They simply bide time until they can drive home their own parroted viewpoint as some sort of empirical fact despite it being nothing of the sort. People we’ve respected and trusted reveal themselves to be hypocrites and words used…

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REVIEW: We Summon the Darkness [2020]

Let the madness begin. A rash of 1980s-era satanic ritual killings puts Pastor John Henry Butler (Johnny Knoxville) front and center in rural America’s consciousness because his church is doing its very best to combat the disintegration of society with the word of God. Just as his increased television appearances rally the Bible Belt to his cause (treating rock music and other not quite “demonic” practices as sinful weapons destroying their children’s souls), however, they also work to embolden those he is forsaking. More than calling out the as yet…

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REVIEW: Saint Frances [2020]

I apologize. The grass is neither greener nor less green on the other side. Not at present. Whether you have money or not, own a house or not, have a family or not—everyone has problems. You might not be able to admit them to yourself yet (or admit they aren’t insurmountable), but they most definitely exist. So when a partygoer begins to tell Bridget (Kelly O’Sullivan) about a nightmare he had wherein everything he worked towards was gone, we know his smugly callous joke about committing fake suicide in response…

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