• 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: Kate Plays Christine [2016]

“Blood and guts television” **SPOILERS Throughout** I didn’t completely hate Kate Plays Christine. Let me say that first off. I actually commend its attempt to ask serious questions about a serious subject such as depression and the affect its disease can have on an actor seeking to portray it onscreen. Look at Heath Ledger and […]

REVIEW: The Fits [2016]

“Home of the Lionesses” For those who like to declare how there’s no original cinema these days: I present you Anna Rose Holmer‘s coming-of-age dance drama The Fits. Yes, the most over-used genre of all received a uniquely wonderful rendition in 2016 through the eyes of an eleven-year old girl trying to find her way […]

REVIEW: Take Me To the River [2016]

“The beans have to come out of the oven” First-time feature writer/director Matt Sobel set out to create a film that allowed its viewers to become active participants in the story process and he’s succeeded. Take Me to the River is nothing if not ambiguous in a way that forces us to give meaning to […]

REVIEW: Certain Women [2016]

“She’s my lawyer. I’ve got reason to kill her.” I didn’t love Wendy and Lucy, the only Kelly Reichardt film I had thus far seen. The slow pacing and stripped-bare plot allowed for Michelle Williams to deliver a magnificent performance, but I found myself undeniably bored by the steady stream of troubles chipping away at […]

REVIEW: Inferno [2016]

“We’re a minute to midnight” America loves popcorn thrillers as much as Hollywood and that suits Dan Brown fine. Having Ron Howard and Tom Hanks take an interest in his character Robert Langdon definitely helps too, but the “bestseller” label would have been enough if lesser names attached instead. Whether or not Brown anticipated his […]

REVIEW: The Unspoken [2016]

“I repeat. Suspect present.” There are only so many iterations of the haunted house trope and yet they continue getting made. Sometimes we’re lucky with James Wan‘s The Conjuring series delivering fear along with period aesthetic and tense mood, but those are few and far between. More often we receive work trying hard to stand […]

REVIEW: The Greasy Strangler [2016]

“He likes to shout. I like to smile.” My description of Jim Hosking‘s feature directorial debut The Greasy Strangler: a gross-out, darkly obscure comedy centered on a father and son duo akin to Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne from Dumb and Dumber that exists in a deranged parallel universe to Napoleon Dynamite as directed by […]

REVIEW: In a Valley of Violence [2016]

“I stopped listening to men like you a long time ago” Ti West‘s western In a Valley of Violence might have been great if it allowed itself to become the serious revenge thriller it sporadically proves. A dark drama able to embrace the weight of its characters’ turmoil appears once you remove Karen Gillan‘s over-the-top […]

REVIEW: American Honey [2016]

“What about you? What’s your dream?” Welcome to our disenfranchised youth. That’s exactly what Andrea Arnold puts front and center with her latest film American Honey: miscreants getting high, road tripping, and lying their way to a few bucks meant to continue the nomadic journey’s unending party. Led by outside-the-box entrepreneur Krystal (Riley Keough), this […]

REVIEW: The Monster [2016]

“I wish you listened more” Monster movies are tough because there’s a desire to go full bore into cat and mouse chaos or metaphorical symbolism. Things get muddled when both are attempted at once without the correct balance. I’m not saying picking one or the other always spells success—writer/director Bryan Bertino‘s debut The Strangers ultimately […]

REVIEW: Sully [2016]

“A delay is better than a disaster” I found myself siding with snarky detractors when Clint Eastwood announced he was tackling a biopic about Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger because it seemed rather anticlimactic. Could you truly find a captivating feature length film in the paltry 208-seconds from engine failure to splash landing? We already know everyone […]

REVIEW: Blue Jay [2016]

“You leaving room for Jesus?” While we wait the requisite nine years hoping for another installment in Richard Linklater‘s seminal Before saga, Mark Duplass is here to fill the void early with his own intimate, two person reunion of past love and current strife entitled Blue Jay. Many will scoff at this declaration and say […]

REVIEW: En man som heter Ove [A Man Called Ove] [2015]

“Sometimes, however, honesty needs a little assistance” Despite being rated PG-13 due to a liberal use of the word “shit,” En man som heter Ove [A Man Called Ove] is still one of the most full-hearted family-friendly dramedies of the year. I’d even say it’s the live action version of Up you’ve waited for since […]

REVIEW: L’ultimo bacio [The Last Kiss] [2001]

“With pounds of cellulite and all your insecurities” I really want to love Gabriele Muccino‘s Italian blockbuster of a rom-com L’ultimo bacio [The Last Kiss] because it is funny, charming, complicated, and hopeful. My issue lies in the fact that it’s also awful in its depictions of selfish ego and weak indifference. Maybe this is […]

REVIEW: Dog Eat Dog [2016]

“It’s death or victory” After forty odd years as a career criminal in-and-out of jail, Edward Bunker changed his life by writing fictionalized accounts of his experiences for a lucrative career as novelist, screenwriter, and eventually actor. He got Danny Trejo a part on a project he wrote entitled Runaway Train after spending time with […]