• 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: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them [2016]

“Worrying means you suffer twice” After seven books, eight movies, and a play, the Harry Potter universe has become an expansive property no one wants to see die. Pottermore kept the fandom alive online with exclusive stories and quizzes bringing you into Hogwarts while author J.K. Rowling‘s textbooks added flavor and raised over seventeen million […]

REVIEW: Prêt-à-Porter [Ready to Wear] [1994]

“Taking advantage of others’ insecurities” I didn’t love The Player as much as I thought I would. Sometimes Robert Altman utilizes too many characters within a story that cannot sustain them as perfectly as we’d hope. It often works best in one-locale work like A Wedding and Gosford Park where the satirized theme is cohesive […]

REVIEW: The Lure [2016]

“There’s something magic about a hidden treasure” You can’t take it with you. It’s a saying we’ve all heard that leads some to donate charitably, others to invest in real estate, and more to siphon offshore for tax-free inheritances. For Forrest Fenn—an eccentric Air Force veteran and history buff that amassed his fortune selling artifacts […]

REVIEW: Rules Don’t Apply [2016]

“You’re an exception” Eighteen years after Bulworth and fifteen after Town & Country (his last time directing and acting for a feature film respectively), Warren Beatty returns to the big screen with a fictionalized biography of Howard Hughes forty years in the making. It’s a passion project and vanity project: two endeavors worthy of an […]

REVIEW: Night of the Slasher [2016]

“I can wait until you’re dressed” You’re the sole survivor of a horror movie incident that has literally left you speechless with an ear-to-ear scar across your throat. Do you continue your life with straight-edged celibacy to ensure you never commit the genre sins that got you cut in the first place? Or do you […]

REVIEW: Pigskin [2016]

“Go Magpies!” Their publicists would be remiss not to mention that the same school Pigskin director Jake Hammond and co-writer Nicola Newton attend is that which graduated It Follows creator David Robert Mitchell. I personally couldn’t stop thinking about the latter while watching thanks to the horror underpinnings of a creepily deformed figure trailing high […]

REVIEW: 百日紅 [Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai] [Miss Hokusai] [2015]

“That nutty old man is my father” Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai‘s “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji” series is one of my favorite works of art with “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” being its unforgettable cornerstone. Even so, I never thought to myself, “Why hasn’t anyone made a movie about his life?” If you’ve seen one […]

REVIEW: 아가씨 [Ah-ga-ssi] [The Handmaiden] [2016]

“The snake marks the bounds of knowledge” As soon as I began walking out of the theater after 아가씨 [Ah-ga-ssi] [The Handmaiden], a friend and fellow critic asked if I was the one laughing. I said, “Yes.” Parts Two and Three (of three) were legitimately funny—I’d say intentionally so. All of Chan-wook Park‘s films are […]

REVIEW: Dead Bullet [2016]

“I wanted to give you everything” If you’ve seen writer/director Erik Reese‘s debut Train to Stockholm—a personal, introspective drama—the thought of him helming a down and dirty Nevadan desert revenger doesn’t necessarily come to mind. But that’s exactly what he’s done with Dead Bullet, the successful genre jump as good a calling card as any […]

REVIEW: Army of One [2016]

“They don’t call me the psychic wizard for nothing” To hear about Gary Faulkner is to know the meaning of the phrase “stranger than fiction.” This is a Chatty Cathy of a Colorado handyman who was visited by God one afternoon while receiving dialysis and given a mission. Of everyone on planet Earth, Gary was […]

REVIEW: Doctor Strange [2016]

“It’s not about you” People love to complain about superhero origin story trappings and they’re correct. The need to introduce new characters in their own standalone piece forces writers and directors to focus on certain check stops as far as normal life, transformation, and the embracing of one’s power to find the courage to selflessly […]

REVIEW: The Opera Singer [2016]

“I never thought I’d find myself here. Yet here I am.” I often think that my lack of feeling towards pets prevents me from truly appreciating supposedly emotionally heartwrenching works because my initial reaction is to laugh. I chuckle much like the filmmakers behind John Wick wanted me to as it hinged its entire revenge […]

REVIEW: Transience [2013]

What is the packet that George (Timothy J. Cox) gives Tom (Joshua Michael Payne) in Tan See Yun‘s short film Transience? This question is running through my mind in desperate need of an answer because without one the whole proves too esoteric to reconcile. We know these two men are a couple—the former responsible, caring, […]

REVIEW: The Ivory Game [2016]

“You have to be prepared to shoot back” If you went to a Regal Cinema during the month prelude to The Legend of Tarzan‘s release you will know the insane statistics depicting the sharp decline of living elephants throughout the world. Alexander Skarsgård told us about the problem—although I’d be surprised if you weren’t cognizant […]

REVIEW: Hacksaw Ridge [2016]

“Come back home to me” It took almost sixty years before Desmond Doss, the first conscientious objector to win the Medal of Honor, was cajoled from modesty to allow for a cinematic adaptation of his harrowing journey from Virginia to Okinawa’s blood-soaked WWII battlefield. It took another fifteen before the result hit the big screen, […]