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Review: A SINGLE RIDER Subtly Ponders the Small Regrets of Life

A few months after the explosive period spy thriller The Age of Shadows from genre maestro Kim Jee-woon, Warner Bros is back with its second Korean production, A Single Rider. Though both films share star Lee Byung-hun, who appears as...

Review: BITTER HARVEST Is Bad Canadian Borscht

In between the two World Wars, the then nascent Soviet Union, in a barbarous act of mismanaged nation building, starved north of seven million Ukrainians to death, all the while violently appropriating the land and the crops from the 'bread...

Rotterdam 2017 Review: WÙLU Shows A Thoughtful Rise To Criminal Power

In Malinese director Daouda Coulibaly's crime drama Wùlu, we follow the rise of Ladji, a bus driver in Mali's capital city Bamako, who decides to use his street-savvy for becoming a career criminal. Cheated out of a years-in-the-making promotion because...

Review: DRIFTER Runs Out of Gas in a Trope Tainted Wasteland

Christian von Hoffman's wasteland thriller DRIFTER starts strong only to be betrayed by a weak second half

Review: FABRICATED CITY, Mediocrity Hidden Behind Big-Budget Thrills

Twelve years after the success of Korean War comedy-drama Welcome to Dongmakgol, director Park Kwang-hyun is finally back in theaters with the action-thriller Fabricated City. A tale of gamers and conspiracies in modern Seoul, Park's latest presents itself as a...

Blu-ray Review: THE TREE OF WOODEN CLOGS, Far From a Wooden Slog

"I'm going to find a tree to chop down." That line, perhaps familiar from another film released by Criterion, Moonrise Kingdom, also applies to this new release by the company, respected Italian director Ermanno Olmi's 1978 Palme D'or winner, The...

Rotterdam 2017 Review: SISTER OF MINE Damns Your Eyes With Experience

In Pedro Aguilera's Sister of Mine we see Oliver, a jaded American filmmaker. One night he browses porn clips on the Internet, and discovers one which seems to feature his beautiful young Spanish half-sister Aurora, who he hasn't seen in...

Berlinale 2017 Review: DREAM BOAT Gives Cruising A Whole New Meaning

When you think of luxury cruises, you probably picture old couples and families setting off into the sunset - a sort of world tour that never has to forego the comforts of home. Well, Tristan Ferland Milewski's Dream Boat isn't that at...

Berlinale 2017 Review: Liu Jian Triumphs With HAVE A NICE DAY

Animated movies for adults are painfully undervalued, both at a festival level and as an art form, but Liu Jian's Have A Nice Day is a title that could smash through those barriers. Certainly one of the more interesting features...

Berlinale 2017 Review: ON THE BEACH AT NIGHT ALONE, Hong Sang-soo's Most Personal and Cruel Film to Date

A new year has arrived and with it the challenge of reviewing a new work from Korea's arthouse darling Hong Sang-soo. On the Beach at Night Alone, which borrows its name from the title of a Walt Whitman poem and...

Review: In Zhang Yimou's THE GREAT WALL, Matt Damon Saves the World

I've seen sillier attempts at blockbuster fantasy films than Zhang Yimou's latest, The Great Wall, but I must admit it's been a while. The director, one of China's most respected visual artists after his stunning work on crossover hit wu...

Berlinale 2017 Review: BERLIN SYNDROME, Cate Shortland's Skin-Crawling Thriller

From Jutin Kurzel's Snowtown in 2011 to Ben Young's recent Hounds of Love at last year's Venice Biennale, Australia has developed a real knack for messed up cinema, and Cate Shortland's recent Screen Australia and Film Victoria supported skin-crawler is...

Berlinale 2017 Review: THE PARTY, Drawing Room Satire at its Finest

Sally Potter is not normally known for comedy; her most famous film, Orlando (which put Tilda Swinton on the map) certainly has its comedic moments, but her work (such as The Tango Lesson and Yes) tend to more serious examinations of what my...

Rotterdam 2017 Review: BAMSEOM PIRATES SEOUL INFERNO Challenges Our Sense Of Liberty

Documentaries tend to do well at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and each year several manage to get into the audience top-10. The 2017 edition has proven to be no exception, as there are three documentaries in the top-5 alone....

Spokane 2017 Review: DIANI & DEVINE MEET THE APOCALYPSE

The closing film of the Spokane International Film Festival (SpIFF) is traditionally an uplifting affair that celebrates the creative spirit, hosted in the hallowed 102-year old Bing Crosby (neé Clemmer) Theater. This year’s selection - the charming, snide, hilarious Diani...

Berlinale 2017 Review: A FANTASTIC WOMAN, Sebastián Lelio's Masterpiece of Micro-Aggressions

Last year, Álex Anwandter's Chilean LGBT drama You'll Never Be Alone was one of the films that lit up Berlinale's programme from the heart of Panorama (read the review). And since then, Pablo Larraín has cemented his respected standing with...

Review: In Shanker Raman's GURGAON, Blood Makes The Grass Grow

Family can be a tricky thing. The bonds forged between blood relations are often tenuous and fraught with jealousy and distrust. You can't choose the people with whom you make those bonds, and as a result, those people aren't always...

Berlinale 2017 Review: THE ERLPRINCE, The Polish Donnie Darko of Coming of Age Dramas

Emerging Polish director Kuba Czekaj demonstrates genre acrobatics in melancholic coming-of-age The Erlprince

Rotterdam 2017 Review: IT HURTS SO MUCH Is A Gentle Documentary About Care

Let me start this review by stating for the non-Dutch people that Heleen van Royen is a bit of an icon in the Netherlands. She is a successful writer of novels, and as a columnist she is (in)famous for not...

Rotterdam 2017 Review: Slovak Rape Drama FILTHY Examines Plight of Victim

Bleak Slovak drama investigates rape trauma and thorny path to overcome it through the eyes of a victim