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Review: 1987: WHEN THE DAY COMES Offers Timely and Powerful History Lesson

Save the Green Planet director Jang Joon-hwan mobilizes dozens of familiar faces, including The Chaser and The Yellow Sea stars Kim Yun-seok and Ha Jung-woo, for a weighty and powerful dramatization of the birth of Korean democracy. Following a slew...

Review: ALONG WITH THE GODS: THE TWO WORLDS, Ambitious Fantasy Epic Indulges in Cheesy Backdrops and Melodrama

Riding in on a wave of curiosity and anticipation, popular webcomic adaptation Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds, the opener of Korea's first simultaneously filmed two-part series, represents one of the biggest gambles in Korean film history. No Korean...

Pingyao 2017 Review: THE TASTE OF RICE FLOWER Balances an Ethnic Minority's Family and Community Drama

Tsai Ming LiangĀ“s collaborator Pengfei delivers his sophomore feature as an observation of life in transformation as tradition clashes and merges with modernity

Review: STEEL RAIN, Bombastic Action-Drama Ponders Nuclear Armageddon

The first of a trio of major end-of-year releases in Korea this winter, Steel Rain is the third North Korea-themed action-thriller of 2017 (following Confidential Assignment and V.I.P.) and easily its most bombastic. From The Attorney helmer Yang Woo-suk, who...

Review: THE CHASE Leads Us Down Familiar Path

An intriguing, if admittedly low-key twist on the Korean serial killer chiller never really comes together in the mediocre The Chase, the third film from The Con Artists helmer Kim Hong-sun. Leading man Baek Yoon-sik (of Save the Green Planet...

Review: SMALLER AND SMALLER CIRCLES, An Imperfect Yet Gripping Crime Drama

A jarring insight commonly seen in the renaissance of the true crime genre -- as represented by the deep dives taken in Serial, Making a Murderer and The Keepers -- is that it adds another layer to how we look at crime and the...

Pingyao 2017 Review: In KILL THE SHADOW, Chinese Social Realism Collides with Genre Fare

Despite the variety of ingredients, the result is fairly streamlined and assembled coherently fashioning closeted morality as the frenzied runaway from justice is the externalization of a delusional guilt trip the leading character experiences vividly as the poverty drama of social realism collides with genre fare and austere aesthetics absorbs expressionistic stylization.

Review: AVAL Turns Indian Horror On Its Head With A Topical Possession Story

While India hasn't exactly been a hotbed of internationally recognized horror films at any point in its long cinema history, the perception that all the country has to offer are glitzy musicals is slowly beginning to give way to the...

Review: FORGOTTEN Mislays Its Mystery after Strong Start

Modern thrillers live or die by their twists, and while an unexpected and well-executed surprise can elevate a film from mundane to memorable, many filmmakers forget that it's the journey there that counts. In his latest film Forgotten, director Chang...

Pingyao 2017 Review: A FISH OUT OF WATER Revamps Family-At-Distress Narrative Through the Eyes of An Unusual Child

The debuting Taiwanese filmmaker revamps dysfunctional family story and rehashes social realism drama by renewing the usual stylistic and formal inventory. A Fish Out of Water injects dreaminess and melancholia counterbalancing the civil and bleak set-up

Cinema One Originals 2017 Review: CHANGING PARTNERS Satisfyingly Delivers Catharsis

In the first minutes of Changing Partners, Agot Isidro’s Alex (don’t be confused, there’ll be two Alex’s here — that’s kind of the concept of the whole film) expresses her excitement over watching the new season of her favorite prime-time...

Kolkata IFF 2017 Review: TIKLI AND LAXMI BOMB Takes Back The Streets Of Mumbai

There's no escaping the topic of treatment of women around the world right now. From the ominous spread of sexual assault accusations and the accompanying fallout in Hollywood, to the way the American political system has been similarly affected by...

Cinema One Originals 2017 Review: NERVOUS TRANSLATION, an Enamoring Look into Childhood

People often say “see the world through the eyes of a child,” acting as if these words are the remedy to cynicism. Somehow this phrase is charged with what we imagine childhood to be: innocence, authenticity, joy and tears (somehow...

Review: THE SWINDLERS Cons Viewers Out of Their Time

Stars Hyun Bin and Yoo Ji-tae go toe-to-toe in this month's The Swindlers, a loose and jazzy caper thriller that mines Korea's abundant fascination with grifters. Or at least that's what it attempts to do, as this blatant ripoff of...

Cinema One Originals 2017 Review: PAKI (PLEASE CARE), a Poignant Ensemble Piece on Family, Contempt, and Love

About two-thirds into Giancarlo Abrahan’s sophomore feature Paki, almost the whole of its ensemble start to gather around a table for a meal.   This is the first time the family’s matriarch Alejandra (acted to a tee by Dexter Doria)...

Review: THE FORTRESS, Sublime Political Allegory Closes Its Doors to the Uninitiated

One of the most impressive casts of the year lines up in the austere and languid period siege drama The Fortress. Led by Lee Byung-hun, Kim Yun-seok and Park Hae-il, performances are strong all around in this magnificently shot and...

AFI Fest 2017 Review: NEWTON Welcomes Sharp Political Satire To The Jungle

Director Amit V Marsurkar burst onto the filmmaking scene in India back in 2013 with his debut feature, Sulemani Keeda (Writers). That film, the story of a pair of nobodies trying to break into Bollywood as screenwriters was regarded as...

Kolkata IFF 2017 Review: AVICHI Rewrites The Rulebook For Indian Cinema

Have you ever wondered what a cross between The Road Warrior and The Seventh Seal might look like? Well, with Varun Chowdhury's debut feature Avichi you get a glimpse into that world, and it is an exciting vision. A film...

Review: HEART BLACKENED, Well-Acted SILENT WITNESS Remake Emits Cool Pulse

Chinese court thriller Silent Witness gets a sober and effective Korean update with Heart Blackened, a polished new offering from Eungyo director Jung Ji-woo that features an unflappable Choi Min-sik leading a strong cast. More serious and thus more drawn...

Razor Reel 2017 Review: HOUSEWIFE, A Throwback to Late Night Cable Terrors of the '90s

Let no one say that young Turkish director Can Evrenol doesn't have an eye for film. Throughout his sophomore feature, the English-language horror film Housewife, Evrenol presents the viewer with enticing visuals, almost enough of them to distract from what...