Cannes 2014 Review: A HARD DAY Is Easy-To-Love Genre Cinema

If you feel that tough genre fare in Korea has been spinning its wheels of late, you're not alone. While generally well made, the élan of yesteryear's hardboiled Korean thrillers has recently been replaced by a growing sense of familiarity... More »

Cannes 2014 Review: IT FOLLOWS, A Somber, Effective And Assured Thriller

With a terrific cold opening, a somber and effective mood, strong performances and assured direction, there's lots to love about It Follows. It's a kind of pure thriller, with a few shocks mixed into what's a remarkably consistent vision that... More »

Cannes 2014 Review: A GIRL AT MY DOOR Is Korean Cinema At Its Finest

Screening in the Cannes Film Festival's Un Certain Regard section this year is A Girl at My Door, a film that is so well-wrought that one can't help but be swept up in its artistry, which effortlessly plunges us into... More »

Cannes 2014 Review: MR. TURNER Paints A Blurry Picture

Mike Leigh's latest offering lustfully tackles the life, work and loves of Joseph Mallord William Turner, the legendary 19th Century British artist whose landscape paintings are revered around the world. It's a carefully constructed film, part performance piece and part... More »

Cannes 2014 Review: GRACE OF MONACO Is A Risible Mess

It gives me no pleasure to say that the opening film of this year's Cannes International Film Festival had members of the press mocking it during its running time. At the second screening, when the credits rolled and the lights were... More »

Cannes 2013 Review: INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS - Colorful Characters, Folk Music, And Saving Cats

Winners of numerous screenwriting awards including two Oscars, it's difficult to think of many filmmakers more adept at their craft than Joel and Ethan Coen. So it comes as a bit of a surprise when, in the first act... More »

Cannes 2013 Review: Asghar Farhadi's THE PAST Is An Intense, Mesmerizing Excavation Of Secrets And Lies

Those who saw Asghar Farhadi's previous film A Separation already know that though the Iranian filmmaker specializes in two-plus hour family dramas, his movies are as intense and absorbing as any thriller out there. Like the aforementioned film, The Past... More »

Cannes 2013 Review: Jean-Luc Godard Does 3-D In THE THREE DISASTERS, And No, James Cameron Will Not Be Spared

"The digital medium is a dictatorship," intones Jean-Luc Godard as images flash over text, which flashes over more images, ultimately demonstrating how, ironically, 3-D is actually the perfectly-suited to Godard's recent information-overload collage-style filmmaking. But just because the enfant-terrible-turned-bitter-recluse is... More »

Cannes 2013 Review: BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR Does Coming-Of-Age With Phenomenal NSFW Aplomb

There is a stereotype that used to exist in America that European (and especially French) films were all full of gratuitous sex. Back before the internet, VHS tapes, and days of easy access pornography, young boys would sneak into... More »

Cannes 2013 Review: Coming to America is Gorgeous, But Slow Business in James Gray's THE IMMIGRANT

While heralded by a dedicated group of cinephiles in the U.S. (as well as most critics in France), director James Gray has always been more talked-about for his sure hand with actors and drama than for his visual style. Not... More »

Cannes 2013 Review: The Agony, Ecstasy of Masked Wrestling Gets Film Noir Treatment In OUR HEROES ARE DEAD TONIGHT

Back in 1960's France, masked wrestling was not a kitsch, novelty sport with a cult following -- it was serious business. According to the accepted narrative, it was not only a spectacle of brutality, but a powerful assertion of good... More »

Cannes 2013 Review: JODOROWSKY'S DUNE Delightfully Journeys Into The Brilliance That Might Have Been

What's the most important film never made? Is it Kubrick's Napoleon? How about Gilliam's take on Don Quijote? In his excellent sophomore feature documentary of the same name, director Frank Pavich would have you believe the answer is Jodorowsky's... More »

Cannes 2013 Review: NEBRASKA is a Long Drive with a Charming Destination

Alexander Payne is on some kind of hot streak with all four of his major features receiving Oscar nominations and his last two (Sideways and The Descendants) both earning Best Picture noms and taking home statues for Best Adapted... More »

Cannes 2013 Review: ONLY GOD FORGIVES and the Art of Violence

Nicolas Winding Refn may have burst onto the Hollywood scene with his slow burn but relatively straightforward actioner Drive, but before that film, Refn made a name for himself with considerably more abstract narratives such as Valhalla Rising. Refn... More »

Cannes 2013 Review: Claire Denis' THE BASTARDS Throws A Bleak, Sneaky Sucker Punch

Clair Denis' The Bastards begins as a simple, slow-burn revenge thriller, and then very quietly morphs into one of the bleakest, most twisted neo-noir films of the decade. As is often the case with Denis (35 Shots of Rum, White... More »

Cannes 2013 First Impression: ONLY GOD FORGIVES Is A Hyper-Violent Feast For The Senses

Few films are as anticipated around Twitch as Nicolas Winding Refn's follow-up to Drive and re-teaming with Ryan Gosling, Only God Forgives. The film has had its premier at Cannes and boy is it going to be divisive. More... More »

Cannes 2013 Review: Sci-Fi Horror Flick LAST DAYS ON MARS Is As Lifeless As The Planet Itself

After the screening of Last Days on Mars in the director's fortnight competition, many were wondering why exactly the clunky, derivative Mars-zombie movie was programmed at a high-class festival like Cannes. Fair enough, but the bigger, even more nagging question... More »

Cannes 2013 Review: BEHIND THE CANDELABRA Plays A Familiar Tune

It's become somewhat common for HBO to premiere their bigger movies at notable festivals and Cannes makes perfect sense for Steven Soderbergh's so-called final film, Behind the Candelabra. It also makes sense that the Matt Damon and Michael Douglas... More »

Cannes 2013 Review: Takashi Miike's SHIELD OF STRAW Gets Middling Results From High Concept

There are so many ways in which Takashi Miike's Shield of Straw falls short of being the knockout that it could have been, it's hard to know where to start. The script alone could easily inspire a novella detailing all... More »

Cannes 2013 Review: BLOOD TIES Knots Up 1970s New York

To call Guillaume Canet's Blood Ties a love letter to the 1970s is a bit of an understatement. The Clive Owen, Billy Crudup brothers-on-opposite-sides-of-the-law drama absolutely oozes with 1970s nostalgia from its impeccable costume and production design to its almost... More »
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