• stevejobs01

    REVIEW: Steve Jobs [2015]

    “Computers aren’t paintings” Despite being an Apple guy from way back playing with LOGO the turtle in grade school before eventually swapping out MacBook Pros every five years or so from college on, I never really cared who Steve Jobs was beyond the kindly looking genius in a black turtleneck. To me the appeal was […]

  • lookofsilence01

    REVIEW: The Look of Silence [2015]

    “If we didn’t drink human blood, we’d go crazy” Just when you thought a documentary couldn’t get more harrowing than Joshua Oppenheimer‘s look at murderers in The Act of Killing, the director gives editorial power to their victims in The Look of Silence. The descriptive label “companion piece” is apt because they both exist in […]

  • 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 […]

film reviews


REVIEW: Ich seh, Ich seh [Goodnight Mommy] [2015]

“She’s not our mom” It’s difficult to tell if Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz‘s Ich seh, Ich seh [Goodnight Mommy] fails at hiding its secret or if I’ve simply watched too many psychological thrillers to stop myself from breaking through their subterfuge for the truth. Either way, I knew what was happening about ten minutes […]


REVIEW: Sicario [2015]

“For now let’s just keep an eye on the time” There should be no illusions that Denis Villeneuve‘s Sicario will deliver a story we haven’t seen before. Any action thriller set at the Mexican border between El Paso and Juarez is bringing heavy artillery, copious drugs, and amoral warlords on both sides of the fence/law. […]


REVIEW: Crimson Peak [2015]

“Beautiful things are fragile” If you truly want to know what to expect from Crimson Peak you should ignore the trailers—save their ability to highlight the gorgeous aesthetic—and instead read director Guillermo del Toro‘s mission statement. In it you’ll discover that this isn’t your usual horror story. Yes it has some jarringly gruesome visuals and […]


REVIEW: Bridge of Spies [2015]

“So everyone will hate me, but at least I’ll lose” I’m sure it was a foregone conclusion that Steven Spielberg would choose to direct Matt Charman‘s Bridge of Spies himself the instant it crossed his Dreamworks desk. The story possesses all the earmarks the director has gravitated towards for years, namely an unlikely hero finding […]


REVIEW: Alienated [2015]

“Which one of the men is going to see the light?” Who isn’t self-centered? If you find someone, please let me know because I don’t think that person exists. Even when we are at our most compassionate, empathetic, or charitable, our actions are still our own. We do what we do out of love—molding our […]


REVIEW: Trash [2014]

“Never trust a policeman” It’s not every day that a three-time Oscar nominee for directing decides on a foreign language film to be his next project, but that’s exactly what Stephen Daldry of Billy Elliot, The Hours, and The Reader fame has done. Following in the footsteps of fellow Brit Danny Boyle—whose journey to India […]


REVIEW: The Brink [2015]

“There is no way across” When you think about the vastness of our brains and the myriad roads of memory leading down rabbit holes of hopes, aspirations, fears, and regret, it can become a daunting proposition. How often do we get lost along those paths—recalling moments from our pasts, failures that keep our anxiety and […]


REVIEW: The Inhabitants [2015]

“Sweaty dreams” When you’re setting your New England ghost story against the backdrop of a Salem Witch Trial past, it’s quite the coup to secure a locale as famous as the Noyes-Parris House built in 1669. Now owned by author Glenn Cooper (who serves as executive producer), its historical resonance as the home of Reverend […]


REVIEW: Mur murs [1982]

“That’s part of the beauty. It’s going to change.” What’s there to do while you’re in Los Angeles? Shoot a couple films, of course. That’s exactly what French auteur Agnès Varda decided to do in 1981 with her fictional narrative Documenteur and documentary Mur murs. The latter proves a very down and dirty point and […]


REVIEW: Tangerine [2015]

“Los Angeles is a beautifully wrapped lie” ‘Twas the night before Christmas and Tinseltown’s intersection of Santa Monica and Highland is bustling. A hotbed of sex work and drug use, Sean Baker‘s unfiltered Tangerine takes us into a world we haven’t quite seen on the big screen—especially not from a major distributor like Magnolia Pictures—by […]


REVIEW: The Walk [2015]

“The carrots are cooked” I’ve yet to watch the Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire, but it’s hard not to get swept up in its daredevil intrigue. Depicting the “artistic crime of the century,” Frenchman Philippe Petit illegally hung a wire between the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers and walked across multiple times to the dismay […]


REVIEW: Time Out of Mind [2015]

“She’s coming back” One of the easiest things we can do in modern society is marginalize strangers. To laugh and assume we know what has transpired to place some nameless soul in his/her current position only takes a second devoid of context whereas beginning a conversation requires so much more. We reject compassion because it […]


REVIEW: Pan [2015]

“Is this Canada?” For whatever reason the American public has been fascinated with “origin” stories attempting to give meaning to some of the most iconic adversarial relationships in literary and film history. It’s not enough for the Wicked Witch of the West to hate Glinda or Superman and Lex Luthor to be arch-nemeses—we need to […]


REVIEW: Pawn Sacrifice [2015]

“I’m searching for the truth” I’ve always been fascinated by Bobby Fischer due to his vanishing rather than anything he accomplished at a chessboard. I’ve never been good at the game, yet I respect its complexity. The greats literally memorize past matches and maneuvers, so in-tune with the playing field that they can play out […]


TIFF15 REVIEW: Der Nachtmahr [2016]

“What do you want from me?” In great Lost Highway-era David Lynch fashion, visual artist turned filmmaker Akiz‘s Der Nachtmahr switches from linear reality to seamlessly disorienting crosscuts between life and dream. It occurs when soon-to-be eighteen year old Tina (Carolyn Genzkow) passes out drunk while peeing in the woods outside a secret rave full […]