Indie Reviews

PROBLEMISTA Review: Clever, Witty, Boldly Distinctive

Julio Torres writes, directs, and stars alongside Tilda Swinton in a modestly audacious comedy.

HUNDREDS OF BEAVERS Review: Pure Comedy Goes Back to Basics

Hundreds of Beavers has been tearing up the festival circuit for months now, scooping prizes and rapidly building a rabid cult following. And with damn good reason. If you have even the slightest love for slapstick comedy and goofball antics,...

CAMP PLEASANT LAKE Review: A Crazed Jonathan Lipnicki Headlines This Summer Camp Slasher

A bunch of horror LARPers meet grisly ends in the micro-budget summer camp slasher, Camp Pleasant Lake. Boasting a small selection of familiar faces from genre cinema and a mystifying lead performance from Jerry Maguire’s Jonathan Lipnicki, who hams it...

DRIVE-AWAY DOLLS Review: Dykes on the Run

There are times when a movie both needs to be un-serious, and needs to hit its target of cultural critique. There are times that call for some indie b-movie wit and raunchiness, a story that finds its charm in odd...

CONCRETE VALLEY Review: The Quiet Lives of Those Trying to Fit In

Urban parkland can bring both solace and anonymity. For someone who is new to a place, connecting with their environment can be at once daunting and daring - the constructed landscape being one against which an immigrant is often antagonized,...

MOLLI AND MAX IN THE FUTURE Review: Unlikely Lovers Cross Time and Space

While the age of the classic romantic comedy seems to have passed us by, films like Michael Lukk Litwak’s Molli and Max in the Future remind us that there is still magic to be wrung from well-worn tropes if the...

GHOSTWRITTEN Review: Juxtaposition of Greek Mythology, 90s Indie Cinema

Deep into a film that has yet to really show its hand, a desperate writer, our unlikeable, emasculated protagonist, Guy Laury, tries to call his agent on a payphone in the middle of an abandoned town.   There is a...

Sundance 2024 Review: LITTLE DEATH, Ambitious, Unconventional, Must-See Filmmaking

There’s a make-it-or-break-it moment in writer-director Jack Begert’s boldly unconventional, existential drama/Hollywood satire, Little Death, that will leave audiences cringing in shock, wonder, and maybe awe. Some might even head for the exits. Coming as it does at roughly the...

Sundance 2024 Review: WINNER, Comic-Absurdist Biopic Succeeds Where Others Have Failed

The second narrative film and the third overall in almost as many years to cover similar, if not identical ground, Winner, a comedy-drama/biopic centered on the uniquely named Reality Winner, the ex-U.S. Air Force veteran, translator extraordinaire, and NSA whistleblower,...

Sundance 2024 Review: A DIFFERENT MAN, Idea-Rich Genre Mash-Up Stumbles, Falls, Dissatisfies

In Aaron Schimberg’s (Chained for Life, Go Down South) latest film, A Different Man, Edward (Sebastian Stan), a man euphemistically described as “facially different,” finds himself unmoored from the life he once had and rejected and the life he thought...

Rotterdam 2024 Review: SLIDE, A Musical Western Satire By Bill Plympton

This year, the International Film Festival Rotterdam had independent animation legend Bill Plympton as a special guest. He was interviewed, performed a masterclass, showing how his style of animation worked, drew sketches for attendants, the lot. A true gentleman. Also,...

Sundance 2024 Review: HIT MAN, Richard Linklater Directs Glen Powell in a Morally Relativistic Comedy-Drama

To hear Glen Powell tell the story, he decided to become an actor and writer on Richard Linklater’s Fast Food Nation. It wasn’t his first or second role. It was his third. A not particularly significant part, it was more...

Sundance 2024 Review: IT'S WHAT'S INSIDE, Leave Your (College) Friends Behind

The friends we make in high school and college often aren’t the friends we keep. Good reasons abound as to why friendships don’t carry over 10, 20, or 30 years, but the key one, the “why” or “whys” friendships form...

Sundance 2024 Review: BETWEEN THE TEMPLES, A Cantor Finds His Voice In Life and Love

Trauma in all its facets -- experience, understanding, reconciliation -- and indie dramas are practically synonymous at this point. That, however, doesn’t make trauma or its natural consequence, mourning, or how it’s explored through film, any less relevant or meaningful....

Sundance 2024 Review: GHOSTLIGHT, William Shakespeare, Family Therapist

Coming-of-age stories are practically a sub-genre of their own. Coming-of-middle-age stories, however, tend to be, if not few and far between, then far more rare. That’s likely due to studio perceptions of what does and doesn’t sell: young adult-oriented films,...

Sundance 2024 Review: I SAW THE TV GLOW, Enthralling Exploration of Cult Fandoms, Nostalgia, and Trans Identity

In writer-director Jane Schoenbrun’s (We're All Going to the World's Fair) second feature-length film, I Saw the TV Glow, cult fandoms, the positives and perils inherent in nostalgia (tonic or toxin), and the boundless search for personal identity, specifically trans...

Sundance 2024 Review: MY OLD ASS, Wise, Insightful, and Frequently Hilarious in Equal Part(s)

The summer between the end of high school and for some, college, can be filled with an unequal combination of anxiety and anticipation. Anxiety of the unknown and anticipation of new and novel experiences, of new friends and new relationships,...

Sundance 2024 Review: IN THE SUMMERS, Provocative, Heartbreaking Family Drama

It’s not being provocative — at least not intentionally — to suggest families, biological and otherwise, can seriously f*ck you up. Parents can fail their children. Children can fail their parents. Whether realistic or the opposite, expectations in either direction...

Rotterdam 2024 Review: HAMMARSKJÖLD - FIGHT FOR PEACE, A High-Octane Portrait Of The Diplomat´s Final Crusade

Swedish director Per Fly dramatizes the last days of Dag Hammarskjöld in a biopic merged with a political thriller.

Sundance 2024 Review: GOOD ONE, Slow-Motion Family Implosion

Recreational camping — and its corollary, hiking or backpacking — has been part of the American experience for more than a century. For the minority who enjoy “roughing it,” leaving modern comforts like running water, functioning toilets, and central heating...