• brooklyn01

    REVIEW: Brooklyn [2015]

    “I’m not sure I have a home anymore” I believe a very crucial distinction should be made before going into director John Crowley and writer Nick Hornby‘s adaptation of Colm Tóibín‘s Brooklyn for those unfamiliar with the book. When I watched the trailer it appeared very much like an Oscar-bait romance with a firecracker love […]

  • jameswhite01

    REVIEW: James White [2015]

    “It’s okay to be sad” It begins and ends with a face of pain—the titular James White‘s (Christopher Abbott). We see that something is eating away at him, trapping him inside himself so imbibing drugs, alcohol, and sex is his only reprieve. We also know he’ll eventually recover even before family friend Ben (Ron Livingston) […]

  • dope01

    REVIEW: Dope [2015]

    “Congratulations. You have found your iPhone.” Malcolm Adekanbi (Shameik Moore) is a geek. You don’t even need the opening line of Rick Famuyiwa‘s Inglewood-set high school adventure Dope to state as much once we meet him. A self-proclaimed “oreo” with straight-As, constant beat-downs by Bloods-member Bug (Keith Stanfield), and Harvard aspirations his guidance counselor (Bruce […]

  • martian01

    REVIEW: The Martian [2015]

    “Mars will come to fear my botany powers” Sometimes we need a good old-fashioned feel good tale that doesn’t talk down to us for smiles to unabashedly form at the movies. Ridley Scott‘s The Martian provides exactly that. You have a healthy dose of infectious humor, life and death suspense, space exploration to an uncharted […]

  • sebastianschipper-interview01

    INTERVIEW: Sebastian Schipper, director/cowriter of Victoria

    The word on the street about Victoria is that it’s a must-see for one reason: its entire two-plus hour runtime was captured in a single, pulse-pounding continuous take. While that aspect is definitely paramount, don’t think the film has nothing else to offer. This thing gets your blood pumping as much from the authentic performances […]

film reviews


REVIEW: I Smile Back [2015]

“Then why bother loving anything?” I’ve never been a huge fan of Sarah Silverman as an actress. As a comedian, though, she’s great. It’s the same thing with Chris Rock: the dude kills it on stage, but on a movie set there’s definitely something lacking. To me it just goes to show what many people […]


REVIEW: Le meraviglie [The Wonders] [2014]

“When he’s not here we can breathe, right?” The running joke throughout Alice Rohrwacher’s Le meraviglie [The Wonders] is that eldest daughter Gelsomina (Maria Alexandra Lingu) is in charge of the family. It’s a cutely simple way in which parents Wolfgang (Sam Louwyck) and Angelica (Alba Rohrwacher) can disarm outsiders threatening their livelihood. The family […]


REVIEW: Shelter [2015]

“The objective is forgiveness” It’s quite comforting to see actors-turned-directors not shying away from tough subject matter. You’d almost assume they would amidst stereotypes of celebrity vanity driving them to worry about losing audience appeal. Looking at a guy like Ben Affleck leveraging a fledging acting career destroyed by bad mainstream choices into a critically […]


REVIEW: The 33 [2015]

“Aim to miss” As if being the international feel-good story of 2010 wasn’t enough, the Copiapó mining accident at the San José copper/gold mine in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile included the type of personal, human melodramatic intrigue ripe for cinematic interpretation. Sourced from Hector Tobar‘s non-fiction novel Deep Down Dark (commissioned with each […]


REVIEW: The Overnight [2015]

“Give me twenty minutes and I will give you parental bliss” Writer/director Patrick Brice touches on many relationship aspects beyond attraction with his outrageous sex comedy The Overnight. Most work of this ilk push two couples with differing levels of strife together to see what comes out—swinging, uncoupling, cheating, etc. Brice instead introduces two pairs […]


REVIEW: Love & Mercy [2015]

“Lonely scared frightened” The best part of a Rock and Roll Music History class that I took in college was learning just how influential The Beach Boys were to music at large. I knew the songs and enjoyed them, but how could surfer pop be held in the same regard as The Beatles? It didn’t […]


REVIEW: Theeb [2015]

“No bullets until you aim straight” The constant throughout Naji Abu Nowar‘s debut feature is the underestimation of its titular Theeb (Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat). This isn’t unwarranted considering his age and the Bedouin lifestyle he inhabits, but it’s still a dangerous proposition with a name that translates to “Wolf” and the blood of the highly […]


REVIEW: Alice in den Städten [Alice in the Cities] [1974]

“The picture never shows what it seems” After directing three films he didn’t believe possessed a voice all his own, number four became Wim Wenders‘ make-it-or-break-it moment as far as whether to keep moving forward with cinema or to choose another path. Considering he’s still working today, we know the commercial and personal success Alice […]


REVIEW: Les plages d’Agnès [The Beaches of Agnès] [2008]

“I feel pain everywhere” I think it should be a new rule that documentaries about filmmakers can only be made if the subject him/herself directs. How could you not want this enforced after watching Agnès Varda‘s Les plages d’Agnès [The Beaches of Agnès]? It surely helps that the Frenchwoman is candid, funny, and fearless when […]


REVIEW: Spectre [2015]

“You’re a kite dancing in a hurricane, Mr. Bond” Remember that badass organization known as Quantum the deliciously vile Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) ran to terrorize James Bond (Daniel Craig) for two films? How about rogue former 00-program pledge Silva (Javier Bardem) wreaking havoc throughout London due a personal vendetta against MI6? They both made […]


REVIEW: The Martian [2015]

“Mars will come to fear my botany powers” Sometimes we need a good old-fashioned feel good tale that doesn’t talk down to us for smiles to unabashedly form at the movies. Ridley Scott‘s The Martian provides exactly that. You have a healthy dose of infectious humor, life and death suspense, space exploration to an uncharted […]


REVIEW: All Things Must Pass [2015]

“No music, no life” There’s no better hook for Colin Hanks‘ feature-length documentary about the rise and fall of Tower Records entitled All Things Must Pass then the opening lines of text he and screenwriter Steven Leckart utilize: “In 1999, Tower Records had sales of over one billion dollars. Five years later, they filed for […]


REVIEW: Our Brand is Crisis [2015]

“There’s only one wrong: losing” It’s probably because I know little about politics and care even less that I find most film’s dealing with the subject matter enjoyable. George Clooney‘s The Ides of March is one—the actor taking on the director’s chair, a co-screenwriting credit, and co-lead in front of the lens. Highly political himself […]


REVIEW: The Notorious Mr. Bout [2015]

“You hope the rope is rotten and the noose breaks” I enjoyed Andrew Niccol‘s Lord of War when it came out in 2005. It was a fast-paced, enjoyable ride down the rabbit hole of the illegal arms trade, but I had no idea Nicolas Cage‘s character Yuri Orlov was based on a real life “Merchant […]


REVIEW: The Prophet [2015]

“And yet you rise above them unbound” After watching the animated cinematic adaptation of Kahlil Gibran‘s The Prophet and hearing his prose poetry read out loud, I can understand both the critical pause and public adoration it’s earned this past century. It consists of the kind of inspirational tales of flowery optimism that many love […]