Film Reviews

Latest Reviews

  • The death of Amy Winehouse, in July 2011, at age 27, was one of the first great tragedies of 21st-century pop music, an event — like the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Kurt Cobain in the last decade of the 20th — that emphasized the jarring contrast...

  • St. Louis has long called itself the "Gateway to the West," but that town and its surrounding Ozarks might more accurately be the Mustache of the South, a much larger thing's mostly presentable upper tip that nonetheless always has a few crumbs...

  • Even within the strictest formulas of today's superhero-driven Hollywood, the experienced craftsman with a genuine enthusiasm for the form can find precious moments that are able to accommodate his or her personality. One such example is the...

  • Being aware of our mortality is a questionable gift, one that can inspire many poor decisions. In Saugatuck Cures, the return of a woman's cancer inspires her adult son to put all his eggs in the experimental-surgery basket. Said procedure...

  • Imagine the 1987 sci-fi pic The Running Man without Schwarzenegger, the sneering wit, innovative gore, or solid production values, and that pretty much sums up Jon Hewitt's Elimination Game.

    Running Man wasn't exactly...

  • Spirit Lake is bottomless, so far as the locals in writer-director Sarah Adina Smith's The Midnight Swim can tell. A small town straddles its enigmatic shores, though nobody has ever seen the bottom — except, perhaps, those who have...

  • Traditional coming-of-age films like A Borrowed Identity don't often come from Israel, which is one of the film's points. There, youth is fast-forwarded away, especially if you're an Arab, like gifted child Eyad (Razi Gabareen), burdened...

  • Forget the sleek skyscrapers, flying cars, or holo-phone tech. What you really need to know about the near future of Jennifer Phang's daring and accomplished science fiction drama Advantageous comes from what a mother and daughter overhear...

  • As with any movie concerned with sex trafficking, revenge thriller Bound to Vengeance is often horrifying. Director José Manuel Cravioto, in his English-language debut, nevertheless attempts to subvert the sadly commonplace "woman...

  • In 1986, there was a ritual when New York kids bought a pair of Adidas. They would stretch, starch, and iron the shoelaces, then thread them back outside-in. The message: I can afford the name brand, but my style is unique. Fashion is about that...

  • Benicio del Toro looms on the poster for Escobar: Paradise Lost in full hollow-eyed mustachioed grandeur, his deadly visage filling the sky above a teensy image of a white dude running along with a gun. What a surprise, then, to discover...

  • Back in the 1980s, it was possible to shoot a tiny film on a slight budget as a calling card for studio executives, a way for directors to say, "Imagine what I could do with real money." A few of these underbudgeted films, like The...