International: US & Canada Reviews

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Blu-ray Review: BLUE SUNSHINE Rises on Blu-ray from Filmcentrix

Jeff Lieberman's Blue Sunshine is a fascinating bit of drug paranoia horror from the end of the era of free love. The film has recently been recovered and restored from the original 35mm negatives discovered in 2014. It's been on...

Review: EMBERS, Fresh and Fascinating Sci-fi

When we talk about ourselves with others we often talk about impressions we have of the world, our opinions of it. But more often than not we talk about our memories. The time you fell off your bike and scrapped...

Review: INTO THE FOREST Focuses on Individuals to Superb Effect

What will we all do when the lights turn off? Wait impatiently for them to come back on, trying to maintain a normal existence and the planned future? Begin raiding other people's homes? Go off in search of some semblance...

BiFan 2016 Review: CAPTAIN FANTASTIC Takes Quirky Journey to Known Destination

There's a certain type of film that'e become prominent and popular among a lot of American indie filmmakers in recent years; I like to call it the Sundance Film (though not all have played at that festival). It's a social...

Fantasia 2016 Review: IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE Is A Talky If Slight Examination Of Western Tropes

In Sergio Leone's classic The Good The Bad And The Ugly, one of many iconic scenes involves a gunfighter sneaking up to murder Eli Wallach's Tuco in the bath-tub. The anonymous heavy lost his arm in a shootout with Tuco...

Fantasia 2016 Review: THE UNSEEN, An Exceptional Observation of Disappearance

In a cluttered single-wide trailer in a snowcovered, and anonymously dreary logging town in northern British Columbia, Bob Langmore finds himself disappearing. That it not to say that running away from his wife and daughter almost a decade ago to...

Neuchâtel 2016 Review: Jonas Cuarón Crafts a Savage Manhunt in DESIERTO

Having learned a few tricks working on his father’s multi-award winning space thriller Gravity, Jonas Cuarón brings the action down to earth to craft a similarly intense tale of human survival. The idea of putting up a wall between Mexico...

Review: HOW TO BUILD A TIME MACHINE Is A Graceful Look At Two Interesting Men And What Inspires Them

The famous Serenity Prayer of american theologian Reinhold Niebuhr is as follows:  "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Jay...

Fantasia 2016 Review: RUPTURE Turns Capture Into The Rapture

"Don't fight it. Let it happen. This confusion is all part of the process." This advice is repeated, often in a beatific manner, by the mysterious group of captors who are intent on, among other things, helping the audience navigate the...

Review: THE INTERIOR, Where Comedy And Horror Snuggle Together In The Wilderness

Somewhere up there in heaven (or hell) Samuel Beckett and Henry David Thoreau are tipping their coffee cups towards Trevor Juras' The Interior.    For a first feature, this film is not only fully realized and confident, but has a...

Review: BREAKING A MONSTER, Growing Up at the Speed of a Double Bass Kick Pedal

Three young boys from Brooklyn, NY - Malcolm Brickhouse, Jared Dawkins and Alex Atkins- inspired by entrance music played for wrestlers at events and theme songs of their favorite anime shows started their own metal band, Unlocking the Truth  ...

Opening: YARN Knits Together Women Artist's Tales Around The World

Una Lorenzen's documentary Yarn opens in New York this weekend at IFC Center and continues to roll out across the States all Summer.   Meet the artists who are redefining the tradition of knit and crochet, bringing yarn out of...

Review: RIVER, Like Fire Running to a Powder Keg

As children, we are often taught that, when someone is in trouble, we should try to help, or if someone is being bullied, we should intervene. But sometimes, there can be unforeseen consequences that would endanger ourselves.  Jamie M. Dagg's...

Human Rights Watch 2016 Review: GROWING UP COY, Transgender Rights And A Family in the Eye of A Media Storm

At first glance, six-year-old Coy Mathis seems to be just like other little girls her age. She’s madly in love with Justin Bieber, and has his posters plastered over the walls in her room. Her favorite color is pink, and...

Review: GENIUS, A Theatrical Pageant That Goes Terribly Wrong

Elvis Costello famously quipped, "writing about music is like dancing about architecture", and while I hardly agree with the overall sentiment -- if I did, I wouldn't exactly be doing this -- his point is well taken. Success in one...

Review: POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING Affectionately Skewers The Music Biz

“Viral video” is an overused – and very often misused – term, but one group of guys who can genuinely be said to have created some of the best and funniest of these is the comic musical collective known as...

Rooftop Films 2016 Review: "This is What We Mean By Short Films," A Wealth of Miniature Gems

Rooftop Films Summer Series 2016 got off to a great start with their opening night presentation, “This is What We Mean By Short Films,” an eclectic and incredibly accomplished selection of shorts, some of which had their New York premieres...

Tribeca 2016 Review: ALWAYS SHINE, In Which The Hollywood Dream Factory Becomes A Nightmare

Director Sophia Takal more than fulfills the considerable promise of her debut Green with her second feature, a film that often looks, acts and feels like a thriller/horror flick, but at its heart is a dramatic treatise on the tyranny...

Review: I AM THALENTE Skates With Soul

We all know the sound. That clack-scrape-whoosh of a skateboard on the sidewalk. For many of us it is as close to the sport as we get. When we hear that sound most of us move out of the way...

Review: LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT, A Wandering Christ Parable

Director Rodrigo García's minimalist Christ-centered parable on fathers and sons pivots the holy man as everyman and observer. It's an approach that feels of merit: one that ultimately doesn't see earth-bound humanity and a more intangible sense of spirituality as...