• 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: فروشنده [Forushande] [The Salesman] [2016]

    “For once it looks like we’re in luck” There’s this notion that tragedy won’t happen to us. It’s for people who don’t live their lives correctly—some karmic retribution paying for mistakes made along the way. We like to believe we’re different whether such a belief is deserved or not. So when something does occur, only […]

  • 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 […]



film reviews

REVIEW: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk [2016]

“What else is there?” Here’s an Oscar-winning director doing something no one else has—shoot an entire film at 120 frames per second (standard is 24, the previous high 48 with The Hobbit)—and movie theaters couldn’t accommodate. At a time when it’s difficult to get butts in seats with Netflix and VOD, an opportunity for a […]

REVIEW: Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens [Nosferatu] [1922]

“Does this word not sound like the deathbird calling your name at midnight?” Every copy of F.W. Murnau‘s Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens [Nosferatu] should have been destroyed. It was with good reason too considering the German based production house Prana hired Henrik Galeen to “loosely” adapt Bram Stoker‘s Dracula without permission. The estate sued […]

REVIEW: Arrival [2016]

“A desire for more cows” While Arrival is very much a Denis Villeneuve film right down to the similarities between his lead Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams)—thrust into an overwhelming military-run situation and doing her best to hold it accountable—with that of Sicario‘s Kate Macer as well as a visually surreal callback to the much-talked […]

REVIEW: The Edge of Seventeen [2016]

“You should look out for run-on sentences” If you ever wondered what a John Hughes movie would look like without the cutesy cliché and overblown 1980s caricatured comedic appeal, Kelly Fremon Craig‘s The Edge of Seventeen is it. So don’t treat the talk about it being a “twenty-first century Hughes” film as hyperbole or a […]

REVIEW: 20th Century Women [2016]

“You wish you were crazy” There’s a lot to unpack in 20th Century Women, Mike Mills‘ look at lost souls adrift on paths towards happiness (if happiness even exists). For one he’s a man writing progressive feminists who in turn earnestly educate the two men in their lives how to be men. That alone takes […]

REVIEW: Numb [2016]

“See you at the next meeting?” Story construction becomes crucial when you only have ten minutes to move from start to finish and oftentimes a linear progression is best. I use Penelope Lawson‘s Numb as an example because the bones of its plot are good despite its unorthodox orchestration ruining its potential to resonate. Set […]

REVIEW: Cameraperson [2016]

“You’re making me cry even though I don’t understand the language” The camera doesn’t lie. It captures private moments, immortalizes public, and adds ten pounds (so maybe it does). It shows a world we can never see: at once untouched perfection and fabricated by the operator’s gaze. And as those among us age and forget, […]

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: I Am Not Your Negro [2017]

“My countrymen were my enemy” Author James Baldwin‘s powerful rhetoric can be perfectly summed up by his statement on “The Dick Cavett Show” concerning Patrick Henry’s 1775 quotation, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” He explains how a world oppressed can utter that line with conviction and be applauded whether they’re American, Irish, Jewish, […]

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 […]