• Online Film Critics Society Ballot 2016

    Below is my December 31st ballot for the 20th annual Online Film Critics Society Awards honoring movies released domestically in the United States during the 2016 calendar year. Group winners are highlighted in red. Best Picture #1Moonlight. #2Manchesterby the Sea #3Arrival. #4Jackie. #5The Witch. #6Hell orHigh Water #7La La Land. #8O.J.: Madein America #9The Handmaiden. […]

  • REVIEW: Fences [2016]

    “A fastball on the outside corner” It seems that many people have been docking points from Denzel Washington‘s latest directorial effort Fences by labeling it as “too theatrical.” Well, that’s somewhat hard to avoid when you’re dealing with August Wilson‘s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play and its wall-to-wall dialogue touching upon love, responsibility, race, […]

  • REVIEW: La La Land [2016]

    “Or one more dream that I cannot make true” Writer/director Damien Chazelle burst onto the scene in 2014 on the back of his Oscar-nominated and critical darling Whiplash. It took this jazz drummer time to finally breakthrough with his sophomore feature, time that saw actors and producers taking a risk on him that would ultimately […]

  • REVIEW: Manchester by the Sea [2016]

    “I can’t beat it” It’s hard to imagine a Manchester by the Sea directed by Matt Damon and starring John Krasinski, but that was the original plan. They actually brought the idea to Kenneth Lonergan—Damon acted in one of his friend’s plays on stage and also his sophomore film Margaret. Hollywood is tough, though. Schedules […]

  • REVIEW: Jackie [2016]

    “When something’s written down—does that make it true?” It’s rather intriguing how we feel we know our presidents. They represent us as a leader of the free world and we in turn love them enough to mourn their passing even when it’s decades after their run in the Oval Office ceased. But what is it […]



film reviews

REVIEW: The Story of 90 Coins [2015]

“I will prove my love and determination to you” Here’s an interesting film that’s beautiful to look at and well acted, but built on a story steeped in a notion the twenty first century doesn’t and shouldn’t accept. It could be a lost in translation situation wherein gender roles and patriarchal ideals remain stuck in […]

REVIEW: Gary From Accounting [2016]

“I think I left my oven on so I’m going to …” Drinking problems are a serious matter. Alcoholics neglect their families, careers, and their own health as they walk through life in a haze towards their next glass. It’s hard to reach someone suffering from this disease without the cold hard truth. So you […]

REVIEW: Saving Banksy [2017]

“The people who run our cities don’t understand graffiti because they think nothing has the right to exist—unless it makes a profit” I love Banksy‘s work most because of how it comments on the commodification of art. Here’s a world-renowned master who refuses to authenticate anything he’s done on the street—his canvas of choice. He […]

REVIEW: The Bye Bye Man [2017]

“Don’t think it. Don’t say it.” A horror movie slated to open in October means buzz and solid expectations. It used to be you didn’t see the genre at any other time—back before studios discovered how cheap they were to produce and how palatable they were to teens looking for something to do on a […]

REVIEW: Live By Night [2016]

“We don’t get to pick our sins” A scene happens early on in Live by Night where Deputy Police Captain Thomas Coughlin (Brendan Gleeson) tells his criminal son Joe (Ben Affleck) that our actions always add up to a conclusion for which we can never predict. The idea is that Joe is a good man—a […]

REVIEW: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story [2016]

“Rebellions are built on hope” George Lucas used to say years ago that the original Star Wars trilogy was but three chapters of an epic nine-part saga. It dealt with the Skywalker family, beginning in the middle to introduce a passing of the “Force” from father to son. Lucas would eventually make the first three […]

REVIEW: Die Hard [1988]

“Make fists with your toes” It’s become such an action classic with numerous sequels, copycats, and homages and yet Die Hard as we know it almost never was—by choice. Novelist Roderick Thorp wrote Nothing Lasts Forever, his follow-up to The Detective, thirteen years after the original because he saw The Towering Inferno and dreamt up […]

REVIEW: Passengers [2016]

“Excellent choice” **Spoilers included** You’re traveling on a spaceship towards a distant planet in hopes of restarting your life anew with endless possibilities. The journey takes 120 years, your body in stasis to arrive the same age that you left. Let’s say something happens around the thirty year mark to cause an unknown malfunction that […]

REVIEW: Dr. Feelgood: Dealer or Healer? [2016]

“Choose the best face that describes how you feel” I’ve been lucky to have never used painkillers whether as a result of high pain tolerance or simply not having experienced enough to deem it necessary. I know people who have, though, and it is a Godsend at times whether opium-based or not. So I couldn’t […]

REVIEW: 13th [2016]

“… blacks get hurt worse than whites.”– Lee Atwater While 13th—Ava DuVernay‘s documentary about the criminal justice system and mass incarceration being used to extend slavery via a loophole in the Thirteenth Amendment—is far from perfect, it is crucial to commence a conversation and relevant in a way John Oliver simply cannot equal thanks to […]

REVIEW: Neruda [2016]

“He’s the king of love” Pablo Neruda was a Chilean legend. He was a poet who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971, a diplomat holding multiple posts including that of Senator for the Communist Party, and ultimately so feared by President González Videla and President Augusto Pinochet that his death is rumored to […]

REVIEW: Sing [2016]

“Don’t let fear stop you from doing the thing you love” After helming The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Son of Rambow, it’s easy to forget writer/director Garth Jennings started his career as one half of music video masters Hammer & Tongs. Pair his knowledge of music with some great past examples of family-friendly […]

REVIEW: Assassin’s Creed [2016]

“Not everyone deserves to live” The Knights Templar and their numerous myths about secret societies and grand political aspirations have rendered the organization primed for villainous roles in multiple forms of media. One example is Ubisoft’s videogame Assassin’s Creed wherein a violent war has waged for centuries between the Templars’ drive for world domination (peace […]

REVIEW: Paterson [2016]

“Without love, what reason is there for anything?” Doctor William Carlos Williams includes a line inside his epic poem “Paterson” that states: “no ideas but in things.” When writer/director Jim Jarmusch was asked what this meant, he replied: “that you start with the things around you and the details of daily life and you find […]

REVIEW: Elle [2016]

“It was necessary” Director Paul Verhoeven has made a career of pushing the envelope whether through violence, sex, politics, or all three wrapped together. It’s hardly surprising then that his buzzword of choice on the promotional trail for his latest Elle has been “controversial.” The word choice is appropriate considering David Birke‘s script (adapted from […]