Sundance 2015 Review: BEST OF ENEMIES, A Vital Showcase On Media Iconoclasts

In many ways my media consumption is the child of events that date back to 1968. As an avid consumer of "mainstream" news (CNN is my background music) I have a potentially unhealthy fascination with the way that Americans... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: THE WITCH Will Leave You Haunted And Impressed

Dark, brooding, and mysterious, The Witch is more parts drama than horror. But genre elements and a solid grounding in period source material will keep audiences engaged throughout the film's thrilling conclusion. Set in New England circa 1630 (well before... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: Z FOR ZACHARIAH, A Deeply Affecting Near-Future Parable

The premise is beautiful in its elegant simplicity - a woman is left alone in a world that has befallen a catastrophe. Her solitude is interrupted when a man appears, unsettling her life and making radical changes to her... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: TANGERINE Pops With Verve And Vérité

On the streets of Los Angeles sunlight seems to move differently than in most places. It blazes, arching across the sky, like a banshee spreading its wings. From behind the wheel of your car, inching forward in the hellion-marked traffic... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE Is Flocking Marvelous

Aardman Studios return to the big screen in cracking form with another rip-roaring roller coaster of action, smart humour and lovable characters. Shaun The Sheep Movie promises to delight fans of all ages, and long-time aficionados of the studio's signature... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: WHITEY Presents Criminal Ethics As A Spectrum Of Grey

It is no small irony that a film titled Whitey is actually so morally grey. Once again, one of the great documentary auteurs Joe Berlinger has provided a wonderfully nuanced take on an extraordinarily complex case, providing the viewers with... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: CAMP X-RAY, A Work Of Moral Ambivalence

I was busy processing the ending of Camp X-Ray, a film about a soldier relating to prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, when I saw the credit - Executive Produced by David Gordon Green. It's hard to say just what effect this great... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: FRANK, A Fun Musical Mashup That Doesn't Quite Mesh

All the ingredients are her for me to adore Frank. You've got a quirky premise surrounding a bunch of musical fun, a standout performance by one of the world's best actors, a mix of the somber and the slapstick all... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: IMPERIAL DREAMS Is A Taut, Effective Social Drama

About two-thirds the way through Malik Vitthal's remarkable film, the lead character makes it plain - he's just trying "to do the right thing."Back in 1989, another African American filmmaker showed how doing the right thing wasn't always easy. Spike's... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: RICH HILL Is A Striking Look At Poverty In America

When writing/directing team Andrew Droz Palermo and Tracy Droz Tragos focus their lens on three kids growing up in the ramshackle Missouri town of Rich Hill, it's not a pretty picture that is captured. Once a thriving mining village, now... More »
By Sean Smithson   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: The U.S. vs THE NOTORIOUS MR. BOUT Examines A "Merchant Of Death"

The Pussy Riot documentary, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, had its world premiere last year at Sundance. The doc was co-directed by Russian filmmaker Maxin Pozdorovkin, who now is teamed with a different director (Tony Gerber), but returned to the... More »
  

Sundance 2014 Review: LIAR'S DICE Gives A Rising Star Another Chance To Shine

Indian independent cinema has been on the rise for the last couple of years. A rapid increase in visibility and growing interest in the biggest film industry in the world have fed this sudden surge in homespun tales of life... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: DRUNKTOWN'S FINEST, A Compelling Snapshot Of Contemporary Navajo Life

It may be a controversial statement, but this movie, that recently premiered at Sundance 2014, is better and maybe more enjoyable than Alejandro González Iñarritu's film of interconnected stories, Babel (I choose this one because it's the most recent of that... More »
  

Sundance 2014 Review: THE OVERNIGHTERS Packs A Powerful Punch

It's a rare and beautiful thing when a film can surprise you. I was taken completely off guard by The Overnighters, a film that I figured would be a stark if a bit earnest take on post-recession America. What I... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: NO NO: A DOCKUMENTARY With Soul Power

"I pitched every game in the Major Leagues under the influence of drugs," reveals Dock Ellis, the late baseball player who in 1970 threw a "no-no" (no-hitter) for the Pittsburgh Pirates while he was high on LSD. This is the... More »
  

Sundance 2014 Review: WEB JUNKIE Presents A Balanced Case

How many hours do you spend at your computer every day? Six? Ten? Eight? Well, if you answer any of those or more, according to the People's Republic of China you have a disability, a problem, a sickness, an addiction.... More »
  

Sundance 2014 Review: KILLERS Is A Brilliant Rumination On Our Violent Ways

Killers, the latest from by Timothy Tjahjanto and Kimo Stomboel (aka, "The Mo Brothers"), is many things. It is a dark, stylish, somber, almost post-modern take on genre tropes. It is elegantly presented with impressive performances. It is a horrific... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: Farsi Vampire Western A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT Barely Gets By On Novelty

Yes. You read that right. A vampire western with a Farsi speaking cast. It's moody, and steely, and chock full of Lynchian atmosphere broadened by a Leone-esque scope. It's also in black and white and widescreen. If this doesn't sound... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: THE DISOBEDIENT Is A Marvelously Absurdist Abstraction Of Young Adulthood

About half way into Serbian director Mina Djukic's feature debut, our heroes, Leni and Lazar (childhood loves reunited) get caught in a rather curious rain shower. As if by magic conjured by the cinematic gods themselves, the sunny summer fields... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: THE RAID 2 Sets a New High Point for Violent Action Cinema

It was no hyperbole when we called The Raid: Redemption "the best action movie in decades." That film redefined martial arts cinema for the 21st century and announced Gareth Evans as one of the most exciting young directors working... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  
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