Movie Reviews

Latest Movie Reviews

  • Review: Offbeat European drama ‘Winter Brothers’ charts a singular path

    Review: Offbeat European drama ‘Winter Brothers’ charts a singular path

    Icelandic writer-director Hlynur Palmason’s “Winter Brothers” is the impressionistic, at times surreal and absurdist tale of Emil (Elliott Crosset Hove), a skinny oddball who works in a remote limestone quarry with more his mainstream sibling Johan (Simon Sears). This edgy, super-offbeat concoction,...

  • Review: Riveting documentary ‘Path of Blood’ explores terror through video

    Review: Riveting documentary ‘Path of Blood’ explores terror through video

    An archival documentary with the pounding, intimate heart of a Michael Mann thriller, Jonathan Hacker’s “Path of Blood” compresses the story of Saudi Arabia’s 2003-09 fight against Al Qaeda splinter cells into a charged back-and-forth of captured footage from terrorists and police/intelligence...

  • Review: Aussies unite to repel alien invasion in nimble sci-fi thriller ‘Occupation’

    Review: Aussies unite to repel alien invasion in nimble sci-fi thriller ‘Occupation’

    Borrowing freely from “Red Dawn,” “V” and “Independence Day,” the impressively grand science-fiction thriller “Occupation” tells the story of small-town Australians who put differences aside to resist an alien invasion. The movie’s derivative but lively and has a surprising scope. Writer-director...

  • Review: Wrestling comedy ‘Heels’ fails to reconcile big heart with off-putting humor

    Review: Wrestling comedy ‘Heels’ fails to reconcile big heart with off-putting humor

    Like a wrestler struggling to balance his real-life and in-the-ring personas, the grappling comedy “Heels” feels torn between its dual personalities, one warm, one coarse. Though individual parts work, this indie film from actor-writer-director Ryan Bottiglieri never fully unites its various elements...

  • Review: Psychological drama ‘Broken Star’ burns out in the end

    Review: Psychological drama ‘Broken Star’ burns out in the end

    The indie drama “Broken Star” features Analeigh Tipton as Markey Marlowe, a scandal-plagued actress hiding out from the press in a low-rent duplex owned by a loner named Daryl (Tyler Labine), who’s obsessed with her. Over the course of several days, Markey and Daryl take turns manipulating each...

  • Review: 'Marsha Hunt's Sweet Adversity' shows how not even the blacklist could stop the actress and activist

    Review: 'Marsha Hunt's Sweet Adversity' shows how not even the blacklist could stop the actress and activist

    Not every Hollywood marquee name’s life deserves a full-length documentary, but Marsha Hunt — ’30s starlet turned wartime character actress turned outspoken, blacklisted activist — has made the most of her glamour-tinged, humanitarian-focused century on Earth. (She reached that birthday milestone...

  • Review: The stirring 'Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda' evokes composer's creativity and mortality

    Review: The stirring 'Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda' evokes composer's creativity and mortality

    The intimate documentary “Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda” finds the accomplished composer in a deeply introspective place in both his life and career. Filmed over a period of several years during which time the iconic musician and vocal anti-nuclear activist was first diagnosed with Stage 3 throat cancer...

  • Review: Documentary 'Constructing Albert' follows a chef's quest for perfection

    Review: Documentary 'Constructing Albert' follows a chef's quest for perfection

    The Spanish molecular gastronomy restaurant elBulli (now closed) was considered the height of cuisine during its reign, and its head chef, Ferran Adrià, was lionzed as a legend. But what about his collaborators, specifically his brother, pastry chef and underrated legend in his own right, Albert?...

  • Review: Pretentious sci-fi noir '7 Splinters in Time' overreaches

    Review: Pretentious sci-fi noir '7 Splinters in Time' overreaches

    Trying to straddle the space between “Primer,” “Dark City” and “Memento,” “7 Splinters in Time” ends up a frustrating trip to no man’s land. Despite an ambitious premise and style, the neo-noir sci-fi indie is a fractured narrative that can’t achieve what its lofty ideas intend. Darius Lefaux (Edoardo...

  • Review: Lou Taylor Pucci enlivens wild and wooly 'Poor Boy'

    Review: Lou Taylor Pucci enlivens wild and wooly 'Poor Boy'

    Robert Scott Wildes’ dreamlike desert fable “Poor Boy” opens with a loose, rambling sequence that’s like a cinéma vérité version of “Cops.” It’s funny — a pair of police officers interrogate a pair of debauched brothers and a screaming woman about the case of an allegedly stolen lawn mower — but...

  • Review: Nothing new in arty French zombie drama 'The Night Eats the World'

    Review: Nothing new in arty French zombie drama 'The Night Eats the World'

    Every new zombie movie seems like a desperate attempt to answer one question: “Is there anything original left to be done in this genre?” And more and more, the answer is: “Nope.” Director Dominique Rocher's post-apocalyptic drama “The Night Eats the World” tries an unconventional approach … but...

  • Review: Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' charmingly recast in La La land

    Review: Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' charmingly recast in La La land

    At initial glance, the notion of Shakespeare’s oft-reinvented “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” reset in modern-day Los Angeles complete with a surfer dude Puck and texted soliloquies wouldn’t exactly lend itself to movie magic. But darned if Casey Wilder Mott’s feature directorial debut doesn’t prove...

  • Review: Irish found-footage horror film 'The Devil's Doorway' can't escape clichés

    Review: Irish found-footage horror film 'The Devil's Doorway' can't escape clichés

    For her first feature, Irish writer-director Aislinn Clarke follows in the footsteps of countless other horror filmmakers, compensating for a lack of resources by going the “found footage” route. “The Devil’s Doorway” isn’t cheap-looking or sloppy, though. Clarke has professional actors, an actual...

  • Review: 'Angels on Tap,' a skunked comedy brew

    Review: 'Angels on Tap,' a skunked comedy brew

    “Angels on Tap” is an ill-conceived comic-fantasy filled with strained and creaky humor, cardboard characters, an inane framing device and, as directed by Trudy Sargent, zero cinematic style. Veteran TV writer Burt Prelutsky scripted this dud about “Hollywood Schlockmeister” Sammy Bachman (Corey...

  • Review: Jean Cocteau's masterful 1948 'Les Parents Terribles' is a treat for movie lovers

    In between the stark ravishment of 1946’s “Beauty and the Beast” and 1950’s edgy enchantment “Orpheus,” France’s art-hyphenate master Jean Cocteau filmed an adaptation of his ‘30s play “Les Parents Terribles.” A seriocomic corker about a breathstoppingly dysfunctional family starring “Beauty” leads...

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