Indie Reviews

Review: ANKLE BITERS, Step-Parenting Can Be Murder

Being a step-parent is no easy task; how much can you, or should you, 'parent' your partner's children? Do you try to be their friend or remain an outsider? And what if yoiu don't like them? And what if they...

Review: SILENT NIGHT, A Catastrophic Christmas

Not all is as it seems when families and old friends meet up in the picturesque English countryside to enjoy what will turn out to be a revelatory last Christmas supper together, but there's something they know that we don't...

Tallin 2021 Review: UPURGA, Latvian Mystery Thriller is About More Than You Think

Andrejs is a rafting instructor who is haunted by a tragic event his past. When he learns that his sister, Mara, and her vlogging team want to go into the woods to shoot a bit for her vlog, he insists...

DOC NYC 2021 Review: ONCE UPON A TIME IN UGANDA, The Unlikeliest Success Story In Action Cinema

The greatest cinematic surprises often come from the unlikeliest beginnings. In the case of Cathryne Czubek's Once Upon a Time in Uganda, those beginnings are the slums of Wakaliga, Kampala, Uganda. The humble origin story of Wakaliwood and its ever...

DOC NYC 2021 Review: DEAN MARTIN: KING OF COOL, Some Cats Never Die

Directed by Tom Donahue, the documentary examines the life of a cool cat who cut an independent path through mainstream entertainment.

Toronto Reel Asian 2021 Review: CODE NAME: NAGASAKI, A Genre Quest to Find the Past

Probably most of us have imagined our lives in a particular genre: sometimes we see ourselves living in a romantic comedy, other times we imagine ourselves as a noir detective, or a cowboy, or we think about how we might...

Review: PROCESSION, Filmmaking As a Conduit for Healing

Directed by Robert Greene, 'Procession' is one of the most powerful and important documentaries ever made.

Review: SPENCER, Pablo Lorrain Balances Formalist Approach with Humanism

Kristen Stewart stars in yet another major film from director Pablo Larrain, a modern master in cinema. Do not miss seeing the film on the big screen.

Review: BEANS, Growing Up in Political Turmoil

Most coming-of-age stories centre on a pivotal moment in a child's life, that cusp between childhood and the teen years, where their heart still yearns for so-called childish things, but their mind and body are moving them elsewhere. Sometimes these...

Blu-ray Review: RATCATCHER, Criterion Returns Us to A Child's Life in Glasgow

A boy wrapping himself in lace curtains. Garbage bags piled in the streets. Tom Jones on the telly. A filthy canal that doubles as a death trap. A mouse tied to a balloon. Bullies hiding 'round the corner. A house...

Montreal Nouveau 2021 Review: EXTRANEOUS MATTER, Aliens Come In Strange Places

A friend of mine once wrote an essay for a university film course, discussing how it's often difficult for a viewer to fully comprehend a film from another culture; there are often too many nuances and contexts simply not understood....

Review: SHE WILL, Empowered by Truth and Mythic Magic

She did. That is, Charlotte Colbert did. She’s one of a few first-time directors who turned in great movies at this years edition of Fantastic Fest. What seemed like it may be a grim and broody revenge horror fable becomes…...

Montreal Nouveau 2021 Review: LA CONTEMPLATION DU MYSTÈRE, The Hunter Becomes the Hunted

Our parents often have friends that we only vaguely know; rituals they kept that seems weird to us; and often, if we are estranged from them or separated by distance, a life that we cannot comprehend. Add into that a...

Blu-ray Review: ELVIRA'S HAUNTED HILLS Kills

Though I was lucky enough to have seen the original Elvira film, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, in theatres, the second adventure of the "Mistress of the Dark" escaped me in the early 2000s. Thankfully, Scream Factory (Shout! Factory's rad horror...

Montreal Nouveau 2021 Review: Folklore Dreams Get Peculiar in TZAREVNA SCALING

Many little girls (and boys, I'm sure) have dreamed of becoming a princess; or at least, dreamed themselves the child of royalty, thus giving them a life of leisure, parties, worship from the adoring public, and a pretty awesome wardrobe....

Now Streaming: THE VELVET UNDERGROUND, More Than Heroin

Director Todd Haynes pays tribute to the influential rock group in a documentary that is more than a music doc, now streaming on Apple TV+.

Montreal Nouveau 2021 Review: AFTER BLUE, Succumb to the Desiring Nightmare

Paradis Sale, the original french title of Bertrand Mandico's sophomore feature, translates as 'Dirty Paradise'. And this place isn't exactly a paradise, nor is it dirty. But it is most definitely strange and surreal, filled with intoxication and eroticism, and...

Screamfest 2021 Review: THE RETALIATORS, The Thin Line Between Revenge And Survival

It's Christmas time and pastor Bishop (no, really) is preparing to spend the holidays with his two daughters, Sarah and Rebecca. A devout man, he holds steadfast to the principles of his faith. But even the most faithful followers are...

Nightstream 2021 Review: KING CAR, A Car For The People

A mechanical messiah promises to bring power to the people of Brazil after new legislation threatens the livelihoods of the proletariat in Renata Pinheiro's painfully topical King Car (Carro Rei).  Uno (Luciano Pedro, Jr.) has always had a way with...

Montreal Nouveau 2021 Review: ZERIA, A Fractured Story of a Dying World

What are the stories that will be left for humanity, if (or really, when) there is a shift in how we live? Or where we are? What are the ideas, histories, feelings, we need to impart to the next generations,...