• holyhell01

    REVIEW: Holy Hell [2016]

    “Maybe it’s worth it” Every story containing religious or spiritual content inherently brings with it supporters and detractors beholden to personal agendas either from experience or unwavering positions of faith. It’s difficult subject matter to truly expose objectively because religion and spirituality are by definition subjective when compared against an infinite number of other similar […]

  • midnightspecial01

    REVIEW: Midnight Special [2016]

    “Where do you belong?” Is young Alton Meyer (Jaeden Lieberher) the savior of the human race, born to unsuspecting parents inside a cult known as The Ranch in order to bring them salvation? Is he somehow an expert hacker infiltrating the NSA’s foolproof satellite transmissions courtesy of an uncanny technokinetic power no one can explain? […]

  • wingsofdesire01

    REVIEW: Der Himmel über Berlin [Wings of Desire] [1987]

    “Why am I me, and why not you?” What does it mean to be human? This is the question the Angel Damiel (Bruno Ganz) wonders from his eternal perch on high surveying, subtly steering, and always listening. He sees humanity’s joy and laughter, jealous of their ability to live, feel, and touch. Even amongst the […]

  • paristexas01

    REVIEW: Paris, Texas [1984]

    “Don’t go yet” The first word my mind conjured after watching Wim Wenders‘ Paris, Texas was honesty. It’s delivered from lead Harry Dean Stanton all the way down to Robby Müller‘s gorgeous cinematography of untouched Mojave Desert isolation and graffiti-filled urban concrete. Nothing appears inauthentic and that’s not an easy accomplishment when you think about […]

  • eyeinthesky01

    REVIEW: Eye in the Sky [2016]

    “Never tell a soldier he doesn’t know the cost of war” How do you simultaneously become hero and martyr in twenty-first century warfare? You find yourself unwittingly lodged within the kill zone of a high value target that has been confirmed without a shadow of a doubt. Death or injury earns you both labels for […]



film reviews

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REVIEW: Here Lies Joe [2016]

“There is hope. There’s a way back to your life.” Only dying can bring two people lost and finished with the world back from the brink of death. That may not make sense to read, but it does in my head. I think maybe writer/director Mark Battle and cowriter Pamela Conway will understand as their […]

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REVIEW: El Club [The Club] [2015]

“Has it ever occurred to you that you’re a criminal?” This is a film about deafening silence and how one unexpected intrusion can turn the normalcy of its sequestered solitude on its head. It’s a silence we have seen before a couple months ago in Spotlight—there too it was extracted from secret penance to the […]

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REVIEW: The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover [1989]

“The naughty bits and the dirty bits are so close together” The above quote pretty much sums up Peter Greenaway‘s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover. High society and criminal filth: seemingly disparate sectors of civilization that wouldn’t truly wish to consort together yet constantly overlap through history to almost merge into […]

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REVIEW: Saul fia [Son of Saul] [2015]

“You failed the living for the dead” It’s stunning how all these years later a Holocaust film can come along and prove wholly unique from the myriad examples we’ve already received and lauded. But László Nemes‘ directorial debut Saul Fia [Son of Saul] does exactly that. Not only does he capture the brutality by entering […]

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REVIEW: Olmo & the Seagull [2015]

“Sometimes I wondered if we could survive in our own skin” Whether you enjoy the film as a film or not, you cannot deny the excellence of Petra Costa and Lea Glob‘s Olmo & the Seagull as an experimentation in art form and emotional drama. It is a fiction born from reality. As Costa explains: […]

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REVIEW: Zootopia [2016]

“Where anyone can be anything” In the tradition of Happy Feet (climate change) and Monsters University (fraternity life), Disney’s Zootopia has transposed adult themes onto PG-rated family fare again. Whereas those previous two were misguided—the former shoving a political agenda down kids’ throats without warning and the latter proving a weird stamp of approval on […]

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REVIEW: Krigen [A War] [2015]

“B for Bang” It’s not inconsequential that Tobias Lindholm‘s latest drama is simply and generically titled A War [Krigen]. This isn’t a story about Afghanistan or even Denmark—war is war no matter where it takes place or who is involved. Instead the film is about our actions both home and abroad, in the fight and […]

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REVIEW: バケモノの子 [Bakemono no ko] [The Boy and the Beast] [2015]

“Find the meaning on your own” Two worlds collide once young Kyuta (Shôta Sometani) and warrior Kumatetsu (Kôji Yakusho) meet in Mamoru Hosoda‘s バケモノの子 [Bakemono no ko] [The Boy and the Beast]. The former was recently orphaned after his mother’s death (she had divorced his father years ago and her family refuses to get in […]

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REVIEW: The Witch [2016]

“We shall conquer this wilderness. It will not consume us.” I find it funny that the Satanic Temple has “endorsed” Robert Eggers‘ stunning debut The Witch considering its pro-Catholic message. The first thing we see is William (Ralph Ineson) standing before his 17th century Puritan plantation’s governors as his family is excommunicated and exiled into […]

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REVIEW: Almost Holy [Crocodile Gennadiy] [2016]

“I don’t need permission to do good deeds” The most fascinating part of Steve Hoover‘s latest documentary Almost Holy [Crocodile Gennadiy] is how its subject Gennadiy Mokhnenko parallels the life of well-known Russian cartoon “Krokodil Gena”. The latter deals with a lonely crocodile zoo worker named Gena and his friend Cheburashka: a young, abandoned creature […]

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REVIEW: Me Him Her [2016]

“Are you about to be super interesting up in this bar right now?” You have to give Max Landis credit for trying to breathe fresh air into Hollywood tropes through his genre merging scripts whether you believe they’re effective or not. Everyone loved Chronicle‘s sci-fi, found footage, horror thriller combo and reviled American Ultra‘s stoner […]

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REVIEW: Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom [2015]

“I came here to defend my future, the future of my children, compatriots and country” After the success of The Square, there really wasn’t a better place than Netflix for Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom to flourish. A TIFF People’s Choice Award and Oscar nomination later and we see that to be true. […]

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REVIEW: They Came Together [2014]

“I admire your spirit” It’s one thing to satirize the romantic comedy genre and a whole other to literally break it down into its myriad tropes to build a story around them without transforming their generic designations into fully formed characters. But that’s exactly what David Wain (co-writer/director) and Michael Showalter (co-writer) did with They […]

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REVIEW: Evil Dead [2013]

“Okay. Let’s play cold turkey.” I wouldn’t say hopes were high, but I did enter Fede Alvarez‘s Evil Dead remake with an open mind. I liked the idea of bringing the series back to horror as the original Sam Raimi chiller was the trilogy’s best to me. In concert with this was my complete lack […]

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REVIEW: Cartel Land [2015]

“As long as He allows it, we will make drugs” With the success of “Breaking Bad” on TV, Sicario in theaters, and wannabe politicians like Donald Trump on the campaign trial, now’s the perfect time for Matthew Heineman‘s documentary Cartel Land. But while it begins as a glimpse at the vigilante militias forming on both […]