Black Nights 2015 Review: NIGHT SHIFT, Iranian Drama Meets Hitchcock

Niki Karimi has had a stellar career in Iranian cinema, first beginning as an actor, and moving into writing and directing in the past decade. Her most recent feature, Night Shift, is a serious and unusual blend of domestic drama... More »
  

Black Nights 2015 Review: THE BRIDE, Love In The Ruins

Federico García Lorca's play Blood Wedding has been popular for over 80 years, for its level of drama akin to Greek tragedy, blood feuds between families, and one woman caught between two men she loves. In The Bride, Paula Ortiz... More »
  

Black Nights 2015 Review: GRANDMA, Lily Tomlin At Her Finest

Lily Tomlin is having a renaissance, and we should all be thankful for that. A consummate performer and comedian, she has aged not only gracefully, but in strength as an actor. And her skills are on full display in Grandma.... More »
  

Toronto After Dark 2015 Review: PATCHWORK's Combo Of Laughs And Gore Will Leave You In Stitches

Jennifer, Ellie and Madeleine could not be more different from each other. Jennifer is a professional businesswoman ready to celebrate her birthday and closing a big deal at work. Ellie is a party girl looking for a good time. And... More »
By Andrew Mack   
  

Toronto After Dark 2015 Review: THE HEXECUTIONERS, Welcome To The Job From Hell

Sanctioned euthanasia is a full blown industry and Malison is just starting to get her feet wet at her new job. After a rough start she is paired up with seasoned veteran Olivia and together they head out to the... More »
By Andrew Mack   
  

Toronto After Dark 2015 Review: THE HOLLOW ONE Demonstrates More Depth Than Its Title Lets On

Rachel Wade left the family farm two years ago for the big city after a tragic accident took the life of her mother. Now living in downtown Seattle the disappearance of her father compels her to return and face her... More »
By Andrew Mack   
  

Toronto After Dark 2015 Review: THE DIABOLICAL Covers The Basics Of Haunted Houses With A Hint Of Sci-Fi

Let us jump right into The Diabolical, because that is what writer/director Alistair Legrand and writing partner Luke Harvis do. Right off the hop we meet Ali Later as Madison, a single mom who is trying to hold on to... More »
By Andrew Mack   
  

New York 2015 Review: BRIDGE OF SPIES, A Thrilling Throwback To An Earlier Era

The New York Film Festival's transition in the past few years from being more or less purely a showcase for the crème-de-la-crème of world cinema (which it still largely is) to being an increasingly prominent stop on the way to... More »
  

Sitges 2015 Review: FROM THE DARK Is An Enjoyable, If Repetitive, Ride

Conor McMahon is no stranger here in Sitges. The Irish director already succeeded in winning the audience's affection back in 2012 with Stitches, a film that managed to get as much laughter as jumps and scares. This time he comes back to Sitges with... More »
By Guillem Rosset   
  

New York 2015 Review: Getting To Know DE PALMA's Rabbit

Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow's documentary, De Palma, begins with its beloved subject discussing the first time he ever saw Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and the profound impact it had on his sense of storytelling and general cinematic philosophy. In discussing... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

Aruba 2015 Review: VIAJE Brims With Charm And Wonder

When we go to the movies we often talk about "getting lost in the experience." It feels more rare to say something like "to be found in the experience." In one stupendously assured breath Costa Rican filmmaker Paz Fabrega's second... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Hamburg 2015 Review: SAMURAY-S, A Stunning Meta-Hypnosis From Another Planet

Raúl Perrone's Samuray-S is a film from a different planet. It is a distant planet they once called cinema. The Argentinean maverick, who directed 28 films in 40 years without any external funding, seems to work with a whole different... More »
  

New York 2015 Review: The Tranquil Insanity of JUNUN

Paul Thomas Anderson has finally given the world a film that won't send its audiences into fits of over-thought analysis. By no means is this meant to imply that ruminating on PTA films isn't a source of great cinematic joy,... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

Aruba 2015 Review: In THE DRIFTLESS AREA Mysteries Of The Moment Abound

We humans often like to think of ourselves as creatures of habit. It helps compartmentalize our world, making order out of chaos. As someone who operates quite often from his head, habits are important. Writing movie reviews, attempting to express... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Hamburg 2015 Review: THE TREASURE, Or, How To Love An Illusion

Corneliu Porumboiu, the Éric Rohmer of Romania's Nouvelle Vague, is Europe's answer to Hong Sang-soo. Where to go from such a first sentence? We will see. What about The Treasure, his latest exercise in time? We talk about the time... More »
  

Busan 2015 Review: TWENTY TWO, Sober But Slow Portrait Of Chinese Comfort Women

One of most sensitive topics in regional Far East Asian politics these days, Japan's use of comfort women during the wane of its colonial empire is a constant talking point on the news. Among the more sobering and least sentimental... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Busan 2015 Review: RECORDING Chronicles Charming Cast In Forgettable Story

It's the small moments that work in Recording, a story that is low on ambition but infused with a winning charm even as it drags in the scripting department, particularly in the back half. Sweet and unaffected, Park Min-kook's debut... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Busan 2015 Review: SPECIAL ANNIE Awkwardly Switches From Subject To Artist

Ten years after her feature debut What Are We Waiting For?, documentarian Kim Hyun-kung returns with an intimate film that is both a portrait of a HIV-positive New Yorker and a filmmaker uncertain of her aims. Awkwardly straddling the border... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Busan 2015 Review: BAD GUYS ALWAYS DIE Suffers A Slow Death

One of the more high profile among the many China-Korea collaborations being made these days, Bad Guys Always Die teams Taiwanese star Chen Bolin with top Korean actress Son Ye-jin in an action-comedy (leaning more towards the later) set on... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Busan 2015 Review: ALONE Winds Its Mystery Through The Backstreets Of Seoul

Four years after his experimental 3D shaman mystery Fish, Park Hong-min returns to BIFF with another singular work that offers one of the most compelling examinations of gentrification in Seoul. Alone follows a single character as he hops from one... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  
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