• calvary01

    REVIEW: Calvary [2014]

    “I’ve always found forgiveness to be underrated” I’m not a religious man—hell, I’m barely agnostic. I’m also not sure if that truth helps my finding John Michael McDonagh‘s Calvary as powerful as I believe it to be or simply evidence of it’s universality for both churchgoers and not. A reflection on faith, God, and ourselves […]

  • spring01

    TIFF14 REVIEW: Spring [??]

    “I’m not drunk enough to sleep in your mother’s deathbed” The first words in Colin Geddes’ TIFF description for Vanguard selection Spring are, “Before Sunrise gets a supernatural twist.” You read that as a cinephile and you push everything aside to check out what it could mean. A horror romance co-director Aaron Moorhead described in […]

  • samba01

    TIFF14 REVIEW: Samba [2014]

    “Red paper. Then … no more.” Every movie should have a score by Ludovico Einaudi and it’s comforting to see Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano agree. After using his haunting music on the brilliant Intouchables, the duo take a few tracks from his album In a Time Lapse to enhance their latest work Samba. Another […]

  • mostwantedman01

    REVIEW: A Most Wanted Man [2014]

    “You can’t undo what’s done” You wouldn’t be wrong to assume a lot of what’s happening during the course of A Most Wanted Man are red herrings steering us away from the truth it’s suspense thriller hides, but you would be mistaken. What I love about John le Carré—admittedly removed from his text in my […]

  • guardiansofthegalaxy01

    REVIEW: Guardians of the Galaxy [2014]

    “I don’t learn” It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the best Marvel film to date would be one without a single recognizable character to anyone not already a fan. Guardians of the Galaxy has been around since 1969, but it’s the 2008 iteration by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning which struck the studio’s fancy […]



film reviews

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REVIEW: Almost Home [2014]

“Next!” I’m not really sure what Dreamworks is doing, but the existence of Almost Home rubs me the wrong way. A four-minute short shown before Mr. Peabody and Sherman—replacing the Gary Trousdale helmed Rocky and Bullwinkle piece that was inexplicably removed—I thought it was mildly humorous in a charmingly prolonged gag sort of way. But […]

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REVIEW: Divergent [2014]

“Faction before blood” Like it or not, the twenty-first century has brought cultural alterations. For instance, the conversation about futuristic dystopias and/or social upheaval no longer includes 1984, Brave New World, or Fahrenheit 451. Our contemporary equivalents are now The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and Divergent. They may not be at the same reading […]

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REVIEW: Bottle Rocket [1994]

“It has the logic of a dream” The career of writer/director Wes Anderson begins with his University of Texas at Austin buddy Owen Wilson and their 13-minute short film Bottle Rocket. Screened at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival, it tells the story of two friends and their aspiration towards crime. Dignan (Owen) and Anthony (Luke […]

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REVIEW: Camp Takota [2014]

“It’s like they’re being murdered by their own happiness” If you decide to take a shot on Camp Takota you must remember that few if anyone involved has true feature film experience. Executive producers/stars Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart, and Mamrie Hart may be recognizable faces and hot YouTube commodities bringing a built-in fan base with […]

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REVIEW: Muppets Most Wanted [2014]

“It’s not easy being … mean” Is it a coincidence the Muppet renaissance follows the same trajectory as its subjects’ original cinematic saga? 2011’s The Muppets was enjoyable if not a tad overrated due to its story mirroring many of the beats that made 1979’s The Muppet Movie a classic. Revamping its road movie trope […]

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REVIEW: Party Central [2014]

“Operation Party Central is a go” Turning to frat house humor for Monsters University was to me the largest misstep in Pixar Animation’s history. It took one of the studio’s most original worlds and made it into a gag to be blindly consumed by fans of Monsters Inc.‘s heart only to scratch their heads wondering […]

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REVIEW: Veronica Mars [2014]

“And you have what we in the business call a crazy-ass murder wall” Are you Team Piz? Team Logan? Do you have any clue what I’m talking about? Well, if it’s the latter I’m prescribing you rent all three seasons of “Veronica Mars” on DVD now. I didn’t want anything to do with little Kristen […]

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REVIEW: Le Week-End [2013]

“That’s the nicest thing I’ve ever put in my mouth” Children are our legacy—our immortality. We sacrifice everything to raise them in our image, hoping for the best until they’re set free as fully formed adults ready to continue the cycle. And through our rosy-colored glasses of optimism we assume the journey ends happily in […]

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REVIEW: Enemy [2014]

“Chaos is order yet undeciphered” When you read a synopsis for the late Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago’s The Double you’ll find a very straightforward tale of doppelgangers. There’s the alpha, the pushover, and the innocent victims caught between; the insanity of seeing an exact replica in the flesh paired with the infinite possibilities such […]

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REVIEW: Broken [2013]

“Nice shot” A Frenchman who has been working as an assistant director in Hollywood since 2009, Mathieu Turi is leveraging his experiences into a budding career as an original filmmaker too. His second short entitled Broken is a visually arduous movie that takes place almost entirely inside a stuck elevator trapping two strangers together: English-speaking […]

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REVIEW: 300: Rise of an Empire [2014]

“Fear his freedom!” This is what a copy of a copy looks like. It pretends to be equal to the original—and in some aspects proves to be exactly the same—yet arrives seven years after everything its groundbreaking ancestor provided was expanded and evolved upon. I loved 300 and gave it a perfect score despite some […]

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REVIEW: Particle Fever [2014]

“The hype is approximately accurate” Science! You either see it as the backbone to understanding or you don’t and everyone who doesn’t may want to avoid Mark Levinson‘s Particle Fever because it’s first and foremost a document about the subject’s cool factor and importance. If you’re a creationist and everything you hold true about our […]

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REVIEW: L’image manquante [The Missing Picture] [2013]

“Our only belonging was our spoon” How do you tell the story of something as horrific as Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge’s four-year rule over Cambodia after the Kampuchean Revolution when the only footage shot was that distributed by the regime itself? This is the problem director Rithy Panh faced, a teenager when war […]

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REVIEW: Le passé [The Past] [2013]

“Some things can’t be forgiven” If A Separation didn’t cause writer/director Asghar Farhadi to be revered as an auteur who understood domestic strife and illness’ lasting effect on those left to pick up the pieces, you better believe he is now. Switching to France for Le passé [The Past], the filmmaker brings us into an […]

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REVIEW: Dirty Wars [2013]

“We call them the American Taliban” The Oscar-nominated documentary Dirty Wars is a powerful, eye-opening exposé on the covert operations of the United States government abroad in war zones both declared and not. You’ll find yourself at the edge of your seat as it progresses forward; riveted to every word and newly discovered evidence explaining […]