International: US & Canada Reviews

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Tribeca 2017 Review: THE CIRCLE, Where All Are Trapped in the Social Media Web

The subject of our hyper-connected, social media-based cultural landscape is a fruitful and relevant one for filmmakers, and one with great potential for mass audience interest, given how pervasive this is in our daily lives. David Fincher’s Facebook origin story The Social Network can be looked upon as the gold...

Review: BELOW HER MOUTH, Explicit Sex, Disappointing Story

Certainly, we need more films about women from women's perspective, and more films about lesbian love/sex/relationships told from that perspective as well. Unfortunately, such efforts do not always make for great films. Such is the case with Below Her Mouth....

Tribeca 2017 Review: THE ENDLESS, Monster with a Movie Camera

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead's work has always been (at least in part) about intimacy and trust; particularly the intimacy of close relationships, and how problems manifest; and in the case of their films, they often manifest in the form...

Tribeca 2017 Review: THE PUBLIC IMAGE IS ROTTEN, A Legendary Musician's Musical and Personal Reinvention

“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten’s acerbic question to the audience at the end of the Sex Pistols’ disastrous 1978 U.S. tour may have marked the end of that group, but for Lydon himself,...

Review: A QUIET PASSION, Inner Life of a Poet in Terence Davies's Masterful Film

The nationality of his female subject might be different here, but there are a lot of common themes coursing through A Quiet Passion which Davies's past films also bear - family, struggling within a strict social norm, independence and freedom, isolation and depression.

Review: In THE DISCOVERY, People Are (Literally) Dying to Experience the Afterlife

… Who would fardels bear,  To grunt and sweat under a weary life,  But that the dread of something after death,  The undiscovered country, from whose bourn  No traveller returns, puzzles the will,  And makes us rather bear those ills we have  Than...

Review: THE HERETICS, Cult Members Have a Five Year Plan in Chad Archibald's Latest

Chad Archibald's The Heretics may be his best film to date as it displays his growth as a filmmaker and a storyteller.

Boston Underground 2017 Review: BITCH, A Hilarious and Vicious Bite at the Patriarchy

I doubt you would ever meet a woman who couldn't tell you about how, on a near daily basis, she must endure being dismissed, ignored or mistrusted by men. According to many, we are oversensitive, we exaggerate, we just 'need...

Boston Underground 2017 Review: FRAUD, A Twisted Look at Capitalism and the Public Image

What exactly do we mean when we say a film is a documentary? Do you mean a strict definition, in that a film is depicting or investing something that happened in reality? Or does it mean showing us things from...

Review: ATOMICA, Strong on Thriller, Light on Sci-Fi

Science fiction stories, especially in film and television, can often set up a sci-fi scenario only to put it almost entirely to the side (making a case for why such a scenario would be used at all). Atomica, directed by...

SXSW 2017 Review: BABY DRIVER, Grand Entertainment on a Funny, Thrilling Ride

Voom voom voom! So begins Edgar Wright's Baby Driver, which finds Ansel Elgort behind the wheel as a getaway driver, rocking out to the a song blasting from the buds planted in his ears. In the privacy of his own...

Review: KONG: SKULL ISLAND, A Lifeless Creature Feature

Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts does not believe in subtlety, does not relish the glorious curious reveal of a brand new creature; an iconic symbol of the movies that hundreds of man-hours were spent to animate and bring to life. This is...

Review: BEFORE I FALL, A Refreshing, Respectable YA Adaptation

The term Young Adult (or YA) tends to result in a groan, particularly with all the non-Hunger Games style future dystopia films that have saturated this market since Jennifer Lawrence killed stuff with a bow. Despite the sophistication of the...

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...

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: 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...

Review: THE COMEDIAN, Not Very Funny Despite Its Title

There is a very fine performance embedded in Taylor Hackford’s otherwise enervating, overlong, patience-trying, and not very funny film The Comedian. However, that performance is not delivered by the putative headliner, Robert De Niro. He plays Jackie Burke, a comic who once starred in a...

Review: THE TAKE, Terrorism As Background for a Buddy Action Movie

British filmmaker James Watkins previously helmed Eden Lake and The Woman in Black, horror thrillers that may not have been completely successful but were certainly above average accomplishments. So the idea of him directing a straight action flick sounded intriguing....

Review: THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE Just Might Save the DC Cinematic Universe

Following a string of direct-to-video animated outings for DC characters in LEGO form, themselves spawned from a series of successful video games, Batman appeared in Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s 2014 smash hit The LEGO Movie and promptly stole the show....

Rotterdam 2017 Review: STILL NIGHT, STILL LIGHT (MES NUITS FERONT ÉCHO), A Dreamy, Daring Debut

One of the reasons we watch films is to see if we can unearth something of ourselves in others' work. In this way it is a search for kindred spirits across strange and distant lands that fall so close to...