Festivals Reviews

Cannes 2024 Review: THE BALCONETTES Paints a Portrait of Modern Ladies on Fire

Women get bloody man trouble in French comedy horror.

Cannes 2024 Review: THE GIRL WITH THE NEEDLE, A Potent Period Drama

One of the first nominees for the Palme d’or that was presented this year at the Cannes International Film Festival was The Girl with the Needle (Pigen med nålen), a great Danish drama, shot in black and white, set at...

Cannes 2024 Review: In THE SECOND ACT, Quentin Dupieux Continues to Amuse

Quentin Dupieux’s new film The Second Act (Le deuxième acte) opened the 77th edition of the Cannes International Film Festival. It’s noteworthy that it’s a Netflix co-production and, although this could mean that Dupieux eventually reaches many more people, there’s...

Cannes 2024 Review: THE SURFER Rides the Wave of Nicolas Cage Gonzo Midnight Flicks

The actor-producer undergoes another full meltdown in captivating Australia-set curio.

Cannes 2024 Review: MOST PEOPLE DIE ON SUNDAYS, Affecting Funeral Drama Marred By Slow Pace

Personal, vaguely auto-fictional stories are de rigueur for first-time filmmakers, especially actors turning directors.Iair Said, seen in last year’s The Delinquents, makes an undistinguished debut after trying his hand at a couple of shorts.   Increasingly, subjects of coming-of-age tales...

Cannes 2024 Review: HOLY COW, French Cheese-Making Dramedy Is a Finely Crafted Debut Feature

Louise Courvoisier directed. A brash young man is humbled by provincial life.

Cannes 2024 Review: IT DOESN'T MATTER, A Black Man Comes of Age in Modern America

Jay Will and Christopher Abbott star as best friends in Josh Mond's second feature film after his 2015 debut, 'James White.'

Hot Docs 2024 Review: IMMORTALS Follows Iraqi Youth on the Frontlines

Swiss director Maja Tschumi presents a compelling exploration of the lives of Iraq's youth navigating the post-US invasion landscape, through the lens of the pivotal 2019 October Revolution.

Cannes 2024 Review: TWILIGHT OF THE WARRIORS: WALLED IN, Hong Kong's Nostaglia-Fuelled Gangland Throwdown

Since it was first announced back in 2013, the nostalgia-fuelled martial arts epic set within the labyrinthine back alleys of Kowloon Walled City has nurtured a mythical status to rival the notorious neighbourhood itself. Development of the project dates back...

CAAMFest 2024 Review: EXTREMELY UNIQUE DYNAMIC, When BFFs Test the Limits of Friendship

Harrison Xu and Ivan Leung star in a friendly, funny movie that plumbs the depths of friendship, written and directed by Xu, Leung, and Katherine Dudas.

Calgary Underground 2024 Review: CUCKOO, Delightfully Analog Sensory Overload

Two characters, having barely survived a traumatic and violent ordeal at a hospital, try to leave, only to find the doors locked. But wait, it is one of those situations where one door is locked but the other one works...

Udine 2024 Review: THEIR LAST LOVE AFFAIR, Lee Myung-se's Daring and Dazzling Tale of Illicit Romance

This year's Far East Film Festival is screening a large number of South Korean classics, including a full program dedicated to the country's fascinating 1950s output, such as Park Nam-ok's progressive drama The Widow, the first Korean film ever directed...

Udine 2024 Review: 12.12: THE DAY, Riveting Drama Brings Dark Episode of Korean History Into the Light

One of the final dark closets of modern Korean history gets thrown wide open in Kim Sung-soo's riveting historical drama 12.12: The Day. The film dramatises the coup d'état that took place in the wake of the assassination of President...

Udine 2024 Review: THE ROUNDUP: PUNISHMENT Wins One More Round in a Franchise Clinging to the Ropes

It’s Beast Cop vs Bitcoin in the fourth instalment of Ma Dong-seok’s enduringly popular Roundup action franchise, as his hulking detective goes toe-to-toe with a tech-savvy crime syndicate looking to expand into crypto. Helmed by action director Heo Myeong-haeng, Ma’s...

Udine 2024 Review: CITIZEN OF A KIND, A New Kind of Hero Rises in Delightful Female-Centric Vigilante Drama

If its films and dramas are to be believed, South Korea is a land teeming with vigilantes. They are typically brooding, sharply dressed and very attractive characters with dark pasts who mete out justice with brute strength or elaborate schemes,...

Fantaspoa 2024 Review: THE COMPLEX FORMS, How Classic Auteur Cinema Would Be If It Had More Monsters

Strange things are happening at an ancient villa in the literal middle of nowhere. A bunch of men are gathered here, all of them with a peculiar contract. A middle-aged man named Christian (David White) is in the process of...

Calgary Underground 2024 Review: HUMANE, The Family That Slays Together Stays Together

Apocalypses in Canadian cinema tend to occur in slow motion, and have a subversive touch of quiet absurdity. The two undisputed classics of the genre are Don McKellar’s Last Night, and Bruce McDonald’s Pontypool. Caitlin Cronenberg aims for that lofty...

Fantaspoa 2024 Review: THE ISLAND BETWEEN TIDES, Supernatural Mind-Teaser About Time, Ghosts and Complicated Relationships

When Lily (Remy Marthaller) was a child, she followed a mysterious melody and wandered onto a tidal island, disappearing for several days – though, when she returned, she claimed she was actually gone for mere minutes. Sixteen years later, it’s...

Fantaspoa 2024 Review: MASTERGAME (Mesterjátszma), Visually Compelling Thriller with Chess, Trains and Bathroom Fights

It’s November 1956, and Russian tanks have just invaded Budapest, crushing the revolution. A young couple, István (Gergely Váradi) and Márta (Varga-Járó Sára), rushes for the last train that can get them out of the country. When aboard, they are...

Panic Fest 2024 Review: THE BUILDOUT, Beautiful Meditation on Grief and Friendship

Writer/director Zeshaan Younus' feature debut flirts with genre in the same way Tarkovsky and Malick flirt with genre.  The film follows two friends as they venture into the mysterious remote area in a vast Southern California desert that a religious...