Review: RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON, Stunning Visuals, Stirring Story

It’s long been a fact of movie-watching life that no one does animation like the Disney-Industrial Complex does animation. Whether it’s old-school, traditional animation or new-school CG animation, Disney Animation Studios remains the gold standard, often imitated, but rarely duplicated....

Review: I CARE A LOT, Come for Rosamund Pike's Performance, Stay for the Wicked Satire

The Trump Era may be officially over, but Trump’s legacy of greed, corruption, and malfeasance lives on in J Blakeson’s (Gunpowder, The Disappearance of Alice Creed) scabrous, scathing satire, I Care a Lot, a not particularly deep, if viciously funny,...

Sundance 2021 Review: THE WORLD TO COME, Understated, Literary Period Romance

Along with the recently released Ammonite and 2019's Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Mona Fastvold’s (The Sleepwalker) enthralling, mesmerizing second, feature-length film, The World to Come, falls broadly into the burgeoning lesbian period romance sub-genre. As an addition to...

Sundance 2021 Review: MASS, An Unflinching, Uncompromising Examination of Loss and Mourning

It might be one of the deepest and most abiding ironies of the last year that it took the emergence of one pandemic (COVID-19) to temporarily end another pandemic (school shootings). With the majority of elementary and high school students...

Sundance 2021 Review: PASSING, Stunning, Provocative Debut

In writer-director Rebecca Hall’s (Christine, The Town, Vicky Cristina Barcelona) evocative, provocative adaptation of Nella Larsen’s richly textured, multi-layered 1929 novel, Passing, two women, one-time high-school friends, now in their thirties, inadvertently cross paths in the tea room of an...

Sundance 2021 Review: LAND, Buried in an Avalanche of Cliches

Buried in an avalanche of painfully obvious cliches, surface-deep characterizations, and unexamined privilege, Land, Robin Wright’s feature-length, filmmaking debut is about as far from auspicious as any feature-length debut can be. Elevated by Wright's impressively committed performance as a grief-haunted...

Sundance 2021 Review: CODA, A Crowd-Pleaser By Any Other Name

Deservedly or not, the word “crowd-pleaser” tends to have a negative connotation, situating a film’s potential popularity with broad demographic appeal, simple, easy-to-understand narratives, and emotionally cathartic endings. But in the second year of a global pandemic, a Before Times...

Sundance 2021 Review: HUMAN FACTORS, Home Invasion Drama Illuminates a Family's Dissolution

The home invasion sub-genre, with its approximation to the real world beyond the screen and the absence of the distancing effects typical of other horror sub-genres (e.g., supernatural, slashers, undead), can be a vehicle for examining interrelated social, cultural, and...

Sundance 2021 Review: IN THE EARTH, Mother Nature Gets Super Freaky

While everyone was still working on perfecting their sourdough mix or tightening their glutei during the first five or six months of a still ongoing pandemic, writer-director Ben Wheatley (High Rise, A Field in England, The Kill List), no slouch...

Sundance 2021 Review: MAYDAY, A Feminist Fable, Firearms Not Optional

In writer-director Karen Cinorre’s visually enthralling, stunning debut, Mayday, it’s a semi-Hobbesian “war of all against all,” except the first “all” and the second “all” fall strictly along gender lines, pitting semi-suspecting men, some all-too-eager to play the heroes in...

Sundance 2021 Review: EIGHT FOR SILVER, A Werewolf Story Retold

From A Werewolf of London to An American Werewolf in London, from The Wolfman (1941) to The Wolfman (2010), and The Curse of the Werewolf and Ginger Snaps in between, lycanthropy has held a peculiarly long-lasting fascination in the popular imagination...

Sundance 2021 Review: HOW IT ENDS, Not With a Bang, But With a Walkabout

The end of the world never looked more unbearably sunny or cheerily welcome than it does in writer-director duo (and real-world couple) Zoe Lister-Jones and Daryl Wein’s How It Ends, a light, breezy neighborhood walkabout through one woman’s last day...

Sundance 2021 Review: THE BLAZING WORLD, Visually Stunning, Dramatically Inert

The Blazing World, writer-director-actor Carlson Young’s visually arresting, occasionally infuriating feature-length debut, embraces a dizzyingly vast array of cinematic and literary influences (everything from David Lynch to Guillermo del Toro, Richard Kelly, Tarsem Singh, and back again to David Lynch...

ScreenAnarchy Top Films of 2020

One of the great advantages of ScreenAnarchy's global writing staff is that our individual end-of-year lists always have a least a few titles that the rest of us have not only not seen, but likely haven't heard of. And I'm...

Review: WONDER WOMAN 1984, An Underwhelming Sequel

Immortality has its perks no doubt (like, for example, not dying), but apparently it also has its drawbacks, like living among short-lived, physically limited mortals, falling irrevocably in love, and then losing said mortal to accident, disease, or old age....

Review: PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN, Bracing, Timely, Jolting Critique

Carey Mulligan stars in a sharp-edged crime comedy, written and directed by Emerald Fennell.

Now On 4K UHD Blu-ray: TRAIN TO BUSAN PRESENTS: PENINSULA Is Weightless, Vapid, and Violent; But It Is Pretty.

Director Yeon Sang-ho took the genre film world by storm in 2016 with Train to Busan, his debut live action feature after a pair of critically acclaimed animated films (The Fake, The King of Pigs). After its world premiere at the...

Review: THE CROODS: A NEW AGE, Prehistoric Family Delivers Adventure-Comedy Treats

Living through a seemingly never-ending pandemic and self-quarantining/sheltering-at-home (for some, if unfortunately, not most) puts a premium on escapist pleasures, like an animated Nicolas Cage-headlining a long-delayed sequel, The Croods: A New Age. The first film, a DreamWorks Animation family-oriented...

Review: THE NEST, Hell Really Is Other Married People

Almost a decade ago, writer-director Sean Durkin’s feature-length debut, Martha Marcy May Marlene — an intense, non-linear psychological thriller — immediately moved him to the front ranks of promising first-time filmmakers. It also introduced Elisabeth Olsen to moviegoers. In the...

Review: FREAKY, Body-Swap Thrills, Gory Kills

Over the last decade plus, writer-director Christopher Landon has quietly crafted a consistently engaging, stealth career as a filmmaker deeply conversant in the tropes, traditions, and conventions of the horror genre and a willing subverter of those tropes, traditions, and...