Sundance Hong Kong 2015 Review: Only A Mother Could Love JAMES WHITE

The debut feature from Josh Mond, producer of Simon Killer and Martha Marcy May Marlene, is a tough coming-of-age tale featuring a couple of top-notch showboating performances. However, the desperate circumstances alone do not make for an engaging drama, and... More »
By James Marsh   

Sundance Hong Kong 2015 Review: SONGS MY BROTHERS TAUGHT ME, Good With Reservations

The debut feature from Beijing-born Chloe Zhao focuses on the unlikely subject matter of adolescent Lakota indians in South Dakota. Beautifully photographed and confidently directed, Songs My Brothers Taught Me is a notable first film, marred only by a rather... More »
By James Marsh   

Sundance Hong Kong 2015 Review: ADVANTAGEOUS, Underachieving Sci-Fi For Tiger Mums

Jennifer Phang's ambitious sci-fi drama presents some intriguing ideas about identity and sacrifice in a uniquely female context, but she invests her budget into the wrong elements, and is unable to fashion her final film into anything particularly engaging.In the... More »
By James Marsh   

Sundance Hong Kong 2015 Review: THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT Wields Significant Power

The events that went down at Jordan Hall in August 1971 have been recounted numerous times and inspired at least two films already - Oliver Hirschbiegel's excellent Das Experiment (2001) starring Moritz Bleibtreu and Paul Scheuring's American remake from 2010, starring... More »
By James Marsh   

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: DOGLEGS, An Intimate Look Into An Extreme World

Doglegs is a documentary that examines the inner lives of some of Japan's strangest wrestlers. The name refers to an underground wrestling circuit that pits disabled and able-bodied performers against each other in the ring, often to horrifyingly uncomfortable ends.... More »
By J Hurtado   

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: IN SEARCH OF THE ULTRA-SEX, Both Smarter And Dumber Than It Sounds

When Woody Allen re-edited and overdubbed Japanese spy film International Secret Police: Key of Keys into absurdist comedy What's Up Tiger Lily in 1966, I'm fairly certain that he didn't see this coming. The French directorial duo Nicolas Charlet and... More »
By Charlie Hobbs   

Toronto 2015 Review: ANOMALISA Considers The Human Condition With No Strings Attached

When the philosopher says, "Hell is other people," he perhaps means that in trying to figure ourselves out, we are beholden to our reflections and interactions with other people. Or maybe he is talking about the modern customer service experience. In... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   

Toronto 2015 Review: TALVAR (GUILTY), An Indictment Of Indian Justice

In 2008, Aarushi Talwar, 14, the daughter of middle class parents, was found dead in her Mumbai home with her throat slashed. Suspicion quickly fell upon the family's servant, a Nepali migrant named Hemraj, but when he was found dead... More »
By J Hurtado   

Toronto 2015 Review: SOUTHBOUND Delivers Equal Parts Serling And Splatter

A lonely stretch of highway through the middle of nowhere provides ample fodder for the directors of Southbound, a new anthology project that reunites much of the creative team behind previous anthology hit VHS with a similarly high quality result.... More »
By Todd Brown   

Toronto 2015 Review: EQUALS, A Romantic LOGAN'S RUN For Millennials

In the future envisioned in Equals, it is as if Jony Ive ended debates on industrial design and all we are left with is Apple monoculture. Everything is white and smooth surfaced. The architecture is soothingly clean concrete. The film opens with... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   

Toronto 2015 Review: Sono's WHISPERING STAR Is A Hushed-Tone Oddity, Even By Sono's Standards

In a career positively littered with oddball entries, Sono Sion's The Whispering Star may very well prove to be the most oddball, the most niche entry in the director's lengthy canon. And, surprisingly, this is because he chooses the path... More »
By Todd Brown   

Toronto 2015 Review: THE DEVIL'S CANDY Is A Sweetly Horrifying Confection

It was back in 2009 that Australian writer-director Sean Byrne burst on to the scene with his debut feature film, The Loved Ones, igniting a firestorm of positive praise that seemed poised to light the world on fire for this... More »
By Todd Brown   

Toronto 2015 Review: HIGH RISE Throws A Lot Of Stuff Off The Ledge

As audience empathy tests go, killing the dog is perhaps the most capital of movie-crimes. Here it is gleefully committed in the opening minutes; a bellwether for the casually curious to beware. Several other canine-murders are peppered throughout the film, each... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   

Toronto 2015 Review: BANG GANG, Teen Sex Without The Histrionics

There is something refreshing about teenage drama cum neo-Bechdel test, Bang Gang. The film seems to be on a conscious mission to smash any and all notions of how these films are done. From John Hughes' The Breakfast Club with... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   

Toronto 2015 Review: LEN AND COMPANY, A Confident Hanging-Out Movie

All men, when they reach a certain age, have a desire to become a hermit - to one degree or another. Maybe it is due to genetic wiring, maybe social conventions. Most ignore it, either lacking the means, or the... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   

Toronto 2015 Review: Short Doc WORLD FAMOUS GOPHER HOLE MUSEUM Offers A Beautiful, Bizarre And Tragic Slice Of Life

Though it runs only twenty minutes, Chelsea McMullan and Douglas Nayler's World Famous Gopher Hole Museum makes an over sized impression. Finding a deeply human soul in its even more deeply quirky subject matter, all of it presented flawlessly in... More »
By Todd Brown   

Toronto 2015 Review: BLACK Paints A Vivid Picture Of The Violent, Seedy Side Of Brussels

When you're hanging with a posse who murder, steal, rape and share the bed with the same women and commit every crime imaginable, it's time to reassess your life.  Black is a movie you will not forget once you see... More »
By Chase Whale   

Toronto 2015 Review: ROOM, A Character Study Wrapped In A Thriller

At their best, films can literally change our perspective. We can be put into the position, visually and psychologically, of the characters on screen. With montage we see through their eyes, with dialogue we get into their souls. It's... More »
By Jason Gorber   

Review: BLIND, A Stunning, Sensitive Ode To The Lonely

What we see: A street in Oslo, Norway. A dress shop. Pedestrians stream on by. Standing inside of the shop is a German Shepard. It Barks. Spittle hits the window. Pedestrians stream on by. What we hear: A woman's voice,... More »
By Ben Umstead   

NecronomiCon Providence 2015 Review: INNSMOUTH Is Short But Shocking

This year, it's 125 years ago that H. P. Lovecraft was born, and though the writer died in 1937, his influence and popularity have not diminished one bit over the last few decades. Literally suffering from a Fantastic Fear of... More »
By Ard Vijn   
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