• 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: Non-Stop [2014]

“Status?” This film could have just as easily been called Deflection as Non-Stop because screenwriters John W. Richardson, Christopher Roach, and Ryan Engle (none of whom instill a stellar track record for Hollywood blockbuster success) have a lot of fun making sure to inject as many red herrings into the mix as possible. Even at […]

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REVIEW: The Croods [2013]

“Never not be afraid” One credit has fascinated me since The Croods opened in theaters: story by John Cleese. That John Cleese? Surprisingly, yes. It’s a somewhat convoluted journey from his failed adaptation of Roald Dahl‘s The Twits with Kirk DeMicco catching the eye of Dreamworks and earning them the pick of the litter as […]

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REVIEW: Al-Midan [The Square] [2013]

“We were all present; we were one hand” As the initial sit-in at Tahrir Square taught the Egyptian people the power of protest and revolution in securing freedoms they only dreamed they could have, Jehane Noujaim’s Al-Midan [The Square] shares it on an international scale. I’ll admit I thought everything was okay after Hosni Mubarak […]

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REVIEW: The Act of Killing [2012]

“They proudly told us stories about what they did” Director Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary The Act of Killing can be described as nothing short of a masterpiece. It’s a one-of-a-kind document that gets into the mind of madmen with the blood of genocide on their hands by displaying their hubris, remorselessness, and cavalier attitudes firsthand. Oppenheimer […]

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REVIEW: そして父になる [Like Father, Like Son] [2013]

“Now it all makes sense” After recently reading that Hirokazu Koreeda’s そして父になる [Like Father, Like Son] had been optioned by Dreamworks for an English language reboot, I can’t help but imagine how ineffective it will be in comparison to the Japanese original. A lot of what works in this tale of a father struggling to […]

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REVIEW: RoboCop [1987]

“The future has a silver lining” It started with a passing thought by screenwriter Edward Neumeier as he walked by a poster for Blade Runner—a movie his friend explained was about a “cop hunting robots”. What if he combined those two nouns to make a robot cop? A machine with the computational power to judge […]

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REVIEW: Odd Thomas [2014]

“I may see dead people, but by God I do something about it” It’s August 14th in Pico Mundo, CA and the world is about to end. Well, not the world per se, but the community young Odd Thomas (Anton Yelchin) resides. Sort of. He sees ghosts of dead people with unfinished business, a gift […]

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REVIEW: The Monuments Men [2014]

“Present company expected” There was real potential for George Clooney‘s The Monuments Men to turn into a broad comedy about a hapless band of seven working their way through Europe in search of the stolen masterpieces Adolf Hitler hid away for his own personal collection of greed. It had the hokey score sounding like a […]

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REVIEW: Poziţia copilului [Child's Pose] [2013]

“Why do you keep treating us like enemies?” What does it mean to be a parent? To take a blanketed, personal responsibility for the good and the bad of your child’s actions? This question is at the heart of Călin Peter Netzer‘s Golden Bear-winning (Berlin International Film Festival) film Poziţia copilului [Child's Pose], not just […]

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REVIEW: Endless Love [2014]

“Should I take off my shoes or somethin’?” If this year’s Valentine’s hopeful Endless Love does anything right it’s that it doesn’t sweat the small stuff. The crucial moment that fractures any chance of David Elliot (Alex Pettyfer) winning the approval of his girlfriend Jade Butterfield’s (Gabriella Wilde) father Hugh (Bruce Greenwood) comes as a […]

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REVIEW: Winter’s Tale [2014]

“For even time and distance are not what they appear to be” Can you buy a world where angels and demons walk alongside humans, gently coaxing us onto a path of righteousness or evil in order to tip the scales of eternity their way throughout time infinite? What about the idea that we each have […]

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REVIEW: Constantine [2005]

“You still trying to buy your way into Heaven” At the height of the first new wave of comic book adaptations, Warner Bros. delved a little deeper into the literary medium’s annals for something dark like New Line’s Blade. It was three years before Iron Man ushered in cinematic universes and a year after Spider-Man […]

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REVIEW: Vampire Academy [2014]

“The clarity of the darkness beckons” The target demographic for Vampire Academy? Teenage girls. The only demographic that could truly, completely enjoy it? Teenage girls. With that said, however, it knows this and isn’t afraid to embrace it. Honestly, for better or worse, that’s exactly what it should strive towards because it’s why Hollywood green-lit […]

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REVIEW: Cutie and the Boxer [2013]

“The average one has to support the genius” TV producer Zachary Heinzerling may have set out to make a documentary about two artists, but what he filmed was love. Not the storybook love of a man sweeping a woman off her feet to live happily ever after in piece, harmony, and financial stability, though. No, […]

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REVIEW: La grande bellezza [The Great Beauty] [2013]

“She took a step back and said …” On quick reflection exiting the theater post-La grande bellezza [The Great Beauty], I came to the simplified but apt conclusion it felt like The Great Gatsby by way of Holy Motors. Here’s a man, Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo), who explains right off the bat that he’d choose […]