Festivals Reviews

New York 2023 Review: IN WATER Is Out of Focus

Director Hong Sang-soo's latest film.

Venice 2023 Review: FOREVER-FOREVER, Post-Soviet Young and Restless

Anna Buryachkova's feature debut offers a female-centric lens on post-communist adolescence in Eastern Europe.

Fantastic Fest 2023 Review: V/H/S/85, Mixtape Horror Anthology Improves on Its Predecessors

Over the last decade, six standalone entries, two unlikely spinoffs, and even a limited series, the V/H/S anthology series has functioned as an efficient delivery system for period-specific horror, extra-gnarly, gory kills, and nightmare-inducing imagery. The series has also served...

Fantastic Fest 2023 Review: ONE-PERCENTER Delivers Brutal 'Real Action'

The 85-minute One-Percenter, the new film from Meatball Machine writer/director Yudai Yamaguchi, opens with an extended series of intercut interviews and behind-the-scenes segments that feel like a DVD extra, centering on the intensity and combat abilities of action star Takuma...

Fantastic Fest 2023 Review: TRIGGERED (Topakk), Brutal Action Highlights Flick From The Philippines

Richard Somes directs the Filipino action movie.

Fantastic Fest 2023 Review: JACKDAW Drives Through in This Fast and Compact Thriller

Oliver Jackson-Cohen stars in a noir action-thriller, directed by Jamie Childs.

Fantastic Fest 2023 Review: RAGE (Rabia), Growing Tension And Fear Gives Way to a Bloody Finale

Alan survives his mother's death, forced to hide by his father in a secluded housing unit. There, he discovers hidden messages that reveal his father is a werewolf. Alan has to do something before the next full moon catches up with them.

Venice 2023 Review: MALQUERIDAS Exposes Motherhood Incarcerated

Director Tana Gilbert juxtaposes personal moments against the stark reality of prison life in her feature-length debut, shot clandestinely in a prison.


Anton Corbijn may be well-known as a director, but he is one of the super-giants in his field when it concerns photography. He has been world famous for decades already for his portrait stills, often shot in grainy black and...

Venice 2023 Review: FOR NIGHT WILL COME, Gen Z Response to TWILIGHT

Élodie Bouchez and Mathias Legout Hammond star in the latest film by French director Céline Rouzet, a vampiric coming-of-age drama set against the backdrop of a seemingly peaceful French suburb.

Venice 2023 Review: VIVANTS (ON THE PULSE), Nostalgic Behind-the-Scenes Newsroom Drama

Director Alix Delaporte peeks behind the curtains of a bustling Parisian newsroom in a film memoir serving as an homage for the trade.

Fantastic Fest 2023 Review: STRANGE DARLING, A Joy Ride to Remember

After a brief prologue that promises – both via text and voiceover – a dramatization of the true story of the final killings of the most unique American serial killer of the 21st century, we are treated to a mesmerizing...

Fantastic Fest 2023 Review: THE LAST STOP IN YUMA COUNTY, Lovely Little Genre Exercise That Grows Too Big

The feature debut of writer/director Francis Galluppi makes the most of its single location setting for most of its runtime, and only falters when it takes steps to leave that place behind. That place is a sizable diner attached to...

Gent 2023 Review: 2 X 25

Film Festival Gent is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and celebrating it in style. One part of the festival is catered to cinematic music and film scores, so to celebrate an often under-appreciated part of the art form, the...

Vlissingen 2023 Review: SIRA Survives

One of the nice surprises at the Film by the Sea Festival in Vlissingen was the unexpected warm weather, a nice little hot after-Summer. A less nice surprise was that some of the venues at the festival did not have...

Toronto 2023 Review: FINGERNAILS, Love (And Cinema) Fails By Playing It Safe

It is a solid time-wasting (and futile) exercise looking at couples and making a judgement call if they are ‘right for one another.’ Or to guess if they will ‘last.’ In my family, it is kind of a sport. Well...

Toronto 2023 Review: SLEEP, On the Merits of Insomnia

Soo-jin (Jung Yu-mi) and Hyun-su (Lee Sun-kyun) are the sweetest young couple, full of promise and hope. Soo-jin works in business, hoping to make her way to the executive branch. Hyun-su is an actor; while he's only had small roles,...

Toronto 2023 Review: CLOSE YOUR EYES, Time Enough To Remember

It's not a stretch to understand why films are often conflated with dreams (or nightmares); as with how our brains operate when we're asleep, films allow the creator to piece together images and sounds in a way that they hope...

Toronto 2023 Review: DADDIO, The Art of Good Conversation Is Alive and Kicking

Dakota Johnson and Sean Penn star in a new film by writer/director Christy Hall.

Toronto 2023 Review: THE TEACHERS LOUNGE, A Dazzling Lesson In How Society Crumbles

I took no notes while watching The Teachers’ Lounge. This is rare for me in a festival environment, where I am seeing a lot of films in a short period of time. Yea, I am *that guy* who brings a...